Today I have made a vlog for you. Enjoy!
In other news...
After the big Our Follies gagtoonathon Monday, I was burnt out the next day. My mind was so spacey I could hardly think. And that's not good for a person who is also in charge of tending to her 80-year-old mother's health needs. Add to that my other obligations as a freelance 'tooner and I was wiped out.
I just needed time to rest my weary imagination and take better care of myself. This wasn't easy since this week my 4-year-old grandnephew Christian visited the house--twice! He's a bigger menace than Dennis, running around defying all of us adults. We play games of tic-tac-toe together; he's the O, I'm the X. When he wins, he cheers himself on, but when he loses to me, he accuses me of cheating. I'm using the game to teach him how to be a good sport, win or lose. He seems to be getting the message; he doesn't say, "You cheated!" when I win.
Playing with Christian might have helped me get my mind back in order, being a distraction from what I was feeling. Another help was inspiration from YouTube videos. I've subscribed to the channels of Erin Henry and Hannah Ashton, two "girlbosses" with practical advice for anyone (male or female) who want to start an online business. Last night on my YouTube home page I discovered a video on the channel Big Think: "Goal Setting Is a Hamster Wheel. Learn to Set Systems Instead". The speaker, Adam Alter, showed how singlemindedly going for a goal can make you feel like a loser until you get it, and when you get it, it's an anticlimactic feeling. Instead, he suggests using systems: You will work at something you love for x amount of time, and that's it. No numbers to count and no feeling like a loser because the idea is to just do it; the success is in the doing, period. Here's the video:
That's what my perfectionist self wants to do--I want to feel good just doing the cartoons that I love. Now let me at those markers!
I know a lot of you have binge-watched TV series. How about binge-reading a comic? Here are 15 panels of my comic panel Our Follies, for your reading pleasure. Laugh and enjoy!
Do you like reading my comics in this format? Let me know in the comments section below. Doing the comics this way is so much fun for me, and I hope you find it fun, too! Later!
OK, here they are, my last ten animation background frames made in RoughAnimator app. Enjoy!
Now to fill them with animation!
You're probably wondering about the "Buy Me a Coffee" button on my title. I have joined Ko-fi, the website that helps fans of an artist get paid for their work through small donations, or "coffees", of $3 each, the price of a cup of coffee. I am welcoming all of you to "buy me a coffee" so I can entertain you with more cartoons online. Thanks in advance.
I posted a funny message about Ko-fi on my Facebook Fan Page. When my very serious brother Paul saw it, he just didn't get it. The post said something about our Mom not liking my drinking all the coffee in the house so will you please help me buy my own coffee and, oh yeah, support my art? Paul thought this was some kind of insult to Mom, and let me have it verbally, saying how he felt. Of course I've had harsh critiques before, but this one was coming from someone close to me. It kind of ruined my Sunday. Eventually, I did show the post to Mom, and she didn't feel insulted in the least. I don't know what Paul's problem was, but it was his problem. And it ain't mine!
Last Sunday, of course, was Father's Day, and my Daddy didn't want anything special, so he enjoyed his day like he did any other day: watching cable TV and raiding the refrigerator. Hey, it was his day! Speaking of which, here's my latest Trump & Co. cartoon about that subject:
Here's hoping your Father's Day was more loving and less materialistic.
This week I've been working on cartoon backgrounds in my RoughAnimator app on my tablet. Take a look at them.
These are the first ten. I'll show you the other ten next time.
Last night I finished four gag cartoons, and I want to show them to you. First, this week's Our Follies:
Next, the latest Trump & Co.:
Now, a new OFFtoons comic:
And lastly, my new cartoon E.C. Follies, starring those Region Rats, the Rattisons!
Did you have a good time reading my cartoons? I sure had fun making them! And I'm making lots more. Enjoy!
For several years I've been using a 2D animation software called Anime Studio. I always got the Debut version every year because I could afford it, and I'd been doing pretty fine with it, making "cutout" animation in the style of South Park (but not the humor style!). Now, I want something different: I want my 2D animation to look like my hand-drawn print cartoons. So I decided to learn hand-drawn animation with RoughAnimator.
RoughAnimator is a 2D animation app I got in the Google Play Store (I have an Android tablet). It took a while to learn to draw on a tablet with a stylus and I'm still working on it. But so far, I've done some animation that I think is pretty darn good, and looking like my print cartoons. You've seen some of it in past blogposts.
Well, now I'm experimenting more with RoughAnimator doing backgronds--ones that move. Here are my first three.
