So there’s kind of a global public health crisis happening now, and most of the world is under stay-at-home orders. I’d just as soon not dwell on this topic at the moment, so let’s move on…
With so much more time on my hands for indoor activities, I’ve been desperately trying to force inspiration for drawing. This has gone as well as it usually does.
Thank God for Beth, who texted me a picture of this product with the message “This is begging for a current events Wacky Package.” It so was. And here we are.
The usual few comments about the process: shout-out to the employee at Blick Art Supplies who pointed me to Smooth Bristol 100-lb paper, which takes the ink from the Tombow markers much better and provides more cover for my crude, brush-stroke heavy “technique.” I also continue to love the color options provided by the Tombow marker set I got a couple of years ago. On the down side, even the fine-point ends of these markers aren’t small enough to allow for detailed lettering work. I’m not terribly pleased with the “COVID” and the “Hell on us” in this drawing. Finally, I hate to admit this, but I find it increasingly hard on my hand to do detailed work for any length of time. I remember lamenting the increasing shakiness of later-year Peanuts comics (though not as much as I lamented the abject terribleness of the writing). I’m feeling more sympathetic to Charles Schulz now, God rest his soul.
It’s been a while since I’ve added to this series. Indeed, I was stunned to see that it had been (with the exception of a double-duty drawing from Inktober 2019) almost TWO YEARS since I’d done one of these parodies.
I started this one last summer, when Maia and her friend Rachel had the Wawa F’real monkey on their backs something fierce. I’m never sure about “cheating” and using the computer to add lettering, but I’m pleased with how it worked here. It’s almost a requirement any time I need white text.
Had a surprisingly hard time thinking of crap to put in the ice cream. Should have put a mushroom or two. Used the wrong magic marker for the bone, which should be white and not grey. Oh, well. I do like the tentacle and the hand.
“Freeze” seems like the kind of prompt where I shouldn’t have needed to go the Wacky Packages route, but I couldn’t think of anything. Also, earlier this week I was reminiscing about WPs with my friend Nance, and it made me realize it had been a long time since I chipped away at my “collect ’em all” series. So I’m killing two birds with one stone here.
I recently got a new computer, and unfortunately none of my photo-editing software is compatible with this new one. I’ve been auditioning freeware replacements, not with great success I’m sad to say. Fortunately, this drawing didn’t require much “post-marker” work.
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.
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.
Just realized I hadn’t put up a blog post in June—just getting in under the buzzer! My weight loss and cartooning goals for 2017 may be all but shot, but maybe I can take some satisfaction in a consecutive-months blogging streak.
Had the idea for this one in my head for a while. First choice would have been to come up with a parody for Molson Golden, but I couldn’t think of anything to change “Golden” to. So here we are.
A few things going on here. First, I didn’t know that my editing software couldn’t put text in an arc, so this label was harder to put together than I expected.
Second, for my birthday I splurged for a bunch of Prismacolor magic markers. Turns out I should have (a) tested them more extensively and (b) saved the receipt. The ink in these markers is heavy and very bleed-y, as I learned to my great dismay when I tried to draw the “CANDIDA” in this label. It’s like trying to draw with a giant Sharpie. The ink also seeps through the pages of my sketchpad, which is not cool.
The receipt thing ticks me off, because I am a notorious pack rat who (usually) never throws ANY scrap of paper away. I recently came across a Food Lion receipt from a 2014 trip to the Outer Banks, for God’s sake. But I couldn’t put aside THIS receipt.
Yeah, this is another biology-themed joke. Not a very accurate one, either, as I don’t think Candida (the genus of the fungus that causes thrush and yeast infections) is much of a problem as a foot-focused skin infection. But if I went with the thrush or yeast infection angle, I’d lose the relevance of “Moleskin.” And there you have the kind of thing that goes through my mind and prevents me from actually drawing anything.
I’m feeling like I REALLY need to get a few actual STRIPS drawn. As I think I noted before, these parody drawings feel like cheats cartooning-wise.
