NEWSFLASH!! Portfolio Reviews With Amy Lago!

Amy Lago, Comics Editor of the Washington Post Writer's Group (the syndicate behind the successful comic strips Bloom County, Pickles, and Candorville) has graciously offered to come to the 2014 Kenosha Festival of Cartooning to do portfolio reviews for aspiring professional cartoonists!

What makes a great syndicated comic? What are Editors looking for? How does the syndicate sales team fit in? Amy Lago is one of the best editors in the business and can answer these questions and help artists take their comic vision to the next level.

This is an incredible opportunity for artists who wish to pursue syndication! Or simply improve their overall comic work.

Spots are limited - only 9 are available! First Come, First Served!

  • Time: Sessions will be scheduled from 1-3 pm Friday, September 26 2014
  • Duration: 15 minute review
  • Location: Studio of John Hambrock Kenosha Wisconsin (details provided after registration)
  • Fee: $50 payable via this website's paypal link (must register FIRST) or by check made out to: Kenosha Festival of Cartooning 
  • Registration: Register by email at
The funds raised by these reviews will be split between the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning's operating budget and the beneficiaries of the NCSF Charity Auction

To register, or for more information, contact us at 

Peek at KPM Show More Than Funny Too!

One of our official shows of original cartoon art is already on display at the Kenosha Public Museum in a show titled "More Than Funny Too"

With over 100 pieces of comic art spanning over 100 years it is an incredible show! We have been given permission to share a few photos from the exhibit to pique your interest and get you down to the museum to see the art in person.
  • Kenosha Public Museum
  • 5500 1st Avenue Kenosha Ave
  • Hours: 10-5 Monday -Saturday 12-5 on Sunday
  • Admission: Free
Note: Photography is prohibited in the museum, especially flash photography. These photos taken without flash were permitted by the museum staff for publicity purposes only. Due to the fragile nature of many of the items they are being displayed in low light. As a result these photos are not crisp. All the more reason to see them in person!!

MAD magazine classic art by Wally Wood 1959

MAD magazine classic art by Will Elder 1955

MAD magazine classic art by Bob Clark 1960

Comic Test for "Planet" by Frank Frazetta - unpublished - 1944 

Painting for Comic Cover "Nexus" by Steve Rude 1994

Comic interior "Hulk" by Bill Sienkewicz 1979

"Hawkman" comic interior 1963 and "Tarzan" splash page 1976 by Joe Kubert 

Comic panel by Jules Feiffer "Hold Up" 1955

Buster Brown Sunday Strip by Winsor McCay 1908 (from the period when he was hired to ghost the feature) This piece is in a protective case and can only be seen without reflections of the other art if you visit in person!

Sunday "Prince Valiant" by Hal Foster 1958. This piece is in a protective case and can only be seen without reflections of the other art if you visit in person!

Another view of the show.

There are so many more great pieces including work by our guest speakers, MAD magazine artists, comic book artists, and iconic newspaper artists! For a complete list of featured artists click here.

Don't miss this!!

Kenosha Public Museum Show of Iconic Comic Art to Open June 7th!

Panoramic photo of the exhibit....

It is with great excitement that we announce the opening of the first gallery show of comic art for the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning 2014!!

The show opens Saturday, June 7th 2014 and will run until Saturday September 27th 2014 at the Kenosha Public Museum. 5500 1st Avenue Kenosha WI. (click the link for museum hours)

We are tremendously excited to be able to offer comic fans in the greater Milwaukee and Chicago area the opportunity to see, not only original comic artwork from some of the most popular cartoonists working today, but a glimpse of the genius of iconic artists from Comic Books, Newspaper Comics, and MAD Magazine from years gone by. (Be sure to scroll through the whole list - it's a great line-up!!)

