Tuesday, July 31, 2007

1st Local Cartoon of the week

Last week, Jacksonville Beach officials found a large, two-bedroom cavern under the pier, and proceeded to drive out the homeless who had holed up in it, and then fill it with sand. The pier manager joked 'How long do they get to live down there before getting homestead exemption?' Meanwhile the homeless and panhandling situation at the beach continues to get worse.

Here's the rough:

And here's the finished cartoon:

Preston Blair 101

Well folks, I've decided to give myself an informal course in basic animation, using Preston Blair's classic "Animation with Preston Blair" guidebook. I will be periodically posting my progress on this blog. In my humble opinion, too many editorial cartoonists are trying to get into animation without first understanding the basics of the craft. I think that in the long run, this will ultimately hurt the final product, so, if I'm going to be true to the art, I'm going to learn the underlying principles. It's as simple as that.

Comment on this stuff if you want. I really don't care. I'm pretty much just doing it for myself. BTW, the red marks indicate where I've gone back and corrected myself.

Here's part of lesson #1 -Head Construction & Tilt

Monday, July 30, 2007

George Bush turnaround animation in Flash

I'm working on my Flash skills today. Here's a quick turn-around sequence for a George Bush character I've been working on. And here's the actual animation.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Mama's got a brand new grind

You know your small town has finally made the big-time when it gets a Starbucks. Macclenny Florida had been (until the last 5-10 years) a sleepy little hamlet; far enough away from Jacksonville to escape the massive commercial and residential growth that has gripped that city. Now it seems that each week brings new development, growth, and a swelling population. A guess a Starbucks was inevitable.

Here's the rough:

And here's the final cartoon. I added more to the rear of the truck and shifted the dog to the back. My friend Clay Jones told me that readers LOVE it when you put a dog in your cartoon, so I'm gonna try to do that every chance I get. I also added the gun rack (typical for a Baker County old timer).

And even MORE sketching

I think I'm gonna start posting more sketches on my blog. Here's a sketch I did this weekend of two guys fighting. It occurred to me that I could use this for a myriad of subjects ranging from Congressional tussles, to in-fighting within the Republican party, to local politicians who fight on a regular basis. I may use it, I may not, I just thought it was an interesting doodle.

A few cartoonists, who I really respect, have mentioned to me that they enjoy the spontaneity of my sketches as opposed to the "tight" quality of my finished cartoons. I'd love to have more of that immediacy in my final drawings. Maybe by posting these, and getting some feedback, I can figure out a way to do that.

On another related note:

I think I'm really starting to get something out of this blogging thing. Even if I don't get responses to my posts, by describing my cartoons and some of my ideas online, it's helping me work through what I'm actually trying to say.


Friday, July 27, 2007

More Sketching

Here's another quick sketch from my sketchbook. This one is of Alberto Gonzales. He was a lot tougher to caricature than I initially thought he was going to be. I finally ended up using a series of overlaping ovals to construct his head, and that allowed me the flexibility I needed to exaggerate his features. For the finished caricature check out the header on my main website: http://www.halltoons.com/

Sketching George

One of my goals during the Bush administration has been to make GWB's face more animated. Here's a few practice sketches I found buried in my sketchbook that I thought you might be interested in.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A bit of a Milestone

Well it looks like the Halltoons website will finally reach 100,000 hits sometime this week. Be sure to be the 100,000th hitter by checking out my latest collection of cartoons at: http://www.halltoons.com/ I'll be sure to update you again when we reach a million!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Last Local cartoon of the Week!

Whew! Am I glad to be done. Although I must say the ideas have come pretty easily this week. I'll chalk it up to good reporting in my local papers and interesting stories. An editorial on the St. Johns County Mosquito control board sparked this cartoon. They've been an independent authority since 1948, but now some believe that they need to be consolidated with the county. Typical in-fighting tactics include name calling, finger-pointing, nasty letters, yelling and police called in to keep order at meetings.
Here's the rough cartoon:

And here's the finshed toon:

County closing indigent care facilities

To meet budget restraints resulting from Crist's Property tax initiatives, many county services are being trimmed. This one should have stayed in place.

Here's the rough:

And here's the finished cartoon:

Another reason for my Mother-in-Law to pray for me

I have to admit though, she's a pretty good sport about my Catholic cartoons. There were several in my first book, blasting the Church for moving pedophiles around. she laughed (reservedly) at all of them. The other thing I like about this cartoon, is that I was able to use one topical story to support another. This doesn't happen often, but I like it when it does.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

First Local cartoon of the week

I was shocked to learn today of this poll by Harvard University that shows Americans living in coastal areas remain apathetic towards the threat of hurricanes. Living in Jacksonville, in such close proximity to the beach, it got me to thinking. Here's what I came up with.
The rough:

And here's the finished cartoon:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Michael Vick Cartoon

I usually won't do two cartoons on the same subject, but this idea was so interesting, I had to do it. Besides, it fulfills my syndicate quota for the week!
Here's the rough (it changed a little - always does):

And here's the finished cartoon. I think the color really adds to it.

Halltoons.com updated! 24 new cartoons!

Well, after a month, I've finally updated the main Halltoons website. I needed a new header for the top, so I went with this.

