Journal #40

This is my ALS water bucket challenge comic which I'm sure we are all sick of by now.

This is my ALS water bucket challenge comic which I’m sure we are all sick of by now.

Hey everybody! It’s been awhile but I decided to write a short post just to brush the dust of the ol’ keyboard. I hope you have been enjoying the new Habitat comics. I’m still learning how to master the graphic tablet. I’m already craving a higher end tablet like the Wacom Intuos Pro but I’ll keep practicing with my Monoprice tablet before I spend anymore money on something that isn’t making me any money.

About a month ago I wrote up a proposal for a cartooning class to be taught at the Kenosha Public Museum. The head of education with the museum system got back to me and said he’d mention in the mid-September meeting. So hopefully if everything goes well, I might be teaching a 3 day class to 10-16 year-olds during the Winter semester. It’s a little scary to think of getting up in front of a bunch of youngsters waiting to see something but I’m pretty confident in the subject so I think it will be a good experience. I’ve already started collecting a few materials to be taught in the class. My goal is for the class to have enough info to start their own comic strip series and to finish at least one comic strip in the class.

Well, that’s all for now. Keep reading Habitat and I’ll keep making them.

Journal #37

Howdy folks! After some thinking and a suggestion from a reader, I’ve decided just to expand the world of “Habitat” instead of creating a whole new comic. Yesterday I made the first new “Habitat” comic since losing my old computer. I’ve redesigned the characters once more to make them more animal-like. I’ve also domesticated them more. Morton and Finn are no longer without a home. They now have a family to take care of them and that is how I’ll introduce humans into the comic. I prefer comics that have very few characters so I’m planning on adding just 3 more humans into the strip. I spent more time coloring this strip than previous strips. I admire the watercolor look of “Calvin & Hobbes” and I was trying to achieve that look with this strip. I think what I came up with has my own look which I am pleased with. This one single panel strip took about 3 hours to complete which is about 2 hours more than my previous strips. The next strip I will do will be the size and format of a Sunday newspaper comic strip so it might take even longer to finish that one. That is why I’ve decided not to rush these comics and to limit the comic to once a month. Quality over quantity is my new motto. So thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy reading the new comic. ‘Til next time, keep you eyes, ears, and minds open.

Journal Entry #13

Howdy folks. As I’ve stated in a previous post, this past week has been pretty crazy. Working by myself is no fun. Being the only full-time person in the art department is stressful because I’m pretty much responsible for how the publication turns out. I’ll definitely be glad when my supervisor starts working full-time again. That’s enough about my job though… I don’t need to clutter up my blog posts with garbage about my stupid day job.

I do have a new Habitat comic coming up on Monday. It took me longer to create than usual. I usually like to finish the comic off all in one 2-3 hour block of time, but this time I took a break from it and went back to it later. It’s nice to have a break sometimes and come back fresh. I didn’t feel rushed like I normally do when I work on it straight through. Usually towards the end of the comic I start to get antsy and I just want to finish the thing so I sort of settle for the rush job. In the future I might be a bit more leisurely with the comic.

In other news, I might be teaching my own cartoon and comics class in the near future. My future father-in-law told me on Friday that there will be a cartooning class opening up for about 30 girl scouts at our local museum. I’m not sure of al the particulars but he made it sound as if I would teach the classes and he would help me out with them. I’m pretty excited if I’m able to teach my passion to a bunch of kids. 30 girls is quite a bit for someone who has never taught a class before though. Those little girls could eat me alive! 🙂 I’m excited but nervous. I’m already planning out in my head what the class would do. I’ll let you know more as I get more information.

Well, I don’t have much else to blab about so I’ll end it here. As always, thank you for everyone supporting me and my little comic. It’s nice to know that someone is reading them. Have a good day!

Journal Entry #9

Number nine, number nine, number nine, number nine… Yes, this the ninth journal entry! And yes, that was an over used Beatle’s reference. Anyway, not too much has happened since the last entry.

I just finished reading “Wool” by Hugh Howey which was pretty good. It’s about a post-apocalyptic society living in underground “silos” because of the deadly atmosphere of earth. In this society, if someone is arrested they are very likely to be put to death by “cleaning” the silos above-ground video cameras. These cameras are the silos only means of seeing the barren outside world. I won’t get into too much of the plot since part of the fun of reading “Wool” is to see the plot unfold. It’s not the best science fiction book about post-apocalyptic worlds I’ve read, but it is a fun read and I’m excited about the possible Ridley Scott film coming up.

This is the real-life Finn. This is a photo of Finnegan when we first brought him home. He's much bigger now.

This is the real-life Finn. This is a photo of Finnegan when we first brought him home. He’s much bigger now.

I’ll take this time to talk a little about some of my influences for “Habitat.” Probably the strongest influence on the look of “Habitat” is Walt Kelly and his comic “Pogo.” I wanted to create a strip as richly drawn as “Pogo.” If you look at the comics pages in newspapers today you no longer see anything close to what Kelly did with “Pogo.” In terms of creating a rich world with distinct, likable (and unlikable) characters, Walt Kelly was the master. I could go on and on about “Pogo” but I’ll save that for a later post perhaps.

