Sunday, June 26, 2011

Doug Shares Anecdotes and Personal Reflections in The Art of Doug Sneyd

The Dark Horse Comics publication, The Art of Doug Sneyd - scheduled for a July 13, 2011 release - features over 270 of Doug's full-page color cartoons published in Playboy since 1964.

The 248-page book is organized into themes; the eleven chapter introductions that Doug wrote offer anecdotes and personal reflections, including the story of meeting a young man named David at the 7th annual Emerald City Comic Con in April 2009. Chapter 2: Pickups, Hookups, Breakups relates the story of why Doug's October 1981 Playboy cartoon - "Tonight I'm Looking for a Good Guy" - was so special to this fan of Doug's cartoons.

The book is available in three formats; the standard-edition hardcover is priced at $39.95.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Waterloo Chronicle Publishes Interview with Doug

Marshall Ward, Visual Artist reporter for the Waterloo Chronicle (Waterloo, Ontario), recently interviewed Doug; "Cartoonist more than a Playboy" was published June 14th.

Doug Sneyd, the legendary cartoonist for Playboy magazine since 1964, is still inspired by a good gag line.

"The one in the current issue is a good chuckle," Sneyd told me over the phone from his home studio overlooking Lake Couchiching in Orillia this past week. "It's a gal leaning up against a convertible and she's well-endowed and pretty. There's a cop behind her writing up a ticket and she says something like this: 'I know I have the right to remain silent, but I think you should know that I'm a screamer.'"

As a longtime fan of Sneyd's work, I was thrilled to learn that he will be a featured guest at the 2011 Fan Expo Canada comic convention this August at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

In addition to signing various publications, along with selling original artwork and limited edition prints, Sneyd will have personalized copies on hand of his book, Unpublished Sneyd, featuring 100 of his favourite Playboy "rejects."

"It's a collection of gag roughs," Sneyd explained. "One of my favourites is a mermaid and she's sitting on a rock; a sailor has just rowed up and he's looking at her with great enticement. And she says, 'Well, OK - but nothing kinky.'"

As well, Dark Horse Comics, the largest independent comic book publisher in the United States, will be at Fan Expo Canada selling copies of the book The Art of Doug Sneyd, featuring over 270 of Sneyd's Playboy colour cartoons.

"What's amazing is that all of a sudden, here I am pushing 80, and I've done over 450 of these cartoons, and it's hard to believe," said Sneyd.

"Time really creeps up on you." Born and raised in Guelph, Sneyd's prolific body of work - including syndicated political cartoons - have appeared in newspapers across North America.

As well, 30 of his full-page Playboy cartoons are among the 235 Sneyd works included in the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.

With upcoming appearances at conventions in Toronto and San Diego this year, Sneyd says he and his partner Heidi enjoy meeting people. "I feel like an old man, though, when they come out and say things like, 'I didn't know you were still alive!'" he said with a laugh. "'And you're a legend!' they'll say."

I asked Sneyd if he has ever met the legendary founder and publisher of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner.

"I met him at the opening of Montreal's Playboy Club in 1967," he said. "Hef, they call him. At that time, I was just another cartoonist - we just shook hands and that was it. I doubt he even remembers it." Sneyd paused, then opined on working for Playboy for nearly 50 years.

"People visit the magazine for a number of reasons, as the articles and interviews are still consistently good," said Sneyd.

"Hef keeps a pretty good control over this sort of thing. I think he edits everything, certainly all the cartoons." He concluded, "And I know that people visit the magazine for the cartoons as well, because I meet fans who have been reading my stuff for decades."

As someone who has chuckled at plenty of Sneyd's upbeat cartoons over the years, I personally hope he has many more gags and punchlines yet to come.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

On the Road: Nuremberg

No other city, except for Dresden, was so severely damaged during World War II, but the Market Square and Beautiful Fountain were rebuilt; Nuremburg is one of Germany's most historic cities, with a recorded history going back to 1050.

Doug and I hiked up steep cobblestone streets to the Imperial Castle.

The climb to the tower of the Imperial Castle complex gives you a wonderful view of the city.

When you visit the Albrecht Durer House, you can see a replica of the workshop where he printed his woodcuts with a working printing press.

The Nazi Documentation Center (at the far right) is housed in one small wing of Hitler's cavernous, unfinished Congress Hall, designed to house 50,000 spectators.

