David Rickert

Working for The Lantern

While I attended the Ohio State University I was a staff cartoonist for the Lantern for two and a half years. I did a daily strip (five times a week) foolishly titled “Box of Trees” since everyone asked me what the title meant and I really just came up with a nonsense phrase because I didn’t know what to call it.

It was a really fun gig. I generally worked two weeks out to make sure I had enough time to think of ideas. I would drawn the strips very large based on the specifications the newspaper demanded. Then I would run to Kinko’s and copy them, give the people at the newspaper the copies, and keep the originals. Yes, this was all in the days before email so I had to do it all on foot instead of what I do today – draw, scan, and email. 

The Lantern has a pretty large circulation, and it was always a treat – and perhaps a bit daunting – to consider how many people read it. Occasionally I would be in a dorm and see one of my cartoons posted on someone’s door, or I would meet people who read the strip and really enjoyed it.

Now that I look back on it, I thought my strip was really well drawn. I realize now that it isn’t. But I do feel like I had some good ideas in the first and second year, but then my courses got the best of me and I quit after an unsuccessful attempt to start a new strip called “Puck” with entirely different characters that would hopefully prime the pump. I found myself even more stuck. So thus ended my career at The Lantern.

Here are a few strips:

I’m pretty sure this was in the first batch of ten that I submitted for approval, and it tends to be one that people like the best from my entire collection. One of the things I did was carry around a notebook where I could record things that I heard people say over and over again that I could use. This was a commonly used phrase on campus, so I thought I could do something with it. I’m very fond of the “10” guy in the back – no idea how this could actually be a face, but since it’s in silhouette, I didn’t have to figure it out.

These are a couple of fairly early ones from the first quarter. The top one I saw on some dorm room doors, presumably women’s rooms.

I came up with the idea of this one because of all the events that were going around campus, and I always thought it was funny that you were always doing something “FOR breast cancer” or whatever when it seemed like you should actually be against it.

Another example of something that I heard a lot of people say and so I just ran with it. Satan makes another appearance in a later strip which is one of my favorites.

More to come.





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This entry was posted on November 23, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , .
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