Thursday, July 31, 2008

Circus Folk

Last carton of the week. Woo hoo! I'll finally get to see Batman now.
Happy weekend!


Local Cartoon

With so many "staycationers" this year, and a limited number of spaces available at our area beaches, parking has become a HUGE issue this year. At the same time, a committee has been formed (surprise) to research urban design solutions for downtown Jax. Beach. This seemed the logical connection between the two.
(Just got a "good one!" from the editor, so it must've worked.)

I've got one more national issue cartoon left to do for my syndicate this week, so stay tooned for that.

Digital figure drawings

Well, as promised, here's my first attempts at drawing the figure on a Wacom tablet. Funny story about last nights drawing class: I was just getting warmed up, and was feeling pretty comfortable working on the computer, when, right in the middle of my third (and probably best drawing) of the night, my computer froze up.....and then crashed. F**king Windows Vista. I think my next computer might just be an Apple. I've fought it too long, and with this terrible version of Windows out, maybe it's time.

Anyway, the other drawings came out OK, but I never quite got over losing that one. It was the "keeper" of the night.

Here's the others - just a quick gesture, and then a couple of longer poses with color on a separate layer.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cough! akk...hack....KOFF!

So this local hospital has decided to eliminate designated outside smoking areas. That means there's only one place left for them to go where they are well within their legal rights to smoke. This cartoon almost inked itself.

I've been on a bit of a roll with my local cartoons lately. Don't know why that is, but they're my bread and butter, so I'm not complaining.

A New Direction: Tonight begins an interesting experiment for me. Those of you who follow this blog will no doubt know that I have been posting my figure drawings here over the past several months. These have mainly been done standing at an easel on a pad of paper, with charcoal and/or pencil. Tonight, since our drawing class has been moved to Wednesday, I'm going to start drawing directly on my laptop, with a Wacom tablet from life. I've never done this before, so I don't know what to expect. But, I have a pretty snappy laptop, loaded with memory and a new program designed specifically for sketching, so my hopes are high for some decent results. I'll post them here tomorrow regardless of quality, so stay tooned.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Local Fire Fee Shot Down

A so-called "Fire Assessment Fee" that was trying to work it's way though our county govt. has been summarily axed (thank goodness). Looks like the hundreds of letters to County Commissioners finally stopped it. This is a local "spill over" Amendment resulting from Governor Charlie Crist's idiotic Property Tax Amendment. Or, as I like to call it, the gift that keeps on giving for a cartoonist.

Keep the change

This cartoon came out of a column my editor wrote last week. This usually doesn't happen on a national issue in a local paper, but I got lucky this week, and he liked it. Here's the editorial if you're interested.

"Remember this: it’s only part of the picture. We’re mourn­­ing the loss of more than a domestic brewer; we pine for a time when, whether it was true or not, we felt like we were on top."

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's Monday morning. That means figure drawings...

We had a male model this weekend, which was a nice change of pace for our class. The male musculature and the structure of the male body is totally different than the female, so it's very important to study both. This guy could hold a pose too. Very difficult stuff - pretty impressive.

Anyway, as usual, we started out with some quick gesture drawings, moved into 3 minute poses, then did a couple of 25 minute sketches, and finished up with one long pose for the final hour. I chose a foreshortened view again, both because I wanted to challenge myself, and there was plenty of elbow room at the head and foot of the model.

One thing you might notice with today's post - I decided to leave the drawing board in some of the pictures so you can see the space around the figure.

Enjoy, and for those of you peeking in on my blog, PLEASE take the time to drop me a line. I'm beginning to wonder once again if anyone is paying attention.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's been HOW long?!?

It's been since February that I last updated my main website ! That's a long time for me to go between updates. I'm not sure if it's because I'm just lazy, or I've been really busy, or that now it seems like overkill since everything gets posted here anyway. Whatever the case, me and Mr. Coffee finally got around to updating it. You may find a few local issue cartoons over there that slipped through the cracks in this blog, so check it out if you've got a minute or two. Some of the issues may be a bit dated, but I think most of them hold up pretty well. Let me know what you think.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Obama Phenomenon

I've been wanting to do this cartoon for several weeks, and finally got around to it on Friday afternoon - too late for last week's syndicate package. Finishing it up today, I'm glad I didn't add any words or subtext to the cartoon. I think it speaks louder without it. Although I do like the fact that his Shepherd's staff looks like a question mark (that was on purpose BTW). Another thing I noticed about this cartoon (and especially now that it's posted on the blog), is how closely my cartoons are starting to resemble my artistic drawings - stylistically. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's definitely happening. The clouds were created on a separate layer in Photoshop with a custom "cloud" brush. I LOVE Photoshop; did I happen to mention that a few thousand times on this blog?

