Friends of the Fiend 3: Sandra Bell-Lundy.
CF. Hello, Sandra
SBL. Hello, Cartoon Fiend!
CF. Okay, what are your current projects, anything exciting in the pipeline - that you can tell us about?
SBL. I am going to be part of a "Women of Comics" symposium at the Paradise Comics Comicon on April 29. There will be many very talented women cartoonists featured at this symposium. I will part of a panel on women in comic strips. The Comicon runs from April 28-30 at the National Trade Centre, Hall C, Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I've begun to do speaking engagements. I've put together a light-hearted and fun presentation about where the inspiration comes from for my strip. I've chosen a number of strips that have specific stories behind them and coordinated them in a Point Point presentation. I also talk a bit about women in the comic strip business, letters from readers and what it's like to be syndicated cartoonist. I've been speaking fairly frequently lately and it seems to be well-received.
CF. Did you always want to be a cartoonist, and set out to become one, or was it a gradual process?
SBL. I've always drawn cartoons but didn't think about actually becoming one until I was unemployed one time and had a lot of free time to begin working on putting some ideas together. I self-syndicated my strip to about 4 dailies in southern Ontario for a few years before I received a development contract from King Features. I worked with Jay Kennedy for about 8 months and after being accepted for syndication, waited for another 6 months for Between Friends to be launched. I guess you could say that it was gradual. Nothing happened overnight.
CF. The work you do at the moment, can you tell us something about the process?
SBL. I spend at least two days writing. I work in an assembly line fashion, draw all my strips (a minimum of a week's worth) in pencil, then do all the inking and then scan and finish up in Photoshop. I send my work digitally to Reed Brennan in Florida. I colour my sundays in photoshop and send them digitally to American Color in Buffalo. A b/w copy of the sunday goes to Reed Brennan first for editorial purposes.
CF. I know you've been asked this a million times, but what tools do you use, and what format do you work to?
SBL. I use Strathmore bristol (series 400) at the moment but am planning to switch to a Canson bristol as soon as my supply of Strathmore runs out. I use a C-5 speedball, Koh-i-noor ink, a variety of brushes and rapidiographs. My dailies are about 12 x 4" and my sundays are about 15 x 7".
CF. Is the cartoonist a proper artist? I mean, does cartooning have the same cultural impact as some other artforms, in your opinion?
SBL. What's a proper artist? I would say a cartoonist is an artist who cartoons as opposed to say, doing fine art. I think cartoons reflect culture.
CF. Is there any other area of cartooning you'd like to work in, if you can find the time?
SBL. I have an idea for a graphic novel I'd like to do sometime...don't know if I'll ever actually do it though.
CF. Who were your major artistic influences?
SBL. Growing up, I always loved Peanuts, B.C., Winthrop. I admired Lynn Johnston, not only for her talent but because she is a woman cartoonist and a Canadian.
CF. Who was/is your favourite cartoonist/writer, of all time?
SBL. Hard to name one. Like Chris Browne, I also enjoy Claire Bretecher's work as well as Marjane Satrapi. Kim Warp is one of my favourite gag cartoonists.
CF. There's a lot of talk about a new 'paper-less future' and 'new digital reading habits', do you think this will affect cartooning, at some point.
SBL. Technology and markets may change but cartoonists will still have to do the basics of the profession which is to think and create. That won't change.
CF. If you had the time, and you were helicoptered in to work on anything you chose, any publication, strip, panel, character, book, show, what would you like to work on?
SBL. I'd like to be the creative consultant on an animated "Between Friends" show that's making tons of money.
CF. Is there anything you'd rather be?
SBL. Nope. This is it.
CF. Thank you for visiting with us.
SBL. My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
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