Bubba Flint Explains Cartoon Creation

Editorial cartoonist brings insight to the cartoon world for students

March 31, 2023

William Bubba Flint gave an insightful presentation about his job as an editorial cartoonist, and how his job has shaped the cartoon world in Dallas. 

As I walked into the room, a slideshow presentation was shown on the board, and students filled the seats as the bell rang. Flint was relaxed and eager to talk about his life-long career in the cartoon world. 

Flint began by giving an introduction about himself, describing his years at Southern Methodist University, and showing all of the newspapers and articles his cartoons are put in. His cartoons have been featured in news sources such as the Dallas Morning News, The Dallas Cowboys Star, White Rock Weekly and Fort Worth Star Telegram. 

Next, Flint told students that he illustrated seven children’s books, and has done multiple graphic posters for bands like “Alice Cooper”, and “Old 97’s.” I found this piece of information intriguing as I love rock bands, and hanging posters in my room. I was also surprised that someone who does such detailed cartoons can make creative and out of the box graphics for live events. 

Flint went on to describe the process of creating a cartoon. Typically, editors will send roughly three pages of information, and Flint takes that information and transforms it into two sentences of political comedy. I never knew how cartoonists come up with their ideas, but Flint made it sound so easy as he has a journal where he sketches daily.

Flint then gave insight on how to make a graphic novel. His process starts with creating an idea, then he layouts the idea on paper. Next, he makes roughs on each panel, adds words to the drawings, and pencils out the final draft. Lastly, he uses color ink and cleans up the graphic.

As the slideshow progressed, Flint brought up “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and told the students that it took eight years to complete because of how much detail was put into the cartoons and stop-motion. 

Flint makes hand done graphics rather than a computer because it gives more of an advantage than everyone else that does graphics on computers. I liked that Flint wanted to follow his own path and not do exactly what other graphic artists did, so he could maintain his own personal style. 

Towards the end of class, Flint asked if anyone had any questions for him. One student asked Flint if he had ever faced mental blockage when creating cartoons. Flint responded by saying he has never had a mental block in his thirty years of being a cartoon artist. He went on to explain that if society is being silly everyday, he has a new idea everyday. 

At the end of the session, Flint asked students what bothered them about the school, and students gave feedback to issues they think need to be addressed. With this, Flint expressed what those ideas would look like as a cartoon, and what would go in the thought bubbles. 

I wasn’t too enthusiastic over this topic going into it, but Flint was expressive about his work, and encouraging as he wanted students to make cartoons at the end of class, which made me feel encouraged and inspired as well. 

By creating new work daily, Flint is focused on his work and staying on track for future assignments. I found it fascinating that Flint never had a mental block before because artists almost always have a blockage or time period that they stop working for numerous reasons. Knowing that Flint creates something new everyday made me determined to do what I love everyday and never stop creating.

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