Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I just wanna say...

Microsoft Word is not a design program. It's a word processing program. That's why it's called Word.

If it were a design program, it would probably be called Design...or, I dunno, InDesign. Maybe even Quark.

But yeah, Word is not a design program. So don't ask people to design in it.

I make art

So every year, the Maryland Wine Festival hosts its annual Wine Festival Poster contest. I was planning on entering this year, and I spent the past weekend coming up with a design, but then I realized how cracked-out it was and decided not to submit it.

Obviously it's not finished, but...yeah. It's a corkscrew man. And he's all psyched 'cause he just opened a bottle of wine from the wine festival, and now he's about to par-tay. And in the background are Maryland's flower, the black-eyed susan.

I don't think the Maryland Wine Festival would ever go for something like that. I could be nice and say it doesn't fit the tone of the event, or I could be honest and say they always pick work that looks like it was created by Grandma Moses because anything else would rock their fuddy-duddy socks off. 'Specially a corkscrew man.

Oh, btw, the deadline's this Friday if you wanna enter something that sucks. You might win $1,000!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Everyone's going bananas over this ape thing!

Well, this is a blog about cartooning and my opinions and sometimes politics, so I guess I would be remiss if I didn't say something about the NY Post monkey cartoon.

If you haven't had the misfortune of seeing it, here it is:

A lot of people are pissed off about this cartoon, because they feel like it's racist. I can definitely see how it can be intepreted it that way, but I seriously doubt that was the cartoonist's intention. (Granted, Delonas doesn't have the greatest track record.)

That's not to say the cartoonist should get off the hook. I understand that when you're working under a tight deadline, you might not have the time to sit and consider every possible way a cartoon can be interpreted, and since you're dealing with images and not words, things can very easily be misunderstood. But for something like this, when it's very obvious that people (not to be confused with politicians, haha) are hurt and offended by what you've done, it's not good enough to sit there and say "Well, you're stupid because you don't understand my cartoon and I'm not a racist and that's not what I meant and blah, blah, blah." You need to apologize. And you need to be sincere about it.

I don't agree that Delonas should get fired, but that's mostly because I doubt that the Post would hire a new cartoonist to take his place. I think this is a great example of how powerful and important cartoons can be. It saddens me that someone who is fortunate enough to have a staff editorial cartoonist position would be so careless with his work, but like I said, mistakes happen. I'm also bothered by the fact that whenever a cartoonist or a cartoon gets in the news, it's because of something negative. And never that edgy, thought-provoking negative that cartoonists strive for.

It annoyed me so much when the Obama New Yorker cover got so much attention.

Since when is the New Yorker the go-to place for political cartoons? Satire just isn't their thing. So many people called it failed-satire, but I think it just wasn't the right venue for that kind of commentary. Had that been the cover of MAD Magazine, it would be a totally different story. I don't think the cartoon itself was bad, I just think it was a weird choice for a New Yorker cover.

The NY Post monkey cartoon IS failed satire. I get the concept, it wasn't particularly clever or funny, so just apologize for doing a stupid cartoon.

That being said, I wish people would write to their papers and praise good cartoons. Maybe instead of coming off as a liability, cartoons could once again be seen as an asset. Imagine that!

I'm a bad blogger, I'm a bad cartoonist, I'm a bad employee, I'm a bad human being!!

So I haven't been very good with the blogging lately. I'm sorry about that. I've had a lot on my mind lately and I've been pretty stressed out, so blogging seems to have fallen to the wayside.

Anyway, rather than bore you with the details of my pathetic life, I thought I'd share this wonderful cartoon by Keith Knight:

Isn't that great? It really puts things into perspective. Except I don't have a baby. I have a cat though...but it's not so cute when she bites my nose. Her teeth are sharp!

Monday, February 23, 2009

2nd mailing sent, and I don't know what to do!

Last week I sent out my second mailing for Berd. I'm not going to keep making posts like this, because I promised myself that I would send Berd
to five papers each week for the next year. So either you'll get tired
of hearing about every single mailing I send, or I'll run out of
papers to send stuff to.

I feel like I'm encountering problems already. I'm not
sure if I should call the papers and follow up to make sure they
received my packet, or if I should just accept their silence as a "no."
I probably picked the worst time in the history of printed media to
start sending out cartoons, so I feel like it would just be obnoxious
to call. On the other hand, maybe I could at least get some good

Maybe I'll call one or two and see how it goes. Or not. I don't want to be a pain.

Sorry, I haven't blogged in awhile so this particular entry sucks. I'm just
kind of thinking out loud. If you have any thoughts or input, it's
appreciated. But yeah, I just don't know what to do after I send out a

Anyone got any ideas?

