Monday, November 3, 2008

Ask Dan

I got a few questions from yesterday's post about my drawing process, so I thought I'd answer them here:

Do you take notes during the day when ideas occur to you?
No. Ideas never occur to me unless I'm sitting down to write cartoons, which I only do first thing in the morning. 99% of all my cartoons have been written in the first hour of the day. After that, the voices in my head begin and I can't hear myself think.

What do you do when your hand slips and you make a mistake?
I've been doing this daily since I was a child, so my hands don't slip any more. On the rare occasion when I do make a mistake or want to change something, I just do it on my computer. If the original art sells or gets donated to a charity auction, I fix the art with a little touch of opaque white ink. The last time I made a mistake bad enough that I had to start over was in 1995 when my first wife unexpectedly announced she was leaving me for a woman and both of them were joining the Israeli Army.

You've shown cartoons that have been rejected for Bizarro, can you show one that was rejected, then accepted after revision?
No. I never rewrite and resubmit a cartoon, in my mind it either works as is or it doesn't. The only exception I can think of was once when the syndicate rejected a cartoon for political reasons. I really liked the cartoon and had no other market for it, so I resubmitted it a week later without changing it at all except to dust it with baby powder. Sometimes the smell of baby powder makes people happy. They still rejected the cartoon, though.

I was hoping you would link the words "oil painting" to Bob Ross.
The next time you have a brilliant idea like this, tell me BEFORE I publish the post.

Why don't you just use the Cintiq screen for the entire image?
That's a good question and one I asked myself when I first got the screen. I have done that on occasions where I was living away from home for an extended amount of time, like when my wife and I spent a couple months in a jungle cottage in Costa Rica. Instead of bringing tons of art supplies, a scanner, my computer and my screen, I just brought my Cintiq screen and a laptop. I did all the art on the screen, start to finish, then uploaded it via Internet. (Which was the only electronic convenience the cottage had, oddly enough.)
Problem was, there was no physical art to sell to collectors, donate for auctions, etc. So I went back to drawing them on paper, which I prefer anyway.

Where do babies come from?
You wouldn't believe me if I told you and the story would probably make you a little queasy. Let's just say, the less you know, the better.


David Steinlicht said...


I'm a very big fan of your work. Your drawing style is great! It's so fluid and natural and fun. Your lettering is also pretty darned wonderful. And the gags are funny.

As long as you are getting technical and picky in this post, here's a picky question for you:

What about the typeface you use sometimes for your lettering? It's based on your actual lettering, for sure, but the typeface is a little more regular-looking than your lettering.

What are your thoughts on using a typeface over hand lettering? Obviously you're okay with using a typeface sometimes -- as long as it fits with your drawing style.

--David Steinlicht

Anonymous said...

Ideas also occur to you when you view the comics of young vulnerable artists who hope for the advice of a comic strip veteran.

Unknown said...

Yay yay yay! Bob Ross. I think you just made my entire week. I bow to you.

derekamalo said...

frans back :)

Anonymous said...

Fran never left. Where were you?

Jeremy said...

My questions is: What do you drink/eat to be able to think clearly in the first hour of each day? Or is that maybe the secret? I sometimes get my best ideas in the shower trying to wake up:

isee3dtoo said...


Thanks for all the tips and information. It is really great to see an artist take their time to explain how they do it. Now how do you I get you to speak at Villanova in Philadelphia for next to nothing?

Jezzka said...

I've seen you inking before, your forgot to mention the flickering lights, the rattling windows and the swirling tornadoes that descend into your living room everytime your pen touches paper; you're a magical wizard.


SAYOTTE316 said...

Then jeremy spends the rest of his day wishing death on great guys like mike Duffau rest in pece.

i googled him and found death notice in paper

isee3dtoo said...


I normally don't do this but I have to. I am so tired of people jumping on people and saying how bad it is that someone wished someone dead. As the Eagles sing "get over it". However what is interested is there is no proof. Doing a little digging you find...

Mike Duffau's profile on blogspot is located here and it mentions he is a writer and amateur boxer.

It has a link to his webpage and the last logon is today.

If you go to his myspace page he logged on today.

You say you did a google search and found his death notice. I did a google news and web search, I did a yahoo search, I did an obit search. I searched for mike duffau, michael duffau, even duffau. I searched the LA Times, the NY Times and I have learned more about boxers than I ever thought I would. Mean Mike Duffau is an interesting writer.

No where can I find that he is dead. For the past five days I have looked. And you just wrote "i googled him and found death notice in paper". I am sorry dude or dudette but no where can it be found that Mike Duffau has died.

But even if he has Jeremy did not spend the rest of his day wishing death on anyone. Hey the only person who can keep a though about Mike and Death for an entire day is you.

Please oh, blog lords, make it end. BTW, wishing death doesn't work. I know I am still alive and my students wish death on me on a daily basis.

Piraro said...

david steinlicht–
Thanks for the nice words. I used to do all my lettering by hand, then I hired a guy to create a font from my hand-lettering. It's what I use almost exclusively now and it saves me tons of time. I have no qualms about any technological solutions to art, as long as the final product looks good.

Thanks also to Jezzka for her nice words. What she never mentions is that she is a talented documentary filmmaker and hangs daily with the likes of the Maysles brothers.

David Steinlicht said...


Thanks for your reply!

Yes, your personal lettering (hand or typeface) is an important element of your art. I'm glad you are using such a smart typeface. It seems to swap in multiple versions of letters -- sustaining the hand-lettered look. Nice!


Maxamillion Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing!

I don't know if any other cartoonists share their creative process on their blogs, but I suppose I'd have to be subscribed to their blogs to know that.

The best thing I do within an hour of waking up is to get out of bed, so it's interesting that's when your best stuff comes out.

Also, I found a seashell by a highway and I hear cars inside. Is that weird?

Jeremy said...

I normally try to ignore trolls like SAYOTTE316. Thank you, isee3dtoo, I appreciate you sticking up for me.

I of course never wished Mike death. I took offense at his attitude towards women. I told him that and he invited me to either hate him or like him, so I voted the ladder.

If he is in fact dead, it has nothing to do with me. Seeing as isee3dtoo did some research and came up empty, it is obvious that SAYOTTE316 is just being a troll and trying to drum up manufactured political distractions. As you should know, Barack Obama and Stephen Colbert officially put those On Notice: