Fri

03

Nov

2017

A Few Halloween Favorites

Halloween 2017 has come and gone, though a few Kit Kats remain as of this writing. Nope ... just checked. All gone. 

 

Anyway, here are a few Halloween-themed cartoons I scared up recently.

Thu

17

Nov

2016

New cards in stores

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last added a blog post here. Shameful! I've been busy juggling many projects, but I'm determined to get back to regular blogging.

 

One of the perks of working with greeting card companies is getting a lot of free card samples after your cards have been published. Below are three of my more recent cards done for RSVP (Sellers Publishing). Their cards can be found at World Market stores and a lot of independent stores that sell cards.

 

I've been working with RSVP since early 2013, and they are great people to collaborate with. I've lost count of how many of my cards they've published, but I plan to do a tally soon.

0 Comments

Thu

05

Nov

2015

Halloween Humor 2015

I let Halloween slip by without mentioning on this website that I worked up a batch of new cartoons for the holiday. These all appeared on Captain Scratchy.


My wife and I are working our way through the leftover trick-or-treat candy. The battle for the last peanut butter cup ghost will be epic.

0 Comments

Mon

06

Jul

2015

Forgot An Anniversary

The sixth anniversary of my Captain Scratchy website came and went a few days ago, and that fact somehow slipped my mind. You'd think that since the anniversary date is July 4, I'd be able to remember it, but I guess my brain was rattled by all the fireworks and charred meat.


Speak of the Fourth of July, here's a Captain Scratchy cartoon celebrating that anniversary.

0 Comments

Wed

20

May

2015

Thanks, Dave

As I write this, the hour is approaching for David Letterman's final Late Show. I was a Letterman fanatic for many years, rarely missing a show during the NBC years. I still have boxes of VHS tapes containing hours and hours of Letterman. 


I eventually drifted away from Dave's CBS show as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report took more of my attention and Dave seemed stale in comparison. But the run-up to the Letterman finale has brought me back, and his shows these last few weeks have been something special. I'm grateful for the reminder of the greatness of Dave and his brand of comedy.


Dave was a game-changer for talk shows, for TV, for humor. Years ago I dreamed of becoming a writer for his show, or at least a comedy writer of some stripe. I never got to write comedy for Letterman, but I'm now writing comedy largely because of him.


Thanks, Dave.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Feb

2015

Crawling Out of My Hole

Egads! Has it really been months since I wrote my previous blog post? It has, and again I'm reminded how time flies when work is coming at a fast and furious pace.

I am proud to say that even with all the work I've been doing lately, I've still been posting cartoons to Captain Scratchy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday — including the one below for Groundhog Day.

Wed

29

Oct

2014

Halloween Cartoons

I've been extremely busy with newspaper and magazine design projects lately, so I've let my blogging fall by the wayside. But I'm also still creating cartoons at a good pace (though you might not know if if you're a regular reader of Captain Scratchy, which has had some technical difficulties in recent weeks.)

 

In any case, I thought I'd celebrate Halloween Week by posting a few new cartoons. The first one is a tip of the hat to The Walking Dead,where "walkers" is the word of choice for zombies.

This one is, as some might say, "ripped from today's headlines!"

0 Comments

Fri

04

Jul

2014

Captain Scratchy Celebrates 5 Years

My cartoon/comics website, Captain Scratchy, is celebrating its 5th anniversary! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by for a chuckle or two!

 

I post new cartoons — some single panels, some multiple panels — at least three times a week, so if you haven't check it out, I urge you to give it a look! Most of the cartoons are animal related, as you'd probably guess from the images below.

0 Comments

Mon

14

Apr

2014

Little Boulder Cartoon

The cartoon on Captain Scratchy getting the most page views in recent months is from three years ago. It got a lot of traction on StumbleUpon back then, and for some reason it's spiked even higher again. Here it is:

0 Comments

Tue

25

Feb

2014

The Strange Case of the Smiling Dolphin

Egads! I've neglected ye ole blog for far too long. I've been working through a particularly busy stretch, stepping up my newspaper design consulting in addition to a lot of cartoon and greeting card work.

 

I'm proud to say that during this busy period I have not neglected Captain Scratchy, where I continue to post fresh cartoons each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

I enjoy keeping track of the stats for Captain Scratchy, to see which cartoons are getting the most views. The current champion got some traction on Stumbleupon quite awhile ago and has been going strong ever since. I posted it almost a year ago, but it seems to be gaining in popularity each month. I guess people just love smiling dolphins, which means people love all dolphins.

 

0 Comments

Wed

15

Jan

2014

My Downton Abbey card in Hallmark stores

A new season of Downton Abbey is gracing the PBS airwaves and, not conincidentally, my Downton Abbey-themed card is gracing the Shoebox section of finer Hallmark stores across the land! It's the perfect birthday card for any guy who watches Downton but doesn't want his drinking buddies to know.

0 Comments

Wed

27

Nov

2013

A Bounty of Thanksgiving Cartoons

I love drawing Thanksgiving cartoons, probably because I find turkeys and yams endlessly funny. Here are a few of my favorites.

0 Comments

Tue

29

Oct

2013

Halloween Cartoons

If you're a fan of Halloween cartoons and you haven't checked out Captain Scratchy recently, here's a reminder that I've been posting Halloween-related cartoons there for the last week and a half.

0 Comments

Tue

22

Oct

2013

Zombie Halloween card

It's Halloween season as I write this, so here's a Halloween card I created for Hallmark (Shoebox). It's best if you put your brain on hold for this one.

