Saturday, August 24, 2013



Remember the “Got Milk?” advertisements
of few years ago?
Now, I'm one of the many imitators;
coaxing folks to “Get Rabbit!”

A Rabbit Under the Hat, if you haven't heard, is a fun book about Magic ! And,
after ten years in the making, It's here!--

How did the Rabbit book come to be?
Well, for almost ten years, Ellen Friedman (Scientist/Writer) and Jim Whiting (Cartoonist/Magician) produced a “magitoon” monthly for San Diego's magic club newsletter, MagiCurrents. (Ring 76 of the International Brotherhood of Magicians) It was suggested: Gather a bunch of Jim's dexterous drawings, combine them with Ellen's pawky prose, insert everything into a canvas bag. A minute later, open the bag. Abracapresto! A book will magically appear. Something like that.
Response by readers has been very gratifying . . . via email, snail mail and person to person. It's a perfect gift for any magician of course, but other folks seem to enjoy A Rabbit Under the Hat just as much. And even though it's not a children's book, there is no reason why kids won't get a kick out of it
Available NOW on
(Last time I checked, Amazon had marked the price down from $11 to $9-something.)
Think Halloween gift time! Christmas, Hannakkah, Birthday . . . or just be kind to yourself and buy a bunch of the bunny book of the year: A Rabbit Under the Hat!

Available NOW on
and soon, at selected stores and Magic Shops
Another THANK YOU!

I hope you'll look in on Jim's Muses again next month.

Monday, July 8, 2013

WARM REGARDS . . . today we don't need them.

  Family and Friends have kept us informed the past few days—weeks even---about the uncomfortable temperatures they've been subjected to. We can relate. Hot and Humid are not what can be called hospitable companions in a non-air conditioned auditorium. We remember a few such circumstances years ago. High school graduations, indoor band concerts summer theater. Makes one uncomfortable just to think about it.

     So, the other night while watching TV—ubiquitous drawing board on m   my lap---I began to scribble Santas. “That's cool,” I thought. 

c   In a compassionate mood for the aforementioned Family and Friends, I I      decided to send out cold climate Karma These quick pencil sketches ststarted me in the right direction.

Naturally, thoughts of soothing snowflakes began to emerge; I hastened to the archives to retrieve some humor centered on the lovely little symbols of winter.
It's quite a stretch, but on
 the other side of the world water is also a hot topic.

Full circle--- back to Santa. I can't contrive a reason for using him in this blog; only to say that I like the drawing, done on my digital tablet some years ago and it never saw the light of day until this warm one.

Stay cool, friends. 
'til soon,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Queen of the Quilts

I can't remember when my best friend and incidentally my wife didn't frequently have a needle  in her hand. Or a crochet hook . . . or some implement with which to mend, fix, alter or create something of beauty out of scraps of fabric. 

To me, and countless members of our family, as well as a few fortunate friends who have been warmed by her talent and generosity,  Bernita is the Queen of Quilts.

If she had ever made a quilt before we moved from Watkins Glen, NY to CA in 1984, I am unaware of the fact. It seems, however, that once Solana Beach began to feel like home, Bernita kicked the sewing machine, scissors, thimble and needle into high gear. The results of her efforts we share with you here.
Beginning in 1987 I started to photo-document the fairly steady production of more than two dozen quilts, ranging from cute to quaint to crazy. Some quilts consumed but a few weeks. Others required more than a few months. However much time, it was comforting (pun intended) that I always knew where I might find my Queen.

With no more words than necessary, let's queue up for a quota of quilts.

Looks like it could be something

Did you know there are "stand-up quilters?" No joke.
Ole rockin' chair's got her.

Getting a little crazy here.

No, this isn't quilt wallpaper. Just an easier way to do some planning.

And here's the final result . . . almost.

Looks like Bernita has the blues.
Now the blues . . . they've got Bernita

Little quilts for little people
Granddaughter Herron relaxes on a Grandma Bert Quilt.

