Fans of Electricman, prepare to wowed yet again! Behold, the origin of Waterman!!!
But wait, there's more:
Easter isn’t far off (it’s really early this year!) so I thought I’d share this a brand new basket of Easter cartoons to help get you in the mood!
This year I tended to go a little further afield with my Easter cartoons’ topics, like, for example, chocolate bunnies. I went through a bunch of ideas about eating the ears first and melting and all that, but the whole hollowness aspect won out.
Thanks goodness for Google images for stuff like this. Need a picture of a chocolate Easter bunny? How about a hundred!
This is probably my favorite of this year’s Easter cartoons. I did a search for Easter on Pinterest to help kickstart some writing, and you would not believe all the amazing incredible stuff there. I was so bowled over that that became the impetus for this cartoon.
That Easter Bunny plays hard ball.
This is my wife’s favorite from this batch. When I told it to her originally she literally LOL’d, which was great, but then the pressure was on for the image to match the gag.
I like the kid’s cool nonchalantness. He’s literally a bad boy.
Side note - the kid in the back right used to have a basket with him for collecting his eggs, but then he would’ve had just one basket as well. So my choice was to add one more basket for him, or just take it out in Photoshop, and I chose the latter. Maybe he’s putting them in his pockets? What a weird kid.
This Easter cartoon went through a number of different captions:
I still like that chicken one, but it didn’t really work with the decorating thing. Maybe another time...
Drawing a giant anthropomorphic jelly bean is not as easy as you think. It’s got to be the right shape or maybe he’s a balloon, or a Cheeto, or just a blob.
Well, that does it for this year’s batch. Still want more? You can check out all of my Easter cartoons here.
Here’s some additional blogs about Easter cartoons too:
At the Success in Comics seminar a few weeks back, someone asked me if I considered myself more of an artist or a writer. I answered that I considered myself a writer first and that the art was like the cherry on the sundae. (Or something like that. As I said, it was a few weeks ago.)
With the launch of my cartoon subscriptions recently, I’ve been writing a lot to keep putting out healthy batches of new cartoons each week. And it’s not always easy, but I’ve learned a few tricks over the years to jumpstart my brain a bit and write what I hope are good cartoons consistently:
While I get almost all of my news either on the radio or online, I still subscribe to the Chicago Tribune. Papers pile up in my office and this stack is usually the first place I go if I’m stuck.
I read pretty much anything, even if it’s not interesting to me, because you never know where you’re going to find that word or turn of phrase that you can play with.
I have a few different dictionaries of phrases and idioms that are great if I need to do a bunch of cartoons on, say, eggs:
See? There’s at least some places to start.
I love my iPad, and Flipboard makes keeping on top of blogs and tweets and all that quick, easy, and beautiful. Zite is a more recent addition and, while it reminds me of Flipboard, it gives me a whole different bunch of interesting content.
LIke the paper, you never know where the treasure is buried, so with either app, it’s good to just read.
A more recent find, Sentence Examples is, well, just that. You can either search for a word like “cow”, or you can just browse around to see what strikes your fancy. It’s good for looking at words in context from all sorts of different angles.
I’ve got a lot of followers on Twitter, and I often have Tweetbot up when I’m working. I’d forgotten to close it while writing the other day and glanced up and saw a comment in my timeline that led to a really good cartoon. I tried it again a while later and had another random inspiring moment. I don’t know if this will continue to bear fruit, but right now it’s a great source.
When I’m really stuck and feeling low I pull out some Chon Day and just marvel at what an amazing cartoonist he was. Sometimes it gets my gears turning, sometimes not, but it’s always inspiring.
Although it’s been more difficult to keep full recently, I normally write my ideas down on scraps of paper and toss them into what I’ve dubbed my Idea Box. Ideas generally sit in there for a few weeks and then, when I’m ready to draw, I pull a bunch out and see them with fresh eyes. If they’re still good, they get drawn up. If they’re not so good, often I can see where I went wrong or another take on the same idea. And I like the thought of all those ideas sort of marinating together for a while.
Writing is a lot of sitting and staring. A lot of sitting and staring. And for the most part I’ve gotten comfortable with putting in the time. But sometimes when nothing is working I find getting up and doing something else will knock some ideas loose. Do some dishes. Vacuum. Go for a walk. You’ll be surprised at how a little movement will get things moving.
When all else fails, sometimes you just have to put it down and come back another day. It’s hard not to be disappointed or feel defeated, but I try to look at it like I’m priming a pump. And almost always the next day the ideas start flowing again.
So there are some of the techniques I use to keep writing cartoons. Any other suggestions you’d care to share?
