Wednesday, December 17, 2008


When I was little, my local newspaper didn't carry comics, so I was introduced to them thru cartoon specials and merchandising. My two favorite were Peanuts and Garfield. When I finally got to read the actual comic strips, I was disappointed. They were too short; I was used to a half hour long episode.

Then I read Calvin and Hobbes.

I was on a MathCounts trip, and someone had brought a Something Under My Bed is Drooling. I started to read it and couldn't put it down. It was brilliant! It was funny, it was insightful, the characters were so alive, and the drawing was beautiful. I was a fan. I started going to the library everyday to check out the latest Calvin and Hobbes comic. I got the second treasury for my birthday. And I was very sad when the strip ended, and that it had never been animated. And I always wanted to create something as wonderful as Bill Watterson had.

I've been drawing comics for years, mostly trying to copy Snoopy and Garfield. As I grew older, I started reaching out into new areas and trying new things. The majority of my strip's development was done while I was in Jr. High, so you'll see appearances from my friends as the time in the strip. The characters have grown into their own and have little resemblance to the actual people they're based on. Every couple of years or so, I take another stab at the strip, and each time it does get better. Here are three comics from my latest attempt. The first one seems even more appropriate now than it did four years ago when I drew it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Gifts, my 2008 Christmas Card

Every year I look forward to making a new Christmas Card. I've been doing it for almost a decade. I start by asking myself what I'm feeling. Then I choose a Christmas Carol with a title that I can put a new spin on. I write a poem incorporating the title and what I want to say. Then I create an illustration to go with it and send it to friends and family. Email makes this a lot easier and cheaper.

This year I had a certain message I wanted to get across: Life and Hope. None of the Christmas Carols I haven't yet used seem to be right. And I had no idea what I wanted to draw. After a lot of work, the idea came to me: I'll draw Christmas morning the way I remember it as a little kid. Then the title came to me: Gifts. I know it's not a Christmas Carol, but it would allow me to say what I wanted to say.

The illustration was so much fun to do. I've been trying to find a style that looks like me. I finally developed it while working on my latest attempt at creating a comic book. The line work is interesting but clean, the colors have the texture of a painting without looking silly or overdone, and the figures are stylized and graphic, but still feel like they have mass. I was very happy with the end result. I hope you like it even half as much as I do.

Usually I write the poem really quickly, but this year I spent three days. It's not my favorite, but there are some cool lines in it, and it basically says what I want to say.

To see Christmas Cards from past years, visit my website, They're archived there somewhere.