Sneak Peek

Hi Folks, Sorry for the slow updates. Unfortunately, I’m currently working on a bunch of stuff that hasn’t been published yet, so….I can’t show any of it to you! In the meantime here’s a teeny preview of an upcoming MAD piece I’m inking!

A MAD look at the 4th

MAD issue #528 is on the stands kids! I did a small spot  with writer Jeff Kruse highlighting ways to enjoy the 4th of July. Now listen…I just did what the editor told me to do. Any of you tea-party gun nuts who hate the government but love the flag or whatever…don’t come gunning for me! Here are the steps. Want the gags? Buy the magazine!!  

The Reuben Rundown
Here is is!

  It’s now a week since I flew home from San Diego, tired, elated and sporting an enlarged and cracked, aching liver (cartoonists can drink!). I’ve done a bunch of Facebook postings, but some of my friends don’t do the Facebook thing (gasp!) and have been curious about the whole event. Here we go…. I had an early flight out of Greensboro so I was up before the crack of dawn My fellow passengers and I actually arrived at the airport before the TSA agents, so we had to sit and wait for them to get to their stations before we could drag our weary butts to the gate. We flew to Charlotte, I hopped on another plane and flew US airways to San Diego. This airline is about as no-frills as you can get. Awful. Complaining ….over. I got to San Diego around 9:45 in the morning so there wasn’t a whole lot to do. I checked in, took a nap and then went out to explore. The Omni hotel is located down near the historic Gaslamp District in San Diego.This section of the city has all been refurbished and is pretty nice. Nothing like I remember it from the early 80s when I visited as a marine. It also sits right next to the Padres Stadium and actually has a bridge going from the hotel to the stadium. Pretty cool. I went down Fifth Avenue and found a place where I could sit and have lunch and a beer. I wandered […]

Inching into Highlights

A couple of months back I got an email from the art director of Highlights For Children Magazine. They inquired if I could do an illustration that revolved around a poem concerning a sidewalk crowded with inchworms. My first thought was “Sweet!”‘ My second thought was “More Bugs?!” You see, I’d just finished doing a series of bug illustrations for The North Carolina Zoo’s ” Bugs! An Epic Adventure” exhibit. I guess I thought that was kind of a weird coincidence. But…. Who cares? I got a gig with Highlights! You remember Highlights from visits to the dentist’s office, don’t you? The Timbertoes, Goofus and Gallant….the hidden pictures? Well,I certainly did. I remembered fondly! I couldn’t wait to get started on the illustration. The magazine works well in advance of its publication date, a couple of months in fact, and that thrilled me as well. I’d actually get to spend some time working on the illustration and not have to rush to get it done. Working with the art director was a pleasure. They real laid back guy. Here’s the process: My initial sketch consisted of a few caterpillars to show the art director how I would approach the subjects. It was to be a busy street scene and I wanted the characters to be able to be doing certain tasks so I needed them to have arms. The magazine requested that the inchworms be represented in an anatomically correct manner (within reason) So, here’s what I came up with: Basically […]

Your Parents Are MAD!

My latest illustration for MAD#527 has hit the stands at last so I guess I can share it with you here! Written by Matt Lassen, the gag is all the things parents yell their kids…unabridged. It’s funny, this isn’t the first MAD gig I’ve done that involves screaming parents (see this post). I guess I’m the parental grief go-to guy. This was a pretty straightforward gig. Associate Art Director. Ryan Flanders sent me an e-mail:  This is a sort-of cousin to the piece you did 8 years (!) ago, “Your Mother is Not…” On this one, we want a mom and dad to be looking down at a kid, reprimanding him. I’m hoping for a finish by the middle of next week is possible.  He also attached a blank template for the illustration. Sometimes Sam Viviano or Ryan will include a very rough sketch to help me get the idea but this one only had the text bubbles. I liked the gags: funny and true. Thanks Matt!   (Sorry! You’ll have to check out the magazine, folks!) The deadline was good, easy to squeeze it in among the other jobs I’m currently working on to make my paltry living. So, let’s look at the art!My initial rough pictured the family in my mind as African-Americans. The kid faced us and was ignoring the parents, looking at his cell phone Ryan came back with the idea to simply show the back of the kid’s head and to make the parents more animated. The […]

