Is it funny? That's the only test I know when it comes to cartooning.
Not whether it's sick, or whether it's going to ruin people's values or morals.
You only have to ask a simple question: Is it funny?

- Don Martin (Mad Magazine's Maddest Cartoonist) 1932-2000

On the other side of toon town

This drawing was a direct result of one of the club activities started at the now defunct Jzero's Cartoonist Corner - which was to draw your favorite "action babe" (Lara Croft, Witchblade, Psylocke - that sort of thing). I submitted *my* favorite action babe of all time, Wonder Woman - doing what she likes to do when she's not subduing evil-doers with her golden lasso! (...uh... or so I imagined anyway!) The onlookers in the crowd are all familiar funny papers personalities you might recognize! See how many you can spot!
Just desserts
Not that I particularly find fat people funny... but I noticed that I do tend to draw them a lot. Take this for instance... I did a little newsletter years ago called "Multi Media" in which I solicited stories, reviews and various articles written by friends and acquaintances who shared some of my same interests. The periodical was then mailed to a subscription list of about 200 or so people, mostly comic convention enthusiasts - that sort of thing. Attending art school and having a few cartoonists as friends it wasn't too difficult to get drawings to accompany the articles - but on occasion (primarily to save time) I'd draw a few myself. Without a doubt, one of the funniest articles I did an illustration for came from my longtime buddy, Lloyd. The article called for a cartoon of a rather portly fellow named Mr. Polasky. You can see a newly colorized version of Mr. Polasky as well as read the story by the same name by clicking on his chubby little cheeks.
Digital Jzero
Okay, technically this isn't a "sketch" at all... because none of it came from a sketchbook, or a scrap of paper, or even a napkin - but it was hand drawn, or should I say mouse drawn completely within Photoshop.

A digital photo of myself was used as a guide through part of the process, and then discarded, retaining only the Photoshop rendering. Okay, I think all that mouse clicking has driven me mad! Those eyes are starting to follow me around the room!

An old friend from far away

Years ago, before computers even existed (oh oh... I'm really aging myself now, aren't I?) I used to draw inside the pages of composition notebooks. From cover to cover I would usually draw comics - making up the stories as I went along. I figured nobody else was reading them anyway - so why would it need to make sense, right? Well... that notion has come back to haunt me recently when I showed these stories to my son! Luckily for me he didn't mind the non-sequitors!

One particular story I did involved a furry, sad-eyed alien from deep outer space named Jzero. Blatantly lifting his name from a Cat Stevens song I was fond of (you'll also notice I use it as my online moniker) I drew pages upon pages of this little guy.

During High School Jzero became the subject matter in numerous projects including an unfinished animated film, and a song specifically written for it called "Don't Go Jzero" - performed by my musician friend Dan and sung (rather nasally) by myself. Since then, however, Jzero has been, er... lost in space.

Well, the other day for no particular reason I decided to draw him again - just to see what he'd look like today. I included his humanoid girlfriend Jzera and a forboding hint of trouble about to happen.

Then more recently I decided to take the aforementioned "Don't Go Jzero" song and make a little YouTube clip with it - salvaging another long forgotten project in which my friend Lloyd and I used a modified Grover puppet as the star (I couldn't bring myself to cut off his nose though!) - and a refrigerator box as his spacecraft! That's not low-budget, we're talking NO budget, folks! Fun times... I kinda miss the little guy. Maybe I'll bring him back one of these days!

Updated Sept, 2015:

Just recently dug up one of those early Jzero projects and scanned if for it's on-line debut; a collaborative effort between two 16 year old kids - Keith Brown (today, an afluent illustrator) and myself - whereas we teamed up our characters, Jzero and Leopard, for a fairly intense battle with their arch enemies, Live and Jack O' Lantern! Part One (Dec '76) was literally drawn over loose-leaf paper with the lines going through their faces and everything (what, we couldn't get our hands on proper drawing paper?) but by Part Two (Oct '77) we were stoked with the encouragement of our peers and some nice story ideas submitted by our mutual friend George McClain Jr - and we embarked upon what you can now see here.
Below: Various Jzero bits and pieces done throughout the years...

One Halloween, circa '90s, Everything I learned at the William Shatner School of Acting comes to fruition.
Set Phasers on FFFFFFUNNNN!!!!!

I've always liked Star Trek. Not in the fanatical sense where I knew the name and plot of every episode - but in that it really was a good show. Sure, it had cheezy special effects - and those costumes looked more like pajamas - but I've found that for me the true enjoyment about seeing the show came out of just watching the actors faces - especially William Shatner. I mean, watching Captain Kirk's facial expressions was like to me, a roller coaster ride for the eyes. Especially when he was expressing surprise or pain... the man can act his face off!

One evening while watching a Star Trek rerun I decided to try drawing the two main characters, Spock and Kirk. The first thing that came to my mind was the drawing style of Mad Magazine's Mort Drucker - who did hilarious likenesses of the Star Trek crew numerous times. It's a style completely foreign to me, but seemingly difficult to avoid at least trying. Once you attempt drawing faces like that immediately those Mad Magazine parodies come to mind.

Click on the detail to the right to see the whole, colorized pic... and click here to see the original uncolorized sketch.

Boob job
My sister-in-law asked me to draw this cartoon. She wanted to somehow commemorate an awkward moment that happened to a friend of hers with a little memento she could give her as a gift. To draw the cartoon I had to get the basic run down, which honestly I'm still trying to understand...

In short, this is it... Friend got distracted on way to the rest room. Grabbed handful of tit instead of doorknob. Everyone had a good laugh....

Lawsuit still pending.

One, two, three... wait a minute!
Another day at the drawing board while half-listening to the news resulted in this quick little drawing of a miscellaneous casualty of war. But that's not what strikes me odd about this quickie. I looked back at this and thought to myself, wait a minute... since when did *I* begin drawing characters with four fingers? I know, a common practice in the hey-day of cartoon animation - supposedly to save the animator's time - but it just looked real weird to me... and I think this was the last time I did it.