Hey, everybody! As you probably know, I’ve been posting a daily single-panel comic on my other blog – vincentalexanderart.blogspot.com – since mid-2013. And so for the end of the year, I’ve decided to collect my ten most popular cartoons of 2014 (based on likes, comments, reactions… it’s not an exact science) and present them here, with commentary from yours truly. See if your favorite made it on here:
10) SEMI-COLON’S WIFE
Just to instantly prove I’m a nerd, let’s start out with some punctuation humor. I wasn’t quite sure how to draw a semi-colon as a character, and I settled on having him float in the air with eyeballs on the upper dot. It works pretty well, actually, and I could even imagine him as a funny sidekick on some animated TV show. Maybe The Adventures of Punctuation Man, about a superhero with an exclamation point emblem blazed onto his chest. He could drive around on a question mark unicycle, and he could throw periods like bombs. This sounds amazing! To heck with these comics! (Wow, that was quick. I thought I would at least be a few in before I gave up on cartooning altogether.)
9) HUFFING AND PUFFING
I’m sure somebody has used this joke before, but it gave me an excuse to draw a Disney character (yes, that’s the wolf design from Walt Disney’s 1933 short The Three Little Pigs) smoking from a bong, so I count it as a success. Actually, substance abuse-related cartoons featuring beloved pop culture icons are always fun to do (I think I did one where an alcoholic Energizer Bunny tells a doctor that he took one drink and then just kept going and going…). Speaking of which, a few people have asked if I smoke anything to come up with cartoon ideas; the answer is no, but I have been known to sniff a few Sharpies on occasion.
8) A DIFFERENT THING
Charles Addams is one of my cartooning heroes, so it was a lot of fun to use his designs, even if this gag is more of a reference to the TV show (which I also love). I did another Addams Family joke this year that got a lot of good reaction (Cousin Itt getting a perm), so maybe I should just ride the wave and write a script for an Addams Family remake.
7) CD AREA
What can I say? The public likes dumb puns. But if you can get past the wordplay, I think I did a good job on the art in this one. If your CD collection descended into petty crime and prostitution, this is probably what it would look like. I also have a lot of practice drawing dark alleyways, for whatever reason.
6) EGG REBEL
The fact that so many people liked this one surprised me, since it was kind of a rush job. I needed an Easter-related comic at the last minute, and so I dashed this one out. But it ended up being pretty funny, and a lot of people enjoyed it. I do about a million Christmas jokes every year, but Easter humor is harder to come by, so I’m always happy when one pops up.
The fact that I usually have my laptop nearby when I’m drawing possibly accounts for all of the computer jokes I do. I’d like to imagine this is some kind of West Side Story-style argument between PCs and Macs, but it doesn’t look like the computers are differentiated.
4) PEN DATE
Based on the amount gags I’ve done on this subject, you would think I went through some kind of extremely bitter breakup recently. But no, I’m just a cynic, I guess. I don’t remember what was going through my mind when I came up with this one, but I’m pretty sure I just drew a pen and a pencil that were sitting on my desk for reference.
3) FULLY DRAWN
Meta humor is something of an obsession of mine (as a kid, my favorite Krazy Kat and Pogo strips were the ones where the characters acknowledge that they are in a comic strip, and I love the Looney Tunes cartoons where characters interact with the animators drawing them), so I’m always happy when I can think of a gag that comments on itself or breaks the fourth wall in some way. This one gets bonus points since it also allowed me to use pencil in the finished product rather than the usual brush pen.
The reaction I got for this comic may have been due to the fact that it coincided with my actual graduation from the Columbus College of Art & Design, but I’ll take it! I’ve always been vaguely annoyed by the idea that you enter the “real world” after you finish your education, as if school is some kind of idyllic fantasy and graduation means being thrust out into a totally unfamiliar environment. So I guess that viewpoint translated into this cartoon. Or maybe I just felt like drawing a dragon that day. I really don’t remember that period very well, as I was running on about a month of no sleep.
1) WHERE’S DADDY
Far and away my most popular cartoon of the year, I have to admit that I’m pretty proud of this one. I always like combining the poignant and sad with the genuinely absurd, and this is a pretty good example of that balance.
And, as a bonus, here’s my LEAST popular cartoon of the year:
So, yeah. There it is. I guess it was inevitable that I would say this, but I’m pretty sure I’ve done a lot worse than this one. I’m not going to say it’s great or anything, but the flea drawings are pretty good, and it makes sort of a funny dig at patriotism. But maybe I’m crazy, and the joke isn’t very good. Or maybe people just hate fleas. Yeah, well, I have it on good authority that fleas aren’t too fond of you guys, either! AND THEY ARE SMALL BUT MIGHTY! THEY BITE THE HAND OF TYRANNY AND SUCK OUT HATRED AND INTOLERANCE! WHEN THE NUCLEAR BOMBS DROP, THEY SHALL RUN THE EARTH! ER… WAIT, THAT’S COCKROACHES! BUT STILL! FLEAS ARE COOL! Y’ALL ARE IGNINT!
See ya in 2015, everybody!