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.