As with the comics you see in any daily newspaper, a webcomic is usually completed ahead of a deadline.
Dad’s Day is no exception.
I use ComicPress software to load and schedule my cartoons days and weeks ahead of time.
This is called a “buffer” in the biz.
It comes in handy when life’s unexpected surprises pop up!
But, occasionally an idea for a cartoon comes to mind that you feel is soooo cool that you can’t wait to draw and show it to the world!
Today’s is just such a ‘toon!
I had a “Halloween” themed cartoon in the “can” and scheduled for today, but while glancing over my Facebook newsfeed yesterday, I saw a picture of a young lady and her Halloween costume and suddenly I had a new idea for today’s comic!
So I quickly began the process of replacing today’s scheduled cartoon, with this new idea!
I wrote it…
Sketched it out…
Used a little Photoshop magic…
New ‘toon done & loaded!
For the record…
The girl, named Grace, is the daughter of a former high school classmate of mine, who is also a Facebook Friend.
The picture was of my friend’s daughter in her Halloween costume.
You guessed it…
She is going as a pilot of a hot air balloon!
It is one of the best costumes that I have seen and of course it immediately provided the “inspiration” for today’s cartoon!
So a big thank you goes out to my classmate, Lindy and her daughter, Grace for today’s ‘toon!
I know what you’re thinking…
What about the cartoon that was suppose to run today?
Check back on October 31, 2015!
Today’s ‘toon celebrates the 5th Anniversary of our little webcomic!
Wellll…technically 5 years & 1 day!
Dad’s Day Comics launched way back on September 14th, 2009…that’s 769 cartoons ago!
As always a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of our loyal followers for making this possible!
Here’s to the next 5 years!
Everyone has idols.
One of mine is Bill Amend, the creator of the comic strip, Fox Trot.
I have been a fan of his work for more years than I can remember.
I can honestly say that Bill’s work has had the biggest influence on my own writing and drawing style.
So when someone of his stature throws out a challenge… you respond!
Today’s ‘toon is my response to Bill’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” nomination of cartoonists everywhere to help raise awareness of ALS. It was my pleasure not only to write and draw this cartoon, but more importantly, to donate to the cause.
At last check, over 93 million dollars has been raised since people began pouring buckets of ice cold water over their heads!
Now that’s impressive!
But, it’s not too late…
If you haven’t already done so, please consider helping fight this horrible disease by donating.
It is fast and easy!
For more information go to www.alsa.org
In case you didn’t notice, today’s ‘toon was a nod to one of my all time favorite comic strips, Calvin And Hobbes. It was brilliantly written and drawn by Bill Watterson from 1985 to 1995. The strip was distributed by Universal Press Syndicate and appeared in over 2,400 newspapers worldwide. In my opinion, the artwork and writing are second to none. Watterson, Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Bill Amend (Fox Trot) are the three cartoon strips that have influenced my cartooning style the most.
So last week, while on vacation by a lake in northern Minnesota I had the time and opportunity to finally read a book that has been collecting dust on my nightstand.
The book, “Looking For Calvin And Hobbes” is written by Nevin Martell and is about his quest to secure an interview with the man behind Calvin And Hobbes, Bill Watterson.
As it turns out, Watterson has basically been in hiding since his strip ended on December 31, 1995.
He has only granted a few interviews during his career, mostly in the 1980′s and is very reluctant to do so now.
To say he doesn’t seek the spotlight and fame is an understatement.
So Martell, having been a huge fan of Calvin, Hobbes & Watterson during his childhood, sets out to secure what he views as the interview of a lifetime! Along the way we hear from friends and colleagues about their experiences with Watterson.
Martell does a good job of chronicling Watterson’s life and career and his love of the strip is clearly evident throughout the book.
If you are a fan of the strip or cartoons in general, I would recommend reading the book!
Some of the things I learned…
He was a struggling editorial cartoonist before hitting it big with Calvin And Hobbes.
United Features Syndicate rejected the strip.
It was a challenging working relationship with Universal Press Syndicate.
Why haven’t we seen Calvin and Hobbes merchandise in stores during the years? Bill Watterson was absolutely against the merchandising of his characters. Turns out Watterson turned down millions of dollars in merchandising deals during his career. This didn’t make Universal Press very happy.
Along with refusing merchandise offers, he also gave a thumbs down to an animated movie too!
