Friday, November 21, 2014

Ferret studies

 I've been drawing ferrets lately.  They may or may not be involved in an upcoming project.  Either way it's always a good idea to draw anything and everything as much as possible no matter what's happening in your life.
Anyway, the ferrets to the left are the ones I tried drawing.  The results are below.  Tell me how I did.

Ba-dump bump adump bump! Good night!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The fulfillment of a promise

A little more than 2 years ago, on this very blog I made an offer to the world.  I stated that for anyone who reads my comic book and posts a review of it somewhere I will then buy that person a beer.  Well, it's been a long time coming, but I've finally made good on that promise.
On December 15 of 2010, one James Daniels posted a review of my book Jesus Needs Help on his blog.  Well, I just happened to be passing through the city of Winnipeg where he lives, so I thought I'd meet up with him and buy him that beer.

There he is, enjoying a tall frosty brew of Alexander Keats courtesy of this blogger.  Being the sole eye witness to this auspicious event, I can honestly state without hyperbole that he fully enjoyed that lager to its fullest extent.

This could be you, if you are kind and creative enough to write your own review of either Jesus Needs Help or my latest book Censor Monkeys Have No Class.  I look forward to getting schnockered with you.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A fish cartoon for you

I believe he challenges Aqua Man, Charlie Tuna, Nemo, Jaws, and Osama Bin Laden.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My day at DCAF 2014

So I've finally recovered from my whirlwind of a time selling my wares at the DCAF.  I met some people, made some sales, ate some granola bars, and basically tried coasting as best I could on Rockstar Energy Drink and fumes.   I work a night shift you see.  While most everyone else was lucky enough to have a good night sleep, I pretty much had to go there straight from my job which started at 9 pm the previous evening.  So, if anyone there saw me yawning or looking really droopy-eyed, that's why.
I did manage to take a few pictures taken with my little iPod Touch 4.  Here they are:

This was my table.  Everything you see was indeed for sale.  To everyone who bought something from me and is now enjoying it at their leisure, thank you.

This is who was sitting across from me.  He's my good buddy Andre Myette.  Here he is setting up his own table to display his wares.  He had quite a few Doctor Who prints to sell.  If you bought something from his table?  You're good people.

Some people even brought their dogs.  That particular pooch looks exhausted.  He's probably tired from asking everybody where all the Underdog comics were.  Maybe next year, Rover.

Some people even dressed up, like this lady.  Costumes haven't really been a big part of the DCAF, but that could change in the future easily.

During the entire festival I took the liberty of making a few tweets as well, one of which is embedded below:

All in all, I would call DCAF 2014 a success.  It was a good crowd this year.  As far as selling my book goes, I can see less and less people squinting with confusion at it and asking "what is that thing".  I'd call that a positive.  I look forward to participating in future DCAFs or any other venues like it.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A gig and a contest

First I will start with where I will be exactly one week from today.

That's right! I've secured a table for myself at this year's DCAF.  I have no idea where my table will be at the moment. Just watch out for this book cover:

Speaking of which, I entered that book cover of mine into Book Goodies Cover Contest.

It currently stands as one of the finalists!! Please go show it some love at this link:

You can do so by either commenting on it there or sharing it on Facebook and/or Twitter.

I hope to post some of the highlights of DCAF here on this blog soon. See everybody there!

Monday, June 23, 2014

What a maroon! What a "Yentl" Case!

On previous birthdays of mine I talked about Daffy Duck, Pepe Le Pew, Tweety, and Jimi Hendrix. This time, as I approach the big 40, I'd like to indulge in a bit of nerd rage against one Barbara Streisand.

I won't go into the usual criticisms of her like the narcissism or her fiercely opinionated nature.  I personally don't care about those things.  She can roll around in a pile of 8 X 10 photos of herself until she squirts enough "fun juice" to go surfing for all I care.  What I want to talk about is one little movie she did back around 1972.  I do believe it was called What's Up, Doc!

