Archives For cartoons

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Joe “Crazy 8’s” and I did these sketches during one of our meetings at a coffee shop! 

When I first started drawing I was by myself for the most part. I would post some of my work online and I would create with hopes that I would get some kind of input or advice or compliment.

Sure, at one point I was a member on DeviantArt and then later I connected with others on social media like Twitter and Facebook. It helped quite a bit.

But, I wanted even more!

Then, Instagram came in to the mix and I was fortunate to team up with other cartoonists…one in person and one from Canada.

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On Instagram, I often connect with Joe, the creator of “Crazy 8s” and Dave from Canada, the creator of the Instagram comic called “Kid and Mouse.” 

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Joe and I have constantly meet up to discuss our passion for comic strips, discussing and analyzing the works of people like Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and names that some might not know and independent artists.

I’ve learned a LOT from both Joe and Dave. We’ve done crossovers and collaborations together and they have shared their own tricks of the trade in comic strip creation. But, this couldn’t be if it wasn’t for the idea of connecting, networking and building a community.

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Characters from my webcomic, “By and By,” Walter Ayo and Ace Fox meet Bill and Carl!

When times get rough and we get a little down, Joe, Dave and I often will connect via the web and chat and encourage one another! This is a HUGE investment!

Every bit of that moment and time matters!

Every artist needs a community in which to connect and learn from. It’s not recommended to go it alone in a field or area of interest no matter what it is you’re studying or practicing. You need others to come alongside you and help you. You need people in which to grow with and learn and share with.

I’m fortunate that Joe and Dave are a part of that with me! And, I’m grateful for the other great cartoonists that I’ve connected with both independent and syndicated. And I’m looking forward to connecting with many more artists.

 

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The Struggles with Glasses

December 24, 2016

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Growing up, I absolutely hated wearing glasses. It made me a target for a lot of bullying and teasing. Growing up, I was called “Steve Urkel,” the character that was played by Jaleel White on the ABC series, “Family Matters.”

As much as my mother wanted to make me feel better about the idea that “Steve Urkel” made a lot of money, truth is, it was not like I was getting paid for the mess I was dealing with in school.

By that rationale, Jaleel White owed me money for my mental suffering!

Kids (and adults) having to wear glasses all of a sudden can be a bit traumatic…a pretty big dea!  With one of the characters in the comic strip, “By and By,” Dylan Randolmill, I wanted him to began wearing glasses in order to do two things: set him apart from the rest of the characters….and….to bring real childhood experience to light. Dylan’s disdain for wearing glasses comes from the desperation of wanting to be accepted and loved by a group of kids in the strip who appear perfect and without blemish. He wanted to be like the “cool kids,” and while we have not been introduced by the cool kids as of yet, just not seeing them is reflective of the invisible person or persons that we try to impress but never seem to make that mark.

And truth is, most of us never will….and that’s fine!

You’re unique and genuine! Why let it be covered up by “fitting in.” Now THAT is a blog post by itself!

My friend and author, Joshua Smith, gave me the idea of setting him apart from the other kids. I chose glasses as the way to do it.

Dylan absolutely hates it, but I think he’ll began to accept it. I know I did.

In fact, the older I got, the more glasses started becoming the new “hip” thing to do. I now have over 5 pairs of glasses that I can choose from because many of them are a lot nicer looking compared to the ones I had growing up.

I personally think that Dylan looks great with his glasses! Besides, his character is not the stereotypical nerd or geek…he’s a diplomat between the “cool kids” and the kids who are not so “cool.” Will the glasses create friction and trouble for him…only time will tell as I continue to write and create the strip.

 

 Those Days!

Today was one of those days! The deep desire to write today rose up and I just couldn’t help myself. I had to say something that would be meaningful! but what!?

Over the past few weeks, I have had intense highs and am dealing with some valley struggles. And yet, I know everything is going to be fine and okay.

It is like God has been whispering into my ear, telling me, “keep going” and “I’m with you” and “I put this in you…go forward.”

And yet, my circumstances sometimes seem to be just as loud as the conversation.

But, perhaps that’s the point. It is the decision to trust God…the decision to step forward…the decision at that break neck moment when the urge to write kicks in but the feeling of utter false failure and humiliation kicks in to try and keep you from being all that you are supposed to be.

Then again, it is the moment that you have the urge to do something that you really, truly enjoy and feel called too, and you make that decision right away to just do it. Why!? Because letting that moment pass my literally mean missing the opportunity to help and bless someone else!

I have people in my life who really trust me, love me and believe in me that helps make it worth while. The people that I am referring to have been my supporters and biggest fans from the beginning. It is all the more a good reason for me to not quite writing and blogging.

Now What!?

Lately, I have really been considering what I need to do to this blog site. The obvious answer is to keep writing. The other obvious answer is to keep writing about the things that I’m passionate about…and…share with all of you.

I think more than half of the reason I actually stopped writing for a period is because I actually forgot to share what was important:  My life and how much it has changed because of Faith…people….challenges….from childhood to adulthood.

With that, I am back and ready to put in the extra effort, and, even throw in a couple of sketches here and there.

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A few months ago, I did the Kickstarter thing and learned a lot.

I also failed in it. Sort of, actually.

Because of that experience, I actually managed to learn quite a bit about what I was missing and what to consider when it comes to marketing and reaching people. I also learned the hard truths about what it means to engage people…especially if they could care less.

But, the whole experience did something else…it grew my love for cartooning and writing even more! Before I knew it, I was drawing with a much larger motivation than just to get my Kickstarter funded. I was drawing because I was reminded of why I loved to do it in the first and second place.

Instead of being upset and depressed over it, I realized that this was just one of the many things I had to just take as a major learning experience. I’m 110% okay with that and I’m grateful for every person who was able to give and help me in some way, even if it was a few words of encouragement.

Now things are getting more interesting!