And the crowds gone wild!

13 Aug

I thought I’d share a little bit about my cartoon presentation that I did a couple of weeks ago.  I kind of mentioned it HERE on a previous post, but didn’t really elaborate too much.

I was going to write this post and include some fun photos of it, however, I’ve yet to get my hands on them (not sure who has them tucked away in their hard drive at the moment).

Above:  Since I don’t have amusing pictures of the event, I thought I’d just put one up of a chimp.  

You know, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  At times, there are some pretty menacing moments in my career as a cartoonist.  A lot of key words come to mind like:  hopeless, pointless, frustrating, Cocoa-Puffs.  However, that one little moment when I was drawing in front of about 25 kids and they all went wild (that’s where I got the title to this post from) I realize that there is a slight moment where what I do is something meaningful – at least for some.

I had a presentation at SPCA Tampa Bay (same organization I’m trying to raise money for with my Cartoon Your Pets).  It was a summer camp for a bunch of kids about age 10-13.  There were some adults peppered in there as well.

What the premise of the event was:  Work that relates with animals.

Because of my above mentioned Cartoon Your Pets, I was asked to come and talk about my animal work and about how I enjoyed doing that along with my other illustration endeavors.  I brought up how a lot of my cartoons feature animals as well.  So, not only did I talk about it, but I had a pretty lengthy slideshow with a bunch of my pooch and feline cartoons.

Above:  An example of an animal cartoon of mine.  Who’s else would it be?

I tried to liven it up a bit with some jokes about each comic.  I remember back in the day when I had to go to camp.  I used to hate camp – with a passion – and we had boring presentations (and ice cold pool water…but there was no pool here, so I was in luck), so I wanted to make might slightly more entertaining.  Plus, I didn’t want to be booed off the podium or have tomatoes tossed at me.

I went through my presentation.  I talked about everything from my internship with MAD Magazine to my work appearing in the newspaper.  (Which, by the way, I was shocked when I asked how many kids read MAD.  Quite a few raised their hands!  I figured they just watched the cartoon or didn’t read magazines in general.  The same question with the newspaper offered more predictable results, like, “What’s a newspaper?”)

Anyhow, I won’t go into too many lengthy details here.  Let’s just say I wrapped it up and honestly think the slide show part went well.

Now, a key part of this presentation was there was also an author with me for the camp.  What we did was have them get into groups and create a story based off a dog and a cat (one or the other or both – whatever they felt like) character that I had up on the screen that I drew.

Above:  The two characters their stories had to be based off of.  Not sure why they look crazy.

So, they wrote there stories and I helped with any aspect of it that I could.  Quite frankly though, I stood around doing nothing during the writing part because they didn’t seem to need much help from me.

They finished their stories and read them aloud to the other groups and us.

The wild part was toward the end.

One of the groups came up with a character that was part cat and part dog.  They called it a Catog.  Pretty clever, eh?  I thought so considering they were young and thought of something so original.

I was having fun with the group and I thought, hey, what the heck.  I’ll try to draw it for them.

The second I sat at the table about to draw, I was suddenly swarmed with all the kids coming up to watch me.  I mean, it was like bee’s to honey (to put it nicely).  Craziness as soon as I picked up that marker.  Like a mosh pit.  Okay, you get the idea.

Then, they started to hand me photos of their pets.  One after the other.  Wanting drawings.  ALL of them wanting drawings!

I did.  I drew and drew.

I serious drew about 50 some pictures there.  I actually had to be cut off by the director to a lot of kids disappointment.

At any rate, volunteering for this camp was quite rewarding.  With all the doubts I have about my profession sometimes, it’s nice to see kids reactions to imagination in the form of illustration.  Makes me feel like at least something has come out of my skills in this dismal market with syndication.  I need reminded of that sometimes.  So, I’m anxious to do it again.

I think the kids enjoyed themselves and probably all of them are anxious about their future careers as syndicated cartoonist.  (Okay, not too sure on that last part.)



2 Responses to “And the crowds gone wild!”

  1. bearmancartoons August 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Fun day.

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