Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My 15 minutes of printed fame...

Bothered to Google something I was involved with over 15 years ago I just had to think about tonight. I came in third place in a cartoon contest my local paper did back in 1996 during a week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the comic strip.

I recall submitting several comics to them during the time, but the one that was picked in the running was a thing I had about "Unabomber Merchandise". The cartoon itself that isn't printed at all (and I'm sure in the years that followed, the paper probably threw it out anyway to get rid of extra space in their vaults) involved showing a federal agent presiding over a glass case featuring t-shirts, mugs and other trinkets that simply have the familiar sketch of this guy's mug all over 'em...

I think I did keep a xerox of my winning cartoon, but can't seem to find it right now. My involvement in the contest feels rather cheated looking back on it, but then, the paper didn't go too far into offering something like a scholarship or savings bond for the trouble, and we all got the same prizes anyway so there wasn't much complaining there (besides mine not seeing publication), though a blurb about it complimented my "great drawing style and design", for which I rendered the drawing using only a brush, a few pen nibs and a bottle of Higgins black India ink. To this day my inking still sucks hard I feel, but that's only really because I did not have the real supervision or advice in how to do it, having to try figuring it out on my own and felt my interest in pen & ink rendering was as obscure and hardly known to anyone but me.

Looking back, I don't think the winning drawing in my age group wasn't too perfect alone, but I can see why the judges would pick it for it's staging and condensed plot (itself, children having imaginary adventures in their bedroom, though Bill Watterson and others have gone there before) and that final line at the end seals it (probably best explains my life since).