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October 21, 1983 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-10-21
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Oh man,
from Page 1
profession today. But it hasn't been
easy.
Ohman didn't become interested in
editorial cartooning until he started at
the University of Minnesota in the
summer of 1978. When he was younger,
he did have an interest in politics - at
age 15 he worked on a congressional
campaign in Minnesota. But he soon
realized that he was not suited for the
sacrifices that come with a career in
politics.
"At that time, I wanted to become a
U.S. Senator," he remembers. "After a
while I got sick of the hours. I was
working seven days a week, 18 hours a
day. I lost 13 pounds in the first week.
"When I came to college, I still didn't
have any idea of being an editorial car-
toonist," says Ohman, who never has
had any formal artistic training. "I
read the cartoons and knew what they
were, but at the time I didn't know
MacNelly from a hole in the ground."
It was only when he spotted an adver-
tisement for a staff cartoonist in the
university's student newspaper, the
Minnesota Daily, that he became in-
terested in editorial cartooning. He got
the job and began producing five car-
toons a week.
Working at the Daily and trying to be
a full-time student was like burning the
candle at both ends according to Oh-
man, who left the university after his
junior year.
"Having a job like that, especially a
creative job, while going to school was
tough," he says. "I didn't get much
sleep for a few years.' g
But he continued to put out cartoons
and his work continued to develop. The
following year, one of Minneapolis' two

major daily newspapers, t.he Min-
nesota Star, began printing his car-
toons.
"They just lifted my cartoons right
out of the college newspaper and never
contacted me .about it. So I thought,
"well if my stuff is good enough to go in-
to The Star, then it's good enough for
other big papers," he says.
Ever the entrepreneur, Ohman for-
med his own cartoon syndicate, Nor-
thern Features Syndicate, Inc. "I sent
packages out to 130 newspapers with
stamped, self-addressed envelops, and
only five replied."
Yet people already were beginning to
notice Ohman. At the same time he was
starting Northern Features, Newsweek
printed one of his cartoons.
"I sent them a cartoon about Iran,
this was in 1979, under the name of Nor-
thern Features Syndicate. They were
probably impressed by the official
sounding title," he says. "Little did
they know that Northern Features Syn-
dicate was really an 18-year-old kid.
A week after the cartoon appeared in
Newsweek, Ohman got a call from a
representative of the Washington Post
Writers Group.
"I remember the conversation ver-
batim," Ohman recalls. "He said, 'I
saw your cartoon in Newsweek. That
was quite a coup. Do you think you have
a comic strip in you?' I said, well I lied,
'yeah, I do think I have a strip in me.'
You know, when some guy from the
Washington Post calls you up and asks
if you've got a comic strip, you say you
do.
The deal never materialized, but a
short while later, the Copley News
Service began syndicating his cartoons.
Less than two months after that, the
Chicago Tribune began distributing his
work and arranged a staff cartoonist's
position for him at the Columbus
Dispatch.
"That was all I wanted out of life,"

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says Ohman. "A job on a daily
newspaper, and a good syndication with
maybe a few cartoons in Newsweek
every now and then and I was happy."
Ken Hamrick, co-editor of the
Dispatch's editorial page, remembers
Ohman as "a very great talent" who,
he adds, "had a little maturing to do."
"At the time he was probably one of
the youngest editorial cartoonists
working on a major metropolitan daily
in the United States (Ohman was 20 at
the time). One of the best things he did
for us was a cartoon after (Egyptian
President Anwar) Sadat was
assassinated which showed the dead
peace dove lying on the sphinx. I had
nominated it for a Pulitzer Prize. It was
given consideration right down to the
end I hear."
Almost a year later, in June, 1981, the
Chicago Tribune Syndicate's two-time
Pulitzer Prize winner MacNelly,
decided to take a sabatical.

Ohman remembers having lunch with
the syndicate's president at around this
time. "He looked all pale and nervous
and I expected to get canned," he
recalls. Little did Ohman, then 21, ex-
pect that in one afternoon, his syn-
dication would jump from 50 papersto
392 as he was asked to replace Mac-
Nelly.
"It was.a lot of pressure," says Oh-
man of filling the shoes of one of the
country's cartooning giants. "I became
almost neurotic for a while -- watching
the news at three o'clock in the morning
to make sure I wouldn't miss anything.
I was given this unbelievable oppor-
tunity and knew that if I didn't perform
that I would be remembered for it the
rest of my career."
THE NEXT couple of months were
not easy for Ohman. In the first
month alone, 40 newspapers cancelled

