The Slip

25 Sep

“I have a terrific idea for a comic!” I say to myself as I’m hopping out of the shower, slipping on the wet tile because I forgot to put a towel down.

I stagger a bit to the bathroom sink trying to keep my balance.  Desperately, I try to locate a pen and a piece of paper – ANY paper – so I can jot my idea down before I forget it or in case it’s lost from amnesia because I did eventually slip and bash my head into the countertop.

In a frenzy I manage to make it to the nearest cupboard, that wasn’t in the bathroom, but close.  I find a pencil, a piece of scrap paper and I write down the idea.

READ THE REST!  CLICK HERE

Clowning Around

18 Sep

It’s no laughing matter.  Sometimes, I have to draw a clown.  (Okay, I guess it’s laughable.)  But, since I clown around on the job all day anyway, I guess it’s suitable.

A major part of my cartooning is with the company I co-founded, BizComics.  I’m not sure how much you keep tabs on what I do, but if you’re not aware, over at BizComics we feature a blog and a cartoon every week.  The topics include obvious stuff like business.  But we feature a lot of sales, marketing, office, advertising, tech and other comics.  On top of that, we have a quarterly graphic novel that comes out, Max Impact.  Impact is about a marketing detective with new cases each issue.

The newest blog/cartoon for BizComics features a clown.  And pie (not the tasty kind).

READ THE REST.  CLICK HERE

So You Want To Be A Cartoonist? Part 1

11 Sep

Hi.

I guess you’re reading this because you’re thinking of getting into cartooning, right?  Or, maybe you’re just bored and the other blogs on your reading list are reruns.  Whatever the case may be, I decided to start a new series about becoming a cartoonist.  I’m not sure how long it’s going to be or anything like that.  I’m just going to start – and finish – when necessary.

READ THE REST HERE

Cellar Another

6 Sep

12.5%

That’s about how many brain cells you’ll lose after reading this blog post.

Okay, not really.  However, it is close to the alcohol percentage in wine.  What wine?

Let me tell you….

READ THE REST OF THE BLOG HERE

Rejected Cartoon: The Drunken Polygamist

30 Aug

One feature I’ll be showcasing regularly on the ol’ blog are rejected cartoons.

I have tons of them.

What are they?  Well, they’re cartoons I’ve submitted to publications in hopes of getting them published.  When they don’t make the cut, they’re rejected.

Most of the rejected cartoons are ones that I’ve pitched to MAD Magazine to no avail.  And boy, there are some whoppers in these piles of rejections.  I could start an orphanage for these unwanted scripts and cartoons.  Instead though, I’ll feature them on my newest blog here:  http://www.natefakescartoons.com/blog/rejected-cartoon-the-drunken-polygamist/

The One and Olney

29 Aug

On the front page of my website, I have a little introduction that I wrote about myself.  Just a quick synopsis about who I am, what I’ve done and what I do.  You may have read it.

Anyway, on there I mention that I sold my first cartoon in 5th grade.  And I did.  The girl I tried to impress, I forgot about.  However, I can fill you in on the rest of the story.

CLICK HERE TO READ

My Friend, Routine

24 Aug

I’ve never been in favor of having a routine.

Most of my life I’ve been spur of the moment.  Spontaneity was my friend – and still is.  Not knowing exactly what’s going to happen has always been appealing.

As much as I love being spontaneous, I find that when it comes down to getting stuff done – especially as a cartoonist – it’s not always best.

For many years I found myself just randomly working on my business (cartooning is a business, you know).  It would be days full of me saying, “I think I’ll draw today.  Well, at least for an hour.  Then I might do some marketing or something.  And possibly, if I get bored, I can color pictures.  And then order pizza.  Mmm….pizza.”

No plan.  Nothing.  Just the what do I feel like doing today lifestyle.

So yeah, it wasn’t a grandiose plan.

Read the rest at the new home for the blog!  CLICK HERE

A Silly Start

21 Aug

I knew I wanted to be a cartoonist my whole life.  It started from my first box of crayons and worked its way up from there.  Instead of eating the crayons, I used them to draw.  And even animate.

Read more of the newest blog here: http://www.natefakescartoons.com/blog/a-silly-start

 

The Write Idea

16 Jul

As a cartoonist there are really two main objectives to my job:  draw and write.

