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Archive for June, 2016

Book: ‘The Defector’ by Nick Carter – June 30th, 2016

by on Jun.30, 2016, under Books

The Defector (Killmaster, #38)The Defector by Nick Carter
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a succinct tale that is just a bit too easy for the good guys as the writer places what is needed to be found in just the right page numbers.

The hero is sent to find somebody and finds all of the clues to the whereabouts and the bad guys far too easily. One of the first stops is sloppily written and reveals way too much and makes the rest of the tale predictable. When the hero goes to China he unbelievably finds what he is looking for too easily and others find him too easily. China then, and now, was very crowded. The easy of discovery would be nearly impossible.

Characters are loosely handled and locations are very sparsely written.

Due to sloppy writing the ending is obvious, so…

Bottom Line: i don’t recommend this book. 3 out of 10 points.

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My ‘Man in the Swamp Report’ – Drawing a Tapioca Celebration! – June 28th, 2016

by on Jun.28, 2016, under Cartooning

Plan on posting a video a week of me inking a Swampy’s Florida Celebration cartoon each week over at the Swampy Facebook/Blog/You Tube/etc. page. Here’s this week’s involving tapioca, as most videos are about.

You’ll have to go to the page to see why the two look a bit distressed and see future videos. Best to do is go to the Swampy’s Florida page, click ‘Like’ and scroll down and click ‘All On’.

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Celebrating 37 Years of Caricaturing! – June 27th, 2016

by on Jun.27, 2016, under Caricatures

Well, as LinkedIn has been reminding me with messages in the past few hours, June 27th marks 37 years since I placed B-6 to acetate and started drawing caricatures at Ringling Brothers/Barnum and Bailey Circus World in Haines City, #Florida.

I had just turned 16 and my first job with Michael Hanson Artists had me thrust between two other artistic strangers and a large waiting crowd of people to draw as many $1.49, I believe, caricatures as I could. Basically I was dropped into the deep end of the pool.
Drawing multi-dozens of caricatures a day during the Summer and then one for a few years, before we converted to Sharpies, got me mighty nimble with a B-6 nib and a bottle of ink. I remember later getting to the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, Inc. and, the great cartoonist, Hy Eisman asking,” You drew WHAT with a B-6″?
It’s been many years and lots of caricatures at Circus World, Hyatt House, Mystery Fun House, and on the Disney property. Tons of private events. Some of my favorites have been drawing for our veterans. Including those I did with my The National Cartoonists Society pals.
Last week while looking for something else i came across a story of an excursion we made almost 4 years ago. Hadn’t seen it and I’ll attach it below. The photo of me veils how horribly sick I was. Being in the mid-east had put sand in my sinuses, that don’t work well anyway. I believe someone called it the “Kuwaity Krud”. As the Krud engulfed me I was a mess for the rest of the trip and weeks after. I thank the rest of the crew for the trip for putting up with me and my hacking cough and sneezing.


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Book: ‘The Scarlet Letters’ by Ellery Queen – June 26tyh, 2016

by on Jun.26, 2016, under What's New?

The Scarlet LettersThe Scarlet Letters by Ellery Queen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love the Queen series. i just picked up another clump of them. This is one of them. However, this is not an example of the reason i picked up so many.

This Queen tale is waaaaaaay too prolonged with an involved MaGuffin that seems orderly enough, but gets monotonous quickly as little else happens involving, what appears to be, a domestic dispute. The story doesn’t make sense unless Queen jumps to too many assumptions. which is something he warns not to do in many of the Queen novels. This is a repeated inconsistency that is the only way the writers could link events, but a flimsy one and one that had me find the entire tale ridiculous.

Due to the prolonged trip through the alphabet, the few characters are very well identified. Odd that the few settings, that are repeated many times, did not have the detail they could have.

The ending is very unsatisfying considering all it took to get to the point. All proving this would have been a far better short story.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 5 out of 5 points.

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Book:’Matt Jensen: The Last Mountain Man: Massacre at Powder ‘by William W. Johnstone – June 24th, 2016

by on Jun.24, 2016, under Books

Massacre at Powder River (Matt Jensen: The Last Mountain Man, #7)Massacre at Powder River by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Now than I’m well into multi-dozens of Johnstone Clan read, i again come across the British ex-pat wanting to make it big in US story. This one, though, is a switch in which there are 2! A variation of other Johnstone Clan books. This book is very similar with very similar encounters, characters and outcome. A bit of a disappointment to feel like I’m re-reading a Johnstone Clan book.

