This ain’t your grandkid’s Facebook. The Center for Cartoon Studies Facebook is one of the first major projects undertaken by new students each year. The idea is simple: everyone creates a bio that can be reproduced on a photocopier, and a self-portrait in the form of a screen print. Then everything is bound together to make a book of memories and friendship that students will cherish into old age when they are impoverished and alone from a lifetime of underappreciated cartooning.
I volunteered to be on the design team, along with Bill Bedard, Melanie Gillman, Sean Knickerbocker, and Katie Moody. After much nerdy discussion, we decided to work with an arcade fighting game theme for this year’s Facebook. So, Street Fighter II is what I’m trying to say, I guess.
I may be attending the most funnest school evar, but that doesn’t mean that the homework doesn’t get overwhelming sometimes.
A couple of weekends ago, I was swamped with work and only had time to eat, sleep and draw. When things get this busy, it’s important to take a break from all that work to keep from going crazy. So I did the only thing that made sense at the time: worked on a cover for Planet S.
The editor was putting together a feature on the dangers of energy drinks, and wanted a cover that was in the visual spirit of Rat Fink and Kustom Kulture. I’ve never tried to imitate that style before, and I’m being totally earnest when I say it was a fun way to spend a Saturday night!
Oh cross-hatching, let’s never fight again.
One of Steve Bissette’s recent drawing classes covered the basic process of brainstorming. Our in-class assignment had us break into groups and create a Weekly World News covers in a short period of time.
The marvelous fruits of our labour can be viewed below. I’m happy to say that the phrase ’saintly cephalopod’ is mine.
This is likely to be the last Prairie Dog I do before I make the move to Vermont and begin classes at the Center for Cartoon Studies. Time allowing, I’d still like to do stuff for Prairie Dog while I’m away, but it will probably be less frequent.
This was a fun cover to work on because the editor wanted everything to be hand-drawn, including all the text and the Prairie Dog flag itself.
Sadly I fucked up everything with a lower-case ‘e’ by somehow managing to forget the ‘e’ ‘Sainte-Marie. I fixed it in the image below to pad my bruised, oozing, comatose ego.
This completely kills this cover for me for three reasons:
- Proper spelling banishes evil spirits to the land of hungry ghosts.
- My parents named me Dakota because they liked Buffy Sainte-Marie, and she named her son Dakota … I feel like I should know that shit.
- A girl who liked my comics used to email me wanting to hang out and she spelled my name ‘Dakoda’ every single time. It drove me crazy, and many evil hungry ghosts snuck through the veil of the living during those dark days, let me tell you.
Anyway, also included in this issue is a new Dennis: The Poor Little Poor Boy strip, which can be found on the Dennis page.
This illustration and comic recently appeared in Prairie Dog Magazine in Regina.
For those unfamiliar, the Regina Riot was the violent climax to the 1935 On-To-Ottawa Trek. Thousands of unemployed Canadian men had to labour for pennies in work camps during the Great Depression. Due to the desperate conditions, the men organized and decided to take their case to the Prime Minister in Ottawa.
This parody image was done for Planet S magazine’s music issue.
Does anyone remember that Archie I comic where they’re all cavemen, and Betty & Veronica start naming everything? When they give Archie his name he sings, “I’m an Archie, you’re an Archie, everyone’s a starchy-Archie! Don’t you want to be an Archie too?”
I like the caveman one where they discover fruit better though. Those crazy cave kids. They thought fruit was for some kind of game until Jughead accidentally got a peeled banana right in the mouth.
Anyway, I always wondered why Reggie would ever a join The Archies band. I mean, they don’t call him “I-love-me-Mantle” for nothing.
Old Trout brought Famous Puppet Death Scenes to the Globe Theatre a few years ago, and it was fantastic. I still think about it on a regular basis. One of my favourite vignettes was about the death of a whale, and it involved a large window with a massive eye slowly closing. There was no dialogue, only the gradual death of a creature of implied immensity. I’ve seen few things in any medium that have been so simultaneously simple and moving.
It made me want to run away and become a puppet maker, but for now I guess I’ll have to be satisfied to be a puppet drawer.
I’ve got my ticket to The Tooth Fairy and it already looks like it’s going to be just as memorable.
The magazines were celebrating the best food and drink in Regina and Saskatoon.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted something other than daily comics, so I decided to break that trend tonight.
I enjoy doing this stuff because I don’t have a lot of time for my own comics at the moment. I’m still working a full-time job until I make my trek to the Center for Cartoon Studies this fall (Note CCS’s spiffy new website!).
These covers make me feel like I’m still active as an artist … or at least an illustrator.
The editor overlord asked me to draw a dissected heart with lots of cross-hatching reminiscent of the drawings Andreas Vesalius. But honestly, I wasn’t really listening after he said ‘lots of cross-hatching’. I don’t cross hatch as much as I used to, but I still really enjoy it when situations call for it.
No, that’s an understatement. I love cross-hatching. Cross hatching takes me back to my late teens when I was first exposed to Robert Crumb’s work. I have a lot of happy memories of drawing comics until four in the morning, trying to hatch like Crumb.
Anyway, Prairie Dog’s new graphic designer worked the image into the cover:
If you can guess to which species of animal it belongs, you will win … well, nothing. I don’t have anything you would want. But still, guess away!
The next cover was for International Women’s Day. Editor overlord wanted an image of Rosie the Riveter, updated for today, with doodle-art style tattoos that reference the 60s/70s feminist movement.
I’m not totally satisfied with the results, but it’s mostly due to small things like the figure’s line of action. The original image of Rosie the Riveter has a dynamic angle in her pose. I had to dampen it a bit so that the tiny men-relieved-by-feminism wouldn’t look cluttered. The finished product lacks some of the oomph of the original. Also, I didn’t really capture that defiant look in her eyes.
That’s all for this week. I’m going to be doing another Prairie Dog cover for next week … which may or may not be Hawksley Workman. We’ll see!
And if you’re really lucky (or rather, if I get off my ass, and onto an ass equipped with a computer), I’ll post my special Valentine’s Day comic that appeared in Prairie Dog.
Lovely to lovingly love your love…
I made this comic for the upcoming next issue of Regina’s independent Valuable Comics.
I don’t really know why, but eyes being pulled out of the head (and taking the brain with them) is a recurring image in my sketchbooks and comics. The sad thing is that I only realized this as I was looking through old work last night.
But if anyone asks, it has to do with the perceived vapidity of certain once-great cartoons.
Yeah … that sounds kinda smart.
Here’s a sketch from 2007. Maybe it’s because I have terrible eyesight and I don’t want my eyes to rot, thus preventing me from ever drawing again?