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Cartoonist Wozie's Bio

an Autobiography by Wozie herself

The name "Wozie" is the name this cartoonist chose because it is short and simple and even rather comical sounding in itself. It is an affectionate name for a somewhat simpleminded yet profound (?) person. The name "Wozie" is pronounced like Ozzie or the Wizard of OZ although most people seem to incorrectly pronounce it "Wohzie". We are sure that "Wozie" breaks all grammatical rules of pronunciation in English since it is NOT English but is derived from the Polish "Wozniak". This name in the Polish language means "waggoner" or "carrier," or "a person who carries a load of something." Wozie has certainly carried a lot of loads of things in her life. She moved far too many times, and carried boxes, and also carried many other burdens in life. The name Wozniak is just perfect for her.

Wozie was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, too long ago to state here, lest she be considered a dinosaur. Wozie's father, Harry Wozniak, was an excellent pen and ink and pencil artist. He drew gigantic pictures about 6 feet square, and STILL everything was proportioned exactly. He loved Buzz Sawyer and Prince Valiant and wanted to be a cartoonist all his life. He wound up 40 years in dirty old foundries where he made cores and was considered one of the best coremakers in the business. He used his artistic talent in making cores; and he enjoyed his work, never missing a day of work until he got sick with cancer.

He always wanted his first daughter to become a cartoonist like he always wanted to be. For years he cut out cartoons from newspapers and gave them to Wozie since she loved cartoons like her dad. She still has them stacked in boxes in her climatized storage unit since there is no room for millions and millions of them in her house with all of her art paraphernalia.

Her first memory of her artistic gifts was when she was in the third grade and all third graders had to do a project of drawing a book of zoo animals. After little Wozie drew an elephant and a giraffe for her book, she saw that it was a terrible drawing. But then she noticed that the other kids in her class were drawing even WORSE. In fact, all the other kids wanted Wozie to draw all THEIR pictures since the elephant that Wozie drew actually LOOKED like an elephant. Wozie drew that elephant from memory, and she even had a better memory than an elephant when she drew it.

In her elementary years Wozie grew up on REAL comic books. Maybe one reason why she went with Lulu Printers for her first cartoon book was because Little Lulu was one of her favorites, as well as others such as MAD Magazine, Panic, the Grim Reaper, and Plastic man, the Amazons, and Disney characters, to name a few in vogue when Wozie was young. It is only because of comic books-- and Wozie had a million of them--that she became literate. She never learned to spell, but she was at least literate.

From that point, all through grade school and junior high she was involved in all kinds of school art projects. She even drew a great big picture of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the front chalk board in COLORED chalk. WOW! At 14, when she fell madly in love with a younger classmate (She always liked younger guys), she drew her first pencil portrait of him and gave it to him, plus a bunch of pictures of ZOO animals. Also, she wrote a bunch of poems and songs about him. He could not figure out why she did this for him. Neither could she. It was just one of those eccentric things that make artists and musicians what they are. Artists and musicians know exactly what I am talking about. I hope.

In her last 3 years of senior high school, Wozie took a minor in art and got straight A's. She had finally reached a great academic level in art (she flunked algeba three times). Her art teacher loved her pencil drawings so much that she took them away from Wozie and kept them for herself ... even the prize winning drawing of a Chianti wine bottle. Her teacher told her it was the best pencil drawing that she had ever seen and that she wanted it. So how could Wozie refuse her art teacher? Teachers were considered faultless in those days and almost like gods.

Also, for Senior English she had to make a book about English Literature; so she drew a picture of Lord Byron that was so good that her English teacher wanted to keep it. Again, like dejavu, Wozie could not say "no" to her English teacher either. Wozie made several drawings in her English Lit notebooks, including those of Shakespeare, Hamlet, Ophelia, and Macbeth. Thank goodness she had access to the comic book series CLASSICS to use for her drawings, but it blew her cover for writing essays on the Shakespearean plays to show how well she could understand those literary works. Thank God for Classics Comic books. Kids today are soooooooo deprived.

While in high school, her pictures were submitted to the county fair where she won 4 art prizes and a little cash. She won prize #1 AND #2 in colored ink drawings, First prize on the pencil drawing of the Chianti Wine Bottle, and another second prize on an abstraction.

