Monthly Archives: June 2012

Sketchbook Saturday

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More miscellaneous doodles.

I’m noticing a pattern with the ‘guy-standing-on-something’ theme.

And, frankly, you can never have enough drawings of old Amish guys in your sketchbook.

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Clowning Around

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Like many, I find clowns kinda creepy.

Some people grow up wanting to be firemen, astronauts, doctors and so on, but I’m fascinated by those who aspire to clownhood (Is that a word? Of course not, I made it up). I mean, what compels individuals to suddenly wake up one day and think, “Hmm…I want to be a clown”…?

Is it fame and glory? Money? I don’t know.

True story: I was in San Diego on a business trip a few years ago. On the way back, while waiting in the over-crowded security line – there was a lone guy dressed up as clown. Seriously. Top to bottom…the nose, the hair, the shoes…everything.

And he got through.

Although, I’m pretty certain they confiscated his seltzer bottle.

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream…

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Hey, I’m certainly not above shilling my work when it appears elsewhere….here’s one
that showed up in yesterday’s (6/26) Wall St. Journal.

For the record, I happen to like vanilla, chocolate chip, and butter pecan.

Around our neck of the woods, we happen to have a variety of places to hit for that ice cream fix,
from the mom and pop places and the retro-style soda fountains, to the upscale ’emporiums’, there’s something for everyone.

The concoctions always include a dizzyingly decadent array of elaborate sundaes,
cones, waffle cones, sprinkle-dip, chocolate dip, floats, sodas and so on.

There’s even an A&W still around –  with their awesome-tacular root beer floats.

Sigh.

In other words, everything that truly makes summer taste great.

Unfortunately, I think I just gained 3 pounds writing about it.

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That’s Showbiz

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After re-reading yesterday’s post I decided to give it an award..for, like, longest…Lake Effect…post…ever.

Carpal tunnel-inducing it may have been, it was a blast to write. Thanks again, Christine!

So, I was thinkin’…we live in what may well be the most ‘look at me’ culture in history. We have American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, Funny Home Videos…you get the idea.

If you can sing, rap, dance, play, clog, contort your body, sing opera, tell jokes, do magic tricks, juggle chainsaws and chew gum while doing armpit farts…there’s a show somewhere for you to strut yer stuff.

And talent/variety shows are nothing new, really. Ed McMahon rolled out Star Search in the 80’s and it was a huge hit…annoying as hell, but huge.

Anyway, I think I entered a talent show one time in my life. It involved me and some other kid doing “Wipe-Out” on a snare drum on stage. You might know the song – it’s the one with the incessant drum solo. The fact that neither of us played drums all that well wasn’t about to stop us. It was my big moment…my first step towards what I was certain would be many years in showbiz doing “Wipe-Out” drum solos from here to Branson Missouri…and we went down in a blaze of apathy to a completely disinterested 4th grade class.

Apparently, I didn’t learn my lesson, because to this day, I’ve been known to perform with my band to almost empty bars, where all you can hear are crickets chirping.

Funny, how things never change.

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The Beautiful Blogger Award

I gotta say, I wasn’t expecting this.

The amazing Christine over at http://baarmychris.wordpress.com/  nominated my humble little slice of cyberspace with a Beautiful Blogger Award, and frankly, I’m absolutely flattered, with a lotta blushing thrown in too.

You see, when I started this, it was simply a means to express and communicate not only my ideas, doodles and random lunacy, but also a life-long love of cartooning. If people enjoyed it, even better. When someone goes out of their way to recognize your work it makes it very worthwhile…you suddenly realize that people are reading…and acknowledging.

And that’s pretty cool.

So, you should check her blog out…it’s loaded with awesome writing and slice-of-life observations from across the pond (that’s the UK, for us Yanks). If you like crisp writing with your ‘funny’, head over there…like, now.

Christine – thank you so much – I’m honored!

And, now on this occasion, I hear tell I have to write seven things about myself, (see official TBBA rules at end of post!) so here goes:

1.    I have an awesome wife (33 years together and 29, married), the incredible Miss J, two sons and the aforementioned (well, in a previous post) two punk Bichon Frises.
2.    I have a blues/swing band, and I play guitar and do the singing. We have 2 cds out and play all over the Northeast Ohio area.
3.    Oh, yeah…I don’t sing…I ‘yell’ on key.
4.    I love all forms of music.
5.    My favorite bands ever…and I mean, ever…are The Beatles and Wilco.
6.    I really like eye wear. I could never do contacts…I wear bifocals though, so it’s an expensive habit.
7.    Favorite food is sushi…hands down.
8.    I love McDonald’s fries.
9.    I collect old baseball cards and comics.
10.  I love cartooning.

