Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Peter Millar and CARtoons Magazine

Peter Millar was an American illustrator, cartoonist, and drag racer best known for his work with CARtoons and DRAGtoons magazines. The artist often used the pen names Arin Cee and Millarkey for his humor work. Millar had the idea to create a car culture humor magazine along with Carl Kohler for the Petersen Publication CARtoons magazine in 1959, which ended its long run in 1991. Millar's wacky, irreverent view of the fun, foibles, and frustrations of professional drag racers hit home with the drivers and readers as well. CARtoons first issue included the story of the hot rod community and introduced the term "Rumpsville".  One of the most unlikely success stories in 20th Century in magazine publishing, CARtoons by itself would have guaranteed initial editor Millar a place in comics history. The humor mag sold extremely well for years, offering its MAD-style outlet for talented West Coast cartoonists like Mel Keefer, Russ Manning, Gilbert Shelton, Alex Toth, Dale Hale, Dennis Elllefson, and others. In a time when nearly all comics publishing was based in New York, there various publications helped launch many a career. The first issue of DRAGtoons debuted in June of 1963 after Millar secured a deal with a distributor to cover advance editorial costs and shipping. When the federal authorities took out his printer, Millar rescued 100,000 copies and their mailing labels and sent them to various parts of the country himself. Irregular distribution would be a troubling theme in the creator's career as a publisher. Millar was not only an important mover for one magazine, but an entire sub-culture of comics expression. He worked on his projects well into the 1970s, including Millar Publications four issues of the popular Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Magazine. 




Anonymous said...

Can you tell me the artist of the "Status Seekers" page and what book that page appeared in? I really like it and I would like to seek it out.

Dave Karlen said...

Hi Mankin is the artist on this one page story that appeared in an unknown issue of CARtoons magazine.