Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas '82

I haven't had time to draw recently for a reason that's sleeping better the last couple of nights, but I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and I needed a picture to post with such a greeting. So I went back to the archives and found this one from 1982... the same year as the Thanksgiving one I posted last month. I wish I had drawn more of the Nativity scene than I did here, because if my Indian at the first Thanksgiving feast was that flamboyant, I'd be very interested in knowing what a wise man looked like.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I haven't drawn anything in the last few days, and it's going to be a few more days before I draw again. Last Thursday night we went to the hospital and traded in my wife's mobility for a cute, little girl we named Gwen. Actually my wife and many of the nurses would probably object to my use of the word "little" as she weighed 9 pounds 12 ounces. After only a few days of life, her hobbies are limited to eating, sleeping, pooping, staring at the Christmas tree, and hosting 4AM scream-a-thons. We love her, but we're tired. I'll draw again soon, but until then, here's our new daugther. So far she looks like me but still manages to be cute. It's a Christmas miracle!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Badgers of Love

I drew these a few weeks ago for a character design exercise we did at work. My first attempt looked like everything I draw, so they told me to branch out and do something new. I have the hardest time breaking away from my own drawing style... mostly because I rarely feel like I have any reason to. But in this case I gave it my best shot, and after a few attempts, I ended up with a final version that looked something like this:
Actually it looked a lot like this because this is it. The goal was to design a squirrel, a badger, or a muskrat that would fit into a video game in a "helper" role. I figured this badger would follow you around and shoot enemies with his love arrows... then instead of wanting to kill you, they would just find you attractive. If their attraction became too aggressive, I suppose you'd have a new set of problems to deal with, but it's not really a game, so I'm not too concerned.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mocking Santa

Shouldn't elves know better than to make fun of someone who sees you when you're sleeping and knows when you're awake? It would be hard to work for a boss like that, because let's be honest... Santa's going to get mocked. He's thousands of years old, grossly overweight, and has been wearing the same, goofy-looking suit for longer than I've been alive. I wouldn't wear that thing in the privacy of my own closet... Santa wears it to the mall.

All right... based on the reflection in my monitor, I'm pretty sure he's standing behind me right now. This may be my last post.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I've Been Tagged

Well... I've been tagged. You'd think I would have noticed it in the mirror the morning after it happened, but no. I first learned of it while reading my sister's blog. What does it mean to be "tagged?" Well, it doesn't mean I've been marked for observation by the forest service like I originally assumed. It's actually something that kind of resembles a chain letter, or a virus, or a plague. If you get tagged, you're supposed to write six interesting things about yourself on your blog, and then pass the assignment on to a handful of your friends. Good news for my friends, though... the tagging stops here. I'm breaking the chain. But even though I'm not paying the plague forward, I thought I'd write six things about myself and hope that at least one of them is mildly interesting.

1 - I've never seen so much as a minute from any episode of the Star Trek franchise... not the original series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, or The College Years. I've also never seen a Star Trek film. I don't have anything against Star Trek, but I don't really have anything for it either.

2 - It bothers me when people tell me to "turn off the TV and pick up a book." I think reading's great... if you're stranded alone on an island or if you hate everyone you know and don't wish to speak to them or enjoy their company. A few years back, I tried to read all of the Harry Potter books. I've never felt so anti-social. The books were fine, but I might as well have been in a coma considering how much human interaction I experienced that summer. Think of someone you know who absolutely loves reading... that's all you know about them, isn't it.

3 - I don't run for fun... because running for fun is impossible. I'll run as hard as I can if I'm playing basketball or crossing a freeway, but running for fun? Hitting myself in the head with a hammer sounds more fun than running. One of my old roommates used to invite me to go running with him. From what? Are there wolves in the apartment? Because if there are, I'll run without question or invitation. But if our apartment is as wolf-free as it appears to be, I'll save my running for sports and moments of extreme cowardice.

4 - I can fly... if you count airplanes and let a pilot help me. I can also fly if you're willing to consider "free falling" a form of flight. But since that would require me to fall from something, I prefer to fly the "airplane" way, thank you.

5 - Nothing makes me more angry than people who talk during movies, bad referees, and drivers who don't understand the "stay right except to pass" part of freeway driving. Actually lots of other things make me that angry. My list of things that don't make me angry would be much shorter... maybe I should go that route.

