Archive for September, 2009

My Revamped Studio Space

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

I made a little extra money last week from an illustration job, and I decided to use it to invest in a new desk.  The decision came after spending three nights coloring an image, which was killing my back.  I’ve been using a small student desk I bought from K-Mart five years ago, and it’s time for an upgrade.

Here’s the new desk:

New Desk

It’s a deceptively simple table from Ikea.  The thing I like about it is the legs, which can be adjusted to raise or lower the table to any height.  Most office desks are a little too small for me, which causes me to hunch over the desk when I need to type.  You may also notice that I have my monitor propped up by several phone books (and a dictionary) which is a very high tech way of raising the monitor to my eye level.

I’m using my old desk as a printer/scanner/storage station:

Old Desk

And while I’m giving the tour here’s my drawing desk:

Drawing Table

And what studio space would be complete without an Art and Story “Follow Your Dreams” mug:


This is the cleanest and most organized my art space has been in years.  I just thought I’d take a picture and share it with before the inevitable clutter and chaos sets in (which should take about fifteen minutes).

9-11: A Retrospective in Cartoons

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Back in 2001, I drew one-panel gag comics for my college newspaper, The Wartburg Trumpet.  Mostly they were silly little jokes about campus life, like this comic about the long lines in the cafeteria:


The Trumpet was a weekly newspaper, and I usually drew the comics a week before they saw print.  A few days after sending this comic to the paper, 9-11 happened.  I was walking to the dorm bathrooms to brush my teeth when I saw a bunch of my neighbors crowded around a TV.  This was before the second building had come down.  One of the students said, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”  Another said, “And I feel fine,” but he didn’t really sound fine.

Suddenly the cartoon I had made felt wrong.  I made a new one, one which addressed the feelings I was going through:


I submitted 2 versions of the comic.  One with the caption and one without.  I was afraid at the time that the caption cheapened what was and is still an unimaginable tragedy.  Thankfully, they ran the comic with the caption.

It was a difficult time to be a cartoonist.  Humor was desperately needed at the time, but there was a new sensitivity in the air that made certain types of comedy off-limits.  Reporters called it the death of irony.  Anything dark, subversive, or controversial was suddenly losing its audience.  Shows like Bill Mahr’s Politically Incorrect couldn’t survive the climate.  More attention was paid to David Letterman crying on air than to The Daily Show’s attempt to eke out a few laughs with its “America Freaks Out” segments.

Here’s one more cartoon I did for the week after the 9-11 cartoon.  It’s the last political cartoon I did for the paper, after which I went back to cracking jokes about campus life.

WAR-ON-TERRORIt was at once an honorable and horrible time to be a cartoonist.

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