It's so titled because it's billed as a screwball comedy (being reminiscent of the ones made in the 1930's) and good ol' Babsy plays a character that is considered a parallel to Bugs Bunny.  She's holding a carrot right there on the poster and she even takes a bite from a carrot and says Bugs' catch phrase when she first meets Ryan O'Neal's character in a book store.

Then, from this point on, she proceeds to stalk the poor bastard...

...and stalk him...

...and stalk him...

...and stalk him...

...until he sees no alternative but to just give in and be her boyfriend.

They even have a Bugs and Elmer cartoon playing at the same time just to completely emphasize the comparison.

I'm not saying this is a terrible movie.  It has clever writing and brilliant performances by Steisand, O'Neal, and everyone else in it.  As a stand alone feature it does quite well.  My problem is that Barbara Streisand's character is NOT like Bugs Bunny at all.  He's not a selfish sociopath who relentlessly goes after whatever he wants.  He's almost the opposite.  Bugs seems to possess a Buddhist-like zen eliminating all or at least most desire (he still craves more than a few carrots now and then).

Sure, in earlier cartoons, Bugs may have picked on Elmer Fudd just for his own amusement, but that died off pretty quickly.

Nyeeeh! Charge any therapy bills to Jack Warner, doc.

As Chuck Jones put it, Bugs works best when he's being a counter-revolutionary.  He doesn't go out looking for trouble.  He actually starts peacefully enough just minding his own business.

Then some big oaf attacks him.

Bugs then swiftly enacts his revenge.

The villain is vanquished!

If anything, Streisand's character is the exact opposite of Bugs, in that it more closely resembles Lola Bunny's character that in exact opposition to Bugs like in the video clip below:

Or, to keep things more-so in line with the animation output of the original studio, Barbara Streisand's character is actually more like Charlie Dog.  He was that stray dog who always used overly aggressive tactics to find a home.  His usual victim was Porky Pig...

...but on occasion he pursued a Southern colonel...

...and a restaurant owner in Italy.

I'd also like to point out that Charlie never actually achieved his goal.  The cartoon would usually end with Charlie getting the bums rush as it were.

Like I said, What's Up Doc is not a terrible movie and deserves no huge amount of heated derision.  I just wish the writers and producers of this film would have had a better understanding of Bugs' character while they were crafting this film's screenplay.

That's it.

Oh yeah, also, happy birthday to me!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Some very detailed feedback for my latest book.

In my pursuit of reviews for Censor Monkeys Have No Class, I recently got a rather in-depth response to it.  here's the email sent to me:

I must admit, Censormonkeys was one of the hardest comics to review . There are moments that made me laugh and ideas expressed that I can agree with. It's greatest strength is that you've spread a wide net over the political/social spectrum in your skewering. Granted it could be even wider, atheist monkey (note: I'm an atheist) is one that comes to my mind, etc.. The art is decent and fitting of the form, but it could use some polish. I think a little shadowing would go a long way.
There are some things I found to be problematic. The opening with Fanny did not work so well in my opinion. It was at odds with the Censormonkeys portion as here a na├»ve child is derided because she's childish; whereas, the main comic is absurd because the Censormonkeys are over scrutinizing children's drawings. The ending of the Fanny portion came as too suddenly and violent. I'm not against shock value, but I didn't feel it worked in this case because she's a child. As for the main comic, I didn't get the sense that it had much to do with censorship as much it was about overzealous groups forcing their extreme ideas onto children. I believe that is a good thing to satirize and one of the strengths, but that's not quite censorship. Along these lines I felt that both the Black Panther and Feminist Censormonkeys don't quite work as well as the others. I know both groups can have extreme reactions to media on occasion, but really neither of th groups hold enough power (certainly not in the comics world) to censor anything. However, I think you could combine the two concepts into a parody of the ultra-liberal PC types it would have the same effect. Speaking of ultra-liberals, I couldn't help but to think that the design of the Censormonkeys was, well... a bit too close to old racial caricatures. Before you get upset, no, I'm not calling you racist. However, the term “monkey” does have negative racial connotations when combined with the vague resemblance to ethnic stereotypes it can turn away readers. In context the comic is most certainly not racist, but at a glance it's iffy. I know this relates to the point of the Fanny section, but in comics readers do judge a book by it's cover. I don't think that is a bad thing, it is a visual medium after all. I don't know if you are committed to the “Censormonkey” title, but something as simple as changing it to “Censorchimps” could go a long way into not being misunderstood. I hope this helps you in some manner, and sorry if this seemed a bit harsh.

Pretty heavy stuff.  Here was my response:

Thanks for your candour.  Any feedback is appreciated.  Although, you're not really telling me anything I haven't heard before.  Also there's some things I need to clear up too.

1. Fanny doesn't die because she's childish, she dies because she's ignorant.  I only made her a little girl so that people would not expect her sudden death so much.  And really her death was just a Monty Python style punch line if you will (although the Pythons claimed they would end their sketches before the punch-line), not meant to be taken serious at all.  She was essentially set up to die so that the lesson of that tale could have more impact on the reader, just like the tragic tale of MacBeth.

2. I am aware that the term 'monkey' has been used as a racial slur on occasion.  But, as I've said elsewhere, these monkeys represents personality-types not races. For instance, the Black Panther Monkey would only represent black people of that overzealous personality type, not to all black people in general.  Jane Fonda was a black panther at one point so this monkey may or may not represent her. Plus, I have Tom Cruise drawn as a monkey among them and we all know he's absolutely Caucasian. 

3. You're right in that the monkeys more-so represent the overzealous groups that force extreme ideas onto people rather than the ones doing the actual censoring.  But one leads to the other.  When a small fringe group of feminists/angry soccer moms/defamation league jump and cry about some element they see or even just think they see, some suit behind the curtain cowardly takes it down.  With these monkeys I satirize the source of the outcry as a message to the cowardly suits to stand up to these lunatics, don't give in so easily.

4. This leads me to the final point where you give me suggestions on how to change things. If I make any changes to accommodate the sensitivity of others, well then I'm just giving in to the real life Censor Monkeys which pretty much violates the very reason I created this comic in the first place. I didn't come up with all of this scathing satire against them just to let them win. So for that reason I pretty much have to leave things as they are and keep fighting the good fight.  (Although I was toying with the idea of adding an athiest monkey at one point, but there's already 10 monkeys to keep track of as it is).

As for the shading, I am reminded of something that the great animator Chuck Jones once said. "The art of cartooning is to create a solid fully fleshed out figure without the use of shading or subterfuge of any kind."  Although I did put a drop shadow underneath all the characters in this one.  But, I think any more of that would be distracting.

Once again, thanks for your feedback.  Every bit helps.

Do you agree or disagree with any of the points raised here? Do you have any points of your own to add? If so, post them in the comment section below. I need to know the best way to proceed with my next Censor Monkeys book.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Twitter Review

You can find more comic reviews from him on Twitter @DeanJohannesLor or you can visit his blog Modern Boredom.

And, of course, if you want to see if his review is accurate or fair, you can find out for yourself by buying my book on either Amazon or Kindle.

Happy reading, everyone.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I will be at the AubCon this coming Saturday April 26, 2014.  That is where you will find me selling copies of my latest comic book Censor Monkeys Have No Class as well as other trinkets you might want to take home with you.

I will be sitting in G11 inbetween Player Prophet and Steven St. Armand.

