Sunday, November 17, 2019

"Fishy Foodie Fail"

Aside from the opportunity to, like, annoy language purity trolls, this was a side-eye to my own habit of oversharing when it comes to kitties. Or cartoons to come to think of it...

Also the doodle for this one is a better-than-usual window into the editing-on-the-fly as ideas leak out the end of the pencil and get all over another nice clean surface again. Sheesh.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

"Nom-enclature" + "Deciduo-us"

Yet another two-fur: The first is one of those internet terms that might be lost on consumers of print media...

... that initially started out as one of my ever-lovable beaver memes. There are days I wonder why I even bother trying anymore with the cartoons as memes are so much easier - but there's the fact that drawing is so much more fun to do. And maybe takes just a little bit more talent & skill to create.

Next we have a sneak peek at what will undoubtedly be 2020's Valentine's Day cartoon: an exclusive here on Ink & Snow for you, dear reader.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

"Desert Island Beaver" + "Consumerism"

These are a couple of oldly-but-goody gags that somehow or other fell through the cracks over the past few years, languishing in the pipeline until after getting finally printed somewhere by somebody for something.

It's always prudent to have a handful of "evergreen" panels that I can shuffle into the mix on the offand chance a ho;e opens up in the production schedule. Even if I'm at my usual comfortable buffer zone of six-months worth of material primed and ready to drop, it's inevitable mistakes will happen, as does the logistics of juggling multiple deadlines for a variety of publications and clients.

Now this one was an interesting in that it definitely muddied the water between ha-ha funny cartoon and heyyy waitaminnit this is political.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Tribute: David Gildersleeve

2001 SEQA faculty (clockwise from bottom left): Ted Stearn, Mark Kneese, Paul Hudson, Durwin Talon, David Gildersleeve and Bob Pendarvis.

Cartooning lost another one when David Gildersleeve died on Sunday. In this snapshot from a 48-hour graduate review meeting at the Savannah College of Art & Design's Sequential Art department were my three committee members Mark Kneese, Ted Stearn (who also died earlier this year) and David. He would serve as my faculty advisor and chair again when I returned eight years later in 2011 to tie everything off/clean up my mess (ie research + write the thesis paper).

The tall, ponytailed Texan overall taught about a third of the classes I took over my time down in Georgia. Par for the course he would hand out scripts for assignments that required all sorts of outings to local community resources. Naturally most of them would somehow dovetail with his passion with muscle cars, or boats, trains and animals.This would in turn led to many a museum excursion, and our little band of fellow students would find ourselves following the leader from exploring the tombstones of Bonaventure cemetery (where he is be buried next week), to pitchers of PBR at a bowling alley – all in pursuit of the story.

Being on-site and making live sketches in conjunction with photo-reference is one of David’s hallmark attributes I’ve incorporated into my own classroom exercises. Another carryover is the omnipresent yellow sticky-notes on the back of everything I drew. In fact for the past forty-odd semesters whenever I use examples from my graduate work to show to my own students, every time a page is turned over in the portfolio show & tell, there’s another note to remind me. Same with the narration jotted down on the assignment overlays - still another aspect I admired and attempt to emulate: he paid attention to the details.

Plus he was just so nice – never heard him ever get angry - but could be tough and call you out when and where you could improve. I can hear his voice in the background each time I critique a page of student comic art, and it echoes even on my own work still to this day. For example, there’s not one time that I’ve ever drawn a tire without an immediate reflexive adjustment to account for the vehicle’s weight which has a subtle effect on the completely round perfect circle that I’d spent my whole artistic life drawing wrong until David dinged me on it. And don’t get me started on the pressure to get the details right when it came to automobiles. Also I’m not positive but pretty sure we must of had the only two pickup trucks in the entire city of Savannah, definitely at the college.

Same goes with all the subtle, subconscious cues employed by the artist - tricks of the trade he taught - to guide a viewer’s eye across a page: simple details such as re-orienting the direction of a character so as to ease the eyeballs to the next panel or encourage the turning of a page. I would argue with his compositional suggestions until finally admitting his was a much better way. And after the review Dave was always ready for a pint down the road at the local brewpub where he would share more insight and experience.