But, for the moment, the important thing is that I have an entry for June 2017.
This is more a case of wanting to “honor” what may be my favoritest candy ever, Ferrera’s Atomic Fireball. Delicious as the candy is, the packaging is pretty bare bones and doesn’t leave a lot of room for visual parody.
I wasn’t sure which way to go with this product parody; I did have another idea in mind, but for this little project I wasn’t sure it was the best foot to put forward.
Putting together this one required a lot of method drawing. And by “required” I mean “involved” and by “method drawing” I mean “eating LOTS of Atomic Fireballs.”
The Violent Rumble entry from the other day seems to have loosened up my cartoonist’s block…at least as far as this little Wacky Packages sub-project goes. Hopefully I’ll be able to come up with ideas for actual strips before too long.
With this drawing I’ve gone back to a full-marker approach (lettering aside). I think I prefer the results this way. At least, I feel more like the end product is mine and not something anyone with a photo-editing program could have done (not that this is a big claim, mind you).
It’s pretty evident that I need new markers. I’ve been meaning to go to a real art supply store (looking at you, Blick in Philadelphia) to check out where marker technology is these days. It has to have advanced from the Marvy Marker sets I got back in the early 80s (which I loved but which are all but bone dry at this point).
Not afraid to admit that I’m particularly happy with this one. Infectious diseases are cool, so I appreciate being able to weave that interest into the parody. Also, I am pleased that I was able to find another product that meets the criteria I’m loosely holding to in this little exercise: (1) a product Topps never hit with a Wacky Package (well, in the original run—I’m not up on any of the post-70s series); (2) a product I like.
Here’s the last of the drawings I did in my Wacky Packages drawing session from February, finally colored in.
I once again used the flood fill feature of my photo-management software, which I am losing my fondness for. The program offers a lot of color options, allows for more even coloring, and saves me marker ink. On the other hand, the flood fill never seems to know what to do with the black lines, and it can yield a too-cartoony look to the finished product (which I know is a weird thing to say about cartoons).
Also, I tend to leave gaps in the borders of shapes and “balloon letters” (that’s what Maia used to call block letters), so when I flood fill an area—for example, to make the letters yellow in this drawing—I invariably end up having a whole area overfilled with yellow until I can go in and use the clone feature to close the gaps in the outline. This is something I consciously corrected for as I inked in the lines of this drawing, which was distracting and took some of the fun out of the exercise.
As far as the product and the parody go…I love Violet Crumbles, but they are hard to find (Amazon aside, but I’ve been trying to get the Amazon monkey off my back). They’re from Australia, and they are divine. The parody practically writes itself.
OK, so 3 down, 27 to go for my own Wacky Packages series. I’ve been given a couple of ideas (thanks, Beth and Robby), so hopefully I can get a few more of these out there. I don’t have any ideas for proper comic strips, so I can keep my hand in the cartooning/blogging game that way.
Another parody from last month’s Wacky Packages-inspired afternoon of drawing. This time I colored it in the old-fashioned way, with magic markers. And I mean really old fashioned, because some of these markers date back from when I was Maia’s age.
I like the color of markers better (though brown sure isn’t easy to work with). I don’t like how the delicate line work exposes the fact that I need stronger glasses (so I have them). I used my drawing program’s text feature to add the text at the bottom. Partially this was because I wanted to see how it would work, and partially it was because I knew it would be almost impossible to color around white text (look at the text at the top to see what I mean). I don’t feel like this is cheating; I read an interview with one of the Topps artists who worked on the original Wacky Packages (Jay Lynch), and he said that they used rub-on lettering all the time.
From this entry, we see clearly that I’m combining an 8-year-old boy’s sense of humor with a 50-year-old man’s perversion. Best of both worlds!
So I think I’m going to work toward drawing a full 30-product series of these parodies this year. I have three done (well, one’s only in the pencil sketch stage), and…I don’t know that I have any more ideas. (Beth, this is right in your wheelhouse. If you wander back this way and read this, feel free to offer suggestions.).