Monday, June 30, 2008

PBS - 9 to 5 interview

Here's an interview that was taped at the end of last year, in which I discuss what I do as an Editorial Cartoonist. This is from a series of interviews entitled 9 to 5, which offer a glimpse inside the lives of Jacksonville professionals with interesting professions. The first was with local Architect Tri Vu. I was really happy to be included in such good company. The interview's will be airing soon on our local PBS affiliate WJCT. In the meantime, they are available as pod casts at the WJCT website. And I must give a huge "shout out" to the videographer, Stephen Jones. What a talented guy this fellow is. Heck, if you can make me look & sound good, you MUST be doing something right! Enjoy.

Friday, June 27, 2008

JCVA Gallery Show

My wife and I were very excited to discover that our figure drawings had been selected for The JCVA Juried Summer Show, being held at The Nathan H. Wilson Center on the FCCJ South Campus here in Jacksonville. The opening reception was last night, and it was fun to see some of our friends from the local artistic community. Jacksonville has a lot of great talent, as was evidenced by this show. The juror was Sidney McKenna of St. Augustine.

JCVA stands for Jacksonville Coalition for The Visual Arts, and I used to be a member several years ago. It's not until recently that I have slowly begun to get back into doing fine art, and this was a nice venue for that. Here are a couple of photos taken at the opening.

This was the first time she'd ever been in a juried show, and definitely the first time we'd been in one together.

I was so happy for her - her work is just great.

Here's the knuckle head standing with his drawings.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sunshine Sunday & other honors

I was honored on June 6th to receive the first ever Sunshine Sunday Award for Editorial Cartooning, presented by The First Amendment Foundation in Tallahassee. This is me receiving the award from FAF President, Barbara Petersen at the FSNE luncheon in Orlando. This picture makes me laugh because it looks like she doesn't want to give up the award.

Here's what they said over at their website: The First Amendment Foundation will announce our first-ever Sunshine Award for best political cartoon, op-ed/editorial, and article on open government for Sunshine Week. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. An award will be granted for each of the three categories. There is no submission fee, and any article that is posted to the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors website ( is automatically entered in the contest.

That cartoon can be seen here.

On the same day, I found out that I had also won a Florida Press Association Award for our newspaper's circulation category. Here's that cartoon. I'm not surprised that it was for an Amendment One cartoon. I've been hammering away at this stupid piece of legislation since before it went to a vote.

Johnnie Mac

I've been working on my John McCain caricature for about a month now, and nothing was happening until last night. At the last minute, before I drifted off to sleep, I decided to try one more quick sketch. Wouldn't you know it, this one jumped off the page. As with any caricature, I try to find the one attribute of the person's face that "defines" them. With Bush it was easy, those giant ears, and close set eyes belay his stupidity. With Obama, I think it's also ears, but for a different reason (haven't figured that one out yet). Also with Obama, his height and stature make him seem kinda bigger than life. Some have compared it to Lincoln's physique, but that one is DEFINITELY still to be determined.
McCain, on the other hand is more difficult. I blogged about this before, but it wasn't until last night that I figured out what it was. It's his nose. For some reason, the second I figured out how to draw his nose, the rest of his face fell into place. Check it out. I liked this caricature so much, I cropped it and sent it to my syndicate.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lotsa Local Stuff

I've done quite a few local topic cartoons this week. Here's a couple of my favorites. The first one was inspired by a quote from visiting executive director of The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, Philip Mangano.

Quote: "The long misery of homelessness" in part can be traced back several decades to when institutions began to release patients on the understanding there would be places for them to live in the community. New medications were to be available to them, and community support services were to be in place.
That three-legged stool ended up having only two legs since the needed community support services were not delivered."

That image was just too good to pass up. Here's the cartoon.

This second cartoon was a combination of two stories that are running concurrently at our area beaches. The first deals with the new rules on feeding wild pelicans. Seems they have become accustomed to human contact and that's not good. The second deals with the sleepy little shrimping town of Mayport, in which the residents are being elbowed out in favor of gleaming new condos and giant cruise ships. They could probably use a little more human contact (i.e. govt.) but they ain't gonna get it, and that's not good.
If it looks like my drawing style is changing a bit, it probably is. I don't waste much time with sketches in my sketchbooks anymore. Everything is straight to the Wacom tablet and created digitally now. The trick has been to make it LOOK like it was drawn with pen and paper. How'm I doing?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Appeasing the niece

One of the great things about being a cartoonist and having nieces and nephews is that they almost always love what you draw. But one of mine is VERY particular about what she has me draw. Can you guess what it is? It usually goes something like this: "Uncle will you draw me a monkey?" - "Sure, but wouldn't you rather me draw a princess, or a pony for you?" - "Uncle, don't be silly (although she's recently begun to use the word ridiculous)..." - "You're sure you wouldn't rather me draw you a doggie, or a kitty?" - "No Uncle, monkeys, just monkeys..."

And for those in the know, "Boots" will also work in a pinch. That's Dora The Explorer's monkey buddy.
This was a quick little 10 minute sketch that I (and she) liked so much I decided to work back into it in Photoshop. I've probably done 10 - 20 monkeys for her in her short three years and I'm pretty sure that she could probably find them on the internet, and that's just plain scary.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Some Obama & McCain roughs

I, for one, would not cherish having to draw John McCain for 4 (or, gasp) 8 years. Obama is a MUCH easier draw. For instance, Here's a quick sketch I did to illustrate for someone just how easy Obama is. Physically, the geometry of his face is just so much more exaggerated that it makes it very identifiable with just a few strokes.

McCain, on the other hand, has plain, more subtle, Caucasian features that make him look like just about every one's uncle.

Here's my McCain studies from over the weekend. They're OK, but I'm still discovering where all of those subtleties lay on the landscape of his face - just in case - gasp...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Bad Credit? No Credit? No problem!

It's funny how the bad practices of our Government seem to be reflected in the practices of the general public. I was reading an article in Newsweek yesterday, Why it's Worse Than You Think, and I was glad to see someone finally talking more succinctly about the credit crisis both in the housing market and globally.

Quote: "As it seeks to regain its footing in the second half, the U.S. economy faces two significant obstacles, neither of which was evident in 2001. The first is entirely homegrown: the self-inflicted wounds of the promiscuous extension and abuse of credit in the housing and financial sectors. The second is a global phenomenon that has comparatively little to do with American behavior: rampant inflation in commodities such as oil, food and steel. These trends have conspired to inflict genuine economic pain and deflate consumer confidence."

Basically what that's saying is that we've done this to ourselves (duh). This cartoon popped into my head. This is my last cartoon of the week. Go out and enjoy yourselves this weekend, but please, try to pay with cash.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I'm back. Did ya miss me?

After a tumultuous 2 weeks of ups and downs, I'm finally back home and starting to cartoon again. Losing a parent is never easy, but I know he'd like for me to get back to work; and that's just what I'm doing. A lot has happened since my last post - some good, some (obviously) really bad, but I'm going to keep on keepin' on.

And in that spirit, here's what I did for Father's Day (one of the most difficult cartoons I've ever had to do):

Today's cartoon is a little more fun. I was able to spend some time this past weekend fishing, reminiscing about my Dad, and throwing a cast net with my brother. It was important to be with him, and do the things Pops used to love. With shrimping season opening up, many shrimpers don't know that they must have a valid Florida Fishing License to participate. I just thought this was funny.
I'll have more news to post in a couple of days. Until then, stay well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Last cartoon of the week

I haven't posted much this week. I know. But, I've got a family member in the hospital, and Ive been in the hospital for some stuff also. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Stay well.