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!

Christmas Cartoons – Collection

‘Tis the season, so to get you in the mood, here’s some new Christmas cartoons!

Christmas Cartoons 1

Every year I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas and every year I think “just watching those kids dance makes my back and neck hurt.” So I finally addressed it.

Can I say too that trying to draw in Schulz’s style without out and out copying him is deceptively difficult? (Also, see if you can find the little Easter Egg I put in there.)

Christmas Cartoons 2

As Christmas cartoons go, this is pretty good. But it’s also not a bad idea if you’ve got low ceilings and short family members.

Christmas Cartoons 3

This is one of those cartoons where it’s better not to think too deeply about it. Where would a miniskirt go on a tree? Does it go higher up the trunk so you can see more of the stand? Do older trees cluck their tongues in disapproval?

See, too much thought.

Christmas Cartoons 4

I always try to throw in some more wintery cartoons for people that don’t observe Christmas, so I do snowmen. But Bill Watterson set the snowman cartoon bar so high that it’s always a real challenge.

Christmas Cartoons 5

Fireplace stockings is another of the standard Christmas cartoons, and another tough nut to crack. (Note to self – buy nutcracker.) But if you can come up with something new and interesting it’s really satisfying.

Christmas Cartoons 6

When you’re doing a mall Santa cartoon, that’d better be a fairly good joke, because you’re going to have to draw a lot to pull it off. People in line, trees, elves, etc…

Christmas Cartoons 7

I like the idea that this kid is suspicious of Santa. Probably watching too much TV. Or not enough.

Christmas Cartoons 8

You just know this is coming. And someone’s probably trademarking it as we speak. I think you go the other way with “Ho-ho-ho-ho!” Make people feel like they’re getting a little added value around the holidays.

Hope you enjoyed those! Feel free to check out all of my other Christmas cartoons too. And happy holidays, everyone!

Christmas Cartoons – Santa Claus

Santa Claus. Fat guy, brings you toys, right? For the most part, especially when you’re a kid, thats about all you ned to know.

But when you really start digging into Santa, and Santa related stuff, you quickly realize that there’s an awful lot of great material for a cartoonist to play with. So, with the holidays approaching, I thought I take a moment and share a stocking full of my favorite Santa Claus cartoons:

Ok, Christmas is a stressful time for everyone, but imagine the pressure that Santa is under. Toy productions, elf management, all the travel… I wouldn’t be surprised a bit if he’s less than jolly come December.

This is a take on the old “go to your happy place” thing, and now that I look at it maybe “jolly” would have worked better.

Oh well. I’m glad he’s getting help.

You know, in this age of social media, Santa should have a really easy time keeping his nice and naughty lists in order.

If he’s smart he’s taking advantage of any number of APIs, setting up some sort of algorithm, and kicking back and relaxing while we all fess up online. Easy peasy.

This is probably pretty odd to work well in any of my standard markets. In fact, when you think about it a little Ionger, it gets creepy fast.

Honestly I didn’t intend anything other than a little holiday entrepreneurship, but, um… ewwwww.

Ok, moving on.

I’d love to think that Santa Claus would be immune to thoughts of marketing or branding, but it’s fairly obvious that Christmas is nothing if not commercial, so I guess it make sense that he would worry about his image.

But, come on, ‘Ho-ho-ho’ is a true classic. You don’t want to mess with that. Remember New Coke?

Ok, that does it for now. Feel free to check out all of my Santa Claus cartoons, and happy holidays everyone!

Christmas Cartoons & Comics

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are almost here. Pretty soon I’m going to be hip deep in yet to be written cards, dirty cookie sheets, and 12 year old tattered bows that my wife is convinced still have a few years left in them.

Christmas can be a stressful time, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to offer up some of my favorite Christmas cartoons to clear out some of the humbug. Enjoy!

I’m what you would call directionally challenged. I never know which way is north, I often don’t know what town I’m in, and if it weren’t for the combination of Google Maps, my TomTom and my iPhone, I’d never be able to get anywhere at all.

I love my GPS, but I can understand why Rudolph might feel differently.

Another Christmas bar cartoon. I wonder what a therapist would have to say about this.

Anyway, this cartoon was an absolute joy to do art-wise. Concocting a recognizable Scrooge, aping Seuss, and drawing them both slightly drunk and complaining? Hee hee! This is why I became a cartoonist!

As if it weren’t bad enough that this kid was going to get coal, he doesn’t even get that, and then Santa rubs it in his face!

I know it’s winter and all, but that’s cold.

This cartoon was one of my most popular at art fairs this summer, although I sold only one. I thought it would be more of a general holiday appeal, but people inevitably would say “This would be great if it said Bill instead!” Or Tom, or Jessica or (insert name here.)

I’ve considered offering it as an item you could personalize, but that would require more planning and effort than I think I’m ready for at the moment. Maybe someday, though…

I’ll put up the tree, hang a wreath, and put out a few knick-knacks, but that’s it for Christmas decorating. I put up lights one time years ago before we had kids and a second story on the house, but never since.

I’m sure the neighbors think I’m a Scrooge, but the ratio of work to joy doesn’t work out for me.

But one giant bulb? That I might actually put up.

Christmas Cartoon #4319 by Andertoons

More than one company I worked for before becoming a cartoonist would have had absolutely no problem at all moving to the naughty list, if, in fact, they had ever been elsewhere. And when you think about it, if you were in the coal business you’d actually have no incentive to be good at all. I think I smell a cartoon!

OK, I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel a little better. Feel free to check out all of my other Christmas cartoons, and have a happy holiday!