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Friday, December 31, 2010

Science Club!




I spent Christmas at my brothers in northern California, and we came up with this gag together when we were joking around. The best humor comes when two similar minds start bouncing ideas back and forth, which is by far the most enjoyable way to create gags.
Basically, we were discussing the way two jock captains would pick teams for a sport in school, and the unfairness of the whole process. There would always be the nerdy guys left at the end which someone had to pick, and the groans and moans that would come up when one of these guys was finally chosen. Just completely unfair and cruel. So, in my fantasy world, the science geeks rule, and the jocks must suffer. heh heh..

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa's Rest Stop



Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hamster House

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mosquito Jack!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Raw Deal



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Simpler Times



You know, in Victorian times there was no such thing as mindless staring at a computer screen all day. It was all about hittin' the books and higher learning! At least that's what I heard. There was no EXTREME anything, just annoyances like Tuberculosis and Influenza epidemics. And time was more precious then, since you didn't expect to live past 40. Those were the days.

I hope you appreciate the extra effort on this one, I just blew half my Saturday sitting in front of a screen working on it. Enjoy! -Ted

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leo Meets Mona



I had to dig into my archives tonight because I haven't had as much time to do new cartoons lately. This one dates from about 1983 or '84. I was working on the Queen Mary ship in Long Beach, in their accounting dept. of all places, when I drew this one up. This was shortly before I broke into animation. I was working there when the Spruce Goose plane attraction opened up. I was a cash controller, and counted a ton of money at that place, and did the accounting paperwork on it every day. I remember feeling I didn't fit in with a bunch of people whose goal every day was to get to a zero balance as early as possible so they could sit around and do nothing till quitting time. Next day they would start the same process all over again with a new set of numbers, trying to make it all balance out again. They seemed to like their repetitious jobs, and that's a good thing, because we need math people, but it was no place for an artist, and I was happy to go when animation called.
Anyway, I remember that I spent a lot of time on this drawing back then, and thought it looked pretty good, but when I look at it now I see how much I've improved. I remember an art teacher telling us that we should keep every drawing we do, so that when we look at them in later years we can see our improvements, but I continue to throw out the crappy stuff. I only need to keep one or two drawings from when I was a kid to know how shitty I was back then. It's funny, but have you ever noticed how mothers will hang onto the worst drawings you did as a kid, even after you've told them that you will redraw it for them much better? And they always bust out those stinkers when company is over. -Ted

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Incident In The Jungle


Let me know if this is too grizzly for ya, hah hah hee hee...
That's the fun of cartooning.. It ain't real!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Animals Gone Wild



I have to say, it's been difficult this week coming up with new gags, I've just been so busy at Warner Brothers. I'm starting to think syndication might not be as daunting a task as I thought, since all I would have to deal with is ONE job. This gag I'm posting is the last of the 40 or so horizontal panels that I had previously cleaned up a couple years ago. I'm not really sure if it's funny or not, but I was happy with the drawing when I finished it. Let me know. -Ted

Monday, November 15, 2010

A note to Marcello



Thank you, Marcello, for your recent comment and continued support. I guess years of doing this is starting to show as far as my composition, staging and draftsmanship goes. I'm humbled that you took the time to even see things that, quite frankly, I'm hardly aware of myself anymore. All my life I've studied the best cartoonists, to try and figure out just what they were doing and why they were successful, I studied the figure and learned to edit it down to a formula that was believable yet also funny, and over the years I've practiced homogenizing my ideas into a visual that would read quickly and clearly.


I can remember, when drawing with other cartoonists whose work I admired, comparing my cartoons to theirs and noticing how much clearer their set ups were than mine, and how well their character's silhouettes and actions read. I believe that's why I have such an interest in doing single panel cartoons; the staging and story telling in that frame is critical because you only have one shot at it... just a single moment, and fine-tuning that moment fascinates the hell out of me. I continue to learn and I'm not always sure when I succeed, so your comment meant a lot to me, thank-you again, my friend.


