Thursday, June 08, 2017

Camouflage

I'm pleased to share my latest collaboration with my friend Hilary Price.
Usually, we have several discussions regarding a gag, and it changes on its way to publication. In this case, there was a small revision to the dialog, and Hilary adapted the art for a better fit in the horizontal strip layout.
This change is staging put the fox and wolf on all four legs, adding at least a touch of realism to the scene.

If you enjoyed this cartoon, you're encouraged to review our previous collaborations, all saved on this blog.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Leg to Stand On

This post is a week late, but here (finally) is the May 3 Rhymes With Orange comic strip, co-created with Hilary Price.
The gag took a while to take form, as is often the case when Hilary and I work together. The strip I submitted featured a selection of shabby/inferior items with appropriate names, listed as items from a fictional low-expectations publication.
The last two items are blurred, just in case I find a use for them in a future gag*. Hilary told me she liked the image of a piano with one leg on a cinderblock, and suggested we pursue that as a standalone gag, perhaps with some sort of "there goes the neighborhood" punchline.

We toyed with the idea of either a snooty-looking couple, or perhaps a pair of Beethoven-like figures saying that the neighborhood used to be so much more sophisticated, or something like, "You said it was safe to park it here."

It didn't come together until Hilary wrote the "diminuendoed" line. That use of a musical term wrapped the gag up very nicely indeed. Using a shovel to hold up the lid was a terrific little extra in the final comic.

All told, we played around with it over the course of almost two months before it was finished. If we lived closer to each other, we could have nailed it over a couple of beers.


*Note: I salvaged the "substandard poodle" drawing for a WaynoVision gag (the link won't work before the publication date of May 31).

Friday, January 27, 2017

Slam Dunk

Here's my latest collaboration with Hilary Price.
Please feel free to browse our previous joint efforts here.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Coffee and a Sandwich

This week brings two consecutive Rhymes With Orange gags written by your humble cartoonist.

First up, we propose a new business model for coffee shops...
...and a bit of advice from a seasoned pro:
 
RWO cartoonist Hilary Price made a slight change to the dialog from my submission sketch, and shifted the perspective to show a more of the cafe interior. The title block she created for this one is perfect.
 
Hilary's final art for the worker bee gag brilliantly depicts the honeycomb structure as a construction site, and adds space around the characters. 
If you enjoyed these cartoons, perhaps you'd like to browse my previous collaborations with Hilary.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Nonverbal Communication

Today's Rhymes With Orange comic explores an aspect of human-animal interaction.
The idea came from Foster, one of my own feline studio assistants, who can be persistent and persuasive when he's ready for some affection. Below is my submission drawing, which isn't too far off from Hilary's final gag.
I worked out the idea with some sketchbook roughs, which aren't staged as economically as the eventual strip, but have a certain appeal in their own right.
I can't take any credit for the idea of the cat pulling on a pant leg to demand attention. That's Foster's concept.

If you liked today's cartoon, perhaps you'd care to browse through my other collaborations with Hilary Price. They're all archived for your reading pleasure.

Finally, to give credit where it's due, here's a candid shot of my studio assistant taking a break while I practice the ukulele.



Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Liberty, Equality... Fraternity?


Today's WaynoVision cartoon was started almost five years ago. I submitted an early version to Dan Piraro as a possible Bizarro panel.
NOTE: I used Dan's font in submission sketches to make them look more Bizarro-like
Dan rejected it, and I filed it away, later submitting it to Hilary Price for Rhymes with Orange. Hilary also passed on it, in part because of the implausible premise of human beings speaking to a giant lobster. I had to agree that there was no grounding in reality as a starting point for the joke.

I archived the image in a "failed ideas" folder and forgot about it until June of this year. I started to redraw the cartoon, but realized that I hated it before completing a penciled version.
After abandoning this new sketch, I tried to devise another way to use the idea of a lobster (or maybe a shrimp or crawfish) being tricked into entering a steam room. The decision to replace the people with animals brought to mind a fraternity initiation. The unsettling thought of two creatures leading one of their own to its doom felt like a perfect opportunity to use these crustacean stand-ins to comment on an unsavory aspect of human behavior. After scribbling the quick thumbnail at the bottom of the page above, I roughed out this drawing in my sketchbook. 

