Archive for September, 2010

L is for Loch Ness Monster

Posted in Center for Cartoon Studies, Cryptozoology, Monster Alphabet, Monsters, Thesis with tags , , , , , , on September 26, 2010 by Paul Swartz

The series continues:

The palette here is a tad “My Little Pony,” but I like it. I’m especially proud of the teeming ocean. Something about the octopus bothers me, though. He throws off the balance of the page somehow. Color-wise? size-wise? I don’t know.

A “fun” fact about Plesiosaurs (which actually destroys the cherished, iconic image of them that I retain from childhood ) is that they couldn’t actually hold their heads up swan-style like I’ve drawn.* Pretty crazy how many books get it wrong, huh?

On top of that, even the bus-sized plesiosaurs probably never ate anything more than a foot or two long. Their mouths could only open something like eight inches wide, so they probably just preyed on schools of small fish (which they did stealthily, but very slowly).

What all of this adds up to is that those long-necked lake monsters people claim to spot could be anything but incredibly discreet and long-lived plesiosaurs.

So, yeah, pretty dispiriting set of facts. Also, not at all conducive to cool drawings either.

*Apparently sauropods (apatosaurus, brachiosaurus, etc.) couldn’t do it either. That standard Sinclair station pose was anatomically impossible to strike. Basically those guys were just giant lawnmowers.

A New Look

Posted in Uncategorized on September 21, 2010 by Paul Swartz

In order to keep my blog thematically tied to my business cards, letterhead, and envelopes, I’m introducing this new header. What do you think?

I might add an orange creature to menagerie, just to round out the rainbow (especially since I already have brown and pink jars up there), but nothing is begging to be drawn right now, and adding an eighth jar would mean really shrinking these guys down.

Anyway, you’ll find my letterhead below. It’s the first finished piece of my new ID system. As you can see, it makes use of this same header and, I hope, evokes a lidded jar itself.

Two New Specimens

Posted in Uncategorized on September 20, 2010 by Paul Swartz

My collection is enriched by the addition of an Eastern Androphant and a S’Quelp!


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 18, 2010 by Paul Swartz

As you can see, I’ve decided to take my ID system in an entirely different direction. I’m working on a cabinet of curiosities theme, with a bunch of little, single-color creatures floating in jars on the backs of all my business cards. I’ll even round the corners on the bottoms of the cards to make them more jar like. This motif lets me do more of what I do best, play with color and draw bizarre beasts.

Another fun facet of this theme is that I can do a “Collect them all!” kind of thing with the monsters, creating a set of several and carrying different cards to different shows etc. Maybe I’ll even print different quantities of each monster, making some specimens rarer than others. I love stuff like that.

These first two designs are of the Reticulated Rock-Eater (green) and the Gleeper (purple). Ideally, the Gleeper would have a glowing orb suspended from his head, a la Angler Fish. I like to imagine that this lanky cave-dweller uses the light to lure moths right in front of his maw and then snaps them up with his long tongue. Unfortunately, the bit of bioluminescence did not fit prettily in the jar.

As I generate more designs, I’ll be sure to post them.

New Logo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 11, 2010 by Paul Swartz

For my Professional Practices class I’ve been asked to create an “ID System,” essentially a set of thematically linked business cards, envelopes, stationary, etc. It’s basically an exercise in personal branding. The goal is to create something unique, memorable, personal, and legible.

One theme that I have been working with is Soviet iconography. This blog is called “The People’s Republic of Paul,” after all, and I might start playing that up more as this project continues. I was thinking about proclaiming myself “Commissar of Cartoons” on my cards and letterhead and devising a crest for that august body. I’ve worked up two slightly different designs. You’ll find them both below.

I’m not sure which design I prefer. I can make a case to myself for either one. I was wondering if y’all could help me decide. To that end, I’ve created my first online poll. You’ll find it at the bottom of the page. If you have the time, take a look at the drawings and cast your ballot. After all, a vote is a rare thing in the People’s Republic of Paul!


H is for Humanzee

Posted in Center for Cartoon Studies, Cryptozoology, Monster Alphabet, Monsters, Thesis with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by Paul Swartz

Finally. This picture took forever to draw, but I think it was worthwhile. The Persian rug and the paisley were, particularly, labors of love. I’m all about patterns lately.

I realize that the Dybbuk was a little esoteric, and I assume that the Humanzee is not necessarily the most well known cryptid out there either. In case you’re unacquainted with the Humanzee, here’s a little primer on the primate pictured here:

For those who read the article, I’ve always thought that the Ivanov experiments would be great to build a comic around. The Count Gulielmus story is a pretty good one too, if that’s your kind of thing.

Dybbuk, Schmybbuk, I Said More Ham!

Posted in Center for Cartoon Studies, Jewish, Monster Alphabet, Monsters, Thesis with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by Paul Swartz

Another monster from the world of Jewish folklore. The only other one I know, really. I’ve always wanted to do a comic adaptation of the famous Yiddish play/film The Dybbuk. This is as close as I’ve gotten, but who knows, I may yet do it someday.