There are obviously other objectives as well; such as entertain, tell a story, create nonsense – you know – lots of things.  It varies depending on the goal of the cartoon.  If I’m creating work for the newspaper, it’ll be different than one for a client that has a particular objective in mind.

I stand by my work.  If you are professional at anything, you have to, right?  I’ve been cartooning now for a long time and honestly feel I have a good grip on how to do what I do.  That being said, the one area I feel best about when cartooning is writing.

Writing is essential, and in my opinion, the most important part of being a cartoonist.

Writing also constitutes as ideas.

Trust me – there are hundreds – no, THOUSANDS of people that can draw better than me.

I’m envious of a lot of work from gag cartoonists such as Charles Addams or a great caricature artist like Tom Richmond.  Their art is amazing.  I strive to get to that level – and they set the bar very high.

That being said, there are hundreds (and, I’m guessing, TENS of thousands) of people that can probably write better than me.  (Don’t believe me?  Read a few of the lackluster blog posts on this site.)

The goal as a cartoonist is to combine the two into a polished cartoon.

But let’s start with writing….

I feel my writing and ideas are the strongest part of my work.

In my personal opinion, they’re not always reflected in my daily cartoons (lots of my gag cartoons can be similar to ones you’ve seen before).  Though I try every day to create new gags, unbeknownst to me, sometimes I’ll stumble on the same premise that was done before.  Or, if it is something original, I’ll notice it being used down the line somewhere else.  I believe this is the case in music, movies and almost all forms of entertainment. (Did you hear about the recent Led Zeppelin lawsuit?)

The areas of writing I feel I really excel is when it comes to a.) my own projects and b.) custom work.

I’ll start with my own projects.

What I mean by those are my own books and art that I create for hopefully future publications.  Its things that I have the freedom to write and draw whatever I want (not that I don’t anyway, but I am a little limited when it comes to a single box gag cartoon).  I’ve actually gotten better over the recent years with this.  I tried a graphic novel several years ago, and have gone back to it, but it’s TOTALLY written different.  The first version, the writing kinda – well – stunk.

Now to custom work.

This is work where I’m hired on to create something for someone or something.

If I’m given a topic or an idea, I can usually take that topic and idea and run with it.  Somehow, I’m very good with coming up with – not one – but numerous ideas.

When a client that I work with contacts me about coming up with something for something, I’ll often pitch them anywhere from 5-15 rough thoughts.  I can come up with them rather quickly, which is good.

It does happen that NONE of those thoughts will be any good, but more often than not, at least ONE hits the mark.  Sometimes, the client will go with ALL of them as well – if I’m lucky (and that’s a rare occasion).

And with all of this cartoons contain VISUAL WRITING.  It’s where there is no actual writing, but the visual is the joke.  Still, that has to start off by being written down as an idea.  Some might say sketched, but I still call it writing.  Any idea is written mentally first.

I believe it’s taken me my whole life to get to this point where I can write and come up with ideas rather quickly and accurately.  That’s why I’d never do anything pay by the hour.  I can get somehting thought of in a few minutes sometimes, so I’d make practically nothing.  But, what does it matter?  If it’s good – it’s good.  Just like if you go to a mechanic for a car repair and it only takes them a minute to tighten a bolt but they charge you hundreds of dollars.  The fact is, YOU didn’t know how to do it and the mechanic was skilled in that area and could do it quick.  Time isn’t a factor to cost with some things.

This isn’t always the case.  No, no, no…

I’ve had times where I do struggle to think of even one idea.

What I’ve discovered with client work is I do great under pressure.  That NEED to think of something solid is more relevant in a small time frame compared to my regular work – where I can go about things more casually.

All this being said, writing is definitely my strong point compared to the actual art.  I say that because it’s worked well with clients, publications and I’ve been told that by, let’s just say, industry leaders that know what they’re talking about.  Also, more than not, it’s my writing that has been published in places like MAD Magazine – not my cartoons.

Am I the best writer?  Oh, c’mon now.  I already mention there are MANY others I feel that are better.  My grammar isn’t always perfect, punchlines sometimes fall flat and even I get the occasional writers block.  However, I’m happy that I can combine the whole package together with cartoon art.