Featured will be the work of festival guest speakers:
  • Jeff Keane (Family Circus)
  • Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate)
  • Todd Clark (Lola) 
  • Scott Stantis (Prickly City, Editorial Cartoons) 
  • Terri Libenson (The Pajama Diaries) 
  • Rick Stromoski (Soup To Nutz) 
  • Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press and Underground Comic Artist)
Also featured will be work by living artists with ties to Wisconsin:

  • Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine) 
  • Ed Steckley (Humorous Illustrator) 
  • Joe Martin (Mr. Boffo, Willy and Ethel, Porterfield, Cats With Hands) 
  • John Hambrock (Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee)
  • Phil Hands (Editorial Cartoons) 
  • Dan Pavelich (Just Say Uncle and Kenosha County)
And historic artists with ties to Wisconsin (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection):
  • Carl Anderson (Henry)
  • Ham Fisher (Joe Palooka)
  • Mike Grell (Jon Sable)
  • Frank O King (Gasoline Alley)
  • Steve Rude (Nexus)
  • Sidney Smith (The Gumps)
  • Erwin Hess (Big Little Book - Roy Rodgers)
  • Trina Robbins (Last Human)
  • Jules Feiffer (Hold Up)
AND iconic comic book artists: (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection)
  • Frank Frazetta (Planet - Comic Book Interior) This is a trial page never published
  • Jack Kirby (Human Torch)
  • Joe Kubert (Hawkman, Tarzan)
  • Frank Robbins (Johhny Hazard)
  • Jerry Robinson (Green Hornet)
  • Joe Shuster (Superman)
  • Joe Simon (Phantom)
  • Bill Sienkewicz (Hulk)
As well as MAD magazine's:
  • Sergio Aragones (Groo) (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection)
  • Dave Berg
  • Jack Davis
  • Mort Drucker
  • Will Elder
  • Wally Wood
And FINALLY Newspaper greats from days gone by: (On Loan From The George Hagenauer Collection)
  • Ernie Bushmiller (Nancy)
  • Gus Arriola (Gordo)
  • Milton Caniff (Steve Canyon, Terry and the Pirates)
  • Roy Crane (Captain Easy)
  • Billy DeBeck (Barney Google and Snuffy Smith)
  • Bud Fisher (Mutt and Jeff)
  • Hal Foster (Prince Valiant)
  • Chester Gould (Dick Tracy)
  • Harold Gray (Little Orphan Annie)
  • George Herriman (Krazy Kat)
  • Walt Kelly (Pogo)
  • Winsor McCay (Buster Brown) This is a strip ghosted by McCay after the departure of Outcault
  • George McManus (Bringing Up Father)
  • Virgil Partch (Big George)
  • Chic Young (Blondie)
A huge thank you to Comic Collector George Hagenauer who gave us access to his overwhelming collection of magnificent comic art!! And to Gina Radandt and Rachel Klees Anderson of the Kenosha Public Museum for not only having the vision to mount this show but who drove to Madison with Festival Director Anne Morse Hambrock to personally pick up the artwork. Thanks also for their countless hours of cataloging, framing and hanging this show!!!

Thank You National Cartoonists Society Foundation!

We are now at liberty to announce that the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning has received a generous grant from the National Cartoonists Society Foundation!

NCS Foundation President Steve McGarry and The Foundation Board of Directors have graciously agreed to give Festival 2014 a grant of financial support which, when added to our successful Indiegogo fundraising drive, will cover 95% of our projected expenses!

The foundation was also a generous underwriter of Festival 2012 and we cannot thank them enough for believing in this event and our mission to connect cartoonists to fans with live presentations and gallery shows.

The foundation will also, once again, be sponsoring a charity auction to be held on Saturday, September 27th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the local children's hospital clinic and also a school for children with autism and other learning challenges. Details of the auction and a preview of the items up for bidding will be posted by August.

We DO still need some additional financial support to cover a few extras we would like to add to the festival so we are continuing to accept donations either via the paypal button here on the site or by personal check.  (click here for details)

Thank you again NCSF!!!!

