Another semi-true story. In the process of moving to Texas I looked at about 30 houses in two months time. My real estate agent was ready to tell me to take a hike before we finally found the right house. To add pressure I was looking at houses and rating them in Texas while my wife was in New York and she’s the one who knows more about what is good or not in a house. I just looked for obvious things like was it about to fall over, in a good neighborhood, obvious leaks, and so on. One night on the phone going over the day’s house visits I could not think of the material that was used to make counter tops and wound up with a cartoon idea.
And no, I don’t expect the Keane family will be contacting me anytime soon to assist with art duties. They’re better off with the young kids filling in.
Well it’s certainly been awhile since I posted anything here and there is a reason for that, be it good or bad. Bottom line, my family and I moved across the country from upstate New York to Texas. While everything involved with a cross-country move, learning a new job and settling into a new life is definitely time consuming, one could make a reasonable argument that I should have been able to post SOMETHING within the last 18 months. Oh well. I can catch up now. So they might be a couple years old now, but they’ll be new to most people. For those of you who were lucky enough read them weekly in The Chronicle it’s a trip down memory lane. Either way, enjoy! And I’ll try to post another cartoon sometime within the next 18 months.
Unless you’re a long time reader this one might be a head scratch-er. For the full story, see “Sad But True” It is actually based on something my son did and I thought it was pretty funny, so give him a writing credit on this one.
This is not a direct true story, thankfully, but I think it points out that the behaviors we dislike seeing in our children are often just a reflection of what we ourselves are doing, even if we don’t realize (or want to acknowledge) it. Do as I say, not as I do!
On an overly self-critical note: what’s up with that arm in panel two? I think that might be the worst appendage I’ve ever drawn in the strip. Good grief.
This is a very condensed version of how we spent one recent weekend.
The prom is nerve-wrecking, of course your stomach has butterflies.
You can’t miss your first day of work because you ate a bad yogurt.
Hmmm, maybe three days is a little long for an upset stomach to keep getting worse.
The original sketch for this cartoon was done on a hospital paper towel during her week long stay there. It’s not my proudest moment as a parent, but I guess it could have turned out a heck of a lot worse so I’ll take it.
The final panel is a nod to one of my favorite TV shows, “Arrested Development.”
I have to imagine there was a time long before Target, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, Home Depot and all of these mega-retailer stores that if you wanted something like grass seed, you walked into the local store and there were two choices; a 20 lb. bag and a 50 lb. bag. Make your selection and go home. And it probably worked fine for covering up those bares spots on the lawn where your dog keeps peeing and killing the grass. My lawn has more yellow spots than a salamander. When we go to one of the previously mentioned mega-retailer stores they have more grass seed choices than I can stand. They don’t, however, have the one kind of grass seed I would buy without hesitation.
Most days I think my wife likes being a mom; she of course loves our kids and would do anything for them. While I believe they do love her as well, based strictly on the evidence that they can’t be bothered to pick their own dirty socks up off the floor, I’m not so sure they would do anything for her. That doesn’t change anything, but it sure is obvious that “mom” has to be among the most thankless jobs ever in the history of the human race. It’s a wonder women everywhere haven’t protested and ended the whole species by now.
We have four dogs and as any dog lover will tell you, they all have their own personalities. The oldest dog is blind and doesn’t do much but sleep and stink. The two puppies are just insane running around and barking without any obvious reason. The next oldest is a little over two and she often gives the illusion of knowing what we’re talking about, which is what inspired this strip. While the puppies just seem dumb, Mindy frequently has thoughtful expressions, usually as a way of saying “hey, just so you know, that wasn’t me who did that.” On a side note, if the inking on this one looks a little rough, that’s because it is. Clearly I was in need of some new pens and didn’t realize it until after I scanned the strip.
I’ve been reading Charles Schulz Peanuts comic strip for as long as I can remember. Certainly longer than I’ve been drawing comic strips. As a kid I read my Peanuts Classic Treasury and Snoopy, Come Home books (both of which I still have) over and over again, not to mention the daily and Sunday strips. If this isn’t THE classic American comic strip, I’m not sure what is. I just finished reading Volume One of Fantagraphics Complete Peanuts and of course loved every page. Recently we’ve been playing baseball/softball with our kids, some of their friends and parents on the weekends, which has been way more fun than I could have imagined when we started. So I think all of these things came together in my mind when it was time to draw the weekly strip. I’m not sure I would say Peanuts inspired me to start drawing comics oh so many years ago, but there is no doubt it helps drive my creativity each week, and my admiration for Schulz work has grown exponentially over the last five years. This is my inadequate way of saying “thank you.”
A couple years ago we received a popcorn maker for Christmas. The kind that sort of looks a movie house popcorn machine, but on a smaller scale. For whatever reason I have become the person who operates this machine; probably because it’s just about the only thing I can cook that other people will eat with being admitted to the hospital. Anyway, the dogs love popcorn and quickly gather around as soon as they smell it. Sometimes I think it’s a bigger deal for them than it is for the rest of us.
Is it just my dogs or do all dogs have selective hearing? You can all their names all day and they’re no where to be found. Open a refrigerator or microwave door and I’m suddenly surrounded like I’m in a kennel. Or if I say the words “chicken fat” they suddenly get a twinkle in their eye like I’m their new best friend.