Friday, December 22, 2006

One Legged Animal Friday

I went to the zoo some time ago, and am still remembering
how nifty these guys were!

Can anyone tell me the name of this particular animal?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Office Party Conspiracy Wednesday

Click on the image above for the Director's Cut.
What do you think?
Too wordy?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

Multiple Choice Monday

1. The image above and similar images that will on occasion pop up in this space henceforth are the result of:

A) Vivid memories of drowzily roaming the halls of parochial elementary school and glancing at countless strange posters on bulliten boards that were either supposed to educate or inspire, but did neither;

B) Falling in love with an irresistible stack of moldy textbooks during a recent bout of thrift store hopping for an unrelated project;

C) No longer having the luxury of toying with, doctoring, and/or reworking the cheese-heavy illustrations of the textbooks I rarely studied from but absolutely cherished as a school-going lad;

D) All of the above.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Happy... Eighth Day After Halloween?

Here are Heads and Faces of ancient character actors from one of my favorite tee vee programs.

These were supposed to be for Halloween, and here it is, over an entire week later, and you're just now getting them...

Which may lead you to wonder... just what have I been doing since my last blog post?!!

So scary to ponder and think about! Scary, scary, ooooo!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Under the [Euro] Influence

Today I thought I'd use my two characters Flavio and Marguerite to explain how I come up with characters for my own projects.

When designing cartoon characters for studio animation, you're given several aids along with your assignment: The premise of the program you're designing for, written character descriptions, a style guide with which your designs must jive, and sometimes even a final storyboard. All must be carefully considered, as well as the amount of time allotted to complete said assignment.

In stark contrast, my own personal projects follow a very lenient schedule, since the only one I have to answer to in such situations is myself. 90% of the characters I draw on a regular basis began with a doodle. A cartoonist is one of very few who can utilize being stuck on the phone or in any place he or she would rather not be. My best doodles have always come out of such circumstances. Being slightly distracted can even be quite beneficial, keeping me from getting in the way of what my 'id' and pencil want to come up with together. I can make some sense of what I've drawn and why I've drawn it, but rarely right at that moment. For this reason, I save most of my scribbles in files, and then go through them with a more critical eye later, weeks or months after I've first drawn them. Then I re-file whatever strikes me as interesting at that time, and toss the rest.

With Flavio, it was little more than a few quirky physical characteristics that led to my developing him as a character. There was something funny to me about a diminutive guy trying desperately to look tough in a skull cap and sleeveless undershirt. In countless pages of amassed doodles, he would show up in one corner or another, sometimes a little more defined than the time I'd drawn him before. I began to notice that he had stylistic things commonly found in many of the European comic books, or bande dessinées, that I grew up pouring over as a kid. This is why I decided to make Flavio European... (to get technical, he's Italian, but lives in a small french town with his long-suffering girlfriend, Marguerite). Marguerite herself is obviously simple and plain-ish in design, but would prove to be a considerably more intelligent and subtle character than her boyfriend, making them potentially effective as a couple... or at least as entertainment!

The both of them seemed to be good characters to tell whatever stories I might have had about love, and the familiarity of love, and what happens over time when familiarity breeds not just contempt, but any number of other things.

Over the last several years, I've roughed out two separate comics stories with Flavio and Marguerite, but have never gotten around to completing them.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Zine Fest Keychain Madness!

This Saturday and Sunday I'll be at the annual ZINE FEST in San Francisco, hockin' my wares with illustratin' mavericks Eric Davison and his sister, the always lovely Karen.

I'll have these hand-inked and colored, space~age keychains for sale...
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(actually, they're not that 'space~age' at all, they're really just Shrinky~Dinks®)

If all goes well, I'll also have a top secret, super limited-edition, handmade book for you to buy!
Do you like ham? It's a very hammy book.

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It's been ten years since I've been to San Francisco, so I'm looking forward to hanging out in one of my all-time favorite cities and catching up with you, if you can make it. Unlike Comic Con or the original Woodstock, I'm told that Zine Fest has a more intimate feel and is less apt to subject you to the pungent aromas and plentiful perspiration of the convention-goers' usual experience. Did I mention that admission is free? Now you have no excuse!! Please come and say hi!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

If It's Not the Heat, It's the Stupidity

Hi again, everybody.
How's it goin'?

I've decided to ease back into blogging with this strip from 1995,
which I colored for the first time just a couple of weeks ago.

(Special thanks to Mary Forrest!)

Saturday, April 01, 2006


These drawings were carefully tucked away before moving here to Los Angeles. When I finally got around to unpacking them, I had a hard time remembering what these things were for.... or even what they were supposed to mean!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More Fun With Yearbooks

These are taken from an old yearbook I found several years ago and still frequently refer to. At least every third face in the book makes me laugh for one reason or another. Click here to see my rough sketches for these drawings, along with the actual photos that inspired them. I've taken the liberty of changing all the names and locations of these courageous individuals "to protect the innocent"...namely, me!

Please Do Not Choke On This Cynical Gag

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Friday, January 27, 2006

Bustin' th' Lid Offa Kidvid, Yo

An old friend of mine---WE'LL CALL HIM "JOHNNY Y."--- recently expressed concern over the fact that I might soon be involved in television animation geared towards children. "i [sic] don't think that [the networks] would be interested in your brand of humor if it were for the kiddies," he said, and I quote. Where this concern came from I can only speculate, as Johnny fancies himself a swingin' bachelor, and has no young 'ens of his own. In fact, I have always found children to be a key source of inspiration in my work, if not the primary one. Kids are great, and I enjoy figuring out what makes them tick, which would only naturally lead to wanting to figure out what they might want to be entertained by.

The biggest mistake in the history of children's entertainment has been the repeated insistence from those in charge to deliberately
condescend and
pander to their target audience. Of course, kids should be looked after and protected in every regard, and entertainment should never have negative repercussions on any viewer. But kids like conflict, and scary things, and a good story they've never seen before, just like us grown ups. They're smarter than most of us give them credit for, and deserve to be challenged now and again.

With this in mind, please have a look at my latest Family Friendly show idea,

By the way...for REAL hard-boiled hijinks, go to
Cartoon Retro and seek out "Flint Michigan".

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Slow Jed's Caffeinates My Soul

My friends Deb and Andy have taken a crummy liquor store and transformed it into Slow Jed's Mud House, a first-rate coffee shop now open for business in Averil Park, NY. The decor is as cozy as it is nifty. Everything's yummy and smells nice. There's live music and free internet access, too. Most impressive of all is how Deb and her staff go out of their way to make everyone feel comfortable and special.

I hope I'm not giving away any trade secrets when I mention that Jed himself is a caricature of the owner's brother when he was a kid. This was easy work for me... everything was right there in the photos I was given for reference. The actual signs were made by Frank Smith, whose paintings of dragons and kittens in outer space are without equal. I was amazed at how faithful he was to my original designs.