Arts Desk

Meet a Local Cartoonist: A Chat with T.R. Logan

Theresa Roberts Logan is a relatively recent arrival to the D.C. cartooning scene. I met her at the Cartoonists & Cocktails fundraiser this fall when I was outbid for a piece of her artwork.

Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

T.R. Logan: I do my daily web comic, "Fog Of Worry," as well as greeting card work; and I license my cartoons out for things like cocktail napkins. My web comic is an edgier style than my card work, which is maybe more friendly. And I do some humorous illustration, editorial work, now and then. The web comic is basically me oversharing all the weird stuff I think.

WCP: How do you do it? Traditional pen and ink, computer or a combination?

TRL: Mostly traditional pen and ink, as well as art markers. I like the character that using a nib and dipping it into ink gives the line quality. Also, lettering is a big part of what I do, and the pens give me a lot of creative options. I use the iPad to sketch on sometimes, but for finishes, I only use my Mac to do color fill-in now and then – but mostly I prefer to hand paint everything, or ink everything in with little hand-done marks.

WCP: When (within a decade is fine) and where were you born?

TRL: Memphis, Tennessee, October 1960. I’m fine with people knowing my age. Maybe because I’ve avoided the sun my whole life...

WCP: Why are you in Washington now? What neighborhood or area do you live in?

TRL: I’m in Washington because of my hubby’s job (he works at the Shakespeare Theatre). I LOVE it here. We live in the District, Northwest.

WCP: What is your training and/or education in cartooning?

TRL: I’ve been drawing characters since I was a kid; I did a whole “book” of clothing designs, and I called them “Snobby Models.” They all had their noses in the air. So, I’ve been drawing forever. I have a BFA in Graphic Design, but did no cartooning in college, except for some freelance work (stuff like storyboarding ZZ Top music videos), but it was probably working for Hallmark Cards that really got me focused on developing my cartooning more seriously.

WCP: Who are your influences?

TRL: Edward Gorey, Lynda Barry, Roz Chast, Charles Addams, Egon Schiele, Sergio Aragones, and all those MAD magazine guys. (I met Sergio a couple of years ago, and I have a GINORMOUS crush on him.) I also love The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes . . . but I s’pose that’s like saying you like Matisse. I mean, who doesn’t?

WCP: If you could, what in your career would you do over or change?

TRL: I would’ve started taking meds earlier. Seriously! Also, what springs to mind is  . . . I would have gotten involved with the National Cartoonists Society waaaay earlier than I did. It’s just so great to go hang with a bunch of people who think as weirdly as you do. We all sit at our art tables alone most of the time, so we like to come out of our studios, fly somewhere, and drink together.

WCP: What work are you best-known for?

TRL: Right now I would say it’s my greeting cards (my company name “Laughing Redhead Studio” is on the back of them), and my book of cartoons, The Older I Get, The Less I Care.

WCP: Tell us more about your book. How did you get a book deal? Is it a collection of your greeting card cartoons?

TRL: I got the book deal when I was showing my greeting card collection at the Stationery Show at the Javitz Center in NYC. Andrews McMeel came by my both and asked me if I wanted to do a book with them. I had done a card that had the idea of "the older you get, the less you care," so we decided that would be the theme – every cartoon inside finishes the idea "the older I get, the less I care about" —and goes on to show, in cartoon form, things like "my fear of clowns" and "the fact that my butt is wider than most standard folding chairs."

WCP: And where can one buy your greeting cards?

TRL: You can buy Laughing Redhead Studio cards in different venues, depending on the publisher, and distributors (I have several). I've found them in FedEx Office, Target, World Market and others—just look for my logo on the back. You can also get them directly from my own store (zazzle.com/LaughingRedhead)—where I add new cartoons in regularly. You can also get my cartoons on things like aprons, mugs, mousepads, etc., there.

WCP: What work are you most proud of?

TRL: My web comic, “Fog Of Worry.” It’s very me. Wow, that doesn’t sound egotistical or anything.

WCP: What would you like to do or work on in the future?

TRL: I’m working on a black-and-white book which I hope my publisher will love, I’d like to get "Fog Of Worry" syndicated, and I want to finish my graphic novel sooner than later. It’s at a glacial pace right now. (Has global warming affected the meaning of that?) I mean really, really slowly. With my daily web comic posting and joke-writing, I have it on a very generous schedule. Also, I want to animate my women. And do a web series. I do voices, did a lot of voiceover work when I lived in Denver . . . so I just have to get my technical self together to git ‘er done. (Please tell me I didn’t just quote Larry the Cable Guy.) Is that too many things? Thank God for the manic.

WCP: What do you do when you’re in a  rut or you have writer’s block?

TRL: I write anyway. Only I’ve learned to give myself permission to have a bunch of it suck the biggest wind. I don’t judge myself, or get discouraged (at that point, anyway.) Because if you don’t get going, you never get to the good stuff.  Writing is a skill but it’s also a habit. I do it daily. I never don’t do it. See what a good writer I am?

WCP: What do you think will be the future of your field?

TRL: Holographic roboto-comics. Kinda kidding, but I bet it’ll be something digital. I’m very 2D, so I will just watch.

WCP: What local cons do you attend? The Small Press Expo, Intervention, or others? Any comments about attending them?

TRL: Well, I haven’t attended any of them yet! What a goober! I plan to go the Small Press Expo – visit, then show my work. I’ve done other trade shows like Surtex, Licensing, Stationery Show. I’m thankful for the Cons, because they are geared towards comics. I still have to discover what all is available in the region. I’m hoping to get some comedy work lined up in Denver so someone else can pay for me to go to Denver ComicCon.

WCP: What’s your favorite thing about DC?

TRL: Wow, I love it. I love our neighborhood, I love how friendly people are here, I love not having a car, I love the diversity—like where I grew up. I love hearing three or four languages everywhere I go. I love the availability of food, art, theater, history. It’s just a great place all around.

WCP: Least favorite?

TRL: The cost of a glass of wine!! Makes NYC look cheap!!

WCP: What monument or museum do you like to take visitors to?

TRL: Well, I have several. The Contemporary Wing of the Smithsonian American Art Museum – I go over and over. And The Newseum.  And the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery of Art. And the Mitsitam Café of the Museum of the American Indian. And the International Spy Museum. Don’t make me choose. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to these places!

WCP: How about a favorite local restaurant?

TRL: Jaleo, Buck’s Fishing and Camping, and Comet Ping Pong. Oh! And Indique Heights. I also like Clyde’s. Dang, this is hard.

WCP: Do you have a website or a blog?

TRL: Both. My blog is where I post my daily web comic," Fog Of Worry," and it’s LaughingRedhead.me. My site is LaughingRedhead.com. It’s a bit under construction, but it’s out there.  My Facebook Page is “Fog of Worry by t.r. logan.” My Twitter handle is @LaughingRedhead.

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