Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gee Mr. Wilson

Apparently Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys used to do this to get in the mood for writing surf music while he was working on the 1967 album "Smile". He had his piano placed in a sandbox and played it barefoot. Allegedly he also had all the musicians in his studio wear little fireman's helmets as well just to prove that he was a mad genius.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Accordion Crimes

This is another strip based upon a real life happening. I recently purchased the aforementioned instrument and while it doesn't have the mink lining (just plain silk) it is made of a disturbing number of ex-breathing parts. Okay, maybe oysters don't actually breathe. It is a 1940s Deco-style Italian accordion. Although I can squeeze out a tune or two but I'm no virtuoso.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Anyone who reads my strip will notice that I'm not a big fan of cellphones. However, I was just loaned a new G1 Andriod Googlephone which has proven to be mildly distracting. I haven't figured out how to activate the phone part of it yet but it's interesting being able to access information in unlikely places.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dingbat the Cactus

This year I'm doing Sunday format strips once a week (on Sundays most likely). Here's the first one. The timing and layouts are very different from the restrictions of the daily strip so it's been quite a challenge to get into the right creative zone. I added a second mini-strip underneath for no apparent reason. Back in the golden era of comics when cartoonists had a lot more space this was quite a common occurrence, often used to introduce or try out new strips. George Herriman started Krazy Kat as a mini-strip running underneath his "The Dingbat Family" feature (later regrettably renamed as "The Family Upstairs"). It represents a great deal of extra work which I suppose is why no one does it anymore.

Friday, January 16, 2009


I just re-watched The Simpsons Movie last night. I can't say enough how much I love The Simpsons. It's easily the best thing that's ever been on TV. I thought the movie was great.... a 90 minute TV episode that didn't destroy the integrity of the franchise. Matt Groening is a huge hero of mine (and a major influence). I religiously clip his weekly comic strip "Life in Hell" every week and file it away in a very stuffed drawer. Last November I had the honor of meeting him briefly at the Alternative Press Expo. Great guy. Of course as usual I turned into a blubbering idiot when confronted with greatness but I guess I made myself understood well enough to get an autograph. I got to meet Jaime Hernandez and Dan Clowes as well. It was quite a day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2B or Not 2B?

This is a quick snapshot of a page in my sketchbook. I use a pretty soft lead (usually a 2B) so it can be erased easily. Although this was just to record the idea, my initial sketches are pretty loose as well. I'm quite happy to ink over something like this for the final version although these days it's always comforting to know that there's still a chance to fiddle with lines once the art has been scanned into the computer.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Naughty or Nice?

I ran all my weakest strips over the holidays in the hope that people wouldn't notice the sudden decline in quality because they were busy indulging in rampant consumerism or moping around with their dysfunctional families. I had several strips that I had held back for various reasons and decided to sneak in. However my web stats indicate that hits on the website actually went up during that time period! It's rookie mistakes like this that have clearly impacted my potential to get nominated for a Weblogs Award. This years nominations were announced today. I think Medium-Large deserves it most.