Thursday, October 23, 2008

Meet the Dibbles!...

As is usual with people of a priggish nature, I give great advice but rarely take my own. Such has been the case with a friend of mine who has faithfully been doing a weekly webcomic strip for over the past year. Oh, he seeks my advice, and graciously tells others how much he's learned from me. But in essense, he's doing what I should be. And hopefully that is going to change.

Part of my anxiety has been of a commitment nature. Picking a project and seeing it through. Not being worried as to whether or not it's "good enough," but doing it because I should. Hence I finally got off my fat butt and got that Sat-7 mini-comic to the point of now it just needs some gentle honing. But now it's on to the "Dibbles."

I read an article years ago about submitting to syndicates and the development of comic strips. One fine point made was to not do a strip based on "no one else is doing it that way," or just because there isn't a strip about a giraffe isn't reason to do a giraffe strip. Sadly and joyously, the internet allows anyone the access to put up whatever. And with the sheer amount of material available, it will be quite an adventure building an audience. Will the strip be good? Technically, I'm a fairly decent cartoonist, so on that level it will be competent. As to the writing, I'm looking at it as my own way of "throwing some rocks at the church windows."

The strip I am working on is to be called, "Pastor Dibble," and will be about the trials and tribulations of a goofy Baptist minister. I think it has some potential, at least for some interesting lampooning. Evangelicals do tend to be a bit thin skinned, so I'm sure I'll get some eventual "why do you hate us" stuff. But I am one of the "us," so who better to do it? And I'm not sure where "Bob Dibble" came from. While assuredly from my own twisted psyche, he seems to be from 2 Bobs, 1 Paul, and a Roy. And only one of them was a Baptist! It should be fun.

I showed a draft of "Dibble" in my last post, but here's a rendition of the he and his wife, Bailey...I asked my wife in the initial stages as to how the "Pastor's wife" should look, and was surprised that she thought she should be frumpy. So I went the opposite direction and thought there were more potential fireworks if she were "hot." Frumpy would've limited the appeal, and maybe been stereotypical. Certainly tv has not followed that, but had several goofy guys have attractive mates--Ralph Cranden, Fred Flintstone, George Jetson. And current shows such as "Family Guy," "World According to Jim," and "Still Standing." Even in the style guides for the "Simpson," it's stated that Marge has a sexiness to her.

My initial take on her was a bit stilted. Even the one above isn't where I want her to be. So I've gone back and done some additional study. I like the angular look to the animation style of the '50's and early '60's. Those guys did a lot with a little. One friend suggested making her more like Sarah Palin, who has certainly brought some "heat" to the current dreary election. To make it work, she needs to be busty and curvy. And why not? Where is it written that sinners get all the hot chicks? Will she be virtuous? Absolutely. Here's what I came up with tonight...I plan on starting out as a weekly. So far I have about 40 gags I like. But I still need to draw them, which is why I will be giving you all a "Leilah Tov"(Good Night!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

God Biz, part deux...

My son says I need to journal more often, but it often reflects whether or not I'm getting anything done, art-wise.

If you are "anti-religion," you may want to exit now, because there's going to be some "religious" talk, and of a "pro-religion" type vein.

I was asked by a missionary, who attend the church I'm at, to draw a "mini-comic" for the ministry he's affiliated. I had done one for him a few years back, and supposedly it was a success! (Hey, I'm stuck here in the midwest. What do I know?) So we kicked around the idea of a sequel. And I wanted a chance to do better job this time. Call it one of my psychoses, that I never think what I've done is ever "good enough." I'm dealing with it. I started working on it earlier this year, had knee surgery, had Worlds of Fun to deal with as it kicked into the full-time season, but finally got off my fat butt and decided I had no excuse and was going to finish the thing--PERIOD!!!

I got 1 hour's sleep between Friday and Saturday, but got it done. And the pages will follow thusly...Yes, I can see the "flaws" now that I've had some sleep, and self-editing is a pain. But I've started to work over tweaking what I've done to make it better. At least I got it this far!!! Oy Vey!!!

And with this mostly out of the way, I hope to work on some web comics. I have an idea for a strip about an eracible, somewhat cantankerous Baptist minister--kind of saying a lot of the thinks I normally think but don't. Call it "throw rocks at the church windows," so to speak. Here's what he looks like...

More stuff to come...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I love the fall. Love the colors. Love the feel in the air. There's a "home" feeling to autumn.

Tonight at sundown will begin "Yom Kippur," aka the "Day of Atonement." It completes a 10 day period that begins with Rosh Ha'Shanah, known as the "10 Days of Awe," during which time one should reflect, repent...essentially put their affairs in order. So I wish everyone on this "Sabbath of Sabbaths," that may your find mercy from the King of the Universe, and be inscribed for a good year.

I'm planning a contest this weekend, kind of something to make Halloween at Worlds of Fun more fun for the kids that work for Kaman's. And it gave me a chance to do some caricaturing/cartooning. I used 5 kids I work with(sorry, I only have reference pics for 4), and here they are......and here's what I came up with for a Halloween piece...You can view a larger, more detailed version at:

More stuff coming soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

laughing all the way to the bank...

The title sums up my feelings on Precious Moments, or PM as I've abbreviated it. And that is not in the context of them, PM, laughing at their audience, but at those who probably have found ways to criticize PM and what it does. Even my own cynical self found a few tears in my eyes walking through the Chapel tour and reading some the tributes there sent in honor of loved ones. I enjoyed taking the time to sit outside in the back of the Chapel gardens and just breathe.

As it turned out, Sam Butcher was there the day we visited. I didn't think much of it at the time, figuring that it was a common occurance. He was recovering from some kind of surgery on his ear and couldn't hear well, or at all. His "handler" was there as a buffer, but he was very friendly. Here's a pic, albeit badly lit, of Mr. Butcher and myself...According to Wikipedia, Mr. Butcher doesn't live in the US, but makes his home in The Philippines, only coming stateside during certain season to visit the Chapel. So for that, I feel very fortunate.

One thing I found of interest was his non-PM artwork, which showed a flair for color and cartooning. I liked this painting... And here's some greeting card art he had. Sorry for the poor pics...

The only thing bad about tours of this nature, particularly "Christian" type tours, is that there is a tendency to make things sound a bit too good to be true. Mr. Butcher is not from Missouri, but felt the LORD wanting him to build the PM Chapel at Carthage. Probably so. But it also corresponds to the time Nashville discovered Branson and decided to make it a new Country Music haven. Nor am I being cynical or terse--it made good business sense. The tour version of events was a bit too sugary, and there certainly are Butcher detractors,...but Wikipedia had a more "balanced" account. It wasn't all easy. Mr. Butcher, like us all, is a human being complete with his own flaws. There was some pain that went into the Precious Moments Chapel's coming into being, and that I can respect. My wife's immediate thought wondering if I could work for them. My own thoughts were of is there something I have yet to cartoon, draw, create, and leave behind with some pride and humility? By the way, here's another painting I enjoyed there...

I'm still processing it all, but have concluded in some fashion that I need to return to serious drawing. Too many things half done. Maybe that's what Sam Butcher did--he finished stuff he started.