Monday, December 31, 2007

More on Pakistan

Even if Musharraf wasn't behind the assassination, he wasn't giving Bhutto the kind of protection she deserved. Also, turning your head makes you just as culpable as the actual assassins in my opinion. So here's one about that. All you fans of Democracy should enjoy this one. Let's hope the new year brings peace to Pakistan. It's a simmering pot, with a nuke sitting on top of it.


I'll be posting another Pakistan toon in the next couple of days that ran in Sunday's LA Times. Stay tooned for that.

Have a SAFE and HAPPY New Year!



Friday, December 28, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Just Draw Me..." he said..."OK..." I said...

I really liked talking with this guy in Washington last year. Very personable, interesting, intelligent. But then I started delving into, and researching some of his positions on the issues. Ouch.

We couldn't be farther apart on what's listed here.

His catch phrase during his speech to the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists was "Draw me. Just draw me." I'm more than obliged to take him up on that.

BTW, as mentioned previously I planned to do this entire cartoon on the Wacom tablet in Photoshop, and that's exactly what I did. Can you tell the difference? I'm kinda liking how these are coming out, and can't wait to do another one.



Saturday, December 22, 2007

Coo Coo Kucinich

Here's a rough sketch for a Dennis Kucinich cartoon idea I'm working on. I wanted to make sure that I had the caricature down first before I incorporated the idea. I met this guy last year, and at the time he was begging us cartoonists to draw him. He's about to get his wish from me. Stay tooned.

As for drawing this digitally, I plan on doing another one this afternoon on my Wacom tablet to compare qualities. We'll see if I can tell a difference.


Friday, December 21, 2007


So I went a little crazy this year with the computing purchases, but I want to get to the point with at least one computer where I can do everything without pencil and paper. I think I might almost be there with my latest toy - The "Bamboo" from Wacom. If you haven't tried one of these babies out yet, you're really missing out. In Photoshop it gives you a very responsive feel. You can sketch, make notes, move around the desktop, everything without having to change back and forth from a mouse. I highly recommend it if you do a lot of sketching on the road, or if you're planning to make the eventual jump to ALL digital (like I am). This sketch was done in about 3 minutes on my Bamboo in Photoshop with #2 Pencil brush. It's probably the first time I've done a digital sketch, and said to myself, "wow, that really looks like pencil!"
I'll be back next week with all new posts and cartoons, but in the meantime I'd like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Workin' the Jesus angle

They're all doing it. And the timing couldn't be better with Christmas coming and all. Now comes word that Huckabee is putting subliminal crosses into his ads. I wouldn't doubt it. Seems they all want to be most pious. Most "on high." I just wonder if Mr. & Mrs. America can see through all of this.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Halltoons Updated! 24 new cartoons

If you get a chance, skip on over to . I've just updated the site, and you might find a few cartoons that weren't previously posted here. I used this Barack Obama caricature as my new header.



Back to 75%

Well, after a weekend of coughing, hacking, spitting, sneezing & wheezing, I'm back to about 75% health. Getting sick sucks, but at least I got it out of the way before Christmas. I did follow the news though. With puffy eyes I managed to see that the Mitchell report finally came out. Here's my take on the whole steroid fiasco. I think they'll never control it now that the genie is out of the "bottle." They might as well just let everyone take steroids, so there's a level playing field. Eventually we'll end up with a separate species of super men, that we feed to the lions when they lose. Oh wait, we're already there...

Thursday, December 13, 2007


What the hell? I never get sick. But for some reason I went to bed last night feeling crappy, and woke up this morning feeling even crappier. Oh well. Just gonna have to schedule everything for next week, and hope that this passes. I feel like I've swallowed a cheese grater, and my stomach hurts like hell. But enough bitchin' - that's not what you came here for. Here's my final syndicated cartoon of the week (thank God). now if I can just find that bottle of Advil...
Happy Weekend.
PS - Update those passwords & watch out for the "Evil Twin!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Let's hope, for all our sakes, people actually start to pump some money into the economy this Christmas. Doesn't look good. Alot of people will be scaling back spending (including our family - we're doing secret Santas this year).

Monday, December 10, 2007

Friday, December 7, 2007

Final post of the week

Hello all. Well, it seems that a Russian armada is headed to the Mediterranean Sea. Not that this should come as a surprise to any of us paying attention to what's going on in the former USSR. There is a patriotic fever-pitch for all things Putin there now. And you can't really fault the Russians. They've as much right to post ships there as the rest of us, but it makes you wonder, what the former KGB agent's agenda might really be.

Happy Weekend. Duck and cover.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Remembering not to forget

I'll let this one speak for itself. I will say though that I'm always amazed at the simian characteristics of our
President's face.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

In my day....