Indiegogo Backer Reward Fulfillment

The Indiegogo has ended and, thanks to the generosity of our backers and their belief in the Festival we surpassed our goal by $570! Exceeding our goal will help us claw back our Indiegogo processing fees so that we wind up with almost the $10,000 we asked for!
We still have some stretch goals and will continue to accept general donations here at the official festival web site (use the donate button in the sidebar or send us an email regarding donations by personal check) and we will also continue to accept donations for Ads in the program book - see tab above for details.
We are busy processing the backer rewards at this time and backers should expect a personal email regarding their perk by April 20th. If you are a backer and you do not hear from us by that time contact us at
Thank You Everyone!!!!!

Indiegogo Stretch Goals

We needed to hit our target of $10,000 on Indiegogo and we did it thanks to all the fine folks who believe in the festival and supported it.

THANK YOU to everyone who donated, whether it was a book or a piece of art for the backer rewards or a standard financial contribution. We could not have done it without you!

We have until Friday to raise as much more money as we can for the festival. The $10,000 original Indiegogo goal, along with a few major donors to be announced next week,  covers our main budget.

We would love to be able to offer some extras:

  • Full color printing of the program book 
  • All you can eat pizza and soda at the comic jam Friday night
  • An extra nice spread of food at the opening reception Thursday night
  • Complimentary beer and wine tickets at the closing reception Saturday night
If you were meaning to donate, and didn't get to yet, please consider helping us meet these stretch goals. If you already donated but would like to see us be able to offer the above amenities, please consider bumping up your donation a smidge.

Thanks again to everyone who helped us make our goal!!!!!!!

Lincoln Peirce: Kenosha Festival of Cartooning Guest Speaker for 2014

Please join us as we welcome Lincoln Peirce when he appears next September at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning running from Thursday, September 25th through Saturday, September 27th of 2014.

“Some people call it a kids’ strip,” says Lincoln Peirce of Big Nate, the comic feature he created in 1991, “and some don’t.  To me, the labels aren’t important.  What really matters is that it’s funny.” 

Big Nate follows the adventures of Nate Wright, an energetic sixth-grade boy whose larger-than-life personality often lands him in hot water with his classmates and teachers.  “Nate’s school life is at the center of the strip,” Lincoln says.  “And schools can be hilarious places.”  Big Nate currently appears in over 300 newspapers, and in 2013 ranked among the ten most-read features on

In 2010, Lincoln’s characters reached a whole new audience when he began writing and illustrating Big Nate novels for children.  Each of the six titles has been a New York Times Bestseller; the seventh book in the series, Big Nate Lives It Up, will be published by Harper Collins in March of 2015.  There have also been numerous compilations from Andrews McMeel, including Big Nate:  I Can’t Take It! And Big Nate:  Great Minds Think Alike.

When he isn’t cartooning, Lincoln hosts a weekly radio show devoted to vintage country music.  He also plays ice hockey, enjoys cryptic crossword puzzles, and doesn’t understand his computer.   He and his wife Jessica live in the great little city of Portland, Maine, and have two children.

Stay tuned to this official festival site as we continue to profile our guest speakers! 

Don't forget to follow us on twitter and facebook - @KenoshaFestival  Kenosha Festival of Cartooning Facebook

Terri Libenson - Kenosha Festival of Cartooning Guest Speaker for 2014

Please join us as we welcome Terri Libenson when she appears next September at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning running from Thursday, September 25th through Saturday, September 27th of 2014.

Terri’s cartooning career began as a child when she started vandalizing her brother’s Archie comic books by rewriting the dialog (luckily, she respected his MAD magazines enough to leave them alone).

