NHTE 186 Glenn McCoy

An illustrator, animator, cartoonist, and children’s book author, whose work includes the syndicated comic strips The Duplex and The Flying McCoys. His nationally syndicated editorial cartoons have been reprinted in the New York Times, USA Today, and Newsweek, and appear frequently on CNN. He also works for many of the top magazines, greeting card companies, and publishing houses in the country. His clients range from Playboy to Parade and he has designed and written for several TV and feature animation studios including Dreamworks, 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney TV, among others.

Show Quotes: 

“That’s one of the nice things about being a cartoonist, is, you’re not as conspicuous as other people.  It’s really a solitary life.  You just sit in your studio, alone, staring at blank sheets of paper, trying to fill in boxes.”

“When… people respond to your work and tell you that you’ve impacted them in some kind of way it’s always a shock because you never really think about that when you’re doing the work, you’re just trying to draw something funny.”

“It would tense me up too much if I thought what I was doing – if I thought about it in terms of how many people would be looking at it and watching it – I just try to make myself laugh and that’s the only goal I go for.”

“Being a cartoonist is like being a musician or stand-up comedian who, instead of having that immediate response that these performers do from the crowd or the audience, it’s sort of like the cartoonist does his act on a tape recorder and then hits Play and leaves the room and then they wait for the reviews later on because you don’t get that immediate response.”

“Every issue has, like, a million facets – it’s like a diamond.  And I only comment, usually, on one little chip out of that diamond.”

“The Internet has opened up the playing field to a degree that I don’t really think I’m competing with (my colleagues) in the sense that it used to be, so many comic strips were on a newspaper comics page and if one person got in you got bumped out.”

“You have to be passionate about what you’re doing.  If the passion isn’t there you have no business doing anything – music or cartooning for that matter.  And you should also… try to please yourself first and foremost.”

“Humor… is just a muscle you develop like anything, like a musician learning the piano.”

“My editorial cartoons, my comic strips, my gag cartoons, greeting cards, kids’ books, that’s all for me.  That’s not filtered through anybody else’s prism.”

“I can sit in a movie theater and I know that a joke of mine is coming up or there’s a scene that I storyboarded, and I get to just sit there and listen to the laughs.”

“When a joke… gets taken out (of a movie) you set it on another pile and think, ‘I might be able to use that for a comic strip,’ so there’s a lot of recycling.”

“There’s some days when you’re staring at that blank piece of paper and you’re thinking, ‘If I don’t fill this by my deadline, the newspaper’s just gonna run a big blank box that says Our cartoonist is an idiot.’”

“There’s, like, a stream that goes by full of ideas and you have a fishing rod and you just keep fly fishing hoping that you’re going to snag an idea and sometimes you get, like, ten, and sometimes the fish ain’t biting.”