Christmas Cartoons – 2013

Christmas is coming up quick, so I thought I’d share this year’s batch of Christmas cartoons. Grab some cocoa and enjoy:

Christmas Cartoon 1

I don’t know a lot about Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, so I’m a little uncomfortable writing cartoons for them. For that matter I also avoid the religious aspects of Christmas, preferring to stick mostly to Santa, etc… But every year I do try to offer at least one winter-themed cartoon to round things out a bit more, and I’m really happy with this one.

I worried that it might be a bit subtle, so I gave the Dad snowman four buttons instead of three to drive the point home. Seriously, this is something I think about.

Christmas Cartoon 2

This is one of those Christmas cartoons that needed a little help. The joke was always there, but when I was shading I noticed that I’d drawn the leg the boy is sitting one much smaller than the other. Honestly, Santa looked like a pirate or maybe something out of an old Twilight Zone episode. (The boy gets his wish but is then horribly and ironically disfigured!) Anyway, it was Photoshop to the rescue and Christmas was saved!

Christmas Cartoon 3

This one took the most most effort of this year’s batch of Christmas cartoons. Firstly, it’s a really long caption that I had a lot of trouble nailing down. So the number of words written, then rewritten, then revised, then thrown out completely and restarted was absurd. Secondly, drawing all those little Christmas tree branches and needles and lights… Ugh! And it didn’t come out right until about the third ink. Then it was on to shading which meant testing all kinds of brushes and patterns and opacities to get the tree just right. Finally I showed it all to my wife and she didn’t get it. Did! Not! Get! It! But after a few more rewrites I think it ended up pretty good. Mostly I’m just glad it’s done. (Bah! Humbug!)

Christmas Cartoon 4

When I get stuck for a caption I like to take the subject I’m working on and put it in a banal business setting to see what happens. So you put some overworked elves, that burning empty carafe smell, substitute cocoa for coffee and you’ve got yourself a cartoon!

Christmas Cartoon 5

There are a lot of more straightforward ways to write this caption:

  • “But is he on the naughty list?!”
  • “Are you aware the defendant is on your naughty list?”
  • “Nice or naughty?! Answer the question!”

And normally I advocate for trimming captions as much as possible, but for whatever reason this cartoon felt like it needed a longer caption.

Christmas Cartoon 6

OK, the aforementioned tree cartoon probably took the longest of this year’s Christmas cartoons to draw, but this cartoon took the most time to conceive visually. It’s a very specific caption as far as the ornament goes, so you can’t really fudge the art. I spent quite a bit of time in Google images researching DIY yarn decorations, mouse shaped ornaments,  and how yarn looks close up. All in all I think it turned out well and I think it rings true.

So that’s it for this year’s batch. Looking for more? Head on over to the main site and check out the rest of my Christmas cartoons!

And here’s some other Christmas blogs you might like:

Happy Holidays!

Thanksgiving Cartoons – 2013 Feast

Thanksgiving cartoons are usually not my favorite to write because there’s not a lot of material to mine. But for whatever reason, this year they came relatively quickly (September!) and I squirrelled them away to draw up on a busy and/or bad writing week. Boy was I glad I did!

A few weeks back we had to travel for a family wedding and 3/4 of the Anderson family unit was sick (including me), so having these Thanksgiving cartoons at the ready came in handy. Anyway, I thought I’d share a little info on each of them to get us all in the mood for Turkey Day! Enjoy:

Thanksgiving Cartoons 1

I’m not normally a purely visual gag kind of cartoonist. There are people that do that well, but I’ve found myself to be more interested in playing with language. This is also a fairly difficult scene to pull off, so you’d think I’d save it for last, right? Nope! I dug right in and spent most of a day on this one Thanksgiving cartoon. (Normally I can create 3 cartoons start to finish in about two hours.) I think it was worth it, but because it had me a little out of my element I’m still not sure. What do you think?

Thanksgiving Cartoons 2

This cartoon went through all kinds of changes to the caption. At various points the turkey had ordered night vision goggles, a hot air balloon, a taxi, a trampoline and more. The trickiest part was the airline portion. I wanted to get across that the turkey was headed someplace exotic, but people calling to check on credit card charges don’t tell you what was purchased so I couldn’t write anything like “two tickets to the Bahamas.” Thankfully there’s an actual Hawaiian Airlines which solved my problem.

Thanksgiving Cartoons 3

This Thanksgiving cartoon came to me by working backwards. “It’s a little dry” is something probably everyone has heard connected to a turkey, but I wanted to take it a show just how dry this particular bird ended up being. I was also considering putting in one of those cow skulls and some heat lines, but thought it might complicate what I was hoping to make more of a subtle joke.

Thanksgiving Cartoons 4

This caption got completely reworked after showing it  my wife. The original was “I thought Halloween was last month.” Now, my wife being the good cartoon editor she is said “Why would the pig dress up?”

