A Krampusnacht (or, I suppose, Krampusboxingday) bonus!
This one pretty much wrote itself, so the main challenge was in appropriately modifying the character’s position, gesture, and expression.
Another challenge was the lettering, which I achieved by drawing it large and using my trusty editing software to shrink and position. This required a lot more cloning than I would have liked. A down side to this approach to drawing is that I don’t end up with a final, complete drawing in my sketch pad. I wasn’t sure if I should sign the drawing, as when I put the markers down, it still wasn’t truly finished.
Learned something about these new markers, too: the color shows up proportionately to how many pen strokes are used. This doesn’t suit my finesse-free approach very well. It would be better if the color was uniform. Oh well.
Beth and Robby suggested that I include an image of the actual product in these parodies, so here’s Krampus Helles Lager, as the good people at Southern Tier conceived him.
Here’s my Krampuskarten from last year. As always, nobody comes out looking especially like themselves, though I think my version of Krampus himself is pretty consistent from Krampuskarten 2015.
Taking Krampus in a bit of a different direction here. As I understand it, he’s really about punishing the bad kids. Here he’s just lech-ing out on the womens. But that seems like something he’d do. If and when Krampusnacht catches on in the US—I still can’t believe it hasn’t—you can bet that this will be added to Krampus’s MO.
Quick housekeeping note: I’m going to start tagging people by first name only, and I may even go back and change the tags of my previous posts. I got some unwanted attention/feedback when tagees from previous posts came up in Google searches (but I’ll admit to being pleased that my blog posts showed up in the search results!).
Made the drive to visit the homeland this past weekend, and as I hit the Garden State Parkway I remembered this drawing. It makes me appreciate EZ Pass all the more.
Not sure what hits me most about this cartoon. Seeing (sort of) my faithful old Plymouth Duster? Naranjito as my copilot? The quaintness of a 25-cent Garden State Parkway toll? My Prince Valiant haircut? My having hair?
One thing I know for sure: quarters (less so tokens) in those days did a lot of things—bought a game of Hat Trick or 8 Ball Deluxe (“quit talkin’ and start chalkin’!”), bounced into beer glasses, disappeared into machines to yield plastic egg–encapsulated toys (Fast Food in Apple-Scented Capsules!)—but speeding my trip on the Garden State Parkway was not one of them.
Regular readers of this blog (good one!) know the extent to which I’ve relied on workplace-generated bad feelings as a source of cartooning motivation and material. Bad bosses, idiot coworkers, office pet peeves, blah blah blah. As I was drawing this one—and I’ve been composing it in my head for two weeks now—it occurred to me that this is one of the few (perhaps the only) work-related cartoons I’ve drawn that is motivated solely by positive feelings. Well, sort of positive.
Barb, my kind-of boss, resigned. It was a bit of a gut punch. I’m usually pretty good at reading subtle vibrations about these kind of things, but I had no idea she was looking to leave (beyond the level of looking-to-leave that pervades my current workplace, I mean). It’s not too much of a stretch to say that Barb is responsible for founding my company. And it’s an outright laughable understatement to say that she’ll be hard to replace, from both a professional and a cultural standpoint.
I say Barb is my “kind-of” boss because I think our current workplace is supposed to have what HR people and business consultants (and God knows how much I try to emulate them) call a “flat organization.” I think that’s supposed to mean that no one has any title or rank, and that the workplace is therefore an egalitarian paradise. Or something. The point is that Barb wasn’t my on-paper, org chart “boss.” Or maybe she was (it’s only been four years, so we haven’t had time to iron out some of these subtle points). Anyway, Barb is the kind of person one tends to look up to, draw inspiration from, and follow the lead of regardless of what her title is. In my professional experience, this puts her in extremely limited company.
Barb was my boss at Curatio, and the scene depicted here (with some quasi-artistic license) was pretty typical of her management style with me (ie, not a micromanager, in case that didn’t come through). Twenty-plus years into my career (such as it is), it was still pretty novel to have a boss who actually trusted and looked after my interests to such an extent. The story I like to tell is that when Curatio was “wound down” (that’s corporate-speak for “shuttered,” by the way), Barb and I were both among the layoffs. Faced with unemployment, Barb’s first actions included…putting two good(ish) job opportunities in front of me. THAT is a captain who sees to the well-being of her troops!
We didn’t socialize all that much outside of work, which is my loss. I always thought (and said on multiple occasions) that I’d always sensed that Barb was someone I would have wanted as a friend regardless of what setting I met her in.
As someone who wears his feelings on his sleeve way more that I would like, I’m pretty cowardly about expressing some feelings. For instance, rather than SAY a lot of this stuff to Barb, I’m going to put it down in my blog—where it is certain that NOBODY will see it (not really: I am going to point Barb to it when we meet for lunch today).