 

I got some helpful art direction from Hallmark for this card. My originally drawing had the waitress as a zombie, but I like that she's a somewhat frazzled living person in the finished card. Hallmark also had me change the main background from orange to black, which makes the card stand out in the rack.

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Mon

14

Oct

2013

When Captain Scratchy Goes to the Movies

From time to time, I like to do cartoons that have a movies hook. Here are a few of my favorites, starting with one I posted the other day on Captain Scratchy.

0 Comments

Thu

03

Oct

2013

Shoebox Donkey

 

I'm filing this post in the category of "I meant to post this earlier, but I just found this picture on my phone."

 

A while back, Hallmark used one of my greeting card characters as a mini sign to showcase some new Shoebox cards. My "Your Ass Is Old" donkey was on display for at least a couple of months, which made me quite happy. You can see the actual donkey card in the lower left corner, and another one of my cards ("Bear Lawyer") in the lower right corner.

 

I wish I could say that I created those Maxine cards on the top row ... because then I'd be rich.

0 Comments

Mon

23

Sep

2013

Sexy Anniversary Card

Here's the cover of one of my cards that's been in the Shoebox line for quite some time (available in Hallmark and Walgreens stores across the land). I've been told it has done very well in the anniversary category.

 

If you're wondering if it's based on my life, the answer is no. (I don't own gray pants.)

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Wed

11

Sep

2013

Four New Cards in Stores

 

I stopped in a Hallmark store over the weekend and discovered that four of my most recent cards have been added to the Shoebox line. There were a total of 10 of my cards in that particular Shoebox display. I always get a thrill when a new card of mine appears in stores, so I was especially happy to see four newbies in the line. Here are the four:

0 Comments

Fri

06

Sep

2013

A Couple of Football Cards

After suffering through the miserable baseball season turned in by my White Sox this year, I'm thrilled that football season is here. To welcome the new season, here are a couple of covers of football-related cards I've done for Hallmark (Shoebox).

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Tue

03

Sep

2013

Bye-Bye, Beach

Labor Day has come and gone, which means that beach season is officially over. If that makes you melancholy, remember that a day at the beach isn't always ... um ... a walk in the park.

 

This cartoon from the Captain Scratchy archives is proof of that.

0 Comments

Fri

30

Aug

2013

Flashback Friday: Too Much Napping?

 

In honor of Flashback Friday, here's one of my favorite comics from the Captain Scratchy archives. Why this one? Because I truly enjoy a good nap.

 

0 Comments

Mon

26

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy, Part III

 

After transitioning Captain Scratchy from a “comic strip” featuring regular characters to random stand-alone cartoons and strips, I realized how much I missed writing for those established characters.

 

Frankly, it’s easier to write for tried-and-true characters, rather than starting with a blank slate. It’s a concept often discussed by cartoonists — characters with an established “voice” often seem to write their own dialogue. Yes, it’s true: Rick Rufus, Angry Horse and Pals did much of the heavy lifting.

 

So I soon found myself bringing back my established Captain Scratchy characters from time to time within the new format, and even creating an even larger universe of recurring characters. A fellow who claimed to be Bronson Pinchot became a semi-regular:

 

Other characters who eventually made frequent appearances were added, including …

 

 … the Petersons:

 

... Merle and Donny:

 

... Fergus and Cowleen:

 

... and, most recently, Mr. Higgins and Kevin:

These days I try to strike a balance between using recurring characters and coming up with stand-alone comics. But even when I write a new panel or strip for recurring characters on any given day, I try to make it accessible to someone coming to Captain Scratchy for the first time.

 

I admire comic artists who work in long-form storytelling, but it’s never been my strength. I’m much more of a joke writer than a storyteller. I’ll leave the storytelling to Angry Horse.

1 Comments

Wed

21

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy, Part II

 

In my previous post I touched on the early days of Captain Scratchy and how it began as a character-based comic strip, featuring Rick (the cat) and Rufus (the dog) and their pals. I was posting new comics Monday through Friday, most of them being multiple-panel strips. It wasn’t unusual for me to go eight panels long, as I did with this one:

 

As I began to take on more freelance work — primarily as a greeting card writer/artist — I realized I couldn’t sustain the 5-day-a-week schedule I’d started with Captain Scratchy. A little more than a month after start-up, I scaled down to 3 days a week.

 

The next significant change for Captain Scratchy came in April of 2010, when I decided to shift the focus from the regular characters to more random cartoons. This was the first one I posted in the “remodeled” Captain Scratchy:

My reason for the change was to force myself to focus on random, stand-alone cartoons — ones that even a first-time visitor to the site could appreciate (in theory, of course). A benefit to this new approach was that I could improve my skills at stand-alone cartooning and single-panel gags, which could translate into the other avenues of freelance work I was pursuing (greeting cards, magazines, various websites).

 

As much as I enjoyed this less restrictive format, the original Captain Scratchy characters kept tugging at my sleeve (which made it difficult to draw). I had to assure them that I'd bring them back from time to time, but not all of them were buying it:

Next time: The former stars of Captain Scratchy learn to accept the new format.

0 Comments

Sun

18

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy

 

Today, a little history about Captain Scratchy, my webcomic site, which I update with fresh cartoons each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

"The Captain," as it's known by absolutely no one, set sail on July 1, 2009. I introduced it as a character-based comic strip featuring Rick (cat) and Rufus (dog). A cat-dog comic! Original!

 

Below is the first-ever Captain Scratchy entry.

Looking at this in retrospect, I see too much "Tom and Jerry" for my liking. I soon decided I didn't want Rick to be cruel to lovable Rufus, so I began developing a warmer relationship between the two.

