Raiment, reticence, and reading

jobfaircheesesticksfirsttimeI attended a law school job fair a couple months ago, which went terribly. I’m very bad at selling myself, especially in a short period of time during an event that’s more about the firms advertising themselves than anything else (e.g. “We’re actually not hiring anyone right now…”). Naturally my thoughts turned philosophical. I hate getting dressed up.

Philosophical thoughts actually seem to be a theme of the last three comics. I like the trope of serious thoughts being undercut by abrupt, practical concerns. The world is a serious place, but it’s also a ridiculous one.

I’ve been re-reading quite a few books lately (specifically, the Animorphs series and The BFG), so even though I drew this comic back in July I thought it would be appropriate to post now. I do wish I could read books I love for the first time again, but the reasons for why that is impossible make for a fun strip.

I’m in the final stretch of law school – only one more sit-down and one more take-home final left to go – and then it’s time for bar prep. My Tolkien calendar for the month of May depicts a scene from the Hobbit chapter “Out of the Frying pan into the Fire”, which I thought eerily apt.


Boxes, weddings, and leftovers

boxesjointweddingleftoversI didn’t draw much over the holidays, but I’ve settled into the spring semester and have been having bursts of creativity.

Lisa and I are big fans of Amazon Prime, so we often have an abundance of cardboard boxes lying around. While this has great utility for wrapping Christmas gifts and entertaining our cats, it does tend to clutter a small apartment. Usually I end up periodically purging the excess cardboard containers, after which the cats will pine and Lisa will lay on the guilt.

We’re getting married in September, and deciding what to do about my characters was more stressful than actually planning our real-life wedding. As you may recall, my characters were engaged the same time we were. My characters have always reflected the events in my own life, and I was struggling to figure out how to show both couples getting married around the same time I was, without it being repetitious or stealing any one couple’s thunder. Really the only solution was to make it a joint wedding, though it took me a while to bite the bullet.

I drew the leftovers comic a while back. Though most of my strips are inspired by true events, this one was a brain wave that came from a Calvin and Hobbes comic and has no relation to anything between me and Lisa; we’re pretty free and easy with our leftovers.

Thanks for reading!

Drawn to me

drawntome(color)This comic was run in the September 2015 issue of The Graduate. In addition to a soft spot for puns, I enjoy “breaking the fourth wall” every once in a while. This is a remake of one of my earliest attempts to do so. The idea for this comic has its genesis in my sophomore year of high school.

Briefs, beliefs, and breaks



I’m done with finals, and that means I get to do a little housekeeping. The first two comics in this post were actually published during the semester in IUPUI’s graduate student newspaper, The Graduate, but I neglected sharing them on the blog. There’s one more in the backlog that I’ll post later.

To me, one of the most difficult things about law school is not cold calls or the complexities of the law: it’s keeping the plaintiff/appellant/petitioner straight from the defendant/appellee/respondent while reading a long procedural history. I participated in moot court this semester, and the first comic was inspired by the same old trouble. I actually ended up doing much of my research for the other side, (though fortunately I caught my mistake much sooner than Chuck!). While it was a disappointing revelation at the time, the end result was a much better brief and an idea for a comic.

The second comic was drawn for silly season, when it’s easy for tempers to run wild. People cheer on their chosen politicians and policies like they cheer on sports teams, and loyalties for the former can be just as irrational as for the latter. C.S. Lewis wrote, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” I think no matter how convinced you are about the wrongness of a person’s politics, they are still due the respect and reverence of a fellow human being. People need to keep that in mind before they share their next scathing political image macro on social media.

Ironically, I’ve gotten less pleasure reading done in first few days of Christmas break than in the last few days of finals. Time management is one of those things that gets screwy the less restrictions you actually have. I’ve been getting a lot of things done that I was leaving till after finals, so my days have been pretty full (and will be more full once holiday plans with friends and family really kick into gear). But it’s a good kind of full.

In spite of all the inherent obstacles, I hope all of your holidays turn out to be relaxing and reflective as well.

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.