I just finished the most recent issue of Stay Tooned! and John Read’s labor of love just keeps getting better and better. This one focuses exclusively on cartoonists from MAD, from wily veterans like Sergio Aragones and Jack Davis to newer names like Tom Richmond and Ted Rall. John’s skill as an interviewer has improved since issue one; he knows the questions that cartoonists want to know that answers to (such as the all important “what materials do you use” question.)
Although this is the all MAD issue, all of these guys are doing work in other fields, and that’s why at some points Stay Tooned! can be a discouraging read; all of these guys admit that they couldn’t work just as illustrators or they would starve. It may have been that guys like Davis and Aragones could easily make a living at the start of their careers doing this stuff, but the newer guys seem to find it difficult to find work as a true cartoonist today.
However, Stay Tooned! is still a must read for cartoonists who want to know the ins and outs of the field (and despite what I said previously, it is overall inspiring.) The Comics Journal can be a little stuffy at times and Hogan’s Alley comes out sporadically. Stay Tooned! is consistently engaging and addictive. Not to mention John Read is a heck of a nice guy. You have no reason not to buy it.