Every year since I’ve started the strip, and it started appearing in The Chronicle, I’ve done a Black Friday themed strip, but they never make it in to the paper. As those who live in the area know The Chronicle is published every Thursday except for Thanksgiving and a couple weeks around the new year. The Thanksgiving edition is published on Wednesday, which I always forget and never get my cartoon submitted in time. Purely my fault mismanaging my time. This year, however, Cathy DeDe was able to find a spot for me, and I’m more than a little grateful. I actually thought this cartoon was pretty funny and was a bit bummed in thinking it wouldn’t make print. Thanks, Cathy!
Mostly I’m happy the cartoon is a complete work of fiction. I did not go shopping on Black Friday and don’t understand how people get wrapped up in all that chaos. To each his own I guess. Also I would be grateful if I got a Charlie Brown t-shirt for Christmas.
By the time I’d started Kids ‘n Dogs in 2008 my youngest daughter had been wearing glasses for about four years and I’d never liked the way my cartoon version of her looked. That year we had decided she was mature enough to try contacts, which her doctor agreed with. So here was my chance to “update” her look. At the same time I also got a pair of glasses I thought I would start drawing on myself. She’s stayed with her contacts, but as art imitates life I don’t wear my glasses very much and draw myself with them even less. As a side note, the kids hated this eye doctor because they said he smelled like diarrhea. On top of that, their customer service was lousy so we don’t go there anymore.
This cartoon was also one of my early attempts to put in some shading without cross-hatching. For this cartoon I actually used a pink toy light box, cut out shaded pieces of paper and glued them on to the cartoon. Although I was happy with the results it was a HUGE pain in the ass and took a long time. Thankfully I found a better way in the not too distant future.
Though I try to avoid using thought balloons in the people characters, thought balloons or talking dogs is an absolute no-no for Kids n’ Dogs comics. I have nothing against talking animal comic strips, it just doesn’t fit in with my vision for this strip. That said, the Dogma cartoons are my way of trying to get into the dogs’ head. We’ve all had those moments wondering what the heck our dogs are thinking.
Another one of those based on real events cartoons. These are indeed the spices my wife, Tara, uses when cooking a turkey and she does remember it from the song. When it was first published one of my co-workers, Mike Marin, came over to my desk and said he thought it was truly funny, mostly because he likes Simon & Garfunkel.
For the last 11 or 12 years Chestertown, NY has held their annual Pug Parade, and we’ve gone three of the last four years. The first year we went there were a handful of people selling pug and other dog related merchandise, nothing too crazy, along with Green Mountain Pug Rescue. People dress-up their pugs up enter them in various contests. Winners get prizes. My wife, Tara, has made some pretty cool costumes each year, coming in 1st once, 2nd and 3rd on the other years. Overall, it’s a pretty way to spend a fall afternoon. Getting to my point, this year there were a lot more vendors and one guy was selling pug puppies. Now selling pug puppies at a pug parade is kind of liking walking into a bar and asking if anyone wants a really good beer; everyone already has one, almost everyone wants another one, most people know they shouldn’t and resist the impulse, but ultimately just enough people will break down and sales will happen. My daughters immediately started oohing and aahing over the puppies. Even I had to admit they were very cute and had nice dispositions. They kept trying to get Tara to hold, or at the very least pet one of the damn things. She refused and walked away despite their pleas. That’s where the idea for this cartoon came from. No, we did not buy a puppy that day. Yes, I did get the breeders card.
This has long been one of my favorite strips. It wasn’t easy to draw, but I think it came out well, and it was one of the earliest strips where I had figured out how to use the shading tools in my photo editing software. In future posts I’ll go into the various techniques I used for shading before having the light bulb moment of using computer tools. Like people haven’t been using photo editing tools for 20 or 30 years now, right?
Of course the other part of this strip is the story and this one still makes me smile. Like many of the strips this is based on real events. Yes, I snore. Yes, it drives my long suffering wife crazy; to the point she has confessed real thoughts of smothering me in the middle of the night just to get some sleep. I tend to think she’s not alone in her suffering, hence the cartoon. When I submitted it to The Chronicle I half expected to get a response saying “how is the threat of murder funny,” but I didn’t. In the nearly 200 cartoons I’ve sent to the fine folks The Chronicle only once have I gotten a response back of “huh? I don’t get it,” though I’m sure they’ve thought it, God bless them. After it was published I was sure someone would have a negative comment, but I got nothin’. On the one hand I think, good; who wants negative publicity in your ONE paper. On the other hand I think, bad; isn’t anyone reading this each week? Maybe more people than I think could relate to this.