How To Draw A Cartoon Vampire

Halloween is almost here, and this year I thought I’d show you how to draw your very own cartoon vampire! 

When you’re finished, feel free to tweet, pin, email or otherwise share a pic of your vampire with me and I’ll post it over at Pinterest! And if you’d like to grab the tutorial to post on your own blog or website, you’re more than welcome to. (A link back would be appreciated.) Enjoy:

How to draw a cartoon vampire

Easy, right? You should try out my other how-to-draw tutorials too! Here’s just a few:

Feel free to check out my Halloween cartoons too!

Chon Day – An Appreciation

Chon Day. If you love cartoons but that name doesn’t ring a bell, this is your lucky day. Day is one of my absolute favorite cartoonists; I can’t think of a week that goes by that I don’t grab one of his books for inspiration, to marvel at his beautiful economic line, or just a quick laugh.

Here are just a few cartoons from his 1945 collection, I Could Be Dreaming, that I know are just going to knock your socks off:

Carton Day Cartoon 1

Day’s art is great, and it reads immediately almost 70 years later, but what stands out to me with this cartoon is the wording of the gag. I can imagine this caption written by lesser cartoonists going any number of ways:

  • “I sure hope I’m gonna like it here.”
  • “Boy I hope I like it here.”
  • “I don’t think I’m going to like it here.”

But the “Oh, I do hope…” is the perfect contrast to the character and scene and it reminds you how much time and effort it takes to get a single sentence just right.

Carton Day Cartoon 2

Another good gag, but this time the art really shines. Look at how few lines are used to get the idea of the kitchen across. And I know I’d be tempted to have something like “Ace Plumbers” on his overalls, but Day’s pipe wrench tells you exactly who this person is. And the expressions on the characters faces – they both know what’s happening, but you get the feeling that each is trying not to upset the other. Amazing.

Carton Day Cartoon 3

I think Chon Day was at his best when he worked without a caption, and let me tell you, that’s not easy to do. When you look at this cartoon it reads immediately as Ship Christening Ceremony, but with only just enough visual cues to do so. There’s the officer’s uniform, the bunting, the rivets, and, of course, the dowager and bottle. And what a wonderfully silly idea!

Carton Day Cartoon 4

This cartoon is all about the caption for me. It’s easy to read this as “Ten percent of this is wool,” and, in fact, I distinctly remember reading it that way when I first read this book. But then you wonder where the joke is. Is it the coat? The women? And why is the caption worded that way instead of “This is ten percent wool?” Then you reread the caption and are rewarded upon close examination. Even the italics are perfect.

Carton Day Cartoon 5

Although technically not wordless, here’s another example of how great Chon Day was without a caption. I love how it reads left to right, then left again: man on stilts, angry woman, black eye. And Day draws your eye where it’s needed with the wash on the window shade, and the top hat and tie. One more thing too, mainly because I still struggle with it, look at how masterfully the brick is suggested with just a few lines. Wow.

Carton Day Cartoon 6

I don’t know if this predates Brother Sebastian, but it’s a wonderful example of how Chon Day could be funny and gentle at the same time. I personally stay away from religion in cartoons because a) I’m worried about offending, and b) I don’t know enough about it to do it well. But Day found so much to play with. And, again, look at how much is conveyed with so few lines: the tree, the brick, the stained glass…

Carton Day Cartoon 7

I thought this went especially well after the previous cartoon because it’s kind of dark and ominous. I mean, it’s a guy with a net luring a boy into his shop! I’m assuming he just wants to keep the boy and make him work there, but still… you just could not do this cartoon today!

Carton Day Cartoon 8

I’m going to end with what I think is basically the perfect Chon Day cartoon; it’s subtle, relatable, deftly drawn, and still hilariously funny, even today. Perfect.

