December Cartoons

Carus Publishing, Newsday, Oxendine

I had a series of cartoon spot illustrations in December Oxendine Publishing. These all concerned ‘student government’ in one way or another.

These are all good examples of my cartoon style circa 2001. As the years passed, these would get less and less ‘cartoony’ and the characters would become more realistic. I actually prefer these older ones, and should try to get back some of the loose and playful qualities of these earlier works.

I also had a series of smaller spots for the same client in December. These were to accompany little ‘factoids’ – little mini-articles on a variety of student/college topics. ( I see I managed to sneak in a reference to my old high school transportation here, a chevy vega, although mine never had an anarchy symbol on the hood) – the topics were (if memory serves): parking problems, feeding the homeless at the holidays, and rating your professors.

I also had a cartoon assignment for Newsday. This was for an article about ‘working at home’, and this could very well be a self portrait, except that it looks very little like me. (I also rarely work in my PJs) – The dog and the computer and the Fed X truck are all pretty accurate though. Back in those days, the Fed X truck was usually a major highlight of my day – not so much these days with everything handled by email.


The above ‘sahara desert’ border was for one of the Cobblestone Publishing family of magazines. I forget what the story was about (the desert, obviously, but other than that …). Below is another assignment for the same magazine family, this one for a regular ‘puzzle page’ assignment that I frequently contributed to. A rather oddball ‘story problem’ assignment this month that involved music in some fashion. My goodness, look at those boots.

October Cartoon Spots

Brown Publishing, Oxendine

It is interesting to note, that just a few months prior to my starting a regular gig of ‘health care’ spot illustrations for my national newspaper client, I had been doing similar sized cartoon spot illustrations for many years for another client. These were small ‘factoid’ type illustrations for a college lifestyles magazine that I did on a semi regular basis for many years, but since this magazine only published during the school year, and on a bi-monthly basis, the workload wasn’t nearly as regular, nor was the pay as good. But they seem very similar in size and layout, and were good training for what was to come. I also had a series of even smaller icon spots for the same client this month, a sampling of the 15 or so illustrations are pictured below.

Color Scratchboard Work

ChronicleHE, Oxendine, US Catholic, WSJ


Color Scratchboards this month weren’t quite so plentiful, and most of the small spot variety. The above illustration was for a catholic magazine, and no doubt had to do with the priest pedophile cases cropping up in the news.
I also had another illustration for a jesuit magazine, that had something to do with the law and justice (pictured below)

You would think that the illustration to the left would also be for one of the above clients, but in fact it was for my ‘college’ magazine (see the posting on ‘cartoon spots’ this month). A rare scratchboard assignment from this particular client, as I usually work in a lighter cartoon style, but they thought with the heavier subject matter, that the scratchboard might be the better way to go.

I also had a couple of small spots connected to two corners of the page by a long meandering computer cable (which I didn’t bother to include the whole layout here), for a magazine client. This involved online medical advice sites, which were just now becoming popular.
I’m not certain, but I think this mountain climber may have been for the same assignment, although it doesn’t seem to fit the whole ‘medical angle’.

Below is a long horizontal illustration for an educational publication that dealt with how colleges are looking past the usual SAT scores in judging admissions.

My Wife’s Employer

Gemini Publications, Oxendine, US Catholic


Around this time, my wife was working for a local regional magazine. A client that I had been a contributor to since my first year in business. This month would mark the last assignments I would do for this magazine. The above full page illustration was for a special supplement on ecommerce, and the portrait to the right was a personal favor for my wife for a photo that the company requested of her to place on their new web page.

At this time I was starting to phase out some of my lowest paying clients, in order to free up some of my time to accept some of the more lucrative assignments that were starting to come my way. I hadn’t done an assignment for this client for almost a year at this point, and this assignment was a bit more than the usual rates.

Also this month, I had a pair of cartoon assignments for a catholic magazine client. This one dealt with ‘reading clubs’, and these two cartoons would be placed along the bottom of a two page spread.

Another rather strange cartoon for the same client this month is pictured at right. This one dealt with how middle aged adults are starting to help their parents through old age, and in some ways the parents ‘become the children’, and this story dealt with one couple’s experiences taking their elderly parents snorkeling.

I also had my first assignment for a children’s version of a major national magazine. I would later get occasional assignments from this client, but never what I would call regular work. (pictured above)

I also had another larger cartoon illustration for my ‘college’ magazine client this month. (pictured left)

Tiny Cartoons

Instructional Fair, Oxendine


I got a lot of practice drawing tiny little cartoons in August of ’01. The six illustrations above were for a college lifestyles magazine, and were a regular ‘factoid’ feature that I was contributing to for this magazine for many years.
Also this month I had a huge assignment of tiny black and white spot cartoons for a local children’s publisher. About 170 of these small illustrations would be liberally sprinkled among the text of this ‘writing workshop’ book. The sizes varied, a lot of them were long horizontals, and a few were larger and more intricate. I did so many of these, and so quickly, that I barely even remember drawing many of them, and while I was going through the files, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw.

These illustrations here are just a sampling of the many illustrations that I did for this project. Unfortunately I don’t remember what kind of contract I signed with these projects, so I doubt if these are available as reprint material, although it wouldn’t be too hard to rework or revise them into something new and different.

I remember these projects as being very time consuming, but they were invaluable practice at refining my cartoon style and in learning to simplify my concepts down to their bare bones.