Bill Watterson’s “Calvin & Hobbes” comes in second as my favorite comic strip. As a kid I liked reading “Calvin and Hobbes” in the newspaper and even bought a few C&H books and would devour them in one night. I would have to say “Calvin and Hobbes” was consistently funny. I could kind of identify with Calvin since I was around his age as I was reading the strip. The pairing of the raucous little boy and the more refined imaginary tiger was perfect. The brush work of Watterson is brilliant in that it has so much motion and expressiveness in it. There were only about 5 real main characters in the strip but that was all it really needed since the Calvin and Hobbes were wonderful characters on their own.

There are other strips like “Peanuts” that I love as well but I want to also mention how “the Simpsons” affected my life. Along with “Calvin and Hobbes,” “The Simpsons” was another influence in my younger years. This may sound over-dramatic but I can’t imagine my life without “The Simpsons.” Morton and Finn are basically Homer and Lisa Simpson. Those two characters are probably my favorites in the show. I always found the Homer and Lisa shows to be the sweetest. What I like about Homer is that he can be REALLY stupid but there is still a heart and real emotion behind all bafoonery. lol I like Lisa’s character because she is an idealist in a less than ideal family. Lisa could be a very boring character but she is still a Simpson and she has character flaws just like the rest of them. Once again, I could go on all day about the Simpsons but that will have to wait for a later time.

I do have many other influences but I thought I’d touch on just a few. I hope this was worth reading and I hope you continue to follow the adventures of  Morton and Finn. Thanks for reading!

A Case Of The Mondays

Dog Days

OK, I lied. I’ve decided it is smarter to post Mondays and Fridays. So The plan is a blog post every Monday and my comic will post every Friday. Both at 10am CST. Sorry for any confusion.  Posting on Wednesdays just seemed too close to Friday.

In an attempt to stay motivated about “Habitat” I’ve been writing a strip a day. I think just writing out a rough script every day has kind of helped me shape the character’s personalities a bit more. It has also given me a little deeper well to go to when I have to decide what strip I’m going to do next. I haven’t written anything with more than just Morton and Finn in it yet. I would like those two to be perfected before I add more characters to the mix. I’m not lacking in strip ideas yet. I’ll usually have a general idea of what I want the strip to be about (examples: rain, the softness of grass, traffic patterns) and then I’ll brainstorm from there on what the characters will do and say. I usually have the idea while I’m working so I’ll just have to quickly write the idea down and then write the script during lunch or after work…. and sometimes during work. 🙂

I must admit that I got a little discouraged when I discovered the comic “Over The Hedge.” I thought it was just a animated movie but it is actually a comic strip as well. It is a very well done strip that is set in the outdoors as well which made me wonder if I should rethink my strip. I wanted to be more original and I was bummed that there was another strip doing it better than I was. Then I thought about it and figured that my strip is different enough that no one is going to accuse me of ripping off “Over The Hedge.” I even think my strip can be just as good, if not better than “Over The Hedge” if I keep working at it and sharpening my drawing and writing skills. It may seem like I have a big head but, at times you need that ego to keep yourself motivated.

Well, that’s all for now. I want to thank all of you for reading “Habitat.” It means so much to me when I see that someone “liked” a strip… yes, I sit and stare at my dashboard for hours on end waiting for the likes to come in. lol I really do appreciate your viewership though. Feel free to drop me a comment now and then. I would love to here from you! Thanks for reading! See you FRIDAY!!

Habitat #5: A Hatred of Ants

Habitat 05It’s Saturday once again so it’s time for another “Habitat” strip! It is pretty obvious that Morton is not a big fan of ants. Maybe it’s something from his past that has always haunted him. I would not suggest committing genocide on ants or any other living creature for that matter. This strip is somewhat inspired by my fiancé’s hatred of ants.

I’ve been thinking of a name for that cat character and I think I finally have on picked one out but you’ll have to wait till the next comic to find out his name. It’s actually the name of our new kitten which we just adopted yesterday. Hopefully naming a character after a pet isn’t a kiss of death for the comic. It worked for Garfield though.

Thanks for reading!

Habitat Comic #4

The inspiration for this came while walking Iggy.

The inspiration for this came while walking Iggy.

Hello again everyone. It’s time for another comic strip. I’m going to try my best and work my buns off to get a new comic out every Saturday. So keep stop by every Saturday to see whats going on.

I figure that if I’m going to submit my comics to a syndicate by my next birthday, I’ll have to do more than one strip a month. Putting them out weekly should be enough to give me choice of which are going to be sent off. I’m sure not every one of these things is going to be gold so it would be nice to only send the best. To make this hobby into a career is my goal.

This past week wasn’t as productive as I would have liked. I stayed up too late most nights and didn’t wake early enough to practice drawing before work. I’m a fairly proficient at drawing but I struggle with it sometimes and I would like it to come a bit easier. Anything I can do to make this comic better I’m going to do even if it means getting to bed earlier and waking up early.

I still would like to create a podcast even though I’m unsure how good it would be. I actually bought a cheap microphone for my MacBook but it wouldn’t work so I had to take it back. I did find a free app for the iphone that records audio and is pretty easy to get on to my computer so I’ll probably just use that. As for content of the podcast, I probably will just talk about what I usually would write about: How the strip is going, ideas for future strips, my process, random dumb ideas… you know, boring stuff like that.

OK, That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping.

Habitat Comic #1

It may not look like it but this took me about a week to complete. I would like to have a new one every month but I'm not going to force it if I don't think it's good enough. Quality over quantity.

It may not look like it but this took me about a week to complete. I would like to have a new one every month but I’m not going to force it if I don’t think it’s good enough. Quality over quantity.