6 - The sixth thing that is interesting about me is that there are only five things that are interesting about me. That blows my mind.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Adopt a Rabbit

Yeah, I know... this is kind of sad. But don't judge me. You were thinking the same thing.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving '82

I found this Thanksgiving-themed masterpiece in one of my old boxes, and I was surprised to learn that I'm still using the same basic drawing technique now that I was using as a 7-year-old. And what technique is that? Masking my inabilities through shortcuts and trickery, of course. Consider my more recent drawings... the gradient backgrounds, the Photoshop-selection-tool shadows, and the way my characters frequently conceal their poorly-drawn hands behind their backs or in their pockets. Yes, the art of using shortcuts to hide shortcomings remains the essence of my drawing "style."

Look at this drawing... I used that exact technique. Obviously I wasn't sure how to draw a turkey's head. No matter... that's why a page has borders. Clever staging seamlessly covered up that potential hang-up. I wasn't the best at drawing trees either, so I labeled the tree, thus wiping away any possible confusion there. And if you're having trouble finding the fox, that's because I cut back on drawing time by hiding his body behind the labeled tree. If you still can't find him, just read the labels.

But the best part of this drawing is its clear depiction of the first Thanksgiving... when the pilgrims and the feathered-beret-wearing pimps gathered together in the tall dead, grass of autumn beneath hovering trees to feast, to give thanks, and to make fun of people who wore purple jumpsuits... which is still what Thanksgiving means to me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Thanksgiving is just one week away, making the coming week the most dangerous week of the year for turkeys... unless you're a Canadian turkey, in which case the most dangerous week of the year has already passed, and this is your sixth week of mourning. But if you're an American turkey, look out. Most of you are doomed.

I'm pretty sure I wouldn't eat turkey if turkeys were cute or if they tasted bad, but ugly and delicious? There's nothing safe about that combination. There's lots of stuff to be thankful for on Thanksgiving... family, health, paid vacation days, football, Christmas, etc. But mostly I'm thankful I'm not a turkey.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mountain Lion

Question: What is the difference between a mountain lion and a cougar?
Answer: Most sources will tell you they are the same thing, but in actuality, there is one major difference... mountain lions carry canteens.

Question: What is the difference between a mountain lion and a mountain man?
Answer: The tail.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Mad Tea Party

I was always confused as a kid by the way the tea party in Alice in Wonderland was referred to as "mad." Mad? Those guys didn't seem mad at all. They tipped the scales on "crazy," but I never saw them as being mad. Later in life I learned that "mad" can also mean "crazy." Synonyms... yet another way language has managed to vex me.

When languages were originally developed, couldn't we have just made up an entirely new word for each new thing? Theodor Geisel got his doctorate in making up words, so I know there's potential for lots more of them than we're using. We needn't be giving multiple meanings to the few we have. I still giggle when Gene Autry insists that I be "merry and gay" each Christmas. Synonymns make me mad... by which I mean both "angry" and "nutty."

Monday, November 05, 2007


Lately I haven't been posting things on my blog as regularly as I like to, which makes me nervous that the twelve people who come here might be losing interest. Sorry that I've been so boring recently, but I'm hoping to get back on track this week. I should have a bit more time for blogging in the near future now that work's settling down a little, I'm not sick anymore, Halloween's done, and the mischievous scapegoat has finally been imprisoned.

Check back soon... more stuff's on the way.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I remember the night that Michael Jackson's Thriller video premiered... my whole family gathered together to watch it on TV. And right next to that in my memory are all of the times I ran through our upstairs hallway from the zombies and werewolves I figured were lurking in the closets up there. Now that I have a job in story-telling, an imagination is a valuable thing to have. But that same imagination is a curse to a kid, as evidenced by a childhood full of nightmares. Sharks, snakes, Michael Jackson... I missed out on so much sleep as a kid because of terrifying monsters like these. I learned years later that Michael Jackson was actually supposed to have been more scary as a werewolf... I totally missed that.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Copy Cat

"Copy cat." What a dumb expression. I just spent a few of my life's most boring minutes researching its origin, and it seems that it may have derived from the way kittens have been known to imitate the behaviors of their mothers. Yeah... because that's a uniquely kittenish thing to do. If copying your mother's behavior is something only cats do, then why do I say "good glory" in the place of swearing? I think it's because my mom "swears" that way, and also because I'm apparently a cat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


