Category Archives: cartooning

Google Doodle Rabbit Hole

You never know where you will end up in your explorations of the World Wide Web.  This morning I happened upon this Google Doodle about Jackie Ormes.

I don’t usually see the Google Doodles since the Chrome browser itself acts as an interface to Google, but this morning I happened to catch a glimpse of this doodle and it caught my attention because of its comics theme. After scrolling through the illustrations, I clicked through to read more since I didn’t recognize the artist who was featured, Jackie Ormes.

After reading Google’s write-up, I decided to do some quick exploration on the web to see some more of Ormes’ work. It wasn’t long before I found The Ohio State University’s blog about cartooning. This Jackie Ormes was truly a groundbreaker.

But as it turns out, so is Liz Montague who drew the Google Doodle that captured my interest. She’s a young cartoonist from Philly who also happens to be the first African-American woman to have a cartoon published in The New Yorker. That’s really cool!

What I enjoyed most about watching Ms. Montague’s bio video above is how she uses various forms of digital media to do her creative work and how she was able to become a groundbreaker herself through persistence and practice.

Manhattan Arts Center Exhibit & Sale

Tonight I did something I have wanted to do for a long time but never have. I finally submitted some artwork to an art show/exhibit. It has been over two decades since I have done anything like this. I once submitted a postcard design to the Kansas Artists Postcard competition back int 1999 and was accepted and I haven’t done anything since.

I submitted several works I’ve created over the last few months as I think about the 30th anniversary of Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm. I really enjoy working with pen or brush and ink. These are some of the pictures I submitted. It will be interesting to hear what they think.

You Need A Nickname

I’m going to try something new this semester. In our Mastering Academic Conversations (MAC) class for incoming freshmen, I’m going to ask everyone to think of a nickname they can use as a handle during the course. This idea is directly borrowed from Lynda Barry (aka The Accidental Professor) but she once said her ideas are open source which is a good thing since I can’t draw like her or think like her.

She always comes up with amazing names for herself like Professor Chewbacca or Professor Mandrake. Earlier this year I used Professor Pandemic for a while just to amuse myself, but I never used it in a class and besides, we are already constantly reminded of the pandemic. So it’s so long Professor Pandemic, hello Professor Robin.

I’m asking my students to think of an actual nickname that someone from the past had given to them. For me, it is Robin. I actually had the nickname Robin for about one year in high school. In my graphic, I drew Professor Robin as Batman’s sidekick. I had done a lot of thinking about a suitable nickname to use instead of Professor Pandemic. Robin is a great sidekick, and I think sometimes I’m a pretty good sidekick too. Lately, I actually enjoy building up and supporting others more than I do seeking attention for myself. I think I’m pretty content being a sidekick figure.

 

The nickname Robin came to me, not because of this sidekick character, but because of another sidekick called Robin the Frog. Robin the Frog is Kermit the Frog’s unnoticed nephew. Because I was a slight fellow around 85 or 90 lbs as a high school freshman who happened to play the tuba, I was no match for the giant brass tubas our band marched with in marching band. They had to do something with me, so my freshman year during the fall marching season, I was loaned out to the percussion section to play the cymbals. Even the cymbals I played were down-sized, not the full-sized version that a couple of the other percussionists played.

There were three young lady seniors who played the triple-toms who evidently enjoyed having me around to tease and kid. It was Jansy, Jamie and Hannah who gave me the name Robin because I reminded them of the tiny little frog in the new muppet movie that was released that year. I enjoyed the attention and the name, but it didn’t stick because after that first year, I didn’t take band anymore.

But as I was thinking through what I was asking students to think about, I started remembering some of the things I was called as a youngster. Professor Robin, it is, I guess.

Lana’s Parrots

This was ultimately a fun one for me. My art friend from college, Lana, who now lives in Northern Ireland, asked me to draw a comic of her parrot. She sent me a photo months ago and I worked on it but wasn’t very pleased with how it turned out. So it sat around on the back burner for a long time. Finally, earlier this month, I spent some time and made some more drawings for her and put them in the mail. I even did a cartoon envelope for her like my Navy pal Eric Thibodeau used to do.