Thursday, December 23, 2010

One Thousand and Two

Strangely enough, my spousal unit wanted to show me a PSA from her childhood today. Turns out the 1002nd thing *not* to is "borrow without asking".

How to Color a Comic Strip

I thought perhaps there might be at least one of my ten lovely readers who would be interested in this 2 1/2 minute, slightly mesmerizing time lapse video of me coloring a Rabbits strip. The strip is set to run next month so if you can read it it's also a sneak preview of sorts. I did it in Photoshop and if you're the sort of techie person who likes full disclosure, the video starts with me having already scanned the strip at 600 DPI, adjusted the threshold to 140 and duplicated the layers so I have one for coloring and one on top of it that has just the black with the rest transparent.  There's more on my process here and  here.  The music was just something that I had handy and used without permission! It's by the very wonderful  People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz.  The strip took about 40 minutes to color in real time.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Art Rabbits

Can I be the very first to wish everyone a Happy Easter?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bunny Tail

Once again I get away with full-length nudity on the comics page. Playboy, eat your heart out.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Seasonal Spice

I know this is easy to do, especially in the era of Photoshop, but it's still a neat trick.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bizarre Triple Reindeer Yahtzee

Three major syndicated strips.  Three reindeer games jokes on the same day.  And people say there is no Santa Claus.

Mother Goose and Grimm (King Features 12.16.2010)

Reality Check  (United Features 12.16.2010)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rabbit Costume

Halloween has come and gone but if for any reason you're looking for a wholesome vintage rabbit costume pattern look no further, for the fine folks over at Agence Eureka have posted one (along with a penguin and a "coq").  I especially like the way you can operate the ears with strings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hawaiian Bear

Around this time of year I usually get inundated by numerous requests to do holiday cards.  I always try to steer away from the "traditional" images while still trying to capture the spirit of the season.  Snow is a good fallback.  He's an image I did for the Graphic Artists Guild of which I am a proud member.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Too Cool For School

The strip I drew for tomorrow (or today depending on which time zone you're in) was originally drawn thus:

However the powers that be deemed giraffe genitalia, covered or otherwise, to be just too dang racy and thus I had to swap in the wordplay panel you see below (which you can click to enlarge to see my hopelessly erratic inking details).

To be honest it's not a great joke.  Sometimes a forced change like this can actually improve a strip.  It took me ages to find animal names that rhyme with things you put around your neck.  The only other one I came up with was a feather boa for a boa constrictor but that's just silly.

8-Bit Eightball

Here's a sneak preview of panel from a strip coming up on January 1st, 2011.  No, it's not a new retro video-game style for the new year, just a meta gag.

Mutant Rabbit Drawing Tips

Here's an adorable article about drawing mutated rabbits from the mind of the super talented Chris Leavens.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Serial Killer Rabbits

During a wonderful conversation last night with the legendary and amazing Trina Robbins, she pointed out that Lee Harvey Oswald, the infamous (and often debated) assassinator of John F. Kennedy, had two rabbits in his name.  Harvey is the invisible six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall rabbit from the classic Jimmy Stewart movie and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit was the very first Disney character. I rushed home to investigate this on the Internets and lo and behold if there isn't also a rabbit called Lee. I'm not familiar with Lee, the Rabbit with Epilepsy but he seems like a nice enough guy.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Eating Bugs

This is a vintage Dilbert strip from 1991.  This rabbit was so angry it made someone eat a bug. Scott Adams may not be the most talented artist but he is really able to capture an expression.  He's also very good at clenched fists.

The Great Mysto

The seminal Mad magazine "Fold-In" artist Abraham "Al" Jaffee produced an elongated feature for the New York Herald Tribune from 1957-1963 called "Tall Tales", the twist being that the strip was formatted in such a way that it could be squeezed into a single column panel.  I'm posting this at the risk of inciting the wrath of Tom Richmond in the hope that people will check out some more. Also, I'm just loving the look on the rabbit's face.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gee WIllickers!

Brown shirted rabbit decapitation pseudo-Nazi imagery courtesy of Victor Castillo.  Thanks Tiny Bunny Woman.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Great Kurtmani

It's hard to tell if the name of this great feature is meant to be pronounced "Aspirin" like the pain killer or a truncated form of "Aspiring" as in "to seek or attain or accomplish a particular goal" but nonetheless we see once again the rabbit-pulling-magician-out-of-hat motif as feature myriad times on this blog although in this case many magicians of a diminutive size.  The feature is some 1949 unsigned work by the great Mad magazine artist Harvy Kurtzman.  Tip o' the magician's hat to the fabulous Cartoon Snap blog.

Monday, November 22, 2010

10:45PM TV time!

Eightball and Weenus make a surprise cameo in today's Dark Side of the Horse.  Wow!  What an honor. I've hawked this great strip a few times on this blog and it just seems to get better and better. You can see Samson's strip at GoComics and he has a Facebook page here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Two Turtle Doves

The Little King was apparently unimpressed with magic tricks back in this1944 strip.  The great Otto Soglow was actually the co-founder of the National Cartoonists Society and served as president for the 1953-54 term.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordle Cloud Footprint Thing

At the Wordle website I entered all the keywords and tags from my comic strip for the past two years and this is what came up.  Obviously I do way too many strips about food and insects.  "Gun" seems kinda big.  I don't think I can recall any strips with firearms at all.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rabbits Against Centipedes

Mrs. Rabbit:  It’s perfectly wonderful, Mr. Centipede, that you can complete a dozen portraits in one sitting. (1911)
From Life. (New York: Time, Inc.)  via Mark's Scrapbook of Oddities & Treasures.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rabbits Go Go Gogh

One of the greatest painters of our generation has a show right now at Roq la Rue Gallery in Seattle.  I'm an avid fan of mondo Dutch master Femke Hiemstra's work, especially when she draws rabbits in her Alice in Wonderland meets surreal nightmare low-brow art noir style.  The image above is called "Le Carrefour", probably nothing to do with the French hypermarket chain.

