Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Doug Sneyd Satire . . .

Doug's single-panel cartoon, Doug Sneyd, was syndicated from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s throughout Canada and the U.S. by the Toronto Star Syndicate. Politicians, government policy and the economy were obvious topics for Doug to satirize, but he also let his pen pause on other topics in the news.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Politicans Appeared Regularly in SCOOPS

In SCOOPS' editorial cartoon strips, which appeared on editorial and op-ed pages throughout Canada and the U.S. for nearly a decade, Doug frequently cast his satirist's eye on politicians and dignitaries - whether U.S. or Canadian. In the late-1970s/mid-1980s, Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and career politicians, including Jean Chretien, Eugene Whelan, Joe Clark, and Peter Lougheed, were characterized in SCOOPS, which first appeared in 1978.

On February 19, Barack Obama made his first foreign trip as President to Canada and thus restored a long-standing tradition abandoned earlier by George W. Bush, who, instead, went to Mexico to meet with then-President Vicente Fox. (The first new U.S. President to visit Canada was Warren Harding in 1923.)

No doubt, if Doug were still doing SCOOPS, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Obama would be scrutinized in the self-syndicated satirical strip.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ashley, a Bettie Page Look-Alike Model, Talks With Doug at New York Comic-Con

Besides being a Bettie Page look-alike model, Ashley also models for Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School functions in Pittsburgh; Dr. Sketchy's was featured in After Hours - PLAYBOY, March 2009 issue, pg. 12.

Dr. Sketchy's is in 40+ cities in the U.S., 25 internationally - 3 of which are in Canada. For more information, visit

Ashley visited Doug's booth at the 2008 New York Comic-Con.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Books We're Reading

If you watch Larry King Live, you saw Bill Maher interviewed February 12; the program was then rebroadcast on February 14. He's been interviewed in PLAYBOY and was recently a featured guest on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Doug saw the February 12 interview on Larry King Live and decided to get a copy of Maher's 2005 book - 228 pages, published by Rodale Inc. He's been laughing since the first chapter.

I never owned a Barbie doll, but when I learned that Barbie and Ruth - 278 pages, HarperCollins Publishers - was available the first week of February 2009 I decided to get a copy. It's been an extremely interesting, quick read. Publishers Weekly wrote that Ruth Handler "fought indefatigably to establish herself in a male-dominated field . . . Barbie is sold at a rate of three dolls per second, worldwide."

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lavish Corporate Spending Comes Under Scrutiny in Political Cartoons

Comments from U.S. Senator Chris Dodds - Democrat from Connecticut and currently the chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee - were featured this past weekend during CNN's coverage of President Obama's stimulus plan to "kickstart" the U.S. economy. Dodds was chastising high-paid corporate executives for their "boardroom bellyaching," and I couldn't help but think that Doug's single-panel Doug Sneyd political cartoon from the mid-1970s was still "right on target" in terms of reducing outlandish corporate spending.

Doug Sneyd first appeared in the Toronto Star in the mid-1960s and was later syndicated throughout Canada and the United States. It was not tied to a central character, story line or location.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Doug's Illustrations Help Tell the Story of Makpa, an Eskimo-Canadian Boy

"In the harsh climate of Arctic Bay a boy matures quickly. And such was the case with 11-year-old Makpa and the eventful year he spent growing up, acquiring a newfound pride - becoming a man . . . Sensitively captured in text and illustration, Makpa's adventures in his Baffin Island home will charm readers of all ages. Makpa, his family, neighbours and friends are all brought to life in this fast-moving story of Canada's North. The hardships, the good humour, the know-how of hunting and adapting to rigorous conditions are presented in a lively and entertaining style."

Makpa was written by Margery Hinds, illustrated by Doug Sneyd and published by Ryerson Press in 1971.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Political Cartoonists Examine Castro, His Policies and Influence

After Castro and his forces decimated the CIA-sponsored invasion of Cuba in 1961, the cigar-smoking Communist president of Cuba was the subject of many a political cartoon, and Doug's single-panel Doug Sneyd, starting in the mid-1960s, and SCOOPS, in the late-1970s, was no exception.

SCOOPS was not tied to a central character, story line or location so Doug could cast his satirist's eye wherever he chose - Castro was obviously a popular figure ripe for scrutiny.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Celebrating Our Birthdays

Cecile and I share the same birthdate as well as age so we celebrated together this year. Cecile (seated) and husband Peter from London, Ontario along with Doug and me had dinner at Louisiana Lagniappe at SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach, Alabama.

