Rick London is the creator and founder of London's Times and Panel Hollywood Cartoons. He creates all concepts and writes all text. He was born in Hattiesburg, MS and now makes his home in Arkansas. He has worked as a standup comedian, a playwright and tv/radio producer in Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles. Rick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rick London was born on July 16, 1954 into a 3rd generation real estate family as the oldest male child. He was convinced he was born for that reason, to continue to family business. He used to joke, The maternity nurse brought me into the room, put me into my mother's arms, and said, Congratulations, Ms. London, its a Realtor!
London grew up in rural south Mississippi during the volatile 1960's and realized early on he did not fit into the status quo. Many others in his area didn't either, and withdrew into what London calls The wonderful world of arts and letters. Some of those were William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, John Grisham, Willie Morris, Elvis, BB King, Morgan Freeman, Patrick Weathers, Beth Henley, Jimmy Buffett, Hodding Carter, Shelby Foote, Richard Ford, Jim Henson, Oprah Winfrey Walker Percy, Alice Walker and many more. But London was the only one who ventured into offbeat cartooning (though Doug Marlette who grew up about 25 miles from London did some amazing political, and newspaper cartoons, and wrote two novels before his untimely death in an auto accident.
London left Mississippi in 1978 after brief stints in his family real estate business and running his own health food store, both of which he said, he did in my most mediocre way. His first real job, as he calls it was with a small newspaper in Miami. It taught me the insanity of the world, and so I felt I was ready for New York (to do my stand up comedy routine). London had always done impressions growing up and now was his change. He dropped out of college after what he calls a dismal academia career and moved to new York City for a paid public relations internship. He roomed with his childhood friend Patrick Weathers who had just completed his tenure as a featured player for Saturday Night Live. At night, London would bartend, drive a cab, and party with Patrick and his other friends. That was the early 1980's.
He suddenly realized how mismanaged and expensive Manhattan was and sent resumes out around the country. He landed a job as editor in chief for Metromedia Radio, which was later bought out by Rupert Murdoch and renamed Fox. While there, London wrote and edited the world's first morning radio magazine show Continental Breakfast. London left shortly after Murdoch bought in and went to work for Potomac News, an independent video production satellite feed firm and Washington segment producer for Entertainment Tonight and Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous.
London also wrote plays and in 1987 won first place in the International Theater Festival with his play Would You Care To Talk About It, Jack?. He later founded the world famous Scandal Tours theatrical bus tour that continues to run today. For the years he ran it, it was one of Washington D.C.'s top tourist attractions and partnered with the Ritz Carlton who served hor d'oeuvres and drinks to his tour groups before they parted. London was featured in USA Today, Life Magazine, Glamor Magazine, Playboy Magazine, WSJ, NBC, ABC and NBC Nightly News, CBS Morning With Paula Zahn, Bill O'Reilly on Inside Edition, AP, UPI and Reuter's Wire and many of their subscribing media worldwide. London says, I was young and it was fun while doing it, but I could tell it was time to move on after about four years. I had always wanted to write screenplays in L.A and now was my chance. For the first time, I had a business to sell, a profitable one, and I could now do just about whatever I wanted.
So I moved to L.A and took screen writing courses. I wrote two screenplays. One went into development but the Northridge Quake hit in 1994 the same week my mother called from Ms telling me she was very ill. I was the only unmarried-with-kids sibling at the time, and I went home to be caretaker. During that time, I had writers block for about four years.
I went through my mom's death which was the hardest thing I remember in my life. About six months later, with the help of friends, I got back on my feet, and begin writing again. This time cartoons. I had no idea where I was going with them. I could not draw well, but I contacted some of the biggest name cartoonists in the industry such as Charles Schulz (Peanuts), Leigh Rubin (Rubes), Dave Coverly (Speed Bump) and Jon MchPerson (Close To Home). They were all more than generous and several became my mentors, calling me to make sure I had written cartoons. They educated me that to be a cartoonist one did not need to know how to draw well. Many of the best cartoonist we see in the papers are team efforts with writer and artist, or teams of writers and artists. I decided to be the writer and concept person, and would recruit the best illustrative team I could find, not the easiest thing based on just selling a concept and idea, but eventually I shared enough to enough of the right people and in March of 1997, in an abandoned tin warehouse in rural Mississippi, Londons Times Cartoons was born.
It would be another eight years before they would hit the top of the Google charts, and charities and fans would be emailing me for autographed cartoons. At first I thought it was a joke. When scam artists began pirating Londons Times, the joke was over (so my attorney told me and put a stop to it rather rapidly).
London is an on and off again student at Western Governors University www.WGU.edu studying business and IT.
He is active in causes that include animals, children and the environment.
He has e-stores with his cartoon products such as www.RickLondonCollection.com and www.LTSuperstore.com which contain over 65,000 cartoon gifts and collectibles. He was the first and only cartoonists to go green with 100% organic tees at his www.RickLondonOrganicTees.com. In 2006 he launched Shoes That Amuse www.ShoesThatAmuse.com the world's only love quote shoes and in 2008 became brand designer for actress/author Mariel Hemingway.
London settled in the Ouichata Mountains of Arkansas with his fiancé' (also a designer) Lee Hiller who is (according to Google) America's favorite Love Columnist) at www.LeeHiller.com and her brand merchandise store is at www.LeeHillerDesigns.com. She is also an avid photographer and she and London often take nature hikes and climb the Ouichatas.
London says, Being a famous cartoonist, I know life couldn't get better...OK well, a little better, I could be a rich famous cartoonist.
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