Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strong Thurmond and The Filibuster

Chris Duffy started up a blog called "The July 4th Project" where cartoonists are contributing their notion of the patriotic, all-American superhero—just in time for Independence Day. Chris says to interpret freely, "You can be sarcastic, political, pro-America, anti-America, whimsical, or nerdy (my favorite)!"

I did 2! Here they are, with a write-up to go along with them.

The frail and elderly Senator Strom Thurmond once took to the skies above Capitol Hill as Strong Thurmond, defender of the Southern delegation! Tourists would cry, "What's that up in the sky? A turd? A stain?" just before he smacked head-on into the Washington Monument. Strong Thurmond often joined forces with The Filibuster, known for his uncanny ability to speak at great length. When armed with a phonebook, no legislation could stand in their way (including the Civil Rights Act of 1957—ouch!). They hold the record for a full 24 hours and 18 minutes!

Draw something up and send it to Chris if you have time before the 4th!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


The WTD? word for this week is RAZOR.

Here's the the sketch that got me started. I played around with a couple different color treatments for this one (alternates below).

I went for pure cartoon pop on the later.
Hopefully it glows a bit on your monitor.

You can check out the other contributions over at the FableVision's Creative Juices blog. If we stay on track, look for another WTD? in a couple weeks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Me at 100

Here's the color version (see previous post) of my illustration for Phil McAndrew's Draw Yourself at 100 contest. Here's what I had to say before:

I see myself as a mostly bald man with a head full of bushy eyebrows, free to wear pit-stained undershirts, shorts, and saggy socks around the house. If I'm still making art, let's just say I'm not sure if I'll be all there—but hopefully just as enthusiastic about my work.

A couple things to add: extensive nose and ear hair, and it goes without say that my nose will grow long and bumpy like a cucumber (this is what cartoons tell me, anyway).

This drawing is probably a good approximation as well: Glee

See you in 2079!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

SpongeBob: Belly Button Lint

After reporting somber news about Nickelodeon Magazine a couple weeks ago, I've got something more upbeat to share. I have a SpongeBob comic featured in the July issue of the magazine, which should be available at newsstand near you soon—if not now. I scanned the spread from The Comic Book (pages 34-35) which you can view larger below, because Nick Mag adds the speech balloons after I hand it off to them.

This was an especially fun comic to work on because I was fortunate to collaborate with cartoonist Corey Barba, best known for his kid friendly comic, YAM. Corey came up with the story concept and wrote it, in addition to providing me with a rough layout to work from. Here's a bit of process, including my pencils:

And finally, inks:

I inked it on paper, scanned it, and sent it off to Wes Dzioba for the splash of color that always brings the comic to life.

Knowing that the magazine is soon coming to an end makes the remaining issues extra special. And this is a great one, packed with comics and cartoons by James Kochalka, Emily Flake, Randall Kirby, Martin Cendreda, Alec Longstreth, Jef Czekaj, Travis Nichols, Scott Roberts and a new YAM comic by Corey! Also, plenty of illustrations including the likes of Hal Mayforth, Clayton Hanmer, and John Martz. Not to mention puzzles and gags! Definitely snatch it up when you see it.

Also, be sure to head over to Nicktoons Comics to read tons of comics from previous issues. And if you want more still, Chris Duffy and Dave Roman have a blog all about The Comic Book.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I've been drawing wrinkly old men in my free time, warming up for a contest of sorts over at Phil McAndrew's LiveJournal blog. The rules: "Draw yourself at the age of 100! Wrinkly saggy old people are probably my favorite thing to draw and I hope you have fun drawing them too!" The reward (as if having an excuse to draw old wrinkly people isn't enough!) is a package stuffed with all sorts of Phil's artwork and goodies. If you haven't read his "Pearly Whites" comic, do so now—you'll quickly see he has old miserable saps down pat.