After dinner, we all went to Perdido Beach Resort to dance.

John, who performed with the New Christie Minstrels for nearly 6 years, now entertains weekends in the lounge at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama. He's our favorite entertainer on the Gulf Coast!!!

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Sneyd Original To Celebrate My Birthday

Doug created a special birthday bouquet to celebrate my birthday.

The flowers will always stay fresh, he joked, because they're in watercolor!!!

(blog posts by Heidi Hutson)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friends Made It A Great Birthday Weekend!

Carla ordered a specially decorated cake to celebrate my birthday.

Doug and I got to share good wishes and my brithday cake with friends attending Carla and Jim's recent open house at the new beachfront Phoenix West complex in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Carla and Jim Mattson shared their beautiful penthouse views.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Friday, February 6, 2009


Despite chilly morning temps and a light drizzle in the early afternoon of February 2, Doug, playing with 3 friends, had a great day of golf! He got a hole-in-one on the 155-yard, 8th hole of the Dogwood course at the Marriott Grand Hotel Point Clear property on Mobile Bay - where the famous orders "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead!" were delivered during a famous Civil War naval battle.

Both of the historic, challenging courses, the Azalea and the Dogwood, are part of the prestigious Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama.

The grounds of the Grand Hotel are the site of a former Confederate hospital; remains of Civil War soldiers are buried in a cemetery adjacent to the 17th hole tee box on the Azalea course.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Movies We're Watching

We make a real effort to see each of the five Best Picture nominees before the Academy Awards show, scheduled for February 22 on ABC. So far, we've seen Doubt and Slumdog Millionaire, which earned 10 Oscar nominations. Both were excellent, but we're giving Slumdog Millionaire the Oscar "thumbs up" because of the film's fresh, novel approach to structure.

Netflix also gives us a wonderful opportunity to see some interesting foreign films; we just finished watching Paris, Je T'aime, a collection of twenty, 5-minute films about the City of Lights. Numerous writers, directors and actors present a variety of styles, subject matter and locations in Paris, which Doug and I visited in the fall of 2005. The Coen Brothers and Wes Craven were true to their craft; Gena Rowlands was featured in a very special romantic vignette about "mature" love. The 5-minute "young" love vignette filmed in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery was interesting, especially because Doug and I spent a morning there.

Museum visits are a highlight of our fall trips, and an afternoon at the Musee d'Orsay, which displays collections of art from the period 1848-1914, was very interesting. In particular, we found this sculpture by Camille Claudel, who started working in Rodin's workshop around 1884, quite unique. The museum was originally the Orsay railway station, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900.

Touring the Catacombs was honestly quite interesting, but Doug couldn't persuade me to visit the sewers of Paris!

One of many special dinners at an outdoor cafe near the Ile Saint-Louis, where we stayed while visiting Paris.

A trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 International Exhibition of Paris, is spectacular - regardless of the weather.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Books We're Reading

Doug's older brother served with the Canadian Navy on convoy escort duty against German submarine "wolf packs" in the Atlantic during World War II, and during a recent phone conversation, he suggested to Doug that he should read the 2003 Andrew Williams' book The Battle of the Atlantic - Hitler's Gray Wolves of the Sea and the Allies' Desperate Struggle to Defeat Them. So, when Doug takes a break from the board now, he's engrossed in the 288-page book assessing one of the most bitterly fought campaigns of WW II.

I, too, prefer reading non-fiction. A few weeks ago I finished Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World (written by Spencer, Iowa librarian Vicki Myron, published 2008). The 277-page book tells the touching story of a kitten put in the Spencer, Iowa book return one cold January night in 1988; Dewey spent 19 years as the library's resident cat. He died November 29, 2006 in Myron's arms. In the January 29, 2009 USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books' list, Dewey ranks 37th out of the top 50.

Last spring I read the equally touching and entertaining Marley & Me, a portrait of "the world's worst dog," a beloved yellow lab. The John Grogan book, according to USA TODAY, currently ranks 15th out of the top 50 best-selling books.

Currently I'm reading Barbara Walters' memoir, Audition, and after only 140 of the 579 pages, I find it very interesting, especially when she shares poignant moments concerning her "intellectually impaired" sister Jacqueline and flamboyant, creative father who made a name for himself in the nightclub business with the Latin Quarter in New York.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)