Archive for July, 2010

retro comics:

Posted in comics with tags , , , on July 29, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Like I mentioned earlier in the week, I was a floating teacher for my first year’s worth of real teaching in Ohio and I think I did passably well under the circumstances… but by the end:

At this point, I had pretty well decided to devote the majority of my drawing time to comics about my job during the next school year. Believe it or not, one of the big deciding factors for this was being told I would have my own classroom in the 2009/2010 school year. Although it barely comes across in the past year’s worth of strips, I thought it would be better to do a strip with more background continuity than I would have had if I was still a traveling teacher.

retro comics: senile snow

Posted in comics with tags , on July 28, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Sometimes I do comics just for me. They’re not a story, they’re not funny, they’re not anything except me trying to remember something. This is one of those comics from one of my classes in 2008; a very weird choice of words from one of my students on a snowy day. Again, this was just one of those moments in a classroom that I liked where my students and I were just shooting the breeze. I’d like to try and do more comics like this one next year; I worry that I get a little too “explain-y” with my strips sometimes.

retro comics: traveling teacher

Posted in comics with tags , , on July 27, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

During my first year of teaching at the high school where I currently work, I schlepped around the place with all my textbooks on a cart. This was my schedule:

When I say being a floating teacher was great, I could have probably gone into more detail. I think I did a VERY good job that year, keeping lessons interesting and varied while still running a marathon up, down, and across that building for nine and a half months.

I also realize that people cut me a lot of slack. I didn’t have the same types of evaluations as other teachers did because of the constraints I had on my time and environments. It’s hard to give someone advice on their classroom environment when it changes six times a day. The teachers with whom I shared my classrooms with were, in a word, spectacular. They were helpful and nice and only one was outwardly resentful at having to breathe the same air as me! Honestly, I would use the classrooms of teachers when they had their prep periods… can you imagine? You’ve got 40-odd minutes of peace and quiet on your schedule and IN walks Mr. Loud from New York City and disturbs your much-needed calm time!

Anyhow, there was something about this part of my life that was too big for my sketchbook. I had to get out a piece of Bristol board and chart the whole day out… and that was, I think, another important piece of bringing together all the elements into the teacher comic I’ve been doing for the past year.

retro comics: teacher meetings

Posted in comics with tags , , , on July 27, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Howdy, folks. I’m ┬áposting this from Long Beach Island, New Jersey where my family and I are spending the week. We rented a house with, among the many amenities, a wireless connection. I’m drawing a ton of comics in this new sketchbook I bought that I’ll probably post here in upcoming weeks, despite the fact that none of them have anything to do with teaching.

I thought I’d take this week to post a couple more old comic strips I did back in 2008. They’re not the best comics I’ve ever done, but they’re notable in they really show the genesis of the past year’s worth of teaching comics… and hopefully they’ll inform the year to come as well. I’m guessing there’s a very slim amount of folks out there who are interested in such things, but I’ll take the chance.

This comic was drawn sometime in the first month and a half of my teaching in Ohio:

This kind of thing still drives me crazy, when someone will hijack a meeting to pontificate about their own greatness as an educator to the expense of both the momentum of the meeting and the patience of those stuck in the meeting. I’ve known a lot of people who do this and honestly… I get why it’s done. You want to get the word out there. You want people to know you’re a good teacher who thinks about their craft. It makes sense. I just don’t have time for it.

I drew this in a sketchbook and didn’t ever expect to post it. There’s no backgrounds. It’s very shoddy. I drew it more as a reminder to myself NOT to act this way in meetings, but there was something about it that I liked, even the cussing… which is something I don’t normally do in my comics. I liked the confessional aspect of the strip and I guess this was the first step down the road toward doing the types of comics I’m doing now.

read the directions on all tests and exams

Posted in comics with tags , on July 21, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I wasn’t doing teacher comics regularly last year, but this is one that came up at the end of ’09 that I really liked.

I still like the general concept of the comic enough to repost it although I think I may have come at the concept from a different angle if I had done it this year instead of in 2009. All the “rude” talk sort of stings, even if in this particular case, the student was one of the more rude teenagers I’ve worked with since moving to Ohio.

now you’re playing with power

Posted in comics, thrift store finds with tags , , , , on July 20, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Here’s a comic that IS a Thrift Store Find!

