Friday, October 31, 2008

Published in Stern

I found out last night that Germany's most read news and lifestyle magazine STERN (15 million visitors monthly on it's website) has published one of my cartoons. Which makes me think of one of my favorite Norm McDonald lines... "Germans LOVE Ed Hall." Actually he said "Germans Love David Hassellhoff." I guess he's OK too.

Anyway, it's this cartoon that they published, which is kinda cool seeing as it looks like he's gonna be our next President. Some of my colleagues have been concerned that we could conceivably have trouble "going after" a President Obama, to which I reply: he's a politician! Trust me, he'll do something stupid!
Anyway, I had to go to to get the heading translated from German to English, But here's what they put under the cartoon:
What comes? If it concerns in Barrack Obama a telegenen Showstar, that only bl├╝merant speaks, the sweet woods raspelt, like in the cartoon of Ed hall (USA) - and like it an age old New-yorker-cartoon already once a candidate into the mouth put has: I promise you that I will be just as charming after my choice, like previously!
I think what that means is he will continue his flowery prose even after being elected. And if that's how they saw it, then they got it. Which is a relief. I'd hate to disappoint the Germans.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last syndicate cartoon of the week

I don't know about you, but I've often marveled at the sheer volume of automobiles that are produced in this country every day, and wondered what would happen if no one showed up to buy them. Looks like that's finally happening. It also looks like GM is attempting a merger with Chrysler in hopes of saving it's rotting carcass. We'll see if that works, or if Chrysler "bites." Don't forget to give me a shout, or sign up as a follower of my blog. It's pretty pathetic when I look down there (see bottom of this page) and only one person is following me. Snort!

Oh well, Happy weekend!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Another in the series

Here's another Samurai-Geisha. I decided with this illustration to show her in a rare moment of contemplation & stillness (usually she's jumping, striking, or just generally moving very quickly). I thought this might be a nice change of pace.
It won't last long. She'll be back to chopping heads off in no time.

New syndicate cartoon

Here's my first syndicate cartoon of the week. I go through spells sometimes (I'm in one right now) when I'm struggling for ideas, but this cartoon hit home for me. It was one of those, "where the hell did that come from?" cartoon moments. Those are usually the best. With the election Tuesday, I knew I wanted to get something in on the vote, so here it is. Enjoy.

Samurai/Geisha - structural form

Here's a quick morning sketch to show how I'm using the Manga structure to build some of these now. You should be able to see how the simple construction elements used in Manga can help to create an illustration with depth and volume of form. I start by getting the three major volumes of the figure in correct proportion to one another (head, hips, torso), then I build the contour onto this rigid structure, and finally I add color and shade. It's a pretty effective way to get the figure drawn quickly, but I am not trying to go strictly Manga here. I would like to think that they are somewhere between Manga and traditional figure drawing. I also try to pick poses that are out of the ordinary, where the figure is in a kind of mid-pose; not at rest, but also not in full motion either.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Florida Press Club Awards

We drove down to Daytona Saturday night for The 2008 Florida Press Club Awards, and we had a great time. That included being invited to the President's "wrap" party afterwards, where we mingled with some of the other award winners until the wee hours.

Here's me accepting my award.

And here's me, clowning around with FPC President Jennifer Cason. She was a little nervous, so I decided to lighten the mood by having my picture taken with her in the middle of the ceremony. Funny thing is, several others did the same thing after I started the trend!

Jennifer did a great job.

Man, look at all those awards!

Here we are with a really nice guy we met when we first got there. Clayton Park - he's a Senior Editor for The Volusia/Flagler Business Report in Daytona.

And here's the dessert I couldn't eat. Damn you lactose intolerance!

Patrol Dog Model Sheet

Here's a character design/model sheet I'm working on for a possible book deal. I won't comment too much yet - I'll just say it's for a children's book.