“It’s not the pig, the turkey is tricking him and dressing him up so he gets eaten instead,” I explained.

“OK, but that’s not clear with that caption,” she said. And she was totally right.

It took me about an hour of deep thought (OK, 20 minutes of deep thought, some BuzzFeed browsing and a short nap) but I think adding “Thanks for the help” and the “Turkee” sign got this one working. Actually now I that I look at it I think it might be my favorite of the Thanksgiving cartoons this year. WOO!

Thanksgiving Cartoons 5

I did a bit of research for this cartoon because stuff is always funnier if it’s accurate. (See the gourd cartoon from Halloween.) The idea here is that the therapist, while working with his client, takes a moment to get a little expert Thanksgiving advice. I’d considered giving the guy more of a hungry look, but thought that was a little easy.

Thanksgiving Cartoons 6

This is not only the last of the new Thanksgiving cartoons, but the wordiest by far. But you know what? It was even wordier right up until I was typing in the caption. The original caption was:

“OK, last thing. It’s come to my attention that some people in the office are hanging up those little hand turkey drawings their kids made and some employees, and I’m not saying who, find those quite offensive and have complained to HR. So, if you could do me a favor and just take them down…”

Whew! Pant pant…  That’s a mouthful isn’t it?! So a little pruning later it’s certainly more readable, but I have to admit it lost just a little zip.

So that’s it for this year. Feel free to head on over to the main site and check out all of my Thanksgiving cartoons. And have a great Thanksgiving!

Wanna see more blogs about Thanksgiving Cartoons? Here you go:


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!

20 Education Cartoons For Back To School

Kids and teachers all across the country are getting ready for a new school year. (WOO!) So I thought I’d help get everyone in the mood with some education cartoons!


Education Cartoon 6431

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but my wife is a teacher, and believe me, this cartoon is fairly accurate.

Education Cartoon 6451

I don’t know if it’s the case anymore, but when my kids were born it seemed like every boy was named Logan. I knew Wolverine was popular, but sheesh!

Education Cartoon 6457

You just know that kid is going to grow up and crash the entire financial system one day.

Education Cartoon 6463

This education cartoon was really really popular about a year ago. Is Pinterest still a huge deal?

Education Cartoon 6470

I’m really happy with how this cartoon sort of steps down from positive to OK to uh-oh in only 8 words.

Education Cartoon 6481

My wife uses that phrase a lot. For example, “I like how (insert name here) is paying attention.” It works like gangbusters usually, and I had fun playing with it a bit.

Education Cartoon 6490

Ignorance is bliss, especially with math.

Education Cartoon 6494

“Reluctant reader” is another phrase I hear my wife say, and it was fun to see f I could make a cartoon out of it. Also, those books in the background were fun to draw.

Education Cartoon 6510

For a while it seemed like infographics were everywhere, but they’re either dying down or I’ve seen so many I’m ignoring them now. I suspect the latter.

Education Cartoon 6528

This education cartoon came out around Valentine’s Day, and it’s one of those where you wonder what the back story is. At least I do.

Education Cartoon 6536

I disagree.

Education Cartoon 6548

I was sure someone had done this cartoon, but I searched online and never found it. Still, someone’s had to have done this already, right?

Education Cartoon 6553

I’d like to read that sentence.

Education Cartoon 6554

Most of my education cartoons are based in elementary schools, but I do try to do more high school themed cartoon occasionally. 

Education Cartoon 6562

PLC is the acronym for Professional Learning Community. According to Wikipedia they are:

…an extended learning opportunity to foster collaborative learning among colleagues within a particular work environment or field. It is often used in schools as a way to organize teachers into working groups.

My wife really likes it, and it was a fun challenge to do a PLC cartoon, but if you don’t know what that is, then this probably isn’t that funny.

Education Cartoon 6586

I tried to make the two handwritings different in this, but even my left-handed penmanship isn’t too bad. Sigh…

Education Cartoon 6603

This field trip cartoon was so much fun to draw, and I got to work in comic books to boot! WOO!

Education Cartoon 6652

Place value is one of those terms I think you forget about later in life. Unless you marry a teacher that is.

Education Cartoon 6690

I try to vary my education cartoon cast to include nurses, counselors, and, in this case, a librarian.

OK, last one…

Education Cartoon 6432

So that’s it! Hope you enjoyed these education cartoons, and hope you have a great school year!

Easter Cartoons 2013

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!

Easter Cartoons 1

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!

Easter Cartoons 2

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.

Easter Cartoons 3

That Easter Bunny plays hard ball.

Easter Cartoons 4

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.

Easter Cartoons 5

This Easter cartoon went through a number of different captions:

  • I think we should foster your inner dye.
  • Tell me about your chicken.
  • So, how was your Easter?

I still like that chicken one, but it didn’t really work with the decorating thing. Maybe another time…

Easter Cartoons 6

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: