I’ve been working on a relaunch of my official website, this spring.
Naturally, taking time to indulge my nostalgia and reflect on the story of Ben Lansing Creative is an indispensable step in the project. When I contemplate my journey as an artist, one person in particular is prominent in my thoughts: my grandfather, Pop.
Pop introduced me to the funny papers when I was young, reading each panel to me, and then carefully explaining the jokes. He taught me how to draw my first cartoon: a pig hiding behind a barn. (I can still draw this.) Pop gave me a subscription to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, into my young adulthood. (I mostly read the funny papers.) And as I developed my art skills and began earning publication contracts, Pop was always one of the first people I’d call.
One of my last conversations with Pop, in January 2018, was about my transition into life as a full-time cartoonist. That month will always stand out in my story. My dream of a career in cartooning and illustrating came to fruition, and I lost my first best friend and fan. In those last hours before Pop passed, I sat at his kitchen table drawing cartoons, taking breaks to sit next to his bed and read the funny papers with him.
I couldn’t help but include, in my website relaunch announcement, this tribute to the person who supported and inspired me through so much of my education and career. Please take a look around the website, watch the blog for updates (including behind-the-scene insights and first looks at projects), follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and even let me know if you have a project you’d like to discuss with me.
Thanks for reading. See you in the funny papers!