For those of you who believe my head is in the clouds, now it's almost literally true. My new treehouse studio has been completed and now I'm working in luxury alongside my wife, who paints in her spare time. It's simply a beautiful space to work with giant windows that open to the outside, sliding canvas panels to work and drown on, barnwood tables to spread out on and a fireplace our cat has adopted as his very own fur warmer. In addition, it serves as a helluva music space. In my spare time, I like to jam with musicians who tolerate me and make me sound better than I am. We build this room with a nod to that and already it's hosted a handful of day-long jam sessions. Indeed, you'll see the guitar next to my work area that calls to me on deadline. There's a small pic of my work area next to this post. If you want to see a professionally photographed look at the space - and possibly the only time you'll see it this uncluttered - just click on it. Apparently my builder is as proud of this as we are. Now if he only could provide me with more jokes.
December 31, 2016
LOOSE PARTS WORLD HQ IS MOVING
Well, not overseas. This isn't an inversion for tax purposes. But my studio is moving from the lower bowels of my house to the uppermost part of our home.
I've long had an office in my home. But it was located in a room underground with a lovely view of the laundry room (You'd think I'd have done more Tide-inspired jokes over the years.) I'd often feel claustrophobic down there and would then move to the dining room table just to be around people ... and a cat. When I moved to drawing on the Cintiq and working digitally, the numbers of wires and cables grew like spaghetti in a petri dish. (Note to self: explore petri dish grown pasta as a business idea.)
But now we're going to the big time. My wife and I have been building a brand new studio. For those of you who don't know my lovely wife, when she's not busy being a formidable business woman, she's quite the artist herself. Painting, woodworking, stained glass ... all of it she does quite well. Meanwhile, I draw like a monkey weilding stick. So, after years of planning, and more years of sending emails telling people we can help get them money by accessing undiscovered Nigerian military gold, we broke ground, or roof, in July.
Okay, there've been a few delays. The windows are to be specially made so the whole sides of the room will slide open to the air. Since we live right on top of Valley Forge National Park on a wooded lot, this truly will be a treehouse studio. If you look t the picture, you can see what it looks like right now. That far corner you're looking at is where my work area will be. A kind man in Kentucky is making me work tables out of a barn he tore down. The rest? You'll just have to use your imagination. But things will move quickly, and about a month from now I should be in my new little corner drawing Loose Parts and looking at birds eye-to-eye. Hope it helps the humor. Come back and see what it looks like when it's finished.
December 1, 2015
My Reuben Awards Weekend
Memorial Weekend is a special weekend in the cartooning world. It's when the members of the National Cartoonists Society gather for their annual convention and awards. They're called the Reuben Awards by the by. And I suppose they're the closest thing to being the Oscars of cartooning. This year was extra special for me. Because, in addition to being able to steal shrimp from the buffet tables, Loose Parts was nominated as Best Newspaper Panel. Pretty cool indeed. I was nominated with Hilary Price who does 'Rhymes With Orange' and Mark Parisi who does 'Off The Mark'. They're two giants of the genre and it was special to be mentioned in the same breath.
The most interesting thing was how the voting methods changed for this year. Used to be voting for various categories was passed around to various chapters of the NCS. But this year, they made voting digital and went online. That meant that every member of the NCS got to vote instead of just a relative few. What that meant to me was that the entire membership found my work on Loose Parts to be worthy, and that, my friends, is a very gratifying feeling.
So here's a picture of me with Mark and Hilary. Hilary eventually won and it's hard to be disappointed when you lose to someone you like, and whose work you respect. But a very cool weekend in Washington DC and, I guess, another step to spreading the word on Loose Parts. I'll just double my efforts; try to be funnier, and come back again next year. Hard for me ... but great for readers like you. Thanks.
June 21, 2015
Hey all. As some of you might know, cartooning is just one of a couple of careers I have going. (Yeah, I know. I'd rather be too busy than too bored.) And that begs the question of how I get a daily cartoon done while working a fulltime job and doing other things. Do I have a set routine? Do I have a schedule I keep to? How far ahead do I have to work?
