Saturday, December 29, 2007

Holiday Work, part 2

Here's another group pic from this year. These guys provided some really bad photos, but I was able to make them work.

Friday, December 28, 2007

ToonWeekly: Cyborg!!!

For the ToonWeekly Cyborg challenge next week, I sketched this version of a RoboMonkey. Now that I read he's supposed to have human and machine parts, per the challenge "rules", I guess his brain is human, and the body is monkey and cybernetic parts. Yeah, that's the ticket....

I drew him kind of quickly, a bit more roughly than I do a lot of these challenges I guess, but I thought it kind of fit the stinky, hairy, uncouth beast he is. Also, this is one of the few completely digital pieces I've done still. RoboMonkey to the rescue!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Remember the reason for the season. Merry Christmas, everyone! May God Bless you and yours!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I also did this one this week, of OUR galaxy's Santa Claus, for Had a lot of fun drawing Santa , and, of course, elves are always fun.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

ToonWeekly - Christmas!

This week's Christmas challenge over at prompted me to draw the Regula-6 galaxy's Santa Claus. Along with all the other members of the Santa Claus Corps of the Universe (SCCU), he wishes you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Work, Part 1

This time of year is crazy busy for many caricaturists, drawing Holiday cards and gifts for both businesses and individuals. This had to be my busiest season ever (Praise God!), doing this kind of work, plus gigs, some character design, and a magazine illustration. So much so, that my time has been limited to post on the old blog here. I'll try to change that in upcoming weeks, if by nothing else, posting some of my Holiday commissions. This one is an interesting story:
I drew these guys, some pretty renowned agents in the field of professional Poker (Who knew poker players had agents?) for the second year in a row. What made it interesting is the fact that I almost didn't draw them this year. They loved the pic from last year, they said, but for whatever reason, decided to go with another artist this year (I think maybe the other artist was cheaper). Then, for whatever reason, they didn't like the image they got from the "new" artist. So they came to me in a bit of a panic, wondering if I could even turn it around as quick as they now needed it. I was glad to help them out, and they loved my version. So, it all worked out in the end.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Toon Weekly : Karate Kid!

On this newest challenge, we were to do character designs for an 80s flick. I chose "The Karate Kid". Originally, I was landing up with some pretty strong likenesses on these, since I am used to drawing caricatures. But, I decided to play with them a bit more. As if this were a real series, and the cartoon producers didn't QUITE have the rights to make the characters look like the actors, but still wanted them close enough not to confuse viewers. We've seen this happen over and over again in licensed series, for real.

Now I keep singing that cheesey song over and over...

"You're the Best! Around..."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Elvis Presley ( aways on my mind ) edited djf

Man, this song gets me every time.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Huckster!

Wow, I like this guy. Lots of other people are starting to as well....

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

ToonWeekly Challenge #3: Loco Madre!!!!

This week's challenge was a female wrestler. I made up a Mexican wrestler named "Loco Madre" for my entry. I am a big fan of the cartoon "El Tigre" right now, and fondly remember "Mucha Lucha", as well as the Hernandez Brothers' comics about female Mexican wrestlers, "Whoa, Nellie" from Fantagraphics Books, as well as all of the female wrestlers in their title "Love and Rockets", so this seemed like a natural for this challenge.

Loco Madre, the crazy mother!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Toon Weekly/ Harry Potter Challenge

Here's my second entry into the character design challenge I've been talking about. It was a "Harry Potter" theme this time. I'm not really into the Potter stuff (too much magic and, I don't want to debate it), but I can respect many elements of the stories and the characters. It was actually a lot of fun to do this one of Harry. I approached it as if the Potter people decided to do a Cartoon Network version of the books, but I still wanted to keep it a little darker colored, with some shadows.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


A few buds of mine from the NCN, Justin Cook and Mike Giblin, recently started a character design challenge. I asked them if they minded if I crashed the party, and, to my pleasure, they welcomed me aboard. I think this is gonna be a cool thing...they're both really talented, great guys. I think doing this regularly will push us to develop our skills, and who knows, maybe even get some nice portfolio pieces for us.

