[Title Bar]

The Drawings of Frank

I've always enjoyed doodling, sketching, drawing, and such. A lot of my art tends to be more "cartoon-y" both in look and in content, sometimes conveying an event that amused me, or trying to look at the amusing side of something.

New: Frank's Sketchbook Entry of the Day. I often doodle and do quick, throw-away stuff. If I'm attending a lecture, I'll often sketch the speaker. This will be a place where I can quickly put my low-quality crap up. Sounds enticing, doesn't it?

The Frank Cartoon Gallery: My more "real" cartoons and drawings take me a lot longer to do. A simple page with a few frames will take time to come up with the idea, do a rough layout and flow, then the sketch will take an hour or so, and then inking takes another few. Then comes scanning it in. Finally coloring and touching up, which can take a few days. Lately I've been doing coloring on the computer. I've only done a few with colored pencils and that took a long time to do. Amazing, just to have things that look so ... uh rough.

Anyway, below are some highlights from my "collection" of the stuff that's (mostly) not just quick sketches, roughly in chronological order.

* [The Last Voyage of the Frankmobile] It was 5am, I was coming home from school after upgrading the labs to X11R4. I had been there since around midnight. It was spring, but it was snowing, the last one of the year, after a stretch of good weather. I was tired and wanted to go to sleep. There was almost no traffic except for the car in the oncoming lane that lost control and presented a 90 degree profile in my lane. Even though I was only doing around 30 mph, there was no way I could stop. So it was a very short, very expensive bumper car ride. Both of us had seat belts on (no injuries), both cars were Chevy Celebrities, and both were totaled. Sure, he had insurance, but I no longer had a (working) car. Rather than get upset, I let my imagination create a Calvin and Hobbes style description of what was The Last Voyage of the Frankmobile (Mark I). Note that this was before I started signing and dating my drawings. (3/90)
* [The TV Thing!!!] My friend Lisa told me that she had bought a piece of furniture to set her TV on. She called it a "TV...thing" with a certain hesitation and quaver in the tone of her voice that conjured an image in my mind. To me, a TV...thing was something you could put a TV on if you had no other choices left whatsoever. I guess I was in an H.R. Giger/Alan Moore sort of mood. (2/92)
* [The Swedish Borg] When The Borg were first intruduced as the new bad guys in Star Trek they were pretty fearsome, kick-ass foes. It got me thinking about what would happen if they assimilated a different sort of life form and the terrifying result of this unstoppable enemy! (6/92)
* [The Vulcan Tuna Meld] A joke that popped into my head at some point thinking about the special of the day at a Vulcan restaurant. Yes, I've always been into Star Trek.(6/92)
* [Kurt Cobain] A sick Kurt Cobain drawing.
* My idea for OSU-CIS' logo. (I'll explain it, but only if you ask)(And now I'm pretty far removed from it all.)
* And a major reason why (this was scanned in from a drawing that was made on a napkin at a dinner, so the quality isn't great).
* An image I threw together quickly with xpaint, as I was leaving OSU but never used. (6/95?) Yup, xpaint isn't exactly photoshop.

* [OSHA+Shao-Lin] If OSHA ever visited the Shao Lin temple.

