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.



02houseworkNothing like a deadline for a fifteen-page paper for coming up with comic ideas!

In all seriousness, I’ve found a clean and orderly environment is helpful before working on a big assignment. Taking care of all the little things before sitting down and putting in several hours of writing can do wonders for anxiety and focus. Putting off a paper to draw comics is another story entirely.

I was experimenting with contrast in this comic, and I think the effect is pretty successful. I wanted a few solid blocks of ink, and I think it has the benefit of helping the eye more easily distinguish different elements in each panel. It was fun to focus in on the little details that really improve the overall effect of the comic, even if they go unnoticed.

Well, back to work!


Halloween 2014

03halloween2014(color)Ralph as Groot; Chuck as Smaug; Lily as Taylor Swift; Sarah as Elsa

I almost forgot to do a Halloween comic this year. But then I had an image of Chuck flapping around yelling “I AM DEATH” and the rest followed. I also wanted to take care of it now rather than rushing to get it finished on Halloween (I’ve finished late in years past). I have social engagements, as well as a paper to write this weekend.

The plan was to stick to just pen and ink for a while, but how can I do all of these great costumes without color? Not only do they look better in color, but they’re more easily recognizable. And as long as I want to do color, I’m not going to arbitrarily limit myself. Part of the reason I wanted to work in just black and white for a while is so I wouldn’t feel so obligated to make every strip in color; but if I’m excited about it, it’s not work.


Back after a long hiatus

01catsittingBack after a long hiatus. Bill Watterson’s collaboration with Stephen Pastis led to watching Dear Mr. Watterson, which led to digging my Complete Calvin and Hobbes out of moving boxes, which led to picking up paper and pencil again. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself why you draw in the first place.

Getting back to basics experimenting with an artist’s pen instead of feeding it through Illustrator. The way I was doing comics before was getting pretty rote and tedious. I’ve decided to go sans color for a while and get back to line drawing (which is my favorite thing to do anyway). I’m feeling more invested in every line. I’m also feeling VERY out of practice.

Don’t expect a flurry of activity. Law school is still law school. But this is some therapy I’ve been needing, and it’s long overdue.


Introduction and introspection

citizenintrobetterbookRalph and Chuck is going to be published in IUPUI’s Campus Citizen. I’m looking forward to actually seeing my characters in print again. To introduce the strip to the campus, a new introductory comic was needed. The last time I did a strip like this was for the IDS, way back in 2010:

idspilotwebNot a whole lot has changed, other than the location and the pending marital status. Both mimic the first Garfield strip.

The next comic offers a bit of insight into what makes me tick. Over the last few years I’ve made a point of studying the Bible, and my faith and reliance on Christ has grown exponentially (thanks to Goodreads motivation, I know I’ve closely read about 60% of the King James Version). Law school has been one of the biggest challenges in my life, and my growing trust in God has been a big influence in how I approach both school and the other challenges that I’ve come across since graduation.

A big paper and finals are coming up much faster than I’d like, but I hope I can still get a comic out once a week during the last leg of the semester.


Swimsuits and scrutiny

ImageThis comic is still relevant, barely. Spring break for the law students starts tomorrow!

I didn’t glean enough from the laptop screen to become quite as knowledgeable as Chuck, but I did see enough to be amused of my classmate’s use of her time. You’ll pardon me if “minimum scrutiny with teeth” didn’t have my “strict scrutiny” that afternoon.


Everything is awesome

legomovieThey had to have planned that. Had to.

Sorry for the long hiatus – second semester finally caught up with me. And it’s still running me down, as a matter of fact. But everything is, in fact, awesome. I have a lot of work to do tonight, and I’m fully involved in the search for a summer internship. I have a stock of comic ideas saved up though, and hopefully I’ll be able to budget my time to get more finished and posted.