In order to branch out from the cat and dog trope, I soon began incorporating other regular characters, including Angry Horse and his wee pal, Little Horse.

Here's the first time the aptly named "Chicken" popped up.

Jeff the Lethargic Beaver joined the crew several months into Captain Scratchy. His look has changed throughout the years, but his love for cocktails has remained a constant.

Next time, I'll explain why Captain Scratchy eventually evolved from a character-driven comic to primarily stand-alone cartoons.

0 Comments

Thu

15

Aug

2013

A Tale of Two Cartoons

 

Expanding on my previous post, the cartoon that has gotten the second-most views on Captain Scratchy is this one:

That's about as simple as a cartoon can be, right? Contrast that to another of the most-viewed cartoons on Captain Scratchy:

I often wonder whether most people have the patience to read through a multi-panel cartoon that has a good deal of text, especially if they came to the website expecting to find a quick-hit one-panel gag. So I'm especially pleased that "The Purple Hat" ranked so high in popularity. It's one of my personal favorites.

0 Comments

Tue

13

Aug

2013

Popular Zombie Cartoon

 

The two questions I’m asked most often by strangers are:

 

“Can I borrow your pants?”

 

and

 

“What’s the most popular cartoon you’ve posted online?”

 

The answer to the first question is: “No, but you can lease them at a reasonable rate.”

 

As for the most popular cartoon, here’s the one that has garnered the most views on Captain Scratchy:

I made the cartoon into a greeting card, and it was purchased by a major card company (hint: starts with "H" and ends with "K" ... and isn't "Hullmerk").

 

I'll post some more of the most popular Captain Scratchy cartoons in the next few posts.

0 Comments

Wed

07

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Shark Cartoons

 

Each year I look forward to Shark Week, because it reminds to draw at least one shark cartoon for Captain Scratchy. Here's one from last year:

And here's one from a couple years ago:

Looking through my cartoon files, I think the one below is the first shark 'toon I ever posted to one of my websites. Apparently, I thought it was especially hilarious because the shark's name is "Larry."

0 Comments

Tue

06

Aug

2013

Bears Have Been Good to Me

©Hallmark Cards Inc.  Inside: How are things in your neck of the woods?
©Hallmark Cards Inc. Inside: How are things in your neck of the woods?

I’ve been told that the greeting card pictured above has been a big seller for Hallmark’s Shoebox line. After all, who doesn’t like bears? (Answer: Anyone coming face to face with one in the woods, and anyone who has discovered that one was recently in the house and found the glazed ham in the kitchen.)

 

Below is another bear-based card I did for Shoebox. You can’t go to the “Does a bear $#!% in the woods” trope too many times, can you? I certainly can’t.

 

©Hallmark Cards Inc.  Inside: What you do on your birthday is nobody's business by YOURS.
©Hallmark Cards Inc. Inside: What you do on your birthday is nobody's business by YOURS.

Hallmark/Shoebox bought a third bear-based card of mine late last year, but it hasn’t hit stores yet. I’ll post it here when it does. Let’s just say it compares having a birthday with being mauled by a bear.

 

I’ve increased my bear cartoon output recently on Captain Scratchy, having introduced Kevin and his pooch pal, Mr. Higgins, around the 4th of July. Kevin and Mr. Higgins are fun to write for, as the best cartoon characters tend to be. Kevin comes across as being surprisingly level-headed for a bear, but you get the feeling that you don’t want to push him too far. That’s probably a good policy with any bear.

Fireworks are one thing, but what really rubs Kevin's fur the wrong way is when campers throw shoes at him (unless they're particularly stylish shoes in his size).

 

Expect to see plenty more of Kevin on Captain Scratchy.

0 Comments

Fri

03

Nov

2017

A Few Halloween Favorites

Halloween 2017 has come and gone, though a few Kit Kats remain as of this writing. Nope ... just checked. All gone. 

 

Anyway, here are a few Halloween-themed cartoons I scared up recently.

Thu

17

Nov

2016

New cards in stores

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last added a blog post here. Shameful! I've been busy juggling many projects, but I'm determined to get back to regular blogging.

 

One of the perks of working with greeting card companies is getting a lot of free card samples after your cards have been published. Below are three of my more recent cards done for RSVP (Sellers Publishing). Their cards can be found at World Market stores and a lot of independent stores that sell cards.

 

I've been working with RSVP since early 2013, and they are great people to collaborate with. I've lost count of how many of my cards they've published, but I plan to do a tally soon.

0 Comments

Thu

05

Nov

2015

Halloween Humor 2015

I let Halloween slip by without mentioning on this website that I worked up a batch of new cartoons for the holiday. These all appeared on Captain Scratchy.


My wife and I are working our way through the leftover trick-or-treat candy. The battle for the last peanut butter cup ghost will be epic.

0 Comments

Mon

06

Jul

2015

Forgot An Anniversary

The sixth anniversary of my Captain Scratchy website came and went a few days ago, and that fact somehow slipped my mind. You'd think that since the anniversary date is July 4, I'd be able to remember it, but I guess my brain was rattled by all the fireworks and charred meat.


Speak of the Fourth of July, here's a Captain Scratchy cartoon celebrating that anniversary.

0 Comments

Wed

20

May

2015

Thanks, Dave

As I write this, the hour is approaching for David Letterman's final Late Show. I was a Letterman fanatic for many years, rarely missing a show during the NBC years. I still have boxes of VHS tapes containing hours and hours of Letterman. 