This week's Toon Club topic was Frankenstein. I didn't really want to draw Frankenstein, but I did want to draw a pig, and I've been meaning to post more blue animals on my blog... so when you add those things together, the result can only be Frankenswine. I googled "Frankenswine," and it seems I'm about the 886th person to use that not-so-clever variation of the Frankenstein name. I'm just glad to be in the first thousand.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Witchy Silhouette

This week's Toon Club topic was Witches. I drew this really quickly, because I wanted to get it done before I drove myself crazy. As it turns out, I can't draw a witch without the soundtrack from "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" playing on an endless loop in my giant head. Treguna mekoides tracorum satis dee! Man, I hate my brain.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Don't Jump in the Leaves

When I was a kid, I used to helpfully watch as my mom spent hours raking our whole yard by herself. When she was finally finished, she would warn me, "Don't jump in the leaves." I assumed she was trying to keep me safe from the man-eating leaf pile which would certainly open wide and swallow me whole if I jumped at it. Only recently have I realized that she only told me not to jump in the leaves because then she would have had to rake them all again. My mom can be so selfish.

Just kidding, Mom... you're the best! Sorry I didn't help you with the raking, but I've never felt comfortable around piles of leaves... as you can see.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

I'm a HUGE Football Fan!

Recently my wife and I went to a football game... it looked like this. I've taken some liberties with hair colors and burger toppings, but this was basically it. I'm not exactly in a position to criticize as I would still be considered overweight if I magically lost 20 pounds (which realistically is the only way I'm going to lose 20 pounds), but I think it's time we abandon the "ticketing" system and start purchasing our stadium seating by the inch. I'd have to pay more than a lot of people, but then I'd at least know that I wasn't going to have to watch the game with someone I don't know sitting on my lap... and my arm... and my other arm and chest. On the bright side, however, it was a good game, and I expect to be walking again in less than a month. Really looking forward to that.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Wing-Tailed Unicordionist

Well, it's already October again, and I thought I'd start out the creepiest month of the year with a drawing of the most horrifying creature I could imagine... a Wing-Tailed Unicordionist. He's going to give you all nightmares... or brownies. Luckily he lets you pick which one you want, but the brownies have nuts in them, so you may want to consider the nightmares. I hate when brownies get ruined by nuts. More "scary" drawings are on their way this month, because obviously I'm really good at them. I love October.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Too Much Yard Work

I've been doing too much yard work this week to draw anything new, so here's something I drew a few weeks ago that I wasn't even going to post. It's true... this poor little guy would have remained in the skecth stack forever if our bushes hadn't grown tall enough in the last month to completely eclipse our house. Some worse-than-usual traffic has also wasted a bunch of my time, but I'll save my road rage rant for another day... or a series of days. That's one of my longer rants. It's actually more of a seminar.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Last Unicorn

If all unicorns were this inconsiderate and careless, it's no surprise that they didn't last. Realistically, I can't imagine that a "one-anything band" has survival in its future. When was the last time you saw a one-man band? Aside from Bert in Mary Poppins, I've never seen one. I assume they were killed off before I was born by tigers, multi-man bands, and natural selection. The traditional one-man band is most likely extinct because it only performed one song... and that song had no title, no melody, and was as soothing on the ears as a train wreck. A solo bander doesn't make music... it makes noise.

My feelings about "noise" make me realize how old I'm getting. When I was a kid, adults were always telling me to quiet down. I couldn't figure out why old people were so objected to sound, but somewhere in the last thirty years... I got old. Last week someone cruised by our house on a motorcycle, and I thought, "What, are you trying to wake up the whole neighborhood?" I was also upset that the motorcyclist was visiting our street from a world without speed limits. What? I'm way too young to be this old. Fortunately I didn't confront him or I'd have probably ended up offering him sixpence to get a haircut. Crazy hooligan!

Wait, was this about unicorns? They were hooligans too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dog Sketches

I was just organizing the stack of sketches that consistently manages to overtake my desk, and I found some dogs that weren't too bad. I drew these after watching a dog-drawing seminar with my good bud and co-story-guy, Bryan Lefler. Now that I know all I could ever want to know about canine skeletal structure, I'm even more ashamed than I was before at how little I incorporate actual anatomy into my drawings. But, hey - it's all about the gesture... and some poses don't work when you have bones.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Truck Driver

Okay, no - not all truck drivers look like this... because some of them are women. That wasn't very nice, and I only say it because I'm tired of sitting behind truck drivers who pass each other going uphill on the freeway at half the speed limit. Just so you truckers know, though 32 miles an hour is wrecklessly fast in a school zone, it's probably not fast enough to require you to block the freeway's passing lane for ten minutes while you gently sneak by the guy who's going 30.

Driving a truck would be one of the worst jobs I can imagine. I experience plenty of road rage just driving to work... if driving was work, the rage would never subside. That giant mug is based on my own 64-ouncer that I used to fill with Cherry Coke at least once a day. I switched to water when I realized I was beginning to look like this gentleman.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Flying Wounded Seals

It's Fantasy Football time again, and that means the return of the Flying Wounded Seals. Every fantasy team I've ever had in any sport has had that same name. I joined my first fantasy football league one night in August of 2001 right after watching the Discovery Channel's world premier of "Air Jaws." When I was asked to provide a team name, the images from that nightmare-inducing show were still fresh in my mind. I guess I could have gone with "Super Sharks" or something more intimidating, but I had been cheering for the seals who flew through the air with gashes in their sides that night... not for the sharks whose momentum and teeth had caused the seals to be flying and wounded in the first place. And because I'm too lazy to come up with a new team name, I've been the Flying Wounded Seals ever since.

Week One was a pretty good week for my three Flying Wounded Seals teams... two wins and one loss. I decided to finally draw a logo for my six-year-old fantasy team last night while I was watching Monday Night Football. You're probably wondering why the wounded seal is so happy. Just because you're injured doesn't mean you have to be sad. We could all learn a lot from flying, wounded seals... like how to lose a game even when your defense scores 52 points.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Horse With No Name

On Monday night we went to see America (the band, not the country). I've always liked them, which I guess means I'm a fan of nonsensical lyrics that are loaded with "la la la's" and set to guitar music. You may remember my confusion about Ventura Highway's "alligator lizards in the air." Well, here's part of another one of their songs that I really like but don't quite get:

"I've been through the desert on a horse with no name.
It felt good to be out of the rain.
In the desert you can remember your name,
'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain."

Is that a triple negative in the last line?! Glorious! I'm also impressed that they managed to rhyme a seemingly unrhymable word like "name" with the equally complex word "name." Genius! But the most incredible thing about this song is the attitude of the guy who sings it. Finding himself lost in the desert on a horse he can't even converse with because he hasn't the means to address it, instead of focusing on his inevitable thirst-related death, what he thinks is, "How nice that it's not raining." Good for him.

One time I sprained my ankle and forgot my name for a couple weeks... pain will do that. If only we could all live in the carefree desert.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Sheep in Wolf's Clothing

I have some problems with the phrase "a wolf in sheep's clothing" - some serious, mental problems. That ridiculous saying is draped in flaw. I've seen a lot of sheep in my life, all over the world, and not a single one was ever wearing clothes... not even so much as a hat. Unless there's a cult out there somewhere that dresses farm animals in people clothes, I can safely assert that all sheep are naked all of the time.

A sheep whose wool has been sheered appears to be more naked than a wool-covered sheep, but neither of them is "clothed." If you shaved all of your dog's hair and covered yourself with it, you wouldn't say you were wearing your dog's clothes... you would say, "I'm a disgusting individual with no foreseeable hope of marrying." You wouldn't have to say that, though. People are intuitive about things like that... they would know.

So what have I drawn here? A sheep in wolf's clothing? Come on - let's call it what it is... a "sheep under wolf's carcass." It doesn't sound as charming, but accuracy trumps eloquence. Hey, look! I just found a worse saying!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Bodyless Badger

A year ago I posted something on my blog about badgers. That drawing looked kind of rushed, so I drew this new, meaner-looking badger using the same basic design, only this time the badger had no body. I tried to mask the lack of body by throwing one together in Photoshop. This took about four seconds and looked awful. So instead of re-doing it or taking the time to draw one, I just darkened it all into obscurity. Sometimes the most creative thing about art is finding ways to not do art.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Killer Whales

Orcas attack and eat anything they want to in the ocean... and sometimes they venture up onto beaches to kill stuff there too. They've even been known to attack great white sharks. Considering the threat they are to everything in or near the sea, it's no wonder that orcas are more commonly known as "killer whales." Then why am I more terrified of sharks than I am of killer whales if killer whales are the ocean's number one predator? I can think of a few reasons.

