Thursday, February 26, 2009

Exceedingly frustrating day.

This week I seem to banging my head against the wall to squeeze cartoons out of my brain. Every idea has been a struggle and nothing has come easy. Luckily I had a ton of coloring to do for Sunday's State Journal cartoon so the day wasn't totally wasted (I know right it's ridiculus, my job entails coloring like a five year old). I'll post that State Journal cartoon later. But it was a real struggle to formulate that idea.

Today I pitched my editor at least 4 different cartoon ideas about a Madison Alder who was in the vicinity of what a cop thought smelled like burning marijuana in a Madison bar. The sight of the alder, Mike Verveer, startled the officer and she left before investigating the pot smell any further. Verveer has some lame excuse about getting over a cold and not smelling anything that night, and he adamantly denies any wrong doing.

Anyway here are the ideas I pitched that all got canned. I thought they were good, but maybe I sprained my funny-bone this week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Infrastructure Toon

Here is the cartoon I ended drawing on infrastructure.

Hopefully I will never have to use the word "infrastructure" ever again. My editor fought against it but i didn't know how else to explain the concept, plus it coincided with the WSJ recent series about the word that must not be named.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Madison Infrastructure

The State Journal is running a series of articles about the city's infrastructure. Today's portion focuses on the New Deal era sewers, roads and buildings that were built to try to stimulate the economy 80 years ago.

This has got me thinking about the way we look at infrastructure here in America. I think our our throw-away culture extends beyond our cell-phones and electronic gizmos to include our roads, dams, and sewer and water lines.

We build new roads to new subdivision, that are watered with new pipes, while we can't begin to afford to repair the roads to old rundown houses, with crumbling water and sewer lines.

But I guess this is just part of our economic cycle. We boom and sprawl, and then when our greed catches up with us, we give the government the permission to repair the infrastructure they should have been taking care of all along, and call it a stimulus package.

Without this economic recession, we couldn't afford to fix our broken sewer lines and would up to knees in shit anyway.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Artist at Work

Here's today's cartoon for the Wisconsin State Journal.

The photo department at the State Journal decided to produce a short video about the process I go through to make a cartoon. Check out the video here:

Catching Up

I thought I had been better at posting. Here are my recent cartoons.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Weekend Toons

Here are some of the cartoons I drew over the Weekend. Two Wisconsin 'toons and one national one.
I spent a bunch of time last week working on a video for the Wisconsin State Journal. It should be out on Sunday and then I can see how it looks.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Below is the first cartoon I have drawn for, a website that distributes editorial cartoons and art to publications across the country.

I'm looking forward to doing a ton of good work for them, and developing a stronger and more personal style.

I actually drew 3 editorial cartoons last night. (here are the other two)As I was scribbling away at 2am I realized that I have artistic split personalities. Sometimes my drawings are realistic, sometimes they are goofy, sometimes they are simple and sometimes they are elaborate, and you can kind of see that in these editorial cartoons.

I sort of wonder if my editorial cartoons stand out in a crowd. Do I have a distinct style? Not really.

I don't think somebody could look at a stack of cartoons and pull out all of the Phil Hands drawings (without looking at the name of course). I don't even have a standard formula for how I draw the "everyman." One day he is short and stumpy with a big head, the next day he is tall and lanky. It's like I can't make up my mind.

I don't know why I haven't started drawing in a style yet. I'd like to say that I do it for artistic expression and to keep myself fresh, but it's never a conscience decision. It just happens, and I guess that means it's usually a whim. A decision based on a whim would be the exact opposite of an conscience artistic decision. I like that. Maybe that will be my new slogan, "Phil Hands' editorial art: whimsical cartoons on a whim!!!"

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Catching Up

Not that anybody reads this blog, but I thought I'd get caught up with posting all the cartoons I've done in the last week or so. I was in Green Bay for the weekend a the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, and had a splendid time. I met several publishers of strong Wisconsin Newspapers who are interested in using my cartoons in their papers.

Cartoons like these:
Here is today's cartoon for the Tampa Tribune. It's the only Super Bowl cartoon I did for them, and I'm kind of pissed about that. I had sent them several ideas like this one...
but they never got back to me about them. It didn't help that I had to head up to Green Bay half-way through the week for the conference.
This was a simple and obvious cartoon for me. I've been harping on our state leaders to do something about the budget for years, but they won't listen to me or anybody else, and now it has come to bite them in the ass.
This was an illustration for the front of Sunday's forum section for the Wisconsin State Journal. It is one of the best visual commentaries I've come up with in my ten years of cartooning. One reader loved the image so much, that she compared my work to Bill Mauldin and Herblock, and nominated me to become a "national treasure." Sometimes, I like the readers.
I think the concept for this cartoon was pretty darn funny, but I didn't execute it very well. Plus not a whole lot of people know who Scott Jensen is.

This is the first color cartoon I did to go with the Wisconsin State Journal new Sunday Forum section. Now my cartoons will be in color in print too. This turned out OK, but I still need to hone my coloring technique. The gag itself has been a big hit.
This was the first cartoon I ever drew with Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton. She is a joke, but so is the office of Lt. Governor. I don't know if I'll draw her again. I don't think anybody knows who she is.
This cartoon was on its way to being mediocre and pretty boring until I came up with idea of "deep fried tax loopholes". Now it's one of my favorites.