Scott Lincoln is a cartoonist from Winsted who creates RALF THE DESTROYER, the story of a procrastinating alien who has been sent to destroy the Earth. Although this popular comic strip is easily found online, it’s drawn like it came straight from the true golden age of print comic strips, the intention for which it was designed. Each panel is penciled, lettered and inked with the care of a true craftsman. In a time when comics strips have become smaller and the art sometimes becomes secondary to a joke, Lincoln’s work might be considered an “artisanal comic strip” for it is created on Bristol board with traditional methods and the result is extraordinary.
Scott Lincoln’s original artwork will be showcased in the month of February at the Burlington Library. Featuring work from his Sunday comics as well as dailies, the public is invited to take a closer look at the beauty that can be found in this often unheralded medium.
We spoke with Scott Lincoln about his work.
Nutmeg Chatter (NC): When did you start drawing?
Scott Lincoln (SL): I started doodling car chases and such in fourth grade. In fifth grade when recess got rained out. Some friends and I tried drawing Garfield but that didn’t work out so we invented other characters. When the sun came out everyone went back to play but I kept drawing cartoon characters and immediately began putting them in comic strips. There may have been earlier occurrences of me drawing, but that’s when I decided I liked drawing comics.
NC: Tell me more about the first comic strip you drew that was published in a newspaper?
SL: My first comic strip was a weekly comic strip called “Kabloona”. I had a husky as a pet at the time and I thought it would be fun to make a comic strip about it. It was published weekly in “The Winsted Phoenix” for little over a year or so and later the “Winsted Courier” picked it up as a weekly feature… both times I got the going rate too! I believe I have some old newspapers and original art from that time hidden away.
NC: When did you work for Guy Gilchrist (renowned cartoonist who drew NANCY, THE MUPPETS, and creator of NIGHT LIGHTS AND PILLOW FIGHTS )?
SL: I worked with Guy from 2001 to 2008. I started by apprenticeship, which means working for experience and over time became his paid assistant on Nancy, Night Lights and Pillow Fights and numerous other projects as well as teaching classes at the cartoon academy he started.
SL: Ralf had his start in 2004. Guy often used a lesson called “draw the alien” from one of his Sunday features. We had students from 8 to almost 80 and everyone seemed to get a kick out of drawing the little grey aliens. I thought aliens were cool and apparently so did a broad group of people. On top of that, I recalled my wife mentioning that Winsted was once in the Guinness Book of World Records for the town with the most U.F.O. sightings. This mixed with the fact that I couldn’t ever recall reading a comic strip that had an alien for the lead character got me thinking. I asked Guy why I hadn’t and he said, “oh, that’s because it’s impossible”. I recalled a quote from Robert Heinlein, “Always listen to the experts. They’ll tell you what can’t be done and why. Then do it”, and that’s just what I did.
NC: How long does it take you to complete, say, a daily or a Sunday strip?
SL: Doing a single daily comic strip takes three to four hours and a Sunday Strip can take about a day and a half (depending on how much art goes into it). Of course, doing them in bulk on a regular basis helps make the process be a bit more efficient than those numbers would imply.
NC: What can they expect to see in your exhibit at the Burlington Library?
SL: On display will be the line art for five finished Sunday comic strips and over a dozen daily strips which are matted and framed. These are not prints or copies, these are hand drawn with blue pencil and finished with India ink using sharp round brushes and various dip pens for lettering and effects. I have always been an admirer of original comic art… and now I am making it.