I eventually drifted away from Dave's CBS show as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report took more of my attention and Dave seemed stale in comparison. But the run-up to the Letterman finale has brought me back, and his shows these last few weeks have been something special. I'm grateful for the reminder of the greatness of Dave and his brand of comedy.


Dave was a game-changer for talk shows, for TV, for humor. Years ago I dreamed of becoming a writer for his show, or at least a comedy writer of some stripe. I never got to write comedy for Letterman, but I'm now writing comedy largely because of him.


Thanks, Dave.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Feb

2015

Crawling Out of My Hole

Egads! Has it really been months since I wrote my previous blog post? It has, and again I'm reminded how time flies when work is coming at a fast and furious pace.

I am proud to say that even with all the work I've been doing lately, I've still been posting cartoons to Captain Scratchy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday — including the one below for Groundhog Day.

Wed

29

Oct

2014

Halloween Cartoons

I've been extremely busy with newspaper and magazine design projects lately, so I've let my blogging fall by the wayside. But I'm also still creating cartoons at a good pace (though you might not know if if you're a regular reader of Captain Scratchy, which has had some technical difficulties in recent weeks.)

 

In any case, I thought I'd celebrate Halloween Week by posting a few new cartoons. The first one is a tip of the hat to The Walking Dead,where "walkers" is the word of choice for zombies.

This one is, as some might say, "ripped from today's headlines!"

0 Comments

Fri

04

Jul

2014

Captain Scratchy Celebrates 5 Years

My cartoon/comics website, Captain Scratchy, is celebrating its 5th anniversary! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by for a chuckle or two!

 

I post new cartoons — some single panels, some multiple panels — at least three times a week, so if you haven't check it out, I urge you to give it a look! Most of the cartoons are animal related, as you'd probably guess from the images below.

0 Comments

Mon

14

Apr

2014

Little Boulder Cartoon

The cartoon on Captain Scratchy getting the most page views in recent months is from three years ago. It got a lot of traction on StumbleUpon back then, and for some reason it's spiked even higher again. Here it is:

0 Comments

Tue

25

Feb

2014

The Strange Case of the Smiling Dolphin

Egads! I've neglected ye ole blog for far too long. I've been working through a particularly busy stretch, stepping up my newspaper design consulting in addition to a lot of cartoon and greeting card work.

 

I'm proud to say that during this busy period I have not neglected Captain Scratchy, where I continue to post fresh cartoons each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

I enjoy keeping track of the stats for Captain Scratchy, to see which cartoons are getting the most views. The current champion got some traction on Stumbleupon quite awhile ago and has been going strong ever since. I posted it almost a year ago, but it seems to be gaining in popularity each month. I guess people just love smiling dolphins, which means people love all dolphins.

 

0 Comments

Wed

15

Jan

2014

My Downton Abbey card in Hallmark stores

A new season of Downton Abbey is gracing the PBS airwaves and, not conincidentally, my Downton Abbey-themed card is gracing the Shoebox section of finer Hallmark stores across the land! It's the perfect birthday card for any guy who watches Downton but doesn't want his drinking buddies to know.

0 Comments

Wed

27

Nov

2013

A Bounty of Thanksgiving Cartoons

I love drawing Thanksgiving cartoons, probably because I find turkeys and yams endlessly funny. Here are a few of my favorites.

0 Comments

Tue

29

Oct

2013

Halloween Cartoons

If you're a fan of Halloween cartoons and you haven't checked out Captain Scratchy recently, here's a reminder that I've been posting Halloween-related cartoons there for the last week and a half.

0 Comments

Tue

22

Oct

2013

Zombie Halloween card

It's Halloween season as I write this, so here's a Halloween card I created for Hallmark (Shoebox). It's best if you put your brain on hold for this one.

 

I got some helpful art direction from Hallmark for this card. My originally drawing had the waitress as a zombie, but I like that she's a somewhat frazzled living person in the finished card. Hallmark also had me change the main background from orange to black, which makes the card stand out in the rack.

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Mon

14

Oct

2013

When Captain Scratchy Goes to the Movies

From time to time, I like to do cartoons that have a movies hook. Here are a few of my favorites, starting with one I posted the other day on Captain Scratchy.

0 Comments

Thu

03

Oct

2013

Shoebox Donkey

 

I'm filing this post in the category of "I meant to post this earlier, but I just found this picture on my phone."

 

A while back, Hallmark used one of my greeting card characters as a mini sign to showcase some new Shoebox cards. My "Your Ass Is Old" donkey was on display for at least a couple of months, which made me quite happy. You can see the actual donkey card in the lower left corner, and another one of my cards ("Bear Lawyer") in the lower right corner.

 

I wish I could say that I created those Maxine cards on the top row ... because then I'd be rich.

0 Comments

Mon

23

Sep

2013

Sexy Anniversary Card

Here's the cover of one of my cards that's been in the Shoebox line for quite some time (available in Hallmark and Walgreens stores across the land). I've been told it has done very well in the anniversary category.

 

If you're wondering if it's based on my life, the answer is no. (I don't own gray pants.)

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Wed

11

Sep

2013

Four New Cards in Stores

 

I stopped in a Hallmark store over the weekend and discovered that four of my most recent cards have been added to the Shoebox line. There were a total of 10 of my cards in that particular Shoebox display. I always get a thrill when a new card of mine appears in stores, so I was especially happy to see four newbies in the line. Here are the four:

0 Comments

Fri

06

Sep

2013

A Couple of Football Cards

After suffering through the miserable baseball season turned in by my White Sox this year, I'm thrilled that football season is here. To welcome the new season, here are a couple of covers of football-related cards I've done for Hallmark (Shoebox).