I'm about two challenges behind them, I think, but I'm gonna try to catch up when time permits. IF time permits. Anyway, here's my version of the first challenge, Frankenstein. Check out both of their versions on their blogs, listed on my links to the side.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Baby!

FOURTEEN years ago today, I made the best decision I've ever made, and married the girl of my dreams. Anyone who knows her knows that she is beautiful, inside and out (my toon here doesn't begin to do her justice). She's taught me what real love is, and I continue daily to strive to be a better man...just to try to deserve her.

"Behind every good man is a better woman", I've heard it said. It couldn't be truer than in this case.

Barbie, I love you. Always.

Happy Anniversary, Baby.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

I'll be spending time with the family this weekend, eating way too much food, and will probably not have a lot of time to post. So, till I get back here, have a BLESSED and Happy Thanksgiving. We've got a lot to be thankful for! God bless you and yours!

Recent Gig Pix

Here's some drawings from a live gig a few weeks ago.

I was thinking "Cartoon Network" here.
Here I was thinking more flowing, connecting lines. Ala Hirschfeld, a bit. And a few others from the 1930s and 40s who are lesser known than him.
Finally, what I call my animation character design caricature style these days. Geez, I gotta get a shorter term for it. Anyway, these are three of the styles I worked in that day. I also did one or two that were abstract, I believe, and at least one pretty exaggerated one.

It's fun on gigs to go back and forth between styles. I figure, every face is different, why shouldn't every drawing be? Why, as artists, do we have to stick to one style? I rarely have people say "But I wanted THAT other style I saw you draw in". Instead, they seem to get into it, and wonder how I'm going to depict THEM. It ups the "surprise" factor, I find. Plus, it keeps me artistically fresher, less bored, and less generic with my work.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Busy, busy

Geez, I've been busy. The Christmas season is already upon us, it seems. By the end of October, I start getting Christmas card commissions, and this year has been the busiest one yet. So busy, that I have, yes, let my bloggin slack a bit. Sorry about that! I'll try to do better now that I have my head above water. I really need a version of my buddy Tom Richmond's "Dreaded Deadline Demon", I guess, to post when I'm busy. Hmmm...I'll have to think about that.

Anyway, not only have I been busy, but so has my much better half, Barbie. Here's a recent pic of her working for Coca Cola at a convention. Ain't she pretty? Really, the job just entails looking gorgeous (easy for her), and serving Coke with a smile to attendees at these private conventions. She likes it cause it gets her out of the office, and the pay ain't bad.

Maybe later this week I'll get to post some artwork....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ben 10!!

Ben 10 is my favorite cartoon on the air right now, with Legion of SuperHeroes quickly becoming a close second (and, with the Justice League making appearances, the new Batman toons are pretty cool, too). I recently bought the new DVDs of Ben10 seasons one and two for my daughter Brady for Christmas (shhh! Don't tell her!). The thing about this show is that they've taken lots of old concepts, like "Dial H for Hero", Shazam!, the Phantom Zone, and many, many others and kind of mashed them all together, coming up with a new twist on all of them.

But, really, just the simple concept alone is great.... a kid gets a high tech watch from space that allows him to turn into superpowered aliens. All while traveling the country with his grandfather and cousin in an old RV. Oh, and Grandpa isn't quite as helpless as you first think. Neither is the cousin.

How cool is that? I highly recommend it!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Lord of the Jungle

Growing up back in the 70s, when I wasn't reading comic books, I read the original Tarzan novels. He's always been one of my favorite characters, so I thought I'd take a cartoony swing at him in my sketchbook tonight:
The "real" Tarzan was quite different from the Hollywood versions of him, of course. In Burroughs' books, you really got the feel that he was barely controlling the "animal" side of himself. I put the scar over his eye, since I seem to remember that from the books...the scar would appear whenever he'd go into an "animal rage". The closest Hollywood ever got to him, in my opinion, was "Greystoke" (parts of that were dead-on), and, strangely enough, Disney's Tarzan (minus all of the talking, SINGING animals).

