Tag Archives: man

The Fruit of the Pawpaw Tree


I spent way too much time trying to make the baby donkey look cuter and fluffier.

I read that the pawpaw is the only tropical fruit native to Michigan. I don’t really understand how, because I lived in Michigan for 4 years and there is absolutely nothing tropical about it. From the beginning of September until the end of May, it’s cold, and I always assumed that tropical fruits came from the tropics. Maybe they mean that it’s the only tropical fruit that can survive living in Michigan. I could not thrive in that weather, so I moved to Arizona. I have never eaten a pawpaw, not this kind of pawpaw, anyway. Some people refer to papaya as pawpaw, but it’s a totally different fruit.

“The Fruit of the Pawpaw Tree” is the last story in the book (but the penultimate story of our BJC comic journey) and a lot of people list it as their favorite, because it’s the happiest, most optimistic story in the book. It’s like Susanna in this story redeems all the hurt and broken women in all the other stories. Sometimes life is hard, but sometimes if you’re hard, you get through it OK. Sometimes you close yourself off to certain emotions, but then one little thing gets through your armor, and you realize you don’t have to be closed off to everything, all the time. People totally do find love at 64.


Your Marital Narrative

We'll also be exploring mace as a therapeutic option.

We’ll also be examining the efficacy of pepper spray as a therapeutic option.

Hey! I drew a comic about going to therapy. Can I be in the New Yorker now? Or is my wit not dry enough? I tried to draw the therapist’s smile kind of forced and tight-lipped, but she still looks kind of happy, so maybe the art isn’t there. Yet. The Man believes it’s getting there.

The therapist comic seems like such a staple. So, whenever I have an idea for a comic, there’s always this voice asking if I’ve really had an idea for a comic, or if I’m just remembering something that someone else did years ago, that I read and forgot about, but which has been hanging around in my subconscious for all this time. How do you know? It’s not like there’s a big database of comic ideas and you can type in keywords and see whether or not someone’s already thought of the same gag. In face, I’ve seen different artists do essentially the same joke lots of time, and they’re probably not stealing, intentionally or otherwise.

If a musical genius like George Harrison can commit “subconscious plagiarism,” what hope is there for anyone? Am I funny, or am I just repeating someone else’s joke?

That’s the one-panel gags, obviously. The big comics about my bizarre life are mine alone, of course. And maybe if I get a Patreon and/or a Kickstarter and start making money off of comics I could do long ones every day. Still, the one-panel form is an important one.

I guess the secret is to make everything absolutely as personal as possible. No one else has my life experience. Not even remotely.

Probably, no one’s done quite this comic. Originally I wondered if the man and the woman shouldn’t be the banged up ones, but implications of domestic violence seemed like they would detract from the joke. They’re not trying to hurt each other. Things just got out of hand and the therapist got in the way by mistake.

Special thanks to The Man for his suggestion that the glass on the diploma be shattered.

Dragon Comics 103

Yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange...

Yellow and blue make green, red and yellow make orange…

We used to have a concept book about color when we were kids, one with transparent pages that stacked up to reveal different colored animals. There were a bunch of creatures, all in different colors; the ones you saw depended on which pages you looked at and also which direction you looked. That always fascinated me. So that’s a basic visual gag.

This comic is also about The Man’s remarkable ability to fall asleep at any time, anywhere. I have seen him fall asleep in the space of 45 seconds. I have seen him sleep with small children sitting on top of him. I have seen him sleep on the ground. I have seen him fall sleep even though he’s only been up a few hours and slept 8 hours the night before. His happy ability to nap inspires insane jealousy in me, the chronic insomniac.

Anyway, It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve drawn a comic but it was fun to get back.

Dragon Comics 102

In reality, no force in Equestria could have compelled Spike to return those birthday presents.

In reality, no force in Equestria could have compelled Spike to return those birthday presents.

This sequence amused me to no end. I’m hoping for another 3-strip inspiration over the weekend, but if it doesn’t come I might take some days off from blogging next week to get caught up on some writing projects, specifically a couple longform book reviews for the Best Children’s Books website and a couple of comic book articles for Panels. Plus, I’d like to start another big project I’ve been wanting to do for a couple years. I’ve set a deadline for myself on this one, so there’s a good chance that it will actually come together. Especially now that I’m learning Photoshop, ideas that seemed really complicated to execute feel much more manageable. Everything erases in Photoshop, and when you put things in the wrong place, you can just pick them up and move them. I wouldn’t even have to sketch out a separate rough draft.