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Tue

03

Sep

2013

Bye-Bye, Beach

Labor Day has come and gone, which means that beach season is officially over. If that makes you melancholy, remember that a day at the beach isn't always ... um ... a walk in the park.

 

This cartoon from the Captain Scratchy archives is proof of that.

0 Comments

Fri

30

Aug

2013

Flashback Friday: Too Much Napping?

 

In honor of Flashback Friday, here's one of my favorite comics from the Captain Scratchy archives. Why this one? Because I truly enjoy a good nap.

 

0 Comments

Mon

26

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy, Part III

 

After transitioning Captain Scratchy from a “comic strip” featuring regular characters to random stand-alone cartoons and strips, I realized how much I missed writing for those established characters.

 

Frankly, it’s easier to write for tried-and-true characters, rather than starting with a blank slate. It’s a concept often discussed by cartoonists — characters with an established “voice” often seem to write their own dialogue. Yes, it’s true: Rick Rufus, Angry Horse and Pals did much of the heavy lifting.

 

So I soon found myself bringing back my established Captain Scratchy characters from time to time within the new format, and even creating an even larger universe of recurring characters. A fellow who claimed to be Bronson Pinchot became a semi-regular:

 

Other characters who eventually made frequent appearances were added, including …

 

 … the Petersons:

 

... Merle and Donny:

 

... Fergus and Cowleen:

 

... and, most recently, Mr. Higgins and Kevin:

These days I try to strike a balance between using recurring characters and coming up with stand-alone comics. But even when I write a new panel or strip for recurring characters on any given day, I try to make it accessible to someone coming to Captain Scratchy for the first time.

 

I admire comic artists who work in long-form storytelling, but it’s never been my strength. I’m much more of a joke writer than a storyteller. I’ll leave the storytelling to Angry Horse.

1 Comments

Wed

21

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy, Part II

 

In my previous post I touched on the early days of Captain Scratchy and how it began as a character-based comic strip, featuring Rick (the cat) and Rufus (the dog) and their pals. I was posting new comics Monday through Friday, most of them being multiple-panel strips. It wasn’t unusual for me to go eight panels long, as I did with this one:

 

As I began to take on more freelance work — primarily as a greeting card writer/artist — I realized I couldn’t sustain the 5-day-a-week schedule I’d started with Captain Scratchy. A little more than a month after start-up, I scaled down to 3 days a week.

 

The next significant change for Captain Scratchy came in April of 2010, when I decided to shift the focus from the regular characters to more random cartoons. This was the first one I posted in the “remodeled” Captain Scratchy:

My reason for the change was to force myself to focus on random, stand-alone cartoons — ones that even a first-time visitor to the site could appreciate (in theory, of course). A benefit to this new approach was that I could improve my skills at stand-alone cartooning and single-panel gags, which could translate into the other avenues of freelance work I was pursuing (greeting cards, magazines, various websites).

 

As much as I enjoyed this less restrictive format, the original Captain Scratchy characters kept tugging at my sleeve (which made it difficult to draw). I had to assure them that I'd bring them back from time to time, but not all of them were buying it:

Next time: The former stars of Captain Scratchy learn to accept the new format.

0 Comments

Sun

18

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy

 

Today, a little history about Captain Scratchy, my webcomic site, which I update with fresh cartoons each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

"The Captain," as it's known by absolutely no one, set sail on July 1, 2009. I introduced it as a character-based comic strip featuring Rick (cat) and Rufus (dog). A cat-dog comic! Original!

 

Below is the first-ever Captain Scratchy entry.

Looking at this in retrospect, I see too much "Tom and Jerry" for my liking. I soon decided I didn't want Rick to be cruel to lovable Rufus, so I began developing a warmer relationship between the two.

In order to branch out from the cat and dog trope, I soon began incorporating other regular characters, including Angry Horse and his wee pal, Little Horse.

Here's the first time the aptly named "Chicken" popped up.

Jeff the Lethargic Beaver joined the crew several months into Captain Scratchy. His look has changed throughout the years, but his love for cocktails has remained a constant.

Next time, I'll explain why Captain Scratchy eventually evolved from a character-driven comic to primarily stand-alone cartoons.

0 Comments

Thu

15

Aug

2013

A Tale of Two Cartoons

 

Expanding on my previous post, the cartoon that has gotten the second-most views on Captain Scratchy is this one:

That's about as simple as a cartoon can be, right? Contrast that to another of the most-viewed cartoons on Captain Scratchy:

I often wonder whether most people have the patience to read through a multi-panel cartoon that has a good deal of text, especially if they came to the website expecting to find a quick-hit one-panel gag. So I'm especially pleased that "The Purple Hat" ranked so high in popularity. It's one of my personal favorites.

0 Comments

Tue

13

Aug

2013

Popular Zombie Cartoon

 

The two questions I’m asked most often by strangers are:

 

“Can I borrow your pants?”

 

and

 

“What’s the most popular cartoon you’ve posted online?”

 

The answer to the first question is: “No, but you can lease them at a reasonable rate.”

 

As for the most popular cartoon, here’s the one that has garnered the most views on Captain Scratchy:

I made the cartoon into a greeting card, and it was purchased by a major card company (hint: starts with "H" and ends with "K" ... and isn't "Hullmerk").

 

I'll post some more of the most popular Captain Scratchy cartoons in the next few posts.

0 Comments

Wed

07

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Shark Cartoons

 

Each year I look forward to Shark Week, because it reminds to draw at least one shark cartoon for Captain Scratchy. Here's one from last year:

And here's one from a couple years ago:

Looking through my cartoon files, I think the one below is the first shark 'toon I ever posted to one of my websites. Apparently, I thought it was especially hilarious because the shark's name is "Larry."

