Wednesday, January 30, 2013

FoxTrot Classics

I decided to post some FoxTrot strips on a regular basis on this blog. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pyun Pyun Maru: First episode

I wrote about the 1960s anime Pyun Pyun Maru early this month. I figured that the best way to get people interested in the show is if they can actually watch it.

So I decided to upload the very first episode on YouTube. This is full 25 minutes long, so hope you don't have anything to do.

Everything is in Japanese with no English subtitles, but the story is that a Samurai leader hires Pyun Pyun Maru and his brother Chibi Maru to capture an imposter that's been infiltrating his army. They get into confusion when they run into the fake leader at the camp, confusing the two. They eventually end up in the same room together.

Friday, January 25, 2013


The past few weeks I decided to dig out my old FoxTrot books and read them.

FoxTrot is one of my huge cartooning influences. As a kid, I tried to copy the style with very little success. You can see traces of Bill Amend's influence in my drawings, such as round eyes and sideways nose, but FoxTrot is something special.

The artwork is minimalist, and many people regard it as crude and stiff. Stiff it may be, but I don't consider it poorly drawn at all. If you examine the strip closely (and especially with the early strips), the drawings and layouts are carefully planned. Everything in the art is there for a reason. The characters make the right pose for any given situation, there are enough details in the backgrounds to give a sense of location, and even the faces are just right, as abstract they can be.

The strips above illustrate what I mean. There are many examples, but let me highlight a few:

  • STRIP ONE: You have Peter leaving in the last panel, waving his "hold on a minute" finger at Andy. A lesser strip would simply show Peter just turning around and leaving without him holding up his arm.
  • STRIP THREE: Look closely at Peter's mouth in all four panels. In the first panel his mouth is drawn normally, showing that he's speaking confidentially. However, by second panel he's becoming less and less confident. Notice in the third box that his lower lips are raised, showing that he's starting to doubt himself. By the last panel his mouth is near his chin, showing that Peter knows he painted himself to the corner.
  • STRIP FOUR: In the second panel, notice how Andy is emphasizing her point by tapping her palm. Any other strip would simply just show her pointing at Peter.
These are just some example. FoxTrot is not the prettiest strip in the world but there's a purpose to its art style that I find admirable. It's not the most appealing art style in the world, but Bill Amend's attention to detail should be commended.

Here are some more strips

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taro and His Turtle, part 8 of 8 (END)

Hope you enjoyed it. This is the last page.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Taro and His Turtle, part 1 of 8

This is an eight-page story that I drew last summer. I drew this as a bonus for a Katrina #2 comic book, which was never published due to lack of fund/interest.

However, I thought it came out OK, so I decided to post the comic, one page per day, on this blog. Check back every day (except Sunday, where Conchy will run.).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Conchy - Week of June 7, 1976

(I'm missing the June 11 strip. Here's a September 6, 1975 strip instead)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Pyun Pyun Maru (1967; 1969-70)

Recently Toei Video began releasing smaller volumes of 1960s anime Pyun Pyun Maru. It was released as box-set few years back, now out of print. Japanese DVDs are notoriously expensive; the box set was worth over $400 alone. The volume discs are about $50; expensive, but manageable for curious buyers. And with six episodes, it's a bargain for an anime disc.

Pyun Pyun Maru (ピュンピュン丸was produced by Toei Animation in 1967, and it's one of their first color TV productions; their other shows from the era were black and white.


Conchy - Week of May 31, 1976

 (I'm missing the May 31 strip. Here's a May 22 strip in its place.)