Friday, November 5, 2010

California Sun

Our house is now completely solar powered. We finally got to turn on the system a few days ago, several months after it was installed and it was nice to see the meters immediately start spinning backwards.  Starting January 1st we'll actually be selling electricity back to the grid as long as the sun keeps on shining.  I climbed onto the roof today with a couple of friends who happily posed for photographs.  I will no longer be able to yell at them when they leave the fridge door open.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Radio Radio

Sunday's strip as a lot of fun to draw and featured several vintage radios. The Bakelite model is an actual radio I own.  You can see it in this picture below (with a couple of half-finished strips on the table).

I actually shipped the radio from England when I moved to California.  The dial features lots of long gone European wartime radio stations. I hacked the insides so that I can play my iPod through the speaker. Avid Rabbits Reader "Jo Jo" Left this fascinating information on GoComics:

"For future strip consideration regarding Bakelite: the grandson of the guy who invented Bakelite ran off with his son’s girlfriend; the granddaughter-in-law had intimate relations with the son (her own child) to “cure” him of his gayness; and the son murdered the mother and later attempted to murder his grandmother".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Plushie Rabbits Against Macabre Felt Mounting

Seattle-based media artist,  Zoë Williams creates wonderfully tactile art pieces including this piece called The Fates from 2009.  She uses a lot of rabbits in her artwork, thankfully none of them real.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


If you're in LA during the next few months, check out the Hello Kitty exhibit at the Barker Hangar gallery in Santa Monica.  It's to celebrate Sanrio's 50th anniversary.  I particularly like this Travis Louie interpretation.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Freshie The Acrobatic Rabbit

Capable of 1000 stunts. Count 'em! Some assembly required.  Via Grotto.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ups and Downs

I tried something a bit different on Sunday.  Sort of a Möbeus comic strip if you will, although the great Jim Woodring did an actual one here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Endless Paper Ribbons Against Magic

Much more thrilling than yanking a white rabbit out by the ears.  From Mostly Forbidden Zone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Child 32 4338

This child has managed to unsee the horror.  Apparently the nose tweak is the "pulling Santa's beard" test for Easter Bunnies.  Via the always fabulous Grotto Orloff's Pad! blog.

The Rabbit with Gangrenous Eyes

One more in the freaky-bizarre-evil-Easter-Bunny-from-beyond-Hell-with-crying-child series.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bambi Goes Crazy Ape Bonkers With Drill and Sex!!!

Toxic Dump Weenus

Weenus makes a guest appearance in today's Imagine This strip.  What a great honor.  Thanks Lucas.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm Going APE!

Amazingly, it's already time for this years Alternative Press Expo which, as always, takes place at the Concourse Center in San Francisco, conveniently only a few short blocks from the old homestead. I will be there both days, primarily at the Cartoon Art Museum booth (#239) although on Sunday at 1PM I will be teaching a short workshop on "Developing A Comic Strip".  There's a whole bunch of fun events as well as actual famous guest cartoonists including personal heroes Lynda Barry, Dan Clowes and Tony Millionaire.  I may have to take a spare pair of trousers.  It's alway a wonderful event and it's so big tis year they had to move it to the bigger hall.  Hope to see you there.

Half a Dog

With several hundred dog breeds to choose from, both Scott Hilburn and I chose Cocker Spaniels for our strips today.

You can se more of Scott's amazingly funny Argyle Sweater comics here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tom Waits Against Magic

Rabbits reader Minky Moo pointed out that my strip last month was actually made as a real life Tom Waits video.  Art imitates art! I'm a huge Tom Waits fan (in particular everything since the 1983 Swordfishtrombones album) but hadn't seen the video which is from his hard to find "live" movie "Big Time".  Classic stuff.

This isn't the first time I've run a "singing in the shower" joke.  Weenus serenaded Trixie way back in the heady days of April.

Cartoon Speakeasy

A friend of mine rents out apartments in San Francisco and frequently comes across odd and quirky little buildings. Recently he alerted me to this gem of a basement which was used as a speakeasy during the prohibition years which ran from 1920 to 1933 when the eighteenth amendment was repealed.  It's under this pretty respectable looking Victorian house up towards Twin Peaks.

This tiny basement is decorated with the popular cartoons of the day including Barney Google and Popeye.

You can see some buttons on the front of the sink here which would be used to communicate with the house upstairs in the event of trouble.  Speakeasy's were also called Blind Pigs.  This was a way of circumnavigating the law by offering the viewing of an attraction such as a curious animals (Greenland pigs were popular for some reason) during which a complimentary cocktail could be offered, thus circumnavigating the law.

A lot of the cartoons are signed by Doug Hale 1926.  Some of them are pretty risque, particularly this casting couch one.  Hubba hubba.

There is a handy slanted escape hatch at the back which leads into an alleyway behind the building and through to another street.

San Francisco was ground zero for bootlegging due to its coastal proximity and the hidden inlets around the bay which were used for running liquor.  There was also lax enforcement of the laws by sympathetic cops.

The ceiling was incredibly low.  I'm 6'1" tall and was unable to stand upright.  All the more reason to drink more and fall down I suppose.

There's a fascinating KQED radio show about prohibition in San Francisco here.