That Cartoon Guy

As we arrive at our first anniversary, it’s fair to acknowledge those who have helped us reach that landmark. The cover of every issue of Copper27 so far, including this one—has featured a cartoon by Bob D’Amico. Many of our readers have acknowledged how much they enjoy Bob’s covers, and look forward to each new one. So: how did we find “Cartoon Bob”? Who is he? And what’s the deal with the dog and that stupid guy?

Cartoon Bob at work at an actual, old-fashioned drawing board.

Given the fact that we’re an internet mag, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we found Bob on the internet, at his website called..Cartoon Bob!

If you take a look at Bob’s site, you’ll see that he’s pretty much been there, done that. I asked Bob about his time with Copper:

Based on your bio and portfolio, you clearly have a broad range of experience. Have there been challenges for you in featuring  audio gear and motifs in your covers for Copper?

Being part of the Copper team, and doing the cover cartoon illustrations, has been a LOAD of FUN! I’ve been what I can only describe as a ‘low end* audiophile’ since getting my first tape recorder in 1962, opening the kitchen table radio, and attaching alligator clips to the speaker terminals to record Rock and Roll music right off the air, without using a microphone. Of course, the AM radio DJs spoke all over the beginnings and ends of most songs, but nonetheless, I’d spend hours doing this to catch all of the latest songs on tape.

Just some of Bob’s library of reel-to-reel and cassette recordings.

A fraction of Bob’s gear-and-music stash. Look familiar?

Currently, my basement contains music archaeology that spans many decades. I saved hundreds of my reel-to-reel and cassette tapes, with contents all neatly documented in a loose-leaf book or two. Regarding LPs, not only do I have all the LPs I’ve purchased over the decades, but managed to end up with antique collections of LP’s and even 78’s that go back to the 1930’s… in decent shape, too! (*by low end audiophile, I mean I’ve only drooled over the really expensive equipment that I’d see in the windows of amazing equipment stores along 6th Avenue in uptown Manhattan when I went to The High School of Art & Design from 1963 to 1967. My most expensive system was $1,700 back in 1977, and I still have all of the components in working order! I followed the advice of audiophiles back then, and put almost half of that budget into 2 huge ESS Speakers, which I had re-coned a few years ago.)

Is this the most unusual subject matter you’ve ever worked with? If not, what was?

Perhaps the most unusual subject I did cartoons of on a regular basis, was Submarines!

I’m glad to have done many cartoons for the alumni newsletter for the USS Sea Owl, SS405, the submarine I lived and served on for most of 1969.

(Full story as written on my website here.)

You can see some of the those submarine cartoons here, and also here.

Another quite unusual subject matter I’ve done many cartoons about is mathematical characters.

Doing the music/audiophile cover designs/cartoons for Copper has been an absolute pleasure. Happy first anniversary Copper Magazine!

The human featured in your covers is none too bright—a typical comic klutz. His dog is clearly the brains of the outfit; how did “Nipper” come to be a part of the covers? Just from the historic association of Nipper with “His Master’s Voice”?

Having a modern cartoon reincarnation of Nipper end up as a regular cover character along with ‘Louie’… his current master… simply came about by feeling the need to have a dog character as a sidekick for the cover concepts. It was almost a no-brainer when the question came up… what should this dog look like?

Nipper, unhappy with his idiot human, as always.

We’re grateful for Bob’s distinctive contributions to Copper, and hope he’ll be with us for years to come!