Sketchbook Sunday #6 – Lateness

I was going to post a Sunday sketch on the 25th, but due to a terrible storm there was a power outage during the evening. It lasted for a while, so instead of spending the remaining battery on my Macbook, my girlfriend, her brother and I played Passport in the dim candlelight.

Nonetheless, here’s the page I was going to show you. Sorry about the image quality (click for full size). Among the drawings are a few sketches of the three cats, a derpy bird and three diferent self-portraits. I tried to draw in a slightly different style for each one, but I think I exaggarated slightly on the third one… it looks freaky. The one in the center is my favorite. I should’ve inked it… Pencils doesn’t look too great like this.

Winter Cat #1

This year I spent the Christmas holiday with my girlfriend and her family at her mom’s place. There were three cats in the house, so I kept my camera at the ready just in case they acted cute. You know, cat photos are hard cash on teh internetz.

The cat in the photo is the smallest one. Apparently she thought it would be a great idea to wait for the birds at the feeding tray. To nobody’s surprise, the birds kept away as long as she sat there.

I shot this through a window at a distance, so it’s not as clear as it could’ve been. For this photo, the camera settings were 1/40 sec. exposure at F/11 and 200 ISO.

Traditional Christmas comics

Christmas Eve is approaching, so I want to take a minute and share a tradition my family and I have kept as long as I can remember. On the 24th of December we would always have Christmas comics available for reading while waiting for the presents. I’m actually not sure if it’s solely a Norwegian tradition (perhaps it’s Scandinavian?), but in December every year there’ll be a wide range of different Christmas comics available. Most of them are made by Norwegian artists, but there are also a few made by Disney, among them are classical stories by Carl Barks.

The drawing style in the three comics pictured above is kind of old-fashioned and may not be a favorite of the younger kids. Nonetheless, reading these kind of seasonal comics are one of the best ways for me to get into the Christmas spirit. A delicious once-a-year dinner, good old Christmas movies on TV, snow, Christmas songs, being with family and reading these special comics…. This is Christmas to me.

Sketchbook Sunday #5 – On the go


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I’m trying out the WordPress app, which means that todays sketch is photographed and published with the help of my iPhone.

I’ve been traveling today, but I tried to draw something while being on the road. More specifically, on the train. Just a touch of villainy, a dash of steampunk and you get this character: Cedric Morgan.

Travelogues #1 – Guy Delisle

I recently finished reading these excellent travelogues made by Canadian cartoonist Guy Delisle. I found these while browsing the comic book aisle at the local library, and I consider myself lucky, because Travelogues are for some reason becoming one of my favorite kind of books to read.

In “Shenzhen – A travelogue from China” (2000), Delisle describes a three month stay in Shenzhen, China. We follow his thoughts and daily routines through many quirky and tragicomic episodes. Cultural differences are the main motif of the book, but it also makes room for topics like loneliness, food, awkwardness and the occasional brush with death.

“Pyongyang – A Journey in North Korea” (2003) describes Delisle’s experiences while working at an animation studio in North Korea’s capitol, Pyongyang. The book gives a funny and educational insight into the daily workings of the world’s most isolated country, everything through the perspective of a westerner. Strict rules, personal guides who follow you everywhere, restaurants with very limited menus and copious amounts of communist propaganda are just some of the things he had to go through during his stay. In short, a very entertaining read.

Delisle’s comic drawing style is as fascinating as it is simple. His caricatured self and the people he meets are incredibly expressive, something which must be due to very good economy of line. At first, I didn’t like the muddy gray tones which are used for most of the shading, but it’s easy to get used to. Maybe the originals are shaded with pencils? Nonetheless, Delisle’s panels are superbly timed, perhaps due to his experience as an animator. Reading the comic pages makes you almost feel like you’re there, watching the world through his eyes. As an added bonus, there are small tips on animating here and there, which is always fun to read.

I’m currently reading my way through “Burma Chronicles” (2007), and I’ll try to write a little bit about it when I’m finished.