Bernita has stopped making quilts. Now she's into all things interesting on her iPad, including all out Scrabble battles with family, near and far.
'Til next time---and it won't be so long in coming!

Saturday, March 23, 2013


HOW COME, you may ask . . . why so
long since the last Jim's Muses?
Or you might not have noticed at all. In any case, the reason (term it “excuse” if you like) is, I've been working . . . happily, with a couple of authors and a publisher.
As a result of of these elated labors you are invited to enjoy either hard copy or e-Book, an eclectic selection of material to which I had much fun contributing.
* * * * * *  * * * * * *
Available on are both That Does Not Compute and That Does Not Compute Too! Gag cartoons---ideas hatched from the fertile brain of Jack Dunning, publisher of the popular on-line ComputorEdge. (sic)
Jack started that magazine in 1984. Its title then was The Byte Buyer. I've drawn his ideas for cartoons ever since the print version ceased. Jack now lives in Oregon.
You can get free Kindle software for any device, tablet or computer:
The Ten Commandments forTravelers is another of several books penned by San Diego resident Nancy Chappie.

She is certainly in her element; having traveled in more than 120 countries, her expertise in the field makes her a welcome guest on radio and TV. If you want to make the most of any trip, read Nancy's book to find tips for a hassle-free experience. I was elated when Nancy asked me to do the cover for her great little guide book. You might want to check her web page,
Have you noticed the extra large type, especially for folks like me who do not like putting our mugs to the monitor in order to read the message?
Jane Simon, a psychiatrist of New York City found me on the Internet almost a year ago and it was my pleasure to illustrate The Cabala of the Animals, a most unusual tretise about people and animals (pets, in particular) and how they relate one to another. Jane's fascination with animal psychology is contagious. Mostly drawings, with spot-on observations by the author. We are currently working on a second book: Paradoxes. Stay tooned
How to Prevent Falls: Better Balance, Independence and More Energy in 6 Simple  Steps
There you have it. Betty Perkins-Carpenter, Ph.D., former Olympic diving coach, a member of the prestigious Healthy American Fitness Leaders, and author of two best-selling books, asked me to illustrate this great guide which is a life saver for seniors . . . and everyone. More than a hundred drawings make it easy to do what you can do!
NOW, reccommendations for two books I'm currently enjoying; the creator of each is a cartoonist---in my opinion top notch in his particular field.

Award winning sports cartoonist Murray Olderman never fails to hold your attention in any arena; this time football fans will rejoice as the true Al Davis is revealed. It's all there in the pages of Just Win, Baby; inside bits and pieces of AFL and NFL history, The Oakland Raiders, the coaches and players who influenced and were influenced by the enigmatic Davis. It's a terrific read even if one is not an avid football aficianado.

Drabble has long been one of my favorite comic strips. The deceptively simple characters who inhabit a town you're sure to recognize, have become like a second family to me, but distinctly more disfunctional. It's a consistanly humorously pleasing experience each time you visit.

 Kevin Fagan, at the time of Drabble's debut in 1979 was one of the youngest cartoonists ever to be syndicated. He was 22 years old. I have to say, he writes as funny as he draws. Highly recommended is A Drabble Family Christmas Tale. A 130 page gem.

& & & & & & & & & & & 

Another collection of cartoons is in the pipeline. This one, about one of my favorite topics: Magic.
From the Preface of The Magitoons of Friedman and Whiting:

Ellen Friedman, gag writer for the magic cartoons, or Magitoons, is a writer, scientist, artist and is married to a magician.

Jim Whiting, artist for the Magitoons, is a cartoonist, writer and a magician.
Together we have made a Magitoon almost every month for the past nine-plus years. The Magitoons appear monthly in MagiCurrents, the publication of Ring 76, the San Diego, California chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, or IBM. Soon to be published!

Order any of the others on

til sooner, I hope.