Want to check out more Chon Day? Here’s some additional reading:

Also, you can pick up these Chon Day collections:

Halloween Cartoons for 2013

It’s almost Halloween, and every year I do a new batch of Halloween cartoons. It seems like every year it gets harder to find new Halloween humor and I have to go further afield. Then again, every year gives you fresh zeitgeist to see Halloween through, so it all works out in the end.

OK, on to this year’s new Halloween cartoons:

Halloween Cartoon 1

I was thinking a lot about pumpkins with this cartoon. What do they look like, how they’re carved, the goo inside, seeds, etc… and the word “gourd” popped into my head. I was playing with the homonym “gored” for a while, like someone being gored by a bull, but instead it was a bull giving someone a pumpkin, but, as you can tell, that’s pretty weak. Anyway, the phrase “out of his gourd” presented it self soon after, and this sort of weird spooky cartoon came about. 

(BTW, I did make sure that a pumpkin was technically a gourd. Cartoons aren’t any fun if they basic premise is wrong.)

Halloween Cartoon 2

I love the scene in the original Frankenstein where the doctor is yelling ‘It’s alive! It’s alive! It’s alive! It’s alive!” and I thought if you were the monster and you’re just coming to consciousness for the first time, this guy next you you yelling and screaming might be a bit much. Connecting it to waking up wasn’t far behind.

Halloween Cartoon 3

I almost never do multiple panels. I like to think that it’s because I work best in a single frame with a single caption and that’s where my talents lie. But if I’m really honest, it’s also that I’m a bit lazy and I hate drawing the same thing more than once in a cartoon.

Still, this Star Trek Halloween cartoon was worth it. Big thanks to my pal Mike Lynch for helping me make sure that vulcan blood had actually been seen on TV before. (Again, accurate cartoons are funnier.)

Halloween Cartoon 4

This is one of those Halloween cartoons that took a long time to get right. First there’s the candy house. You can’t skimp on the drawing there and there’s a lot of detail to get right. Then you have to shade all of that. Ugh. And the caption took a really long time to trim down to something reasonable. Anyway, it all worked out well I think. (I especially like the candy orange slice shutters.)

Halloween Cartoon 5

This Halloween cartoon seemed so simple that I was sure someone else had done it. Seriously, it’s an obvious joke. But I did my due diligence, looked around online, and no one had done it. Having said that, a dozen versions of this will have cropped up between the time I drew it and the time this blog publishes.

Halloween Cartoon 6

And now the last of my 2013 Halloween cartoons. I got the idea for this one at a coffee shop. The lady asked me if I wanted my latte hot or cold and while it’d be more entertaining to tell you that this popped into my head right at the moment and I yelled “A-HA!” and ran out of the coffee shop pumping my fists in the air to the delight of onlookers, it came to me later in the day unceremoniously.

Feel free to check out all of my my other Halloween cartoons here, read what I had to say about last year’s batch, draw your own cartoon zombie, and check out these posts about costumes.

Happy Halloween!

LEGO Zombie Spaceship Powered By Brains

Recently I’ve been working on a series of LEGO spaceships based on the months of the year. So, with the Walking Dead starting up again soon and Halloween on the horizon, I present October – The Brainpower! (Click on the pics for larger images.)

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 1

It’s orange, of course, and piloted by a space zombie. Want a closer look? OK, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 2

The Brainpower actually runs on 12 LEGO brains built right into its twin engines. And there’s one more brain in a jar toward the rear in case our pilot wants a snack.

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 3

Apparently brainpower glows an eerie green. (Also, I was especially happy to be able to work the new orange brick separator into this model.)

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 4

Side view! Pew pew!

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 5

If you’re flying through space and you see this in your rear view space mirror, hit the gas!

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 6

Braaaaaiiiiinnnnnsss…  ZOOOOM!

And here’s one last long view:

LEGO Zombie Spaceship 7

So there you have my LEGO Zombie Spaceship! If you want to see it super huge, check it out over at Flickr.

Wanna see some of my other LEGO projects? Here’s a few you might like: