Sketch: A Family Reunion


Chamberlain Family Reunion, originally uploaded by speartoons.


Sketch of a photo from the Anderson (Indiana) Herald-Bulletin. The article was about the Chamberlain Family Reunion on Christmas Day. The article is at http://www.heraldbulletin.com/archivesearch/local_story_359201717.html

The photo had the patriarch of the family holding twins that were his great-great niece and great-great nephew. It was a great choice for Illustration Friday's theme. This week's word was "pioneer." The gentleman had traveled to Anderson, Indiana from the south when he was young to look for work. He found it in the factories and soon his family followed.

The Anderson Herald-Bulletins owns the copyright to the photo I based this sketch on.

Cartoon: Literature in the tech world

Cartoon of a man staring at a compact disc. The caption reads, Bruce tries to combine the old with the new by curling up and reading a classic on CD-ROM.

This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Webcomic: The Law and PC Clones



Cartoon of a courtroom. Defense attorney says, “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you must ask yourself if this PC could have committed thte crime, or could it have been a clone?”

This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."
New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.
I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Cartoon: Musical Tech


Spear-Cartoon_3560, originally uploaded by speartoons.
Cartoon of boy and dad at computer. Boy says, "You're listening to classical music on the Internet? Doesn't that violate some techie code of conduct?"

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2. It also is for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "music."

Sketchbook: Curiosity in a Box


Spear_sbook0906_pg99, originally uploaded by speartoons.
Sketch of kids in a classroom. It's fun how kids are attracted to boxes. It always piques their curiosity. Even if it's empty, kids will wonder what's going on, especially when it wasn't there before.

Devotoons: Tested by Praise

Yesterday, I posted a new Devotoon at my sister site. If you're looking for a new cartoon, that's the place to go. Here's the link:

Bike Riding Monster


Bike Riding Monster, originally uploaded by speartoons.
Sketch I did during a department meeting. Sometimes, it's better to avoid drawing anyone in a meeting. Unfortunately, trouble brews if someone still believes I was drawing them in the form of a monster.

Making a Change

I have decided to change my blog posting focus. For the last two months, I have posted a daily cartoon on this site. While I have enjoyed that, I have decided to become more focused.

Now, I am concentrating my new comics at my other blog site. I will be posting three days a week to http://www.devotoons.com. This site will have a cartoon with a devotional thought.

In the meantime, I'll use this blog site. to post some of my work in progress and interesting tidbits about children's publishing, book publishing and the comics industry.

Blessings,

Kevin Spear

Webcomic: The Plague of Chores

Cartoon of Moses and a boy. Boy says, “It’s not fair being Moses’ son! If I don’t do my chores, you send a plague."


Have you ever noticed life isn't fair if you make someone work? What they're really saying is "It's only fair if I don't have to lift a finger!" Oops! Looks like I better change my attitude and do a little more work!


I drew this web comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Panting for School

Cartoon of two boys. One says, "If a dog goes around with his tongue hanging out, it's okay. But if I do it, I get sent to the school counselor."


There are so many things our pets do we think is cute. But if a person did the same thing, trouble would be brewing. Be sure you do your panting at home. It's safe that way.


I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Illustration Friday: Blur


Cartoon of boy and mom. Son says, "I don't know what the principal told you. For me, the food fight was a blur."

I have to admit, I wasn't usually the boy starting a food fight in the cafeteria. I was the kid observing the whole melee, hiding and admiring the troublemaker for his chutzpah. It's much safer that way, and the teachers like you better.

I drew this for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "blur."

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Dignity Insurance

Cartoon of boy and girl. Boy is wearing an eagle costume. Boy says, "I agreed to be the school mascot if they would pay for my dignity insurance."


You have to be a special breed to be a mascot. You have to be able to fire up the crowd while ignoring those who fear you or want to humiliate you. It's a good lesson for life in general. I think it would have been good for Charlie Brown to play a mascot. It builds character.


I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Internet Language Lessons

Cartoon of boy at a computer. Mom says to him, “We didn’t get you a computer so you could learn how to call someone a moron in seven different languages.”


