Cartoon About John Dillinger's Connection To Northeastern Indiana's Lake Areas

It's a known fact that John Dillinger and his mobster buddies would often choose northeastern Indiana as a place to hide out until the heat was off.

John Dillenger Webster Lake hideout

Maybe they had glommed some ice from some rich dame. Maybe they had hit the First National Bank of Anytown, USA with their chopper squad and lifted some cabbage. Who knows? Nevertheless, they needed a safe place to slip away from the G-men, flatfoots and gum-shoes who would've been hot on their tails. It was that or risk being hauled away in bracelets to the big house. So, they probably would've hid the loot, packed some heat, jumped in the bucket and blew the scene!

Finally, what would these guys look for in a hideout? Maybe a nice, private flophouse with plenty of molls and giggle juice. Oh, and a beach with fishing for some kicks.

Please enjoy this summer cartoon I did a few years ago for Fort Wayne Magazine.

Three Rivers Festival's Junk Food Alley and Elephant Ears Cartoon

It's that time of the year again in Fort Wayne Indiana. The middle of July brings all kinds of people downtown to celebrate the Three Rivers Festival. Concerts, competitions, amusement rides and of course, the famous Junk Food Alley!

Although, I think that they may no longer call it Junk Food Alley because of the negative connotations associated with the term, "junk food".

Maybe they need a new, politically correct name such as, Marginally Nutritious Sustenance Corridor. Man, I missed my calling! I really should've gone into marketing.

Anyhow, of my favorite marginally nutritious treats has to be the classic elephant ear. If you've never had one, give it a try. Just be sure to bring a permission slip from your cardiologist! I hope you enjoy my elephant ear cartoon that first appeared in Fort Wayne Magazine a few years ago.

Three Rivers Festival Elephant Ears Cartoon

You Want Humidity? In Fort Wayne, You Got Humidity! Please Enjoy This Weather Cartoon.

Well it's the time of year to break out the loincloths in Fort Wayne, IN. Low pressure combining with high pressure, influenced by the Gulf stream passing through the southern states.... You know what? I'm just making this stuff up. I know nothing about meteorology, in fact, I'm not sure that I know how to spell the word. But, it didn't prompt a red underline beneath the word so spell check must think it's okay. 

Anyhow, here's a Fort Wayne humidity cartoon that I may have posted before. Not sure. But, it's based on a true story that happened while walking down the street one day-NOT!

Ho Ho Ho! It's A Cartoon About Downtown Fort Wayne Christmas Past.

Wolf and Dessauer Christmas Window Cartoon

It's said that writers write what they know. Well, the same can be said for cartoonists. Cartoonists cartoon what they know. I know about downtown Fort Wayne because I spent countless hours there for different reasons, at different times in my life. 

One of the most memorable times was that period of time in the '60s (when I was minus ten years old). Seriously, that period of time was magical. The big department stores, restaurants, specialty, shoe, music and almost any kind of business you can think of. I've often said Fort Wayne was like a miniature New York.

Many times throughout my childhood, my mom would round up my sister and me, to walk to the corner and hop on the bus to travel downtown. Getting off at the corner of Calhoun and Wayne, one of our first stops would be to go into Murphy's to grab lunch or a box of delicious doughnuts. Next, we'd go across the street to the department store called Stillman's. There, we could get on the elevator to go to one of probably four or five different floors to shop. I can almost still hear the elevator operator announcing, "Second floor: Ladies ready-to-wear! Bath linens! Small appliances!"  

Of course, that floor didn't interest me. I was thinking, "show me the toys"! Especially, if it was around Christmas. That was the time of the year that Fort Wayne pulled out all the stops. All the windows were decorated and the arch over the main corner of Calhoun and Wayne held a gigantic Christmas tree with over-sized ornaments that were just a strong wind away from being "exhibit A" in damaged car roof lawsuit. In the air, there were Christmas carols that played from who knows where and at this corner, when a bell sounded, it meant that pedestrians were free to cross in any direction, including diagonally. 

But perhaps, the biggest deal was the show window at Wolf and Dessauer (we called it "W&D's" for short). There, right before your eyes, was Santa's workshop, Christmas trains, woodland creatures, you name it, if it was magical, it was in those windows! 

Many of the Fort Wayne Baby Boomers remember these times and are more than ready to talk your leg off about them. Hence, this cartoon that appeared in the December 2009 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

Click to see more holiday cartoons.



Need Help With Online Resumes and Job Applications? Like This Cartoon Illustrates, Ask a Kid!

Sure you can bring home the bacon. You can set the alarm, get up on time, shower, eat and get out the door, to get to your job at 7:30 am. But what if you first, need to get the job? That will very likely include some kind of research, job hunting and applying online, AH! There's the rub! What if you're the kind of guy that has always has worked with his hands, possibly in a factory where you have done the same job on the same machine for years and years. Maybe your dad and even your grandpa did the same job before you. You worked a long day, doing back-breaking work and by quittin' time, you were ready to go home and stare at a screen that wasn't a computer screen. It was the type of screen that projected images of Seinfeld or Nascar highlights.

