Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Creative Process

I thought I'd share a bit of the sketches that became the "Ninjas Don't drink Lite beer" comic. Think of it as a way to tide over my extremely large mass of rabid fans until the next comic offering. I'm sure my fan base is in the thousands at this point.

Even if Google Analytics says it's only about 10 people total so far. Liars.

When I got to draw a comic with just the main character (Chad), I typically just figure out how I want it to layout, which cell will have what in it, do a quick little doodle and go. When I'm creating new characters, however, I take a more time to figure out what they'll look like on paper before getting on the computer. That's why eventually, all my comics will have the same two or three characters, and get really lame and boring*. Hopefully they aren't to that point already.

This is the beginning of the creation of the ninja. I started by just trying to get the face/head/eyes thing going (click on images to enlarge). I liked the one line brow above each eye. The eyes I made with two tiny white circles - no pupils - since ninjas always seem to be kinda "soulless" and squinty.

So I started working on the rest of the ninja now that I had some vague idea what I wanted for the head. This first one here was almost too detailed (for my little comic strips anyway). He gave off kind of an.. evil vibe. I think it had something to do with the "V" shape of his eye slit. Also the downward slope of his "eyebrows" for lack of a better term. They're really just lines above his eye. I don't think real ninjas have eyebrows. They must be forced to shave them off.

In the next one, I simplified things a bit, taking it down to a foot soldier-ish level, but keeping the one line over the empty circle for an eye. By making the brow lines level instead of downward slanting, it kinda gave him more of an annoyed look than an evil look, so I stuck with that in the final comic.

And here we have the first two cells sketched out. I struggled a bit with the "smoke" at first, but once I got into Flash and played around with the alpha levels, I think it turned out pretty well.

That's about it. A short 4ish hours later the colored digital product was done and available to view. I'd like to think that if I were drawing it on a Wacom type pad that it'd be quicker, but I don't really know if that's the case. As it is now when I draw them in flash, it's all with the little mouse touchpad on my laptop. Seems to work alright.

Hope you liked the creative run down and sketches. Post a comment and let me know how ya feel. If you're a jerk I can always just delete it.

* This little star thingy indicates a footnote. Just wanted to let you know that I love Garfield and Jim Davis (the cartoonist behind the cat). I just feel like his strips have gotten a little stale over the years. He's one of the first comic strips I fell in love with though, and I own books 1 through 54 or something.

Family Circus I could do without.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Ninjas don't Drink Lite Beer

This comic has been rolling around in the ol' head for a while.

For those who've ever gone to a Halloween party that involved both costumes AND beer, certain choices in costume can be... problematic for simultaneously consuming tasty beverages while being scary. My buddy Drew went as a ninja two years ago, and the conversation around the keg resulted in the idea for today's comic.

In case you're wondering about the poster in the background of wherever the comic takes place, see Mueller's Blog.

I'm all about the blog rolling.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Well - I spent the better part of yesterday figuring out how to get my dad's HP 5500c scanner working (apparently HPs scanner software doesn't play nice with any IE version above 6) ... so I figured I might as well make use of the fruits of my labors.

Ever since I began unemployment, I've made it a goal to draw something every day. Sometimes those efforts are dedicated to creating comics, and other days I draw something random or just find a topic online that I want to draw.

On the top are some sketches that led up to the appendix sacrifice comic, and beneath that is a sketch that reveals my incredibly nerdy nature and my extreme excitement for summer blockbusters.

Usually for comics I'll make some rough sketches then start from scratch in Flash. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. As always, click to enlarge.

By the way - sometimes my sharing of Interesting Internets (see links on the right) exceeds the pace of my actual blogging. If you want to, you can subscribe to the RSS Feed for my Reader share and always see what's new and awesome in all the internet stuff I'm reading. Even if you aren't interested in the RSS Feed, just click here to peruse what I've found insightful in the past few days.

Thanks to everybody who has taken an interest in what I'm up to lately. This year, supposedly, the whole idea of blogging is gonna reach it's peak. I'm humbled to think that people actually are interested in what's going on in my life.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I recently found myself in the market for a new cell phone. Mainly because my old phone for some reason broke. It had nothing to do with Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. I swear.

On a completely unrelated note, monkies in plastic balls can be frustrating when used as golf balls.

Aaaanyway, for various reasons that involve Verizon being somewhat evil in general, I switched over to Sprint and got the new Motorola RAZR that fights against AIDS. I was fairly surprised to see Motorola and Sprint had found a cure for AIDS and somehow packaged it into cell phone form.Unfortunately for my bank account, Best Buy wasn't just giving away the cure.

Since there's an abundance of word bubbles in today's comic - I've also included a wordless copy. Usually when I draw these things I add the words last, so I put a fair amount of effort into the art that many times is just covered up. Thought I'd include it for S's and G's.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why you should always check my blog...

