February 21st Card Reading Day

Remember back when the only way to get a card was through the mail or hand delivered for a special occasion? It was such a joy to receive a card from someone for the holidays, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and sometimes… just for no reason at all. The world has changed, today email and digital cards are more popular and probably more practical. However, they don’t actually mean the same thing. You can’t put them up on your mantel or display them for others to see (well you can if you print them out or make them your desktop background). There is something special about getting a card from someone, it’s even better if it’s from someone you know.

How to celebrate – Send someone a card today. Go to the store and read through all the cards in the card section. Start writing your own cards.

December 9th Christmas Card Day

If you remember when you used to get a Christmas Card in the mail then you are probably as old as I am! It’s pretty much a lost art these days. It’s easier to send cards by email, or not send them at all. (I have to admit I do the email thing) But it’s really not the same thing.

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Sure, you still have to write whatever sentiment you want on the card even if you send them out electronically but you don;t have to make the effort addressing envelope, putting a stamp on it, taking it to the mailbox or post office, make it go through the entire postal service, make the mail person deliver it and have it received by the person that lives in the house next door to you!

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Today was created to honor Sir Henry Cole who created and sent the first commercial Christmas card. Funny how he looks a little like Santa! He lived from 1818 to 1874 and started the idea of the Christmas card in 1843.  I am going to assume he made a fortune in the Christmas card business but I am not really sure, he may have already been rich.

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Now there is a problem with the Christmas card. What do you do with them after Christmas? It’s hard to just throw them away after someone who made the effort to give you something from the heart with a handwritten message on it. It may even contain a photo of the family or a favorite pet!

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Personally, I bury them in the backyard like you would a tattered flag. That way I can dig them up later if I need to… of course, they don’t look or smell very good but I did keep them close at hand.

How to celebrate – Make up your Christmas Card list today. Send out those Christmas Cards, after all it will take a while to get them delivered. Treasure those cards you receive, they were sent from the heart.

May 5th Cartoonists Day

Cartoonists work in a large medium that includes animation, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustration, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

William Hograth is credited with pioneering the Western sequential art. The cartoon we know best is the comic strip.  Many of us remember  “Peanuts”, “Blondie” and  “Beetle Bailey” from the newspaper every Sunday. Some comics came in single panels, reflecting the deeper thoughts of society at the time, such as the featured comic above done by Thomas Nash during the American Civil War. Most are funny, some are political, others are very serious. Nash covered the war from its highs and lows, saying in the newspapers, what others were afraid to say out-loud. He could also be humorous, such as when Nash created the Elephant for the G.O.P..004tnast

Among other great political cartoonists were James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson in 18th century England. In the US, Ben Franklin is credited with being the first editor to put a comic in a newspaper.

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The twentieth century was filled with freelance cartoonists such as Charles Addams, Irwin Caplan, Chon Day, Clyde Lamb and John Norment, and of course, the comic strips which we are all familiar with such as those created by Mort Walker, who preferred to produce his comic strips with a studio, and Bill Watterson and Charles Schultz, who enjoyed doing their work alone.political_cartoon_by_queenmari

Marvel, D.C. Comics, Classics Illustrated, and so many other comic book companies have hired, and in some cases still do, so many cartoonists that it would be nearly impossible to list them all. Yet each one of them is truly an artist that creates a world we may not be able to live in, but we sure enjoy looking at.

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How to celebrate Cartoonist Day: Look over the comics in the newspapers and magazines that you read, but this time, be sure to make a mental note of who the artist was that created it. Watch an animated movie, make sure you pay attention to the credits at the end of the film.  Try drawing your own cartoon, see just how difficult it can be!