* [no hands] An idea that popped into my head while walking out of the restroom at an amusement park (King's Island, to be precise).
* [BMK!!!] I went to Disneyworld this summer (7/96). While in transit on a monorail from EPCOT Center to the Magic Kingdom, to catch a ride on Space Mountain before ending the day, Tania Lemos made a comment about the possible existence of a Black Magic Kingdom. This is the image her commment conjured in my mind (and yes, the castle IS supposed to resemble the real one).
* [dalmation] Recently a pen accidentally got into a load of my laundry (3/97). My first suspicion, however, pointed to a different source for the results.
* [peers] I was talking to some people about the sorts of people that are used as jurors (9/97). Of course, the higher the profile case, the lower the profile jurors are needed. We had to wonder, what sort of juror would qualify as someone who would not read the paper, watch TV, or otherwise be influenced by the media blitz on something as big as, say, the Ted Kaczynski trial. Ironically, though, you are entitled to a trial by a jury of your peers.
* I got a sore throat that lasted long enough for me to have to see a doctor and get some antibiotics (3/98). This is the first time in a while that a cold has caused me to see a doctor, so I must admit that I tend to be ignorant of common medical technology. Specifically, I thought they still take your temperature with a thermometer in your mouth.
* [cliche] At a co-worker's going away lunch (4/98), we got on the subject of how many movies have done the standard "blind person being chased" thing (either a scene or the entire plot revolving around it). We got on the topic of other similar cliches, and finally came up with some new twists. I decided to draw some of the old and new cliches. Probably offensive to various sorts.
* [Frank vs. The Librarians] I had dinner with some friends (8/98), three of whom were librarians. Afterwards, they started talking about idiot customers (patrons, users, whatever) who couldn't ever find anything in the library. Having been one of those idiots on many occasions, I quickly found myself engaged in a verbal battle to defend idiots everywhere. You'd think they almost took it personally, just because I was slamming all libraries (and implicitly their employees, I suppose) everywhere. Thus was born the tale of Frank vs. The Librarians. As a footnote, I should add that this will probably be the ONLY one of its series, as I quickly discovered librarians can do things, like check out books in your name using your unpublished social security number, etc. And finally, I realize I misspelled "reshelve," alas I don't use white-out on my drawings.
* [Kristen Passing Her A's] My friend Kristen Grace passed one of the major hurdles on the way way to getting her PhD: they're called the A Exams at Cornell (at OSU it was the General Exams). A mutual friend, Esther, organized a party, and asked me to draw an appropriate picture. It was a great effort on my part, but I drew a picture that was just happy and silly, nothing sick, twisted, pervere, grotesque, or similar. Thus my impression of Kristen passing her A's. (8/98).
* [Where Seldom Is Heard...] I went camping with a few friends (10/98). It was a fun time, but it was rather cold and rainy, though eventually we managed to get a respectable campfire going. And once again, Tania Lemos was able to inspire an idea for a drawing while the fire was being started, with someTHING she, uh, "said", so to speak. The Eye-Beam reference is intentional, by the way.
* I believe this was the same camping trip where the discussion of why sleeping-bag liners are a good and mandatory thing. I came up with the theory that the cold was due to heat-sucking-moon-man-monsters named Ben. I believe it made sense at the time. (10/98?)
* A fragment of this conversation occurred and spawned this idea (11/98). Yes, it's another of the potentially offensive themes. Unlike some recent drawings, both Chad and Chuck are made-up characters. At this point I have no plans to make them recurring characters, but who knows.
* Fountain pens, fountain pens, what's all this talk of fountain pens? Within a couple weeks two different people are telling me of the joys of fountain pens. So being the curious sort, I get a cheap one, just to test it out. The jury is still out on it as the ink-flow can be hard to control, although if you WANT tons of ink, it's more effective than the roller-ball pens I normally use. In this case, I wanted tons of ink. I was in a somewhat grim mood and wanted to do a little experiment with a black background and lots of shadows and lines. Another plus is that I can use the word "nib" in casual conversation. (11/98)
* It begins. The thrilling confrontation between Sergeant Grunge and the Ether Bunny. This came from conversations between me and Tania in Columbus in December. What is vaguely disturbing is that I find it somewhat difficult to tell the difference between the one that she did and the one that I did, both in terms of drawing style and humor (what is worrisome is that I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a fearful thing). See if you can tell which is which. The First Battle and then The Rematch. (2/99)
* [Late Night Thought Crime] Ever been so tired that your brain is directly connected to your mouth, so you say whatever comes into your mind and think about it only when it's too late? Well, that's my excuse for this conversation (as opposed to claiming I was possessed by The MAN or raving or possibly both). What can I say: a bunch of us were camping, it was late, I was tired, and Tania was armed. (3/99)
* [Stormy Night] So it sometimes takes me a little time to get comfortable. Big deal! (6/01)
* [Go Dog Go!] This one was a request from Diane. How could I possibly refuse. I'm pretty happy with the result. I'll let her request describe it.
any chance you know where/how to dig up a cartoon diagrammy-thing of a dog standing up, crossing its legs with a really worried expression on its face cuz it's gotta pee?
Truth be told, I took some inspiration from the end of the Ren and Stimpy episode titled "Firedogs." (4/02)

* [The Solipsism Hour] This one was came from an idea Timothy Weber gave me, based on a back-and-forth conversation in electronic mail in which we kept refuting our own points. It just kind of made sense. And yes, it is intentional that the backgrounds get simpler and simpler as it progresses (not just laziness on my part). Technical note: this was hand-drawn, including the white-on-black letters at the end, which is a pain in the ass. They are quite hard to read, so I cheated and touched them up a bit in photoshop (with a graphics tablet) after I scanned it in. Oh, and solipsism is... hell, just look up the word. (5/02)

* [Credit Card Woman vs. the Troglodytes] This was a pretty quick drawing, just a one-frame one to get across the basic idea. My friend, Estelle, was griping about battling the accountants in the budget office. Somehow I had commented about super powers.
Her response was:
Can I have a super power that's already taken, or does mine have to be a unique one? And if it has to be unique, has Credit Card Woman been taken yet? Can make a balance disappear in a single swipe. Will fling credit cards at the troglodytes in the accounting dept, who dare say I owe them $2,000.00, and the cards will go whirring through the air, spinning round and round and chop their weasley little trog heads off. Grrr.
The adventure of Credit Card Woman vs. the Troglodytes pretty much writes (and draws) itself after that. (10/02)

* [The Revenge of the Zorks (in 3 parts)] The thrilling return of one of Frank's nemeses, the Zorks, plus the first time ever we see an actual Grolon!