I know that typically when I read blogs, I tend to ignore all the stuff along the right hand side of the page (and occasionally the crap along the left hand side as well). Usually you'll find links to other blogs, some minimal profile information, and once in a while some sellout even puts some Google AdSense nonsense over there that nobody'll ever click on. (Last I checked this sellout was apparently hocking Fashion Schools. Wha?)

Not to hype my own blog too much (just go ahead and ignore the title of this post), but I wanted to point out something I feel is kinda sorta unique here at the ol' blogspot. Under the Interesting Internets section, you'll find a whole bunch of random links. These are links that I see in my Google Reader, then publish to my lazy man's blog. Essentially, as I read random internet stuff, if I find it somewhat interesting I'll share it for everybody to see on the above link. The most recent 5 links are also shown on my blog. This way, even if I don't post any original Wheezy content, there's always a small section of my blog that has something new.

Think of it as a little loop hole that allows me to claim new content without really doing anything.

Another point of note is that I used to draw web comics and post them here. I'd like to get back into that habit.

And so, a new comic for you. I've always claimed that it's a good idea to get on the liver transplant list as soon as possible, just in case something horrible happens as I continue drinking away brain cells. I'd like to think my other internal organs agree with that philosophy.

(Click image to Enlarge)

On a related note ... having a cup filled with numerous straws, whether they be crazy or sane, is always a good idea in case of spilled beer.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Ninja Monkeys

This is one of the many t-shirts I created while working at National Instruments. Andy Fenley is a big fan of the trifecta - monkeys, pirates, and ninjas, and so when he brought together a ragtag bunch to try and win a dodgeball tournament, he naturally chose the team name "Monkeys out of Nowhere". When asked to design the shirt, the images I produced seemed appropriate.

I was always a little iffy as to what should be the front and what the back, but ultimately I decided on the slogan "Where'd that Monkey come from?" for the front, so that way you'd have to look at the back to see the team name.

Actually, I just like it when people check out my backside.

The idea was for the second image to be in the small middle of the back, that spot where you can never scratch.

In case you were wondering, our dodgeball team lost in the second round. Oh, and the shirts never actually were made. But it was a B.A. concept, if ya ask me.

Don't worry. Pretty soon I'll be out of old creations and I'll have to start posting something new. I'm making an effort to draw something every day ... so at the very least I'll get some sketches up here. As soon as I find a scanner, that is.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Toll Roads

Well, as some of you may know, I managed to high tail it out of Texas just before the new Austin toll road kicked in. I realize since there isn't any state income tax in Texas that I should be okay with toll roads. But I'm not. It just feels wrong for them to charge me to get from point A to point B if I'm in my own car filled with gas I've already paid for.

Anyway ... now that I'm down here in Florida, tolls are extremely numerous. I was kind of dreading it. My girlfriend emily bought me a SunPass, basically something that you stick next to your rearview mirror that automatically withdraws the money from your bank account. I still think it's kinda evil, but there's something slightly satisfying about the double beep it makes as you pass by all the suckers digging for change.

Anyway .. I saw a billboard for this SunPass thing the other day...

And I had to wonder who thought that billboard was a good idea. I dunno. Just seems odd. Admittedly, it's a billion times better than carrying around and digging through change. But I guess 3% of those who use it feel otherwise.

In addition to my random complaining, I've also got a few new drawings for you. "New" is a relative term I suppose ... I actually made these quite a while ago for my friend Kevin to use as an avatar on his blog. This is Kevin:

And here are a couple of the avatars I made for him.

"Touch of Suave"

"Touch of Crazy"

Some people apparently feel as though they look more like Jonathan Frakes of Star Trek: Generations fame than Kevin, but I was pretty happy with them all the same.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Truck Driving and Walmart Fighting

Well, I've made my way to sunny Florida. After a teary goodbye with some of the best friends I'll ever have (I had something in my eye), emily and I made our way across half the country in a 16' Budget rent-a-truck with my Explorer hitched to the back. Every gust of wind gave me the feeling of impending doom.

Anyway, I'm here safe and sound. And in an effort to give you some sort of creative artistic output on a blog once solely intended for that purpose, I'd like to share a little story with you.

One of my former coworkers at NI, let's call him B. Vasquez for short, came in to work one day with a bit of a messed up face. Apparently he had been sick for the past few days, and late the previous night he needed to make a quick run to Walmart for some o' the sweet sweet NyQuil. Well apparently, a young fellow there with his special lady friend took offense to B. for some reason. The citizen claimed that B. was checkin' out his lady, which I know for a fact could not have been the case since B. really only has eyes for the mystical colors and shapes within the World of Warcraft. At any rate, this guy decided to tactfully discuss his thoughts with B. by smashing his fist repeatedly into Mr. Vasquez's face. Really, quite crazy.

The cops pulled him off B. and took the violent individual to 'tha clink'. We found out later that was his third strike. Surprise!

Anyway, since Mr. Vasquez had been extremely enamored with his new iPod of late and I was bored at work, here's what I whipped up.