Fairness, festivity, and football


I’ve been drawing less often since the semester began, but I haven’t been entirely idle. This year I unfortunately neglected my usual Halloween comic, and I didn’t realize I had done so until we returned from attending a Halloween wedding out of state – so I think I at least have a partial excuse.

The first comic is a situation I’ve fortunately only experienced once in my life, and it actually ended up being a fun experience since I was with friends at the time. It’s a common refrain that life isn’t fair, but in the day-to-day affairs, it kind of is. Our own negligence leads to natural consequences. It’s best to accept responsibility for our errors and not get bent out of shape.

My Christmas music comes on as soon as the last trick-or-treater goes to bed. I see a lot of social media posts from Scrooges claiming that getting into the Christmas spirit too early somehow violates the sanctity of Thanksgiving, but the fact of the matter is the rest of the world doesn’t have Thanksgiving (except Canada, but they have it earlier) and is already gearing up for Christmas. I’ll still enjoy my turkey and football even if I’m jamming with my boy Wenceslas for a few weeks beforehand.

The Monday Night Football Bible study idea is one that’s been in my notebook for ages, but I’ve always forgotten to draw it in time for Monday. Well, this year I remembered. Enjoy!


Piece of paper

pieceofpaper(color)This Sunday strip is Ralph and Chuck’s first comic published in the Graduate, IUPUI’s new student-run paper for graduate and professional students. My goal with this comic was to introduce the strip to a new set of readers. I already have another strip planned for the second issue.

A comic strip is a relatively small thing, but I’ve always felt the medium has a personal touch all its own. I love the simplicity, the economy of space and line, and the ease with which the reader can project themselves on to the cartoon characters. I thought the idea in this strip represented much of what I love about comics.


Pets, preferences, and politics

catcrashmexicangrassrootsThe common theme of these last three comics seems to be “Ralph being interrupted while trying to read.” Reading a book seems like a pretty common stock activity; I ought to switch that up more.

I think cat owners can relate to sounds of destruction taking place in another room. To cats, everything in the home belongs on the floor.

I saw a post online the other day along the lines of “I wish that instead of guys saying ‘whatever you want’ when we ask about dinner, they’d leave a black dress on a hanger with a note saying ‘wear this, I’ll pick you up at 8.'” I laughed.

Reducing hot air begins at the dinner table. Political junkies will have their fix, but things can change fast in presidential campaign season, week to week and even day to day. I’m still following politics as it happens, but considering Indiana’s primary isn’t until May of 2016, I find it hard to care about a bunch of primary candidates that are going to be gone by then. Wake me up when the field’s been whittled down.

I keep announcing imminent news, but I’m still waiting for solid confirmation of when it’s happening. Just so you don’t think I’m stringing you along, long story short, Ralph and Chuck is going to be in print again at IUPUI. I’ll give more details as I know them.

Thanks for reading!


Body spray, boredom, and books

Have some comics!

The first comic is obviously poking fun about how so-called feminists view everything is as somehow upholding “the patriarchy.” If you’re going to be angry, at least be angry about something substantive.

I’m not sure where I got the idea from comic number two. I remember a Calvin and Hobbes strip where Calvin asks his dad about whether spontaneous combustion was possible before popping the bag, and I the idea must have stuck in my head. I worked backwards from there.

My fiancée is very forgiving of the rate of book accumulation in our small apartment. When we eventually move to a bigger place it’s going to be a nightmare (but worth it).

Still waiting on some confirmation on that big news; I should know by next week!


Fireflies, fear, and philosophy

firefliesborrowbookfateorfreewillIt has been a pretty fantastic summer for me, when I stop to think about it. The uptick in my drawing I guess is partly a result of that.

The first comic is my attempt to be purely artistic. Watching the fireflies come out is one of the purest and earliest joys I can associate with summer.

I think every book lover has gone through a similar struggle at some point. Someone wants to borrow a book. In theory this is great, because one of the best parts about enjoying a book is sharing that enjoyment with others, and you certainly don’t want to discourage interest in your favorites. But inevitably it takes forever to get it back, and the whole time there’s an empty spot on your carefully organized shelf where that book is supposed to be, and what if the worst happens? The book is stolen or destroyed (I’ve had both happen to books of mine)! And then you think, “no thanks, I’ll keep it on my shelf where it belongs.”

The final comic is a bit of armchair philosophizing. Sometimes we can get so caught up in trying to determine why things are the way they are that we forget that the mere act of wondering is pretty amazing in and of itself.

I have some exciting news (for me, at least) associated with the comic coming up in the next week  or so. Stay tuned!