Next up is a list of bloggers I think you need to check out – they’re my nominees for The Beautiful Blogger Award …they’re awesome and deserve acknowledgement as well…

http://baarmychris.wordpress.com/ – yep, it’s Christine’s blog, and it’s a fun read – see above!

http://ashleyjillian.com/ – Make a beeline to this blog for some pretty kick-ass writing, from what clearly is a very funny person. She writes, does improv and I think she’s a big deal. She’s hilarious…get on the Jillian train now…she’s going places.

http://drivelology.wordpress.com/ She’s swears a lot, and she’s funny. She also puts some nice food photos on the site which makes me hungry. It’s called Drivelology…as in ‘drivel’ and ‘ology’ – go to the site, she’ll explain it to ya. Fun and a good read.

http://interiorstockholm.wordpress.com/ As a graphic designer, I love good design (particularly mid-century graphic design, architecture and furniture)…if you’re an interior design hepcat looking for a fix, look no further. This blog is loaded with stimulating imagery from all over the world of interior design. Awesome.

http://ourprocess.wordpress.com/ I love this guy’s drawings…very different and visually engaging. Great stuff!

http://elizabethmichaudjohn.wordpress.com/ She writes phenomenal poetry as well as short horror stories…even great lifestyle pieces. Excellent work…engaging and high quality.

http://jodiambroseblog.com/ Relationship and lifestyle stuff – hilarious x 100. A must-read blog.

http://funnynamesblog.com/ The name says it all. Awesome writing and impressive research. Funny, informative and easily digestible, this blog is a must-repeat visit. The fact that we use the same wordpress theme clearly shows what world-class taste we both have. Bookmark this blog right now.

http://slapppshotblog.com/ Outstanding slice of life musings from a very talented writer. It’s about a dad, his daughter and their dog, but that’s way to simple…just read the blog – they’ll become like family.

http://cristianmihai.net/ An outstanding writer who understands the ever-evolving relationship between content, self-publishing and the internet. Very nice work.

http://ericsandy.com/ and http://ericsandy.tumblr.com/ both excellent blogs from one of northeast Ohio’s best award winning writers…politics, music and everything in between. Great stuff and a must read.

I could list more…so many more…the effort of creating and maintaining a blog is very apparent to me and I’m in awe of anyone who can keep one going. So, I intend to do some nominating of my own. I’ll just say this: every blog I check out is an inspiration and I’m glad to be in their company!

And lastly, I’ve been requested to respond to some questions…here goes:

1. What is your favorite colour? black
2. What is your favorite animal? Dogs
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Diet Dr. Pepper
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter? Facebook, but I’m on both.
5. What is your favorite pattern? Sunny and partly cloudy.
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents? Both!
7. What is your favorite number? 4.345
8. What is your favorite day of the week? Fridays
9. What is your favorite flower? Gold Medal
10. What’s your passion? My family, music and my cartoons.

So, that should do it – thanks again to Christine – I’m humbled and honored!

Lastly, for those I’ve nominated, here’s a run-down of the BBA rules:

– Include the award logo somewhere on tour blog.

– Make a list of 10-15 blogs you’d like to nominate

– Pay the love forward. Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.

– Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.

– Answer the ten questions above

– Write 7 things about yourself

Whew…I think that’s it…Anyway, that’s a helluva way to start off a week!

I guess not all Mondays suck.

Sketchbook Saturday

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Random doodles.

Hmm…that sounds like a great name for a band.

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The Art Of Funny

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In my Art Of Funny post on 6/16, I talked about spontaneity. I mentioned my roughs approach and I wanted to expand on the subject a tad.

Not that it’s anything revelatory – most cartoonists operate this way to one extent or the other, but in an interesting paradox, I do most of the heavy lifting – composition, layout, tangent spot-check (a real stickler), kerning (if needed) and all the time-chewing stuff in the rough stage. It’s after that, when I go to do the ‘finish’, that I can actually loosen up and ink with a bit of a carefree approach, thus letting me rely on the also-discussed ‘intuition’ and allowing stylistic ephemera to augment the drawing.

I thought about this as I read about Nik Wallenda doing the tightrope act last week over Niagara Falls. Days prior to the stunt there had been a lot of noise between ABC and Wallenda about his wish to have no support – ABC insisted he use a tether. I don’t blame them, given the family history, and the event being live TV. No one wants to see someone fall like that. Well…it is TV after all, so I’m sure some reality show would’ve loved it.

But my point is, Wallenda walked across the Falls with an insurance policy, that in no way undermined the amazing thing he was doing.

While not even close to being as dramatic, that’s kinda what working off a good rough is like.

I know…I’m now firmly in the cartoonist ‘geek’ zone.

 

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Inboxing

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At one time, I was in a Program Director role at my job. Pretty demanding, frankly. Often, I was triple-booked all the over the building…and without a hologram to stand in for me.

Anyway, every time I went on vacation, I’d come back to an onslaught of emails. My record was over a thousand.

In a little over a week’s time.

The only way to deal with it, was to put ‘em all in a personal folder, and get back to them when I had time. Otherwise, the email system jams up and you can’t receive or send.

So, they’re still in that personal folder. Thousands, actually.

It’s like an email landfill.

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