In the comics, I never liked Kubert's take, nor Buscema's, really. But there was a series about ten years ago, that was drawn by Mark Wheatley (don't remember the writer), that had a lot of the true spirit of the ape man.

Oh yeah, and since I'm a child of the 70s, I remember faithfully watching both the reruns of the goldenboy Tarzan of Ron Ely, and the Filmation cartoons. The latter, looking back, were awful. But, I spent a lot of my childhood playing in the yard, reciting the opening, "I am Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. This is my domain, and I protect those who come here. AHHHOOOAHHHHHH-ahhhh-uhhh-ahhh-ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Long live the King of the Jungle!!!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Superman Doomsday

Saturday night, while Mommy was out of town visiting family, Brady and I got to watch a movie in our home theater. I work so much, I rarely get to do that. But, we had a blast. I bought a copy of the new Superman:Doomsday movie out on DVD. Don't read past this, unless you've already seen it. SPOILER ALERT! Spoiler Alert!

Overall, we both really enjoyed this movie. There was lots of action, lots of drama (some pretty heavy scenes for an adult, much less a nine year old). And, despite the convoluted original story in the comics that this is adapted from, they made a decent story of the whole "Death of Superman". That was the good.

Then, there was the bad:
1. The art-Luthor was too skinny. Superman has really weird lines in his face. Cheekbones? Brady said they were wrinkles. Where are Jimmy's freckles? Only Lois looked good...and she looked REALLY good.
2. It was too adult....come on, Superman and Lois getting it on at the Fortress of Solitude, then back at her apartment? In the comics they were married by the time of this story. Having them not married, kissing, and walking around in their ROBES, wasn't cool. Brady said "So, they're living together now?"
3. The story. Yeah, I know I said they made a decent storyline out of it...but the original was AWFUL. This one, as much better as it was, still has huge, gaping holes in it.

All in all...I'd give it 3 out of 5 stars. Regardless, we really enjoyed it, and that's what counts.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

What the????

From my nine year old daughter's blog, at " ":

This past Summer, Brady finally got to take the Cartooning class she's been waiting to be old enough for, at the Orlando Museum of Art (They actually called for me to teach it, but I was too busy). On the final day, when I went to pick her up, she had this big poster board in hand with her project from the last few days. Their assignment was to come up with a story, and draw a comic page of it...
The story, she told me, is that a girl finds a lsot dog (Brady REALLY wants a dog these days), and the dog is sad. The girl takes the dog to the mall, buys him a collar, and then they leave the mall, and live happily ever after.

I knew something was "different" when I looked at this page, but couldn't determine what, exactly. I knew that it was odd that she'd made an unconventional panel arrangement that was still readable. But then, she pointed out to me, she'd made the story IN THE SHAPE OF A DOG.

I was speechless. I have scanned in and highlighted the page here to the best of my ability (although it doesn't do the original justice). Making unconventional pages, in the shape of the thing you're talking about? Geez! I didn't even know about this until college, when I read Will Eisner's books on storytelling. How on earth did she know about it?

I still don't know. And, I even, her teacher never said to do anything like this. She just "came up with it". I guess all that comic book reading we've been doing rubbed off, somehow.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Abstract from recent gig

Here's a pic I did on a recent gig. People who know me often ask if I do abstracts "live", in a couple of minutes like my "normal" caricatures. Here's proof that I do. Actually, I probably do this quicker, as I kind of see every face like this, basically first, then add more stuff in, if I'm drawing "normal".

Are any caricatures normal, though, now that I think of it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Here at the Parham house, we're not big into Halloween...the whole dark and evil thing doesn't quite jive with our religious beliefs. Obviously. Different Strokes for different folks, ya know? Some people love Halloween, and that's great. For us, we'd rather dwell on other, less "dark" things.