I end up in the Zoo

Mom always said I’d wind up in the zoo. Here in Asheboro we have one of the best zoological parks in the world : the North Carolina Zoo. A huge park, it occupies over 2000 acres and includes the North American and African continents with plans to expand with an Asia section as well. The polar bear exhibit was my favorite for years but I think the North American streamside exhibit is beginning to win out as time goes by. The zoo has more than animal exhibits nowadays. They need to keep the traffic coming to fund the whole operation so they offer special programs and sections to draw folks who may think twice about seeing “boring” animals, a sad fact but a necessary one. Recently they updated the KidZone with an awesome bent wood sculpture/entrance by artist Patrick Dougherty. It’s a huge thing that blows your mind from any angle as you walk under and through it. Once inside, they’ve got a stream the kids can tramp through, an elevated bridge, a Stonehenge-like maze, learning centers, interactive programs and more. The kids loved it during an opening ceremony a couple of weeks back. It’s the 40th anniversary of the zoo and they’re celebrating with all sorts of programs like this. One of which, I got to have a part in: BUGS! An EPIC Adventure ‎Graphics Supervisor Diane Villa called me up a while back and told me about the special exhibit that was coming to the zoo Featuring 13 giant, animatronic […]

I Got This Spoon! Find out which ordinary household item YOU are by taking this quiz!

You are always stirring things up. You find yourself in “hot water” all the time! Sugar anyone? You can dish it out better than you can take it. You fit together with others of your own kind. Others often try to bend you to their will. You HATE these quiz results on Facebook!

I done been Nominated!
R. Powell's Zombie Bass

I’m thrilled to announce that the hard work I put into building a t-shirt line last year has paid off with a nomination for best Product/Advertising Illustration at this year’s National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards!! Yowza! The Reuben’s are held every year at some swanky hotel in some fancy US city. Cartoonists from all over descend upon the place, drink, eat, draw, sing (yes…sing) and give each other awards. At the black-tie banquet one lucky bastard wins the Cartoonist of the Year and then there are the Division Awards, the Silver T-Square, The Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award …it’s like the Oscars for ink-stained nerds with bad skin and drinking problems. Oh yeah, there’s an award for Amateur Cartoonist Extraordinaire too. This year it goes to “Weird Al” Yankovich. I’ll be headed to San Diego in May and attending with my bro, Bill. That’s really appropriate because he turned me on to cartoons is the first place (should I blame him or thank him?). Anyway, we’ll get have some laughs drink some beers and hang out with some of my friends and heroes! Photos shall follow. Good luck to my fellow nominees Sean Parkes and Cedric Hohnstadt Here are the entries I sent in: Here’s The Freshwater Lure Series from the Collection

Cutting to the Chase

I’ve taken on a rather large project lately. Down the road from where I live, sits the little hamlet of Seagrove. A spread-out little town populated by a unique group of artisans: Potters! Seagrove is THE place to go if you want some  of the best pottery in the world. They’ve been making jugs, plates, figures..etc..etc for generations. Many folks head out that way and spend the day cruising around and visiting potteries and the potters within. It’s a charming place and a cool way to spend the day. You could spend anything from 25 bucks to 10,000 bucks on a platter there. Yeah. A group there has hired a marketing firm to help “rebrand” the area and build a website to get across to folks what the place is all about. They hired ME to do some portraits of the potters and potteries. Here’s the deal: They want the illustrations to look something like rough engravings or woodcuts. Handmade. Now, I’d love to do a scratchbord portrait of each individual but there are a load of them and I don’t think these guys have that type of budget. So, I have to figure out a way to get the look we want in a hurry. My prototype was of Mike Mahan from “The Ground Up” pottery. His wife, Mary Holmes is heading up the operation. She’s a fun person to work with, Irish and sporting a great accent. Here’s the photo I was given of Mike: .and here’s what […]