Monday, February 16, 2009

My friends are a talented bunch.

My friends are so talented. Particularly Henrique Couto. He's funny, he's smart, he makes his own movies that are really good, he hosts his own podcast and he even started his own band:

But my favorite talent of his is his ability to cope with a crazy amount of pain:

How crazy is that?!

I told Henrique he needs to move out to California, sit around on some street corner and just wait to be discovered. You just wait. Give him five years and he'll be a household name. You heard it here first, folks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

1st mailing

Last week I sent out my first-ever mailing for Berd. I hope it goes well. After I sent it out, I realized there was a lot I should have said about myself and about the comic that I left out.

Also, I don't have any information on my website aside from a link to this blog, so I'll need to start working on that.

If you came to this blog after receiving a mailing for Berd, thank you for taking the time to check out my work and learn more about me. I've been working as an editorial cartoonist at two Maryland papers, The Aegis and The Record, for the past three years. I am a member of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. Last year I won awards for cartooning and illustration from the MDDC Press Association.

I've worked on other cartooning projects during that time as well, but Berd is really the first one I've liked enough to send out to papers. In the summer of 2008, Berd came in 2nd place in the City Paper comics contest. I think it's a pretty versatile strip, and it's got a lot of potential for an alt weekly. Obviously it's a new strip, but I promise that if you give Berd a chance, you won't be disappointed.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you think you'd like to run the strip. I really appreciate any feedback, so if you've got a suggestion for me, don't be shy! Just give me a call or shoot me an email.

Thanks again for checking out the strip!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Restoring mad science to its rightful place

You know I love comics, but very few actually make me lol. This week's Big Fat Whale is an exception to that rule.

Doesn't the government know that the economic and healthcare crisis, global warming and the entire Middle East conflict can all be solved with just two words? Time machine!

It's just as simple as that!

Monday, February 2, 2009

We interrupt this blog for a special message from Ean

My friend Ean just finished working on the new film Coraline. He sends along this message:

Dear Everyone,

The time has come and after more than two years Coraline is ready to be seen.

It would mean a lot to me if you all went to see it on February 6th. I can't possibly be there with all of you physically- but if you go see it that weekend, and think of me when you see two little man bears splashing in a fountain, freakish bat-dogs attacking children, or passive aggressive monsters cooking in Martha's kitchen- then I'll be there in spirit. (probably drawing little naked dog men).

To be honest I'm starting a bit of a campaign for this film. For this week. The week before opening. If you could all, just for this week, be like little elves for me, to help better spread the word on this film, that would be awesome. (I can't pay you, but I can sing little songs for you on your answering machine).

Word of mouth is extremely important on a film like this. SO please talk loudly about it in laundromats and grocery lines all week. Point at things on the street and shout, “Wow, that totally makes me think of that cool film Coraline starring Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher.” (It's really fun if you single out other people's children in this fashion.)

Please phone or e-mail extended family and people I don't know to tell them about this movie coming out this weekend (February 6th). Tell them that it's really awesome, that it's based on a best selling book for kids (by Neil Gaiman), and that other movies coming out that weekend give you eye cancer. (This could be true, and do you really want to put them in potential danger?)

If you work in a place with lots of people, let's say for instance, a school, college, or library- maybe you can declare this week “Coraline Week” and offer free suggestions to go see the movie on February 6th.

Show everyone this site I put up on my site, with collected trailers for the film. (including our new creepy one, you all should look too, because it's awesome).

(if you all crash it by doing a good job, you can always go to the official, and harder to navigate site)

I love you all and thank you all for your support and guidance.

Best wishes!

-eAN (:

What are you waiting for? You heard the man, go see Coraline!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Baltimore Examiner, we hardly knew ye!

I HATE bad news about the newspaper industry, and this is just awful: The Baltimore Examiner is closing after its February 15th issue.

This does not bode well for B-more. Recently, the Tribune declared bankruptcy, and the Baltimore Sun, b and The Aegis are Tribune companies. I still don't know how that's going to work in the long run.

Is this really the death of print journalism? I don't think so. What are people gonna read when they gotta' poop?

But seriously, I think the industry is changing, not dying. I think we're going to start seeing more papers following the alt-weekly model. The biggest problem is that people don't want to pay for their news when they can get it for free on the internet. This is going to mean more ads. It might mean less dailies and more weekly or monthly publications. I think we'll see papers focusing on local issues and leaving the national stuff for the internet and television.