OK, so I was driving to Ohio on Christmas day and spun out on the highway, winding up in the proverbial "ditch by the side of the road." That was unlucky. Many people stopped to see if I was OK, and in a short time a tow truck winched me out. That was lucky. My car was undrivable, because of a bent control rod. That was unlucky. The tow truck waited to see if I could drive (I couldn't) and then towed me to the garage and the owner stopped by and was willing to take a look at it right then and there on Christmas day no less, and had me back on the road a half hour or so later. That was beyond lucky.

Somehow, whenever my car hits things (or vice versa), it seems to put me in the mind of Spaceman Spiff, from Calvin and Hobbes (see The Last Voyage of the Frankmobile (Mark I)). Fortunately, this was NOT the last voyage of the Frankmobile Mark III. But enough happened that I had to make 3 strips (well, 4 actually, then I combined two together to form strip II). The wormhole effects made me want to use some sort of graphics program rather than doing it all by hand, and so while I was doing that, I figured I'd try my hand at drawing in color (I've ventured there before, but not very often). The frames were not done in order, so if the style changes from frame to frame, that's because I was learning about how to do stuff in Photoshop. It's still primative, but I'm still learning. (01/03)

* [simple pie-in-face animated GIF] Someone at work asked me to draw a few simple frames to use as a test for some animation code he was writing. So I very quickly threw this together. The thumbnail image IS the full image. The link is there only for those (like me) who use non-graphical browsers like lynx. I used the cool program gifsicle to put the frames together. Oddly enough, it appears that netscape 4.6 works correctly and Mozilla doesn't (it shows the animation only once...ever. (04/03)

* [A Slow Thursday] Just another Slow Thursday at work, or something a bit more...odd?

Timothy Weber and I decided to create a comic strip together. It took a lot of time, but was a lot of fun. I did the pencils and inks, he did the colors and lettering, and we both did the story. It's on his site, and there's a long discussion about it afterwards (including how exactly Frank draws an ass, complete with Action Photos). With luck, the first of many collaborative projects. Enjoy. (9/03)

* [Bagel Danger] Just when you think you know the risks, beware of the Bagel Danger!!!
Another comic strip done in collaboration with Timothy Weber. (6/04)
* [Osbourne the Obstreperous Donkey] Introducing Osbourne the Obstreperous Donkey. He is, of course, particularly cantankerous and will argue anything despite the facts. Suffice to say that he was created when a visiting friend was describing a particularly difficult boss. A week later, she asked me if she might have left a bra. I had to ask myself, "What Would Osbourne Say?" And yes, this is, in a small way, an homage to the movie Weird Science. This is also my first foray into using Illustrator, with Photoshop used at the end to do the shading. (Oh, and it turns out that the bra was not left behind.) (6/04)

* [You call THOSE big shoes???] I went camping with "the gang" up in Cooke's Forest State Park in PA. We went tubing down the Clarion River. I didn't have any water shoes. Steve offered to loan me a pair of his sandals. Steve is a big guy. I am not. I was eventually able to get them to fit by pulling the velcro as tight as it could be. I felt like Bruce Banner after he had changed back from The Incredible Hulk. People laughed and pointed. Eventually his wife loaned me a pair of powder blue water shoes that fit decently.

Anyway, while wearing these huge shoes, I was put in the mood of what it must be like for a clown to go shoe shopping. Only his requirements would be kind of different than mine. Note that one of the tricky parts of drawing this was to create a clown that was not Milkey the Clown, as I was not going for that effect. Once again, I'm playing with Illustrator and Photoshop for the coloring. I'm learning.... (8/04)

* [You think YOU'VE got problems, Houston?] Oooooh, I just dug this one up, posting it 2 years later (Nov'07), as this web server was swimming in Katrina backwash at the time. Anyway, it's a quick drawing of either a) the problems of viewing movies on the moon, or b) how people really don't want what they ask for. Anyway, as I recall, this was inspired by a conversation with Tania while watching said movie, Apollo 13.

