A gal that I went to high school with messaged me today and told me that my comic today made her laugh out loud (in real life, because she had prefaced it with “I’m glad I was working from home today because”).
If I can reach just ONE person…
Seriously, though. Very lovely sentiment, and I hope my head doesn’t grow three sizes like the Grinch’s heart did. My dad had mentioned once that, to keep me humble, he’d make me shovel out a barn or something, if needed.
A friend told me this once – a friend who is also a cartoonist. I’ve had a few years since that was said (probably like, nine years or more?) to hone it into something less spastic. It’s still under construction – always will be, I’m afraid.
I bring up the subject of my less-than-desirable penmanship because recently I had to (painstakingly) hand-letter a plaque for my husband’s Christmas present. This was not my original intention, actually.
I had found a DIY project (ugh) that gives instructions on how to print out an image (or in this case, words) from a laser jet printer, mirror it, and then transfer it to the wood plaque with some gel transfer medium (or something). The paper should, after being moistened, roll right off and your transfer should be on the wood.
I am not a good crafter, for the most part – I try, I really do. I put the gel medium on the print side of the paper, “adhered” it to the wood plaque, waited eight hours or more, took a damp rag after the paper, and tried to roll the paper off with my fingers. The instructions said the rag might scrub off the print, which it did – but that didn’t seem to matter, as I had placed the paper on the plaque in a crooked fashion. D’OH.
So, I ended up scrubbing it all off with the rag – that took a while, but whatever. I really really really didn’t want to hand-paint the letters on, so I tried this process again. This time, the image (words) didn’t really adhere at all.
After I had scrubbed the board clean for a second time, I got out my ruler and made a guide for the letters. It took a while – and I botched it up at the very end, so I had to erase a few lines and re-do. But, I hand-lettered it all – you can see here why I didn’t want to do this by hand, because it’s lengthy:
It actually took LESS time to hand-letter than to mess around with transfers. But it was worth it, as it was a gift for Dan. And he liked it, so that’s really all I was going for.
[This, by the way, is the invocation that Fr. Kovash gave at Dan’s investiture (when he was officially sworn in as a judge). Dan’s court recorder had typed up the transcription of the whole ceremony and had it bound into a book for Dan as a gift, which is how I was able to do this. I love to read it once in a while, as the words are so lovely and have the ability to move one to tears. I heard.]
My hand-writing wasn’t too bad! My advice is, always measure out guides for your letters. I’ve done other hand-painted sign plaques, and they are kind of crooked and goofy looking (which I guess is okay, since they only hang in our home).
It could be worse – I could dot my “i”s with hearts.
My co-workers from three jobs ago are featured in my comic strip, as I started the timeline for the strip at that time in my life (about 3 or 4 years ago). They are incredibly good to me and have featured my drawings of them as their avatars for a work message board (or, that’s what I assume it is – we didn’t have it when I was there). One of them sent me a Snap of it, and I have blacked out the names for purposes of privacy, natch:
My husband and father have used my drawings of them for their Facebook profile pictures, and I think a couple of other friends have, too. Pretty cool stuff!
I hope you all had a good 2016. I feel like social media has made it clear that no one did, but I don’t really believe that to be true. If you base your fortune upon how many famous people died, and whether or not your candidate got elected, you’ll never have a good year.
I had the good fortune of getting the job I’ve always wanted this year. Let me rephrase that: I had the good fortune to still do the same thing I’ve been doing all along, but now being able to say that I am employed and featured alongside the same comics I read growing up and was inspired by. It’s amazing what one can accomplish when one actually does things and works at it. (That is my way of saying that I squandered a lot of years not drawing comics and would sit around wondering why no one was discovering me. DOYEE.)
I don’t want to waste my opportunity. I am trying my very best to not be me and fritter away time. It’s hard for me to not be me. Ask me about it sometime.
With that said, I hope your 2017 is full of merriment, good cheer, and jocularity – which is three words that mean the same thing. But I really do mean it. Have a good year. Even if shitty things happen (they will), and even if you don’t feel like it (you might not).
And don’t take advice from cartoonists. What do they know?
I know my comics have been in “reruns” – as in, I’ve ran them before, but not on this particular venue – but I promise they will be new starting sometimes this spring. I’ve been working on the new stuff (I want to stay far ahead – hopefully this happens), and also some other projects. I drew up some gag comics, and I’m a little behind on Shelly Fire!
Curtis Hoffmann, of the Basket Case blog that does webcomic interviews, interviewed me recently regarding not only Amanda the Great, but also other projects I am working on. You can find my interview here, and also check out his other cartoonist interviews.