0 Comments

Tue

06

Aug

2013

Bears Have Been Good to Me

©Hallmark Cards Inc.  Inside: How are things in your neck of the woods?
©Hallmark Cards Inc. Inside: How are things in your neck of the woods?

I’ve been told that the greeting card pictured above has been a big seller for Hallmark’s Shoebox line. After all, who doesn’t like bears? (Answer: Anyone coming face to face with one in the woods, and anyone who has discovered that one was recently in the house and found the glazed ham in the kitchen.)

 

Below is another bear-based card I did for Shoebox. You can’t go to the “Does a bear $#!% in the woods” trope too many times, can you? I certainly can’t.

 

©Hallmark Cards Inc.  Inside: What you do on your birthday is nobody's business by YOURS.
©Hallmark Cards Inc. Inside: What you do on your birthday is nobody's business by YOURS.

Hallmark/Shoebox bought a third bear-based card of mine late last year, but it hasn’t hit stores yet. I’ll post it here when it does. Let’s just say it compares having a birthday with being mauled by a bear.

 

I’ve increased my bear cartoon output recently on Captain Scratchy, having introduced Kevin and his pooch pal, Mr. Higgins, around the 4th of July. Kevin and Mr. Higgins are fun to write for, as the best cartoon characters tend to be. Kevin comes across as being surprisingly level-headed for a bear, but you get the feeling that you don’t want to push him too far. That’s probably a good policy with any bear.

Fireworks are one thing, but what really rubs Kevin's fur the wrong way is when campers throw shoes at him (unless they're particularly stylish shoes in his size).

 

Expect to see plenty more of Kevin on Captain Scratchy.

0 Comments

Fri

03

Nov

2017

A Few Halloween Favorites

Halloween 2017 has come and gone, though a few Kit Kats remain as of this writing. Nope ... just checked. All gone. 

 

Anyway, here are a few Halloween-themed cartoons I scared up recently.

Thu

17

Nov

2016

New cards in stores

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last added a blog post here. Shameful! I've been busy juggling many projects, but I'm determined to get back to regular blogging.

 

One of the perks of working with greeting card companies is getting a lot of free card samples after your cards have been published. Below are three of my more recent cards done for RSVP (Sellers Publishing). Their cards can be found at World Market stores and a lot of independent stores that sell cards.

 

I've been working with RSVP since early 2013, and they are great people to collaborate with. I've lost count of how many of my cards they've published, but I plan to do a tally soon.

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Thu

05

Nov

2015

Halloween Humor 2015

I let Halloween slip by without mentioning on this website that I worked up a batch of new cartoons for the holiday. These all appeared on Captain Scratchy.


My wife and I are working our way through the leftover trick-or-treat candy. The battle for the last peanut butter cup ghost will be epic.

0 Comments

Mon

06

Jul

2015

Forgot An Anniversary

The sixth anniversary of my Captain Scratchy website came and went a few days ago, and that fact somehow slipped my mind. You'd think that since the anniversary date is July 4, I'd be able to remember it, but I guess my brain was rattled by all the fireworks and charred meat.


Speak of the Fourth of July, here's a Captain Scratchy cartoon celebrating that anniversary.

0 Comments

Wed

20

May

2015

Thanks, Dave

As I write this, the hour is approaching for David Letterman's final Late Show. I was a Letterman fanatic for many years, rarely missing a show during the NBC years. I still have boxes of VHS tapes containing hours and hours of Letterman. 


I eventually drifted away from Dave's CBS show as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report took more of my attention and Dave seemed stale in comparison. But the run-up to the Letterman finale has brought me back, and his shows these last few weeks have been something special. I'm grateful for the reminder of the greatness of Dave and his brand of comedy.


Dave was a game-changer for talk shows, for TV, for humor. Years ago I dreamed of becoming a writer for his show, or at least a comedy writer of some stripe. I never got to write comedy for Letterman, but I'm now writing comedy largely because of him.


Thanks, Dave.

0 Comments

Tue

03

Feb

2015

Crawling Out of My Hole

Egads! Has it really been months since I wrote my previous blog post? It has, and again I'm reminded how time flies when work is coming at a fast and furious pace.

I am proud to say that even with all the work I've been doing lately, I've still been posting cartoons to Captain Scratchy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday — including the one below for Groundhog Day.

Wed

29

Oct

2014

Halloween Cartoons

I've been extremely busy with newspaper and magazine design projects lately, so I've let my blogging fall by the wayside. But I'm also still creating cartoons at a good pace (though you might not know if if you're a regular reader of Captain Scratchy, which has had some technical difficulties in recent weeks.)

 

In any case, I thought I'd celebrate Halloween Week by posting a few new cartoons. The first one is a tip of the hat to The Walking Dead,where "walkers" is the word of choice for zombies.

This one is, as some might say, "ripped from today's headlines!"

0 Comments

Fri

04

Jul

2014

Captain Scratchy Celebrates 5 Years

My cartoon/comics website, Captain Scratchy, is celebrating its 5th anniversary! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by for a chuckle or two!

 

I post new cartoons — some single panels, some multiple panels — at least three times a week, so if you haven't check it out, I urge you to give it a look! Most of the cartoons are animal related, as you'd probably guess from the images below.