This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

I envy today's kids. The Internet is a vast resource for people looking for subversive ways to insult friends and loved ones. It's one giant thesaurus, baby!

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Blog link: What size should I illustrate my children's book?

Heather Castle's blog has some great information for aspiring children's book illustrators. Her latest post tackles the question, "What size should I illustrate for children's books?"


The biggest takeaway from this is don't provide finished illustrations for the whole book. It will take you forever and won't help you sell the book. Provide sketches and perhaps one, finished illustration.

You never what to hear from and editor who says, "The story was great, but the illustrations are a bit off." I've seen it before. It happens. Your illustrations may be great, but not quite the angle the editor would like to go. Or it could go the other way. The publisher loves your illustration style but thinks the story is drivel. If that's the case, you have quite a portfolio piece, but a couple of illustrations would have sufficed.

It's the KISS method, friends! Keep it simple, Silly!


Webcomic: Health Insurance

Cartoon of boy sick in bed. He says to his mom, "But if we have health insurance, why didn't it keep me from getting sick?"


Have you ever tried to explain insurance to children? It's not the easiest thing. One would assume health insurance would keep you from the flu bug. Then again, that same logic would say life insurance would keep you from dying. I suppose it depends on whether you get term or whole life.


I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Internet Play

Cartoon of girl at a neighbor's door. Girl says, “Can Michael come over and surf the net?”


This is a comic I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this web comic. Please do not use without permission.

Webcomic: All Saints Day

Cartoon of an angel and vampire. Angel says, “Halloween is over, Bub. It’s All Saints Day. Beat it!”


All the spooks and sweets are over. It's time to count the loot and bring out the saints again. Only fifty-five days until Christmas. It will take that long to get the saints in order.


I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Hairy Halloween


Cartoon of a vampire and werewolf. Werewolf says, "Halloween is the one night of the year I don't have to shave."


Happy Halloween. I think I'll celebrate by not shaving today!


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Skinny Halloween


Spear-Cartoon_3551, originally uploaded by speartoons.

Cartoon of girl and dad. Girl says,"I don't know. I was hoping for a Halloween costume that makes me look skinny."

I've noticed Halloween costumes have gone from the old, traditional creepy crawlies to the more... oh... bewitching. Come one, people! kids have enough pressure on body image. Give them a break!

I drew this web comic for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "skinny."

I also drew this cartoon in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Trick or Treating


Cartoon of a trick or treating boy. Boy says, "Trick or treat! I'm dressed as your former stockbroker who fled to Cozumel."

Let's face it. Finances got scary last year. I still don't want to look at my 401k. Hopefully, most of the spooks have left Wall Street, but I'm not holding my breath.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Internet Love

Cartoon of a husband and wife. The wife says, “I’m sorry, Roger. I just have more fun with the Internet that with you.”


This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


I hope Roger and Carol got back together. The Internet is fun for a while, but it can't beat good old fashion human interaction.

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Webcomic: Scapegoat Spooks

Comic of a boy and a ghost. The boy says, "You're welcomed to stay here. I could always use a scapeghost."

I've been on the Halloween kick. I think I just discovered a very useful occupation for spooks. Everyone could use a scapegoat, why not use a translucent specter for one?

I drew this cartoon in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Origins of the PC's

Cartoon of two archaeologists. The caption says, "Edward and Ulysses discovered the origins of the personal computer went back much further than anyone ever realized."


This is a comic I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


It amazes me how much we forget about recent history, let alone how little we really know about the ancient past. You can't really unless you were there in person. Anybody have a time machine?

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.


Webcomic: Monster Mashed

Cartoon of a mom and boy. Child reacts to monstrous plate. He says, "Mom! My favorite! You made Monster Mashed Potatoes!"


This is what happens when I have "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett running through my mind. I better stock up on some more candy.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Mom of Fear


Webcomic of two boys. One has a mask. The other says, "That's nothing. When I want to get scared, I look at Mom's to-do list."