Because of their natural color markings that look like smile lines, killer whales always seem happy. Sharks are ugly and look mad. So even though both animals have dagger-like teeth that could easily rip my flesh from my bones, I find myself less afraid of the one who would look happy doing it.
Sea World has also influenced my feelings. At the Shark Encounter, ominous music plays in darkened caverns while sharks eerily encircle the exhibit's guests who find themselves trapped in tunnels well below the surface. At Shamu Stadium, cheerleaders in wet suits dance around to Brittany Spears classics while killer whales leap from the water, playfully launching other cheerleaders into the air. It's hard to misread the message Sea World is sending.
And the last reason that sharks are scarier than killer whales... it's impossible to trust a fish.

Monday, August 20, 2007

John Denver

Hey, everyone... I like John Denver! Yeah, that's right... and I'm not ashamed of it. Out of the 6,721 songs on my iPod, John Denver sings 239 of them. I even broke up with a girl once because she said she hated John Denver. That wasn't the only reason I broke up with her... I just knew that someone that unstable would probably eventually claim that babies are ugly and ice cream is gross.

Even if you don't like him or his music, you can't argue that John Denver's the coolest person who was ever born with the last name "Deutschendorf." Sunshine on his shoulders made him happy. Guest appearances and Christmas specials with the Muppets made him a star.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Wild West

I drew these guys while trying to put together my "wanted" poster, but they didn't seem like criminals, so they became abandoned concepts instead. They were about to become part of my giant stack of discarded sketches when I noticed that the two drawings kind of fit together side-by-side. So this scene doesn't make sense because it was never meant to be a scene. All the same, here's some "forced sense" for it:

While the older gentleman on the left is trying to figure out why he has fewer fingers on his left hand than everyone else in town, the guy on the right stares in hat-floating amazement at the remains of a man who was born with his head upside down. Anatomy... not a popular subject in the Wild West... or for me.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lyle Gunnerson

I drew this for the most recent topic on the Avalanche blog: "Wanted in the Wild West."

I never realized how much fun it is to draw cowboys... all the more reason to bring a sketchbook to the state fair next month. That place is a sketchbook goldmine with its pig races, bears on unicycles, countless wandering fair-going weirdos, and the opportunity to see the world's tallest horse for just fifty cents. Yeah, I know if I'm there, that makes me a "fair-going weirdo" too. But at least my belt buckle's smaller than my head.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pinocchio & Jiminy

I've mentioned on my blog before that Pinocchio is my favorite movie ever. Then I said the exact same thing about Mary Poppins. Clearly I don't know what I'm talking about or what I think. For the purpose of sounding like I know my own opinion, I'm going to say that Pinocchio is my favorite animated movie ever. For Toon Club's Pinocchio topic, I finally had a reason to try my hand at drawing Pinocchio again. My first attempt was... well, reviews have been mixed. This was a lot of fun to draw... especially the "Jiminy Cricket" part.

Jiminy Cricket is the coolest. He taught me that, if I don't ride my bike into oncoming traffic, I might live to be 23. I'm getting close to 33 now, so I must have subconsciously heard the second verse too. Actually I just don't ride a bike at all... which is the best way to avoid bicycle-riding death. I'm no fool.

I hung Jiminy Cricket on the rear-view mirror in my car... but not in the "Old West execution" style like it sounds. It's actually a Christmas tree ornament, and Jiminy's hanging from his umbrella... not his neck. I put him there because I thought having a conscience nearby might curb my road-rage. Hasn't really worked, though. If you're not passing anyone, get to the right! Even "plastic Jiminy ornament" knows that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Death By Vacation

Vacation days are too few. If I had 120 vacation days a year, I would probably allow myself to spend a few of them relaxing at home. I could certainly use that kind of break. But because vacation days are so limited, I refuse to waste them on boring activities like "resting" or "breathing." In fact, I can't think of the last time I had a day off that wasn't considerably more exhausting than going to work would have been.

I've heard people say at the end of a tiring day that it was "no day at the beach." For me a day at the beach is worse. A typical one consists of about nine hours of fighting the ocean tide, a three-mile walk through the sand while the sun sets, and about eight hours of card games. A day at the beach nearly kills me because a night at the beach is only a few minutes long.

This drawing shows how I feel when I get home from a typical vacation. Now that I think about it, if I had 120 vacation days a year, I'd already be dead. It would just be more time I'd refuse to waste.

