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The artist is IN! I am currently available for commission work of just about any variety (artistically speaking).  Pencil drawings, ink, di...

16 May 2007

Take a Trip With Strip Trip!

First off, some news. I've gotten a good response to the sketches I'm selling (thanks to all contributors!) and have had some fun, interesting jobs to do. I'll be continuing to do them for the foreseeable future, unless somebody pays me a ridiculous amount of money to do otherwise.
The good news is that thanks to learning a bit about the costs of packaging and postage for these things, I am able to give you more for your money! Originally I was offering a 5 x 7 sketch for a minimum $10 donation. Since then, I've found that the easiest way to ship these things is in a standard comic polybag with a backing board, wrapped in a padded envelope. The cost for this is minimal and will hopefully help ensure the drawings arrive in good condition. The result of this is that it allows me to make the drawings comic book sized, about 7 x 10, which allows me to put in more detail and opens up some layout possibilities. This is one case where bigger really is better and size does matter! Click the link on the right to donate and order your custom sketch today! (Quantities are limited. Some restrictions may apply. Void where prohibited by law. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Contents may settle during shipping. >:^P)

Now, on to the art....
This time around, I'm really digging back into the past, back into my university days. In the late 80's, a close friend and I created a weekly cartoon strip for the university newspaper, The Muse. The strip was called "Newhope In Learning" and concerned the life of student Rick Newhope at "Memorihell University". Much inspired by the likes of Garry Trudeau, the strip had a lot of left-field humour, and was at times controversial. So much so that we eventually ended up withdrawing the strip because the editor (a now famous name that I won't sully further) censored our work in response to hate mail we'd received, and more that he expected.
After "Newhope" ended, I was a bit of a pariah at the newspaper, but I still had ideas I wanted to get published, and they were the only game in town that would run my kind of material. So, I created a new strip of my own that I took to submitting under a pen name, "Paladin". The new strip was called "Strip Trip", and was designed as a parody of other popular comic strips of the day. So secretive was I about who was doing the strip that I had a different person deliver the finished strip to the newspaper's office each week, and never used the same person twice. So for anyone who remembers or may have worked on The Muse at the time, yes, Strip Trip was by the same person that did "Newhope in Learning". Now you can sleep better, I'm sure.
Strip Trip, by all reports, was well-liked, although it did draw its own hate mail. It was certainly fun to do, as I enjoy aping the styles of other cartoonists when I get an excuse to do so, and I think I did a pretty decent job of it. What follows is a collection of the Strip Trip pages that I could find. I think I may be missing a couple, but this is most of the short run of that series. Click on any of the images for a larger view.

The first, introductory strip was a sort of collage of characters. Maybe you recognize someone?

Next up is one of my favorites, a Garfield parody that addresses the character's megalomaniac tendencies a little more openly than Jim Davis ever attempted....

From cats to dogs, we have "Marmamutt". Marmaduke is actually not a bad strip, for a family strip...but that didn't mean I was going to show it any mercy.

Of course, I couldn't NOT parody everyone's favorite strip, "Cathy". With all of these, I pictured the strip I did as a sort of "end result" of the characters' typical behaviours, and I think with this one, I got it dead on.

Another old favorite went under the parodical knife with this "Dennis the Menace" parody. I suspect a strip like this one might not fly in print anywhere in today's sensitive environment.

The following are the strips that drew one reader's ire, although I'm pretty sure the poison pen letter I received was itself meant to be humourous. "Calvin & Hobbes" was one of my favorite strips in its time, and remains one of the best of the daily strips....right up there with "Bloom County" and "The Far Side". I especially liked the strips where Watterson would draw Calvin and Suzy as grown-ups, and once conceived of a horror story in which a grown up Calvin was pursued and eventually killed by an imaginary tiger whom he had long since abandoned. These strips are as close as I ever came to actually visualizing that story.

Finally, there's this piece that was the last "comic" in the series. It was obviously done just after the death of Jack Kirby and was a response to the way so many artists were "reviving" his characters or his ideas at the time. What can I say...I'm not always know for my "balanced" viewpoints. The art was published in black and white, but later painted in watercolor for my own enjoyment.

By the way, the original of this last piece is available for sale if anyone would like to make an offer. The piece is 11 x 17 on bond paper, mounted on foamcore. It's in ink and watercolor and has held up remarkably well after all this time. I won't be letting this go for $10, but if you want to make a reasonable offer, drop me a line and we an work it out.

That's all for now. Next time, some color work and paintings.

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