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 #18

Hey everybody! Time for another exciting blog post! I’ll try to make this as interesting as possible.

This morning my fiancé had surgery to get the plate and screws taken out of her ankle. Two years ago we were involved in a car accident and she broke and dislocated her ankle.  I was fine but my car was totaled. When the doctor took out the hardware he found she was missing cartilage from her ankle which is probably why she has been in pain for these past 2 years. The cause of the accident was an 86 year old man (driving without a valid license) who turned left in front of me and stopped in the middle of my lane while I was going close to 60 mph. Not a day goes by that I wish that man never existed.

I’m continuing my self-taught algebra lessons. Going back over the stuff now makes me wish I had tried even harder in my math classes. I did really try to get good grades in math but I always felt like a dummy when it came to math. It came so easy for others but I struggled. Toward the end of high school I avoided any extra math classes and just took what I needed. I figured “hell, I’m going into art, why do I need to know this stuff?” Now that I’m older I have a job that I will never need to use my math brain but I still would like to be knowledgable of it. So, I’m hoping, that I will continue to build on my algebra knowledge. I’m going to try to work my way through geometry (again), trigonometry, calculus, and maybe relearning physics and chemistry. Yes, I know teaching yourself is probably not as long-term as learning this stuff in a class but I still want to try. I’m a firm believer in “the self-made man.” I want to know how far I can build on the knowledge I accumulate. I never said I was sane. lol

I have also been trying to teach myself web design (html and css). That is another subject I hope I can build on. I’m trying to learn as much as I can on my own before i start any college programming classes. When I’m ready to re-enter the job market I want to be “the total package.” I want to be a graphic designer that knows how to build a website and make it pretty. Now that print is going the way of the dodo it will be good to know how to build a website. I’m going to practice by building my own personal website for myself and “Habitat.” I hoping within a year I’ll have an operational domain.

Well, that’s it for now. I know I always say this but I truly appreciate you reading and following my comic/blog. There is so much vying for your attention on the web and I really appreciate spending your time on my little comic/blog. 🙂 Thank you! New comic this FRIDAY!!!

Journal Entry #15

Hey folks! Sorry about the lack of new comics. I’ve decided to call it a bye week. I think stress and worry from work finally took affect on me in the form of stomach pain. All week I’ve have pretty bad  heartburn and stomach pain. I’ve never even really had problems with heartburn or really even knew what it was until recently. I can tell I’m getting older when I can’t enjoy fast food garbage with the same reckless abandon as I used to. Yes, I know I’m using this as an excuse to be lazy but it is only a hobby at this point, might as well treat it as so… for now.

In recent events, we now have Netflix instant streaming. I’ve been filling my time with watching old episodes of “The Wonder Years” instead of being productive with my time. I’m so glad to be watching it again. The show can get a little sappy at times but that doesn’t stop it from being in my top 5 shows of all time. It is weird that the Netflix version of the theme song isn’t the Joe Cocker version though.

OK, just to let you know there will be no Monday comic either but I will start up again next Wednesday, making a new comic for next Friday. I’m going to try my best not to get back into a lazy/sick slump again. I appreciate your readership. Thanks!

Journal Entry 14

Howdy folks! This is going to be a short blog post because I really don’t have much to say as far as “Habitat” goes. And because of not having much to say, I thought I would answer a commenter’s questions here in this post.

I was asked “why the name ‘Habitat’?” My initial idea was for a comic about all sorts of animals that you would find outdoors in a suburban setting. I still would like to add more characters into the mix but for now I want to concentrate on fleshing out Morton and Finn. I wanted the name of the comic to be short and sweet like “Peanuts” (even though Schulz hated that name) or “Pogo.” Another name I had in mind was “In the Neighborhood.” “Habitat” had a nice ring to it and it described nicely what the comic was about. No real secret meaning or anything cool like that.

To answer another question, I work full-time as a graphic designer for a small, local publication. I am responsible for ad design. Working as a graphic designer could be a cool job but it’s not where I work. I’ll just leave it at that.

One more thing and then I’ll end this. A funny, crappy thing happened to me this past Tuesday. During my lunch break I got locked out of my house while letting my dog out. So I was stuck with a dog and no keys or cell phone. I could have knocked on doors around the neighborhood to ask for a phone but my anti-social ass walked 3.3 miles (I checked) across town to my landlord’s house to be let into the house. It was a nice day and I enjoyed the weather but I got a blister on my foot and I was pretty sore the next day. Just goes to show how out of shape I am in.

OK, I’ve blabbed on long enough. Thanks for reading and I hope you keep enjoying “Habitat”! Peace.

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 #8

Hello again. I would like to start off by saying thank you to everyone that has been visiting the site regularly. Your readership and feedback means a lot to me. It always makes me happy when I see a spike in views but it also makes me a little nervous. I start to get self-conscience when I think about all the eyes that have see my drawings.

