Thursday, January 20, 2022

Mule on the Street: In Print - Sam Ray (In Tribute, from 2009)

 There were a few tests of Muley in the real world interviewing people, a series we called "Mule on the Street," with filmography by Lin Workman and edits by Kevin L. Williams.  As part of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association (MSCA), an in-print version was going to be started with Muley interviewing people and asking his very popular questions, like: creamy or crunchy?  (Photos below by Lin Workman.)

In celebration of his life and honor of his art, below is a reprint of an interview with Sam Ray at the December 3, 2009, dinner meeting of the MSCA.  The original print of the article would have been rewritten to appear as though it was a transcript of an interview, but that is long-lost with a previous version of the MSCA website.  Below is the image used for the interview followed by the response Sam sent to use as the interview.

I was born and grew up in the Ripley, Tenn. area. I am now an old man. My mother

was a painter, songwriter, and played a little guitar. All my siblings were creativepeople. I just latched on to what little talent I had and they didn't really pursueit much. My father was the one with the crazy sense of humor.Interests: cartooning, travel, music, the outdoors, readingI became interested in comics because my mother was an artist, I loved newspapercomics, comic books, and my drawing got me a lot of attention in school.People who inspired me: Everybody who encouraged me. I never got any negativityfrom anybody.Prior projects: Various things, but mainly my gag cartoons for various publicationsand my stint as a writer for "Hagar The Horrible"I seem to have always tended to come up with a lot of business-related ideaswhen doing gag cartoons. It just made sense to mine this territory if I was goingto do a strip. With "Business As Usual" I'm just trying to refine the kind of stuffI've been doing for years and do a strip that has some merit and doesn't embarrassme too much when I see it in print.I've written so many gags over the years that when I sit down to do a new stripI just try to pick one that I can get excited about.How do I get my brain going? I've found that after I stop fiddling around and getmy butt in a chair at my desk things will just start to click.Thoughts on syndicates: It's a well-known fact that syndicates receive tons ofstrips from hopefuls. But I once read that a big percentage of these submissionsare totally inappropriate. This was a syndicate editor talking.I have only good things to say about MSCA. I've gotten work, made new friends,received valuable criticism, and had the opportunity be with other people whoreally understand this mess we've all gotten ourselves into.I like my eggs over easy. My favorite color is blue. If I had a girl's name I wouldprefer Sue. It's nice and short and easy to spell, like Sam.All the best,Sam

Sam's art as shared by artist and actor extraordinaire Jim Palmer:

Sam signing his book at Comics and Collectibles.

Here are more photos from that MSCA gathering:

Andrew Chandler, Sam Ray, Lin Workman, Michael Langston

Ronnie Shenks, Sam Ray, Micahel Langston, ?, Chris Freitas, Mama Jane Shenks, ??

Lin Workman, Andrew Chandler

DaMarco Randle, Kevin Williams

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