I love vacations... they're a fun way to die.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Battle of Endor

When I was a kid, I had over a hundred Star Wars action figures. By the time my mom sold them all at a garage sale without telling me so she could estrange me for the most depressing years of my childhood, most of them were pretty battle-scarred. Because of their tattered appearance and their status as "not yet collectible," the whole set, including the Millennium Falcon and five or six other play sets, sold for much less than they should have. If you're the one who bought all my Star Wars toys, I'll buy them back from you for more than ten times the amount you spent on them in 1985. I am writing you a check right now for $3.62. Why would my mom sell my Star Wars toys? I've asked her... there's no answer.

I drew this for the Avalanche blog... the topic was Stupid Star Wars Characters. I've always loved the old Star Wars movies, but even as a kid I remember being a little disappointed that the final battle between the Empire and the Rebels came down to a forest shoot-out between aim-disabled Stormtroopers and teddy bears with sticks. If you were picking teams for a galactic battle, I'm pretty sure the battle would be "locked" long before any Ewoks or Stormtroopers were drafted.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bear vs Tiger

I must have drawn these guys ten times... and I couldn't get them to fight once. In fact, one of the times they were dancing. So the question of "grizzly bear vs. Bengal tiger" remains a mystery... because bears and tigers are too reasonable and understanding to fight. Stupid, uncooperative sketches.

One other thing - next week is "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel. Don't miss it or you'll risk having nightmares about other stuff.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Elephant vs Monkey

I've often wondered what the outcome would be if a grizzly bear and a Bengal tiger got into a fight. Barring a zoo outbreak or a second worldwide flood, this fight will most likely never take place. I guess that's good for tigers and bears, but how will I ever know who would win? Any theories? I pick the bear, but that's just because he cheats.

This is what would happen if a monkey and an elephant got into a fight, because elephants are too friendly and jolly to beat up monkeys, so they'd just yo-yo them and stuff... which I guess isn't all that friendly. This theory needs work.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Summer is Lame

There was a period in my life when summer was my favorite time of year. I would swim all day or take five-hour naps or play basketball or tennis until it was too dark to see. Late at night I'd watch The Arsenio Hall Show long after I would have already been asleep the rest of the year, then I'd sleep in the next morning until The Price is Right was on. TV programming was the only reason I ever knew what time it was. I had no responsibility... nothing to accomplish or work on. Summer vacation was a three-month break from everything. By the depressing first day of school each fall, I had completely forgotten how to read and write from a summer of allowing my brain to atrophy inside my sun-baked head. Summer was wonderful... then I got older.

Now summer is the same as every other time of year except there's a lot more yard work, there's no football or basketball on TV, and I burst into flames every time I get in my car. Any season that includes weekly lawn-mowing is an enemy to me. I'm ready for fall... with its 70-degree days, football season, and the return of entertaining TV. Summer's so lame.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Garn Reunion

I drew this several months ago for some reunion t-shirts. The Garns have giant heads, so the weather-balloon-headed octopus was an easy choice. Because what fun is a family reunion if you're not wearing matching t-shirts that draw further attention to your family's genetically shared abnormalities?

Genetically I am a grab bag of all that is undesirable from both sides of my family tree. I got the enormous head from the Garns, and from the Lewis side I got the excessive amounts of "sweaty" and "hairy," as well as the crooked nose. When I wear glasses I look a little bit insane or like I was just in a fight because glasses won't sit horizontally across my face... on my giant head. Hooray for genetics.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jaws Movies

One time when I was a kid, my mom left me in the care of my dad for the night. Somehow he made the grossly erroneous decision that I was old enough to watch Jaws. I'm not even sure I'm old enough to handle it now, so his math was off by at least thirty years. Good call, Dad. Before that night I didn't even know "scary" was an option for movies. I thought movies were about magical lands and singing animals. Five minutes into that thing I knew I never wanted to swim, bathe, or even run through the sprinklers again.

Luckily the Jaws sequels made sharks less scary by continuously increasing in absurdity. In Jaws II, the shark took down a helicopter. A little hard to swallow... both for me and for the shark. Jaws III featured a shark that was roughly the size of Florida. Hurry to Sea World, everyone... they finally got a Megalodon. In Jaws IV: The Revenge, a descendant of the original "Jaws" shark followed the Brody widow all the way to the Bahamas. This lady's husband died of a heart attack caused by his own intense fear of sharks, one of her sons was eaten by a shark, and her other son was studying in the Bahamas to become a marine biologist. Hey, Brodys... move inland! Coastal cities and islands aren't for people who've managed to offend multiple generations of great whites.