HOWEVER, I have tons of great childhood memories of going door to door, yelling "Trick or Treat!", and eating candy until we were sick. This piece (which I drew last year, but recently updated a bit) kind of encapsulates that feeling of innocent fun for me, with a "Star Wars" twist. We actually take our girls to the huge Fall Festival that First Baptist Church here locally puts on each year for the community. It's a great time for the kids, and is a safe environment. Later, I take Brady around our neighborhood, door to door. She dresses only as "good" characters (so far, Spiderman, a princess, Supergirl, and Jessie, the cowgirl from Toy Story), and we avoid the houses with decorations that are too evil looking. We have a great time.

No matter how you feel about this celebration, have fun, and keep safe out there!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Richmond invades Orlando

Best bud Tom Richmond was in town with his family about two weeks ago, and gave me a call from the airport when he landed here. He was up against the wall on a deadline for a big job, and only had his laptop with him on vacation. So, he asked if he could come over the next day and take over my studio, using my Wacom....

I told him of course he could. Plus, since I am a huge fan of his work on MAD, I told him to change the settings on my computer, wacom, and pen to whatever HE normally used. Between that, staring over his shoulder, and asking lots of (to him) stupid questions, I figured maybe a teensie weense bit of his coloring method would rub off on me. How often does one have this kind of learning opportunity?

This pic was taken when Tom was stuffed from our lunchbreak to my favorite burger place, Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I always try to take my guy friends never fails to impress. Must be something about all the grease and red meat...guys love it.

Anyway, as for the talent rubbing off on me...well, I can see SOME progress in my coloring since this day. Seriously. I understand a lot of things better. Thanks for letting me bug you while you worked, buddy!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Justin Cook!

A buddy of mine from the NCN and the internet, Justin recently finished Steve Silver's character design course through Bobby Chiu's Schoolism a bit ago. Steve and I are good buds, and I talked to him months ago when he was here at my house about this course. He was really excited about doing it, and if Justin's work is any indication, it was a very successful course. Take a look at Justin's recent work, like the guy above, to see what I mean:

A recent Gig Pic

I was just playin with line on this one...

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Here's a pic I was playing around with awhile back, just trying to ink directly on the Wacom. Gotta keep working on the inking, but I do like the character design pretty well. He looks funny, and that's all that counts!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Goofy Hulk

I love drawing goofy versions of Super Heroes....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lead Nite Out!!

Over the years, in our "day job" of owning and operating our retail/party caricature company, Caricature Connection, Barbie and I have been very blessed to work with some of the most talented, reliable, loyal, and all around COOL artists in the world. We stay so busy with everything, that we can't be out "in the field" all the time. But we have our "Leads", or I guess what most businesses would call managers, that are out there every week at parties and our retail stands, entertaining guests, helping train our other artists, and generally being liasons to Barbie and I.

The other night we had a get together for all of our Leads and their better halves at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse her in Orlando. I thought I'd share some of the photos....

Lead Manager Ted Tucker and his lovely wife, Marie.

Marco and Laura Garcia, Barbie and I, Brian and Vivian (Char?) Wright, Kenny Durkin

Michael Duron (Doodlebug), Thomas (our Cyber Lead/webmaster) and Rene Florimonte, The Tuckers, Debra and Jeff Carrier
The whole gang!
Jeff and his..uh...chicken...

We had a great time, talking, eating, and just hanging out with everyone. Thanks, everyone, for coming, and for all the great work you do!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Make mine Moxie....NOT

A few weeks back, on our San Fran trip with Tom and the lovely Anna Richmond, I had the opportunity to introduce Tom to the legendary Moxie soft drink. Moxie, for the uninitiated, tastes TERRIBLE. An early rival to Coke and Pepsi, it's vaguely black licorice taste just couldn't compete in the Cola Wars. But, it still exists. Most people are like me, and hate the taste. But, it does have it's fans. I learned about Moxie about ten years ago on a history of soft drinks show on A&E. Then, I got to taste some a trip to L.A., to the world famous Farmer's Market, shortly after.

