Thursday, February 28, 2008

the art biz and the God biz...

It's been a few days, so let's get the easy one done first. Interviews were going on Monday for spots for Kaman's Art Shoppes at Worlds of Fun here in KC. This kid came in for a caricature interview. A decent artist with a strong portfolio, but I couldn't resist doing a quick caricature of him.

The rest of this mental rumination is about a current project for one of the missionaries at church.

To be frank, I don't like a lot of tv preachers, and am wary of most ministries. I tend to be selective because I hate being played for a sucker. There are exceptions, such as the DeHaans and "Day of Discovery," which I like and enjoy. Then I learned about Sat-7.

Dennis Wiens is a missionary in our church, and he works for Sat-7, which is a Christian broadcast ministry to the Middle East. But its content is for the middle eastern Christian with programming produced AND DONE by middle easterners. And not the "radio with a face" concept that is prevalent in American Christian broadcasting, but actual shows. He approached me a few years ago about drawing a minicomic for kids that he could take to missions' conferences. It seemed there wasn't a whole lot of material for children that would help them to understand what was going on. Or, at least, to enlighten them about Sat-7. Out of this came "Dr. Salaam" and "Ray."

Ray was easy, reminiscent of all the "Rocky and Bullwinkle," or "Underdog" cartoons I watched as a kid. But the other "spokesperson" needed to be "middle-eastern" in look, not western/European/American. Thus a somewhat daunting task of drawing a pleasant, funny, and engaging "AAAAy-rab. I made him tall, since Ray is short...better to play off of one another. I chose the name "Salaam" because it means "peace."

The first little "adventure" seemed to have success. Since then, it's gone on to be "tweaked" for a British audience, and has even been translated into Arabic. I was impressed!

So now, Dennis and I have been brainstorming a "sequel." One idea we had was artwork for a "sodapop can bank," which kids could save up their spare change to help raise funds for Sat-7 KIDS, a new network exclusively for children. And a new(and hopefully improved) minicomic to go with it. I have it thumbnailed and almost layed out, and I'll post some progress here along the way. Any way, here's what the bank art looks far. Still a few tweaks to correct.


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