I was playing a little with some simple gray backgrounds to add a little texture/color and I still can't draw an anatomically correct hand (this remains true two years after I drew this). I think it was also a move towards a more cartoon-y, yet simple, sort of form. (9/05)

* [Bobby Bomb] It's been a while since I've drawn a "real" multi-frame cartoon. Most things have been the quick Sketch of the Day variety, so I figured I was due. There's a long explanation at the bottom of the page after the strip which should answer all your questions on "what's the deal?" about Bobby Bomb, the Improvising Explosive Device. While my Illustrator and Photoshop skills have improved, there's still a long way to go. (2/06)

* [Karma Hit!] After conversations of various Buddhist topics, I found myself taking a Karma Hit at the end of the day (though if you think my hit was bad...). Based on a real conversation and event. However, note that I am using the tried and true method of having the main character (ostensibly, me) draw the completely wrong conclusion from the "lesson." Similar to Calvin and Hobbes, such as when Calvin determines one moral is: "snow goons are bad news." (6/06)

* [Nocturnal World] Brendan was telling me about visiting an exhibit at the Brooklyn Zoo that featured nocturnal animals in a dark room. That got me thinking, which caused me to create my version of the Nocturnal World. This was generated completely using Acrobat and Photoshop and laziness. (11/06)

* [Dyslexic Asshole] I was playing ultimate frisbee and someone on my team made a good defensive play on a much smaller person. I wanted to comment that he also took candy from babies, but it didn't quite come out right. Then it occurred to me how you'd be a much bigger asshole if you did things the other way around. Thus Karl, the D.A. came to be. Note that the name is no-one-in-particular. Hand penciled and inked, then cleaned up, colored and lettered with Illustrator and Photoshop (no shading this time). (5/07)

* [The Bra Bomb] I've been irked about lame airport security smoke and mirrors for a long time, especially the shoe-sniffing stuff. After reading about the MIT student who brought a circuit board with some L.E.D.s on it into Boston's Logan airport and nearly got shot, it occurred to me that someone who would bring that into an airport to make an "artistic statement" might be the same sort of person who would be willing to wear a Bra Bomb.

Of course, this idea was done in a Saturday night Live skit in the early '90s, with various passengers and even the captain making beeping sounds just so a woman would have to remove yet another article of clothing ("SLOWLY!") and walk through the metal detector one more time. And yes, that IS a circuit diagram, but no it's just nonesense I threw together. Hand penciled and inked, then minorly cleaned up and colored with Photoshop (no shading this time) and lettered with Illustrator. I finally figured out how to create balloons and tails with Illustrator instead of using generic ones. (10/07)

* [The Impenetrable Wall of Chocolate] While in Columbus at the end of the year, I was talking with my friend Pam. We were planning a meal, and she and her husband are on a very low-fat diet, so we were coming up with ideas. For some reason, I thought of the obscenely excessive desserts some restaurants offer. The sort of "death by chocolate" (choking by chocolate, hanging by chocolate, firing squad by chocolate...yes, yes, yes, but the key word is "chocolate", er, I mean "death"—obscure old Star Trek reference) or similar. That let me to the idea of The Impenetrable Wall of Chocolate. It would be just what you think it would be (or what I would think it would be). I told Pam that to increase the excessiveness of it, it would be served with a few gallons of ice cream. Without missing a beat and as far as I can tell, genuine interest, Pam said, "oooooo, that sounds good." Thus the idea was born. I told her I would draw it eventually. And now I have. Oh, and I think there's a Chinese restaurant that sells "the great wall of chocolate" for dessert. Never had it nor have I seen it. But the name must've stuck with me.

Hand penciled and inked, then minorly cleaned up and colored with Photoshop and lettered with Illustrator. I'm still getting the hang of creating balloons and tails with Illustrator. (2/08)

* [At the Border] Last week a friend sent me mail and in passing mentioned a quick day-trip she and her husband took to Canada. She currently is in a state of occupational transition (self-imposed sabbatical?), and took the easy way out to answer the quesiton of her occupation. The thing is, knowing my friend, I'm sure the word would stick in her throat ("It hurts us, it hurts freezes, it bites!"), which, of course, serves to amuse me to no end. And even though Judith and Robert are caracatures of my friends, the originals will remain anonymous; yes names, locations, and many other facts have been changed, mostly for the sake of the story and comedy.

This was another experiment, a scan at 1200dpi, which in the end practically choked Photoshop and Illustrator. Eventually, I shrunk them down, and am trying a variation based on a suggestion by Timothy having one frame per screen. I know, they're all mis-aligned a few pixels left/right. Too much hassle to fix this time around. (2/08)

* [Will There Be Blood?] I saw the movie "There Will Be Blood" with two friends. While waiting for the earlier show to end, we had a variation on this conversation. I did take some liberties to make the dialog flow more and be a bit more funny. I don't think any of us really looks as portrayed (one asked if it would look like him, I said, "other than having a beard, no" he seemed happy with that), and I hope I'm not that insane. Nevertheless, the concept amuses me. Technically speaking, the beard guy doesn't own "The Never Ending Story," the other one does, and I have never seen it, nor "The Kite Runner," but I do believe there should have been less talking and more gardening in "The Constant Gardener." And for the record, yes, there was blood. Not vast quantities, but certainly more than I could justifyable demand a refund (and it's actually the other guy that got us free tickets once by complaining about a bad print).