I enjoy getting the paper delivered. On the other hand, I get it delivered for free because I work for the paper. Would I pay for that content? I don't know. I'd like to say I would, because my paper only covers local issues, and there's really no other way to get that news (yes, there are local blogs, but they steal their content from The Aegis.)

Anyway, I'm sorry to see The Examiner go. It was nice to have more than one option for news in this town.

Who watches the Watchmen?

I try not to get excited at the faintest glimmer of promise, but I'm a little slow, and so the cycle continues.

Case in point: The Watchmen movie trailer.

Holy shit that looks awesome. Seriously, if you haven't read The Watchmen, you need to stop reading this blog immediately and go pick up a copy. The trailer is not shitting you when it says "The Watchmen" is the most acclaimed graphic novel ever. I could go on about how it's Alan Moore at his best, about how it reinvented the genre, about how freaking cool the Owlship looks...but I won't.

Instead, I'll resort to my favorite pastime. Worrying about shit.

The Watchmen? A movie? That's gonna be a hard one to pull off. One of the best things about The Watchmen is that it WORKED as a graphic novel. The story belongs in the comic book realm and I feel like if it were brought to the big screen it would be, well, pretty damn cheesy.

I mean, there's SO much goofy shit in there. But when you're reading a comic book, I think there's something in the back of your mind that's telling you "this is a comic book. Yes, the part where Dr. Manhattan transports himself to Mars* is silly, but it's a comic book so I can forgive that."

But people hold movies to a different standard. People watch movies all the time and say "That could never happen. " I don't know if it was always that way or that sort of thinking came about as special effects became more convincing. It's like you can see a painting and accept it for what it is because it's a painting, but film is always held to this "it's gotta be like real life" standard. I don't get it. And that's why I'm scared for The Watchmen movie.

I can look at every single scene in that trailer and tell you who the character is and what's going on plot wise. It looks so close to the book it's scary. Normally I dislike it when a movie strays too much from its original source, but in this case, I can make an exception. If details need to be changed to make it work as a movie, then I'm alright with that. The trailer looks awesome, but I have a terrible feeling that I'm going to be disappointed.

I guess we'll find out in March, eh?

*Sometimes I wanna be exiled to Mars like Dr. Manhattan. Just sayin'. I also want a martian castle.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Marriage of Art, Science & Philosophy

Have you seen the latest show at the American Visionary Arts Museum?

First of all, if you're in the Baltimore area and you've never been to the AVAM, you're missing out. Seriously, that place rocks.

Anywho, the exhibition's called The Marriage of Art, Science & Philosophy, and I gotta say, it looks pretty sweet. I'm hoping to check out the show pretty soon. I haven't been to an AVAM show in awhile, but the "art and science" theme has been popping up a lot for me, so I'm intrigued.

Anyone wanna go with me? I have to warn you, it takes me hours to get through a museum. No takers? Ok, I'll make sure to review the show after I see it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Look! On the right!

I started a list of other blogs you might enjoy. Not that you don't love this one, of course.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Never make assumptions...

"The dog who is so angry he cannot move. He cannot eat. He cannot sleep. He can just barely growl. Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis."

-The Angriest Dog in the World

So a few months ago I was talking to one of my fellow Spanish classmates. She's an older woman, probably about my dad's age, early 50's. Nothing particularly interesting about her right off the bat. I mean...she seemed so...normal. I just kind of assumed she was some boring lady who's taking a second language because she had nothing better to do, right?

So anyway, somehow we got on the subject of comics. And she mentioned that City Paper (Baltimore's alt-weekly) used to run her favorite comic ever, but then they dropped it in the early 90s. So I asked her what it was, and she says "The Angriest Dog in the World."

The Angriest Dog in the World. Probably one of the strangest comics strips I've ever seen in my life. That's not surprising since it was created by David Lynch, who happens to direct some of the strangest movies I've ever seen in my life. Here are a few samples of the strip:

You can check out more examples here.

Anyway, the fact that this lady dug this strip totally changed how I viewed her. I mean, I try not to judgemental of people, I don't want to make assumptions, but sometimes it happens, and that's why I love stuff like this.

I love it when you get a pleasant surprise about someone that makes you totally rethink what you had initially thought. I love finding out what makes someone different or quirky or interesting. Everyone has something, and I think the less obvious it is, the more interesting it is. The fact that this weird little strip makes that woman smile just makes me smile. I usually don't like it when I'm wrong, but it's little reality checks like this that make me appreciate the people I know, the people I'm getting to know and the people I don't know.

Seriously. The fact that this lady likes "The Angriest Dog in the World" makes me want to give the world a hug.

Ok, this is getting too sappy. I'm starting to sound like I'm off my meds. Peace!