Here's a few more posts on writing cartoons:
I love Twitter. It’s easily my favorite of the social media platforms, probably because it’s the most cartoon-like: quick, fun, and easy to share.
But while most people focus on those 140 characters, Twitter is also incredibly visual. And it’s perfect for using cartoons! Don’t believe me? Here are five ways to use cartoons with Twitter:
Your profile photo is the avatar that accompanies each Tweet:
I'm Tweeting about a blog post about Tweeting! Getting dizzy...— Andertoons (@andertoons) March 4, 2013
But it certainly doesn’t have to be a photo. All kinds of images work, and a cartoon is a fun way to stand out! (See Apelad’s Twitter avatars for some additional inspiration.) You assign your profile photo under Settings / Profile:
Your header is the large image topping your Tweets on your profile page. It’s a fun way to dress up your name, link, and bio. I adapted a cartoon of mine so it looks like my info is being discussed in a cartoon meeting:
Again, this image is added under Settings / Profile:
You can also customize your Twitter pages’ background with a cartoon. I took the same cartoon image I used for my Header and ran it through Photobricks to make it look like a LEGO mosaic:
Here it is as my Twitter background:
But the background is also good for using smaller cartoons. Check out Small Business Trends’ background:
You can set the background image under Settings / Design:
Here's another often forgotten visual opportunity. When you Tweet an image it appears in your profile page’s Media Gallery:
And when you click on a thumbnail you get this:
Your Media Gallery is a great place to share cartoons (especially custom cartoons) with followers.
And last but not least is, of course...
People have always loved to share cartoons with friends and family, and Twitter makes that even easier. You can of course Tweet a link to a favorite cartoon:
Sock it to me! (today's cartoon) - andertoons.com/police/cartoon…— Andertoons (@andertoons) March 4, 2013
Or you can, with permission, Tweet a cartoon:
For those of you not following me online, here's what I did on my summer vacation. twitter.com/andertoons/sta…— Andertoons (@andertoons) March 3, 2013
So if you’re looking to get some more followers and get Your Tweets read, consider some cartoons! They’re fun, fast, and a perfect fit.
(And feel free to follow me on Twitter!)
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be one of the presenters at Tundra Comics' 3rd Sorta Annual Success in Comics Seminar. (I also presented at the first seminar back in 2009.) Other speakers included Tom Gammill, Tom Richmond, Amy Lago, Jeff Keane, Stephen Silver, Ed Steckley, Mark Simon, Tim Brennan, and, of course, Bill Kellogg & Chad Carpenter.
If you want a great full accounting of the entire weekend you should totally check out the Daily Cartoonist's coverage, but I thought I'd share just a few of my favorite moments:
Chad and Bill started things off talking about self-syndicating Tundra into over 500 newspapers. (I mean, come on, that's amazing!) I think the thing here that most bears repeating is the idea that you shouldn't wait for success. Not syndicated? Can't get into the New Yorker? No one wants to publish your book? Don't wait, do it yourself.
Also, be professional. Be nice, hit your deadlines, it's a business.
I was surprised by Amy Lago's presentation. I know people are concerned about what kids might read in a newspaper comic (are kids even reading newspaper comics?) but "bite me" isn't allowed? And it sounds like syndicates basically aren't launching new strips currently. So if you're pinning your hopes on a syndicate contract, see Tundra's advice above.
Tom Gammill was all kinds of entertaining, and I thought his technique of using cartoons to pitch ideas was pure genius. And keeping an informal journal of little things that make you happy/sad/angry/anything is a great idea for generating material later.
Here's just a bit of Tom's TV writing:
Isn't that great?
Mark Simon has some really good ideas for self-promotion. One thing that I was glad to have confirmed was sending links to your material instead of attachments.
The next day began with Mad's Tom Richmond who was, I think, the only one there who actually went to an art school. Unfortunately they frowned on cartooning so he paid his cartoon dues doing live caricatures. More good reminders from Tom on being professional and making yourself easy to work with.
Unfortunately the last person I was able to see was Stephen Silver who gave a really inspirational talk. The part I liked best was if you figure you really get started career-wise at around 30, and you'd like to retire at 65, you've got just over 10,000 days to work within. Make every day count! (And a huge thanks to Stephen for the advice on my brush pen nibs!)
I wanted to take a moment to say thanks again to Chad & Bill for having me. This is something I wish I could have attended when I was starting out. Also, a big thanks to Mark for making my presentation work. And thank you so much to all of the attendees I met! I hope I gave you a good talk, and I had a great time chatting with all of you!!