Since Halloween is coming up, I've been looking at things that bring me fear. And yes, to do lists are at the top of my fear list.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Fast Trick or Treating

Cartoon of trick or treaters. There is a clown, firefighter and a princess. The firefighter says to the running princess, “Are you saying we should skip this next house?”


I drew this for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "Fast." I'm guessing the girl is clocking in at sixty five miles per hour and qualifies as fast.


I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Home Based Napping

Webcomic Home Based Nap

Cartoon of a woman asleep at a home office. Caption says, "Carol discovers one of the benefits of a home based business."

This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages." New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Webcomic: Office Coffee

Comic of two men in a kitchen. One says, “My major disappointment from working at home is I have no one to blame for a bad cup of coffee.”


This is a cartoon I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.


Comic: Reboot button

Spear-Cartoon_3537

Cartoon of kids and a dog. Boy says, “He won’t do any tricks. Where’s the reboot button?


I found the reboot technique for our dog. It's called a treat. Our puppy changes her behavior immediately if she hears the crinkle of a treat bag. It works for husbands too.


I drew this webcomic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Indoor Pool

Cartoon of couple looking at a flooded basement. Man says, “Instead of fixing the basement, let’s convert it into an indoor pool."


This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Webcomic: Clergy Appreciation Month


Cartoon of two men. A glowing halo floats between them. One man says, “Happy Clergy Appreciation Month! I polished your halo.”


I've known plenty of pastors. The very first one was my grandfather. I learned very early on they all have hearts of gold but are flawed just like the rest of us. Be sure to show your pastor appreciation. But don't put them or their families on pedestals. We're all afraid of heights.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS3. I also drew this for the CHOG E-newsletter.

Comic: Revising Dad's History


Cartoon of a man behind a boy at a PC. Man says, “Mom told me you used the web to prove I really didn’t walk seven miles uphill both ways to school every day.”


This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Illustration Friday: Frozen


Illustration Friday: Frozen, originally uploaded by speartoons.

Webcomic of a dad and daughter. The daughter says, "I just realized your wardrobe is frozen in time."

Every dad will one day face the disgust of his daughter. Fashion can play a big part of that. Fashion is just another way of saying, "What were you thinking?

I drew this cartoon for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "frozen."

I drew comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Thomas Nelson adds self-publishing division

This article caught my eye today. The largest Christian publisher in the United States announced they are starting a self-publishing division called WestBow Press.

Is this technology that's changing the landscape or economics? I see it as a little of both.

Technology has enabled self-publishing to be more affordable and easier to use. After all, I can comment on an article just a day old and it becomes published in the blog world.

Economics is also driving this. Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, had this quote: "Publishers aren't omniscient. "We miss numerous opportunities every year. Finding the next best-seller is like searching for a needle in a haystack. WestBow Press provides us with a kind of ‘farm team.' We intend to watch the sales of these titles carefully."

One one hand, it's never been easier to get your book published. On the other hand, you will be expected to make more of an investment in the future. Self-publishing means you invest your money in your book. This may weed out people who are not committed to their manuscript. However, the haves will have an advantage over the have-nots. No money, no book.

What do you think?

Here's the link to the article: "Thomas Nelson adds self-publishing division"

Cartoonist/Illustrator Ricco Schacherl

Today, I discovered the work of Ricco Schacherl of Johannesburg, South Africa. He had a delightful cartoon for Illustration Friday's word, "flying."

I like how the cartoon shows the tension and hope in spreading your wings and flying. At the same time, the "kick me" sign shows it's not easy spreading your wings.

Here's the link to the site.

Webcomic: Soccer to Me


Cartoon of soccer boy and girl. Boy says, "We play the game. Next week we'll just do it all over again. What's the point?"

What's my motivation, coach? It must be a challenge to keep early elementary kids into a game. Attention spans can't be as long as the game. That's what makes watching the games fun. I can relate to the kid out in the field who is picking dandelions instead of paying attention to the game. No need to have playoff pressure when you are six years old.