BTW: When I was at Art Center, there was a general feeling that cartooning was a lesser art form than illustration, which was my major, even though all the theories and disciplines of art could also be found in well-drawn panel cartoons. I began to resent this attitude which didn't make sense to me. I eventually left the school after realizing that cartooning was my true calling, not illustration. I could compete as an illustrator, but my passion just wasn't there like it was with cartooning. Fine artists, musicians and writers move people with their art, but making people laugh is what I crave, and I get a deep sense of satisfaction when I succeed at it. To this day I don't know why. -Ted Blackman



Check out Marcello Vignali's art blog in my links.

Raw Talent

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Career Pride

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sheepish

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Note To Tiffany



Your comment on the last cartoon brings up a good point: In the past whenever I'd show people cartoons that weren't really that resolved (and there were a lot of them when I was learning how to do this), the usual kind response would be 'interesting', since they didn't want to hurt my feelings but felt the need to say SOMETHING. The 'interesting' response while reviewing art almost became a joke in itself amongst other artist friends when we didn't care for something. So, rather than have 'you suck' as the last box to check, I offered up 'interesting' as a choice, which is a nice way of saying; you failed Ted, try again. Or so I thought:

Tiffany, by you checking all three boxes because you REALLY liked the cartoon just blows that theory out of the water. I'm so glad you mentioned that you did that, I would have never guessed. In fact, a couple people even commented to me that they were miffed that on certain cartoons they really liked, that some people only checked 'interesting' , but now I realize that the best compliment would be that a cartoon is interesting AS WELL as funny. I'm not going to delude myself into thinking that 'interesting' is always a positive comment, but obviously I was seeing the glass as half empty, not half full as you are. For that I thank you. -Ted

BTW: I appreciate all comments and check-marks, because it's the only way I know if a gag is strong or weak. You don't have to sign up for Blogger to check a box.
This is no easy task cranking out these cartoons on a regular basis, and your feedback is the only way I have of knowing if you're even paying attention. To date, only about 5% of you are actually letting me know you visited, and you are the few who inspire me on. I thank you for that. -Ted Blackman

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Bedroom Magic

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekend Warriors!


Okay, I revised the art on this one a bit, and put the caption on it that I originally intended it to have. I think it's much better now. Hey, these cartoons are liquid art as far as this blog is concerned, they can morph and change, hopefully getting better all the time. Man Ray did it, so why can't I? hee hee.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crime Scene

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Clown Airbags

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lemming Humor

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Revised Gag



I'm re-posting this revised gag from earlier, in case some of you missed it. I like it better now, though eventually I'll redraw the spider so it matches the rest of the drawing. For me, this blog is the equivalent of Monday nights at the comedy clubs, where stand-ups test out their material for later use in their acts. So I appreciate your comments. Thanks! -Ted Blackman

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Moldy Oldie



July, 1984 was the month and year I started working in the animation industry. This panel dates to just prior to that, when I was working on the Queen Mary Ship in Long Beach in the finance dept. of all places. At the same time I was also doing panel cartoons for the 91-X radio station's newsletter out of San Diego as well as a long-gone rag called the L.A. Funnies, and any other publication that would have me.
These were the days before photoshop and fonts, so the lettering in this example was painstakingly applied by hand. That's real Zippatone too, folks; sticky-backed dot screen patterns that were laid over the drawing and then cut out with an exacto knife. Mistakes in the drawing were either brushed over with white-out or scraped off with a knife. It was no big deal back then because that's the way everyone was doing it. A finished cartoon was something to marvel at, not like a computer file nowadays that has no warmth.
Don't get me wrong, I love Photoshop, and I can't wait to get my drawings scanned and start working on them on the computer. Photoshop is so forgiving it's ridiculous compared to the old ways, and for me, it's like being ten years old again and reliving the thrill of drawing on my very first Etch-A-Sketch.
Also interesting to me about this panel is it may have been the very first time I used a clown theme in a gag. It was only because I needed a visual play on the caption, not that it was really about clowns for me back then. But nowadays I write gags with clowns in them all the time, because I've grown to love them. In fact, I almost called the blog 'Clowns and Caves' because of my leanings toward caveman jokes as well. But everyone seemed to like Crotchety Comics when I ran it up the flagpole at work, so that was that. My occasional grumpiness probably helped sell the idea too, I suppose. Ha! -Ted Blackman

Monday, September 6, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nature's Call

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Web Bugs