0 Comments

Mon

14

Apr

2014

Little Boulder Cartoon

The cartoon on Captain Scratchy getting the most page views in recent months is from three years ago. It got a lot of traction on StumbleUpon back then, and for some reason it's spiked even higher again. Here it is:

0 Comments

Tue

25

Feb

2014

The Strange Case of the Smiling Dolphin

Egads! I've neglected ye ole blog for far too long. I've been working through a particularly busy stretch, stepping up my newspaper design consulting in addition to a lot of cartoon and greeting card work.

 

I'm proud to say that during this busy period I have not neglected Captain Scratchy, where I continue to post fresh cartoons each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

I enjoy keeping track of the stats for Captain Scratchy, to see which cartoons are getting the most views. The current champion got some traction on Stumbleupon quite awhile ago and has been going strong ever since. I posted it almost a year ago, but it seems to be gaining in popularity each month. I guess people just love smiling dolphins, which means people love all dolphins.

 

0 Comments

Wed

15

Jan

2014

My Downton Abbey card in Hallmark stores

A new season of Downton Abbey is gracing the PBS airwaves and, not conincidentally, my Downton Abbey-themed card is gracing the Shoebox section of finer Hallmark stores across the land! It's the perfect birthday card for any guy who watches Downton but doesn't want his drinking buddies to know.

0 Comments

Wed

27

Nov

2013

A Bounty of Thanksgiving Cartoons

I love drawing Thanksgiving cartoons, probably because I find turkeys and yams endlessly funny. Here are a few of my favorites.

0 Comments

Tue

29

Oct

2013

Halloween Cartoons

If you're a fan of Halloween cartoons and you haven't checked out Captain Scratchy recently, here's a reminder that I've been posting Halloween-related cartoons there for the last week and a half.

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Tue

22

Oct

2013

Zombie Halloween card

It's Halloween season as I write this, so here's a Halloween card I created for Hallmark (Shoebox). It's best if you put your brain on hold for this one.

 

I got some helpful art direction from Hallmark for this card. My originally drawing had the waitress as a zombie, but I like that she's a somewhat frazzled living person in the finished card. Hallmark also had me change the main background from orange to black, which makes the card stand out in the rack.

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Mon

14

Oct

2013

When Captain Scratchy Goes to the Movies

From time to time, I like to do cartoons that have a movies hook. Here are a few of my favorites, starting with one I posted the other day on Captain Scratchy.

0 Comments

Thu

03

Oct

2013

Shoebox Donkey

 

I'm filing this post in the category of "I meant to post this earlier, but I just found this picture on my phone."

 

A while back, Hallmark used one of my greeting card characters as a mini sign to showcase some new Shoebox cards. My "Your Ass Is Old" donkey was on display for at least a couple of months, which made me quite happy. You can see the actual donkey card in the lower left corner, and another one of my cards ("Bear Lawyer") in the lower right corner.

 

I wish I could say that I created those Maxine cards on the top row ... because then I'd be rich.

0 Comments

Mon

23

Sep

2013

Sexy Anniversary Card

Here's the cover of one of my cards that's been in the Shoebox line for quite some time (available in Hallmark and Walgreens stores across the land). I've been told it has done very well in the anniversary category.

 

If you're wondering if it's based on my life, the answer is no. (I don't own gray pants.)

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Wed

11

Sep

2013

Four New Cards in Stores

 

I stopped in a Hallmark store over the weekend and discovered that four of my most recent cards have been added to the Shoebox line. There were a total of 10 of my cards in that particular Shoebox display. I always get a thrill when a new card of mine appears in stores, so I was especially happy to see four newbies in the line. Here are the four:

0 Comments

Fri

06

Sep

2013

A Couple of Football Cards

After suffering through the miserable baseball season turned in by my White Sox this year, I'm thrilled that football season is here. To welcome the new season, here are a couple of covers of football-related cards I've done for Hallmark (Shoebox).

Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
Client: © Hallmark Inc. (Shoebox)
0 Comments

Tue

03

Sep

2013

Bye-Bye, Beach

Labor Day has come and gone, which means that beach season is officially over. If that makes you melancholy, remember that a day at the beach isn't always ... um ... a walk in the park.

 

This cartoon from the Captain Scratchy archives is proof of that.

0 Comments

Fri

30

Aug

2013

Flashback Friday: Too Much Napping?

 

In honor of Flashback Friday, here's one of my favorite comics from the Captain Scratchy archives. Why this one? Because I truly enjoy a good nap.

 

0 Comments

Mon

26

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy, Part III

 

After transitioning Captain Scratchy from a “comic strip” featuring regular characters to random stand-alone cartoons and strips, I realized how much I missed writing for those established characters.

 

Frankly, it’s easier to write for tried-and-true characters, rather than starting with a blank slate. It’s a concept often discussed by cartoonists — characters with an established “voice” often seem to write their own dialogue. Yes, it’s true: Rick Rufus, Angry Horse and Pals did much of the heavy lifting.

 

So I soon found myself bringing back my established Captain Scratchy characters from time to time within the new format, and even creating an even larger universe of recurring characters. A fellow who claimed to be Bronson Pinchot became a semi-regular:

 

Other characters who eventually made frequent appearances were added, including …

 

 … the Petersons:

 

... Merle and Donny:

 

... Fergus and Cowleen:

 

... and, most recently, Mr. Higgins and Kevin:

These days I try to strike a balance between using recurring characters and coming up with stand-alone comics. But even when I write a new panel or strip for recurring characters on any given day, I try to make it accessible to someone coming to Captain Scratchy for the first time.

 

I admire comic artists who work in long-form storytelling, but it’s never been my strength. I’m much more of a joke writer than a storyteller. I’ll leave the storytelling to Angry Horse.

1 Comments

Wed

21

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy, Part II

 

In my previous post I touched on the early days of Captain Scratchy and how it began as a character-based comic strip, featuring Rick (the cat) and Rufus (the dog) and their pals. I was posting new comics Monday through Friday, most of them being multiple-panel strips. It wasn’t unusual for me to go eight panels long, as I did with this one:

 

As I began to take on more freelance work — primarily as a greeting card writer/artist — I realized I couldn’t sustain the 5-day-a-week schedule I’d started with Captain Scratchy. A little more than a month after start-up, I scaled down to 3 days a week.

 

The next significant change for Captain Scratchy came in April of 2010, when I decided to shift the focus from the regular characters to more random cartoons. This was the first one I posted in the “remodeled” Captain Scratchy:

My reason for the change was to force myself to focus on random, stand-alone cartoons — ones that even a first-time visitor to the site could appreciate (in theory, of course). A benefit to this new approach was that I could improve my skills at stand-alone cartooning and single-panel gags, which could translate into the other avenues of freelance work I was pursuing (greeting cards, magazines, various websites).

 

As much as I enjoyed this less restrictive format, the original Captain Scratchy characters kept tugging at my sleeve (which made it difficult to draw). I had to assure them that I'd bring them back from time to time, but not all of them were buying it:

Next time: The former stars of Captain Scratchy learn to accept the new format.

0 Comments

Sun

18

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Captain Scratchy

 

Today, a little history about Captain Scratchy, my webcomic site, which I update with fresh cartoons each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

"The Captain," as it's known by absolutely no one, set sail on July 1, 2009. I introduced it as a character-based comic strip featuring Rick (cat) and Rufus (dog). A cat-dog comic! Original!

 

Below is the first-ever Captain Scratchy entry.

Looking at this in retrospect, I see too much "Tom and Jerry" for my liking. I soon decided I didn't want Rick to be cruel to lovable Rufus, so I began developing a warmer relationship between the two.

In order to branch out from the cat and dog trope, I soon began incorporating other regular characters, including Angry Horse and his wee pal, Little Horse.

Here's the first time the aptly named "Chicken" popped up.

Jeff the Lethargic Beaver joined the crew several months into Captain Scratchy. His look has changed throughout the years, but his love for cocktails has remained a constant.

Next time, I'll explain why Captain Scratchy eventually evolved from a character-driven comic to primarily stand-alone cartoons.

0 Comments

Thu

15

Aug

2013

A Tale of Two Cartoons

 

Expanding on my previous post, the cartoon that has gotten the second-most views on Captain Scratchy is this one:

That's about as simple as a cartoon can be, right? Contrast that to another of the most-viewed cartoons on Captain Scratchy:

I often wonder whether most people have the patience to read through a multi-panel cartoon that has a good deal of text, especially if they came to the website expecting to find a quick-hit one-panel gag. So I'm especially pleased that "The Purple Hat" ranked so high in popularity. It's one of my personal favorites.

0 Comments

Tue

13

Aug

2013

Popular Zombie Cartoon

 

The two questions I’m asked most often by strangers are:

 

“Can I borrow your pants?”

 

and

 

“What’s the most popular cartoon you’ve posted online?”

 

The answer to the first question is: “No, but you can lease them at a reasonable rate.”

 

As for the most popular cartoon, here’s the one that has garnered the most views on Captain Scratchy:

I made the cartoon into a greeting card, and it was purchased by a major card company (hint: starts with "H" and ends with "K" ... and isn't "Hullmerk").

 

I'll post some more of the most popular Captain Scratchy cartoons in the next few posts.

0 Comments

Wed

07

Aug

2013

A Brief History of Shark Cartoons

 

Each year I look forward to Shark Week, because it reminds to draw at least one shark cartoon for Captain Scratchy. Here's one from last year:

And here's one from a couple years ago:

Looking through my cartoon files, I think the one below is the first shark 'toon I ever posted to one of my websites. Apparently, I thought it was especially hilarious because the shark's name is "Larry."

0 Comments

Tue

06

Aug

2013

Bears Have Been Good to Me

©Hallmark Cards Inc.  Inside: How are things in your neck of the woods?
©Hallmark Cards Inc. Inside: How are things in your neck of the woods?

I’ve been told that the greeting card pictured above has been a big seller for Hallmark’s Shoebox line. After all, who doesn’t like bears? (Answer: Anyone coming face to face with one in the woods, and anyone who has discovered that one was recently in the house and found the glazed ham in the kitchen.)

 

Below is another bear-based card I did for Shoebox. You can’t go to the “Does a bear $#!% in the woods” trope too many times, can you? I certainly can’t.

 

©Hallmark Cards Inc.  Inside: What you do on your birthday is nobody's business by YOURS.
©Hallmark Cards Inc. Inside: What you do on your birthday is nobody's business by YOURS.

Hallmark/Shoebox bought a third bear-based card of mine late last year, but it hasn’t hit stores yet. I’ll post it here when it does. Let’s just say it compares having a birthday with being mauled by a bear.

 

I’ve increased my bear cartoon output recently on Captain Scratchy, having introduced Kevin and his pooch pal, Mr. Higgins, around the 4th of July. Kevin and Mr. Higgins are fun to write for, as the best cartoon characters tend to be. Kevin comes across as being surprisingly level-headed for a bear, but you get the feeling that you don’t want to push him too far. That’s probably a good policy with any bear.

Fireworks are one thing, but what really rubs Kevin's fur the wrong way is when campers throw shoes at him (unless they're particularly stylish shoes in his size).

 

Expect to see plenty more of Kevin on Captain Scratchy.

0 Comments