I drew this comic in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Maurice Sendak Video

The Drawn blog has a post about a Maurice Sendak video.

http://drawn.ca/2009/10/14/maurice-sendak-on-what-being-an-illustrator-means/

I found it interesting he didn't know how his illustrations work. He said the only thing he has control over is his graphics. It led me to realize when you think too hard about the arts, it can cripple you. The key isn't to spend so much studying that you never actually draw. The key is to do the dirty work day in and day out.

If I'm not plugging away each day, I get rusty and cranky. If you love to draw and write, do it every day no matter how you find the time. Five minutes in a day is better than none at all.

The Business of Children's Illustration

Paige Keiser at the Fox in Socks blog has an interesting post on the business of children's illustration. http://paigekeiser.blogspot.com/2009/10/5-quick-tips-to-getting-published-in.html

Not only is it her professional advice, but the advice of other pro illustrators. Illustration is a business. Sure, the artsy part of us loves to be free and unfettered. But if someone wants to make a living in the field, they have to put in the hard work just like any other business.

The post is chocked full of practical advice. I recommend checking it out.

Webcomic: Flabby Warranty


Comic of two men walking. An older man says, “I once had a fit body like yours. Then my warranty expired.”


This is a cartoon I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


I took up jogging a few years ago when my father-in-law said, "Looks like you're getting a little poofy. Are you retaining water? I'm so glad he did that. Since then, I've retained my enthusiasm for fitness.

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this web comic. Please do not use without permission.


Webcomic: The Family Blog

Cartoon of a boy at a computer. Boy says to Mom, "I'm writing a blog. Does your family or Dad's have the most sordid details?"


There are no sordid details in my blog... at least none I'm aware of. It seems safe to talk about yourself as opposed to loved ones. If that doesn't work, make a cartoon out of them and distort the details enough so no one recognizes themselves.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Political favors

Cartoon of a press conference. A reporter says, “Senator! Any truth to the rumor you exchanged political favors for RAM?”


This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


When I drew this, RAM was much more of an issue. Computers were powerful but RAM was still pricey. Today, I'm guessing politicians exchange Iphones for political favors.

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Bonfire with Friends

Cartoon of two mice at a bonfire and a cat. A mouse says, "Nothing like a bonfire with friends, is there?"


The thing I like about bonfires in autumn is the mysterious, spooky feeling. I can see what's going on around the bonfire, but what's lurking out there beyond the warm glow? Only The Shadow knows. Wait! That's "What evil lurks within the hearts of men." Sounds like Halloween to me.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Webcomic: Grow, Baby Grow!

Cartoon of a couple in garden with giant fruit. Guy says, “Just what kind of fertilizer did that guy on the gardening site recommend?”


This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."


I do not have a green thumb. I have avoided "Farmtown" on Facebook for this reason. Why spend time to see virtual plants die when I can do it in the comfort of my back yard?

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Webcomic: I'm Flying!

Webcomic-Illustration Friday: Flying

Cartoon of injured boy. He says to another, "I learned even if it feels like you're flying, it isn't worth it to jump off a swing in mid air."

Yes, I tried this a few times as a child. The swing is an unforgiving master. I got smacked in the back a few time. But I didn't get any broken bones. I have no idea how I escaped that fate!

I drew this comic for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "Flying."

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Cartoon: Kitchen Serenade

Webcomic of a mom and boy with guitar. The boy says, "Let me serenade you before you see the mess in the kitchen."

Music can cure the savage mom. Just be sure to sing something she likes. I know, it may hurt your musical sensibilities, but if you're already in trouble, you might as well be flexible.

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Fine Arts Tech

Cartoon of man with wrecked computer. He says, "It wasn't working so I converted it into a fine arts piece."

This is an illustration I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

Ironically enough, when I first tried to post this, my computer crashed. It must have been offended by the whole gag. Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've offended someone. It happens whenever you deal in humor.

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Cartoon: Act your Age

Cartoon of a grandfather and grandson. The grandfather says, "Anyone who tells you to act your age is a boogerhead!"