In high school, Wozie was interested in becoming a professional singer in a Big Band someday since she loved her music, as well as her band teacher (who never took any of her drawings). Her music teacher played the tromBONE professionally and to this day she LOOOOOVES tromBONES (pronounced trom-BONE and NO WAY -- TROM-bone. You gotta say it RIGHT!). The cartoons of Gary playing the tromBONE are taken from snapshots Wozie's dad, Harry, took for her at the high school musical program. So she took saxophone lessons. After walking about 6 miles each week for sax lessons for a while (her teacher said she had a real gift for hitting the low notes), she gave up for a time on her music aspirations. Also, she was still too shy to sing solos--although she has sung many solos since those days. Also since then, she has written many songs; and her goal now is to make a serious effort to finally record them.

After high school, she got a job for a local greeting card factory, and her dad, Harry, soon became hopeful about her artistic endeavors. She was sent to night school to take Freehand Art 1 at the University of Cincinnati so that she could draw greeting cards at the greeting card factory, where she worked pulling orders in the shipping department. Since Wozie did not drive and own a car yet, she had to go to her art classes on several busses and transfer at the Zoo in all kind of inclement weather. As a result, she became somewhat discouraged about her art education. But the thing that really put the kabosh on the whole kit and kaboodle was that in Freehand Art 2, she was told that she had to draw a nude male who posed alive in all kinds of positions. THAT was the straw that broke the camel's back and motivated Wozie to never again return to the University of Cincinnati. It just wasn't her style. She is no prude either.

Instead of art school, she went to a private college hoping to be a song evangelist doing chalk pictures during the playing of hymns. That career did not pan out either since the days of two-week revivals were quickly becoming a thing of the past. It was no longer the 1800's. But now in college, her academic leanings began to become like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

She became interested in ancient history and antiquities (which she had also enjoyed as a young child in Sunday School and public schools); therefore, she pursued her higher education in these areas. To pay her way through college, she often drew pencil portraits of her classmates. To advertise this, she drew a picture of Frankenstein on a poster with the ad "Have your portrait drawn and help some poor college student." It worked.

By the time Wozie graduated she had conducted a choir, had expounded on the Bible a little, and had drawn her first comic strip for the college year book, about a college classmate she was crazy about. He never knew it. Since then she became bolder about making her feelings PUBLIC, as seen in
Tikvah Loves Gary. By the way, THAT doesn't work either ... a bit of advice to the lovelorn. She was able to get a government job after her Bachelor's Degree. Then she started pursuing her Masters Degree while being fully employed. During her M.A. program, she was asked to draw some pictures for her professor's first book on ANE (Ancient Near East) topics. The most fun was drawing the cuneiform tablet, which appears again in Tikvah Loves Gary on page 100, panel 9.

After she got married, she went to a prestigious college to begin her Ph.D studies in the ANE. In her research paper for the class on the History of Western Asia she incorporated many drawings of Hittite artifacts. She is hoping to do a book with Darda Publishing on the Hittite culture, describing its close affinity to the Greek civilization.

After having drawn a complete blank on her marriage of many years, she became single again and has blossomed into a blooming idiot. Coming in contact with Darda Publishing and even experiencing more unrequited love since kindergarten, she came up with the funny cartoon book called
Tikvah Loves Gary. With this book, all of her potential genius has finally been realized. She is hoping that with this literary, artistic and musical endeavor, she can become a millionaire and say "Nan YA- NanYA- Nan----YA " to every guy from her remote past to the remote present who did not accept her drawings she lovingly and sacrificially made for them.

She is currently working on a second volume called
Tikvah Adores Gary. In addition, she has a collection of approximately 600 cartoons about ancient Rome which should be compiled into at least three more volumes of cartoon books. This comic strip about the Roman Empire, similar to Hagar, Wizard of Id, and B.C., is called "CLASSIQ ANTIQS " and shows that the nature of modern and ancient man has not changed very much in thousands of years.

Darda will also be publishing the above forthcoming volumes. It is Wozie's hope that "Tikvah" can be made into a TV musical sitcom and that “Classiq Antiqs” can become an animated cartoon like the Charlie Brown Series with neat jazzy musical background having really BIG chords!

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