...they didn't have sissy school buses for riding your ass to school. You'd have to WALK five miles to school, in the freezing cold, and your feet would bleed, and you'd like it. You'd shout "Hey! Look at me! My feet are bleeding masses of flesh!" and you'd LOVE it!

I really like Dana Carvey. Maybe a little too much.

Anyway, one of our school districts has implemented a new code, stating that if you live within 2 miles of your school you can't take the school bus. You figure out the rest.


Here's the rough:

Monday, December 3, 2007

Ape Sh*t

Sometimes I've just got to get down on my knees and thank the Almighty for the fact that I do cartoons for a rural paper. Only in Baker County could you have a story like this. It seems that every year around this time, someone spots some form of ape-like creature lurking around the woods of our fair county. One year the gossip was that Bigfoot was on the loose again. The next year (and I'm not making this up) they thought it was half ape and half kangaroo (thus the moniker: Killer Kangaroo). It seems that this year the primate resembles an Orangutan. They've yet to name it, but I suspect "Oranguman," has a scary ring to it.

Anyway, this cartoon started out as just some guy shooting arrows at a cardboard cut-out of an orangutan, but the more I thought about it, I wanted to tie this in with hunting in Baker County (which is huge). Here's what I came up with. Oh, and one more time, God bless you Baker County!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Back from a mini-working-vacation

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I spent most of last week in Savannah, GA, and I must say it was most enjoyable! And wouldn't you know it, the minute we get there, I get an illustration job for one of the big three publications in the US? I didn't complain. I just whipped out the pens & paper, and called up the local Kinkos to make sure they had a scanner.

Here's the rough. I'll post the finished drawing, and a pdf of the full page after it runs in Sunday's edition.

Look for more frequent posts this week, as I get back into the swing of things.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another MRSA cartoon

This one worked out as a local AND national issue cartoon. Woo hoo!

I'm experimenting more here with screens and shadowing in Photoshop. Not quite where I want it yet, but it's getting close.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First of two syndicated cartoons this week

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. It's been a busy week with the holidays and all.

Here's my first syndicated cartoon this week. Have a GREAT Thanksgiving, and see you on Friday!



Friday, November 16, 2007

Squeezin' one more in...

Sometimes I'll get an idea, even after I've filled my weekly quota. When that happens, I usually just wait and ink it on Monday. This one couldn't wait.

We're saving so many soldiers from physical injuries in Iraq, but help for the mental injuries that they bring home with them (post-traumatic stress disorders), seems to be lacking. Many combat veterans are said to skip therapy because it doesn't fit the tough guy persona, or because they think they can deal with it on their own, and that's a shame. These types of injuries more times than not, end up manifesting themselves in alcoholism and abuse. We should be helping these soldiers get through their trauma. They served and went through this so we wouldn't have to.
Military mental health professionals should be number one on our government's hiring list. We cleaned up our bedside treatment of these men and women at Walter Reed Medical Center, now let's make sure that they all get the therapeutic help they deserve to re acclimate themselves to civilian life. Sorry about the sermon, but I feel strongly about this.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Last week's cartoon project

It went to press yesterday, so I guess it's OK to post it now.

I hope I caught the mood of the country. I especially like the folded flag and the empty pockets of "Joe America."

It's weird how cartooning stuff comes in waves. I had been drawing elephants and donkeys in several of my daily cartoons just prior to coming up with this idea.

Click on the image for a larger version.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Twist of fate

As luck might have it, because I was soooo busy last week, I'm getting my syndicated cartoons done early this week (BTW, I promise in the next couple of days I'll post that project I was working on - it's pretty cool).

Here's the first one, which has been sitting on my desk for nearly three weeks waiting to be inked. Right after she started mincing words on the immigrant driver's license issue, I got this idea.


And the second one (hot off the drawing board) which hit me like a laser as I was dragging my tired ass out of bed this morning. We've had a couple outbreaks of this MRSA stuff at the High Schools around here, so the staff has taken to disinfecting everything once a week. I was reading an article about how bugs have now become resistant to just about all of our antibiotics, and because many doctors have taken the easy way out and over-prescribed antibiotics, the bugs have learned how to beat said antibiotics almost as fast as new ones are developed - scary stuff.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Final cartoon of the week

Well, as promised, here it is. I woke up on Monday knowing that I wanted to do something on Benazir Bhutto's request to Musharraf to "take off your uniform..." It took a while to come up with this, but after I heard Bush make the same request on Wednesday, my idea became crystal clear.

Enjoy, and, Happy Weekend!