This hasn’t always been the case.  It has taken decades of scribbling on notebooks at school to locking myself in my studio churning the brain cells in my head to think of something.  I believe anyone can get good at practically anything after awhile.  So, I attribute it all to lots of practice ever since that first box of crayons.

All this being said, I’m proud of my work and I have very high standards for what I produce.  I wouldn’t send a client crap.  If I’m not happy with it, it’s not going to see the light of day.

I’d like to say I’m up there when it comes to creative writing.  Or hell – make it easy….When it comes to cartooning writing.  That’s where I’m alright.

If you’re good at something, I would try for it, but you don’t have to be the best at it to make it work.  A lot of times it’s numerous things combined that can make something happen.  I know that’s the case with cartooning for, not just me, but most professional cartoonists – and almost any profession.  Not once have I seen a comic with the BEST art and BEST writing of all-time (which is going to be different depending on your own perspective).

Just take your strongest attribute (for me it’s writing) and add another element that you’re good at (and for me, I CAN draw) to put something together.  Of course, try to improve upon everything as you go along and bada-bing!  you might have something.

I might not be the best at both writing and drawing, but if I can hit that sweet spot that is close and have them meet in the middle, I have the write idea.


For more information about custom cartoon work, please visit www.natefakescartoons.com

What Gives?

13 Jun

Q:  Hey, Nate.  I thought you mentioned awhile back you were going to be blogging more?  What the…what happened?  They’re not posted on here often.  What gives?

A:  I don’t know.

Q:  Did someone really ask that question?

A:  No.  I actually made that question up as an intro to a blog post.

I’ve been busy.  Period.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…that’s always my excuse.  But honestly, it’s been jammed-packed around here with Ella (my seven-month old), new clients and the relaunch of BizComics.  Add in the normal cartoons and, well, you have yourself a busy sandwich.

So, it is what it is.  But who reads blogs these days anyhow?

Listen, how about this:  I’ll fill you in to what all I’ve been doing that’s been keeping me busy.  Cool?

I mentioned the above.  And I’ll keep this to professional stuff.  If you’re a parent (or even if not) you know about having a young one at home.  Ella has been fantastic – enough said.  I won’t get into details.  But no, really – extraordinary being a parent it is.  I’ll talk about that some other time (and I actually already have if you scroll some of these here archives).

Let’s keep this post about cartooning.

Some really great new clients have come seeking cartoons – and I’m here to provide the best ones possible.

BizComics was just relaunched and let me just say that I’m 100% thrilled with the direction it’s going.

We launched a year ago to really no fanfare.  Why?  It just wasn’t great at that time.  Yes, we had a page explaining what we do and this and that and blah, blah, blah.  But, it wasn’t very interesting (kind of like many of my blog posts).

Now though, with a weekly cartoon/blog and quarterly graphic novel, Max Impact, we’ve caught the attention of some clients.  And I’m really happy with what is coming with them – and many more – soon.  I am invested fully into everything we’re doing over there and really believe in it.  And our clients?  It’s all about them.  Having them feature cartoons is very rewarding to me.  And I get to help create them.  What’s better than that?  (Well, parenthood is, but still….)

Branding Consultant

Above:  One of the newest cartoons from our BizComics series.

My regular work as well has been going good.  I have some housekeeping to do, but Nate Fakes Cartoons website is being updated regularly with new comics to license out and a few more bells and whistles.  Soon I hope to have a portfolio section, but no huge hurry.  It’ll all get pulled together eventually.

And, of course, I continue writing and drawing my daily cartoons that appear in newspapers and online.  They are also sent to my subscribers everyday via my email service.  That’s a lot of cartoons per year (and emails).

bod160607

Above:  One of my regular, daily cartoons.

Plus, when you add in pizza night here at the Fakes household, it makes for a busy week (and often times heartburn).

Of course, I would blog everyday, but…

Yeah.

Maybe in a perfect world.  How does one hire a ghost writer?  Don’t they, like, write for other people? I’m not too sure (I never Googled “ghost writer”).  Hey, that might help though.

At any rate, I’m writing now, write?  Er – right?

Q:  Are you going to keep up writing more?

A:  Maybe.

Q:  When is your next blog post going to be?

A:  I don’t know.

Q:  Is this the end of this particular blog post?

A:  Yes.