Browne
on trial
Jackson Browne
Office of Major Events
Crisler Arena
8 p.m., Sunday, October 23
By David Spak
W HO EVER thought lawyers had
hearts?
No one, you say, because they spend
more time worrying about legal briefs
than getting out of their Jockey briefs.
But wait, Jackson Brown argues dif-
ferently. You remember him, the rock
love song champion of the '70s.
He's back, on his way to the Crisler
Arena to give Ann Arbor attorneys their
day in concert. The jury will assemble
on the main floor, blue tier, and gold
tier Sunday at 8 p.m. Prospective
jurors should check with CTC, but good
seats can still be had.
Mr. Browne promises a different
defense from past concert cases. His
new album, Lawyers in Love, isn't a
departure from Browne's past efforts,
but it is a little lighter-something to
which the jury might want to dance.
That he has been able to change and
grow from album to album is a tribute
to Browne's staying power and talent.
Browne has had his finger on the pulse
of love in America since his first album
in 1972, Jackson Browne. Led by his
biggest hit single from his last three
albums, "Doctor My Eyes," the debut
album began to carve out a romantic
niche on the folk rock scene.
Inner
tube
The Tubes
Office of Major Events
Hill Auditorium
8 p.m., Saturday, October 22
By Joe Hoppe
T HE TUBES HAVE always had
some great lyrics. Just check the
titles of a few of their big songs -
"White Punks on' Dope" (precursor of
White Dopes on Punk), "Mondo Bon-
dage," "Don't Touch Me There" (a
boy-girl duet), and best of all, the won-
derful salute to American Materialism
-"What Do You Want From Life?" (A
severed baby's arm holding an apple?)
There's even some pretty clever
phrases on their newest LP, Outside In-
side the Tubes. More about that later...
The Tubes' music hasn't usually been
as fine as their lyrics, though; West
Coast big sounds. But what do you want
from a band with seven people in it?
Keyboards, semi-orchestration, that
whole scene. Now they're getting into
funk.
Actually, the music hardly matters

For Everyman (1973) and Late for
the Sky (1974) followed pretty much in
the same mold. These two efforts were
solid, but unspectacular - the kind of
album you play when you and your
latest flame just want to listen and veg
out.
Browne began to enjoy more com-
mercial success with The Pretender,
released in 1976. The Pretender struck
a deep cord among Browne's followers
for good reason: It was his first album
after his first wife, Phyllis, committed
suicide.
TheePretender was a combination of
his experience trying to recover from
Phyllis's death and of a broader picture
of society trying to hide it from itself. It
was his search and definition of the
American ideal: I'm going to pack
my lunch in the morning/And go to
work each day/When the evening
rolls around/I'll go on home and lay
my body down/And when the mor-
ning light comes streaming in/I'll
get up and do it again.
That album brandished eight solid
songs out of eight tracks, the strongest
being the title tune, "The Fuse," and
"Hear Come Those Tears Again."
Jackson Browne could then claim star-
dom.
On the road he went to perform,
write, and try to find himself. Yet
another successful album was the
result. Running on Empty, far from
being a letdown after the emotional
Pretender album, was another step
forward-the adventures of a travelling
romantic artist.
But then, disco set in. It took Browne
two-and-a-half years to sort it out and
come up with Hold Out in 1980. Hold
Out was much more alive than any
previous Jackson Browne album.
Though some of the songs don't seem to
measure up to his past consistency, the
stronger tracks pulled enough weight to
cast the album platinum.
when you see them live (like at Hill
Auditorium, Saturday night). The stage
show is what's important. Singer Fee
Waybill takes on great theatric
multiple personalities; some semi-
naked, except for the high heels,
sometimes a blonde wig, some mean
ugly and eventually dead, as in Mr.
Hate, and for this tour, Quay Lewd, old
drug relic who used to sing "White
Punks...etc." has become Quay Louis,
of the French Revolution (speaking of
which, see "Tip of my Tongue" on the
new album). The press release says
Fee makes as many as 12 costume
changes during a performance. That
might make him as clothes conscious as
Adam Ant or Prince, who seems to have
taken all the early Tubes leather
fetishism and crotch rockings seriously
(but not desperately.)
Besides the big Waybill
exhibitionism, there's female nudity, too.
Lots - in quantity as well as quality.
Cheerleaders, dominatrices, chorus
girls, something for everyone. The
stage is filled with people, even with
band members. The "show" is the most
important thing about the Tubes.
Photos of the famous Tubes show can,
in fact, be found in most lavishly pic-
tured rock and roll books published af-
ter 1975. Usually a two-page spread,
saying something like "One of the most
outrageous acts in rock and roll
history..."
You can see all this Saturday night
at Hill.
Meanwhile, when they aren't touring,

Jackson Browne: Full tank

After Hold Out Browne's in-
spirational sidekick, David Lindley,
decided to set off on his own, paving the
way for Lawyers in Love. Without Lin-
dley, Browne put together a new band
for the latest album that is a more
cohesive backup unit than he has ever
had. Browne was able to use Russ
Kunkel (drums), Doug Haywood
(keyboards and background vocals),
the Tubes record albums. Lets you
know they're around, music is part of
the whole thing. Pretty soon they'll
probably just be doing videos, though.
Because the albums just can't do them
justice.
Sad to say, the person who said that
Outside Inside the Tubes sounded like
Journey was essentially correct. The
music is too smooth, too homogenous,
and there aren't many hooks or
anything else you can grab onto to be
found within.
The big hit, "She's a Beauty," if you
haven't already heard it on WIQB, is
pretty much just a progression of "Talk
to Ya Later." It's nice, bouncy, maybe
a little better than Journey, but not as
much better as it should be. The rest of
side one follows in like manner. "Out of
the Business" is aimed at why the
Tubes aren't passing themselves off as
corporate executives any more.
"Monkey Time" is a white punk attem-
pt at funk. Sometimes funny.
Then there's the previously men-
tioned "Tip of My Tongue." The music
is bad, but the idea is funny. Guess what
it's about. Hint: Never been too cun-
ning, I'm no linguist.
"Drums" is nice in an almost King
Crimson kind of way. It's got a nice
beat. Lastly and interestingly is a
looped tape of Tubes friend Harry
James making up Outside Lookin' In-
side - artsy, and a clue as to the
funkish flavor of the beast.
The album is not that wonderful.

Craig I
(bass)
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Talk/F
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corner
Tubes

Ohman: Baby face

10 .Weekend/October 21., 1983

3

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