Charmy’s Army – January 14, 2019

Paying Tribute to My Hero

I was reflecting on my current success and realized how much I owe my style to my hero Don Martin. I mention Don Martin in interviews and when I am talking with fans at comic cons and it saddens me when they ask me who he was. Don Martin was the greatest cartoonist who ever lived in my mind, and he was a huge influence on my drawing style, my humor and my drive to become a real cartoonist one day, creating my silly strips for my living.

Don began his career with Mad Magazine in 1956. He was immediately hired after sending in some samples of his work. The work he presented was no where near the quality of work he became known for. His lines were thin and the drawings were very tight. The powers that be at Mad told Don to loosen up, and loosen up he did.

Don Martin’s style stood out from the other artists running during the 60’s in Mad Magazine. I was lucky enough to find a stack of Mad Magazines from the 1960’s at a junk shop when I was a kid. I immediately fell in love with the art style of Don Martin, and that love is shown every time I grab a pen or a brush. Charmy’s Army is a tribute to Don Martin with every line I pull. The one lesson I learned from my studies of Don;s work and Don himself is to stay loose and have fun.

Don Martin had a magical way of drawing the eyes of his characters. They were huge and defined each character. For the longest time I copied Don’s eyes in every character I created. Eventually, I developed my own style which is a bit looser than the mannerism in which Drawn drew his eyes.

Don Martin had a long run with Mad Magazine but left in 1988 after a dispute over royalties of reprints. Don was extremely dedicated, turning down lots of freelance opportunities because he wanted his cartooning work to only support Mad Magazine. After his last strip ran in Mad Magazine, Don jumped ship to rival Cracked Magazine, billed as Crack’s Crackiest Artist… and slam at Mad Magazine who always bill Don as Mad’s Maddest Artist. Don would work at Cracked for 6 years before ending his brief run.

From 1988 to 1993, Don Martin launched his own comic strip, The Nutheads which was briefly syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate and later self-syndicated by Don Martin himself. This is what I am doing with Charmy’s Army, self-syndicating. Self-syndicating is tough but when you want something, you must grin, bear it and pay your dues.

Don has serious eye issues his entire life which is the worst condition anyone can have when they are an artist. Don even when through several surgeries due to the complications. During the latter years of his career, Don used a special magnifying glass to draw his comic strips. Unfortunately, Don passed away in 2000 at the age of 68.

Don influenced many cartoonists. I have so many people tell me that my work looks like Jeff Smith’s Bone. Jeff Smith, like me, was heavily influenced by the work of the great Don Martin.

If you have a chance, please look up Don’s work online. You will not be disappointed… you may even find yourself discovering your newest cartoon addiction.

-Davy

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Charmy’s Army – January 7, 2019

Change is GOOD!

I hate change. My website has had some major SEO issues due to the old Word Press template I used. The theme was called Panels. This theme was created for webcomics but the theme was abandoned by the templates creators and is now unavailable, that is unless you already used it. Because the theme is no longer updated, there are all sorts of bugs currently related to SEO management as well as loading issues.

I am now using a free theme called Karuna. I set the start page as a page I created for my archive. The page was created using the option which disabled the side bar links, allowing for the page to widen more. Next, I inserted the slideshow I created. Simple right?

Yeah, it was a little more complicated than that. I spent about 8 hours testing, failing, retesting, failing, and finally testing with some success while screwing up all the other pages, followed by fixing the other pages only to lose the slideshow, following by more testing and more failing, followed by more testing and realizing the template I had was the issue, followed by testing every free template in Word Press until I was about to pull all of my hair out, followed by the feeling of total emotional hopelessness, followed by the third to the last template that worked well, followed by tweaking that template until I had complete success! Then I tested on my phone to see it wasn’t working and I made one tweak and I was done.

Easy!

Now I am way behind on my strips. I gotta start inking asap.

If anyone wants more details on my new website, just contact me via email or the contact form on this site.

-Davy