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Published:January 1st, 2007 11:00 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with MJ, Cartoonist for Newsblaze

Judyth Piazza chats with MJ, Cartoonist for Newsblaze

By Nancy Lee Wolfe (HR Development/Content Manager)

Hi, MJ.  It`s a pleasure to have you on the show.

Oh, thank you very much.  It`s nice to be on the show.

You are a very talented person.  Tell us a little about MJ.

Oh, I started cartooning back in high school, in "`79 "`81 range "and I`ve been cartooning ever since.  Something I like.  I like doing.  I enjoyed going out and listening to music and mainly drawing a lot of cartoons " that`s what I do.

What inspired you to be a cartoonist?

I liked watching cartoons when I was a little kid and got intrigued by it.  Then, when I noticed that, in the Sunday papers, you`d get cartoons and I was, like, I`d really like to do something like that.  I`ve been drawing cartoons ever since " I`ve been hooked on comic books, any form of cartooning or animation.  It just draws my attention so you can go to a different place and not be worried about stress.

(laughing)  What kind of cartoons do you draw?

Um, I draw editorial cartoons and I also draw 3-panel strips.

Well, I know I`ve seen a lot of your cartoons on www.newsblaze.com and I love them.

Some of them are a little different.  Every cartoonist has a different style.  I mainly draw the editorial cartoons from things that are happening here in the US.  And I also have to draw a different version for an international magazine, Newropeans Magazine.  So, I kind of get the best of both worlds with some of my cartoons.

Who are some of your mentors that have helped you along the way?

Yeah, a little bit it has ".it`s a little bit harder when you`re in the US to get cartoons abroad that are printed unless you`re covering topics that their people understand.  And a lot of the stuff here in the US is mainly about the war and stuff so they kind of cross over a little bit

Have you had anyone mad about your cartoons before?

No, and actually over the Danish cartoons " I don`t see what people get all mad about.  They`re cartoons.  Lighten up, people.  Lighten up.  They`re just cartoons.  We need something to make us laugh.

Well, I`m glad you said that because there`s a lot of up-tight people out there, isn`t there?

Oh, there are.  It`s crazy and being a cartoonist, it`s just fodder for me to draw. (laughing)

Who are some of your mentors that have helped you along the way?

Well, I`m a member of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy and a lot of them guys like Sean Tenhoff and Steven Stwalley they kind of help me out and give me a few pointers.

Cartoonists I really, really like though, there`s a lot of cartoonists that are from Missouri, like Walt Disney who did Mickey Mouse, of course; and like Morton Walker who did Beetle Bailey.  There are a lot of cartoonists from Missouri and they " all the cartoonists are in there like their own little clique and they`re more than happy to help out any new, aspiring cartoonist.  And they always, always tell you what is good and what isn`t good.

If a young person were to approach you today and say that they wanted to be a cartoonist, what advice would you give them?

I`d say just keep on drawing and submitting to various editors through newspapers.  They will give you constructive criticism.  I tend to do my stuff as a self-syndication instead of going with bigger syndicates.  It`s a little bit more work; it`s a little better pay-off at the end to know that there are other people out there just like yourself. 

Do you remember the cartoon that you drew and you just thought to yourself, This is my passion and this is really what I want to do. "?

Basically, I`m really proud of a character called Pinhead.  He runs in the FIDDLESTIX strip and One-Shot and some of those, they just make me laugh.  (laughing)  I`m just so happy to be able to draw this character and give it to other people to make them laugh.

Well, nothing`s better than a good laugh, right?

Okay.  (laughing)

Tell our listeners how they can find out more about you and your cartoons.

If they wanted to find out more about me, they could visit my website.  It is http://thepcstudio.tripod.com.
Or you can view them on line through www.newsblaze.com and Newropeans Magazine, http://www.newropeans-magazine.org.  

It`s been a pleasure talking to you today and I hope you will come back.

Oh, I certainly will and I enjoyed tuning in and I hope a lot of the people enjoy what you`re doing because you sure give a different perspective on things and no holds barred.  That`s what it`s about.

Thank you, MJ.

To listen to the audio interview, click here http://www.thesop.org/article.php?id=3673