Dragon Comics 49

In relationships where one partner is more resilient than the other, it's not uncommon that the weaker partner can gleefully say and do things to the stronger partner that would be devastating if the stronger partner said or did to the weaker.

In relationships where one partner is more resilient than the other, it’s not uncommon for the weaker partner to gleefully say and do things to the stronger partner that would be devastating if the stronger partner said or did to the weaker. Emotionally speaking, that is. 

As mentioned last week, I actually enjoy being suspended by the ankles, but there’s a limit to everything, particularly inversion, which can become dangerous in certain situations over long periods of time. There are many benefits to inversions, and I’ve even heard yogis suggest something to the effect that every minute of ones life spent in inversion adds an extra minute of right-side-up time to life. Of course, I’ve also had veterans assure me that, after a certain point, inversions can be deadly. So let me reiterate: after a minute or two, the health benefits of inversions are limited to inversions you accomplish using your own muscles, under your own power. Being strung up by the ankles and left for dead is not healthy.

Of course, neither is laughing at your friend’s inadvertent misfortune, regardless of how hilarious their situation might appear to you, particular if you are reminding them about something that happened years ago, and especially if you actually played a rather large part in their situation. Just remember that.

Meanwhile, the poor fox is pieless and in serious danger of starving to death.

Dragon Comics 47

Ah, the classic pie-in-the-face-gag. Never gets old.

Ah, the old pie-in-the-face-gag. Never gets old.

A new twist on an old classic! Cliche + technology = modern comedy. “Gluten free” and “vegan” are hilarious buzzwords, too. Personally, while I prefer a gluten free diet, veganism seems unnatural to me. Please pass the butter and the eggs please. Meat is more of a convenience than a necessity, but I don’t want to live in a world without butter. I do try to eschew sugar, although, at this time of year, it’s almost impossible. I already promised the kids we could make gingerbread and the 3-parties-a-day holiday schedule has begun.


Dragon Comic 45

Stand back! He's going to try engineering!

Stand back! He’s going to try engineering!

I added The Man’s name to the copyright information on this comic because this gag and half of the text was his idea. The machine, of course, is my own devising. If he had designed the machine, he would have gone for some degree of verisimilitude and not attached a Wankel rotary engine to a set of pistons an an egg beater, let alone had the brilliant idea to power it with a hamster wheel. I guess the solar panel only runs the water heater? Apparently he does not find the Wankel rotary engine as hilarious as I do. There was no doubt in my mind as to what kind of engine this machine would require.

Drawing the electricity arcing off the Tesla coil was a lot of fun. I’m not sure yet what the mousetraps and the pinwheel add. Perhaps one is for style and the other is to protect the machine.

In fact, this machine is not quite finished.

I’m a fan of Rube Goldberg devices from way back, and I suppose this comic could have taken that path as well, but that would have required a lot more forethought than I would have put into the machine. Furthermore, Rube Goldberg devices are meant to accomplish some particular task.

Does this machine has a function? Is is dangerous? Can it make Dragon’s life easier? Tune in next week for the answer to these and other exciting questions!

Dragon Comics 30

It's true. He does smell delightful.

It’s true. He does smell delightful.

When I showed him the illustrations, before I added the text, he said, “I’m so glad you got outside.” Figuring out how to draw the Milky Way was the fun part of this drawing. Getting the silhouettes right was also something of a challenge, but not as much as it would have been 29 comics ago.

In case you’re wondering where Dragon’s tail is, it is flat and limp without the cave’s magic, and therefore spilling down the hill with no curl whatsoever.

In reality, I spend far too much time outside the cave. Why, just yesterday I went to 2 parties and 3 stores, and later found out that I missed an old friend passing through town due to my own busy-ness. And today I attended a Girl Scouts Brownies meeting for the first time since 1981. Fascinating. Getting the comic written is getting harder as the frantic part of the year encroaches, but I’m committed to at least 100 of them before I reevaluate.

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