 See you guys there!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Jesus Needs Help on Twitter

That's what I said.  If you want to read that comic at no cost at all, then definitely follow me on Twitter or just follow the hashtag: #JesusNeedsHelp

Have fun, everybody.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another happy birthday to Tex Avery

At any point in Tex's life had he drank some type of perpetual rejuvenation potion that would allow him to live forever, he would be celebrating his 106th birthday today.  One wonders what he'd be creating in today's animation industry with all it's faster computers, CGI animation, and tons of corporate interference.  We can only speculate on that point so there's no dire need to discuss that at any length.
Today I would like to talk about one aspect of Tex's work that I admire.  Any political references in his cartoons seem to be non-partisan.  Many great, if not all great satirists are like that.  It makes it easier for them to see the big picture and thus have a more nuanced point of view.  You know they're not pushing and agenda and when discussing a topic constantly pulling things out of their asses and shaping it to fit their agenda.  There's too many of the later kind of agenda-pushing "satirists" around these days.  In America, most of them end up on either Fox News or its polar opposite (yet comrade in blind myopia) MSNBC.  In Canada we have The Sun.  Other countries have their own versions of these channels of course.  All that cacoaphonic bickering just sounds like bratty kids demanding to have that toy and the other kid to have nothing.

Tonight on the O'Reilly Factor....

If Tex was here today he wouldn't putting up with any of this nonsense.  He certainly didn't in his own lifetime either as evidenced by the screen shots I've provided:

Here's a gag from a cartoon he did at Warner Bros. called Holiday Highlights (c. 1940).  At the time there was a debate about whether Thanksgiving should be moved a week earlier.  Republicans were saying 'yes' and Democrats were saying 'no'.  A global conflict was gaining serious momentum in Europe and the South Pacific region yet this is the issue that congress was debating over.  Whatever.  Regardless, it's obvious that Tex took no political sides with this issue.  The gag here is essentially a ridiculous compromise that condescends to both sides.  It's a similar gag in the next shot too.

This is a gag from Aviation Vacation (c. 1941) also at Warner Bros.  (click on it to enlarge if you have to) This time he's adding two more faces to Mount Rushmore: Wendel Wilkie for the Republicans and Franklyn Roosevelt for the Democrats.  Of course, to coincide with the most recent election, he would have put Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney up there in their place.  Again, Tex is offering an outrageous compromise to over-sized ill-behaved children.

And here's something from one of his MGM cartoons Jerky Turkey (c. 1945).  The cartoon begins with the Pilgrims coming to this new land to create Amreica.  It seems the first order of business when establishing a settlement is to divide "Ye Democrats" and "Ye Republicans", making the statement that America was pretty much founded on this silly conflict.

There are some good non-partisan satirists around today though.  The two most famous and most obvious are of course Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.  Their target seems to be the incredibly biased reporting done by the networks who push the extreme political ideologies thus tainting all of their news.  But then starting in the early 2000's, when George W. Bush's administration was doing some reprehensible things, then their targets began to include politicians themselves.  I know alot of people see them as "in it for the left" but that's not at all true.  They attack the right wing politicians and pundits for their displays of bat-shit insanity while they attack the left wing politicians and pundits for their inability to cope with the bat-shit insanity of their opponents.

HEY!!  Don't lump us in with all those creeps and weirdoes!!
Oh, sorry!  You're right.  Comparing America's right wing fringe with bat shit is indeed an insult to bat shit.  I apologize.

Well, we do know one political agenda that Tex Avery had, he certainly hated Adolf Hitler (just like anyone with a conscience should).  And so, he quickly joined Charlie Chaplain, The Three Stooges, Spike Jones and several others among the ranks of Hollywood's artists who made films attacking the Third Reich.  So I will end this post with Tex Avery's Oscar Nominated masterpiece The Blitz Wolf.

Tex Avery - Blitz Wolf  ( 1942 ) by Eeden_

Enjoy the show.  And thank you Tex for everything.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recent life drawing

Here are some life drawings I've done.

For this one I had to take a picture with my camera because it was too big for my scanner.
 Life drawing is great fun.  It certainly wasn't my strongest subject back at animation school, but nonetheless is fun to practice.  Recently I've been going to this life drawing session held at Plan B 2180 Gottigen St. in downtown Halifax.  It starts at 7:00 pm and goes until about 9.  If you live in the Halifax area and have an interest in drawing then coming here at that time with art supplies ready is a good idea.