Sunday, September 28, 2008

God Wants Your Lunch

Lately, I've been noticing that I make three kinds of comics:
1. Learning comics. These are comics that teach. These are my T.A.I.L.S. comics and Curriculum Comics.
2. Art comics. At least that's what I call them. These are comics that are my own personal expression. They come from ideas that I have that make me say, "That would make a great comic!" I put The Mighty Andar and other comics making experiments in that category.
3. Bible comics. I am fascinated with how comics can be used to tell any kind of story there is to tell. The Bible provides a lot of inspiration to me, and I like re-telling the stories from this book using my own style of drawing.

This comic strip illustrates the Biblical story of the Loaves and the Fishes. I made it to share with the children in our church. I will give them a copy, but I also present it by putting one panel up on a Powerpoint screen and talking a little about each picture.

Everyone always asks, "How long did it take you to make it?" It's hard to say. First I read as much as I could about this story. This story is told in all for gospels -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each author adds slightly different details. I combined all versions into one. Then, if I can, I try to find commentary by from Bible scholars that explains the significance of various elements of the story. (One site that was very usesful is here).

I like to look at how various translations of the Bible say the same thing but with different words, King James, NIV -- but my favorite to use is the Message Bible. This is a Bible paraphrase that attempts to publish the Bible in "street language" -- the way people really talk, without the thee's and thou's. The script for this is almost straight out of that Bible, with a little artistic license here and there.

Once I had the information, script, and plotted out how many boxes on each page, I started and finished it yesterday in one day of drawing! Ideally, I could spend more time on five pages, but I gave myself the deadline of having it finished today.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ice Breaker -- A T.A.I.L.S. Comic

These comic strips are simple, have just a few facts, and hopefully a little chuckle. They take an unbelievably long time to make. The topic is assigned to me, in this case: Arctic. Okay, with a subject that broad, what do I include? First, I read everything I could find about scientists in the arctic. No ideas. Then someone donated to me about 100 back issues of National Geographic! Hallay-loo-yah! What a goldmine! This comic strip is inspired by a true scientific expedition. Then from start to finish it took about 8 hours to complete. This will appear in an upcoming issue of Boy's Quest magazine.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Bride Wore Black -- Sketches and Photos from a Wedding

Yesterday my brother got married. It was quite a unique rock and roll wedding. Tom has his own Christian rock band which is quite good, and they played some songs during the service, including one love song that Tom wrote for his bride Lea. Of course, the wedding had a rock and roll theme in which everyone wore black and the bride even carried a black rose. The service was unconventional, but touching.

I've been inspired by James Gurney to try to draw more from life, so while the service was going on, I sketched. I was able to do two quick sketches. My camera's batteries gave out, so I was only able to take pictures after the service.

Lea, (center), one of her friends, (left), and Tom, (right).
Lea laughing at Tom. He is a funny guy. They are very happy together and perfect for each other.
Get a room, you two!This is Tom's son Max. He looks dapper in his tux t-shirt. You can see that across from the church was a comic book shop! During the reception, Max, Dave and I snuck over to check it out.
Tom's nickname for Lea is "Twinkie", so one of their friends had the crative idea to make a Twinkie wedding cake, which they cut into with a medieval dagger.
Little brother Tom and me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Put Down Your Joysticks and Read!

This is for an upcoming issue of Fun for Kids magazine. The whole issue will have the theme of "Reading Fun" and my assignment was to create a comic strip with that theme. I really think it's the best thing I've ever done for them.

My lettering will never be great, but I think this is my best lettering ever and I owe it to the voice of Joey Weiser that was ringing in my ear: "Draw those words, dont' write them." Son of a gun, that really does help.

One of the thing I like about working for Fun for Kids is that they buy one-time use and I retain rights of my work. I will also put it in a future Eclectic comic. But the traditional size format is bigger! I stole a trick from the old newspaper comics and the top panels on every page are expendable. I like what they add, but the comic works without them.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Magical Mystery Tour

My son David is in marching band. Nathan, who is two, calls his brother Dae-Dae (I'm DaDa). Nathan was so excited to see his brother play. He was jumping up and down and saying, "Danse! Danse!" every time he heard music.

The marching band is playing Beatles songs -- my favorite group. David wanted to put their songs on his mp3 player so he could learn them better. The kids used to complain about me playing the Beatles. Now one of my kids is turning into a Beatles fan --- Mwa ha ha ha! (sinister laugh).

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oviraptor's New Home

I was out walking yesterday and passed by this house. I could not believe what I saw. In the flower garden around their flagpole was one of the pariscraft sculptures the fifth grade students made last year! Each group draws names to see who gets to take their sculpture home, and evidently this orange oviraptor found a home right in someone's front yard. I must say this plaster sculpture painted in acrylic is holding up well!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

She Blinded me with Pseudo-Science!

Test your knowledge of comic book pseudo-science by taking this quiz. It's tough! I barely passed, and I have way too much useless information crowding my brain. It's created by Mark Engblom of the Comic Coverage website.

Powered By ProProfs: Create A Quiz

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cleanup Crew

"She was stiff and clumsy with rage. White-blonde hair spilled free of its sheer silken covering, tumbling past slender shoulders clad in slate grey velvet. Her gown was torn and…"

That's our prompt this week at the ABC Challenge. That excerpt inspired this comic:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Front Page News

A reporter from the Morning Times came to our classroom to see our recent acquisition of original sketches and signed poster from James Warhola. Click here to read the article online.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Color Cover Preview

Behold, as the Mighty Andar juggles an ancient text, the masks of drama and comedy, an anvil, a cactus, the kitchen sink, a bomb, a Grecian urn, and an artist's pallette! Harold of the Gods and General Patriot look on in what might be bewilderment and chagrin.

I drew this image to represent the idea that you never know what you might find within the covers of this comic from art history to slapstick. According to, the word eclectic means

ec·lec·tic [i-klek-tik]
1.selecting or choosing from various sources.
2.made up of what is selected from different sources.
3.not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.
4.noting or pertaining to works of architecture, decoration, landscaping, etc., produced by a certain person or during a certain period, that derive from a wide range of historic styles, the style in each instance often being chosen for its fancied appropriateness to local tradition, local geography, the purpose to be served, or the cultural background of the client.
5.Also, ec·lec·ti·cist [i-klek-tuh-sist] a person who follows an eclectic method, as in philosophy or architecture.

[Origin: 1675–85; <>eklektikós selective, equiv. to eklekt(ós) chosen, select (eklég(ein) to pick out + -tos ptp. suffix;
Thanks, Dan, for helping me finish coloring the cover to Eclectic Comics #2!