Happy Halloween!

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I guarantee there are no Milk Duds in that bag. Also…where did all those empty Milk Dud boxes in the trash come from?

I had planned to only offload “real” drawings here—that is, drawings that I’d given some thought or effort. But, what the hell. I have hundreds of sketches and doodles like this one, and ’tis the season.

Here’s a Havertown Halloween from a few years ago, starring Lily, Maia, and Christopher. I had to look back over old pictures to match up the costumes with the year: 2012. I can’t swear that there was really a full moon, owl, or black cat. Chalk all that up to artistic license.

Also, if you were wondering, the purple-ish candies hanging out of the bag are Zotz.

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2001-2003 – Manuals Labor (Merck Manuals)

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The Merck Manuals are like sausages and the law: it is better not to see them being made.

Oh, man. Where to begin.

For a medical writer/editor, what could be a better gig than being on staff with the group that puts together what was arguably the most renowned series of medical reference books in the world? That was the question I asked myself when I was offered a staff editor position with this outfit. The answer would prove, sadly, to be “just about anything.”

Dream job? More like plain ol’ jobbed. On the “bright” side, the jerks and rejects that staffed this hellhole made for easy cartooning prey.

The duo gettin’ up in Jonny’s grill here was this office’s version of Godzilla and Mothra (or would have been if Godzilla and Mothra had been insecure, incompetent bitches). The resemblance of the one in the back to Marcie from Peanuts is apt in more ways than one.

The office’s good guys (and gals) are all shown here, wisely observing the proceedings from a distance.

There are also a few easter eggs in this drawing—inside jokes and riffs on some of the more ridiculous moments from my two years here.

1986-10-30 – “A very Mischief Night breakfast”

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Move over, John Peter Zenger!

Yeah, I need to procrastinate right now, so time for another blog post!

In college, for one year, I was the staff cartoonist for the school paper, The Acorn. It was a good gig, but I didn’t know what I was doing, so most of the strips (well, they were single-panel comics more than strips) were pretty random and pointless.

This one may be my favorite. Unfortunately, it was also the only one that was censored. I don’t know if it was the paper’s editorial board or (more likely) a faculty advisor, but someone decided that publication of this comic might exacerbate the already notoriously…ebullient…Mischief Night “celebrations” that tended to happen on campus every October 30. I was disappointed that the cartoon was pulled, but—I won’t lie—I was also secretly pleased that someone was concerned that my cartoon might be a negative influence. That meant that someone thought anyone read my comic!

I do remember feeling relieved that I didn’t have to draw the background, which would have been a huge pain in the ass. The characters (that’s me on the left) are at the Madison, New Jersey A&P (remember A&P?).

Dig the old-school cash register! (At the time, we just referred to them as “cash registers”).

The “Down with ABM” note on the cashier’s bulletin board was a mocking nod to the anti-Anything But Monday fever that was at that time sweeping Drew’s campus. Anything But Monday was an underground humor magazine put out by a couple of my classmates. It was irreverent and tasteless. And therefore often hilarious.

Finally, I remember being disdainful of Mischief Night. I grew up calling it by its correct name, Cabbage Night.