If you live in the Memphis area chances are you’ve seen a “Cravens Cartoon”- either in an ad, on a t-shirt, billboard, CD cover, or Memphis Flyer illustration.
MSCA member Greg Cravens also writes and draws the internationally syndicated The Buckets comic strip. Not featured in the local daily newspaper, Memphis readers see the hometown Buckets family at GoComics.com, the web’s largest online comic strip venue. More than 23,700 people are subscribed to The Buckets daily feature at GoComics.com, others visit randomly.
Now, another of Cravens’ features, ‘Hubris!’ will be joining the gocomics ranks on June 4.
After a few seasons of being a caricature artist at Opryland in Nashville, TN Greg came to Memphis in 1983 to attend Memphis State University, which awarded him a BFA in graphic design, then changed its name. Presumably, the two things have nothing to do with one another. Upon graduating, Cravens found that there were more advertising agencies in Memphis than it would be wise to shake a stick at and stayed.
Around the same time, in 1990, Commercial Appeal editorial cartoonist Scott Stantis got his new comic strip The Buckets syndicated and left The Appeal to concentrate on that. Twelve years ago, Stantis hired Greg to draw the strip, as Scott was “tired of drawing Larry sitting on that same end of the couch” and eventually, Greg made a genial takeover of the feature. Since 2006, The Buckets has been solely created by Greg and supplied to first United Media and now to Universal Syndicate. After learning the ropes so well, Greg started another comic strip in the new ‘Webcomics’ genre.
Webcomics are creator-owned/distributed cartoons that have come to flower in the new online age. Hubris’ audiences have grown on his site hubriscomics.com since November 2010, and now, with the exposure provided by GoComics.com, hubriscomics and its attendant twitter and facebook accounts will all work in tandem to provide more hubris than you’ve ever managed to see before now.
This is the first year that the National Cartoonist Society Reuben awards have had an ‘Online Comics’ division award. The first Online Comics Division Award went to Jon Rosenberg for ‘Scenes From A Multiverse’.
Greg is a guest speaker at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning this September. His talk will be about Legacy comic strips- those comics that are now being created by someone other than their originators. Among cartoonists, these features are often frowned upon as being somehow inauthentic.
Catch Greg at that festival, the MidSouthCon convention or an NCS or MSCA cartoonists meeting if you’d like any more information on comic strips, legacy comic strips, online comic strips, or making a living as a cartoonist in a world where the daily papers are dying like flies trapped in a storm window.
Oh- and speaking of MSCA meetings, there will not be one this week. Many MSCA members including its officers will be in Metropolis, IL for the annual Superman Celebration- June 7-10. Next MSCA dinner meeting at Garibaldi’s Pizza will be July 5th at 7pm. June 24th will be the next Sunday Meet & Draw at Lonnie Tant’s Italia Restaurant on 1306 Goodman Rd in Southaven, MS starting at 1pm. Dinner meetings and Meet & Draws are free and open to the public, but bring a few buck$ to order off the menus- you’ll be glad you did!