Unfrozen Tundra

I read an article earlier this week, about how people are scrambling to visit the quickly defrosting frozen tundra to see the polar bears before they go extinct. That made this a fairly obvious direction to go in. You'll notice I made a few type modifications from the rough version. I also added a guy (driver?) jumping from the front cab. The bear was also previously just sitting there, but I thought to add some action, I'd show him either climbing in or getting ready to climb down. I always try to show "some" action in my cartoons if possible. I like to motivate the viewer's eye to move around.

Here's the rough:

I'll probably post one more syndicate cartoon later today.
Stay tooned!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

And, here's a syndicate toon...

I did this one earlier in the week - just getting around to posting it now. It's pretty self-explanatory.
I'll be posting a couple more national issue cartoons tomorrow and Friday. As usual, I'll probably save the most pissy for last. Stay tooned!


A local cartoon for this week

I've been slammed with projects at the beginning of this week (more on that later), so I'm just now getting around to posting some cartoons. Here's one on a story that I just found downright funny. Seems that parents at a local High School are having so much trouble keeping up with their kid's online shenanigans, that they've had to create a new class for said parents to get them up to speed on the difference between MySpace and FaceBook.
I know it's a gag, but I've actually seen my own parents staring blindly at a cord before, so it has some historical & familial legitimacy.

New Book - "Bush Leaguers"

There is a new book out entitled, "Bush Leaguers" which is a collection of cartoons covering the foibles of the Bush Administration over the past several years. It accompanies a traveling show of cartoons by the same name, in which I have a cartoon exhibited. So, for that reason alone you should buy this book! (Just kidding).

I received my copy last week, and, even after having seen the show, I think that this book will be a "must-have" collectors item. So buy one. No, I'm serious this time. You'd better buy one. I know where you live, and I will track you down like Dick Cheney on a bad hunting trip...

The "Bush Leaguers" show was curated by my buddy & fellow cartoonist, Rob Rogers. He also put the book together. To get a copy of "Bush Leaguers" send a check in the amount of $15.00 to: Rob Rogers, 3460 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15201. I think the money will help Rob recoup printing costs as it's a non-profit situation. If you want to ask Rob any questions about it, or to let him know you're sending him a check, email him at
The book is also available online at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists website:

Friday, November 2, 2007

Final syndicate cartoon of the week

Finished! Finally!
And, just in case you're wondering...
pil-lory vt. to lay open to public ridicule, scorn or abuse
I couldn't resist.
I had also forgotten how much I love to draw elephants and donkeys. Note the cheesey Rush Limbaugh tie on the first elephant!
Have a great weekend. I know I will. I just got some GREAT news, but I'll wait until Monday to share.

First of two syndicated cartoons today

I'll post the other one a little later.

Enjoy, and, Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Local Cartoon # 2

Here's this week's second local cartoon (only 2 more to go!). I like this one, even though some beaches residents will not. But, hey, they choose to build there, and now choose to live there.
Mother nature stops for no one.

Here's the rough. I really enjoy it when the roughs are REALLY rough, as this one was. Nothing better than a 20 second scribble, just to get the idea down fast!

I nailed the perspective I wanted in this rough, so not much changed in the final drawing. Here it is.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First local cartoon of the week

Well, my beloved Gators are struggling. Meanwhile, the Baker County Wildcats are 8-1 and headed to the playoffs.

Here's the rough.

Originally I had the first guy grumbling over a Jaguars jersey, but they won on Sunday, so I made it an all Gator affair.

Here's the finished cartoon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Latest on my Terrapin T-shirt design

I've refined this guy a little more, and next I'll finish out his left wing and start adding color. I'm posting these so my brother-in-law can see them and comment. Hint. Hint.

Friday, October 26, 2007 updated - All new stuff!

Just in case you're interested, there are 24 spanking new cartoons posted over at !

Most of them have probably shown up on this blog over the last month, but there may be a few that fell through the cracks.

Enjoy, and Happy Weekend!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rooody, Roooody, Rooody...!

I started to do a cartoon featuring Giuliani this week, and quickly realized that I hadn't drawn him before. I decided to do a quick caricature to bone up on his features.

Here's my first attempt.
A lot of the shading was done in Photoshop on a separate layer (but not all). There's still a significant amount of original sketch showing through here.
I'm getting ready to update - I may use this as my new header.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Character Design Project

Here's a new character I'm working on for a T-shirt design competition. It's for a marine construction company.

This is the initial info I had to go on:

"First, I'll have to give you a little history of this dredge. It was formerly named the Eagle 1 when it was owned by Bean. We took over the dredge this year (buyout) and renamed it the Terrapin Island. I was thinking of a Terrapin with eagle wings or something to please both sides. Also, we want to put Columbia River Channel Deepening and Improvements on the shirt."

