Talent Show–updated!

A comic I did a few months ago is up for a major award.

Well, I don’t know if it’s a MAJOR award, but it’s still kind of cool.  And the award isn’t anything as incredible as that lamp, but it’s still pretty neat.

UPDATE:  Arts Alliance just posted the winners of the 2011 Arts in Harmony show.  Minneapolis cartoonists Britt Hammerberg is the winner of the Sequential Art category.  Britt is a great cartoonist and I hope her award is much better than a lamp!

Original Post Continues Below:


Arts Alliance is an art gallery in Elk River, MN.  Each year there’s a show titled ‘Arts in Harmony’ and they have different categories (photography, sculpture, etc) and this year they have a category for Sequential Art/comics.  There’s over 200 pieces in this year’s event.

The opening reception is on February 13th at 1pm.  There will snacks and the awards are…uh, awarded as well.  I’ll be there watching someone else win the award for Sequential Art but I’m looking forward to it.

More information can be found on their website.

Anyway, the comic I entered is titled ‘History Will Teach Us Nothing”.

I really like this comic and I thought it might be interesting to talk about where cartoonists get their ideas.

The quick answer is that I don’t know and they just pop in my head.

The real answer is much more complicated.  So bear with me.  Getting ideas is a combination of shutting off your brain and just…observing and letting imagination take over.  A lot of ideas are more ‘what if…’ scenarios.  A few years ago Rocketman built a catapult and it came from wondering ‘what if Rocketman built a catapult?’ and just starting from there.  It wasn’t the best of stories, but it’s a good example.

I think a lot of writers observe what is happening around them and think about the story possibilities.  Years ago, I saw a couple kids trying to get their toy airplane out of a tree.  I sat and watched them a while and thought about the many ways the situation would resolve itself.  Eventually that little event became the basis for a short comic I did with Rocketman throwing his shoe on the roof of a building.

Personalities of characters also come into play.  Luckily Uptown Girl and her friends are all pretty different from each other so I can usually make an idea work for one of them.  Rocketman throwing his shoe on the roof is possible, but Ruby is far too sensible to do that.

Anyway, this particular idea came to me on Thanksgiving.  I was driving home and my car got a flat tire.  It was very cold that night and I took advantage of the road side assistance I have with my car insurance.  It was a long wait so I sat in my cold trying to keep myself entertained.

I started to wonder what Transformers did if they got a flat tire.  “well,” I thought, “they probably just transform into a robot and walk home”.  That got me thinking of the horrible ‘Transformers’ movies that have come out in recent years.  I thought about how much I hated them and it’s not because they changed Megatron from this:

to this:

No, I hated them because they are just bad movies.  I don’t expect a lot from Michael Bay but these movies are terrible.

In my car on that cold night in November I thought about how despite the fact that I hated the first two movies I will still be there on opening day for ‘Transformers 3’.  Not only did I hate the first two movies (well, the first movie was okay) I also hate everything I have heard or seen of the next movie.  But I will still spend three hours of my time and 12 dollars seeing something that I know I will hate.

I started to laugh at myself for this “logic” and realized a lot of comic book fans are like this.  We hate and complain about everything but still financially support movies that we know we won’t like.  I thought this observation would be a great basis for a Rocketman comic.

We never learn.  History teaches us nothing.


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