One time my sister's high school class watched Jaws on a big screen while sitting on rafts and tubes in the darkened city pool. What a great idea! Maybe the mutant who planned that activity can arrange for next year's seniors to watch Shawshank in Shawshank. Come for the popcorn... stay for the violent prison beatings. I don't even like watching Jaws on my couch... no way I'm watching it in (or near) a pool. Sharks are cool... if you like nightmares. And thanks to that night my dad was my babysitter, I've had a lot of them.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Never Beginning Story

If you've seen The Neverending Story in the last 20 years, you've seen it more recently than me. I don't remember a lot about that movie... just that the main villain was "nothing," the horse sunk into tar because its self-esteem was low, and of course, Falkor - the flying snake-dog with udders or tentacles or something. I guess when a snake and a flying dog breed, the result is a "dragon." What a messed up movie. What?! It was written by a German? No.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Classic Peter Pan

I stumbled upon this gem while looking through some old boxes. It was probably drawn around the same time as the Pinocchio sketch I posted a while back. There are several things about this one that I consider worthy of my own praise. For instance, the crocodile's wandering eye... that's a nice touch. Also, the crocodile's other wandering eye... equally stellar. The leaf on Captain Hook's hat is an interesting twist. Then there's Mr. Smee, striking an impressively flamboyant pose there in the background. But I think my favorite thing about the whole glorious image is Peter Pan's double-jointed knee... or his dislocated hip... or his badly twisted ankle. Whatever it is, I'm going to consider it the highest level of dexterity ever seen in the history of artistry.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Drawing Some Bears

I've heard that a lot of kids I know and some I don't have been drawing flying pigs for the last little while because of a video I made. I feel that there is a limit to how much winged pork you can draw in a lifetime, and while I fortunately haven't reached that point, some of these poor kids did weeks ago. Since they don't know how to draw other stuff, they're still cranking out pigs. To keep them from burning out on drawing completely, I put this new video together. Look, kids! You can finally draw something else! I wish I had used a darker pencil… something for me to remember when everyone's sick of drawing hugging bears and I have to make a new drawing video. Hey, kids - DON'T hold your pencils like this! It works just fine, but the resulting ridicule never ends.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Harry Potter

This is the cover of the final book in the Harry Potter series: "Harry Potter and the Worthless Education."

It's a shame that potential employers care so little about the good grade you got in "Spell Casting," and the way they mock you when you say they haven't heard of the school you graduated from because it can only be accessed through an invisible portal at the train station. Way to prepare your students for the real world, Hogwarts.

I don't mean to imply by this that flipping pancakes at IHOP is a bad occupation... but when you're trained in the largely useless art of wizardry, it must feel like a big step down. Sorry to have spoiled the big twist at the end of the final book.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

American Gladiators

Recently I was thrilled to learn that ESPN Classic airs reruns of American Gladiators every night at 11 o'clock. For me this has meant less sleep, but it has also meant a great deal more laughing about blunt force trauma caused to mullet-wearing heads. Nitro, Gemini, Thunder, and the gang... oh, the flashbacks.

My ninth-grade Geometry teacher took a month off of work (probably for a medical procedure of some kind), and he told us he wouldn't be around because he was trying out for American Gladiators. Some of the students believed him, but I knew the show well enough to know that "Out-Weigh All of the Gladiators Combined" wasn't one of their events. Too bad, though... he would have smoked them in that.

Is American Gladiators the best TV show ever? Probably not. But is it the best show ever about over-grown beast-people using padded clubs and tennis ball guns to beat the crap out of bus drivers and grocery store clerks? I dare to assume that it's at least in the top four or five. Seriously - what's not to like? It's a recipe for magic! Thank heavens for reruns.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Lorax & Google

This is the "Star-Bellied Lorax in the Hat" that I drew for Toon Club's Dr. Seuss topic. I originally wanted to create my own Seuss-ish creature and write a poem about it, using made-up words to bridge otherwise unrhymeable gaps, but I wasn't feeling very creative. Speaking of made-up words, how would you spell "unrhymeable" if it was a word? Not even a suggestion, spell check? I'd like to have a Lorax of my own, because it would be interesting to know what the trees are thinking.

