Heroes On Paper


I was a little worried that Heroes was petering out here mid-season, but after watching the first episode of the new year… Oh baby!

BTW, if you’re watching, did you notice the cheerleader’s dad’s business card? It points to this site.

If you call and press three for job opportunities, it gives you a code to enter to “apply” for a job there.

I did it and got an email back:

Thank you for your interest in Primatech Paper. We will be in contact once we evaluate your application.

Curious to see what happens next…

(BTW, is that logo spot on or what?!)

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Trying To Light Myself On Fire

GrSo Ghost Rider comes out in a few weeks, and they’re really ramping up the ad campaign.

In addition to the Jackson Hewitt ad where he gets his taxes done and sets off the sprinklers (it was up on YouTube but now it’s down), Sony has a page on their site where you can use your webcam to insert your face and see yourself as Ghost Rider, AKA with your head on fire.

I tried it for about a half hour this morning with my Mac and its built in iSight, but this must be one of those “95% of people use Internet Explorer so just build it for that and screw everyone else” sites. Yes, I tried Firefox too. Grrrr….!

I guess I’ll just have to light my head on fire the old fashioned way later.

Anyway, here’s the link if you wanna try it…

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Thinking Outside The Box By Thinking In Panels

AutotoonsI ran across AutoToons a while back, and dropped them in my “blog about later” file. Welcome to later.

Basically, there are a number of different strips (auto dealer, real estate, etc…) that businesses can license for their advertising. The strip changes with each ad, and takes advantage of what I always tell advertising clients – nobody can ignore a cartoon!

I wouldn’t say these are funny comics per se, but that’s not really their function. They are, however, well drawn, and nicely written for their end use.

Dunno how business is, but kudos for a great idea!

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Style Over Time

A customer at our favorite cartoon website, bought these two cartoons today:



The first one is a cartoon from early on in my career – about 6 months in.

The second is very recent.

It just floors me how much my style has changed in the last 9 years. Honestly, they look as if they were done by two different artists.

It’s weird to see such a stark contrast in one’s own work, but the old stuff still sells, so who am I to complain!

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Ethnicity in Cartoons

Jim Borgman had a fascinating entry a few days ago about using ethnic characters in cartoons to acknowledge diversity, but…

“…racial images are so charged in our times that it is harder than you’d think…”

Got that right.

I’ve thought about this off and on over the years. And when I do custom cartoons (normally in color), especially for large corporate clients, I think I do a much better job of this, but my bread and butter grayscale gag work? Not so much.

(OK, before we continue, I’m really going to try to wade very carefully in these waters. I don’t want to offend anyone, but I also want to speak frankly, so everyone take a deep breath…)

The town we live in is very diverse. I’m proud that when I take my son to the library, he sees and hears all colors, nationalities, languages, religions etc… I hope that my kids see the world a little less lilly white than I did with my cornfed upbringing.

So why don’t I draw more ethnicities?

I tell myself that my little people aren’t white, they’re generic. It’s kind of a cop out.

Here’s the thing – if I draw a standard conference table sort of scene with four people, and I make one a medium gray color, I’m worried about tokenism.

OK, so add two ethnic characters. One light gray, and one a medium gray. For some reason, and maybe it’s me overanalyzing it, but it slows down the read of the cartoon. All of a sudden it’s not people at a table, it’s two whites, a hispanic, and a black at a table.

And where do you seat them? Who’s in charge of the meeting? What about sex – how many women are enough? Should the female character display ethnicities too? Should anyone be wearing, say, a turban?

OK, so let’s not worry about color per se, how about ethnically distinct facial features? Would it be enough to add slightly larger lips to imply color? Or a more Asian eye?

The problem here is that my characters are very simply drawn. Honestly, there’s only three, maybe four lines defining the face. Plus, truth be told, I’m no great artist. Ethnic features drawn by me would almost certainly look clumsy or caricaturistic and call attention to themselves, again, slowing down the read of the cartoon.

Ugh… I don’t know the answer to this, and truth be told, running a business while juggling the kids leaves me little time for meditation on the subject. But I think the fact that I worry about this says an awful lot about how our society hasn’t progressed very far along these lines at all.

Which is pretty sad.

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