I love the idea of showing Alberto Gonzales as the administration's Organ Grinder Monkey. He's so cute and furry (and does exactly what they tell him to do)!

Anyway, click on the above link and check out some of my latest cartoons. I think I've got a pretty good mix of local and national stuff this time around.



Friday, July 20, 2007

Michael Vick

I thought it would be funny (and fitting) if he actually blamed the dogs for his problems. Kinda like a "I don't have my homework because the dog ate it" kinda thing. Basically blame everybody but himself. Trouble seems to follow this guy around.

How can a guy with all of that money, waste a career and his endorsement deals over something so idiotic. He'll always be known for this. The stigma of torturing animals will never leave him.

Heck man, if you want to gamble, go to Vegas (on a private jet!)!

Friday's Syndicated Stuff

I usually reserve my Fridays for my syndicated stuff. Here's the first of two cartoons I'll be doing today. I'm also tossing around a couple of Michael Vick ideas. Stay tooned.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thank goodness I opted for the Crab Cakes

Kucinich hospitalized with apparent food poisoning Associated Press CLEVELAND - Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, who is a vegan, has been hospitalized with "severe" effects of apparent food poisoning. The 60-year-old congressman from Cleveland became sick Sunday night while flying to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to address the national Longshoremen's convention. He went ahead with the speech Monday but immediately returned home and was hospitalized in the Cleveland area. The name of the hospital wasn't disclosed. Andy Juniewicz, a campaign spokesman, said Kucinich was improving Tuesday night and said no medical update was available Wednesday morning. Kucinich, a former Cleveland mayor, typically polls in the low single digits.


This photo was taken last week at the AAEC Convention in DC. Come to think of it, he does look a little sick in this photo, but that could just be him agreeing or disagreeing with one of my cartoons. I just hope it wasn't a stomach flu...wait a minute, I'm feeling a little woozy myself...ooooo...where's the Pepto?


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Golf Gone

The Rough:

Here's a local cartoon that I'm sure will generate some letters. The Ravines is a Golf Course community who's course and club house has changed hands several times, fallen into a state of disrepair and, finally, closed. I'm sure homeowners were counting on the course staying open to secure the value of their homes, but it was not to be. Currently plans are up in the air - so to speak.

The final cartoon "may" run in color. Color can sometimes really drive the message of a cartoon, and in this case the green of the golf course really makes the image pop.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mc Defiant

This past week the city of Macclenny and the local McDonalds got into a bit of a bru ha ha over a drive thru overflow problem. Here's the story.

And here's this week's cartoon. BTW, getting to draw Ronald (or any clown for that matter) as a thug is a cartoonist's dream!

Monday, July 16, 2007

One of Friday's cartoons

I usually reserve my Fridays for my syndicated stuff. Last week I was interested in the whole Iraq War benchmarks saga. I.E., we need a set of benchmarks for our strategy in Iraq. This seemed pretty much to the point, and I liked the idea of playing off of an actual bench with wet paint. Here's the rough and the finished cartoon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hangin' with Dennis

Last week, at the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists Convention in Washington DC, I had the distinct pleasure to spend a little time chatting with Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and his wife. Kucinich was the keynote speaker at our banquet, and I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask him about his life BEFORE politics. He told me a couple of interesting stories that really showed me the non-politico side of him. He was very engaging, as was his wife. Anyway, I signed a copy of my first book Code Red for him, and as you can see from the photo he seemed to enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And FINALLY cartoon #3 for today

Here's the rough. This newspaper's website has begun posting code violations of restaurants in our area that have failed inspection. I thought this was a funny take on the whole Chinese import fiasco.

And here's the finished cartoon. Now it's time for a beer and a nap.

I told you I did three - here's # 2

Well, here's the second cartoon for today. It didn't change much from the original sketch (as you can probably see). I've been told that people like to see the original sketches, so I'll post them when they're available. Then you can compare and contrast.


A busy Wednesday

It's a rarity for me to do (3) local cartoons in one day, but that's just what I had to do today. I'm still catching up from vacation I guess. This cartoon relates to the (surprise) closing of one of Bill Murray's restaurants here in Jacksonville. It was open for only a year. I got an "awesome" from my editor, so I guess it's OK. Coming up with ideas for local cartoons is a real challenge sometimes. Anyway, here it is.

The Flash I want to do

So this is a little closer to where I want to "move" with my Flash animation. If George Bush pulling his brain out through his nose makes you laugh, then I guess I'm on the right track!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Weak first attempts

A couple of my buddies asked me about some Flash stuff I have been working on. It ain't much, but here it is:


Finished cartoon

OK. Here's the finished cartoon. I completely removed the guy on the left and just went with a more direct approach.


Today's cartoon rough

As usual it changed in the inking (too busy - too many words). I took out the hatchet and trimmed it down a bit.

(See above)

Welcome to my Blog - won't you come on in?

OK. I admit it. I want to see what this blogging thing is all about. Just returned from the Association of American Editorial cartoonists annual convention, and one of our seminars dealt with blogging. I was shamed into it. So here it is, warts and all. I hope somebody actually reads this crap.

Editorial Cartoonists Draw Uncle Sam

Politico.com has posted a short video of a few editorial cartoonists sketching Uncle Sam. These were done at our annual convention last week in Washington D.C.

Here's the link: