Friday, February 29, 2008

Pro bono work

Each year Camp Okoboji near Spirit Lake has "Cub Week" for little kids. Last year and this year, our pastor asked me to design buttons for them. So, here's my first draft for this year. Hopefully they'll like it.

Shot in the Dark

Well, I was going to send out the PDF to small papers first, maybe Denison- actually, maybe to other papers owned by Enterprize publishing, like the Seward Independent or the Dakota County Star, but I just went ahead and tried to send it to the Sioux City Journal.

I don't know if I wrote down the editors email addresses wrong from the staff box in the Journal or what, but I kept getting the message above every time I tried to click on the send button.

I suppose that now I've sent them each five or six emails instead of just one so they're going to be really annoyed. I hope my self-defeating attitudes in these posts are a form of self-effacing humor rather than some kind of negative karma inducing pessimism. They have to be, I'm way too Lutheran to believe in karma.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just registered

I just registered at the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards at
Who knows, maybe this will be a way to get promoted and spread awareness of this site and my mighty cartooning prowess, grrr!

You got a beef with me?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Political cartoon for the February 28, 2008 Mapleton PRESS.

Guess I wanted to appeal to my readership for once and give them a bit of a break from National politics, especially the Presidential election. These folks work HARD for their living and they have to deal with feed prices sky-rocketing due to using corn for ethanol, a President who's threatening to veto the farm bill, and now consumer scares because of irresponsible meat packing plants in California that lead to massive product recalls... so Iowa Cattleman's Association members, this toon's for you! Moo!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Family Album

When I first visited Iowa, I discovered a "Mexican" fast food place called "Taco-John's." Turns out it was started in Wyoming and they're really pretty good, as far as the Taco Bell genre goes. But being a native Arizonan, I was kind of a snob where Mexican food goes and very skeptical. I drew this cartoon, applying generous doses of Garison Keillor-esque Midwesternism. I have no idea how old it is or even whether or not they ran it in the Charter Oak-Ute NEWSpaper (I THINK they did)- but I had some fun with it in PhotoShop, making it look like an old Polaroid.

Cartoon Tee

I've designed a lot of tee shirts. See examples here.
But THIS time, I had to cartoon a tee shirt. Band kids at Boyer Valley asked me to caricature their bad director (affectionately know as "DJ Sharp-er-Flat." I have no idea what it means to "bump," guess I'm too old.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Mid-Life Crisis; will write or draw for food

I turned 38 today. Happy birthday to me.

I've wanted to be a cartoonist since I was 10.

Okay, so I AM a cartoonist, just not a widely published one and certainly not what most people would consider a professional one, let a lone a successful, widely published, professional one.

Today I finally started searching for addresses to send my PDF to. Most syndicates have submission guidelines, which will mean printing the cartoons out and composing a cover letter- which I knew but the lazy part of me and the coward part of me would just assume skip. Emailing is much more passive. There's so much less emotional investment and less risk. No formal rejection letter, they just don't email you back.

Meanwhile, I stumbled on Daryl Cagle's email address- or at least a "contact me" type of hotlink on his website. So I attached the PDF and sent it. Of course, I'm sure he gets hundreds of submissions every week and probably doesn't even consider the ones that didn't follow his official submission guidelines. But who knows, at least it's out there in the universe- what God decides to do with it is up to Him.

Of course, the words of America's first political cartoonist, Ben Franklin ring in my ears "God helps them that..." you know the rest. It's just that I'm so busy with school work and yearbook, and school website and currently our home repair and remodeling crap and next week parent/teacher conferences and our tax appointment... etc. etc.

In short, reality has a way of being an obstacle to spending the time and effort to follow the official submission guidelines for pursuing a dream. Which has enough obstacles already created by neuroses.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Someday she hopes to be a REAL cabinet-level official

Political Cartoon for the Feb. 21 Mapleton PRESS

Man, I haven't drawn her since August 2006, you can't believe how differently I did it too. I don't know, I think I liked the old style better. She still looks mean. Sort of a Black Cruella De Ville. Guess if I were going to do it over again, I would've made Wexler Jiminy Cricket instead of having both Jiminy and Wexler both.

Chasing down a dream...

I've been dreaming of becoming a cartoonist since I was in about 5th grade. Right now, I practically do it just as a hobby- for our small town newspaper and this blog. Don't get me wrong- I love being a high school Art teacher, but- call it a midlife crisis if you want to, lately I've been thinking that it's about time that I make at least some small attempts at following my dream (without giving up my day job).

Here are pages from a PDF I created that I was thinking of sending to newspapers or features syndicates.I wondered about Omaha and Sioux City, maybe Sioux Falls Des Moines and Lincoln already have incredible cartoonist. I thought about Denison and Woodbine... My publisher already turned me down when I asked about Missouri Valley and the Dunlap publisher already told me that they can't afford it. I guess I can just send it to syndicates- nothing to lose, right?

Any blog readers, friends or fans have any suggestions? Things I should do differently? People I should consider sending it to? Say a prayer for me or wish me luck or whatever you want to do-

They say that "if your ship hasn't come in, you need to swim out to it." Fortunately, I like teaching, so I can keep doing that. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Arizona Statehood Day (Feb 14, 1912)

Tug-'O'- War (no pun intended)

Thought I'd changed this blog to all paintings and I'd never cartoon again- didn't ya?
I don't know what Ann Colter and Rush Limbaugh's problem is. McCain is more than conservative enough for me. He's genuflected to the Religious right, he's anti-union, he wants to stay in Iraq for a million year and has no problem starting plenty more wars too. Does he not love lobbyists enough? Does he not hate gays and Mexican immigrants enough? What more do they want from him?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Recycled cartoons

I actually created these all sometime last year (2007) and the way I made them was by scanning drawings from an old sketchbook from about 1990. But I think they turned out pretty fun.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Has anybody seen my good friend Bobby?

Just something I did while my Painting students were working on their watercolor paintings.Here is an 18x24 graphite drawing that I did of Harry Truman

Monday, February 4, 2008

Not by me, just OF me

One of my students drew this of me on my board. Just so you know, I don't smoke and I've never smoked a "big-fat-Cuban" at school, nor do I condone it. But you have to admit, it does make it even funnier.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Political paintings

I don't just cartoon. I take photos and paint some too. Here are some paintings of political figures that I've done over the years. Featured are MLK, Teddy Roosevelt, Lincoln, Churchill, Goldwater, Ben Franklin, and LBJ.

Hawk & Dove

Here's my cartoon for the Feb. 7 Mapleton PRESS. I wish Anderson Cooper would've asked a question that addressed this issue.

Dr. Ron Paul,; old guy courting the youth vote. Dudes, libertarianism is not as cool as anarchy is, and anarchy is only cool if your angry, stoned, or stupid. On the other hand, I like his stance on Iraq.