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Wednesday, March 16, 2022


Well, we've come to it at last: The end of this year's CRAZYVERSARY.  Yeah, I know, it's kind of sad, but time must go on.  Especially considering what's coming next!  But more on that later!  For now, if the CRAZYVERSARY has to end, then we're gonna end it on a high note!  LITERALLY!!!

Last year, I made a commitment to support more artist pals by commissioning original artwork from them.  Then I got swindled out of my unemployment extension and had to go into survival mode until work started back up towards the end of summer.  Needless to say, I wasn't able to commit to that plan as much as I would've liked to have, but I was able to get at least one commission though, and it was from the first fellow web cartoonist I befriended after joining Twitter, the Queen of Webcomics, Dawn Griffin!

Dawn is a cartoonist and illustrator best known for her hilarious comic Zorphbert & Fred, the tale of two aliens disguised as dogs sent to earth to study humans and their ways.  It was a true benchmark in Webcomics and often hit the nail right on the head when pointing out the absurdities that is modern society.  It's a pity Dawn ended the strip when she did, because the current times are a comedy goldmine for cartoonists and writers, but she knows well the virtue of quitting while ahead.  Dawn's long been a friend of this CRAZY man presently typing and has even done guest comics for me in the past.  She even gave me my first shot at doing a guest strip which I will always be very proud of.  Dawn does commissions, so I put in an order!  The request was simple: Mike and Mindy having a playdate with the Weird Kid from Z&F.  Dawn took the ball and ran with and scored big!  What follows is the process!

Dawn was kind enough to send me some progress shots of the commission, starting with the pencils.  For traditional comics and cartoons, this is how it starts for many of us: A simple sketch that gets roughed out and refined as the idea is shaped.  Since helium is a big part of the CRAZYVERSE, we decided that the poor Weird Kid was getting round!

Next up are the inks!  Depending on how one works, this stage is done either traditionally, with a pen or marker, or digitally with a tablet and stylus pen.  It is here where further revisions and refinements take place in the art.  Its a gamble sometimes, as inks are often where most mistakes are made, but some artists reach a point where they're comfortable enough that they can freehand with a pen.  There are certain pieces I was confident enough with to do it on and others I chose to refine further with pencils instead.  It's a skill that comes with time for sure.

And finally, the finished piece, which Dawn rendered in watercolors!  I was very impressed with the colors here as Dawn claimed watercolors are still a work in progress for for her, but she could've fooled me!  I myself have been dabbling in other coloring mediums as of late, mainly watercolors, colored pencils and pastels, but admittedly could be trying a little harder to practice!  Markers are what I started with and am just more comfortable with them.  For the time being at least!

And that's the piece, a hilarious and colorful crossover that sees the Weird Kid "Playing" with Mike and Mindy while also sending up The Cat In The Hat!  The real funny thing here is that this scenario is totally plausible in either comics' universe as both M&M AND Z&F were surreal toons that featured offbeat and irreverent humor!  Poor Weird Kid seems so baffled by it all.  I oughta commission another piece where Mike and Mindy play with their human beachball!  Thanks again Dawn and thanks for giving us a look at the creative process!  This piece reached new heights!

Well, that's all for this week and for the CRAZYVERSARY!!!  Thanks again to all the pals who sent in fan art for this joyous occasion!  It was the biggest celebration yet and topping it is gonna be impossible!  All month long I've been teasing something big is coming, and it is!  Next week: WonderCon returns!  Well, the countdown does at least!  That's right folks, it's been three long years since we last had a WonderCon, but it's back!  And we are gonna get into the spirit with a look back at previous shows, so be sure to come back and check it all out!  Until next time, take care, stay safe and I'll catch y'all later!

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