looking back ten years

I don’t often think about how far I’ve come as an artist. But, it being on the verge of a new decade, I thought I’d see exactly what I was doing ten years ago. In 2009, I released Welcome to Falling Rock National Park, the third comic strip collection of the above-mentioned comic strip.

Here is the cover to that book, as well as one strip that I particularly liked.

Happy 2020 everybody! I hope we all grow into ever more wonderful beings over the next decade.


issue 7 progress

I have been chipping away at issue 7 for the past few months and I am happy to report I will finish inking it by the end of the week!
I can’t wait to share this new story with all of you. Stay tuned for updates regarding print date. It will be ready well before San Diego ComicCon in July.


chalkboard drawing

I was recently commissioned to do a chalkboard drawing for Reed College Reunions. If you’re back at Reed, you can see this in Kaul Auditorium. For everybody else, here’s what it looks like:



It was a real treat to work on such a large scale. (Note: to cartoonists, anything bigger than a 3″ by 3″ square is considered large scale.) So as not to become overwhelmed, I made a small collage and printed it on a transparency. I then borrowed an overhead projector (which was covered in dust; no one uses these brilliant contraptions anymore apparently) to project the collage onto the chalkboard. The chalk drawing was done with sidewalk chalk and wet-erase chalk markers for the lettering.

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park notes

These past few weeks I’ve begun work on Falling Rock issue 4. I have three longer stories which are all in various stages of completion. I think I’ll use whichever I finish writing first. Right now the top contender is a story involving a couple new characters, including a very famous cryptid.
This part of the process is always exciting. I have a few ideas which may or may not turn out, but everything I’m doing is pure creation.
In addition to the longer stories, I have a few single page stories (or “gags”). Maybe I’ll do a future issue comprised exclusively of these.
It’s fun to think about what a new issue will look like. I haven’t done anything too high-concept yet, but these are still early days. What issue will be my Sgt. Pepper? 100?

In other news, Cryptozoology News reported a sighting of a giant lizard-man in the desert. I couldn’t help but think it was the world’s first Ernesto sighting. Keep your eyes peeled, dear readers! The next time you’re hiking in the desert you may have a close encounter with a very tall lizard wearing a baseball jersey.

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issue 3 cover

Issue 3 of Falling Rock National Park is finished! Here is the finished cover:
issue-3-cover-lowSubscribers will be getting their copies as soon as they get back from the printer.
If you don’t subscribe, why not start now? Reading more comics is a great New Year’s resolution.

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Falling Rock ebook

Since my Falling Rock collection Welcome to Falling Rock National Park (2009) is out of print, I have turned it into an ebook!
front-cover-book-3You can read it on so many different devices now.

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble Nook

iTunes iPad, iPhone, iPad mini, iPocketWatch

Instead of merely slapping the book into the digital realm unchanged, I made a number of revisions and edits throughout. This is a revamped, improved book. Check it out!

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Should Carver have a catchphrase?

carver-asteriskBart Simpson, Ren & Stimpy, Bugs Bunny: great cartoon characters have great catchphrases. Which is why, when I look at my work on Falling Rock, I see a huge missing piece in the story of Carver the owl. He’s got no catchphrase.

Carver has plenty to say on just about any topic. He’s had his share of one-liners, zingers, gotchas, and bogeys. One thing he doesn’t have is a line to which he can repeatedly return, in good times and bad, in sickness and health, that will automatically deliver the laffs.

Should Carver’s catchphrase be witty? Sarcastic? Adorable? Maddening? All it really needs to be is short enough to fit on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, boxer briefs, gallon jars of mayonnaise, and of course frilly placemats.

During this summer hiatus of Falling Rock, I’ll be considering what Carver’s catchphrase should be. You, dear readers, can help! Just comment below and we’ll see if Carver can return in the fall with a hilarious catchphrase that will rocket the owl into the national spotlight. Or merely become more annoying with each passing utterance. Either way.

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birds are birds

From the sketchbook.birds-are-birds

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greetings from asbury park, NJ

When I first got my books back from the printers, I sent some out to a few cartoonists who I admire. David Fitzsimmons, an editorial cartoonist in Tucson, has long been a mentor to me, beginning when I was in middle school. Richard Thompson has a new syndicated comic strip called Cul de Sac (and has been more than generous with his time in answering my persistent and star-struck emails). Patrick McDonnell is one of the few cartoonists to have a hugely successful strip AND not be dead. His comic strip, to those of you who may not be familiar, is called Mutts. It is well-drawn, Buddhist-inspired, and is often both funny and moving in the same few panels.

Anyway, today I got a nice letter from Mr. McDonnell and I had to share this drawing he did of Carver:carver-by-mcdonnellI laugh every time I look at it.

Let this post serve as an open letter to any cartoonist who wants their work shown on a highly prestigious, Polk Award winning blog. Send me your drawing of a Falling Rock character and I’ll post it for all the world to see. I’m arching my eyebrow at you, Jim Davis.

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Pygmy Owl

Today is my birthday, and so I dedicate today’s post to the pygmy owl. Pygmy Owl, the pissiest-looking of all the owls.