Anyway, stay tooned for a bunch more local stuff by Thursday & Friday.


Back to drawing class, back to blogging

Hello all! Well, after a bit of a "staycation," filled with surfing, boating, fishing, movies, eating, etc., I'm back at the drawing table (LOL). We also started back to figure drawing class yesterday, and it was a GREAT session. The model was one we'd had before, and she has very expressive gestures and poses. As usual, we started out with 30 second gestures, and finished up with several longer poses (30 minutes each). For the last one, I chose a difficult foreshortened view, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Enjoy, and by all means, let me hear back from you. It's amazing how few posts I get on this blog.

This drawing to the right is probably my favorite of the day. I like the weight of the drawing. I think you can really feel the power in the stance.

For this one I tried to incorporate elements within the studio space - easels, drawing boards, stack shelves, etc., to give the drawing more a sense of space. Hope I succeeded!

Here is the final, reclining, foreshortened pose.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Here's my take on the
New Yorker/Obama/Cover Bru-ha-ha. I hope this shows how satire can be a powerful weapon when the delivery is on target.
As an aside, it looks like the stylistic theme for this week is "Washington on Fire." First Treasury (see previous post/cartoon) and now The White House. It's funny how these things come in bunches like that.

Anyway, flame on!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hide it in the mattress

My Dad was in banking for 40 years. When I was a little kid, I can remember visiting him at his branch and watching as the tellers and the loan officers went about their daily routines. But back then, those routines were anything but. They were PERSONAL. Clients were treated with respect and a one-on-one relationship with your banker was commonplace. You had someone that you could rely on to give you straight forward honest answers about your finances and what you could and could not afford. Fast forward to today's "fast food" banking. Where it couldn't be more impersonal. Even when you do go in to the branch, you feel more like a pest than a customer. Online banking has done away with the human side of banking. You're looked at as a number, and unless you're transferring a large sum of money from one bank to another, most times you have to wait. I'm not saying all banks are like this. You can still find some "old-school" guys and gals out there, but you have to hunt them down, and hope they aren't transferred tomorrow because they are so good. I blame a lot of what is going on with shady loan practices on what I just described. Without someone to give you honest, straightforward answers about lending, you're gonna get screwed in the long run.
My Dad saw it coming. Before he died in June he told me that the Country was headed for a banking crisis the likes of which we've never seen before. He also told me to pay off my credit cards, start cutting back on expenses, and start saving every penny. That should scare everyone reading this. It sure did me.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Animal Crackers

It looks like the cartoon theme for this month is talking animals. This will be the third one I've done so far in July, and we're barely getting started. Anyway, we have an abundance of wildlife here in NE Florida, and every time you turn around there's a wild animal VS. development story. Doesn't matter if it's tortoises, raccoons, manatees, bears (not kidding), or, now, wild boars, urban sprawl keeps bumping up against wildlife habitat. Not a good mix. In one subdivision, people are waking up to find their yards turned into a labyrinth of trenches and craters dug by wild boars looking for grubs. It's gotten to the point that animal control has become overwhelmed. The funny thing is, some old timers are writing in and saying "yeah, I used to hunt out Boar huntin' in the state of Florida." Others are saying , "just let us go in there and hunt again...we'll clear them out REAL fast!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Owners are usually to blame

Pitbulls are not "by nature" vicious dogs. I should know, as I had two of them as pets growing up, and one was probably the kindest animal I've ever come across. I blame the owners, and a cycle of abuse that is directly related to training them to kill one another. Problem is, they can't just turn off that mechanism when it's a small child or helpless individual in front of them. People should not let these types of dogs roam free in neighborhoods. It's a menace, and laws should be put in place to protect the innocent. For this cartoon I wanted to turn the idea of pet adoption on it's ear to make a point about this. Hope it worked.

By the way, since I know my cartooning buddy Clay Jones loves dogs so much (no really - this guy LOVES dogs - sleeps with them plutonically and all that), and I know that he has a Google alert out on his name, I wanted to post his name here to be sure he saw this cartoon. I think he would appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

When they pry it from my cold dead fingers

Most people would probably be surprised to discover that, not only am I a gun owner, but I'm also a strong supporter of the second amendment. That's why when the Supreme Court upheld the public's right to bear arms last Thursday, I applauded them.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

Amen to that. I for one don't want to EVER be unable to defend myself, my family or my property. So, if you're coming over to see me late at night, you sure better give me a call first. Jus' sayin'. Now, as for arming bears, that's a whole nuther story...