Friday, October 17, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ON THE JOB! Lucy's First Comic Book!



Lucy Leffler, who with her first appearance nearly a year ago kicked off this Spiral Notebook Comics blog, has graduated to her very own comic book! It's not a very long comic book, but it is only the first chapter of a 100+ page graphic novel, which when completed will be titled AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAZE (unless I change it). In the meantime, you can download the 7-page story for free and keep it around as a PDF, or print it in case you want to burn it! Either way, I hope you enjoy the story, and that you come back for the rest of Lucy's wild adventure.

Download LUCY: ON THE JOB (5MB)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 4: Holly Barnes, Mystery Girl!

I have a plastic storage bin next to my office bookshelf that is crammed with piles of sketches and finished comics that were all projects I meant to get off the ground, with mixed success. I will be posting these artifacts over the next several days with an explanation of how each project was created and what if any plans I have to continue each one. I hope you find my creative attic-clearing interesting.

COMIC: "Holly Barnes, Mystery Girl!"
STATUS: Making her comeback soon!

Marketing brochure

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 3: "Margo's Comics Starring Margo"

I have a plastic storage bin next to my office bookshelf that is crammed with piles of sketches and finished comics that were all projects I meant to get off the ground, with mixed success. I will be posting these artifacts over the next several days with an explanation of how each project was created and what if any plans I have to continue each one. I hope you find my creative attic-clearing interesting.

COMIC: "Margo's Comics Starring Margo"
STATUS: Shelved Indefinitely



This was my first attempt at drawing a children's comic, and I intended to borrow generously from my own childhood to tell these stories. Like Brian, I was the younger brother of a bossy, smart, funny, deeply unhappy and overweight girl. I think I was onto something with this project, but once again I felt undone by what I considered to be my poor-assed drawing skills, so I abandoned the project and moved onto other things. 

"Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet" (1999)
One aspect of childhood I wanted to capture was how a summer or a Halloween night felt in a time before childhood was as tightly supervised as it is today. I think I came close, but reading these again I think the writing and characterizations are just too weak. I'm having much better success with my current project, another children's summer story that is based vaguely on my early life. So maybe the answer sometimes is to walk away from stuff and come back later once you have a better perspective (and maybe improved drawing chops).

The Great Rockview Clubhouse War (2014)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

UNFINISHED BUSINESS 2: "Time's 5"


I have a plastic storage bin next to my office bookshelf that is crammed with piles of sketches and finished comics that were all projects I meant to get off the ground, with mixed success. I will be posting these artifacts over the next several days with an explanation of how each project was created and what if any plans I have to continue each one. I hope you find my creative attic-clearing interesting.

COMIC: "Time's 5"
STATUS: Gone, But Not Forgotten

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 'Sally Rose'



I have a plastic storage bin next to my office bookshelf that is crammed with piles of sketches and finished comics that were all projects I meant to get off the ground, with mixed success. I will be posting these artifacts over the next several days with an explanation of how each project was created and what if any plans I have to continue each one. I hope you find my creative attic-clearing interesting.

COMIC: "Sally Rose"
STATUS: R.I.P.


Monday, August 25, 2014

SPIRAL NOTEBOOK SPECIAL: DAN PARENT AT 50!



I met Dan Parent in 1985, at the start of our second year at the Joe Kubert School. My first memory of him is that his he looked exactly like Kenny Loggins. And it's true. You look at photos of him from back then with his fuzzy beard and wild hair and you half expect him to burst into a rendition of "Danger Zone". Which he often did, just to mess with our heads.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

LUCY "AROUND THE WORLD IN A DAZE" A Work in Progress

This is a sneak preview of what will become a graphic novel posted here in regular installments. Lucy will be hoppin' around the globe and into plenty of trouble.




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog Parody: Eschaton

Not a comic, and nothing to do with spiral notebooks, but still my own deranged handiwork. A tribute to everyone's favorite Philadelphia Parking Phanatic, Atrios.



The real Atrios blog can of course be found here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

TV NIGHT! LAW & ORDER:"BE PREPARED" PART 3



A few thoughts as we conclude our episode:
  1. I think my Lenny and Jack were both pretty good, but I just couldn't get Mike Logan's hair right. Next time.
  2. One of the perils of straight-to-paper cartooning is the inability to edit. I referred to the victim alternately as "Arthur" and "Alvin".  If I could fix it, I'd stay with Arthur, it's more Law and Order-like. Likewise, "Ben Garrison" quickly became "Stephen".
  3. Also, never name two of your protagonists similarly (Grumman and Garrison). You're just begging to mix them up. 
  4. When I started this comic, my original plan was to create a one or two page quick parody (similar to my WEST WING cartoon). Hence, I didn't give much thought to the murder weapon, so I tossed in the Cub Scout knife just to be goofy. Then I started thinking how fun it would be to draw an entire episode of LAW & ORDER straight (it was), but I was stuck with my goofy murder weapon. Hopefully I was able to pull a half-decent L&O-like plot out of my haste.
  5. I don't think the real show used "dunk dunk" half as many times as I did. Often the characters will just say where they're going, and the scene will cut dunk-less. But lord, I do love me the "dunk-dunks".
  6. I may do this again someday. It was a lot of fun!





Monday, March 3, 2014

TV NIGHT! "LAW AND ORDER: BE PREPARED" PART 2

In which the plot thickens, and Jack and Claire find themselves up against the very wolves of Wall Street! Will justice prevail? (You have seen the show, right?)



And if you're joining us late, you can start at the beginning and play along as Lenny, Mike, Jack and Claire strive to bring a murder case to a close!