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Penman Gary Blehm, The Optimist in 1996 Syndicated Comic Strip within 6 Years of First Publication

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In 1989 Optimistic Cartoonist Gary Blehm, nicknamed "Penman" after his character with a broad half moon shaped smile or grin. The character was often shown wearing his round sunglasses in posters, books, and comic strips. In this promotional photograph Blehm is shown tied down to his drawing table symbolizing the commitment to producing a daily comic strip for Creators Syndicate, Inc. who signed PENMEN for national syndication in 1995. The comic strip had run in City Comix, a local comics weekly published in Colorado Springs since 1989. The comic strip also published on posters spread nationally through distributors, American Arts and Graphics (now Trends International), Trent Graphics, Image Conscious, Imaginus Canada, Bruce McGaw Graphics, and directly through some 400 Prints Plus store locations in malls across the country.