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Profiles—Ron Coleman—March 2008
How Nudie Toons was born
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I started cartooning in the fifties when I was in junior high school. I've been a part-time cartoonist for over 40 years but the Nudie Toons series, which has been my most successful cartoon venture, didn't happen until 1998. I had just started my first Web site and it was there that Jan Crimmings found me.
Jan is the founder of Netnude.com, a very popular nudist Web site. She felt that her Web site needed some humor so she started browsing the Internet looking for a cartoonist. She found my site and e-mailed me asking if I would be interested in doing a weekly cartoon for her. The idea intrigued me, even though I was not a practicing nudist. I had been to a nudist resort on one occasion and that was the extent of my nudist experience. This was a concern to Jan because she felt I would not understand the nudist point of view. I explained to her that, in my years of cartooning, I created cartoons on all types of topics and that I specialized in creating humor on very specific slants. I assured her I would study her site and could relate to her viewers. She gave me the go-ahead and apparently I succeeded because the series has now been running for ten years.
In the beginning, I wrote all of the gags for this series but Jan and I soon realized that it wasn't going to be easy to come up with a new idea every week on nudism. Jan invited her readers to contribute ideas, and this not only gave us the ideas we needed, but it actually added to the popularity of the series. Readers seem to like being involved. We encourage readers to submit their ideas, and when I use one, we make sure that reader gets credit as the gagwriter. In many instances, I have to rewrite the ideas a bit to make them funny, but the collaboration seems to work. I still write perhaps 75% of the ideas, but over the years we've had some great ideas submitted by readers.
From the beginning, Jan Crimmings wanted to publish a book of Nudie Toons. We agreed, in the beginning, that we would work toward this goal and share in the royalties if it ever came to be. We collected cartoons for over 9 years and then Jan found a publisher, Paul Rappaport of Heureka Productions. Paul did a marvelous job in putting the book together, although he is a stickler for details and drove both Jan and I crazy with some of the changes he wanted as we were putting the book together. In retrospect, though, I think he did help us to create a pretty good book.
The book, entitled The Funny Side of Going Naked—The First Nudie Toons Collection, actually carries only about half of the cartoons I've drawn for this series. We decided, when we published this book, that we want to sell it to nudists, but we also want to offer it to the general public through traditional bookstores. The book has only been out since November, 2007, and we haven't received our first reports from the distributor yet, so we don't know how it is doing with the general public. We have sold plenty of copies to nudists, though, and expect this to be a big gift item this coming Christmas.
I'm enjoying the success of this series but I have to say a lot of people have contributed to making it happen. If Jan Crimmings hadn't had so much faith in me and this concept, it might never have happened. A number of nudists have contributed valuable ideas for the cartoons. Some of the cartoons were even drawn by another cartoonist, the late George Crenshaw, who was a friend and mentor to me. We've also enjoyed a lot of exposure from several magazines and Web sites that have picked up the cartoons and helped to make the series grow. Most of all, the loyal support of our readers is what keeps the series going.
Current Nudie Toon