Tag Archives: cartoon

Summer in the Desert

Serves you right for wearing a fur coat.

Serves you right for wearing a fur coat.

This is more or less a true story, as long as you accept the premise that I have such a deep personal understanding of my cat that I understand the precise meanings of her vocalizations. Fairly certain this translation is accurate. The only thing that I’ve exaggerated is the size of the lemon tree and its proximity to the pool. Everyone knows you can’t plant trees that close to an in-ground pool.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for someone who has to walk around in a heavy black coat in the desert summer, but at the same time, she also has the option of hanging out in the air conditioning and waiting until the sun goes down to hang out outside. I get that she wants to be near me, but given her typical feline disdain for swimming, it’s hard to see why. Like, we don’t have to be together all the time (that you’re awake), Cat. When I’m doing stuff you don’t like, such as hanging out in the sun or submerging my body in water, you’re not required to join me. It’s your choice, meaning it’s really not cool for you to complain about it the whole time.

Fortunately for desert cats, there are always cool tile floors upon which to splay ones furry limbs.

For the record, the cat is perfectly capable of swimming. I once saw her swim the entire length of the pool to get away from a another cat that was threatening her. So she could totally jump in and join me instead of whining about it.

Anyway, this comic took about 5 hours to draw, and it among the best ones I’ve done so far. I’ve come a decent way in a year and a half. Maybe I will be ready for my next big project when the script is finished, hopefully in August.

Dragon Comics 91

It doesn't work of course. Politicians are in your schools, your churches, and your police stations. They'll get your kids, one way or another.

It doesn’t work of course. Politicians are in your schools, your churches, and your police stations. They’ll get your kids, one way or another.

Presidential elections terrify me. Our American political process is so bloated and corrupt. Tempers run high. The country is too big; we’re all too different. No single candidate can satisfy even 51% of us, and for people like me, with political views so far out of the mainstream that no one ever represents us, it’s just a farce. The money wasted is just a slap in the face. How many people could be fed, clothed, and housed for the nearly one billion dollars that a couple of billionaires focused on increasing their own assets casually promised to their favorite candidate?

The worst part is the campaigning. It’s not confined to any arena. It’s everywhere, and you can’t escape it, even if you want to. In the last election, I literally couldn’t figure out how to make Google News stop showing me election news. I strongly believe in compartmentalizing, but it’s not possible in presidential elections. Everyone has opinions and everyone shares them everywhere. You can’t not hear the mudslinging and muckraking and empty promises and bombastic bloviation.

It used to be considered in poor taste to discuss politics outside of political gatherings. Now it’s considered ignorant to not constantly spew your views regardless of whether or not people care to hear them. When you ask people to change the subject, they refuse.

I’d like to see some actual degree of democracy in the political process. The way I see it, it would be most fair to lay things out like this: anyone can establish a candidacy with a certain number of signatures on a petition, but all interested individuals would have to attain their own signatures in the same forum. No advertising in any other forum would be allowed, and in the first round, only position statements could be displayed. People would have to go to this political forum to determine which candidates interested them. Then, there would be a series of run-offs to limit the number of candidates to a reasonable degree, after which each viable candidate would be allotted the exact same amount of money to produce whatever campaign materials they needed, all of which could only be distributed through the same political forum: videos, pamphlets, ads. Debates would all be held on the same forum. We could all vote there, online, as well.

It’s the only non-disgusting way I can see it working. Right now what we’ve got is something between an oligarchy and a plutocracy, and it’s not working. Right now, we’d be seriously better off running the presidential campaign like American Idol or Survivor. It would be far more dignified than what we’re going to be subjected to in the next 18 1/2 months.

Dragon Comics 31

This is something I’ve been looking forward to doing for weeks and weeks, almost since I started drawing Dragon Comics. Are you not amused?

In my defense, the rabbit is definitely getting cuter. And cut and paste is easier than trying to make the characters looks like the same characters every time.

In my defense, the rabbit is definitely getting cuter. And cut and paste is easier than trying to make the characters looks like the same characters every time.

More or less, I was basically able to recreate what appeared in my mind when the idea came to me, which is progress. Still not perfect, but the main idea is communicated by the illustration, I think. I’m fairly pleased with the shattered glass effect in panel 4. It could use some more work, but, once again, the witching hour is at hand and the terms of my agreement with myself say that the comic goes up, perfection be damned.

This kind of playing with meta perspective pleases me greatly, and it’s so well-suited to comics and cartoons. Probably the most extreme and well-known example of 4th wall breaking in animation would be the 1953 Chuck Jones Looney Tunes classic, “Duck Amuck,” in which the animator spends 7 minutes torturing Daffy Duck with inappropriate scenery changes, repeatedly erases him with a giant pencil wielded by an unseen hand, and, since this cartoon relies heavily on the viewer’s knowledge of trope, replaces an (open, functioning) parachute with an anvil. There’s always got to be an anvil. For an added bonus, the sketch ends by doubling the self-referential nature of the narrative while pushing it firmly back into place by revealing that the sadistic cartoonist is actually Bugs Bunny, screwing with his old nemesis Daffy. After establishing a refreshing commentary that reflects the separate world (reality) influencing the cartoon, the end sequence encloses the entire story back in the cartoon world.

I could never be so cruel to my characters who, as you may realize, represent my actual loved ones, none of whom have even tried to convince a hunter that it was Dragon season. I just like to play. In fact, as I get older, that kind of classic cartoon violence-for-the-sake-of-violence makes me more and more uncomfortable. Apparently, some of us become gentler with age. That kid of cartoon violence is funny. It’s just not fair. I would rather wait 3 seasons to watch Aang spend 8 minutes fighting Firelord  Ozai before defeating him with compassionate nonviolence than see any number of falling anvils. Don’t get me wrong; falling anvils are still hilarious. Epic storytelling is just more fun.

Please note that even after the fourth wall has been completely shattered, The Man goes right on breaking it. He’s funny like that.