In this experiement, I scanned the original at 1200dpi, but then quickly chopped it into 6 frames. Photoshop and Illustrator were much happier about dealing with something of that size rather than the full size version. I also made sure all images are a uniform 600 pixels wide this time. Finally, Timothy requested the "THUD" from The Impenetrable Wall of Chocolate be more of a "THOOM" which I liked, but didn't feel like regenerating, and it was not an appropriate sound effect for One Day At The Border, so it had to wait until now. (3/08)

* [The Name Game] Usually, I make up names or take liberties with the jokes if they're based on some real situations (for example, there was a conversation I had that inspired the "Will There Be Blood?" cartoon above. But this time, this is pretty much a transcription, which is why I'm using the real names of all the parties that were involved. I just can't make this stuff up. The drawings of me are inconsistent and in general don't look like me except that I was wearing a white cap that day. But that doesn't really matter. I was, of course, completely alone in the car when I said the punchline, which is all the more reason I wanted to share this. (6/08)

* [At The Pet Store] Ten years after playing with fountain pens I still find the word "nib" amusing (and somehow embarrassing). But that's nothing compared to to a parrot's vocabulary At The Pet Store.
Note that there's a long commentary about it after the cartoons. (9/08)

* [Horseplay] A friend has a horse named Nitro, and I got to meet it. Friendly, mellow horse. On occasion, it would make a strange sound, similar to a water cooler, much to my amusement. At one point, due to my own incompetence, he stepped on my foot (or rather put his foot on top of mine, fortunately, he was standing and I don't think he put his full weight down, so there was no damage). How do these things all relate? Well, I think it's all just a little horseplay for Nitro.

A return to low-tech. This was completely hand-drawn, inked, and lettered. I used Photoshop to scan it in, clean up a few stray marks (I scanned it in in greyscale rather than B&W, at 1200dpi), and scaled it down to the appropriate size. The whole process was remarkably fast. Under a day from initial start (initial idea) to finish (posting). That's close to a land-speed record for me for a 6 panel drawing. Maybe not as clean as a computer font, but the balloon in frame 3 would've taken me hours to create. (10/08)

* [Pineapple Play] At a friend's wedding back in August, some friends from undergrad told a story from "back in the day" of someone they knew who attempted to engage in some Pineapple Play. And apparently it was a disaster for the reason upon which this little joke is based.

I, more or less, just put a frame around this story, but since I don't really know either of the people involved (I don't even know their real names), I just used Sarah and Bill.

[Addendum: another friend familiar with the story suggested I add these two true quotes into the's too late for me to change the drawing, but I can put them here:

  1. "I even put the can in the oven for a while to warm it up for him!"
  2. "Before going to the checkout line, I threw some cake mix in the basket so no one would be onto my plan!"
End addendum.]

I've actually been meaning to draw this for a few months and finally got around to finishing it up. I decided to just draw do it quick, in black and white with hand-lettering, so it wouldn't drag on more than it has. (11/08)

* [In The Lab] A friend works in a plant biology lab and gave me a tour of her lab. She actually did give me the warning in the cartoon, and had to repeat it because I didn't hear what she said the first time. And she did say she'd explain about the PCR machine another time. And I did confuse a freezer and an incubator with a refrigerator (note the display shows it's at -80C). But there are a few differences. She doesn't wear glasses, wasn't holding a clipboard, and wasn't wearing a lab coat (it was shorts and a t-shirt, hardly appropriate for Mad Science) and the warning about ethidium bromide was that it was a "known carcinogen" (I think my take on it is funnier). (04/09)

* [Canter Bury Tale] I've been learning how to ride a horse. The saying is that there are those who have fallen off and those who will. It's just a matter of time. While practicing cantering, Nitro, the horse, started to get faster, and I didn't do the right things, lost my balance, wasn't able to steer or stop, and eventually pitched over his right side as he went left (as we were approaching the fence). I was wearing a helmet and it was dirt, and it wasn't all that big of a deal (I'm normally sore anyway after riding). And I did get back on him right after that too.

