Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our Friend, the Follicle Mite

This comic was written by my wife. She was challenged to create an "infomercial" as part of her Mary Kay business group. We thought it would be fun to include artwork. I told her it would have to be in comic form, "'cuz that's how I roll!" Anyway, it was fun to research the follicle mite and imagine their lives.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sleepy Saturday

This is another of my "slice of life" comics - meaning, this really happened. I just read it to Nathan and he got a big chuckle out of it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Teaching with the Power of Comics

Tonight I had a privilege to be the guest speaker at a class for future educators at Elmira College. It was a really great group of about 30 college students. My presentation included information about how teachers can use comics to teach and reinforce essential skills.

Activities included:
  • Comics reading "Round Robin" style
  • Comic Book Reader's theater
  • Comic Strip conversions to teach students to write prose style dialogue using comics as inspiration
  • Book Reports in comic style
  • How to teach students to create their own original characters
  • Using speech balloons and thought balloons
  • and much more!
They're proud of their creations!
Here are some of the participants original characters. If tomorrow's
educators can draw this well, our children are in good hands!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Beautiful Noise

I had this idea for a comic a while ago, when Nathan was going through the Terrible Two's. It's been in my head for a long time. I don't know why it took me so long to get around to drawing it. When I finished, it just seemed like this one needed to be shaded with pencil and blending stump, so that you can tell when the lights are off, I guess.

I think comics don't always have to be funny. Sometimes they can be touching or even sad. To me this one is about how bad things do sometimes happen, but they can help you to become more patient.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I had the idea for this comic after doing a similar one last year called "44". It's a little experimental for me. I wanted to do some more realistic backgrounds, so after getting the idea, I took my daughter with me to photograph some scenes in the setting I had in mind. I also did more crosshatching than usual.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

ABC #26: "Let's Put our Heads Together"

ABC Comics are something I do each month as part of the Art by Committee sketch game sponsored by the best artist website around, The Gurney Journey. Each month we're provided with a random line or scene from an unknown science fiction novel. Each artist who participates creates their interpretation of the scene.

I try to use each challenge in a comic story that is in progress in which The Mighty Andar is held captive in an alien prison on Planet X. I literally have no idea what will happen next, so it's kind of like real life. If you want to get caught up, click here -- but if you want to read them in order, you have to buy my comics, because I don't always create them in chronological order. If you think you're confused, you should try making them!

Our assignment this month is to imagine who is having the conversation below:

And, here is the comic I created to illustrate it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Kristan gave me some really nice watercolor paints for Christmas. I'm breaking them in by doing some paintings of characters from mythology.

Janus (Pen & Ink with watercolor)

January is named after the Roman god Janus, the protector of gates and doorways. In works of art, he is usually depicted with two faces, "one looking into the past, the other to the future". He is often shown holding a rod and key. With the rod, he discourages those who are not allowed to enter. With the key, he opens the gate. Because everything in the heavens seemed to return to the same place, it made sense to artists of this time to also include a snake swallowing its own tail.

The Awe-manac, (a great resource for artists, writers and creative types) encourages us to "figuratively look into the past and savor all you have achieved and look into the future believing that it is about to serve realities unsurpassed by mere expectations" (Badonsky, 2008, p. 17).

Here's to locking up an old year and opening a new!

Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me
heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil.3)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Comics of J.B. Winter

Check out the comics of J.B. Winter. He does a lot of mini-comics and art experiments that I think are really cool. He is really pushing the boundaries of what a comic can be. Some of his experiments have included his 24-Hour Comic for this year that was drawn in 24 panels outdoors with chalk on a parking lot.

The year before his 24-Hour Comic was drawn with edible food coloring on tortillas and eaten by other participants in the challenge.

He has also done an interesting experiment where he gathered the work of 50 cartoonists (one from each state) to do a panel in his 50 States Jam comic.

However, my favorite work of his is Noodle -- I really like the visual puns and open-ended aspects. I like how he uses schematics and diagrams to show more about an incident or concept than we typically see in comics. Most comics are almost like a movie on paper, but Winter's have unique ways of showing what was in the character's pockets, what happened before, what will happen next.