Christmas Break

Well, I wish any readers of this blog a very merry Christmas, and I’ll probably have a break until the new year.

In fact, since it’s a new year approaching I figured it’s a time for reviewing, soul-searching and navel gazing with the hope to bring fresh new changes, so I might make a few changes to this blog. That is, I might work on some of my cartoon characters and strive to iron out a few wrinkles in my drawing style (thought admittedly that might take a while).

Also, there’s been a few technical challenges in the scanning department so I thought I might as well knock off a bit early.

And here’s a brief history of my cartooning:

My interest in funny cartoons started in my preteens and early teens with an avid consumption of Peanuts (Snoopy, Charlie Brown), Garfield and other similar strips (Footrot Flats, Swamp, The Far Side, etc). I even drew a few strips of my own in attempt to follow my idols… but then in my later teens things like music became more important and I lost interest.

Fast forward 10-12 years, and I’m in Asia teaching little kids English as a second language -and what came useful in my arsenal of keeping kids amused was an ability to draw cartoons of policemen and firemen and animals to teach the vocabulary. And I developed this a little, incorporating my drawings in all kinds of lesson plans, and other teachers often envied this ability to jazz up the lesson a little.

So, after I finished my last teaching job (about 15 months ago) I tried scanning a few of my cartoons to augment my written blogs, and it followed from there. Actually, these cartoons put online where pretty rough and dodgy, but I enjoyed the process and looking back over the last 12 months I cringe at some of them, but take pleasure in seeing how I’ve grown as well.

I’ve also grown in my admiration for those successful cartoonists who entertain millions -I’m a big fan of Dilbert and still a fan of Garfield. And it’s great how these guys develop their own unique style.

Whether the technical side of their drawing is considered ‘good’ or ‘bad’, the thing I’m learning is to maintain consistency once you have the style ironed out, and to use it to convey the humour.

I’m still working on my ‘style’ and coming up against several challenges, like keeping the length of legs consistent with the bodies and the heads of the characters -I have a tendency to give them short legs, which I don’t want because I’m doing martial arts gags and I’m striving to make the ‘action’ come alive.

And I’m still finding it hard to keep each character reproduced accurately (like trying to keep their nose in the right place, their mouth the right size, etc…) I can make them simple, but I have to keep them consistent.

Wish me luck and see you next year…

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