Sunday, June 26, 2011

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with selling original artwork and limited edition prints, Sneyd will have personalized copies on hand of his book, Unpublished Sneyd, featuring 100 of his favourite Playboy "rejects."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)

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