It takes moxy to drink Moxie! Tom, in his defense, did finish his bottle of it. All I had to do was smell it, to remember that taste. Actually, the word "moxy", meaning guts, nerve, etc., probably entered the English language BECAUSE of this drink. To learn more, read:

Weeeee Dogggggieeee!

Being only a couple of generations removed from being a moonshine drinkin', outhouse usin', washboard strummin' hillbilly myself, I get a kick out of drawing cartoon hillbillies whenever I can. This one from a gig two weeks ago, is a pretty good example.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

After the M&Ms....

After the big M&M gig, later that night I had another gig. It was INCREDIBLE to be able to draw noses again! And to have more face shapes! Here's one I liked:

And a shot of just the drawing.
Love those gray Chartpaks!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


One of the gigs I did last week was for the MARS candy company, drawing people as M&Ms. I worked for them for two days. On the first night, it was in between two other "normal" caricature gigs the same day. That was the toughest day of the gig. Obviously, M&Ms are round so we had three shapes we could pick from- completely round, oval, big at the bottom, or oval, big at the top. Not a lot of variety for our face shapes. Then, M&Ms also HAVE NO NOSES. AARRGGHHH!!! For some faces, this works fine. The nose is a subordinate detail anyway on them, so they don't need the nsoe to make the likeness. But for other faces, YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED THE NOSE. Man, there was this one guy with a HUGE honker of a nose, and I had such a hard time resisting drawing it. My likeness, without it, really sucked. If I'd had his nose in the pic, though, it would've been dead on. Oh well.

The second day of this gig, I started adding props to people, and a bit of background. I hadn't done that the first night. This made the gig go so much quicker. That first night, with no props, just big round noseless heads over and over.......


But by this day, I was feeling a bit more inspired. Probably the sleep the night before had helped as well. Three gigs in one day that previous day made me pretty tired.

A fisherman. Duh.

A Karate M&M. The model was a nice guy who coulda kicked my butt in about two seconds, I'd guess. He's a black belt in a bunch of things.

I liked the likeness pretty well on both of these, actually. CONSIDERING the obvious limitations inherent in the style. I kept that official M&M cheat sheet above my paper, to keep me more "on model", and to remind myself not to draw noses!

All in all, it was a great gig. Great client, great fellow artists I worked with, great crowd of people.

Plus, we got lots of candy, so we're all stocked up for Halloween around here! BONUS!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lunar Donut, revisited

These are pinups of two of my characters, from the long defunct comic book Lunar Donut, that my bud Ted Tucker and I used to publish. A fan from back then (hi, David!) recently tracked me down and wrote me , asking if I'd draw him a sketch of one of the characters, Lyla, from my book, for his original art collection.

Nick Steed

I of course obliged, and sent him the original. These two were done later, since I was still feeling inspired. It was cool to hear from a fan, and also cool to reimagine these characters. I've changed so much in the past decade, and hopefully my art has evolved, and improved over that time. So many new influences have come into my style, changing it, that it was fun to see how I'd draw these characters if I did the book today.

Publishing Lunar Donut seems like a lifetime ago. The name was nonsensical, but catchy. It was intended to be our anthology title, the features of which we would've spun off into independent series. At least that's what we told ourselves. Probably, since I was the only one with more than one feature in the book (Nick Steed and RubberRoy and MonkeyBoy), it was really just a reflection of my own very short attention span. Looking back, with 20/20 hindsight, I don't know that drawing a regular title, month in, month out, would ever have been a good fit for me. Sounds like a nightmare, truthfully. Back to the short attention span.

Anyway, Lunar Donut was actually beginning to get some steam going in the mid-90s, and got some positive press from the trade mags and the infant internet. Then, reality hit. Ted and my "real jobs", drawing caricatures at Disney, kind of imploded on us. So, my wife and I started our own caricature company, with Ted as our manager. Drawing here in sunny Florida, we were able to make it, but it sucked up ALL of our time, just to keep afloat. THAT'S what really happened to Lunar Donut. If we'd stuck with it, if we'd had the time and resources, who knows what could've been? Maybe nothing, but who knows?