Later, she moved on to some original work.  Terri has been writing and illustrating humorous cards for American Greetings for over 20 years. She has won numerous awards for her work and even created a successful, long-running card line called “Skitch.”  She has also written online cards for,, and
In 2000, Terri got back to her comic roots and developed “Got a Life,” a weekly syndicated strip with King Features. It ran for two years before she decided to try her hand at a daily comic feature. Her dream came true when the internationally syndicated “Pajama Diaries” launched in 2006. It details the daily happenings of Terri’s alter ego, Jill Kaplan, a contemporary working mom trying to juggle it all -- work life, family life, and sex life (or lack thereof) -- without going bonkers.

Terri has two book collections: “The Pajama Diaries: Déjà To-Do” (2011) and “The Pajama Diaries: Having it all…and no time to do it” (2013). She also has a third comic book-style collection called, “The Pajama Diaries: Bat-Zilla” (2013), which features a recent Bat Mitzvah story line and Jewish holiday-themed strips.

Born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, PA, a much saner Terri currently lives with her husband and two daughters in Cleveland, OH. 

Terri's Strip The Pajama Diaries has just been nominated for Best Newpaper Comic Strip of 2013 by the National Cartoonists Society.

Stay tuned to this official festival site as we continue to profile our guest speakers. 

Don't forget to follow us on twitter and facebook @KenoshaFestival  Kenosha Festival of Cartooning Facebook

Jeff Keane - Kenosha Festival of Cartooning Guest Speaker for 2014

Please join us as we welcome Jeff Keane when he appears next September at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning running from Thursday, September 25th through Saturday, September 27th of 2014. 

Jeff was born in 1958. Two years later, his father Bil Keane started chasing him around begging him to do something funny. So began his career as a cartoon model for "The Family Circus." He now authors that comic, which appears daily in over 1,400 newspapers worldwide, making it the most widely syndicated panel in America today.

Raised in Arizona, Keane moved to California to attend the University of Southern California where in 1980 he received his BFA in Drama. After graduation, in an attempt to have a freer schedule for auditions, etc., he returned to his cartoon roots and began to assist on the feature. Jeff started out just answering mail and compiling books but, through years of his father’s guidance, has taken over the feature and is responsible for all aspects of creating the daily cartoon (writing, penciling, inking, coloring).

In 2007 Keane was elected President of the National Cartoonists Society. The NCS (founded in 1946) is recognized as the world's premier organization of professional cartoonists. He was re-elected in 2009 (becoming only the fourth two-term president in the NCS’s history). Along with a group of his NCS colleagues, Keane has done numerous trips with the USO visiting our troops in hospitals and military bases throughout the world (including both Iraq and Afghanistan).

Jeff and his wife Melinda live in Laguna Hills where they created three cartoon characters of their own (Spencer, Matilda and Olivia). Keane now chases his kids around begging them to do something funny. So "The Family Circus" keeps going around in circles.

Stay tuned to this official festival site as we continue to profile our guest speakers. 

Don't forget to follow us on twitter and facebook - @KenoshaFestival  Kenosha Festival of Cartooning Facebook

Festival Testimonial: Stephan Pastis

Have you been to Kenosha? 

I've been to Kenosha.

Here's what I learned about Kenosha. They have a bar every 25 feet.


When Kenosha Festival of Cartooning organizer Anne Morse Hambrock cajoled me to visit Kenosha and be a speaker there in 2012 she baited the hook with that magical phrase, "Wisconsin is the beer capitol of the USA and Kenosha has bars every 25 feet."

I thought she was kidding. But, sure enough, as we drove into Kenosha there really did seem to be about 3 bars per block. Within a block of my hotel there were 7 bars alone.

That would have been enough for me to spend three days there even without a cartooning festival. 

The festival itself was great. My fellow cartoonists and I all presented to packed audiences including a massive high school assembly where we were treated like rock stars. Literally. We entered the stage to the tune "Back in Black" by AC DC pumped out at high volume to an auditorium full of screaming kids.

The festival is gearing up for 2014 - September 25th-27 and they have another top notch group of cartoonists scheduled to speak - including this guy who I hear does some sort of family themed comic:

But they need your help with their Indiegogo campaign to fund the events and also keep everything free and open to the public. Click on the link, watch the video by my buddy Tom Racine, (watch for me, I'm in there, you guessed it, with a beer) and help them reach their goal!