One final question: Barb, did you ever watch “Columbo?” If so, do you remember one of his most consistent habits (aside from the cigar and the dumpy raincoat, I mean)?
No bonus points for this idea—the inspiration for it has been literally in my face for…how long has Maia had her phone, now?
Still loving on my new Tombow magic marker set, so much so that I did something I haven’t done in a long time: gave a comic strip the Sunday treatment (that means “using color,” for those of you not hip to the newspaper scene). I don’t think I’m very good at coloring my drawings, by which I mean to say I think I’m lousy at selecting colors. I need to stick to much more subtle colors. These Tombows may get most of their workouts in the “collect ’em all” efforts.
As to the drawings, I like these. I don’t think I got the three later-year Maias down all that well, but I’m quite pleased with newborn and blankie Maia. Aged-up Jon and Lisa were fun to draw.
“Such a little crumbcake” is a line from one of the Skippyjon Jones books. It’s become one of many family catchphrases.
Oh, “‘poster” in “‘poster blankie” rhymes with “zoster,” as it’s a back formation of “imposter.” ‘Poster blankie was the backup blankie Lisa and I ordered (after much searching on eBay) once we realized blankie’s importance. Needless to say, Maia was NOT fooled when ‘poster blankie was swapped in on laundry days. (Thank you, Caughos, for that original blankie—truly a baby gift that kept on giving).
SRV is The School in Rose Valley, and the Sword Dance is the elaborate dance the Middle Circle (grades 3 and 4) performs at the annual May Fair.
Willow May’s Tex makes his second appearance in the comics page (such as it is).
No, Lisa and I don’t really have prints of all these pictures (and, yes, a couple of of these drawings are based on actual pictures—digital pictures).
The first panel was supposed to have a banner at the top saying “2034” (which is why my talk balloon is a little lower), but there wasn’t enough room at the top of the drawing to cut and paste the banner in. Hopefully, it’s clear enough from the various cues that this is occurring in the future.
Condensation from a pint of delicious refreshing Ship Bottom The Shack IPA dripped onto my drawing pad, smearing some of the lines between panels 4 and 5. Editing software helped minimize that mishap.
Another actual strip is coming, hopefully before I head off on vacation later this week, but I’ve been against oppressively tight deadlines at work…so my need for procrastination was extreme, and this drawing was closer to being done.
On one of my earlier “collect ’em all” posts, Beth rang in with a couple ideas for other parodies (at least one of which will definitely be done). She also noted that Robby suggested something working around a “boo” or “monster” theme. Not sure if he was looking for something that used those exact words, but I really liked the idea of working the spooky/scary side of the street, so I kept an eye out for product names that lended (loaned? lent? That’s one that I can never keep straight, and heaven forbid I waste precious time consulting a dictionary) themselves to that kind of treatment. And here we are (which tells you all you need to know about what aisles I spend most of my time in when I shop).
The skulls in this one are a departure from the way I usually draw skulls, which has always just been a variation on the poison label approach. I was also a bit stuck for what to do aside from skulls and the stock “dog bone” bone. Not sure my ribs and vertebrae cut it. Was also stuck for what to SAY on the package—”haunted bone fragments” is pretty “enh.”
On the plus side, I was able to exchange the bleedy Prismacolor markers I lamented in my last post for a 96-color set of Tombows, and having that range of colors available made it easy to bypass the whole computer-coloring approach I’d used to middling results in some of the earlier “collect ’em all” drawings.
This cartoon fragment resides on one of the first pages of the sketch book I’ve been working in for…forever. Every time I take out my drawing supplies, I flip past this sketch to find a blank page.
That’s supposed to be me on the right (the hairline and facial hair may not be quite the same these days, but I’m sure anyone who knows me will readily recognize the looks of annoyance). Based on the drawings on the surrounding pages, this sketch is from 1990. Beyond that, I have no idea what’s going on here. I have no idea who the other person is (or even if it’s supposed to be anyone specific), what bar this is (strangely, even though the sketch doesn’t necessarily indicate “bar,” I know that’s the setting here), or where I was going with this strip. If I had to guess, I’d say this was likely to be some kind of I-don’t-want-to-hear-how-great-things-are-going-for-you-my-life-sucks statement. Or something similarly uplifting. I might guess this was during the time when my pal Eric was first dating his now-wife Laura—the other character here looks a little like a glassesless Eric—but (a) Eric wouldn’t have been inclined to prattle on about his good fortunes and (b) Eric doesn’t drink.
My beer is probably a Yuengling Lager or a Molson Golden. I was a bit of a label-peeler, so it’s amusing to see I found it worthwhile to capture that here. It was also extremely important, evidently, that I capture the precise position of the two snacks that escaped the bowl in each of the first two panels. And what exactly ARE those snacks? Goldfish?
Dialogue and theme aside, I like how this one was turning out. I wish I’d finished it.