…and then I felt like I had to do an explanation as to why this was such a cool find for me:

Strangely enough, I currently have a subscription to Nintendo Power for my classroom. It’s a little less biased than I remember, to the point where they do give out bad reviews now and then.

ellen is the boss of my beard

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I’m digging through the archives this week, posting some comics I liked that were drawn around this time last year. They’ve never been posted to this journal!

Today’s my second wedding anniversary! Ellen, I hope you’ll be the boss of my beard forever.

thrift store finds update: don martin for $20 bucks

Posted in commentary on July 17, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

In the past eight months, I’ve drawn over 150 comics about teaching on this blog, but by far the most popular thing I’ve posted up here has been this Thrift Store Find on the MAD Magazine paperback MAD’S Maddest Artist Don Martin Strikes Back.

The amount of pageviews and hits that post gets is absolutely insane… and one of the big draws to that post early on was the link I provided for Barnes & Noble’s ridiculously cheap slipcase volume MAD’s Greatest Artists: The Completely MAD Don Martin.

Originally offered for something like $150 dollars, I ponted out that you could pick it up from B&N for a thrifty $25 bucks. Many people took advantage of that offer and thanked me. Many others did NOT take advantage of that offer and e-mailed me, annoyed that I still had the link to Barnes & Noble’s page active on that post. …well, get ready, those of you who like to wait on a good deal, your second chance has come ’round once again – Barnes & Noble ONCE AGAIN has MAD’S Greatest Artists: The Completely MAD Don Martin for the COMPLETELY MAD low price of $20 dollars!

That’s right. Twenty dollars. Five dollars less than I paid for my copy. Oh, but I’m not bitter.

Seriously, I know I’m going heavy on the text posts, but I wanted to make readers aware of this a second time. I’ve received quite a lot of feedback from folks about that Don Martin post and the book is an absolutely beautiful addition to anyone’s home library.

friday odds & ends

Posted in commentary on July 16, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

I haven’t done much in the way of posting comics in the past few weeks, as it’s been pretty crazy here lately. I won’t bore you with details, but I will say I’m looking forward to our upcoming visit to New York. Ellen, the kids, and I are spending a week in the Hudson Valley with my family and then a week down on Long Beach Island.

Elliot in particular is very excited to spend a week at the beach; he’s been talking about it for months. The house we’re renting has Wi-Fi and I’m thinking of running some older journal comics that only lightly touch on teaching- I’ve been drawing comics about my life for the past six or seven years, and I’m relatively sure readers who found my comics through this blog haven’t seen much of those old strips.


I wanted to mention a couple of blogs I’ve been enjoying.

My best friend Melissa just started a blog that you want to check out. Melissa and I have been best friends since 11th grade and anything she writes is completely worth your time. We’re both currently working on this “thirty things in thirty days” meme and she definitely picked better quotes than I did.

Aubrey, another high school acquaintance of mine, has a fun blog called A Daily Obsession that you may want to check out if you’ve been a fan of my Thrift Store Finds series of posts. She does a bit of that kind of thing herself. Honestly, the Thrift Store Finds posts continue to blow me away with the amount of traffic they continue to get… so if you like that kind of thing, you’ll probably like this kind of thing too!


I’m currently reading The Men Who Would Be King: An Almost Epic Tale of Moguls, Movies, and a Company Called Dreamworks by Nicole LaPorte. Although obsessive insider movie stuff usually hits my sweet spot, I’m having trouble getting into the book, which chronicles the forming and dissolution of Dreamworks SKG. I suppose I’m going to give it a bit more of a chance; I’m only about sixty pages into the book so far. It may be a case where I find the subject matter interesting, but not the author’s style… which is a little more dry than I expected.

I also picked up a great collection of Terry LaBan’s Cud Comics at Half-Price Books this week. LaBan’s currently doing the syndicated comic strip Edge City, but this Eno and Plum collection is about as far from the Sunday funnies as you can get. I get a very heavy Peter Bagge vibe from the characters as well as an altogether obvious Robert Crumb inspiration. Although some of the stories are a little hokey and stilted, the drawings are fun to look at.

holy crow!

Posted in commentary on July 15, 2010 by Christopher Pearce

Less than three hours after I posted this request that readers make Bing their default home page and earn $3 dollars for my classroom, and the project was funded! Y’all are the best!

If you’re still interested in helping out, I have another project waiting in the wings although it’s FAR from close to being realized: I’m trying to get a bunch of magazine subscriptions for my classes. If you’d like to donate to my class, please do so there.

Thanks again to everyone who helped out. My students are going to be very excited to get these books next year!