Advice can be quite subjective. I have often wondered if I've given the correct advice to my kids. What is the correct advice anyway? Yelling "Boogerhead!" and running away rarely works. How would I know? Don't ask.

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Cartoon: Retirement Plan

Cartoon of a couple at a computer. The man says, “At our current savings rate, we should be able to retire in three hundred and twenty-seven years.”


This is a classic cartoon I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

I have a much better retirement plan. I close my eyes and toss the prospectus in the round file. Who needs to worry yourself with all that red ink?

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Taste for Adventure

Cartoon of a boy with a bike and a helmet. Boy says, “Whenever I wear a helmet, I have a taste for adventure.”


Clothes make a man. A helmet makes for adventure. I've had issues with bike helmets. I've often wondered if they made them look more adventurous would more people wear them. Right now, bike helmets just look dorky.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Cartoon: Steam Powered PC

Cartoon of two men next to an Victorian-looking computer. One says, “There’s a good chance your computer isn't environmentally friendly.”


This is a classic cartoon I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

I picture this computer belonging to Charles Dickens at one time. I can just see him typing out, "Please, sir, I want some more." Of course, Charles would have been thinking about more RAM when he thought of that.

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Germs' Rights

Cartoon of a germ and a boy. The germ says, “Don’t be a germaphobe, kid. What did we ever do to you?... I mean, besides that illness thing?”

I drew this comic for Illustration Friday. This week's word is "germs." How appropriate for a season in our lives where Swine Flu and hand sanitizers rule the day. Be sure to sneeze on your sleeve, please. Ignore those germ protests. They may have strength in numbers, but we have flu shots and Tamilflu

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Comic: Carnivore Cruise

Cartoon of an alligator and Noah. The caption says, "Despite Al's friendly manner, Noah turned down his request to room with the sheep."

Whenever I heard about Noah's Ark, I often wondered how much work it would have taken to keep the carnivores and the livestock separated. It would be mighty hard to keep the fox from the hens if they're shared a table and lounge chairs on the lido deck.

Cartoon: Ace in the Hole

Cartoon of two boys staring at a manhole. Boy says, "Sorry , Mister. At least you can say you were part of a home run."


There are two activities that let you know summer is here; baseball and construction. It's a glorious thing when they are combined. It's also sad to see them come to a close as fall comes upon us.


Let's hope there are no open manholes at the upcoming baseball playoffs. I'd like to see the Atlanta Braves play the Detroit Tigers in the World Series. I won't call it a prediction nor a strong hope. If the Cincinnati Reds win a wildcard game, then my strong hope may surface again.


I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS2


Cartoon: Preaching on Youtube

Cartoon of two men. One says, "Great sermon. I already uploaded the highlights to Youtube."

Technology is changing the churches I've been in. Almost everyone has a projector now and many have wireless Internet. It makes me wonder how the church will look in twenty years.

I drew this cartoon for The Church of God E-Newsletter.

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Cartoon: Recycling Education

Cartoon of two children and an old computer at a bust stop. The caption reads, "Melanie's dad found a unique way to recycle his old computer.

This is a classic cartoon I did back in 1996 for the sixth edition of the "New Rider's Internet Yellow Pages."

When I drew this cartoon, I thought the PC looked somewhat modern. Is that a 3 1/2" or a 5 1/4" floppy drive? Where's the SCSI cable? What do you mean it's wireless?

New Rider's Publishing and me own the copyright to this image. Please do not use without permission.

Cartoon: Birthday cheer

Cartoon of two girls. One says, "Happy Birthday! You don't look a day over seven."

My sister has a birthday today. She looks a little older than seven, but still much younger than me. That's the way it should be. All is right in the world.

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS3

Cartoon: Wipe the Slate Clean

Cartoon of a boy and teacher. The boy says, "It's hard to wipe the slate clean when you use a permanent marker."

I've often heard people say, "I'll forgive, but you better believe I won't forget." It is a difficult thing to do, isn't it. If I've slighted you, I hope you've forgotten about it. It wasn't on purpose... honest!

I drew this in Adobe Illustrator CS3.