Austin FUN ART Exhibit & Manifesto

Art exhibit by Austin Area artists and cartoonists of TEXAS CARTOONISTS – National Cartoonists Society Texas Chapter.

Hampton Branch Library at Oak Hill, 5125 Convict Hill Rd, Austin, TX 78749 September 1st – November 30th

Participating cartoonists: Theresa Bayer, Sam Hurt, Svetlana Novikova, Scott Byers, and Kevin Middleton


austin-area-artist-hampton-exhibitKevin Middleton hanging some of his “Fun Maps” at the Hampton Branch Library.

The Fun Art Manifesto
© 2008 Theresa Bayer
Somewhere between the noble realm of Fine Art and the mighty realm of Illustration, lies a curious little field that is coming to be known as Fun Art.

Although Fun Art is neither fine art nor illustration it has elements of both. It doesn’t seem to have an official history, although it’s probably been around as long as there have been artists. Fun Art may have a future, but no one is betting on it. Fun Art is simply Now.
Like fine art, Fun Art is all about being individual, having something interesting to say, and saying it in your own voice. Unlike fine art, Fun Art does not take itself seriously. There are no weighty ponderings about symbolism or realism or abstract outsiderism or any other kind of ism. There are no isms in Fun Art, yet Fun Art embraces all isms. Fun Art is a prism of isms, but not a prisoner of isms.

Like illustration, Fun Art is highly accessible, can easily be read and absorbed and has the same immediate visual and popular appeal that good illustration has. It can be cute or corny or even commercially appealing and that’s OK. Unlike illustration, Fun Art can stand alone and without a story or product to enhance– although it can also be narrative.

Fun Art is joyful, even when veers toward dark and edgy. There is a zingy energy to it that doesn’t depend on gravitas; its finest examples express a genuineness that goes beyond any commercial concern, even if the subject matter happens to be highly salable. You might call some of it a glorified doodle, but that’s OK too, because
there is glory to be found in doodling.

Fun Art has its own set of challenges. Just because it’s humorous or easy on the eyes does not necessarily mean it’s easy to make. Fun Art is of the imagination, and drawing straight from the imagination is a tall order. Foreshortening, perspective, lighting, composition, and fascinating little details are difficult enough when drawing from life. Doing all this from the imagination can be brain wracking indeed–some form of reference is always a help and can inspire an artist greater heights of creative fancy. Any art that is worth looking at is something an artist has put a lot of work into, and Fun Art is no exception. Composition, color, expression, freshness, detail, and originality are every bit as important in Fun Art as they are in fine art and in illustration.

What deep insights can possibly be had out of Fun Art? None whatsoever, unless by now you’re alive to the notion that joy and humor are meaningful enough to take seriously–in a lighthearted sort of way of course. No angst, no snobbery, no credentials in Fun Art. All it requires is daily practice and a passion for wackiness.

Now that’s fun!


 Dallas members of the Texas Cartoonists got together for a summer party in the Turtle Creek area of Dallas.

Attending were Paul and Dorothy Anderson, Andy and Francis Broome, Hector and Linda Cantu, Richard Dominguez and kids, David and Cathy DeGrand, Kit and Julie Lively, Steve Sicula, and Joe and Amanda Silva.

“It was a great chance for everyone to catch up before we head into fall and start planning our fall statewide meeting,” said Texas Chapter Chair Hector Cantu.

Documentary filmmaker Alex Mena also was on hand to talk to members about some animation needs he has on his forthcoming project.

Hector and Paul_wb
Hector Cantu & Paul Anderson

Steve and Richard_wb
Steve Sicula & Richard “Rick” Dominguez

Congratulations Mark Stokes and Terry Moore!


Congratulations to Texas Chapter members Mark Stokes and
Terry Moore
who were nominated for the Harvey Awards!

____ ALBERT THE ALIEN, Trevor Mueller and Gabriel Bautista,
____ BATTLEPUG, Mike Norton,
____ BLOOM COUNTY 2015, Berkeley Breathed,
____ OH JOY SEX TOY, Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan,
____ ZOMBIE BOY, Mark Stokes,


____ Asaf Hanuka, THE REALIST
____ Matt Kindt, UNITY #25
____ Michael Kupperman, UNITY #25
____ Terry Moore, RACHEL RISING
____ Rafer Roberts, X-O MANOWAR #38
____ Stan Sakai, USAGI YOJIMBO

The 2016 Harvey Awards NoHarvey Graphicminees have been announced with the release of the final ballot representing the input of the voters, presented by the Executive Committees of the Harvey Awards and the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, one of the industry’s most innovative talents, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. They will be presented September 3, 2016 in Baltimore, MD, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con.

Baltimore Comic-Con header-sm




See all nominees:




Cartoon Exhibit in Austin

Chapter member Kevin Middleton helped to organize a “Fun Art” exhibit of Austin-area artists and cartoonists. It will be up for the Month of June.
Kevin_hanging exhibit_crop

“Like fine art, Fun Art is all about being individual, having something interesting to say, and saying it in your own voice,” artist Theresa Bayer says of her “Fun Art” concept. “No angst, no snobbery, no credentials in Fun Art. All it requires is daily practice and a passion for wackiness.”

In addition to Middleton and Bayer, other artists exhibiting at Austin’s Howson Branch Library included Milburn Taylor, Scott Byers, Sam Hurt and Svetlana Novikova.

Short Time Warner video:

Donnie Pitchford donates a fun painting to St. David’s Children’s Hospital

Donnie faithfully followed up with his canvas contribution for the St. David’s Children’s Hospital. The photo shows Donnie letting “Lum & Abner” finish up the piece while he plays snoozing art director. Ha!

Donnie Pitchford_art for Hospital
(click on image to see a larger version)

Thanks a million Donnie. Even if you weren’t able to come to the meeting in Austin last year, the hospital is trying to “decorate” a hallway, and featuring cartoon art/illustrations from the Texas Cartoonists Chapter is a natural.

They would love to have other members contribute artwork too! At the time the hospital offered us 12″ x 12″ stretched canvas to work on; something similar would be appropriate for you work. And it’s all for a good cause!

Contact Hector Cantu or Milburn Taylor for more information.