Note from the festival director - the above photo is, of course, Jeff Keane of "Family Circus" - that photo was taken on a military helicopter when Jeff and Stephan visited troops in Afghanistan with the USO "Cartooning For The Troops"

Festival Testimonial: Hilary Price

Thank you to Hilary Price for sharing a story about her time in Kenosha as a guest speaker in 2012! Be sure to make her strip "Rhymes With Orange" one of your daily reads if you haven't done so and follow her blog. She also did a nice TV interview recently that you can find here.

"You may remember that in 2012 I was a speaker at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning. I don't know what I was expecting Kenosha to be like. I'm pretty sure I hadn't counted on it being like this:

You look out the window of the hotel at Lake Michigan and see fish hurling themselves 2 or 3 feet out of the water into the air. Use a fishing pole if you like but if you are close enough, a baseball mitt would do.

I learned some other fascinating things about Kenosha:  they are the home of Snap On Tools and Jockey Underwear. (I happen to be wearing my Jockey For Hers right now.) And it used to be where you got those cool Nash Ramblers.

Now they are also becoming known for this terrific cartooning festival that happens in September.

I really enjoyed my time as a speaker - the event was not so large it was intimidating and not so small it would have been awkward.  I was able to get to know the fans as well and share a drink or two with my fellow cartoonists. It was well organized and low stress. I had a blast, despite the fact that for the first - and hopefully last - time I accidentally licked the microphone during my presentation.

The festival is happening again next September 25th-27th with another stellar line-up of cartoonists and they need your help to reach their fundraising goal on Indiegogo. All the events at the festival are free and open to the public but only if they can get the money they need to actually pay for staging everything.

Click on the link, watch the video that gives you all the details about speakers and stuff, and support the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning today!"

Festival Testimonial: Sandra Bell Lundy

Thank you to Sandra Bell Lundy for sharing a story about her time in Kenosha as a guest speaker in 2011. She even put it in illustrated narrative for us!! Be sure to make her strip "Between Friends"one of your daily reads if you haven't done so. And head over to our Indiegogo and make a donation to support keeping attendance to festival 2014 completely FREE and open to the general public!!

Indiegogo last 5 hours

We still have some nice perks for the last 6 hours of the Indiegogo fundraiser!

Once the drive is over these perks will no longer be available!

We WILL continue to offer ad spots in the program book on our website after the Indiegogo is finished.

More Indiegogo Math

Now that we have made our goal of $10,000 in Indiegogo we will only pay a 7% processing fee. This means our total take on the $10,000 is $9300.

Every dollar we can still make in the time remaining helps us claw that balance back up to an actual $10,000.

If we get up to $10,800 we will actually net $10,004!

There's still time to donate!

Sandra Bell Lundy Adds Between Friends to Stretch Goal Perks!

Even though we have reached our $10,000 fundraising goal we have a day and a half left on the Indiegogo campaign. So we've set out some  stretch goals for any extra money we raise before noon tomorrow.

Sandra Bell Lundy has generously offered us 5 copies of her almost impossible to get book "Hello Daughter"! This book is a collection of strips from early in the history of the comic "Between Friends" and is made up of comics about infertility and the decision to adopt. It is currently out of print and is considered rare.

Thank you Sandra!

We also still have some other nice books and original art and ad space in the program book. Head over and poke around!

We've Made It!!!

We've made our $10,000 fundraising goal on Indiegogo with 3 days to spare!!

Thanks to EVERYONE  who donated perks and financial support!

(watch for announcement of stretch goals)

63 Hours To Go - Perks List

We have only 63 hours to go and have not yet made our goal of $10,000! The good news is we are VERY close - only $481 away!

If we are lucky enough to surpass our goal before time runs out we have a stretch goal! 