Now you hear that your job is being taken overseas to be done by cheaper labor or robots. But, here's the good news. Those in power have said that it's an information labor force that we're building in the USA and that you in fact, didn't like your factory job anyway. Hooray! You don't have to do the job that you did for years. The job that you were comfortable with and that paid pretty well. Now you get to do my favorite thing; You get to do work to do your work. Meaning that you get to go back to school (see, you didn't know that you wanted to do that, did you?) and study a subject that never really interested you. Thanks CEOs!

Well, after you surrender to this new occupation paradigm (a word you learned in one of your night classes), you go out buy a new suit and fire up the ol' computer to go a job huntin'. 

You may notice that the internet is complicated enough when you're just surfing the web. But wait until you go to company websites and try to go through the online application process! It can be one of the most confounding things you'll ever experience. Setting up usernames and passwords. Selecting security questions. Filling out personal information. Reading disclaimers. Man! That's a lot of work you gotta do in order to work. But the biggest deal is trying to upload your cover letter and resume. Hopefully, you can do all this before the website "times out" and loses all the information you entered. Oh fun!

If that does happen, take a break and come on over to my business cartoon page. Maybe they won't make you laugh, but at least, they might stop the crying.

Then, when you're ready to resume the online application process, call in your kid to help. Somehow they all know how to do things online. I think it's part of the deluxe package they're given at birth. 

Fantasy of Lights With The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Cartoon

Here's a cartoon I did for Fort Wayne Monthly magazine back in 2011. 

Fantasy-of Lights-Fort-Wayne-Childrens-Zoo

I imagine that it's pretty difficult for one person to put up all those lights at Franke Park's "Fantasy of Lights" display. So what do you do when one of your co-workers doesn't show up for work that day? It's simple. Just walk through the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and look for a hand. Evidently, Jim, a Parks and Recreation worker did exactly that. Although, this time of year the zoo is closed to the public, so finding human help might be hard. But never underestimate the helpful nature of fellow mammals. Like giraffes. By the way... Did you know they have the same amount of vertebrae in their necks that humans have? Also, did you know that the cost per vertabra inch is much cheaper for a human turtleneck sweater than a giraffe's.

Anyhow, Jim found a very hardworking giraffe who was happy to help. 

Steve Smeltzer's Television Interview About Cartoons and Cartooning On PBS 39

(Scroll down for the video, but read the blog posting too. Especially if you have insomnia).

Steve's new brown sports coat makes its debut on PBS39's arts IN focus interview with Emilie Henry.

Steve's new brown sports coat makes its debut on PBS39's arts IN focus interview with Emilie Henry.

Wow, what a pleasure it was to be asked to do an interview on our local PBS Station WFWA 39. About a month ago, I received an email from an assistant producer at the station, who asked me if I'd be interested in coming on their local arts program, called arts IN focus, and doing an interview.

Honestly, I had mixed emotions, partly because I'd never done a longer television interview like that and I wasn't sure if what I had to say, would be that interesting. I mean cartooning and the process might be interesting to other cartoonists, but to the general public?  It could be, as the beatniks say, "Snoozeville, Daddio."

Anyhow, taking into consideration that I'm known to my family and friends as the ultimate risk taker, always up for change and a new adventure (yeah, right),  I decided to give it a go. 

You've heard the phrase, "he has a face for radio", right? Well, that goes for wardrobes, too. For a few days I got to thinking, "Hmmmm, what do cartoonists wear?" My current fall collection of cartoonist-wear consists of sweatpants, t-shirt, flannel shirt and if it's pretty cold in the morning, a knit cap. I'm guessing that's not appropriate for television, because I never saw Regis in that kind of get-up. Then it came to me. Brown sport coat, black t-shirt and jeans with my hiking boots. Sort of "east coast professor meets Rocky Mountain tour guide". 

I had all of those things in my wardrobe, except for the brown sport coat. (Actually I did have a brown sport coat, but that was purchased about 1200 Oreos ago).

So my wife and I went out one afternoon and found a brown sport coat at Kohl's. It met all the criteria. It was brown, it was in the new "Steve-size" and it was ON SALE! And I mean, waaaaay on sale. We brought it home and to my surprise, it even had elbow patches on it. Just the added touch to complete the "east coast professor" portion of the ensemble.

The day of the interview came. I found my way to the station, walked in and was greeted by some very nice staff people. I was taken to the area where they put make-up on me. They said I was a natural beauty and didn't need much, (again, yeah, right). While I was in the chair I met the host, Emilie Henry, who was pretty, personable, funny, smart and you could tell had done her homework. She and the production staff made the whole experience so enjoyable that I would do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks to all the folks at Channel 39 for a truly memorable and fun experience! 

My portion of the interview starts around the 12:30 mark after Emilie's very interesting interview with members of The Moscow Ballet.