With the strong success of the strip, he had enough leverage to regain sole ownership of his strip and characters from Universal Press…this helped with being able to reject merchandise offers.
He would often tear up strips that he felt weren’t good enough.
He didn’t seek or enjoy the fame…He doesn’t grant interviews and he didn’t even show up to receive the many awards that he earned during his career.
He felt very strongly that a strip should end when a cartoonist retires or passes away. (This was viewed as a jab at long running strips that have had other cartoonists carry on well after the original cartoonist was gone.)
Last Saturday I was in Des Moines to run in the Dam To Dam Half Marathon.
It is a race that begins at 7:00 AM atop a dam on Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines and ends 2 miles after crossing another dam in downtown Des Moines.
This was the 35th edition of the Dam To Dam, the seventh time that I have ran it.
However…there was one slight change this year…
Dam To Dam 2014 was now a HALF Marathon (13.1 miles)!
Traditionally, it has been a 20K (12.6 miles), but due to some circumstances with the city and the growth of the race itself, the finish area was moved to the other side of downtown and the route changed to a half marathon. This was done to help with traffic congestion associated with the race as well as a heavily attended (& very cool) Farmer’s Market.
So it’s a half marathon now…my second half in three weeks (Fargo Half Marathon)…I felt good heading into the race.
Some of the highlights & lowlights…
With a 7:00 start, I was was up at 4:00 AM, grabbed a quick bite to eat and left my sister’s house and headed to the one of the shuttle bus pick-up spots at a nearby shopping mall.
A race volunteer misdirected arriving runners to the wrong area of the parking lot to catch the shuttle. (In his defense, it was 5:00 AM, dark and probably his first time working at that location. It did make for a slight pre-dawn traffic jam in a mall parking lot, as well as some confused looks by late arriving runners who were at the normal pick-up spot and saw full buses zipping past them and having no clue as to why!)
We made the 10 mile trip to the dam. It’s always fun meeting other runners and hear their stories, plus it helps to get the adrenaline flowing! (At the packet pick-up the night before I had the pleasure of meeting the record holder in the Dam To Dam, Phil Coppess. He ran the 1985 20K version of the race in a record time of 59:23:00. He is also the record holder of the Twin Cities Marathon in a time of 2:10, so it was fun to meet him and get his autograph on a race poster.)
Okay, back to the highlights…
It wasn’t raining and it was warm, which made the wait for the start of the race nice.
It was cloudy… with little shade of the first part of the course, this was a good thing!
The field was capped at record 9,000 runners this year…lots & lots of runners!
There were four people running who had ran every single Dam To Dam, the oldest was 74!
There was a breakfast burrito waiting for me at the previously mentioned farmer’s market…I just had to get to it!
At 7:00 AM sharp…
The first mile was downhill!
A few lowlights…
It was warm…DAM warm (sorry)!
A race record start temp of 72 degrees and a dew point of 80…it was muggy!! Not good for someone who had been training in the frozen tundra of Minnesota and not yet used to the heat and humidity!
I ran the first 3 miles in slightly under 24 minutes and developed soreness in my right achilles tendon. With all of the running injuries I have had, this was not one of them! I briefly stopped and stretched and continued on, but it was sore the entire way.
It began to rain at mile 5. It actually felt good…but I knew once it stopped that it would just raise the humidity level. Also, my feet were now wet. (My goal was to finish before the sun broke through the clouds.)
There was an awfully big hill just past mile 6! Did it get bigger from previous years??? (It is also referred to as “Memorial Hill”…a cool tribute to all who have served & serves our country!)
Past the hill and into some neighborhoods that support race like no others!
To whoever was passing put the ice at mile 9…THANK YOU!!!
Mile 11…just crossed the second dam…where was the traditional finish line? Oh yeah…the other side of downtown! (Loved running down the new riverwalk…but I was running out of gas!)
Mile 12…all that was left was another DAM hill! (The traditional drum line playing about 600 meters from the finish is always a burst of energy for me!)
I made it up the hill and finished in a time of 1:57:31…good for 1,596th place out of 7,359 finishers.
I met up with my sister and brother-in-law and we headed for that much anticipated breakfast burrito!
Which was now, ONLY a 15 minute walk away!
Here is a cool video of the race…courtesy of David Mable…