If we can get to $11,500 we can afford to print the program in full color! (remember - we lose at least $700 of our donations to Indiegogo processing fees - to the $10,000 mark is really $9300 at best - this is why we would need so much more for the color program. We would be clawing back those fees.)

Perks available now (all perks include your name, or the name of your feature, in the festival program):

  • $20 General Festival Poster signed by all the guest speakers
  • $20 Program Booklet signed by all the guest speakers
  • $25 Rare signed 14 x 14 poster from 2006 sales launch of Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee (5)
  • $35 Program Booklet General Poster combo pack signed by all the guest speakers
  • $40 Signed copy of "Soup To Nutz: A Second Helping" by Rick Stromoski (1 left)
  • $40 Signed copy of "Big Nate: Great Minds Think Alike" by Lincoln Peirce (3)
  • $40 Signed copy of "Jumble Workout" puzzle book with doodle by Jeff Knurek (2)
  • $50 Signed copy of "B.C. Reinvents The Wheel" by Mastroianni and Hart (10)
  • $50 Full set of signed Festival Posters (4) and a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers
  • $50 1/4 page ad (4 x 5 inches) of your own design in the official Program Booklet - includes a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers
  • $50 Limited Edition KFOC "Challenge Coin" with signature card signed by all the guest speakers
  • $100 1/2 page ad (8 1/4 x 5 inches) of your own design in the official Program Booklet - includes a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers
  • 100 KFOC "Challenge Coin" with signature card, full set of signed Festival Posters, and a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers
  • $200 Full page ad (8 1/4 x 10 3/8 inches) of your own design in the official Program Booklet - includes a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers
  • $250 Signed original art for daily "Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee" by John Hambrock, (ink on bristol) and a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers (2)
  • $250 Package of "Jumble" art by Jeff Knurek (pencil rough, inked final, and final print of puzzle) and a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers (1)
  • $250 Signed original art for daily "Stone Soup" by Jan Eliot (ink on bristol) and a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers (2)
  • $500 Signed original art for Sunday "Big Nate" by Lincoln Peirce and a copy of the Program signed by all the guest speakers (1)

Johnny Hart Studios Add B.C. To The Perks List!

Have we mentioned before how amazingly generous cartoonists are? Johnny Hart Studios has offered 10 signed copies of "B.C. Reinvents The Wheel" to our Indiegogo campaign!

Most of the book collections we have offered have either sold out or are very close to it and we are thrilled to be able to offer these to our backers

A special thank you to Patti Hart Pomeroy!

New Edison Perk: Rare 2006 Launch Sales Kits And Posters

Thank you to John Hambrock who has dug through his Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee ephemera and come up with King Features Sales Kits from the original 2006 launch to offer for our fundraising campaign on Indiegogo!

The full color kit, with illustrations on the front and back covers as well as the inside front cover, is on 100 lb card stock with a pocket containing:

  • Character Descriptions
  • Artist Bio
  • 4 Full Color Sunday Strip Samples
  • 24 Black and White Daily Strip Samples
  • The Back Cover Illustration is the same as the poster

He also unearthed copies of a special 14 x14 inch square promotional poster designed especially for newspaper editors - the invention depicted is that of a "Newspaper Distiller" and the joke centers around the relationship between newspapers and TV news.

A limited quantity of these perks are available on Indiegogo - head over and claim yours!!

Thanks John!!

Book Perks: What's Left UPDATED 4/6 1:41 PM CST

The countdown is on - only 5 1/2 days left and books are running out! Here are the book perks that are still available:

  • "Do-Overs - A Lola Collection" By Todd Clark - 1 available
  • "Soup To Nutz: A Second Helping" by Rick Stromoski  - 2 available
  • "Jumble Workout" a collection of jumble puzzles illustrated by Jeff Knurek - 2 available
  • NEW! "Having It All And No Time To Do It" by Terri Libenson - 5 available