Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shop Talk

It doesn't cost much to be a cartoonist. All you need is some paper, something to draw on (I still have my drafting board my parents gave me back in junior high), a pencil, some erasers, and a pen. About the only thing I have to budget for is the purchase of new pens (I use a 05 point Micron archival pen) and at three dollars a pop (even less when I use the 40 percent off coupon the local craft store offers every week in the Sunday paper), that isn't much.

I do have to be aware of when a pen gets too much use and quickly discard it, though. At some point the tip stops making lines in a uniform width and the result can be a picture that looks somehow messy.

This brings us to today's comic. I drew it years ago while in a hotel room on a business trip. At some point on the trip, my pen crossed over to unusable, but since I was away from home and since I didn't have any spare pens with me, I pressed on and inked this gag. Seeing it in this month's New Era really makes me wish I hadn't try to make do with an expired pen. Let me know if it looks somehow "off" to you too.


  1. I was also going to comment on the New Era's decision to publish this in September when high school prom typically falls in early spring, but then I realized that if a guy was willing to hire an entire marching band to ask a girl out, he'd be the type of guy to ask the girl out six months in advance!

  2. Arie, My non discerning artist eye doesn't notice anything off. I think you would have to point out to me the problems you see with it.

    Then again, I think it has to do with the story about the carpenter who spent time and energy on making a part of what he was building perfect that nobody else would see and know it wasn't up to his standard. When asked why, he replied, "I would know."

    You know it isn't perfect, but to us Fans of the Mormon Cartoonist, I am just happy to get more comics and hope to get many more comics from you in the future.

    Thanks for sharing your talent even if you think it isn't perfect. I would imagine that parents can point to this as an example to their kids that they don't have to do something perfect, they can just do the best they can with what they have.


  3. You're going to have to provide some type of detailed analysis of the errors--I can't see them. In staring at it the only conclusion I can come to is that the elephant's ears look a lot like those of the Who-hearing Horton.

    Then again, I'll bet Michaelangelo couldn't ever walk into the Sistine Chapel without cursing under his breath "Dang--shoulda drawn that cherub a little bigger!"

  4. After staring at it for a few minutes, I think I can tell that the lines are a little wobbley; or maybe a better phrase would be not as clean as your other comics. Or maybe since you said something, I'm trying to look for something that isn't there. Now I'm obsessed with finding something "off" with this comic. You better just tell us what it is.

    By the way, is the practice of asking dates out to school dances through extreme measures only a Utah thing? Or is it nationwide? Anybody know?

  5. Maybe you need to look at the printed version of the comic in the New Era to see what's bothering me about the artwork or maybe it's just in my head as some of you have suggested. I think Jena described it best, though, when she suggested that it's not as clean as some of my other work.

  6. I always tell myself that those little "errors" give it character. To quote, um, you - don't be so hard on yourself!

    BTW, the over-the-top date requests happen here in Oregon, too. It's almost a contest at the high school to see who can be the most outrageous. Haven't seen anyone use elephants yet, but thanks for putting that out there. Now it's just a matter of time!

  7. Dad this is very funny how he does all this just to get the girl he likes attention, maybe he could knock on her door and talk to her. I like it a lot