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So, GoComics was all, "Hey Tony, ya wanna do the "รทMeet Your Creator' thing?"

And I'm like, "You mean God? Don't I have to die first?"

And they go, "No, the blog thing."

So I'm like, "Oh "... that! Sure. I love going on and on about myself when nobody can talk back."

And then GoComics was all, "Maybe this isn't such a good idea "..."

So, I panicked and hung up. But before that, they gave me some stuff I should talk about. Which was this "...

- How you began your career as a cartoonist/When did you start cartooning?

- What inspires you

- Achievements/Accomplishments

- Your favorite childhood comics/Comics you read today

- Upcoming projects or appearances

- Your studio/Workspace

So I did, and here it is "...

- How you began your career as a cartoonist/When did you start cartooning?

I've always loved to draw and would spend hours as a boy doing it. And I've always loved to make people laugh - a "defense mechanism" no doubt, but what the hell. Works for me. So, sophomore year, when I was in college at American University, and the time came to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I thought, why not combine my two loves: humor and art, and become a cartoonist? And my timing, as usual, was perfect because newspapers were just about to become obsolete, rendering my career irrelevant! Ha! It's funny because it's true! But seriously, I started doing a weekly comic for my school newspaper. The first time I actually got paid for a cartoon was a few months after I graduated. It appeared in Popular Electronics magazine. It showed a kid in a doctor's office with a monitor for a head. The doctor says to the mom, "Your son has a computer virus." What?! Back then, that was hilarious! I got $35.00. That's $450,000 in today's money. Then, for two years, I did a version of my college comic for Tribune Media's College Press Service. They distributed my weekly feature to hundreds of college papers. It was a blast. Then, I wrote a comic with my first partner, Orrin Brewster (RIP), called Color Blind. It was the first comic ever to star an interracial married couple. Orrin quit the strip, so we ended it.

 

- What inspires you

Cartoon-wise, the usual suspects: Larson, Watterson, Schulz, Hart & Parker. And also, Callahan (RIP), Groening, who I first saw in the Washington City Paper long before The Simpsons, when he was only doing Life In Hell. I wrote to him, and he actually wrote me back. Bet ya can't do that any more. His best advice: "Write what you know, and don't hold back." I still have the letter somewhere. I loved most of the alternative cartoonists in the City Paper and Village Voice. I was intrigued by their departure from "normal" daily cartoon styles. That influence has led to some of the different things I try today in Daddy's Home and in my books. I used to read Mad Magazine regularly, along with Cracked and even Crazy. Remember Crazy? It was Marvel Comics' version of Mad. But I was and am equally influenced by Saturday Night Live, Monty Python and other non-cartoon, comedy stuff. When I was a kid, I used to sneak out of bed on Saturday nights and watch the very first cast of SNL, with Belushi, Chase, Murray, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Dan Aykroyd, etc. That show blew me away. I mean hell, it blew everybody away. But I think for any kid who had a propensity to be funny, it was an education. Before that, I loved The Carol Burnett Show. Then there's Woody Allen, Letterman, Steve Martin. I actually saw Steve Martin live when I was a kid, with the white suit and arrow through the head and everything. I bought all his comedy albums and memorized them. From an artistic standpoint, I'm influenced by graphic design and pop art. I'm also an art director, so conveying a thought through the organization of images is what I do, I guess, one way or another.

244b5e93ef1c4d59973262fd7329cb47 copy - Achievements/Accomplishments

Along with the very talented Gary Markstein (also an editorial cartoonist), I'm the co-creator of the syndicated comic strip, Daddy's Home, distributed by Creators Syndicate (which can be seen right here on GoComics) - and maybe another comic (but I can't talk about that one yet "... I can tell you about it, but then I'd have to kill you). My other cartoon syndication credits include national distribution by King Features and Tribune Media Services. I had a development contract with King for nine months. That's kind of like a TV pilot. It didn't pan out, but I got to work closely with the legendary editor Jay Kennedy (RIP) "... I'm starting to detect a pattern "... if you're superstitious, you'll probably want to avoid working with me. His best advice: several things:

1) "NEVER write DOWN to your readers, always UP. If they don't get the joke, they'll think they should have and come back the next day to see if they get that one."

2) "Good writing will improve bad art. Good art will NEVER improve bad writing."

3) You can't be funny every single day. If a gag falls short, make sure you leave the reader with a good feeling that makes them want to try again the next day."

I've written 10 books. The latest is a Daddy's Home collection, which will be out any minute now (I don't have the pre-order info yet, but if you'd like to get one of the first copies, contact me directly: rubinocreative@aol.com).

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I've written a bunch of non-comic-related books, too. The last one was, "Why Didn't I Think of That? Mediocre Inventions That Changed The World," which is also an internationally syndicated weekly column distributed by Knight Features Syndicate out of London.

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Never a stickler for math, I wrote "Life Lessons from Your Dog" as the fifth installment of my Life Lessons book trilogy, which includes "Life Lessons from Your Cat," "Life Lessons from Elvis," "Life Lessons from the Bradys," and "Life Lessons from Melrose Place." Before that, I displayed my steely work ethic by penning "1001 Reasons to Procrastinate."

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And my fear of the discomfort of eternal damnation is reflected in "The Get Into Heaven Deck: Or Your Money Back." Along the way I've contributed articles and cartoons to publications like: MAD Magazine, Cracked, National Lampoon, the Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. And sometimes my designs, comics and words can be found on greeting cards and other product lines in Bloomingdale's, Spencer's and Cracker Barrel "... Yes, "Cracker Barrel." Stuff like calendars, posters and apparel (apparel is French for T-shirts). You can check out the other stuff I do right here.

 

- Your favorite childhood comics/Comics you read today

See above for comics I've read. As for now, I don't read any regularly. I purposely avoid reading comics now because I don't want to be influenced by other features. Maybe I'm nuts, but I think I can give our readers something more unique if I don't have other cartoonists' work rattling around in the tiny space that is my head. There's only so much room in there.

- Upcoming projects or appearances

I'll be playing Vegas with my tiger act this fall. Then, I'll be doing some press and signings for the Daddy's Home book. But I don't have the schedule yet. I'll keep you posted.

Check here for the latest info on that sort of thing:

Facebook

Twitter

About two years ago, I started to mess around with fine art. Ya know, painting/pop art and that sort of thing. No one was more surprised than me when my work was featured in galleries in New York, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles. That stuff can be seen at http://tony-rubino.artistwebsites.com.

I'll have some upcoming dates for shows soon. Check Facebook and Twitter for info on that.

- Your studio/Workspace

I work out of my home studio in Manhattan. When not working on my writing and art in New York City, I spend my time not working on my writing and art in New York City.

Thanks for having me! GoComics rocks! I mean that. It's an unprecedented forum for cartoonists. There's never been anything like it. And a shout-out to all the fans who subscribe to - and comment on - Daddy's Home every day!

Peace,

Tony

www.rubinocreative.com

Read Daddy's Home here.

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