Here's the first two sketches. This first one is a little more "cartoony" which I like. The second one is more straight forward, but incorporates the island, and shows the turtle in flight. I think on the third version I'll try to keep the animal in flight, but make the character, more of a "character" - more cartoony.

I've got to think about the positioning of the figurative elements, and whether or not it's going on the back of the t-shirt or on the pocket. I know I want to make this a very proud figure with big, powerful, hulking elements (like a dredge).

Another local cartoon

Sometimes, when I'm really pushed for time, and I have no choice, I'll just ink my cartoon directly to paper. No rough, no pencil drawing, just straight onto white. Now for a cartoonist, this is the visual equivalent of jumping off a high dive into a pool in the middle of the night. That's what i did for this one - GERONIMO! It can be scary. Anyway, there's been a rash of car burglaries at our area beaches lately, and come to find out the majority were into unlocked cars. This was the last cartoon for yesterday's batch and it was done at 4:30 - thirty minutes before deadline. I think it worked out OK, but my editor did give me some grief about dating myself with that style of door lock! LOL

All politics is local

I like it when a local idea morphs into something that can be read nationally (or vice versa). Such was the case with this cartoon, which started life as a local cartoon, and then changed (geographically) into a topic more national in scope. The first use of this image had the kid labeled "sprawl," and this worked for one area of NE Florida where growth seems to be proceeding unabated into the future (Baker County is growing like crazy, and some are against too much growth, too soon). Somewhere along the line, I began to think about the current "adjustments" in rates on adjustable rate mortgages, so you get the image posted here. And that's great, because I can also use it for my syndicated cartoon.

Here's the rough. This will show it as originally drawn. I added the background and night sky on a separate layer, from a separate drawing. I kept it kinda loose and sketchy which I like, and allowed me to work back into it on the Wacom tablet.

Here's the final cartoon as it went to the syndicate. I made the kids eyes a little more sinister to reflect that "bill collector" attitude. Enjoy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Editorial Cartoons - - - oh yeah, those...

Here's one for my syndicate this week. I like the way this came out. I actually laid one of my suits out on the floor to sketch this one. Hey, those suits have to get used "some" way other than funerals and weddings!

Here's the rough. Didn't change much.

And the finished cartoon. This idea came from reading an article on how the Pentagon is outsourcing intelligence gathering. Let me say that one more time...The Pentagon is outsourcing intelligence gathering.

Here's the finished drawing.

Crab Shell Helmet Head

Huh? It's just the start of another developing character. I wanted somehow incorporate that crab shell from brunch a couple of days ago (see below) into an illustration. Here's the first sketches in that direction. I also wanted to take a second to highlight my new Moleskine. What a GREAT sketchbook! I love it. I still haven't decided whether I want this helmet to sit atop his head or if he'll be looking through the original eye holes that the crab used. Either way, I'm kinda excited to see where this one goes.


One other thing that I've invested in lately is a new digital camera. These images were taken with that. A Canon PowerShot SD750. I've just started using it, but so far, what an awesome piece of equipment! It also shoots video, so that should improve as well.

The Moleskine sketchbook has a nifty little pocket built into the back to store loose sketches, etc. And the elastic band keeps junk from falling out. Really nice.

Well, that didn't work...

After a week of posting my new feature "Weekly Hot Topic," I got only (1) response (and it was mine), so I'm officially REMOVING it from this blog. That was totally weak! Not one vote! I'm not sure if people think that these poll results somehow go into some massive online data base to be mined at a later date or what, but not ONE response??? Come on people! I know you're coming here, so participate!

Anyway, more later.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Sketchin' at the Restaurant

Here's something that caught my eye over the weekend, and I think I might try to incorporate it into my next character design. This shell was pretty cool looking, and I thought it would make a really spiffy warrior's helmet with the spikes and all. We'll see. I took a few photos and then sketched it for 3-dimensionality.


Here's the sketches first. I find it interesting that whenever I see something I want to sketch, I never seem to have a sketchbook around. I borrowed some sheets from my friend's "Things to do" notebook and drew on the back. Then I immediately went out and bought a Moleskine sketchbook; the perfect size for making these little doodles. If you're an artist, and you don't know what a Moleskine is, you might want to try one out sometime. They are VERY well made to exacting specifications and come in all different sizes, styles and paper weights. Not only that, but they are available at Barnes & Noble. Now let's see if I remember to take it along with me next time!


Here's the photos. Mmmmm....Blue Crabs....tasty! I think what made me think of using this as a helmet was how the top looks like the top of a skull, with it's undulations and imperfections, cracks and lumps. Interesting.