Japanese Monster Theme Park

The Comics Kingdom blog recently asked cartoonists to tell them about their summer plans (for the strip’s characters or for themselves).

So a quick heads up that Sally Forth and the family are going to a Japanese Monster Theme Park – and Faye and Nona are along for the ride as well!

So stay tuned…

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Sally Forth – Rollercoaster

As some of you may have noticed, The title panels of this week’s worth of dailies had a little side story going on all of it’s own.

Here it is in its entirety.

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Coloring Spider-Man

Back in 1992, when I was the colorist on staff at King Features Syndicate, I got the chance to color the Spider-Man newspaper strip. Usually this would be handled by someone Marvel hired, but if it was a reprint or Marvel hadn’t hired anyone yet, I would fill in.

Ron Frenz was approached to draw the strip at that time and recently posted the pencils for this Sunday page on his Facebook page.

Click on image to see larger.

Ron Frenz’s pencils.

The inks were done by none other than the legendary Joe Sinnott.
Here’s my color guide followed by the old color chart that the numbers correspond to.

And last but not least, how it appeared in the paper.

As I grew up with Romita’s Spider-Man newspaper strip, any chance to work on Spider-Man I deemed as quite the honor.

Speaking of John Romita – here’s a quick color guide I did when they reprinted his origin story back in March of 1992.

The numbers on this one were on a tracing paper overlay (for clarity).
And here’s how it appeared in the newspapers.

And just for fun, here’s how the strip originally was colored back in 1977.
(Pardon the rubber cement – it’s from my old scrapbook)

And here’s the cleaned up version from the highly recommended IDW Spider-Man newspaper strip collection.

Side note: Despite the fact that I love the limited palette of the original, I thought it would be fun to put my own spin on it.


Though I left my staff position back in the late 90s, I still color a few of the Sunday comics for King Features to this day. For more check out Coloring the Sunday Comics.

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Wizard World Minneapolis 2017

A few pics from Wizard World 2017 here in Minneapolis.

Danny Fingeroth, Bob Camp, Guy Gilchrist and Phil Ortiz.

Phil Ortiz drawing Sideshow Bob.

Guy Gilchrist

Colleen Doran

My signed copy of Troll Bridge.

One of the best parts of Wizard World this year was getting to see Jose Delbo again.
He was one of my teachers at the Joe Kubert School back in the 1980s.

Jose Delbo and his wife Maybelle.

Batman by Jose Delbo.

The last time he was in town I had him sign some old assignments I had saved.
More on that at the following link – Jose Delbo at SpringCon 2012

We talked about Philippine comic book artists, European comics compared to America, Hugo Pratt, and of course Joe Kubert.

Jose Delbo and Jim Keefe.

For more on Jose, check out JoseDelbo.com

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Al Baruch February 27, 1928 – November 17, 2015

I first met Al Baruch back in 2003. He was head of the Cartooning department at Hofstra University’s UCCE Youth Programs at the time and hired me as one of the teachers.

A Navy veteran, Al had studied at the Art Students League of New York, SVA (at that time the Cartoonists and Illustrators School of NY) and Pratt Institute (1949 – 1952). In the 1950s he worked for Disney as an inbetweener on films like Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp. In the 1980’s he turned to teaching and never looked back.

Al was in his seventies when I met him, but had the energy and enthusiasm of a man in his twenties. He mentored a multitude of students through the years, passing on his love and enthusiasm of cartooning to a whole new generation of artists.

He’ll be sorely missed.

The following are just a few articles, pics and video from around the web on Al.
I hope you enjoy…

Hilary Fine and Al Baruch

Al was an amazing man, artist and teacher. To the kids at HAAS, he was one of their magical Art Masters who would visit them and work along side of them at their Art Master Workshop. To me, he was a good friend and mentor. He also taught kids with special needs and was an advocate for the Holocaust Memorial and the Florida Youth Orchestra. You are loved by so many and you are in our hearts forever. Much love to you and your family.
-Hilary Fine

Al Baruch, Mike Stern, Mort Drucker
©Mike Stern – Animator at Pixar Animation Studios

Ten Things I Learned About Cartooning & Life
from Disney Animator Al Baruch

by Cara Goldstein

1996 Al Baruch Interview
by Matthew Kalamidas

Ex-disney Animator Draws On Expertise
by Jerry Libonati for the Florida Sun Sentinal – 2005

Disney artist draws on experience to help children
by Tessa Metay for the Florida Sun Sentinal – 2010

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What’s On Your Nightstand?

For a recent blog post for Comic Kingdom’s Ask a Cartoonist we were given the general topic of what was on your nightstand for Drop Everything and Read Day.

Sally, Ted and Hillary are definitely readers. In a recent strip I had Ted reading Wolf’s Inferno, a real action thriller written by Sally Forth’s previous artist, Craig MacIntosh.

More on Craig’s work at www.cjmacintosh.com

For Hil and her friend Faye it’s graphic novels – lots of Easter Eggs in strips like this for people into comics.

As far as what’s on my nightstand; I currently have Shiloh which is a fictional re-creation of the battle of Shiloh in April of 1862 by renowned historian and author, Shelby Foote. I also have Hellboy: The Descent by master cartoonist Mike Mignola.

I’ve been working real hard of late to set apart more time to read.
I feel my mind goes stagnant without it.

-Jim Keefe

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Sally Forth April 9, 2017 – Pencils and inks

A quick post showing what the pencils and inks look like for a Sally Forth Sunday page.

First the pencils…

Then the inks…

Lettering is laid in after I scan the artwork and make a digital file out of it.

For a complete list of the art supplies I use,
check out my previous post,  Comics – Tools of the Trade.

Here’s how it looks in color (courtesy of Comics Kingdom).

And here’s how it looked in today’s paper.

Newspaper reproduction is hit or miss. Between color smudges, misaligned color, the general beat up condition of the comic section and it not being shrunk proportionately (squashed length-wise so they’re taller and thinner) – your artwork isn’t always presented at it’s “best” (to say the least).

I did better that Dilbert this week though.
They got really stretched, so the characters all look to have gained a few pounds.

That’s all from the magical world of syndicated cartooning for now.
Deadlines looming…


Unabashed plug time!

If Sally Forth isn’t in your local paper you can check it out online at…


A yearlong subscription to all of King Features’ comics (new and vintage) plus ten years worth of archives for every single strip is a pittance at $19.99 a year. Unsure? Try a 7 day trial subscription for free.

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