During my time assisting Dan Piraro as his colorist (2011-2014), I paid particular attention to his realistic drawings of animals and insects. An accurate rendering provides a sharp contrast to unnatural behavior in a gag, and can give a cartoon extra punch. When animals appear in my cartoons, I generally try to make them lifelike, to the best of my artistic ability.

College fraternities provide plenty of material for comment, and have inspired me in the past. Putting aside meritless elitism, what I find most baffling about fraternity culture is the notion of humiliating, beating, torturing (and sometimes killing) people as a test to become "friends." 

Initially, the cartoon had a slightly different caption.
The "unfortunate incident" wording reflects the way horrific events are often downplayed by apologists, but "Prawn State University" could be interpreted as a reference to a particular school. That was not my intention, as despicable fratboy shenanigans occur everywhere. 

Changing the name to the "Kappa Delta Prawn" made it more universal, and produced a satisfying sound in the mind's ear. (You must admit, the word "prawn" sounds funny on its own.)

I'm pleased with the way this one finally turned out, and owe thanks to my colleagues Dan and Hilary for rejecting it in its earlier incarnation.

This is an appropriate place to quote Jay Kennedy (1956-2007), a champion of cartoons, and a friend and mentor to countless cartoonists:
[I]n the fine arts, artists generally comment on the world only obliquely; and sadly, only those people who have the leisure to study art history can fully appreciate their comments. By contrast, cartoons are an art form accessible to all people. They can simply laugh at the jokes or look beyond them to see the artist’s view of the world. Cartoons are multi-leveled art accessible to everyone at whatever level they choose to enjoy.

I hope that today’s cartoon is one that can function on the multiple levels Jay described so eloquently.

Thanks for reading, at whatever level you choose.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Busman's Holiday

Just in time for vacation season, here's a new Rhymes With Orange gag.
Hilary Price's published drawing is very close to my sketch, which tells me I was fairly successful at both the staging and the dialog.
Most of us are still connected to our jobs, even when on holiday, and I imagine that therapists are no different.

Please feel free to browse my previous collaborations with Hilary in this blog's Rhymes With Orange Crate.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Perspective

I'm pleased to show my latest collaboration with Hilary Price.
I can barely take credit for this one. The idea came from my spouse, Kim. We were walking and avoiding dried worms on the sidewalk the day after a rainstorm, when she commented, "But to the birds, it's free jerky."

I immediately sketched out a gag based on her obeservation:
Hilary often uses these sketches as springboards, and her version is more economical with the dialog and art. Also, the bird's reaction provides an insughtful comment on the human tendency to assign supernatural causes to normal occurences.

I'll be back in the RWO space again tomorrow, so be sure to check in. Also, our previous joint efforts are archived here.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Career Goals

We close out April with another Rhymes with Orange gag written by yours truly.
RWO's creator, Hilary Price, retained the dialog from my sketch, but changed the setting. 
As always, working with Hilary is a delightful break from the solitary labor of cartoonery, and I look forward to more chances to aid and abet her.

Please feel free to review our many collaborations here.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Draw Blood

Here's my latest collaboration with Hilary Price.
This one grew out of a very simplistic spin on a cartoon trope, shown in my submission sketch, below.
We both thought the gag as submitted wasn't quite satisfying, though we liked the idea of the wolfboy's father being the culprit, and agreed to see if we could come up with a better comic. 

We hit a dead end, but, two weeks later, Hilary told me that she had woken up with the idea that resulted in the published comic. Oftentimes, the cartoonist's brain continues to churn, even while sleeping, with the goal of salvaging a gag. This one worked beautifully.

You are encouraged to view all of our previous joint efforts here.

Finally, I feel obligated to share the earworm I'm experiencing as I compose this post. Please enjoy the words and music of the late Warren Zevon.