Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Masks We Wear

Posted in Drawn Out Storytelling, Illustration, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by Paul Swartz

Here’s what I’ve been working on for the last couple of days:

New Yorkers and people willing and able to travel on a whim: come and see the latest installment of Drawn Out Storytelling on Thursday, November 3rd!

It’s our almost-timely Halloween show, and it should be a fun one. For more information, you can pore lovingly over my poster, or check out our event on  Facebook or our website.


Like a Bacillus, Sealed in a Train Car…

Posted in Illustration, Shows, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2011 by Paul Swartz

Last fall I submitted a drawing for the Charlotte Arts Catalyst’s monster-themed coloring book and sold a couple of related pieces in their accompanying show. I had a great time doing it and I’m excited to submit again this year. The theme for the spring book is history, which is about as perfect for me as monsters was. Anyway, here’s a drawing that I’m thinking about sending in:

I’ve always loved this quote by Churchill. More specifically, I’ve always loved a pithier, more poster-ready paraphrase of it (“The Germans sent Lenin into Russia like a bacillus, sealed in a train car”). The real quote is a little longer and was harder to fit artfully into this design. A note to fellow cartoonists/illustrators: never save double checking that quote for last! I hope the multicolored text livened up the big block of words. It might have made it too busy, though. I tried to give it kind of a word-cloud feel, with the words’ coloring reflecting their significance.

Anyway, back to the quote. I just think it’s a really great metaphor and have thought about it on and off over the years. A man bottled up like a biological weapon — that’s so evocative! And it’s so visual. It seemed like a go-to illustration for me, especially since I’m so into the USSR. I’m not sure I did it justice, but I really couldn’t afford to spend more than a couple of days on it. I’m sure I’ll revisit the concept sometime soon.

The part of the picture that I’m proudest of is actually Churchill, who was a lot easier to draw than I would have expected. I kind of wish I’d featured him more prominently. He’s got a pretty easily-caricatured face, so it’s no great boast to do a passable Churchill. Drawing him is probably equivalent to impersonating Christopher Walken or William Shatner or somebody like that. You get huge, can’t miss ’em quirks to build your imitation around. With Churchill, you don’t have room for a lot of likeness once the hat, jowls, and cigar are in place. Still, I’m no caricaturist, so I’m proud.

Surprisingly, I could be prouder of the Russian text. Lenin’s font is particularly lackluster/inappropriate. I wanted something that could have come off a Bolshevik leaflet, but it was really, really hard to find free Cyrillic fonts. The two I used don’t feature all the Cyrillic characters so I had to make my Яs, Юs, and Ьs from scratch. I’m also not sure that my Russian is correct, but here was what I meant to say. Lenin is saying (hopefully) “Revolution!” and the sign in the bottom right reads “Welcome to Russia” (God willing). I can’t believe that I was majoring in this language just a few year ago.

My biggest regret of all is that I can’t find some way to reuse this in my monster book. I guess “B” could still be for Bolshevik, but, if I didn’t use my dad’s suggestion of “Y is for Young Republican,” than I’m certainly not going to do that.

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!


Meet Irving Fleischman, the Magnificent Mockingbird

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 by Paul Swartz

Irving Fleischman is a down on his luck Jazz Age vaudevillian. For the most part, Fleischman is a hack, but, on one fateful night, he discovers that he is possessed of a strange and captivating power; a power that will make him a star and endanger his life.

Fleischman is also the (anti) hero of my latest comic, “The Magnificent Mockingbird Presents: A Vanishing Act.” This 24-page, full-color comic can be read right here. I will be updating every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Serialization will begin on Monday, June 7th.

Also, hard copies are available for purchase for five dollars plus shipping. Email me at to place an order.