A Day In The Life Of A Cartoonist

HEY HEY HEY: Go check out my Patreon. Fancy Patrons got to see some of the work in progress on this very comic as I was making it.

I’ve been drawing this 18 panel behemoth for a week solid. I guess panel 19 should be, “Oh and I guess draw this one comic for 6 hours a day, 4 days straight or whatever I suppose.”

I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind for a while and really I’ve just been working up the nerve to START creating something this big. Recently I was approached by Autodesk, the makers of Sketchbook Pro and asked to partner with them to show off the new version of their drawing software. I figured this comic idea, which was completely out of my comfort zone, would be a great way to showcase using a new piece of software, that was also completely out of my comfort zone. I wanted it to look different from my normal stuff, so I thought it best to remove all of the tools and muscle memories that allow me to easily create my “normal stuff.” There was a learning curve, but I soon adapted to Sketchbook Pro’s interface and I was pretty impressed with some of the tools it offered that were catered specifically to drawing. I know that sounds like an odd compliment for a DRAWING application, but I’ve made over 1000 comics using a professional photo editing suite (Photoshop CS through CS6) that ALSO happens to allow drawing.

I’m working with Autodesk to produce a video about my experiences with Sketchbook Pro and the creating of this comic. It will hopefully be available for you to view early next year.

DID YOU GET YOUR HOGWARTS LETTER YET?! Check out these Harry Potter inspired owl post earrings and necklaces my wife made:

harry potter owl post letter necklace earrings etsy

This comic is also a further commentary on what it’s like to run a (very) small business. As I mentioned in the previous comic’s post, I had to stop everything for three weeks while I frantically built a new online store and merch fulfillment operation from scratch. There’s so much about the business of creating things and putting them on the Internet that has NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH CREATING THINGS or putting them on the Internet. When you are known for one specific type of output, it can seem like 75% of the work you do (the stuff that goes unseen) goes completely unappreciated. One of my goals for 2015 is to talk more about The Experiment and what the ACTUAL BUSINESS of making comics (or music or games or whatever) is like vs. what it may seem to be like to the casual observer. I hope to speak with other creators in similar situations and figure out a way to present our shared experiences to other potential makers, doers and Experimenters. It seems like we all just sort of flop around, making a thousand mistakes and figuring things out as we go. If there was a way I could help a fellow artist get their art out there AND make a living from it without making, let’s say, 500 of the 1000 most common mistakes, I think that’s a project worth pursuing. I’ll talk more about that project next year when I have a better idea of what shape it will take.

The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

Last month the HijiNKS ENSUE Patreon went over $1500, which means 4 new comics a week is in full effect! This is the 1st new HE comic for this week. Here’s hoping I can keep it going. At $2000/mo we hit 5 new comics a week, and that’s when I flee to the desert and hug a cactus until a family of rattlesnakes makes a home in my skull.


I’ve been planning to draw the final panel of this comic for several months now. It is my favorite image of David Willis that I have ever drawn. I cannot say that this has really happened 100% as depicted above, but I also cannot say that we’re totally doing this the next time we see each other. I expect our money will get mixed up, and then we’ll have to sort out which money belongs to whom the way our founding fathers did: By adding up who has the most Transformers and giving all the money to the other guy.

Conventions are a weird thing. They cost a ton, they drain you physically and mentally and they usually destroy whatever productivity or momentum you had going on with your regular work, but we (cartoonists) are compelled to keep doing them. I can honestly say that 80-90% of the drive for doing conventions is getting to see my comic-friends. Sometimes the money is good and it comes just when I’m not sure how I’m going to pay the mortgage, and getting to interact with readers face to face is a real treat, but the friendships are the thing I would feel like I was missing out on the most if I stopped going.

Being a traveling Internet cartoonist is like carrying on a dozen or so long distance relationships. Sure, you can text and skype and stay in touch via Twitter and Facebook, but you don’t really get to build new memories or new shared experiences until you’re getting kicked out of a hotel lobby together because that particular hotel doesn’t allow drunken pizza parties at the coat check desk at 4am and WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU ANYWAY TO TELL ME WHERE I CAM… WHERE I CAM… WHERE I CAN AND CAN’T HAVE A PIZZA PARTY DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHO I DRAW BRO ARE YOU EVEN A INTERNET?!

Anyway, it’s a fun time more often than not and a necessary recharge for the relationships in my life that happen one weekend at a time, four to five times a year. I have to pack a lot of living into that single weekend in order to feel like my con-friends aren’t so far away once I get home. Hotel lobby or not, we ARE having that drunken pizza party, dammit.