So once again, I let my imagination wander into the Calvin and Hobbes territory and present this Canter Bury Tale. (And just to clarify, the pun is that my head was buried in the dirt, not that I was buried in the I'm-dead sense.) (06/09)

* [Scotty Teaches] My friend Golden is giving a talk on teaching a course in reverse engineering. He asked if I knew of a comic image somewhere of "something that shows students being pushed almost to the point of metabolic failure working on ASM and RE. Something like Scotty saying that it's going to blow, etc." After some discussion with friends about thin/young Scotty vs. old/fat Scotty, I took a crack at making such a comic. I needed a little help, as I had a hard time drawing the student on the right, so my friend Brendan posed for a reference picture. Actually, his 7 year old daughter Kate helped and did the same. I used his pose and her eyes (he wears glasses and it was easier to see her eyelids). And thus we have what happens when Scotty Teaches Reverse Engineering. I'm finally getting a little better with speech balloon tails (I reread the tutorial). (07/09)

* [Canter Bury Tale (Vol 2)] Just for the record, I have, in fact, been riding Nitro since our "parting of the ways" back in June. But except during a trail ride, we haven't done any more cantering...until now. We've worked on the basics (balance, etc.), and I've been gone a good part of the summer. But once again, we've shifted into third gear, so the saga continues with Canter Bury Tale (Volume 2)! This time, however, things went fine. We did have to review the basics of how to ask for a canter, since it had been so long for me. But Nitro was quite happy to canter with me again. Very happy to do so, in fact. And while it wasn't quite the "prepare to make the jump to hyperspace" sensation of the first few times, Nitro was more than willing to light up the rockets. If he talked, it would be more like "Do you want to canter now? Oh, OK. How about now? Now? Canter now? Now? Now? Nownownownownow? How about now?" Oh yeah, and I almost forgot—the last line is a Simpsons reference to when Lisa has dinner that Apu prepared and Marge asks Lisa if it's too spicy for her.

This was just a quick sketch and ink, then scanned greyscale at 1200 dpi, reduced, then into Illustrator for speech balloons, and final cropping back in Photoshop. This time I didn't want to take the time to color it and it should be clear enough what's going on (and there are only three "actors" in the drawings) and I could play with cross-hatching. I was also too lazy to draw backgrounds. I think I'm getting better with the speech baloon tails. I'm kind of mixed about frame 3, as I initially wanted it to have the text breaking out of the balloon, but then thought about having some funky shape to the balloon, but that exceeds my Illustrator abilities. I kind of like the last frame's balloon, as it was mostly luck playing around with some options. I thought about trying for some funky balloon shape, but again, that's time consuming if nothing else. This little project was done in 2 days, one for the quick sketches, blocking, and text, and one to pencil, ink, scan, edit, and upload. (09/09)

* [Everything's Ducky] I was in the grocery store parking lot, headed to my car, when a friend calls me over. Owing to unintentional, perfect timing, I had a moment of simultaneous cuteness and gothic horror that Alan Moore or Neil Gaimen would be proud of. However, fear not, because in reality, Everything's Ducky.

Full on color drawing, shading, lettering, and all that stuff. (02/10)

* [Rope Trick] It's come to this...a cartoon of shenanigans from a recent Dungeons and Dragons game. I have nothing to add, other than my character was not involved in this Rope Trick.

Full on color drawing, lettering, and all that stuff. Inked with Illustrator and with a ton of layers (1 for each color) in Photoshop. Needs shading, but the entire process was fast. (03/10)

* [Porky and Bess] I saw an opera. Porgy and Bess. There are lots of relevent commentary possible about it, but in reality, I immediately did an image search to see if anyone has a cartoon version of it casting Porky Pig as Porgy, since so many people misspell it anyway. Sadly, I was unable to find anything, so here is my version of Porky and Bess.

Yes, this is the first thing that goes through my mind when I think about the opera. It's quite sad, I know. I thought about casting Bugs as Bess, since he's quite happy to go in drag, but then I realized that Bugs really wouldn't be right playing second banana to Porky's top billing. But Daffy and Porky have a long history together, so I think that works nicely. I also added the little wig to Daffy, almost as an afterthought (when I was inking it, actually), to make it obvious who is who. The idea for the set was stolen from Rabbit of Seville, and models for Porky and Daffy were stolen from various images (the ends of Porky's hands were cut off the frame, so I had to guess a little, especially with his right hand, but think that looks OK.

Full on, 100% computer generated stuff, from the sketch to the final product. A bunch of bouncing back and forth between Photoshop and Illustrator. Lots of layers until the last stages. I'm not happy about the shading (thoghh Porky's gloves are OK and I like the streaks on the window), but I wanted to get this out. I didn't realize until late that since Daffy's body is black, any contour lines have to be something other than black. Rather than try to do something fancy with changing the line colors, I offset the color layer by a few pixels, which has the effect of making the lines on his body not-black. Serendipity, luck, or whatever. My first verison of Daffy had a few lines by the mouth and eyes wrong which made him look angry (a common expression for him, to be sure). It amazed me how 2-3 lines that are a little off can change the entire expression. My level of respect for the Warner Brothers artists has increased even more. (10/10)

* [Well, Duh!] This is mostly a quick drawing based on an idea that struck me. Although, I must admit, on occasion I have been known to write "banana" on a banana, especially of unususpecting innocents.

