It gives me great pleasure to present this weeks hallows eve/day of the dead themed cartoon! My good friend and collaborator Javier Hernandez lent me his amazing character, El Muerto, to poke fun of in Crying Macho Man style.
You can see Javier's amazing work and passion for comics on his blog JAVZILLA. I recommend becoming a follower of Javier's work as he is one of the iconoclast of DIY (do-it-yourself) comics who ultimately had a movie made out of his comic. Javier Hernandez's Hero, EL MUERTO
Javier's creative energy has lead him to create other amazing characters such as DEMOLITION DOVE and MAN SWAMP which he publishes under LOS COMEX. And you can also listen to Javier on his podcast show JAVILAND.
Javier Hernandez creator of EL MUERTO photo courtesy of Michael Aushenker
I’m dedicating this section of the blog to amazing cartoonists who don’t get enough recognition! This week belongs to Michael Aushenker, the zaniest and most creative humor cartoonist around! He’s created some of the most memorable characters to grace papyrus. El Gato, Crime Mangler, Those Unstoppable Rogues, Chipmunks & Squirrels, Professor Pap, Silly Goose and Cartoon Flophouse featuring one my favorite humor characters, Greenblatt The Great! He's been at this cartooning thing for two decades and counting and I don't see him slowing down. It high time that we start mixing his name in with the likes of Wolverton, Kama & Seele, and Boswell.
Cartoon Flophouse Issue # 1 starring Greenblatt the Great! Strip starring Greenblatt the Great!
I met Michael a few years back at APE, and I can remember the exact moment I saw him for the first time. He came up to my table, grabbed one of my books and said that he really enjoyed my stuff. But he hasn’t even read it I thought. We’ve been best friends ever since!
Michael getting a lift from me!
I’ve also had the privilege of seeing Michael in action, doing most of his cartooning in small cafes scattered throughout his LA neighborhood. His sketchbook is an amusement park of characters either in development or poses of his more famous ones. A lot of Michael’s ideas come from real life crazy situations. There’s a great story about his good friend Jamie and his ‘particular tastes’ when ordering a pizza pie. The skit is hilarious and not far off from the truth.
Pie Fidelity by Michael Aushenker!
With Michael you get what you see; a very gregarious personality and a philanthropic sensibility with his time and praise. He’s always looking for a way to support and promote his peers in the business. On his blog, Cartoon Flopshouse, he created a weekly Q&A called Hump Day for comic book artists that ask questions only Aushenker can come up with, for instance: “If you suddenly became a billionaire off of your mini-comics (three quarters at a time) and you could hire any famous actress to do your gardening, whom would you choose?”
Aushenker is currently working on a bunch of new gag strips for Cartoon Flophouse featuring Greenblatt the Great that will be featured at Comicon 2009. He's also got a new comic called Silly Goose. You can find him and his amazing strips at Small Press table K-13 along with Ted Seko creator of “Billy Cole," "Attack of the Supermonsters.”
Crying Macho Man was born on the mean streets of New York City and has been bringing you the funny on a weekly basis for the last 5 years. Wow, now that's a lot of cartoons. We're talking hundreds of strips that were born out of love and sweat.
This is about the time I start to list the prestigious awards Crying Macho Man the cartoon strip has won over the years and how successful and rich I've become as it's creator. But I'm sorry to disappoint you. The cartoon biz is a tough cookie to crack. Newspapers, that were once the main vehicle for the funny's have consistenly hacked away the main thing I bought the paper for. The Funny Pages!
The interent seemed to bring the distribution of cartoons on a level playing field, giving budding artists like myself the opportunity to conquer this fickle media. But after 5 years of working the web, I've made about enough money to pay for a tank of gas and dinner for the missus and me. 5 YEARS YO! But I don't want this to be a bitch fest. It has brought something much more valuable. FRIENDS WHO LIKE TO DRAW CARTOONS! And I don't just mean fair weather friends either. I've met some of the best people on the planet. And cartoon peeps are such a dedicated bunch. Their love of the craft is infectuous. I seriously believe I would have dropped out the game if it weren't for their support and enthusiasm.
So here stands Crying Macho Man holding his own after 5 years, passionately getting up in the morning and dipping his proverbial pen in the bottomless inkwell of funny.
Thanks for giving me the chance to make you laugh or at least try!
Jose was born and raised in New York City in the upper part of Manhattan. His community was predominately Dominican and throughout his early school years he was surrounded by friends who loved to draw. His love for art got him accepted to La Guardia H.S. of Music and Art near Lincoln Center were he was exposed to the world of fine art.
After graduating from High School, he went to Baltimore and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. He studied everything from photography to environmental design and got a huge spoonful of Art History. Some of his influences include Henry Moore, Amedeo Modigliani, Lucian Freud, Giacometti, Paul Rand, Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, R. Crumb, John Romita Jr., Sal Buscema, John Byrne, Jack Davis and the list goes on. This gave him the inspiration and the cojones to create Crying Macho Man.