Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Shooting the Breeze


The cartoon was inspired by an upload from a fellow cartoonist who had in turn been inspired by a scene she'd witnessed in a store (or shop if you're english). The cartoon is called 'Spoiled Princess' (http://second-puberty.webcomic.ws/comics/573/)

It's a simple idea, a child wants something that she's seen and like many modern parents her Dad caves in. It got me thinking about what might happen if the child wanted something inappropriate.

The Drawing

I decided to illustrate this using the idea of two parallel father and son scenes with the initial idea of a young alien wanting a Death Star from Star Wars. I thought that if I demonstrated what damage a human boy could do with something relatively harmless (like a BB Gun), then I could leave the reader to imagine for themselves what the alien boy could do with a planet killer.

I wanted to find a way of doing this that didnt use words, so I imagined what a back garden would look like a few days after the boy had taken a BB Gun home. What sort of damage would you see? Initially I brainstormed some ideas and then pulled together a rough sketch of the garden with imported images from the web.  Once planned, I redrew the elements I needed.

Area 5.1 Cartoon - Shooting the Breeze

I was careful to make the two father and son frames to look as similar as I could, while still having them different. I came up with a new design of alien using the same eyes, mouth and ears and coloured them purple so they wouldn't be confused with the original alien design.

See the web comic here: http://area5-1.webcomic.ws/comics/59/

Thursday, 9 February 2017

How's your Handwriting?

The Idea

A recent social network posting showed a list of top 50 bad habits, and while I didn't bother reading it, I did consider that even aliens might go for this sort of trash too. So I set out to come up with a list related to aliens, and it turned out to be more difficult than I thought.

Here's my list:-
  1. Not washing the probe between jobs.
  2. Preoccupied with cows?
  3. Always holidays in Roswell?
  4. Abduction / Body Snatching.
  5. Obsessed with crop circles.
  6. Buzzing air force pilots.
  7. Ruling primitive planets.
  8. Always whistling the same 5 note tune.
  9. Leaving large drawings and lines in the deserts.
  10. Always needing more space?
  11. Taking Zambo's (God's) name in vain.
  12. Trigger happy?
  13. Prefer to work nights.
  14. No atmosphere at their parties.
  15. Watching too much TV.

OK some of those are just jokes rather than bad habits, but like I said, I (or rather we) struggled a little just to get this many. (Thanks to Julie and Shiela for your help, it would have been a small list without your input.)

Evolving The Idea

It occurred to me these sorts of things are commonly seen in trashy magazines, so I thought it'd be fun to create a parody. This got me thinking about additional articles so googled a bit and came up with the following:-
  • Fake advert for slimming supplement.
  • Gossip section.
  • What your raygun says about you.
But once I'd started drawing it up I thought it would be nice to draw a cartoon from the aliens perspective. I came up with Humanz, a simple stickman based strip, and dropped the raygun idea.

The Artwork

Here's the completed work..
Area 5.1 Bad Habits List Cartoon
There's not actually that much drawing on it, but because of the curve of the pages all the text had to be drawn by hand. It proved difficult and time consuming to get the style and size consistent across each article. It's the sort of thing that would have been simple with decent distortion tools.

When I came to writing in the bad habits I wanted them to be easy to read. (After all this was the primary joke!) So I chose quite a large uppercase style which limited the width of the text. This meant I had to play around with the words a little and even swapped out the atmosphere joke for an Erich Von Daniken gag. Some might not get it, but if it makes them google his name then I figure I've enriched their lives a little.


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

down the hatch!

Going back to my post of the 22nd, in which I was using my new colourful sheep design and completely ruined a joke which relied on a fairisle jumper being very obvious.

I've tried my new sheep design in black and white, using a little hatching. It's something I want to be better at. I keep revisiting this particular file and having another go at the shading. Here's the current version, it's not looking too bad, and I think it solves the aforementioned problem.

I like the sheep as line drawings, it's something I might do again. Could be useful when it's snowing!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Exploding The Truth - Microwave Joke

Area 5.1 Comic about Microwave Ovens

I had this idea about the notion of never putting anything metal into a microwave oven because people think it would explode. My thought being that the people who think this aren't aware of what the inside of the oven is made of.

Area 5.1 - Expoding the Truth Cartoon

Clearly it helps to have a bit of an understanding about how a microwave works.

OK, disclaimer - if you are going to put metal inside then just read up about what to do and what not to do (unless you want a light-show), and remember running it without any food in (or very dry food) can be worse.

You can't beat a bit of jeopardy!


Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The best drinking pun, bar none.

"No, I won't put it on your bill, said the barman."

I've been drawing and posting every day; while I'm feeling the enthusiasm I'm going with it.

I've said for a long time that I won't get involved with puns. I think it was this song that got this particular pun into my head, and I've been enjoying drawing Crow recently in various poses and expressions. (I've gradually twigged that the secret is not to be afraid of exaggeration. Not something Uncle Zap's had any trouble with but it takes some courage for me to make eyes or a beak a bit bigger.)

In mitigation, this isn't really about the pun, but the way Crow's toying with Maureen.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

disguising the joke

I've re-drawn one of my favourites using the new sheep design. Although the full colour looks great, I'm not sure that it disguises the joke a little. Here are the two versions for comparison.

Is there anything I could do to keep the colour and highlight the jumper a bit (short of drawing arrows pointing to it)?

Wednesday, 18 January 2017


A nice wordy one, I do like words but still want to steer clear of the pun route.

Also a chance to see how the new design looks as a flock.

(They're all wrong, by the way, it's actually 'taters' today, which is a step above 'brass monkeys'.)

I've had the idea in my head for a long time, I've been meaning to write out the whole chart (from 'searing' to 'witch's left tit' and obviously all in the correct order) and simply post that as an 'observing from the outside'. But it occurs to me that sheep would be using these colloquial terms because none of them own a thermometer (well one of them did once, but Crow pinched it and we can only speculate about the reasons).

There's probably a name for this type of joke. Ever since someone pointed out to me that the dead parrot sketch is simply the thesaurus entry for 'dead' performed in sketch form I've noticed that finding alternative words for the same thing is funny, and something stand-ups use a lot in a more subtle form.