0

Wedding decisions

decisionsNot being involved in wedding decisions is not a big deal for most grooms. Most are thankful not to be, frankly. This Grooms is mostly interested in macro decisions (where, when, open or cash bar, etc.). Lisa hasn’t shut me out like Sarah has in this comic, but the “calling her mother every three minutes” thing is true to life.

The big day probably won’t come until 2016 at the earliest, but we’re getting a jump on planning now. Any money we’ll have for this wedding is borrowed, so we’re scrimping when we can. We set up a new savings account to encourage more discipline. We’re also both planning on losing weight. Optimism abounds.

0

“Am I a pretty girl?”

girlMy fiancée helped me come up with the idea for this one. She’s started doing her graded interviews for med school, and yes, I’ve had to pretend to be a girl once or twice. An odd and uncomfortable experience.

After all, it’s hard to get into the role convincingly without a little background. And if you try too hard to develop that background, it starts getting weird.

And it’s not just about pretending to be a girl, either. It’s difficult for me to pretend to be something I’m not, in any respect. I know I can help Lisa practice for interviews the most if I come up with a variety of different symptoms, but that’s not as easy to do as one would think. Most of the time I tend to exaggerate existing problems (headaches, cold feet, a cold, etc.) that I probably wouldn’t be seeing a doctor about.

Hey, I’ve actually managed to get a comic done two weeks in a row. Hopefully this becomes a habit.

0

Horse race

horseAin’t it the truth though?

I’m a Colts fan first and foremost, but Peyton Manning was my quarterback for over a decade. As long as his success doesn’t directly impede the Colts’ success, I’ll be rooting for him. Since the Colts are out of the race, I’m a full-on Broncos fan until the offseason.

I took a little hiatus for those last weeks of finals and over break. My first grades of law school are coming back and they look pretty good – it looks like I’ll maintain my scholarship, at any rate. I’m hoping I can draw comics with more consistency with the first semester of law school under my belt, but you know how that is.

Looking forward to the rest of 2014 – it’ll be a lot better for me if Peyton manages to get another ring!

0

Frosty and finals

Image

In spite of our hectic and coinciding graduate school finals schedules, Lisa and I are going to try to get through the Christmas classics before Christmas day arrives. We started with the Frosty programs, because they’re objectively the worst.

They’re also the least Christmas-y. I know Christianity absorbed a lot of pagan traditions when the day was co-opted, but usually the traditions have at least some religious significance, however shallow.  Santa shares the connection with giving, the Christmas tree can represent the Tree of Life, etc. Frosty has none of it. It’s a purely secular tale from a song written in 1950. I suppose you can make an argument that the life granted to Frosty is symbolic of new life in spiritual death, but I’m not really comfortable analogizing Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to the top hat of a failed magician.

The Second Coming of Frosty was also pretty underwhelming. The first film at least had some innocence, but the second was full of heavy-handed environmentalism and 90’s cynicism (no mention of “support groups” in the 1969 program). And it didn’t even had continuity – Frosty was talking and dancing without wearing the magic hat.

But we’re out of the woods and can start enjoying the fantastic stop-motion programs – in between long bouts of studying, of course.

0

Silly kitties

crashSometimes our cats will drive me nuts.

I’m going to make some observations about cats. I apologize to anyone that is already familiar with cats, but I grew up a dog owner. All of this is a bit new to me.

First of all, they need to get inside everything. And not just anything, but whatever you happen to be doing. If I open the fridge door, they’re inside the fridge. If I open the closet door, they’ll be inside the closet. They’ll hear me open something and bolt across the apartment in order to get inside. And this happens over and over. They’ve seen the inside of the closet. They’ve seen the inside of the fridge. But that won’t stop them from trying to get inside every time.

They have absolute tunnel vision. If they get their eyes set on the least little thing, they’ll hone in without any regard to their surroundings. Sometimes they’ll forget you’re around and you’ll get a clawful as a consequence. This is especially annoying since we’re in prime hoodie-wearing season. You better hope you don’t stoop too low or they’ll be attacking your hood strings.

I’ve also lost a pair and a half of headphones (one earbud still works on one) and the charge cord to the Wii U Gamepad. It’s not that I don’t try to be careful – it’s just that it only takes them about a half-second to chew through anything they get their teeth on. Let your guard down for a second and your headphones are useless.

Also, they stink. The cat smell is pervasive no matter how often you change the litter box. The litter also gets everywhere, even though we bought one of the litter boxes with a cover and a little doorway. Cat poop also smells WAY worse than dog poop.

It’s a good thing they’re cute.

0

Hundreds, Halloween, and humor

100dollarbill halloween2013 teachtolieEven drawing one comic a week has been difficult to accomplish, which may give you a good idea of how much work goes into law school. I’m gearing up for the last leg of the semester and getting ready to outline and review like crazy (not to mention my final writing assignment).