Posting this again

Here's a Barack Obama walk cycle that I did at the beginning of the year - back when I thought I was going to get into Flash animation more heavily. For some reason I thought I might post it again in hopes that it will inspire me to continue, and do some more political animations. The learning curve is pretty steep in Flash, but now that I've done this, maybe I can move on to more complex animations. This is the look I'd like to see in more animations these days. The classic Chuck Jones model, only political. The problem is, most animators are too lazy to learn the basic fundamentals, so it just looks like a rarefied flip book. There are exceptions, and I shouldn't spout of too much until my stuff gets a little more along, but short, to the point, classically animated snippets are what we need in the field of editorial cartooning. OK, I'll slowly slide my soapbox back under the bed now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday Sketch

We had a male model this Sunday; and a pretty good one at that. He held his poses well, and was able to do a reclining pose for 90 minutes at the end of class. I'm not gonna comment too much on these, as I was experimenting with some different techniques during class (ink wash mostly). I did manage to work back into a couple of them in Photoshop.

The long pose is the pencil drawing at the bottom of this post. Enjoy.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Finished illustration from earlier today

As promised, here's the finished illustration from the ink I was working on in today's videos. Tomorrow I'm off to Daytona to pick up my award. More on Sunday or Monday. Let me hear from you!


More video of yours truly

You guys asked for it, so here it is; another video of me inking my Samurai-Geisha illustrations. This is in two parts because the video ran a little long - sorry. I'll post the finished illustration in color here later, but in the meantime, enjoy the video! BTW, while you're here, why not take a second to become a follower of this blog? Just go to the bottom of this page and click on follow this blog. That way, when I update, you'll be the first to know about it. I look forward to hearing from you all. -Ed

Last cartoon of the week

Woo hoo! Finally finished. I've got a ton of stuff going on this weekend, so I wanted to get this posted early. Saturday we're driving down to Daytona for The Florida Press Club Awards. A couple of months ago I was informed that I'd won, so I figured, why not take a short drive down I-95 and scarf some prime rib and salmon on a Saturday night? I promise to have some photos of the event posted on Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, we've got drawing class again, so Monday should bring some new and, hopefully interesting sketches. Stay tooned for that. Also, on Sunday we're going to see Los Lonely Boys in concert at The St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Their guitarist is one of the few I've seen that can even get close to an SRV sound, so I owe it to myself to at least see him in concert once. I'm really looking forward to that as well. Anyway, I hope everyone else has a grand time over the next two days. Put that 401K statement in a drawer, hit the ATM, and let's party like it's 1999! Sorry, 2099!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Thursday Surprise!

Here's a video I shot today of me inking one of my Samurai-Geishas. There's been a lot of interest in this character, so I thought I'd show a few steps in the inking process, with a few notes along the way. Enjoy!

Here's the finished product post-Photoshop and color.

Another rescued gesture

Here's another one, rescued from the depths of the figure drawing archives. The gesture was pretty rough, but I liked the pose, so I gave it a try. I think I liked the way her left arm was tucked up next to her body, and her hand was next to her face. That simple gesture coveys what I'm trying to get at with this character - she's sweet and dangerous at the same time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I've got a follower!

Hey - that's cool. My first follower on my blog! I know there's more of you out there, so take a second to go to the bottom of this page and sign up. That way you'll know every time I update. I look forward to chatting with you soon.

BTW, I've finally gotten around to updating I couldn't believe it had been 3 months since I updated. That's probably because everything is always posted and commented on here first, so the need for a website is getting kinda slim. At any rate, there may be a few cartoons that slipped through the cracks here, so take a second to go over and have a look. I look forward to hearing from you.



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tuesday's rescued gesture

Here's another gesture drawing that I've turned into a Samurai-Geisha illustration. I skinnied the figure up a little and added the front foot. I'm enjoying experimenting with the build up of the form in these sketches and adding the "uniform" to accentuate the pose. I'm still not quite sure where these are headed - some kind of a series, but I haven't made a decision about the context yet. I did a comic page layout, but I wasn't too happy with the results, so I haven't posted it. Maybe soon. In the meantime, enjoy.

Global is local

With the Mega-banks in such terrible shape, a lot is being reported these days about small local banks that still work with a hand shake and good credit. That got me to thinking about fiscal responsibility at home, and that got me to thinking about this cartoon. The "Fed Speak" that the kid dictates in the first panel is actually translated from a speech by Alan Greenspan (man do I love Google). I changed the words a bit to fit a household budget. You'll probably have to click on the image to read the copy. I thought I'd use Times Roman to give it a more formal speech appeal. Enjoy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday morning warmup - rescued gesture

I thought it might be a good idea to warm up this morning by taking another one of my "junk gesture" drawings and turning it into a new Samurai-Geisha illustration. I think I might like this one the most of all the poses I've done so far. It's aggressive and passive at the same time which I find intriguing.

Here's the gesture drawing (not much to go on here).

And here's the Samurai-Geisha. I had to invent some of the things I couldn't quite make out in the gesture drawing, but I think it came out OK. This is turning out to be a really good way for me to limber up my drawing hand on the Wacom tablet in the morning. For people struggling with drawing on the computer, I usually prescribe at least an hour a day of just sketching with your tablet. Practice your line weights, brush types, the opacity of your lines, and try to get a smooth flowing line without any jaggies. This will improve your line quality and help you to transition to digital drawing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another rescued gesture

Here's the third in this series from my "junk gesture" file. I'll post both, so that you can see where it came from.

The gesture.

And the finished drawing.

Sunday *digital* sketch class

I decided to bring my laptop to class today and draw on the Wacom tablet. I feel pretty good about the results, although I'm still fighting with the operating system a bit (stupid Vista!). I don't think Photoshop CS3 likes Vista, because I keep crashing mid-drawing. I finally started saving every 5 minutes or so, but I did lose at least one full drawing today. Anyway, I'm going to post just a few of the 3 minute gestures. I also had a couple of interesting longer poses. Here's everything. Comments welcome.

Everything you see here was drawn directly from life on a Wacom tablet. I did work back into the last couple of drawings in Photoshop when I got home, but not too much.

I wanted to push the darks in this next drawing.
It was pretty dark from my side of the room, so I looked for the heavy shadows to build the form.

I really like drawing from this model. She has a classical form, holds a pose like a stone, and always makes me look good.

For once, it looks like everything is clickable. So click on each drawing to see more detail. Enjoy, and let me hear form you!


Friday, October 17, 2008

Another rescued gesture

Here's another from the Rescued Gesture series I started at the beginning of the week. I've included the original gesture, the B&W ink layer, and then the finished Samurai/Geisha with that original pose in color, so you can see the progression.

On a related note, I'm going to be taking my laptop to drawing class this weekend. I'm also bringing a drop cord so I don't run out of juice again and crash. Here's hoping I can come up with some interesting stuff working directly on the Wacom tablet. Wish me luck!



PBS - 9 to 5 interview re-released locally

Here's an interview with yours truly that was taped at the end of last year, in which I discuss what I do as an Editorial Cartoonist. This was from a series of interviews entitled 9 to 5, which offer a glimpse inside the lives of Jacksonville professionals with interesting professions. The interview aired last night on our local PBS affiliate WJCT. I knew something was up because I started getting phone calls and emails from friends saying, "Hey man, turn on the TV! You're on TV!" Previously it had only been available as a podcast at the WJCT website, but I guess they finally decided to release it over the airwaves.

I must give a huge "shout out" to the videographer, Stephen Jones. What a talented guy. Heck, if you can make me look & sound good, you MUST be doing something right! Enjoy.


I should have known that 15 other cartoonists might have this same idea. Sure enough, this morning I've seen several John The Plumber cartoons (although, I will say, I'm the only one who actually put him in the toilet). Anyway, when this happens in the cartooning business we call it a Yahtzee, and I hate to be involved in one. I hate it because it means that either I just drew the first thing that popped into my head, or i was too lazy to think the idea out to it's logical conclusion, or that I forgot that because it was such an obvious idea EVERYONE might do it, or all of the above. Whatever the case, here's my contribution to today's editorial cartooning Yahtzee. BTW, I'll be really glad when John McCain is gone. I hate drawing him.
More stuff later.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Keepin' it real - two local toons

Here's a couple of my local cartoons from this week. I usually don't like to do too many lame, Halloween inspired cartoons, because I'll get slapped on the list Clay Jones compiles every year of lame, Halloween inspired cartoons, but I was pressed for time and the idea of using the Charter Amendment costume was just too intriguing. (That's two now Clay, in case you're counting). Most people in St. Johns County are still confused as to whether or not it will be a good thing for the county to switch over to a charter Govt. so this idea seemed worth pursuing.

The second cartoon deals with the dried up capital market, and it's effect on large-scale commercial projects along our intracoastal waterway. It is a simple cartoon, drawn kinda sparse (for me anyway), but I think I like the way it came out.

