Saturday, December 29, 2012

Inking And Coloring Cartoons

If you've been following this clog, you know that I started teaching myself how to draw about three years ago, and then almost one year ago I started teaching myself how to draw cartoons. Before January 2012, I had never really attempted to draw cartoons, but I think I took to it pretty quickly. I started drawing countless cats and quadrupi and other animals, weirding out my classmates at Northwestern Law in the process.

Unfortunately, because of law school, Moodstring, hip hop production, and countless other half-assed projects, I've generally only been able to dedicate a limited, sporadic amount of time to getting better at cartooning. Maybe about once a month I would spend an hour or two drawing in my apartment when I felt the urge to do it. I also drew on the whiteboards and blackboards at my school whenever I got the chance. 

But after I finished my exams for this semester, I decided to put a good chunk of time into developing my line work, inking method, and coloring. Basically I wanted my cartoons to look as legitimate as the political cartoons and popular comics I see online and in the papers. So first I draw the sketches in pencil, then I ink them in with a brush pen (which is essentially a paint brush with ink constantly flowing into it), and draw over my smaller lines and shading with a normal pen, then I scan the drawing and color it in.

Choo Choo Whale

This whale with the smokey blowhole, named Choo Choo Whale, was the result of my first try. There's a lot of brush scraping evident in the ink; lines where the brush went a little dry or made the wrong shape or something because I moved it too fast or had it at the wrong angle. After this post I'll experiment with vectorizing my images if I'm not happy with the line work.

Here's a guy I drew. Not a particular guy, just a guy in my head. He kind of looks like my friend Andrew. For some reason even though I spent a couple years on-and-off teaching myself figure drawing, and then a year on-and-off teaching myself cartooning, I never bothered to learn to draw human faces. Oh well! 

Anyway, the linework of the hair in this drawing, specifically the sides of the hair on the far right and far left rather than the hairline, is what I'm really going for. I want that smooth, professional style with natural-looking variations, as I see in hand-drawn comics. If I can do with all my drawings what I did with the hair in this drawing, then I'll have succeeded at more-or-less perfecting my inking.

That's another drawing. In my next cartooning post, I might experiment with vectorizing some of these in Adobe Illustrator and seeing if that makes them look smoother, cleaner, more appealing, and more professional, or if I prefer to have all the hand-drawn touches kept in the pictures.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Men And Cats

I'm Jewish and not really doing anything right now, but Merry Christmas. I don't think I've ever posted about this: Here's an entry about me on Men and Cats from two and a half years ago. My friend Hannah submitted me.

Man, I was so much smaller back then, a measly 190 pounds at six feet. Now I'm 215 and I like being this dense and heavy. I just wish my old suits would fit.

Me hunched over petting a projects cat on Staten Island.

New post about inking and coloring cartoons to come soon.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Politico Writer Interviews Me, References A Couple Of My Political Domain Names In Article That He Didn't Use Me For

A few days ago, a guy named Steve Friess who writes for Politico called me to interview me for an article. The cool thing was that he didn't do this because of one of my parody sites, or the "legitimate rape" thing, or anything I've done that's gotten press attention. He was doing a piece about political domain name squatting for 2016 and saw through a "whois" search that I own around 100 domains through several pseudonyms. So that was kind of cool, the idea of being newsworthy for multiple, separate things this year.

Unfortunately he didn't mention me in the article. He used some of the stuff I told him (as well as the Seinfeld-referencing title of the article, possibly), but he mentioned a bunch of other squatters instead. I think my narrative of it being tied in with autograph dealing, and parody websites, and Intrade for me didn't fit his article. I also talked about how people just typing in urls will become less and less common and political domain squatting will mostly die and what remains will have to be about search ranks eventually, like my Santorum site. And his article was already long enough, I guess. But he did lead the article off with one of my domains! 

Here's an unrelated political cartoon I made an edit to, to break up the text in this post. In the original one, disdainful Obama is not farting onto Romney's face.

It's scary how many good Democrat domain names I have, particularly Clinton. I have many good ones that start with her name. I like to imagine selling a domain to a Democratic campaign and then donating the money back to it. I don't know if I could keep that money. It's a lot less morally ambiguous to take money from Republicans that they would have spent on other campaign stuff, and thus hurting the Republican Party. I don't want to do that to the Democrats. I just couldn't ignore these domains and let somebody else scoop them up. Maybe I'll rationalize it by saying the Democratic Party is too conservative or something, but that sounds like bullshit. 

The picture drawn by Politico's resident cartoonist, who won a Pulitzer recently, includes a couple of my domains too! That's kind of neat. Also, the writer of the article did tell me afterward that he's going to revisit the topic in more depth and will keep me in mind.