Just the Necessities

Readers who stumble across this website without context for any my history may be surprised to learn that for two years I drew and published a weekly online web comic. In all, I published about 150 strips, nearly all of them slice-of-life gags referencing my life as a dad to a single-digit-aged daughter.

I’ve tried to reboot that strip a couple times since I stopped drawing — a little over a year ago now — but my dabbling attempts have been thwarted by a lack of time, focus, and cohesive new narrative thread. Kids grow up and it turns out teenagers don’t think wry observation of their awkward quirks are very funny, DAD!

Those attempted reboots have left little in the way of published assets behind. On the other hand, my cartooning toolbox, mental, digital, and emotional has been much more fleshed out by the experience. In fact, I often find that I’m in a much better position to just absently sketch something while hanging out bored, while in front of the television, or for no reason other than to draw.

Art then becomes a bit more expressive and bit less prescriptive, more of me trying to get an idea out on the page in whatever form that takes and less me trying to hit a (self-imposed) publication deadline for a Saturday morning comic post.

Some of this is reference art, of course. I often draw hoping that what shows up at the end is something that inspires me to draw it again. Then again. Then a hundred more times so that I can spin the whole thing into another modestly successful comic strip.

If nothing else, I land with something and maybe even something worth sharing.

Last night, for example, we were watching some television as a family and I pulled out my iPad and absently started a self-portrait. I had two things on my mind. First, it has been floating through my peripheral awareness that my hair has never been as long in my life as it is right now. Barbershops opened for the first time in two months as of this week, and I was overdue when they locked down due to the pandemic. Second, having taken an extra day off for the long weekend, it also happens to be my turn to brave the grocery stores and restock our basics.

Doodle. Erase. Sketch. Tweak. Refine. Colour. Tweak. Expand. Shade. Tweak. Et cetera…

And around an hour later I posted this little sketch onto Instagram.

Back when I was doing a regular strip I turned to Instagram as one of the primary channels for sharing my art. And in the over a year since posting that strip regularly, I’ve tossed a few doodles like this (and in a variety of other styles) onto that account as a kind-of “I’m still here” flag. I realized as I posted yet-another-not-my-strip cartoon there last night that it might be and opportune time to consider a rebrand: to rename the account as something more generic to the art, and more specific to me. So… that’s the plan. Or at least the seed of one.

In the meantime, I’ll be over here absently sketching.

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