My One Year Anniversary

I normally don’t post on the weekends, but exactly one year ago today I shook hands with friends and co-workers, turned in my security badge, grabbed my box of stuff and walked out of corporate America to draw cartoons for a living.

Wow. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I remember telling my manager that I was giving her my two weeks’ notice – best meeting of my life.

Don’t misunderstand, I’ve been a professional cartoonist for years. In fact as soon as I’d moved out to the Chicago area and married my wife I began sending out cartoons, and selling them soon afterwards. The big difference is that now drawing cartoons is my sole contribution to the family checkbook.

To be fair I’m still not technically doing it full time. I’m also a stay-at-home-dad to my smart and already too-funny-for-his-own-good 15-month old. But it’s as full time as it’s going to get for the next 18 years or so.

There have been a lot of ups and downs this year of course. I was in the middle of a selling spree (UP!) when my hard drive decided to cast off its mortal coil (down…). There were times when I thought I’d never see another contract (down…), and then I’d be flooded with emails and calls needing cartoons ASAP (UP!). And of course there were days when my brain had simply decided not to be funny (down…) followed by my humor muse opening the floodgates (UP!).

But all in all it’s been a wonderful year, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It was a little scary at first (despite my lovely wife’s encouragement and confidence), but to quote Alanis Morissette, “I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone, I certainly do.”

Halloween Cartoons

Halloween is only a few days away, so I thought I’d present some of my favorite Halloween cartoons that I’ve done this year.

Normally I’m working on holiday cartoons about six months in advance (I’m working on Easter and St. Patrick’s Day right now), so it’s been a while since I’ve looked at these. Let’s see…

Here’s one of my Halloween cartoons that my dog inspired. I had a ton of fun drawing the different breeds and costumes. A lot of work (and no one has bought it yet) but worth it.

This is one of my odder Halloween cartoons. I was really racking the ol’ noggin to come with stuff that was a little out of the ordinary and this Poltergeist takeoff presented itself before I’d had my coffee so it slipped through. I actually looked up the poster for the movie to get the image as correct as possible. I have no idea if anyone will get the “They’re heeeeeeere…” reference, but that’s OK. This one makes me laugh.

I love the wording on this Halloween cartoon! I worked really hard on it to get it to sound like a Martha Stewart-ish cooking demonstration and I think it came off.

If you thought “Poultrygeist” was weird, wait’ll you get a load of this Halloween cartoon!

And here is probably one of the most popular Halloween cartoons I’ve ever done. I had no fewer than five national magazines that wanted to use this, but American Legion Magazine beat them all to the punch. To be honest I was never that in love with this one (I thought the Botox reference was a bit dated), but for some reason it really struck a nerve.

Well, that’s about it for the Halloween cartoons. Feel free to browse my holiday cartoons to see what else is brewing in there.

Have a Happy Halloween and I’ll see you next week!

Gahan Wilson Book & Interview (Audio!)

I wasn’t planning on another entry for today, but this NPR interview with Gahan Wilson popped up and it seemed like a good one to include for Halloween.

Originally broadcast in 1986, Gahan talks about his early cartoons, childhood fears and the Toilet Monster. Check it out!

Wilson also has a new collection coming out in early December. Just in time for my end-of-the-year-let’s-avoid-some-taxes-cartoon-book-buy-a-thon!