3 Works 4 Work

The paper I work at, the Contra Costa Times, has quite the rapport with its readers. In my short time here we have, on a few occasions, invited readers to submit creative pieces of their own, based on a given theme, and they have delivered some brilliant, funny stuff.
...Last month, our readers were challenged to come up with their own faux musical theater productions. I did drawings for the three favorites.
...I would post the submitted lyrics, but I'm blogging out here on my little blogspot island without any official authorization and I don't want to cause any trouble for work or any stress for the people who submitted their pieces. I'll just paraphrase what they're about:
Manifesto! The People's Musical
This was for a funny submission about Mr. Marx trying to come up with a name for his book. I wanted to put a crowd of people below, cheering him on-- Karl was singing with an energetic chorus in the reader's piece-- but I had a lot of drawing to do already. So, this!
...Not too effective on it's own and probably a reference to "Peter Pan" that I could have communicated more clearly.
...Over the years I've used the theatrical "Peter Pan" reference in about half a dozen works. Any time somebody uses the the word "theater" I picture Sandy Duncan on a rope spinning helplessly out of control while people sing and dance below, probably secretly hoping that she doesn't get sick up there. (At an impressionable age they ran advertisements for the play during cartoons, perhaps trying to trick all of us into thinking it would be just like Disney's Peter Pan. I wanted to go until they told me Duncan was playing the lead. A girl playing Peter Pan? Pass.)
Goodfellas: The Musical
I've probably mentioned it before but I don't have a lot of confidence in my caricatures. I'm pretty happy with the way these turned out, though. Joe Pesci was my favorite of the 3 until I added the hat; for some reason he stopped looking like Joe Pesci to me. Oh, well.

The Sound of An Inconvenient Truth
Ha! The music from "The Sound of Music" with new lyrics, it's all about the changing climate etc.
...I used to do the occasional editorial cartoon when I worked at the Oakland Tribune, so I could scratch out a Gore, or a Bush, or an Arafat now and then. I haven't had that opportunity in a long time but drawing this took me back to those days.
...It's fun to make fun of politicians! Republicans! Democrats! They all make me laugh! Some more than others, it's true, but let's not get into that here.

Drawn with pencils, scanned with a scanner and colored inside a futuristic computer!
The End!

Part 1: Some Animals

Last week I helped put together a graphic that featured several animals from the Contra Costa County area. These were my favorites.
Presenting: The Alameda Whipsnake, the Red-Legged Frog, the Western Pond Turtle and the Golden Eagle.
Painted in photoshop.

Part 2: The Graphic Itself

Chuck Todd, (King of the Graphics Department) did the map and layout. I researched, painted and came up with the blurbs.

If I'd had more time I would have given the map a more painterly treatment, and probably done something more attractive with the background.

Web Heads

When I'm trapped behind my desk and I have the idle moment, I'll occasionally image-search for mug shots and do quick sketches. Until recently these were committed to stickies which would then be used to dispose of my gum. I'm trying to save some of this stuff now.
...It's amazing how many different faces there are, isn't it? Almost every face I reference has something about it which makes me pause and think "I never thought of that before!" It could be the fold of an eyelid, the swoop of an eyebrow, the fall of a jowl. . . it can be a lot of fun learning from the most basic of observations.
...When I draw from my head-- freestyle, so to speak-- and I'm not concentrating on trying something new, I tend to draw faces, figures, caricatures that are similar to all of the other faces, figures and caricatures that I've drawn freestyle before. As a cartoonist susceptible to my all-too-human nature I will fall into that rut because I'm familiar with how to draw those things; I know I can get things to look the way I want them to look.
...So, at the moment I'm worrying about developing a cartoonist's shorthand that will limit the variety of faces that I can come up with; drawing from mug shots (and, of course, real life) encourages me to consider other solutions.
...A few of my favorite cartoonists seem to have a very limited range of faces or figures, and while that doesn't take away from my admiration for their work, I imagine that expanding their visual vocabulary could only help. I believe in some cases they may have chosen less variety because time constraints or because it's a comfortable and recognizable style, which is fine; for myself I would like to be able to scratch out a completely distinctive character every time. Long way to go on that, I know.
...These are fairly faithful caricature attempts.

The End.

The Walrus

I've always been a big Beatle fan. As a young boy with artistic aspirations I probably drew as many pictures of Lennon & McCartney as I did of Spider-Man.

One fun thing about my job is I occasionally find myself doing something that I had hoped to do when I was a kid. I fantasized drawing the cover for Revolver 2, the album the lads would make when they got back together. Alas, that will never be.

But here I was able to scratch out a big old Paul for the cover of the A&E section, accompanying a story about Starbucks and Sir Paul teaming up. It was a bit of a rush job, and I completed it in about one shift (with an extra hour or two thrown in from the previous evening.)

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Perhaps it's a little too "Mark Ryden," but it wasn't intentional!

Painted in photoshop with illustrator helping out on the tablecloth and McCartney's radiance.

My latest McCartney album? Run Devil Run. GREAT stuff on there.

The End