Archive for May, 2012

summer journal comics: henry’s heroes

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I’ve talked about this before here, but I wanted to make sure I had it in a comic. Henry loves Masters of the Universe, the Fleischer Brothers/Famous Studios Superman cartoons, and recently he’s been watching a lot of old Spider-Man cartoons. Funnily enough, we don’t watch the Spidey cartoons form 1967; I find them to be pretty unwatchable. No, Henry (and Elliot) go in big for Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, the cartoon series that aired on NBC in the Eighties.

I was too young for that one when it was originally on, but I’ve watched a couple of episodes with the boys and it’s not horrible. As a superhero comic book fan, I would have appreciated how many guest starts the show accommodated if I had seen it then. Via Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, the boys are now fans of Thor, Captain America, and The X-Men. In particular, the show seems to be X-Men crazy, with a bunch of episodes focusing on them. I know Marvel had been trying like crazy to get an X-Men cartoon series off the ground at the time… perhaps this was their sneaky, backdoor way of getting the characters into cartoons.

(I should also point out, theme-wise, we’re only four comics into the summer and this is the SECOND strip about my kids watching old superhero cartoons. THEMES!)

summer journal comics: broke dad

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Here’s a list of smoothie shops, in order of preference:

1. Jamba Juice (Was addicted to them in New York, especially their Orange Dream Machine smoothie. We don’t have them in Ohio… I think the closest one to us is in Chicago, yes I checked).

2. Planet Smoothie (The methadone to Jamba Juice’s heroin. All the smoothies have EXTREMELY stupid names, like someone watched Austin Powers while smoking a joint and decided to model their menu on that experience. My favorite smoothie there is the Twig and Berries.)

3. Smoothie King (Supposedly the original smoothie place and where Elliot and I were when this comic happened. I usually get something called the Light and Fluffy. Have you noticed all these smoothies have names that are really embarrassing to say out loud?)

4. Tropical Smoothie Cafe (Only went here once. I had a coupon. The smoothie I got was kind of gross with huge chips of ice. If someone from the Tropical Smoothie Cafe is reading this and wants to send me some free vouchers, I will give your establishment another chance).

summer journal comics: nudist

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , on May 29, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

One of the reasons I wanted to draw comics about my family this summer has been Henry. He’s gotten the short end of the stick insofar as my artistic attentions, since his birth coincided with my decision to focus on my work like rather than my home life. Elliot has a nice collection of comics detailing his baby years and even into his toddler era… but Henry has no such documentation.

At any rate, Henry wants to be drawn naked because I did, in fact, draw him naked in one of my sketchbooks earlier this year.


summer journal comics: heart of ice

Posted in summer journal comics with tags , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

…so here we go! I have a couple of final thoughts on teaching the journalism class; they will make their way here… eventually. I’m not rushing it.

In the meantime, I thought I’d start posting my summer journal comics. I’m trying something slightly different with this run of strips. I’m not sure if it’ll be a success, but so far I’m liking what I’m putting in my sketchbook. Since that is not always the case, I’ll just run with it and see where it goes.

Today’s comic features Elliot and I watching THE best episode of Batman: The Animated Series

The animated introduction of Mister Freeze, if you’ve never seen Heart of Ice… or you only know the Bat-villain from his horrible outing in that awful Batman and Robin flick with Ah-nuld… do yourself a favor and seek it out. It’s fantastic and surprisingly moving. Here’s a link to the final, heartbreaking minute of the episode, but watching the whole thing is highly recommended.

students draw me: the senior class

Posted in student drawings with tags , , , , , , , on May 27, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Every year on my final exam, I give students a one point bonus if (after they are finished with the scholastic portion of the test) they draw a picture of me. I spend the better part of the year drawing pictures of myself on the chalkboard, so I’m interested to see what their take on me is.

I got a lot of great drawings and sketches this year and I’m going to take a couple of Sundays out of the summer to show them off.

This week’s drawings come from the seniors in my Media and the Pen class.

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thrift store finds: camp candy #2 (marvel comics)

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Boy oh boy, I would have thought Saturday Morning NBComics would have been the final word on comic books created and published about NBC’s slate of Saturday morning cartoons… but I would have been wrong!

Today’s thrift store find is Camp Candy #2, published by Marvel Comics in June of 1990. under the Star Comics imprint. Cover price was $1 dollar, American.

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odds and ends: summer, buffy

Posted in odds and ends with tags , , , on May 25, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Finished! The 2011-2012 school year is in the books, folks… the history books. The history books that write about how school years end. Every year. Very boring, unnecessary history books that no one ever looks at.