The first and third comics posted here are based on real conversations. I’m happy to say that for once I was just as witty as my comic portrays. Most of the time the one-liners are l’esprit d’escalier.

This is probably my favorite Halloween strip I’ve drawn. All of the costumes ended up looking great. I’m a little worried not enough people will know who Phoenix Wright is (or Thranduil, for that matter – I’m not sure just how much the Hobbit trailers have permeated the popular culture as of yet), but the Halloween strips have always been a bit indulgent.

I feel like I have a good rhythm going in my life right now, and finishing comics on time should be much easier from here on out. At least, I hope!

0

Law so hard

betweenplays

It’s been a while since my last comic! A lot has happened since graduation, including buying and getting used to a new laptop, moving into my first apartment with my fiancee (who started medical school), getting two kittens (named Fili and Kili), and starting law school.

I just finished my first month of law school, and I have to say that so far I’ve been having a lot of fun. Law is challenging, but fascinating. I really feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing. Unfortunately it does keep me very busy (and I need to make time for football!), so I won’t be able to update Ralph and Chuck two to three times a week like I did in undergrad. My goal is to draw one comic a week, and fortunately they will still be published by MCT Campus.

I’ll never stop drawing, even if there are a few hiatuses now and then. I look forward to the new ideas that are sure to come from this new stage of my life!

0

Graduation

goodbyegraduationiuYesterday I turned in the last assignment of my undergraduate career, and tomorrow after commencement I say goodbye to Bloomington as an IU student forever.

Normally I’m a pretty sentimental guy, but honestly I’m not feeling any sadness right now. I’ve loved my time at IU and I know I’ll have opportunities to visit. I’m not going to be very far away attending law school in Indianapolis.

I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities that life will put in front of me, and IU will always be a big part of helping me grow along the way. I look forward to future Little 500s and basketball games – this time watching as an alum! Go Hoosiers!

My “goodbye” comic has gone over well. Stick a few landmarks in your comic and everyone starts getting sentimental! It came to be just as a classic “avoiding schoolwork” comic, while Lisa and I were brainstorming for a penultimate comic.

The graduation comic is a deliberate homage to the comic I drew in high school:

graduationAlfred and Jimmy both make reappearances! The new comic is meant to serve the same purpose – Ralph and Chuck isn’t going anywhere. Sure, it might take them a while to find a new place to be published, and comics may be drawn more sporadically (I hear law school is no cakewalk) but Ralph and Chuck goes where I go, and I’ll never stop drawing!

0

Avoiding chores, analyzing outfits, pros and cons of the internet, final papers, and violent punchlines

gonefarcomicstripmenfallaciesfinalpaperviolentLooking back on my most recent comics, it looks like I was in a pretty self-referential mood. Three out of the five had the characters somehow acknowledging that they were in a comic strip. Really it was four out of six, if you consider the Calvin and Hobbes homage last week.

The first comic is an idea I remember coming up with a while ago, and I couldn’t tell you why I haven’t actually drawn it until now. I liked the idea of some characters staying “in panel” while another abuses the privilege of “breaking panel.”

The next one is partially based off of experience. Sometimes my opinion is asked of one of my fiancée’s outfits and my first response is “why are you asking me?” Although I’m not a comic strip character, I’ve pretty much been wearing the same clothes since high school. When I have to dress up I’m mocked by female family members for not understanding what’s allowed and not allowed. I’m the last person you should ask for fashion advice.

The next comic represents my range of emotions when thinking about the internet.

I had the inspiration for the final paper comic after finishing one of my final projects and writing the file name.

The last comic speaks for itself. I’m annoyed we’re walking on eggshells when it comes to what motivates these people. If it were the KKK bombing people, we would have no problem pointing to their sick ideology, so why do we pretend otherwise in instances obviously related to Islamic extremism? No intelligent person would argue that all Muslims are terrorists any more than they would argue that every white person is a white supremacist. Identifying the problem is the first step to solving it.

0

Derivative

calvinandhobbesOftentimes when I’m at a loss for new comic ideas, I end up thinking about my favorite strips (including Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson) and all of the ideas that they made work.

This seldom helps, since then I can only think of all these great ideas that I wouldn’t be able to use without some pretty obvious plagiarizing.

For this comic, my internal musing about how difficult it is to come up with original ideas seemed perfectly suited for one of Calvin and Hobbes’ philosophical wagon rides. I was thrilled, since this way I could call it an “homage” rather than a blatant ripoff. Nuance is important.

Of course, talking about originality and nuance in art is also very well suited for a Calvin and Hobbes snowmen comic. But I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead.