This was my first attempt of “walking animation”. There isn’t too mush difference between the two versions, except the second has a higher resolution and better spacing between the walking figures.

(Soliciting Celeste. 2002)                                                                 (Something about Celeste. 2007)

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I like the idea of Paige being her own Devil’s Advocate and arguing with herself. In the second version, I like the different body postures and facial expressions while she is having a conversation with herself. The first one seems just too static to do the story justice. I envision Paige as an outspoken progressive and a feminist, which is at war with her professional side working in advertising. She hates her job and she hates the fact even more that she is good at her job.

Bill Watterson used to draw televisions, radios, telephones, and other appliances bouncing in the air while on or active. I tried to do that with my drawings of televisions while my characters were watching TV. When Watterson did it, it looked cool; when I did it in Soliciting Celeste, it just looked stupid. “Why is the TV floating in the air like that?” It just looked weird and didn’t work, so that’s why I stopped doing it.

In every Soliciting Celeste, I wrote on the television “Rotas”, “Opera”, “Tenet”, “Arepo”, and “Sator”. They are Latin words that don’t really mean anything in particular by themselves, but together it is a 5 step puzzle that early Christians used to avoid persecution during the Roman Empire. By writing these words on the TV, I was making a commentary statement that television has become our new god in America. Frankly, it was such an obscure joke that worked with nobody. That was the second habit in my artwork that I dropped when I started Something about Celeste.

(Soliciting Celeste. 2001)                                                                 (Something about Celeste. 2007)

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This was one of the first Celeste ‘fantasies’ I ever made. I tried to draw Celeste in the first panel in an anime style. Frankly, I should have done more research and looked at more drawings. The Common Ground ‘Sunday’ is one of my least favorites. I rushed through it ( I think I only spent 2-3 hours making this one) and the art looks sloppy. The ninja’s body postures are all at weird angles and Celeste’s face in the second panel looks awful. And the Japanese script is all gibberish, I didn’t have the decency to even try to find real Japanese text (even if all it said was “Eat at Joe’s”).

The Something about Celeste ‘Sunday’, on the other hand, is one of my favorites. I like the silent first three panels (except for the ‘smack’ and ‘crack’ sound effects), the reader just adds the noise in their imagination while they read it. (Hi-Ya!!) The center panel is of Nagoya Castle which alone took me two days to make. I think the pacing and layout works really well. The punchlines are the same because that was the only thing working in the Common Ground version.

(Common Ground. 1999)                                                                 (Something about Celeste. 2007)

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This is a silly comic from my high school days. It is one one of my few comics in which my penultimate panel is funnier than my punchline. For reasons beyond me, I thought this sophomoric idea would be a good candidate for a revamp. I tried to redo this comic as early as 2005, but I just couldn’t get the art right. I would go and come back to this strip for the next two years, drawing a panel here or there, but never accomplishing more than half of it. My problem was getting the supermarket scene, as opposed to just having a blank background, and drawing the different vantage angles of Chris. I threw away half of my sketches of him. Finally, in 2015, I forced myself to draw this strip from scratch. In a mere 3 days, I drew the whole thing from start to finish. I’m still not satisfied with it, as I think there are too many visual elements competing in it and the layout looks too “busy”. But, whatever. Having accomplished a particular strip that I had been working on and off for several years brought me a certain relief.

Originally,  I was going to keep first punchline: “That is a good enough reason to take some time off”. However, a few years ago, I started to see terribly funny memes of real shoppers at Wal-Mart who don’t know how to dress in public. I thought I would jump on that idea of weird-dressing (cross-dressing?) shoppers and use that instead as my new punchline. I think it works better that way.

(Kevin/Censored Comics. 1995)                                                                 (Something about Celeste. 2015)

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“Monster under the Bed”

Obviously, I get most of my ideas from Calvin & Hobbes, and there have been numerous C&H comics dealing with the monster(s) under Calvin’s bed. Watterson even titled a book over that. (1*) But alas, this idea actually comes from Bloom County, specifically Binkley’s Closet of Anxiety and the monster that lives there. (2**) Even the punchline is the same. Needless to say, I’m not the most original or creative cartoonist out there. My apologies.

In my Common Ground strip, I had a skeleton who resided in the apartment hall closet where Celeste and Diane lived.  The storyline was it was a manifestation of Celeste’s anxieties, but it wasn’t properly executed so I dropped the idea. The Common Ground Sunday strip was a stand alone idea. I liked the idea (I especially thought Diane’s obliviousness in panel #5 was funny) but the art looked ugly (panel #4 is okay), even for my standards back then. Seventeen years later, I took another stab at it. Perhaps, I may even make the monster under the bed a recurring character.

(Common Ground. 1999)                                                                             (Something about Celeste. 2016)

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1* 1835949-drooling

2** blmd830216         blmd830109