New Project - Rescued Gestures

I've decided to start taking some of my throw-away 30 second gesture drawings - the ones that I just leave to rot in my digital figure drawing folder - and work them up in Photoshop. I'm calling these Rescued Gestures for obvious reasons. This exercise does a couple of things for me. First, and foremost, it's great practice in digital inking. Secondly, I don't feel like I'm wasting any of my drawings by giving them a second life in the digital format. And, thirdly, while I'm inking these on a separate layer in Photoshop, I discover things in the gestures that my sub-conscious mind picked up, that I had never noticed while making the physical drawing. For instance, the bulge below a hand as it presses down on top of the buttocks. The shape of a shadow as it passes over the figure, the actual shape of the calf muscle. All things that I never noticed while I was drawing it from life. This is intriguing, because it means that your eye can pick up things that your brain doesn't necessarily notice at first. Here's the first in the series. They're quick and dirty in Photoshop (I think I like that style), and I'll be posting the finished drawing and then the gesture, so you can see where it came from. I'm currently, as I'm typing this, having a deja vu, so I suspect that this might be something I've tried before. We'll see how it goes.

Here's the drawing.

And here's the gesture. As you can see the gesture was pretty rough, but if you look closely, it's amazing the detail that your eye picks up in 30 seconds of drawing. There's something in that frantic act of making as many marks as you can in a compressed amount of time that must flow directly from the eye to the hand.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'd appreciate your vote

Click here.

More Flyin' Geishas!

Here she is in an upside down kick to the lower mid-section. oomph!

This pose was a bit more challenging than some I've done.


New stuff

Over the past few months people have been requesting the ability to subscribe to this blog. When I started my first blog almost 5 years ago, I couldn't imagine how blogging would change the face of the Internet, and how it would help me to get my work seen by thousands. It has - so now (if you'd like), you can subscribe to my blog at the bottom of this page. That way, when I update, you'll be the first to know about it. You can also sign up as a follower of the blog, and a list will be started on the site. I look forward to hearing from you guys and gals in the coming months, and continuing to post stuff of interest. So don't be shy - leave me a message and get on board as a Halltoons Blog subscriber! I'm glad to have you.



One other thing: Someone requested that I post the pre-Photoshop rendering of one of my drawings. Well, here it is - straight photograph, charcoal only. You can scroll down to see the drawing after it was worked back into. EH

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two toons on the economy

These ideas have been bouncing around in my head for a couple of days, and I finally got around to inking them today. I've also started to work back into the drawings a lot more in Photoshop - layers, textures, different brushes. Can you tell?
Anyway, I love it when I can use a national topic cartoon for one of my local papers. Both of these did the trick this week. The rule of thumb for me is, if it effects the common man or woman on the ground, then it works on a local level, and I'll use it for both.
I really wanted to do a Halloween cartoon so I could get on the annual Lame Halloween Cartoon list run by my buddy Clay Jones. Here's that one. You might have to wait a few days for the list. He's compiling it as we speak.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I've been blogged!

A really nice write up about my work, and my blog.
Thank you dear blogger! You made my Monday.

Here's the link.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Sketch Class

We had sketch class today, and when I got these drawings back home and into Photoshop, I was able to experiment a bit with them. This first one, I would call one of those beautiful mistakes that happen sometimes when you're trying something totally different. Here, I was trying to do a fill, and accidentally created a patterning across the figure that I really liked. So I left it, and worked back into the drawing with some black and defined the feet more because they were in the front. I also tilted the drawing board when I photographed this, to emphasize the low perspective and dramatic foreshortening (click on the image to see the larger, more graphic patterning in the image).


Here's another one that I worked back into, but this time with a little more definition to my line. I'm really starting to enjoy inking in Photoshop now. One of my cartoonist friends was asking me if this was helping my cartoon inking, and I'd have to say yes.

Usually, I put my gesture drawings first in the post, but I think that today, I'll sprinkle them throughout.

I also wanted to do something that I had done last week - take a gesture drawing and ink over it to create a more stylized image. I'll post the gesture and the final drawing.

I like this last drawing too. After 3 hours, I was finally able to get her body proportions down. She was a good model, and I enjoyed drawing her. More cartoons next week. Let me hear form you!