Magically delicious

magicallydelicious(color)Eating a bowl of just marshmallow bits is one of those bucket-list items that I expect doesn’t measure up to the imagination, especially if one is over the age of 12 or so.

Plus you’d have to eat all of the toasted oats on their own if you didn’t want to be wasteful. Fortunately I have comic strip characters to experience the regret so I don’t have to.


Dinosaurs, reading time, and bad jokes

necessitiestimetoreadrentalApologies for not posting sooner. I was doing my semi-annual reread of The Lord of the Rings and got some tunnel vision.

I was always an action figure kid. Last time I was in Walmart I was sorely tempted by a new Velociraptor toy. Fortunately my more prudent side won out.

I’ve been asked how I find so much time to read (especially while in grad school), and I’m never sure how to answer that question. Honestly, I just read instead of doing other things. I don’t play many video games, I don’t binge-watch television shows, and I’m an introvert who doesn’t go out a lot. My free time is spent reading (when I’m not drawing).

The sumo suit idea was sitting in my notebook for a long time. It took me a while to come up with a soft punch line I was happy with. I kept coming back to how impractical it would be to get a sumo suit for a one-off joke.

Thanks for reading!


Parasites, privilege, and power

mosquitoprivilegecheckacThe summer rolls on, and so do my opportunities to draw.

The first comic is based on a conversation I had with a friend. It’s a good thing the seasons are seasonal. I love each season for different reasons, but there are also things I don’t miss when they decide to change.

The second comic is an idea that’s been sitting in my notebook for a while. Ralph went to the doctor’s office, but you can get a free privilege consultation just about anywhere online. I’m all for having some perspective, but oftentimes “privilege” is used as a means to shut someone up, which is something I don’t ever like.

It’s starting to get to that point in the summer where we’re reaching for the thermostat. I’m a fan of using as little power as possible and sweating it out for a cheap energy bill, but my fiancée isn’t. The third comic is based on a joke that I saw somewhere online (including Hobbits also has to do with my re-reading Lord of the Rings), but the thermostat struggle is real.

I’ve recently discovered the GoComics app, and I love it. Lately I’ve only been able to read comic strips in the newspaper when I visit my parents’ place, but this app lets me read almost everything I get in the paper at home (and then some), daily, right on my phone. I can also swipe backwards and see comics that I missed, so I’ll never be out of the loop again when my mom wants to discuss Luann.


Attractiveness, trade-offs, and chivalry

senseofhumorwingschivalryI’ve managed to keep drawing this summer, and I find that it gets easier the more I do it. Taking the pressure off by allowing myself to be satisfied with simpler black-and-white comics (i.e. not feeling obligated to add color to each one) has been a big incentive towards more output. Simple line drawings have always been what appealed to me most, anyway; the cartoons are what got me to fall in love with comic strips in the first place. I love that a few simple lines can create such compelling images, and I’m told that as a kid I would often work exclusively in black crayon.

The first comic was inspired by my observation that the fairer sex values looks much less than the less-fair sex, a phenomenon that we should be continually thankful for. At 24 I’ve already been struck by male-pattern baldness, and I’m lucky to have a lady who doesn’t care.

The second comic is, if you’ll pardon me, a fairly common experience for me (though exaggerated here). I quite like the hot wings from KFC, but I always regret them later. But what’s life if it’s not a series of trade-offs?

I’ve never stooped quite so low to avoid cleaning up a mess like Chuck did in comic number three, but it’s worth pointing out that the unwritten rule that the first person to notice a pet mess must be the one to clean it up is open to exploitation.

I’m about to start my semi-annual rereading of The Lord of the Rings, so if any comics in the near future contain hobbits and wizards, you’ll know why.


Shakespeare, shoulder tapping, and social media


taprudeI’ve been neglecting my comics, and I want to change that.

Honestly, for something that I enjoy so much, I’m not sure why I put them off so much. Law school is busy, sure, but I have free time. My comics just haven’t been high on the list of priorities (I’ve been reading, mostly), but they should be. Summer is as good a time as any to get back into it.

The “wherefore” comic was inspired by a tweet. The other two are ideas that have been in my notebook for a while. I love breaking the fourth wall, and the whole “tapping the opposite shoulder” thing was something my friends and I did all the time in high school.

The final comic was based on a conversation with my fiancée. My tolerance for controversial topics is much higher than most, and Lisa is sometimes my filter for when something should be left unsaid (and I really should utilize her more often.)

In other news, check out the Stripped documentary.  The film (and breaking out my Calvin and Hobbes books) is part of what lit a fire under me to start drawing again.