I made a crappy sketched version in Photoshop. I decided to put that online. Then I wondered how long it would take me to ink it, if I could actually do it quickly. I managed to do it in about 2 hours, starting around 11:30pm, so that's the one I've posted here. It's not perfect, and it's not until the third panel that I've kind of got the feel for things, but it's a start.

Mostly, it's in this section because it's a 3 panel drawing which is too much for the "sketch of the day" section. I also realize I haven't put a "proper" cartoon up for quite a while. Now I have. (5/12)

* [Knock, Knock...] I was talking to a co-worker. Somehow we got onto the subject of Encrypting Cow. That of course led to a different cow, known in a kids' knock, knock joke. I kind of ran with it a little. It amuses me.

All computer generated, sketched, inked, lettered, colored, shaded. It took a while to finish and the shading isn't great, but hey, it makes me giggle.

"MOO!!!" (6/12)

* [Words, words, words] I was thinking about words, where adding another word, like a preposition, completely changes the meaning. Sadly, I quickly ran out of ideas. But here's how I'd imagine the conversation would go if I tried out these words on some friends. And yes, the first one is true.

All computer generated, sketched, inked, lettered and lettered. Skipped coloring and shading to cut the whole process down to just a day or two. And of course I was cheating with reusing a lot of the images. (7/12)

* [How Much?] A quick cartoon that ponders the question of how much thanks are required for simple situations. The answer turns out to be more than you'd expect. (9/12)

* [Workstation of The Future] A cartoon that took me longer than I planned to answer the question of what the user interface of the WTF (Workstation of The Future) will be. (3/13)

* [Surprise Monocle] A cartoon (in a single, long strip) that harkens back to archaic, yet expressive, eyewear, called Surprise Surprise). (4/13)

* [Shop Till You Drop] I was talking to a friend who needed to try on a bridesmaid dress and she asked if I wanted to tag along. It got me thinking about participating in a general sort of "trying on clothing" adventure, which conjured frightening images in my mind in which you Shop Till You Drop). Of course there's a slight twist on things.

This was a quick sketch, drawn in Photoshop, then inked in Illustrator. Towards the end I figured out there are built-in Wacom brushes which tend to work much better than the default ones. And I figured out how to save a higher resolution file from Illustrator. And finally, I used Photoshop to put the frames together and add a border. I decided not to color this, partially because I'm lazy but also to see if the characters are recognizable without cheats like colors. Call it an experiment. (7/13)

* [Secret Service Sheet] This happens all too often when I do my laundry. However, it occurred to me that maybe the sheet itself had a secret life as a Secret Service Sheet.

This was almost a Photoshop-only project. I used Illustrator only to create the speech and thought balloons and then pasted them in Photoshop. I decided I wanted a simple line-only drawing, no coloring. A test to see if characters and things are still recognizable.

Of course, this raises the question of whether my style has changed or improved in 15 years or so since I did dalmation. (8/13)

* [Astro-Librarian] At trivia, a friend had a small ruled notepad. I commented at how it would be very useful as a flip-book for animations. She challenged me to do such a thing. I did. I should mention that she's a librarian for astronomy (and physics and other stuff). Thus, I decided to create the thrilling bibliographical adventures of Astro-Librarian.

This was mostly low-tech. I draw lots of pictures on a small notepad using a pen. And then I tool lots of pictures of them. And then managed to put them all together on my computer without making it become comatose out, after reducing the size several times. (11/13)

* [Dungeon Master] A group of D&D players reminisce about their favorite moments of playing. (05/14)

* [Meta-Muse] I wanted to make fun of a cartoon that has an attitude that strikes me as smug. However, any normal parody would simply be whiny and not particularly funny. So instead, I took inspiration from a Meta-Muse and made a cartoon parody about making parody of a cartoon. (06/14)

* [Tapas Dinner] A very quick cartoon on the perils of group dining and consensus at a tapas restaurant. (06/14)

* [Label Maker] We got a label maker at work. I think the rest should be obvious. Although I must admit that I haven't had time to go on a trivial labeling spree yet.