The characters, as always are interesting, if not too similar to others in Johnstone Clan books. The inclusion of a historic figure is interesting but more as a plot device than to tell a story. This is basically an older Johnstone Clan book that includes Winston Churchill.

The setting is not as well told as in other books.

Still, this is a well written book and fun to read…and if you aren’t scarfing up all of the Johnstone books like me… so…

Bottom line: I recommend this book. 6 out of 10 points.

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My Work in Progress: Springs artwork! – June 22nd, 2016

by on Jun.22, 2016, under Cartooning, Illusration


Here’s a bit of artwork by me of the children’s educational book about the springs in ‪#‎Florida‬ for the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute I’m working on. This is part of a page about plant life found around a spring. Text still to be added. This should be out be September and hope you all get a copy and learn more about the delicate springs in Florida!


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Caricature: First day of a Four Day Show – May 22nd, 2016

by on Jun.22, 2016, under Caricatures


Starting four days doing my cartoon improvisation for a large convention.
This is Dhanpat, who is a member of the Economic Advisors for India.
We had a great time discussing economics!

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My Works in Progress: Bill Partington – June 18th, 2016

by on Jun.18, 2016, under Cartooning, Florida History!, Florida Outdoors!

I’m getting to draw a friend and someone I admire – Mr. Bill Partington. Bill helped start or was director of the Florida Native Plant Society, Florida Audubon Society, Florida Defenders of the Environment, Florida Conservation Foundation, etc, etc, etc. Bill was instrumental in getting president Nixon to stop a horrible project that would have destroyed natural Florida and waste nearly a billion taxpayer dollars, the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. He was also instrumental in creating a wildlife corridor system in Florida, stopping gator poaching, adding land to the Everglades, etc, etc.

Whatever good shape ‪#‎Florida‬ is in these days is due to the 50+ years Bill has dedicated to making our state a better place to live.


I should add that Bill, along with another great Florida outdoor warrior, Ken Morrison, started a group that most in Florida belong to, FLAP. Bill and FLAP brought us the beloved and hilarious Calamity Calendar telling of everyday calamities in Florida. Florida political cartoonists, including myself, contributed to this calendar. FLAP had all sorts of other fun items that I’m going to reveal at Bill’s upcoming talk mentioned below. Many items involving my pal, Jeff Parker, who I can never thank enough for introducing me to Bill.

It was FLAP that fired me up to start my Swampy’s Florida.

The upcoming tlak by Bill: Bill has been gracious enough to be a speaker in our lecture series July 17, 2pm, for our Marion County Museum of History and Archaeology, to tell stories of adventure in Marion County environment! This is the artwork I’ve done to accompany the flyer announcing the event. i hope my fellow lovers of the Florida outdoors come out to hear of this great Florida Crusader!


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Book: ‘Traps Need Fresh Bait’ by A.A. Fair – June 18th, 2016

by on Jun.18, 2016, under Books

Traps Need Fresh BaitTraps Need Fresh Bait by A.A. Fair
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Lam and Cool tale starts very well and gallops at a very fast pace. Then, near the end, there are a whole lot of movements made that could have been simplified and less convoluted. This is an issue I’ve had with a few other Gardner books. It doesn’t sink the book. Just makes it clunky and makes the ending less satisfying.

The characters are better written than in other Cool and Lam books. I especially like how the good guys and bad guys are not clearly figured out until the end. The settings, critical to the story, are also well written.

Bottom line: I recommend the book. 6 out of ten points.

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My work in progress: Aquatic Adventures page – June 16th, 2016

by on Jun.17, 2016, under Cartooning


I’m working on a children’s educational book about the springs in Florida with for the Florida Springs Institute. This is one page of the book featuring Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist County. As the project goes along, I’ll pop up some art to tease this upcoming book.




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Book: ‘The White Wolverine Contract’ by Philip Atlee – June 16th, 2016

by on Jun.16, 2016, under Books

The White Wolverine Contract The White Wolverine Contract by Philip Atlee
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After I enjoyed The Irish Beauty Contract I was disappointed with The White Wolverine Contract. I’ve had this book for a couple decades and am just getting around to reading it after I had read Irish Beauty. I remember picking it up because I liked the title. Now I know I’m not crazy about the book.

It is a good story. There is a neat hook involved. The source of the hook is nicely done. Atlee’s outstanding ability to put the reader in the setting and rolling out the flavor of whatever area he tosses his characters in.

Character development is much looser in this tale and too many characters are far too simplistic. Caring what happens to paper thin characters is difficult.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. five out of ten points.

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