The Zeppelin Field was the site of the Nazis' biggest rallies, including those filmed by Leni Riefenstahl. The towering swastika was blown up by the Allies soon after the end of the war.

This is the entrance to Nuremberg's Palace of Justice; we visited courtroom 600 - the site of the Nuremberg trial of 21 Nazi war criminals.

The 21 Nazi war criminals stood trial here in 1945. After a year of trials and deliberations, 12 were sentenced to death by hanging, 3 were acquitted and the rest were sent to prison. Courtroom 600 is an active courtroom to this day.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Playboy Gag Rough Reject of the Week

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Creative Process: Green-eyed Redhead

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

On the Road: Regensburg

The large medieval center of Regensburg - with quaint cobblestone streets and courtyards - is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The fourth largest city in Bavaria is known as "the city of churches" because of the unusually large number of places of worship. We visited the cathedral of St. Peter, built on the site of a former Roman military camp.

City walking tours are not always about churches and cathedrals; our guide stopped outside an interesting window display in the historic district to explain that Der Hutmacher had made the iconic hat worn by Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. The German millinery shop is known internationally for its craftsmanship; the Queen of England is a client.

Our morning tour ended at the 1,014-foot long Stone Bridge, built in the 12th Century.

The former Benedictine monastery of St. Emmeram was converted into a castle in 1812 and inhabited by the princely family of Thurn and Taxis, who established the first certified mail and precious goods delivery service in Europe and held the monopoly of the imperial postal system from 1490 to 1867.

Today, they are the largest landholder in Germany, one of its wealthiest families and still in residence after more than 250 years.

After visiting Thurn and Taxis castle, we stopped at the castle's cafe for a glass of wine before heading back to the ship.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Playboy Gag Rough of the Week

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

10 x 14 Pencil Rendering

Doug rendered this 10 x 14 pencil with an accent wash of color using Dr. Ph. Martin's aniline dyes on 100% cotton 140 Lb. cold pressed Arches of France watercolor paper.

(please note: Our Epson scanning bed is smaller than 10 x 14 so the artwork was xeroxed and reduced before being scanned; therefore, some of the details are not as clear as on the original.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

On the Road: Deggendorf, Germany

Lynn Johnston, creator of the For Better or For Worse comic strip, Doug and I enjoyed a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Bavarian Forest near the small village of Baernzell. Called the "green roof of Europe," the Bavarian Forest is Germany's first and oldest national park, established in 1972.

Later in the morning, we visited the corporate office, production plant and museum of Theresienthal glass, located on the outskirts of Zwiesel on the historic Glass Route connecting Passau and Prague.

Theresienthal designed elaborate glass for the courts of the Russian czar, King Ludwig of Bavaria and the French court.

After a busy tourist day, it was a pleasure to have dinner on the upper deck of the River Princess. Executive chef Manuel Marques spoiled us with his wonderful cuisine during our 15-day Danube - Rhine river cruise.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Playboy Gag Rough Reject of the Week

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gorgeous Gal at the Beach Artwork

Summer's officially here so it's time to post one of Doug's gorgeous gals, rendered on 9 x 12 Arches of France 100% cotton 140 Lb. cold pressed watercolor paper using pencil and ink.

In addition to personalized copies of Unpublished Sneyd, limited edition prints, 24-page sketchbooks, Doug will also have 9 x 12, 10 x 14 and 11 x 17 original artwork - both B & W and color - for sale at the July 20-24 San Diego Comic-Con. He will again exhibit with Big Wow Art.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

On the Road: Passau

Doug discovers one of the Passau's nooks and crannies in the old town, which thrived for centuries because of river traffic; the salt trade helped establish Passau as a major cultural center and trading town.

St. Steven's Cathedral is located on the old town's highest point. It was destroyed in a devastating 1662 town fire and rebuild in the Baroque style and houses the world's largest cathedral organ - 17,974 organ pipes, 233 stops and 4 corillons. Doug and I attended a noon organ concert there.

Many cities along the Danube have flood markers; this doesn't seem to be a problem this year, however, as we were told that unless the region gets rain soon commercial barge and river cruise traffic may have to be restricted or halted.

The Glass Museum features nearly 30,000 items on display from the 1700s to 1930s. It's a "must see" in Passau.

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

Playboy Gag Rough Reject of the Week

(blog entries Heidi Hutson)