Where was I? Oh yes, summer vacation. We’ve got some tentative plans for the next few weeks. Ellen and I may be taking the boys on a mini-vacation somewhere next week. I know we’ll be spending about two weeks in New York this July… or rather, a week or so in New York and then one week on the New Jersey shore. We have a couple of friends who are visiting Ohio in August.

Somewhere along the line, I made the command decision to spend a huge chunk of my summer working; I’m going to be teaching two reclamation courses for students at my school who did not pass the Ohio Graduation Test. I’ve taught the same class for the past three years and it’s a pretty good thing; the students who attend are VERY serious about getting finished with this test and we normally get a chance to do some good work.

Besides that? Yardwork, I guess- our fence is looking like garbage and I have to replace it. The battery on our electric lawnmower just broke, so that needs to be replaced. I’m going to paint the downstairs bathroom; it’s been adorned with the world’s ugliest wallpaper since we moved in three years ago.


Ellen and I embarked on another of our great summer TV marathons this week. You may remember two summers ago, Ellen fell in love with Veronica Mars. Last summer I became obsessed with Doctor Who. This year, after much cajoling, Ellen agreed to give Buffy the Vampire Slayer a try.

I figured this was a natural progression for Ellen. As I said, she already loves Veronica Mars, which takes a lot of its’ lead from the Buffy template. Ellen also loves Joss Whedon’s work on Firefly and Serenity. For my part, I’ve been a fan of B:TVS since the beginning and I’ve been looking for a reason to see if the show continues to hold up today.

So far, we’re on the fourth episode and the show has aged… decently. Of course, any television which wants to be a reference-dropping tastemaker is going to show some wear and tear when looked back on years later. In particular, one exchange from the first episode is unbelievably awful:

Cordelia: Well, you’ll be okay here. If you hang with me and mine, you’ll be accepted in no time. Of course, we do have to test your coolness factor. You’re from L.A., so you can skip the written, but let’s see. Vamp nail polish? 

Buffy Summers: Um, over? 

Cordelia: So over. James Spader? 

Buffy Summers: He needs to call me. 

…JAMES SPADER. Like… he was almost 40 years old in 1997. I’m not saying he wasn’t a good looking man, I’m just saying it’s a weird choice to use James Spader as your go-to “hunky guy” example when you’re establishing your protagonist.

Then again, Buffy does end up falling for Angel, an almost 300 year old vampire. Perhaps she just has a thing for older men?

(Expect more Buffy updates throughout the summer with my apologies in advance.)

sketchbook: agorafabulous

Posted in sketchbook with tags , , , on May 23, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

I picked up Sara Benincasa’s Agorafabulous: Dispatches from my Bedroom from the library a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed the book. A memoir detailing Benincasa’s struggles with depression and agoraphobia, Agorafabulous is often funny and occasionally moving. As someone who dealt with depression in my teenage years, Sara’s observations come from a candid, compelling place.

Some of the later chapters read like short stories unto themselves; as a teacher, I was particularly enchanted by the author’s rough appraisal of working with… well, I guess I’ll say “inner city” students although I don’t believe Sara was working near a major metropolitan area.

I picked up the book as I’ve been a fan of Benincasa’s Sex and Other Human Activities podcast, wherein Sara and her co-host Marcus Parks answer questions about… well, pretty much anything, despite the specificity of the show’s name. On one of their earlier shows, Benincasa tells a story about a disastrous one night stand which made my wife and I howl with laughter on a drive somewhere or another. As a response to that, I drew this picture in my sketchbook, depicting one of the scenes described in that woeful tale:

I drew the thing and Ellen liked it enough to encourage me to send it over to Ms. Benincasa… which I did. She liked it enough to mention it on her podcast, which was a very nice thing and thoroughly impressed Ellen, so thanks for that Sara.

At any rate, the book is great, the story I drew this little sketchbook illustration for is included, and you should go out and read it.

sketchbook: the last page

Posted in sketchbook with tags , on May 21, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

This is the last page of that sketchbook, I mean. Not the last page of sketches ever. I wasn’t even going to bother scanning the thing… but considering I’m going to start posting comics out of my new sketchbook sometime next week, I figured I might as well.

thrift store finds: no thrift store find today!

Posted in thrift store finds on May 19, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Somewhere in this house, I carefully placed both my iPad and my sketchbook. Tucked away inside the sketchbook is this week’s Thrift Store Find… but for the life of me, I can’t find them. TSF will resume next week.