So here's my schedule. I basically think of my week as starting on Monday and ending on Sunday. And it really begins when I walk through the door on a Monday night around 6 PM. I say hello to my lovely wife, who herself is usually just getting back from the office around that time, and by 6:30 I get to work writing. Yep, Monday night is writing night in Loose Parts Land. That means I walk into my bedroom, lie down on the bed with a beer and a cat (and sometimes a guitar.) I put some music on Pandora, grab my trusty little leather-bound journal and ... STARE AT THE CEILING. That's when the work starts. I stare at the ceiling and just think. I wish I could tell you there was magic pixie dust or another secret but it's just letting your mind wander unencumbered, smashing concepts together until something funny comes out.
Because I've been doing this for years, I get in the zone really fast and am better able to recognize a path or a thread that might lead to something odd or funny. And because I started in this biz as a writer, I'm pretty fast. On an average Monday night, I generally write about 10-12 jokes in 60-90 minutes. That sets me up for the week with a few extra that I weed out as I reread them a few days later and sometimes wonder what the hell I was thinking. (That depends on the beer, too, I guess.)
Tuesday night I chill by playing basketball. Sorry, I'm a gym rat so I still head out once a week to run with the young bucks. But if there's a freelance job pending, I'll give up the hoops and slot it in on Tuesdays. Wednesday night is pretty much the same. A good night for freelance or maybe knocking out a Loose Parts. By Thursday night, I'm trying to make sure I have at least two, and hopefully thee, Loose Parts cartoons drawn. Friday night is a night of rest and fun (again, unless I'm really slammed.)
The bulk of my drawing is done on Saturday mornings. I'm up by 9 AM and at the Cintiq drawing away. I'll go until I've got a full seven in the can for that week. That usually takes me to around 2 PM depending on how complex the drawing are that week.
Then Sundays, I use to do the Sunday cartoon color work. That is, I create black and color plates and prepare those for the Sunday color comics sections that carry me. I also use Sunday to do business: marketing, bills, invoices, world domination and that sort of thing.
Then, one week a month, I take all my art from my weekly sessions, assemble them into the single panel frame, add captions and type and tags ... and get my monthly batch ready. What do I mean by monthly batch? For some weird reason I can't remember, I send daily Loose Parts of to the syndicate in batches of 24 ... four weeks of six dailies each. It just works for me that way. I can't explain it. I should add, I create Loose Parts in both single panel format and in strip format. Then I send them both in color and in black and white versions. That menas, yes, I ship 96 versions of daily Loose Parts cartoons every month; and four or five Sundays. Geez, makes me sound crazy just describing it.
But that's the Loose Parts workflow and I'm sticking to it. Hope it works for you, because it works for me.
February 9, 2015
Welcome to my new site. Pretty cool, ey? I think so. I built my old one myself. But the software went obsolete. (Thanks Apple) And I wanted something cooler than I could do. Enter a guy named Steven May who was a fan and and right talented dude himself. He had this vision of falling pieces and animations that would match the weirdness of my humor.There's a little boxfree link at the bottom of the home page if you wsnt to see more of what he does.
I think it worked. Take a look around. But please bear with me as I learn how to update all this stuff myself. Its a new way of doing things for me and it's a little slow going right now. So if it looks a little rough, come back in a few days and I think I'll have things running better.
But it's still the place to come for a little peak behind Loose Parts and how I go about things. And, it is THE place to buy Loose Parts books. Sure, you can go to Amazon. But not only do I get a bigger cut if you buy here, I can personalize the books with doodles and signatures and whatnot. And who doesn't need more whatnot. What's more, I hope to add a few more things to the store so you can get your full Loose Parts fix. If you're so inclined.
So enjoy. And let me know what you think. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 7, 2014
Dave Says to
Please View The Site