RoughAnimator is available in the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS, both for 4.99. It's also available for Windows and Mac, both for 9.99 at roughanimator.com, where you can also upload a trial version of both.
This strapping "young" man is my younger brother, Paul Andrew Upshaw, Sr. He is the father of my two youngest nephews, Paul Jr. (Paulie) and James Anthony (Bubba). And today, Paul turns 53 years old. (Calling him "53 years young" would be a cliche and an outright lie.)
Paul has had his share of triumphs and trials over the years, as have we all. He's lost jobs, he got divorced, has had many girlfriends and two failed engagements. But he is now blessed with two fine grown sons, has remarried (I love my new sister-in-law Maria), is living in Chicago, has a six-figure income job, and still finds time to act in community theater, be an extra on NBC's "Chicago" dramas, and work for the Chicago Bears during their home games at Soldier Field.
He, being the only son (my brother Phillip passed away years ago), he also takes care of Mom and Dad's finances and repairs things around the house whenever he can. Paul was the one who insisted I move back with our parents to help out, and that caused a bit of a riff between us, which I confess I still feel sometimes.
When Mom was at her worst, taking care of her was such a burden for me because I had to interrupt working and growing my freelance art career, and that made me resentful toward Paul, who had burdens of his own but at least he could go to work and make money. I had to keep working to make money, and that was slowed down. Things are easier now that Mom is now in her right mind and has a caregiver Monday through Friday, but I sometimes feel the envy rise up in me, especially since Paul asked Mom and Dad to throw him a birthday party tomorrow.
So how do I handle this envy? Well, today I baked brownies, peanut butter cookies and pumpkin muffins for his party tomorrow, and I'm going to make pies later tonight. I'm learning to lean on the positive; I'm happy for Paul, despite my negative feelings sometimes. And I'm learning to use that energy to go after my own success. Notice how I said "my own success"--I'm not that interested in making six figures nor living in a big city. That's Paul's success, that's the world's success. I have my own ideas about success: doing the creative work I love as a freelancer. And even the not-so-creative parts, like promoting myself and doing the books.
I leave you now with a picture of Paul on the happiest day of his life: his wedding to Maria.
Here, take a look at the cartoon I did last night:
This, of course, was inspired by the visit of President Trump to the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Saudi Arabia during his world tour. He and two other leaders touched a glowing orb--and that set off a bunch of funny tweets on Twitter!
I tried to come up with something and ended up with this. But is it only funny to comic-book fans? Probably. That line in the thought balloon is from the superhero Green Lantern; it's his oath (without the yadas). Now that I think of it, I should have thought longer about this.
That's what happens in humor: You create something you think is funny, but it bombs with the public. You know, the Tweeters came up with much funnier stuff, so go to Twitter and search "Trump Saudi Arabia Orb" and read them. I'll go back to my drawing board and come up with something else that actually is funny (hopefully).
This was created Sunday night at the end of the toughest weekend ever for me. The weather was bad and my knee was in constant pain. I still had to take care of Mom, who thinks I may have a bit of arthritis in my knee, and I reached out to friends on Facebook for support. That was Saturday; Sunday I still had to help Mom get ready for an outing, bum knee and all. And Mom took FOREVER to get ready. I know she's eighty but...oh, I just have patience the size of a gnat.
There were some highlights, however: Sunday was Daddy's birthday, and I baked muffins for him. I discovered some #girlboss videos on YouTube and got a little inspired. And yes, I created that "Trump & Co." orb cartoon. Well, two out of three's not bad.
Make that three out of four: I came up with #YouAreAnOldFogey on Twitter, and put out tweets about wishing to go back to the past. Example: #YouAreAnOldFogey if you miss the Legion of Doom on CHALLENGE OF THE SUPERFRIENDS.
So when are you an old fogey--or even a young fogey. What part of the past do you long for? Let me know in the comments so we can all grouse!
In this turbulent world, where down is up and up is down, where our leadership needs a lot more than the fervent prayers of righteous men...we turn to the past. A supposedly simple time where things weren't so grave and harmful. Why do you think there are so many nostalgia channels on free TV now?
It's getting so I, too, am becoming a nostalgia freak. With all of President Trump's scandals looming over him, I want to go back to the days when he was just laughable. This is the reason for my comic series "Trump & Co." and its feature "From the Worst 100 Days". I have some other stuff, too, but it's mostly about the past. Here are my three latest comics--ENJOY!!