I drew this one in Illustrator. I tried to color it there but failed miserably, so I put it into Photoshop and then it was easy to color. In the last frame, the two characters originally looked horrible. I redrew it (in Illustrator). I used my little wooden mini-model which helped with proportions and just used very short strokes with the pen, which helped (trying to draw 3 fingers at once with a Bezier curve won't work so well, but looked much more reasonable with shorter strokes that only have one bend in them. All in all this didn't take too long. It's not the greatest thing, and I was too lazy to try to fit a billion labels in at the end, but hopefully the idea is...well, obvious. Note that this isn't the first time I've used Captain Obvious. (10/14)

* [Constructive Criticism] As Tom Waits once sang, "What's he building? What's he BUILDING?" A cartoon about a noisy meeting. (01/15)

* [Worst Case] A musing on a conversation from a simple request. Because, when you stop and think about it, worst case, how bad can it be? (03/15)

* [Too Personal Pan Pizza] See what happens what a personal pan pizza gets a bit too personal. (03/15)

* [Duck you!] A few of us were over a friends house for a frisbee league organizer's meeting. More or less, this is exactly what happened. Sometimes you've got to say Duck you! (05/16)

* [Battleship!] My interpretation of what a game of Battleship! would be like with one of my friends who has a similar sense of humor and odd way of looking at the world. (10/16)

* [The Neighsayers] Sometimes I hear or think of a word and the pun-center of my brain takes over and quickly it produces an image. The Neighsayers is one such example.

I did some quick sketching in Photoshop and then used the pen tool in Illustrator to make clean lines. I wanted to do some shading and different sized lines but ran out of time. And there are some parts that aren't terribly good. Though I got the collars working a bit beter than they had been, so that's a plus. Did all the coloring using the Live Paint mode in Illustrator. Didn't take that long. (8/17)

* [Not Quite Consonant Shift] I was joking around with a friend about some vowel sounds and came up with this idea. The true title would be the punchline, so instead I'm calling it Not Quite Consonant Shift.

I did a few layout sketches on paper but this was mostly all done in Illustrator. I also took a few quick pictures of my self to use as references for the facial expressions. Inking, coloring, shading, and lettering all in Illustrator. I used Photoshop at the end to cut it into more manageable panels. It was a few days, but there was a week gap while I was traveling before I could finish it. (7/19)

* [MTV Undead] A trivia question on MTV Unplugged gave me the idea of a different show, featuring singers that were neither living nor dead (anymore). I started drawing some figures based on reference images before I knew where I was going with this, but it eventually led to a pictch for the show MTV Undead.

Most of this was done in Illustrator. Because I hand-traced reference images, the 4 charaters are pretty recognizable. The colors on the ones where I did more shading look semi-decent. Backgrounds, which were mostly ripped off, were put together with Photoshop. (12/19)

* [Intermission] Is the pandemic winding down, or just in a brief downturn? We all know the answer but don't want to admit it (especially since the reason for it is because of our choice of actions). So it turns out that instead of being the end, the last month or two was merely an intermission in the Pandemic show, possibly one of many.

This was done all in Illustrator. I used some reference drawings as well as modeling a few things myself, but all were free-hand drawn, nothing traced. I used a lot of layers for the different compoents and it seemed to work out decently. (08/21)

* [Newsletter Cartoons] I recently unearthed this from the Frank Archives when I had to clear stuff out of a cloest. Back in the late '80s I worked for a year at Amdahl in Sunnyvale, California and before I left, I made a sort of "newsletter" as my a "going away" gift to my group. I think I had access to a Sun workstation with Pagemaker and somehow there must have been a scanner available with it too. I figured a "proper newsletter" should have some cartoons, among other things like letters to the editor. So I included some. I may have a paper copy of newsletter somewhere, but for now this is a notebook that had the inial sketches final drawings for the cartoons.

One was supposed to be the "not really funny" single panel comic strips. There were fountains by some of the buildings, and at least one had a little duck house with ducks and housing was a topic of conversation back then a well as now. The second strip was probably the first time I ever drew Spaceman Spiff (my next version was 9 months later and the first picture on this page and supposed to represent me causing some generic mischief. As usual, it doesn't really look like me and my boss wasn't a dude and was really nice. I don't know what I used for reference, since this was before the World Wide Web and I didn't own any Calvin and Hobbes books. I might have used one that appeared in a recent newspaper or borrowed a book from someone.

As far as I can tell, this was probably drawn in pencil and then inked with a ball point pen on a quadrille graph spiral notebook. This would have been drawn in August 1989, so it's 32 years old now. (12/21)

* [Intermission] A recent spike in cases (fast jump up and, it seems, down) from the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant got me thing a bit about all of these variants.

This was a quick drawing, done with pencil on paper, scanned in, then inked with Photoshop, and with Illustrator used to make speech balloons. It all went pretty smoothly and quickly. (12/21)

This page last modified Dec 29, 2021.
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