Sketchbook drawings.

Sketchbook drawings.

It is presumptuous of me to think that everyone likes what they see or is even intentionally visiting this site. I have always been pretty modest about my art, sometimes to the point of not wanting to call it “art.” I am aware (as I believe all artists are) of my failings. I am completely happy with about 50% of what I do. That may seem like a low percentage but I’m also confident enough to share my art with others. There is a point when you have to say “Well, I’m not completely happy with it but maybe others will like it.”

I’ve always struggled with “perfection.” Perfection has always seemed to be the unobtainable goal in life. I think it is always good to strive for perfection but it is bad to think you’ve achieved perfection. “Perfection” in art is always subjective anyway. If you think you’ve hit perfection then you no longer strive for improvement. That is why I am always so critical of myself, I want to always be improving. Never being completely happy with what you create is healthy. The goal is to just keep creating, working at your craft, and being critical of yourself just enough so that you don’t discourage yourself from trying to achieve “perfection.”

I hope this was enjoyable to read. I do ramble on occasion. Thank you for reading and I will hopefully see you again on Monday!

Two Strips A Week!

After much thought I have decided to do two “Habitat” strips a week. So now in place of my Monday blog posts I will be posting a new strip. Every Monday and Friday at 10am CST a new “Habitat” comic strip will be posted. I’m hoping I can keep up the slightly more grueling schedule but if I see that it is taking a toll on the strip I will go back to just one a week. I realize that it seems like my schedule is changing every week and apologize for the inconsistency but, this comic strip also started as an experiment. It is a challenge to myself to do two comic strips a week so that I have enough material to send to a syndicate come May 5th of next year.

This will be my last Monday blog post but I will continue to post blogs at least once a month.  Not that my life is that interesting but it I think it is nice to post once and awhile just as a journal of my thoughts and how I go about making the strip.

You’ve probably also noticed a change in the look of the site. I’ve switched to a more reader friendly theme. It’s a little less customized but I think it will be better in the long run. Once I get my own domain is when I’ll try and go nuts with the design of the site.

Well, thank you for stopping reading my stuff I’ll hope your come around every Monday and Friday to check out “Habitat.”

Habitat #10: A Marvel of Biological Engineering

Habitat 10Poor Morton… never knows when to keep his big mouth shut. Finn is definitely more appreciative of the beauty of other animals. Morton’s idea of beauty is a discarded cheeseburger and a nice shaded patch of soft grass.

I’m beginning to change the look of Finn just a bit. Instead of the circle I start drawing his head with a square. It makes a bit more sense with the way I want his head to look. I’m more pleased with this design of Finn… even though he hasn’t changed THAT much. I’m still considering drawing more details into the characters such as fur but I’m still unsure.

So this is big #10! I bet you didn’t think I’d be around even this long! lol Well, neither did I ! 🙂 I hope to stick around for maybe another couple rounds of ten. Thank you to all the readers out there. You guys rock my world! See you guys on Monday! Peace!

 

I Miss Summer

Sharing drinkHey Everybody! I hope everyone is having a fabulous Summer! Now that I’m out of school, Summer is a less evident than it once was. My day job kinda sucks all the fun out of what are supposed to be long lazy Summer days. I won’t get into my day job here though.

As far as the comic goes, I think I’m doing alright. I have been trying to network more and be more sociable online.  I’ve learned that there are a lot of talented people out there and most of them are very nice people. I’m also surprised at some of the artists that have been reading “Habitat.” I’m pretty self-conscience of my drawing ability and I’m being visited by really talented people. It really motivates me to keep going and make the comic better. Thank you to everyone who has been reading my comic. I truly appreciate it!

I am obviously NOT a professional cartoonist… YET. 🙂 I just want people to know that I still have a day job and I’m unable to spend all my time on this comic. This is not an excuse for some of the wonkiness of my drawing. If I want this thing to be good enough for syndication I’m going to have to practice drawing more. A lot of times I have time to draw but don’t because I can’t think of what to draw or I’m afraid of what I’ll draw will look like crap or I’m just plain lazy. From now on most of my free time will be spent practicing drawing.

Well, thank you once again for dropping by. I really appreciate everyone who’s been following me and commenting. You’re all great! Have a good day!

Habitat #9: The Climb

Habitat 09

(Click image to make larger.)

The reason you don’t see more stray cats on the top of electrical poles is because there are no dogs to put them up to it. It does seem very natural for cats to climb up things but not know how to get back down.

I came up with the idea for this strip while driving to work. I just noticed how many poles line the streets and that was the impetus of the idea to put Finn on top of a electrical pole. Since I’m not too settled on Finn’s design you’ll notice he’s only in two panels… I think it still works without seeing him… I don’t know if it would have been funnier to see him in the last panel or not.

I’ll have another fun-filled blog for you next Monday! Thanks for reading!