February 18, 2022 0

News Extra

By in black and white, montreal, sketches

This was such a fun freelance gig. I did illustrations and writing for NEWS EXTRA, a newspaper tabloid sold at supermarkets and gas stations. It pretended to come out of Florida, but was actually published from an office in the Notre Dame de Grace neighbourhood of Montreal.

Every other week or so I brought in my cartoon illustration for the “self help” section of the paper. Sometimes I did illustrations for creepy stories about ghosts, or monsters. I also made up captions for the gag photos. This involved writing mini-stories, including as many terrible puns as possible.

Literary lights of the Montreal English-language writing community wrote the feature articles under assumed names. Most of the stories about movie stars were cribbed from Italian glossy magazines, which had been roughly translated and then embellished.

The paper finally folded because Sylvester Stallone sued it for running an article implying he used artificial means to enhance his — ahem— “manly powers.”

Still, NEWS EXTRA was tremendous fun to work for. The editors were two young women, and the publisher was a guy who didn’t care what you drew, just as long as you handed it in on time.

This was a gig where they just told me to do my “Jack thing.” I learned a lot!

And my Grandma loved these magazines. She was thrilled to see my name in them.

The health articles had real information, and were researched by actual medical experts, I believe. This page has good advice on pandemic-style eating, so I’m putting the whole thing up. I don’t think I wrote the photo caption about the lion, but that’s the basic style we aimed for.

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