When I recently heard he was in hospice, I thought about mailing off a pack of recent stuff to cheer him up, as he made me feel so welcome way back when I was so far from home in a strange new land. Waited too long, and a week later it was too late. Just wanted to write a note here for his family and loved ones to know that his easy laugh and ready smile was big enough to stretch from Georgia all the way up to Alaska, and his lessons will live on.


Sunday, October 20, 2019

"Non-Stick," "Row-Dent" and "Wood-Chipper Worship"

A bonus triple-post here on account of breaking the veritable log-jam I have backed up on beavery material. This ain't nothing: I actually have dozens of toothsome Castor-related themed material that it'll make for the mother of all Castor canadensis posts sooner than later.

I had just gone through an intense couple rounds of comment thread hilarity on social media, and as a result came away with quite the number of concepts. Ideas are truly everywhere, all you gotta do is get out there and start chewing on trunks, and sooner than later one will fall down and you can drag it back to the lodge to chew over.

To flog the metaphor some more, eventually you collect enough of this mental debris it will wind up damming everything and create your own little backwash pond of ideas to dip into at your leisure (or under deadline at times).

One of this batch of beaverish nonsense was duly noted as earning an inordinate amount of pride at how bad it was - the true mark of distinction.Not only do I constantly amuse myself, I also amaze myself at the staggering scale of pure unappreciated genius on display.

Some of the most recent of which were first made manifest as memes, something which has been popping up more and more on my radar as of late, especially when it comes to the juxtaposition of image + text as the core of a cartoon..

Also worth noting is the sheer number of comments made in meat-space after the color cartoon ran in the paper. Maybe I just need to get out of the cabin more often and mingle with folks other than folks up on campus, but it's always such a surprise to hear in person from so many friends & fans who actually remember with a laugh "that one you ran the other day." It's humbling and reaffirms my existence on this planet. No joke.

Sunday, October 13, 2019


One day while I was driving home after another 15-hour day teaching art at UAF Summer Sessions, I actually saw this on the side of the road. Well, similar enough scene (gaggle of waaay overdressed tourists on gawking about campus) to trigger a quick pull-over description onto the notes I keep on the iPhone. There's pages and pages of random captions and descriptions of possible panels house there in my "remote brain" - and the iPod - to merit a couple transcription sessions into the current sketchbook every year.

Another factor that absolutely brought home a real-life application of my "prescription glass" theory that I frequently lecture about. It's a phenomenon that happens after immersion in exercises focusing on any number of specific aesthetic criteria, like for example linear perspective. After enough practice runs designed to drill fundamental concepts and perceptual awareness in the studio one should ideally the same principles fleshed out real-time throughout the entire rest of ones daily routine. In other words, everywhere you look you should in theory see examples of whatever it was I've been trying to teach.

Here in this specific case, I had been yammering on about how getting into the proper frame of mind/mental groove is crucial when coming up with new material ie "getting ideas." If you are constantly hearing, seeing and thinking about comedy, it begins to slowly seep into all other areas of your waking life. There are ideas everywhere, all we cartoonists do is simply remember to take notes. And in my case, many times there has to be an accompanying illustration to make the point clear. At some point it all just evolves into a cartoon. An added bonus is laughing out loud at random things which might get ya some funny looks but the jokes on everybody else. No really, I'm serious.

Sunday, October 6, 2019


Only a handful of folks could have appreciated the meta behind this particular panel: It was done as a classroom demo for the comics course, and it occurred amidst another annual explosion of new comics that I also brought in for people to peruse. So, points for irony in how I've abandoned any pretense of literary exploration past the pile of comics that are burying most blank spaces around the cabin. I've even put off other social outings purely on the basis of needing to spend some time catching up on research (cough, cough).

Also a few bonus points can go out on how there's a relatively small audience (starting with said students) that will get the visual reference to the titular character. In retrospect maybe some muttonchops would have also been appropriate.

Speaking of meta: while poking about the site searching for any other earlier posts involving wolverines (like this sketch) I ran across a frequent issue with formatting that crops up in increasingly more archived uploads, like this one for example. I suspect it may have to do with images originally being hosted by the now-defunct Picasa.

If anything it's a constant reminder that I need to download everything from Blogger against the inexorable, eventual evolution (ie inevitable shuttering in the name of improvement). Selected excerpts might make the basis for a good book... now to find an editor with a sense of humor.