Parenting Cartoons

Children's Television Workshop, Gemini Publications, Newsday

Had a lot of ‘parenting’ related cartoon work in August. The piece above, and the companion piece to the left, were for my east coast newspaper client, and had to do with packing, moving, something like that, in relation to kids in some way (getting harder and harder to remember some of these topics, nearly 8 years ago now). The larger one above was one of those fun ones that I like to do, where I can make it real busy and hide a lot of details throughout the illustration.

I also had a few small illustrations for our local regional parenting magazine, one on ‘grandparents’ (right), and another one having to do with ‘baby auditions’ for child actors and models (below left).

I had an assignment for three illustrations this month for a national parenting magazine (I think this one was for the ‘spanish’ version of the magazine), having to do with computers and kids, and software, and other related topics. It is amazing how quickly these ‘computer’ illustrations are already looking a bit dated. I used my G3 as the model for most of my illustrations during this time, and while it looked quite modern and snazzy at the time, it is starting to look a little bulky and retro to my eyes now (can’t wait to see how I was drawing computers back in the 90s).

Back in the Day

Carus Publishing

One of my favorite ‘busy cartoons’ of the year is pictured at left. This was one of the images that I did for an article in one of my children’s magazines this month. A multi-illustration assignment on ‘living in ancient Babylon’. This particular one was of a royal banquet, and I had a lot of fun filling it with lots of color and detail. It took forever to do, but it was worth the time (I don’t know how that ‘where’s waldo’ guy does book after book of these things). Now just for fun, 1. find the dog, 2. find the spilled wine jug, 3. find the ham, 4. find the musicians, 5. find a guy eating a turkey leg.

Other illustrations in the series had to wrap around text blocks, so there are a few blank white areas in the illustrations below. After spending all my time and energy on the ‘banquet scene’, I made the rest of these not quite so busy. First, a typical street scene with fruit market. Below that an image depicting the ‘making of bricks’. Below that, a ‘doctor’s visit’ with various pest infestations typical of the Babylonian home.

Also for the same magazine, but in a different section, I was asked to do a ‘view of the city’ which nearly took as much time as the ‘banquet scene’ but with different challenges. I’ve never been very good at architecture, but I thought this one turned out fairly nice.

Next this month, we travelled to Ancient Rome to take a look at daily life of the average Roman citizen (not sure if this was all for the same magazine, or if there was a common theme running through a series of publications for this issue). The above illustration was of a street scene, and I also had a ‘cutaway’ illustration below showing a typical ‘domus’ or roman house. (more architecture – ug – and another one that took a long time to complete).

I also had a series of small spots to go with these, but I’ve decided to include them in the ‘color scratchboard’ posting for this month.

Fun to Do & Learn

Instructional Fair



Another of the eight workbooks I did for Instructional Fair in 2000. At first glance, you’d think this was work for any one of my many religious clients, but no, there just happened to be a lot of Bible stories used as examples in this book. In the past, I have only shared a small sampling of illustrations from each of these books, but I am going back and sharing each book in its entirety (writing this in 2018). Here’s all the illustrations for “Fun to Do & Learn”:

FunDoLearn3 FunDoLearn4 FunDoLearn2FunDoLearn5

Maps, Paints and James K. Polk

Carus Publishing, Cobblestone

One of my favorite paintings of the year is pictured above. This was for a children’s magazine client in August to accompany an article about the ’causes of war’, and also included a portrait of James K. Polk, and another ‘scene’ involving the president addressing congress (which didn’t turn out quite so nice). I remember taking some inspiration for the clouds here from Maxfield Parrish, and a little bit of N.C. Wyeth, and even though it had to be designed in such a way that text had to overlap certain parts of the drawing, it still stands up pretty good as a stand alone image, which is pretty rare in my experience.

I also had a few maps for the same client this month (a busy month for this client, considering the above paintings, and the time intensive ‘history cartoons’ chronicled in another posting this month), A detailed map of a region in northern India, plus a few small ‘locator’ maps (one of which I’ve posted here, the other can be found in the ‘maps’ archive. I also had another ‘roman empire’ map, pictured below.

August Cartoon Spots

CRC, Oxendine

I had a series of color spots this month from my college lifestyle magazine. The larger one to the left and the three small ‘hair raising’ icons were for an article about ‘stress levels’, and the small spots below were for a series of small ‘factoid’ articles that I regularly illustrate for this client.

The illustration to the left was for a local religious organization. I don’t quite remember what the story behind it was, but I have a few other ‘flashlight’ illustrations along similar lines from around the same time for the same client.