Fast forward ten years since our last issue. Ted and I are doing pretty well now, thanks be to God (we both reconnected to God in the past decade), and our families and business are doing great. We both "keep our toes" in the comic biz, so to speak, occasionally doing projects here and there for other small press publishers. Lunar Donut Press has published my book, "Let's TOON CARICATURES", available through my site and Amazon, and, most recently, Ted's sketchbook. We may even have some other projects in the works in the near future. So, Lunar Donut is FAR from Dead.

Thanks for letting me draw these characters again, David. It was a blast.

Rock n Roll, Daddy-o!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

How stupid are we?

...That we need this sign above the sinks at Disney World?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Two from new gig

Man, I got back in from our leisurely trip to Callie, and was crazy slammed with gigs. An all dayer on Tuesday, three gigs on Tuesday, and an all dayer on Thursday. My eyes were crossed by yesterday, and I was seeing faces when I laid down to sleep. I took a good many photos, so I'll try to post some of them. Here's three pix of two drawings. For the first drawing, I also included a photo of the model. When you photograph them, they never give you the look they were posing with when you drew them! Ugh!

I got a lot of my inspiration for this one from Hiro's costume on "Heroes", the TV series, that we faithfully watch in my house. I kinda like the little ninjas in the background.
This next guy, I just thought was a pretty cool pic. He was part of a big, wild group. They were all partyers, and a lot of fun. I needed that for my third gig of the day.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

San Fran, continued

I vaguely remember watching the opening credits of "The Streets of San Francisco" TV series when I was a kid. That was the first time I saw those huge hills of the city. Since then, of course, I've seen them in countless movies and TV shows. But this was my first time to see them in real life. WOW. I don't know how well you can see this pic on here, as its kinda small, but standing at the top of this street, looking down, was BREATHTAKING. And dizzying. Yikes.
Driving up and down these streets was so wild. Down it was like being on a giant rollercoaster. Up, you felt like your car wasn't going to make it. You almost felt as if the car would fall over, and flip backwards down the street. Weird. Plus, it is amazing how people park on these streets. I can barely parallel park anymore on the flat streets of Florida. I can't imagine doing it here.

Thusday our great friends Tom and Anna Richmond flew in. We drove up to Sant Rosa and had dinner with Jeannie Schulz, the widow of Charles Schulz, creator of the PEANUTS strip, , Stefan Pastis (creator of the "Pearls Before Swine" comic strip) and his wife, and Anna's Brother and sister and law. We has a great time. What a cool bunch of people. Anna took photos with her high tech camera, but I didn't get any. When I get copies from Anna, I'll try to post them.

Friday, we went to the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Tons of comic strips and exhibits on the PEANUTS characters and Schulz himself were there. If you know me, you know I bought some books in the giftshop! Even cooler, perhaps, is that Jeannie Schulz, met us there and gave us a top secret tour through the offices of Creative Associates, the Schulz company's headquarters. This is where they do all of the licensing art, contracts, etc., etc., for all of the PEANUTS merchandise around the world. Paige Braddock, of the strip "Jane's World", works there, and it was cool to meet her as well.

Jeannie Schulz was a great, gracious host on our trip to Santa Rosa. I think she's gotta be in her 70s, and is incredibly active still. Besides being a shrewd businesswoman and keeping tight reins on the entire Schulz empire, she pilots her own plane, and takes trapeze lessons with her granddaughter, if you can believe it! I have this one photo of her right now, with her cool little yellow truck with the Woodstock stripes on it...
Thanks for the hospitality, Jeannie!

Tom and Anna
Joe and Kelly ( Anna's brother and sister in law ,who are graciously letting us stay in their beautiful home in nearby Geyserville)
You know who