I suppose it's time again to write about one of my favorite topics... dumb Google searches. Yeah, the gag's a little over-played on my blog, but there have been some classics recently:
  • online sketches of lizards
  • how do I make my widescreen movie fullscreen?
  • do kangaroos have arms?
  • a blue cheetah that is retarded and stupid and it could defend anyone against a polar bear
  • how to you how draw a chipmunk?

Well, "How" to you too, Chief! Looking to add some chipmunk drawings to the outside of your teepee? Do they have stencils for that kind of thing maybe? I wish I could be of more help.

Online sketches of lizards? Do you really need to say the "online" part? Have you ever been referred by Google to a sketchbook someone's carrying around? And if you're not that specific you're going to have to track down the guy who drew the lizard yourself and ask to see it?

How do you make widescreen movies fullscreen? Let's see... sit really close... move plants and bookshelves to block the sides of your TV... wear horse blinders. Plenty of ways.

Do kangaroos have arms? Is your internet presented in Braille? Because if not, I'm not sure how you'll ever get your answer. Well, I guess there's the "ask ANYONE" option, because that's who would know if kangaroos have arms.

And lastly... who even knew you could do a Google search that long? A blue cheetah, huh? That could defend anyone against a polar bear? That seems to be asking a lot of an animal that's retarded AND stupid... especially a discolored jungle cat. (If you do that search, my blog is the number one result. Where have I gone wrong?)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lucille Bluth

Hey, look! Another Arrested Development sketch! This is Lucille Bluth... a terrible person, and therefore a great character. Here are some of my favorite "Lucille" quotes:

"Everything I've said about you can be covered with makeup and a lie about a thyroid problem."

"It’s his glasses. They make him look like a lizard. Plus he’s self-conscious."

"I don’t criticize you. And if you’re worried about criticism, sometimes a diet is the best defense."

And when her granddaughter asked if they could go get ice cream:
"I don’t think so. That chubby little wrist of yours is testing the tensile strength of this bracelet as it is."

I may have to take a break from doing these character drawings so I can accomplish other things with my life, but Michael, George Sr., G.O.B., George Michael, Lindsay, and Maeby will all be on the way someday.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Saturday night there was a sneak preview of PIXAR’s newest film, Ratatouille. Anyone who knows me will already know that I was there. There are probably bigger fans of PIXAR than I am, but aside from John Lasseter, I don’t know any. You know what I just realized? I haven’t sent a portfolio to PIXAR in more than a year. Either I really like my job or I’ve gotten lazy... probably a combination of the two.

We got to the movie over an hour early so we could have any seat in the theater... and we got the best seats there... in the center of the back row. Back row? Exactly. Then everyone who talks during the movie is facing away from me... no one can kick my seat... things like that. Why be surrounded by idiots when the back row offers a boundary from them on at least one side?

Now, don’t worry - I know Ratatouille hasn’t been released yet, so I’m not going to give anything away. All I’ll say about it is that Pixar is 8-for-8... a fine start for a movie studio. Lots of studios are making animated films, but only one of them has never messed up. Pixar’s incredible! Honestly, I loved it before I even saw it because Brad Bird’s a genius, Pixar’s story people are the best there are (better than me? what?), and John Lasseter... well, if I love him so much, why don't I marry him? I can think of several undeniable reasons, but he's awesome. So I went into it with insanely high expectations... and I still wasn't disappointed.

The animation blew my mind. Remy's only communication with Linguini was through gesturing and expressions... and that takes a lot of thought and work. And making Linguini look like he was moving against his will couldn't have been easy... and kind of goes against everything I learned in animation classes and books. It all looked beautiful! You know what... just go see it... June 29th. It's another great movie that everyone will love forever... or at least I will. Hooray for PIXAR and the way they saved animation several years back... and for continuously adding more classics to the history of animated movies. If any PIXAR people read this... thanks. You're the best!

And just one more thing for the movie-going public... if you have to text message during the film, maybe you’re too important to see a movie in the first place. If your wife is about to give birth and you’re expecting a call, maybe you shouldn’t be at a movie either. The technology that offers you enough light to see who’s calling you or to read the text message you just received is the same technology that is blinding everyone behind you. They may not say it or do it, but everyone wants to punch you in the back of the head. Just a head’s up.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Buster Bluth

"Restless, Buster went to the kitchen to find something to help him sleep when he came across Lucille's emergency stash of wine, which he mistook for a giant juice box. It was the first taste of alcohol Buster had since he was nursing."

Happy birthday to my brother, Landon... 19 today. "Hey, brother."