Monday, December 27, 2010

The Mustachioed Man

This drawing has nothing to do with the holiday season, but I suppose if this man had a beard as bushy as his mustache, he would somewhat resemble Santa Claus:

Though I am prone to exaggeration, the man on which this drawing is based (I saw him on the subway) really did have a mustache as large as is depicted here. In fact, I may have even toned it down to more clearly define the overall shape of his face. This man also had intricate jowl-folds and forehead creases - great for sketching, though I was somewhat awed by the complexity of his facial landscape. Looking at this drawing now, I'm not sure I was truly able to do it justice.

I also experimented a bit with ink washes in this drawing, hence the gray tones. Some of it was successful, though in hindsight, I wish I had scanned unwashed version of this drawing as well, for comparison.

Not sure what I'm going to post next, but a new comic about married life in the Choi household will be coming soon - you heard it here first! Not that you would have heard it anywhere else, but first is still first.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comics about comics on the night before the night before Christmas

Hello everyone. This is a comic about married life. It is also, in some sense, a comic about making a comic, but before you cringe I assure you that it is not about the "Artist's Struggle," unless this refers to the Artist's struggle to get his wife to watch a movie with him:

I shouldn't judge though - if anything, I'm worse than my wife when it comes to books. My wife and I both react to books as if they were black holes. Get too close to one (especially one we've already read), and we're drawn inexorably into their pull, never to be released. It doesn't matter what we had planned, we MUST finish that chapter or paragraph or 200-page section, we HAVE to reach that crucial plot point, resolve that suspenseful bit of foreshadowing. It's like a bad addiction. Hooked on phonics, if you will.

It's the night before the night before Christmas, folks. I hope you got all your shopping in :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hey Beard-o!

Hi everyone. My name is Noah ("Hi Noah"). I started growing a beard about a month ago. As most of you in this support group have probably experienced, once you have a beard it starts to change things.

People say I don't look the same and I didn't believe them...I had been convincing myself that really I was no different. But today I'm here to admit that I am different, I've changed. Now that I have beard...I...(imagine a few tears here)...sorry, this is hard for me to say...I LOOK LIKE MY DAD:

For some context, my Dad and I play ping-pong once a week, and are both quite serious about it. When I showed up last time with a full-on beard, the drama that erupted was not far from what I've illustrated above.

So yes, my dear readers, I'll come out and say it. I've grown a beard. If you see me on a regular basis, you know this already - it's hard to miss. But if you don't, then I will assure you in writing that it is truly spectacular.*

* by spectacular I mean it's...well, it's there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So Sumi (ah, puns)

Sadly, I have no comics this week (no time!), so I've posted some previously completed drawings. Back in September, at the cultural cornucopia that is the New York City Comic-Con, I had the great fortune of purchasing a large bottle of sumi ink. Prior to using sumi, I had used India ink for my various projects. What do I think of sumi, after a few uses?



Sumi ink is the roundhouse kick to India ink's passive-aggressive sigh. It gives a consistently dark line without my having to constantly reload my brush, it holds up better under an eraser, and it thins out nicely with just a little water. I might even go so far as to say that it has made me a more confident inker when it comes to my comics - the last two I posted here were done all in sumi, and I felt great about them. The drawings in this post are all from my early experiments with the ink, done a few weeks ago when I was still getting a feel for it.
The monster depicted above is called a Donestre, and is from medieval folklore. I read about it shortly before working on the drawings - it is a man with a lion's head that speaks all languages, and lulls foreign travelers into trusting it. It then eats them, leaving only their heads intact. Because it's still partially human, it is filled with remorse afterward, and mourns the heads.

On a less gruesome note, I also recently drew a fashion model from a subway ad. I filled in her hair entirely in sumi:

Next up: comics about beards, and how they foster manliness in the men who grow them.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Malleable Amalgams

No comics today. Instead, a sombre drawing, since the weather was a little rainy over the weekend.

Sometimes, uncooperative sitters can lead to some fun artwork. The individuals whose faces take center stage here were actually sketched on different days. The woman (the top face) was pensively reading a newspaper article when she suddenly leaped from her subway seat and dashed off the train. Cruel and discourteous, since I was in the middle of sketching her portrait! The gentleman (the bottom face) was not so rude - he sat contemplating his Kindle for a solid 10 minutes. Unfortunately, a woman wearing a puffy winter coat and carrying a large piece of luggage stepped right in front of him, thwarting my efforts for several stops. It wasn't until after she left that I was able to continue sketching, but by then I had arrived at my destination and had to leave the train. Why can't people be more considerate of the fact that I'm trying to work here?!

The scarves and branches came from a clothing catalogue. Lately I've been taking clippings from catalogues, newspapers, and magazines, and incorporating pieces of them into my drawings. It's a good way for me to practice drawing subjects other than faces on the train (though that will always be fun).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Prince of Purrrrrrrsia (ha ha ha yes it's clever)

Things always get so busy in December. Work gets crazy, my social calendar gets crazy, and I go crazy. So unfortunately, I only have one post this week for you all, rather than my customary two. "Well then," you say, "it had better be a good one." And so it is, my friends, so it is: another comic, about cats (or rather, this time, just one cat). Click to enlarge:

If you have cats, you know that eating is probably their favorite hobby, with sleeping a close second. My cat Robin (depicted above) is going on five, and as an adult he has matured into something of a gourmand. He loves canned tuna, but only packed in olive oil (and only, it seems, Tonno Tuna, a deliciously expensive brand). He'll bite into a tomato if we leave one on the counter, but only if it's ripe. Pasta, which his brother Solomon loves to steal, he will leave untouched, but put some grilled salmon on your plate and Robin will literally try to shoulder you out of the way to get at it. When he wants to eat, which is often minutes after he's inhaled a full portion of canned food, he will meow and head-butt me and my wife without stopping, for hours. Every time we even look in the direction of the pantry, he makes a mad dash for his food bowl - because the only reason we could possibly open the pantry door is to bring out a fresh bowl of kibble for his majesty.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let the Work Speak

This is the first "real" cat comic I've ever posted here (the previous one was sort of more of a gag than a full-blown comic). I usually write up some sort of intro, but this time I will let "The Work" speak for itself. Click on it to enlarge:

The above page is actually part I of a multi-part saga involving my cat Robin and his lady love. Future chapters will arrive in future posts...because I haven't drawn them yet.

If you asked someone whether they liked at least one comic about cats, and they said no, there is a pretty good (i.e. 100%) chance they would be lying. To make a "no" even more egregious, the the potential list of cat-comics would include Calvin and Hobbes, which has a very large cat component (i.e. Hobbes).

Cats are perfect for comics because they are weird, introverted animals, and from what I can tell have pretty active inner lives. I am constantly wondering what goes through my cats' heads, and often supply my own monologues and dialogues for them. While this is no doubt bizarre, it often leads to funny stories like the one above.

Footnote about Chloe - she is a real cat, owned by a friend of mine and my wife's who moved to L.A. a little while ago. Sadly, Robin and Chloe never had any actual dates, but we did joke about it a few times, and I promised that I would find a way to work it into my cat comics. And so: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.