I started this week with a strip idea based on my actual walking experience on Friday (drizzle, above), but then on Tuesday began exploring an idea that came to me last week involving my wife (known as ‘YelloCarLady’ in the strip), who had made a previous appearance a few weeks ago. The rest of the week I’ve decided to try my hand at my first ‘strip sequence’, and continue the story through to Saturday, linking it together with another unrelated strip idea that occurred to me last week (with a linking concept that came to me yesterday afternoon). We attended a music festival in the Upper Peninsula on Friday Saturday and Sunday, so a good portion of this series had to be completed ahead of time for posting remotely. The color Sunday strip (at the bottom) was inspired by our music festival experiences in the past.
This week’s strips for ‘Mose Goes Walkies’. Trying another ‘theme week’ inspired by our recent camping/music gathering that we attended last weekend. All the strips can be found on our Patron site, as well as rough sketches and other extras (where you can join for a mere $3 to become part of our ‘members only club’).
Above are the strips for the week of July 1-16, and then, for the color Sunday strip, I decided to draw the comic on my bathroom wall using chalk (we recently renovated the downstairs 1/2 bath, and painted the upper part of the room in black chalkboard paint, and supply chalk for visitors to decorate the walls). When I started the comic, it was my intention to leave myself open to experimentation, especially with regards to the medium and style.
I’ve shared the above illustration before. It was from the first of my ‘scratchboard coloring books’ that I did for Dover last year, and the project has spawned a sequel which should be hitting the stores very soon, of a collection of ‘all animals’ illustrations in a similar scratchboard style. Meanwhile, I had proposed a third book to the publisher a couple weeks ago, doing an entire collection of ‘trees’ along similar lines. The illustration above was one of my favorites from the first collection, and I was itching to do some more. The project was given a go ahead and I’ve begun work on the next collection. This also coincides with a side project that I’d been contemplating for the past two years. I’ve been taking a lot of walks in a nearby park, and noticing how many interesting trees I pass on a daily basis, and I’ve thought many times of bringing a sketchbook down and seeing how many of the trees in the park I can draw, and perhaps fill up a sketchbook for the first time in my life (I’m not one of those artists that carry a sketchbook around with them all the time, constantly drawing, and it takes a concerted effort on my part to even fill one of the many sketchbooks I’ve got laying around). So, anyways, I’m looking forward to working on this project, and should have some samples to share with you later in the year, when the book nears publication.
I’m also currently in the early stages of another of those “Who Was” books for Penguin, and it should keep me busy for the latter half of the year.
In the meantime, I also finished up another of those ‘cartoon strips’ for a local elder care lawyer. I’ve been doing several of these throughout the year, but I don’t always post samples, since they are fairly similar to each other. This time, however, the style and subject matter was a bit different, so I thought I’d share this latest one. I had suggested that as a change of pace, they take a break from the usual ‘Mary Worth’-style comics and try a Disney/Pogo Possum-style animal scenario. These usually run in several West Michigan newspapers (in a variety of sizes and formats depending on the paper), with the ‘teaser strip’ running on a front page, and the larger ‘conclusion strip’ running somewhere inside.
Since I came back from vacation, I’ve been too busy to post new work on the blog. Currently I’m working on 50 illustrations for a scratchboard color book for Dover (samples will have to stay under wraps until publication), two ‘Who was’ book projects for Penguin with 80 illustrations each (and, again, samples I can’t share until publication), and I just finished up a series of 15 or so illustrations for the Witches Companion series for Llewellyn (I’ll post some of these in a few days when I get the time). In the meantime, relatively short deadline work has been picking up the last few weeks (month? I’m losing track of time), so I’ve got a few samples of those to share. Above is an illustration for Main Line Today, and below are a few spot illustrations for the Chronicle of Higher Education and Farm Futures.
Also, did another series of cartoon ads for a local lawyer, which appears to be turning into a regular gig for a while, since they seem to be getting good results. They aren’t much different than the samples I’ve posted before, so I’ll just post a smaller thumbnail version this time. Another busy weekend ahead, so I’ll likely have some new samples of short deadline work to share next week along with the Llewellyn pieces.
Going to be taking a little time off for the holidays, and planning on being back in the office around New Years (the band’s got a NYE gig), then out again until mid-January. Work, of course, has begun to pick up in anticipation of my trying to leave, so I’ve spent the last few weeks frantically working to keep the time off from causing problems with deadlines. The above illustration is one I did this morning for Delaware Today (featuring likenesses of several Delaware-area women politicians). Below is a series of spot illustrations for Barrons (nice to hear from them again, it had been a while) that I did last week. Also this past weekend I had a couple of very busy days putting together a few more ‘comic strip ads’ for a local law firm (apparently the ones I did a few months ago have been a big hit and they want to make this an ongoing series).