Now, onto the sketch dump:

This is the one I'll likely ink up and color. I see myself as a mostly bald man with a head full of bushy eyebrows, free to wear pit-stained undershirts, shorts, and saggy socks around the house. If I'm still making art, let's just say I'm not sure if I'll be all there—but hopefully just as enthusiastic about my work.

More wrinkles and eyebrows.

A case of the saggy upper lip.

One thing I look forward to is not having to make excuses about being a grump!

...and a few more wrinkly faces to wrap things up.

Also, I just joined Flickr. I put up some comics and illustrations—kind of a mess because I haven't organized anything. But look me up if you're in the area.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Here's my contribution for this week's WTD? (What The Doodle?) on FableVision's Creative Juices blog. "Justification" was what the random word generator spit out—one of the trickier words we've gotten so far.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jog & Lunge

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Nickelodeon Magazine (1993-2009)

Word has probably gotten to most of you by now that Nickelodeon Magazine has been canceled after a 16-year run. If not, I'm sorry to bring you the news. The story hit the internet last week via the L.A. Times, and has since been covered well by The Comics Reporter (1, 2). The news came as a shock to me, but apparently it boils down to a shortfall in ad revenue which is hitting everyone hard right now in print media. Viacom simply decided to pull the plug.

The news also hit my personally. I've had the pleasure of contributing illustrations and comics to the magazine for 4 years now. I know only a handful of the dedicated staff who worked so passionately to deliver one of the best magazines that ever existed for kids. I wish I had the chance to get to know more of them, but that group includes Debby Albenda (who first contacted me back in 2005), Chris Duffy, Frank Pittarese, Caitlin Keegan, Catherine Tutrone, and most recently Gordon Whiteside. These folks were the best clients (and are the best friends) a cartoonist could ever have.

My career in cartooning has been relatively short. I considered Nick Mag a home—my work hasn't appeared in too many publications, and I always felt welcome in the pages of the magazine. Few things made me happier than to receive a call or email to draw some goofy, wacky, or gross illustration. And more recently, getting to write and draw SpongeBob comics was nothing short of a dream come true. The illustration and comics communities benefited greatly from the publication. Many a talented cartoonist got their start in the notable comics section of the magazine called "The Comic Book." And it was truly a golden standard of what kid's comics could be.

Which gets to who this will affect the most—the kids. Meg Hunt put it really well in her eulogy of sorts: "They’re going to miss out on a quality magazine that introduced them to great artwork (even if they didn’t know it) and fun content that wasn’t just regurgitating information from their network." Besides Highlights, I can't think of another major magazine that spoke directly to kids.

On a positive note, I would credit those at Nick Mag with being directly responsible for the resurgence and popularity of comics for kids. Talented folks like Corey Barba (creator of YAM) gained a following in the magazine, and now have their comics published in book form. That's great news for kids and creators.

I thought I'd share this comic which appeared in the April 2006 issue of the magazine. It was called "Another Boring day at Nick Mag". I was asked to spice up what was a typical day running the magazine (written by the staff). It features cartoon versions of staffers, but I'm not sure who is who at this point.

I think I can speak for everyone that we'll all miss you, Nickelodeon Magazine. My sympathies and wishes go out to all those involved. And thank you.

Friday, June 05, 2009


The Wild Things are being unleashed over at Cory Godbey's blog tribute to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. It's called Terrible Yellow Eyes and Cory was nice enough to invite me to contribute some original artwork.

I started in Flash, and ended in Photoshop where I added some watercolor textures to the background. I definitely wanted to show a wilder side of Max.

Here's my line art.

And this is the sketch I worked from. I actually did a lot of other drawings, which I may post at some point. I may contribute another piece if I get around to it, too. It was great to delve into the story again and explore the illustrations—I hadn't done that since I was a kid!

Today's a fun day because Cory is posting a total of 20 illustrations! One every half hour until this evening! So hop on over a have a look at the amazing talent (and tribute) on display.