Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Daily Quick Sketch: Sparki

Today's daily sketch is a little mean lantern fish named Sparki. Originally I was going to sketch a piranha fish - but I felt it needed just a little more character. Adding that little light dangler was the trick.  So now it's a lantern fish instead of a piranha fish.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Bobby's Biggest Bubble: Thank You image

This is an image I created over the Thanksgiving weekend to thank all of the KickStarter pledges and supporters that helped create Bobby's Biggest Bubble.
From left to right: Oggy, Woger, Otter and Bobby
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this all possible. Yous guys is the best!!

UPDATE: I used this image for Illustration Friday the week of May 3 2013; the word of the week was TRIBUTE. This image has a double meaning to that word.

1st:  It was part of my thank you to all the people that helped me create my first children's book, Bobby's Biggest Bubble.

2nd: The book itself was dedicated to my Uncle Bob, who inspired me with creative thinking, fun and just a ton of laughs. My Uncle passed away nearly 20 years ago from his bout with Leukemia -- but the memory of him and his influences on me live on . . .

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chef Gordon Baloo

This was a character I remember sketching on my train ride back from New York City - sometime in the 90's. There is something I love about this character, it just makes me smile.  I haven't the slightest idea why I made him a chef, but for some odd reason it works. His name came to me instantly; a play on words with Cordon Bleu Chef. I'd just mixed it around a little and got Chef Gordon Baloo.
My original intentions were to make him a villain for one of my children's stories (and that may still come into play one day.) But because he is one of my favorite characters, he has become like a mascot for my company Arrrggghhh Ink.
[I've even did a little animation of him some time back.  If I can figure out how to embed a flash animation into this blogger, I will try and post that one day soon.]

This image was done in pencil, then selected areas were colorized in PhotoShop.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Archive Findings: Giggle Dog

Another old image from around the late 90's. This was a character made for greeting cards. I don't remember the exact words for the cards -- but the cover had a phrase that had the dog saying how excited and elated he was that it was "your birthday!"

The caption inside the card read, "But then again -- I also like to sniff butts, eat my own vomit and drink out of toilet bowls."

ADDENDUM: This is for some reason one of my blog's most popular characters. This image gets hits throughout the year from all over the world. Anyway, I found a B&W inked version of this character, thought I'd paste it here. Not sure if I have the pencil sketch, but if i find it, I'll add it here too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Archive Findings: Birthday Card Image

This was an image I did for a humor Birthday Card. What's missing here is the HUGE word balloon "BLEECH!" over the character's head.

The caption inside read:
"Heppy Burp-Day!"

Yea, I know . . . pretty lame.
But whatta ya want for a greeting card in the late 80's.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

UPDATE Bobby's Biggest Bubble: Bringing Back an Old Friend

This may sound weird, (and yes it's definitely is not completely sane, but remember I am a cartoonist) . . . but I'm getting nostalgic over a cartoon character as I start completing the ending to my book. The reason? This story allows me to use an old favorite character of mine, Professor Knozstuv.

Somewhere in the scrambling of thoughts, stories, toys and products I had the concept of creating a weekly educational comic strip.  Today, comic strips in newspapers are becoming scarce, but still, I don't want to give away the idea for fear of someone else using the concept . . . but let's just say the comic strip starred a talking bear, a huge monster and all-knowing clumsy Prof. Knozstuv. (No, I don't know why those 3 characters.)

The pencil, ink and color transformation: fleshing out ol' Professor Knozstuv
I don't know where my characters come from, I'm sure it's combination of memories, inspirations and brain storming. To be honest, I'm sure over 50% of the things I have sketched in the past were lost, destroyed or thrown away. But every once in awhile, a character appears on the paper - and there's recognition. I can imagine and "see" the voice, movement and personality of the character. Those are the ones I squirrel away; and the Professor is one of those characters.

He's a little bit Chaplin, pinch of Jerry Lewis' Nutty Professor and even a smidgen of Gabe Caplin's Mr. Kotter. It's probably been over 15 years since I last drew an image of him . . . yet there he is now, in my story playing a key part to the ending.

It feels real good to see the ol' Professor back on the paper again.
Welcome Back, Professor . . . 

- - - - - UPDATE - - - - -
I found 
the very first sketch of the Prof today. This file says it is from Nov 23, 1997 -- but I believe it is much older than that based on the style of my drawing. 
To see this now is strange, seeing the first impression of a character that I have created a few decades ago.  But as time goes on, you tend to improve your characters by eliminating their weaker aspects and emphasizing the better.

(Sidenote: Just look at the first few original comic strips of 
the Peanuts and Garfield, you won't believe what those characters looked like when they were first created.)

- - - - - END OF UPDATE - - - - -

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Favorite Past Projects: Santas Throughout History

{Slowly things are getting back to normal here since the storm Sandy hit our area hard last week.  There is concern that a nor'easter storm is now on the way. . .}

This was a project that I really enjoyed researching back in the 90's.
The prior year, I had made a successful line of plush Santas from around the world, dressing Santas up in their native garb. So the following year, I thought of creating a new line of plush Santas throughout history. Looking into all the origins and connections of Santa was a major task and amazing, especially when you can find so many traditions that were adapted and revised from so many other countries. (And not all of them were connected to Christmas.)

CUSTOM HANG TAGS: This project was to create a set of plush Santas Claus toys, each based of variations of Santa Claus legends throughout history.

Below are the backsides of the custom hang tags; each were to be short factoids about the different versions of Santa Claus throughout history.