Dad’s Doodle – Buster Keaton, Alcatraz & Texas Twister

The girls didn’t really want to draw last night, but I did a little doodling on my lunch break and while watching a little TV …

Inspired by Scott C’s great showdowns, I drew Buster Keaton vs. a Build-Your-Own-House-Kit in “One Week” …

The cast of “Alcatraz” …

And, for Brendan Tobin, Ed Emberley versions of Texas Twister & Shooting Star …


Finding Nemo!

This one’s been a long time coming. Cate has been talking about drawing Nemo … and then deciding not to draw. But, I think it was worth the wait. When she does draw, Cate is attentive for both shape and detail. Her Nemo has all the necessary tags and really shows she understand how our favorite clownfish is constructed. I can’t wait to see how she continues to develop as an artist.

Mr. Peanut

So, I’m not exactly sure … but when asked what she wanted to draw tonight, Grace quickly responded, “That peanut dude on the peanut jar!” As odd as it is that she chose an anthropomorphic peanut (although a classic advertising mascot) as her inspiration … it’s even odder to note that we don’t have Planters peanuts in the house. Dang, marketing people … stay out of my child’s head! (Psst … I’m one of those darn marketing people. So, I’m just yelling at myself.)

Katie Cook’s Gronk

Last night, Gracie and I drew for the unbelievably nice and insanely talented Katie Cook. Katie was an “early adopter” of 5 Minute Marvels, drawing this Wonder Woman for Gracie in 2010. Katie’s worked for Star Wars online and countless others on top of creating her own Webcomic, Gronk, about a nice, nerdy lady who adopts an inquisitive green monster. I put Grace’s drawing in both large form and combined with mine.

Dad’s Doodles – Timelords Wearing Hats

I had a lot of fun drawing Matt Smith in a fez with Grace this week … so I decided to draw some of my other favorite Timelords and their haberdashery — William Hartnell in his original fur cap from the very first eppy of Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton’s toboggan from Fury from the Deep (I LOVE that episode) and Tom Baker’s off again, on again cowboy hat/fedora. I know I should draw Sylvester McCoy in his bowler … but I just don’t like that era of Who. Sorry, Sly lovers.


Fezzes are Cool!

Tonight, we entered a state of temporal grace around the drawing board and decided to take on bow ties, fezzes and Timelords.

Gracie doesn’t really watch Doctor Who, but she knows I do and once she saw the red fez … it was an easy drawing session. In fairness, my Doctor took about five minutes, but I did take an extra ten to draw in the ghostly Dalek and Cyberman. (I drew the redesigned Cyberman while biting my lip. For me, you can’t beat the “Invasion/Revenge” Cyber design. 🙂 )

Rocket Raccoon for Bill Mantlo

I love kooky comics. Since I was a kid, I’ve lived in the extremes. I want my comics to either be really real or really “comic booky.” That’s why I loved Bill Mantlo’s work even before I knew his name. ROM, Hulk, Cloak & Dagger, etc. … when I was Grace’s age, they were just full of odd characters and far out concepts — products of the imagination of Bill Mantlo. Tragically, Bill was injured in a hit and run accident in 1995 and can no longer write. This holiday season, a call went out for Bill fans to draw fan art and send it to him to cheer him up. So, the girls and I decided to draw one of Bill’s most enduring creations: Rocket Raccoon. It’s not too hard to encourage kids to draw a space-hopping raccoon … and that’s thanks to Bill Mantlo.

Click here to read a heart-breaking, but encouraging story about Bill and to learn how you, too, can send him fan art!

Where’s My Water?

I can easily see us doing a whole series on iPhone App characters. Let’s face it … the kids love ’em.

Tonight, Gracie wanted to draw Swampy from Disney’s Where’s My Water? We had a lot of fun with this one, especially Grace, who vacillated between drawing and dancing like a happy alligator in the shower.

Fijit Friends

Drawing with Cate is different than drawing with Grace. She’s not really into the “You pick one. I pick one,” idea. At best, you can just hope you agree on a subject. Other times … she wears you down. This was one of those times. She wanted to draw “Wilma,” the Fijit Friend Santa brought on Christmas Day.

If you have one, I think you’ll agree a picture of a Fijit beats the loud reality by a country mile. If you don’t have one in your home … I envy you. 🙂

Indy Art! Scott C. & Becky Dreistadt

As fun as it is drawing classic comics characters, the girls are often more engaged by the quality of the art and the art style more than they are the legacy of the character. So, we look at the work of many indy artists. Tonight, we drew inspiration from Scott C. and Becky Dreistadt of Tiny Kitten Teeth. Check out their blogs here:

Here’s our source art: 

And, now a word from Scott C.


Green Lantern Corps (a la Art Baltazar’s “Tiny Titans”)

When asked what she wanted to draw tonight, Gracie yelled, “Tiny Titans.” I’ve said it before … and will again: Art Baltazar’s art is an incredible way to engage kids and teach them how to find the essence of a character with simple shapes and lines. Art’s work can help develop the eye and talent of artists of any age. We can only hope that he’ll release a “How-To” book of his own. To learn more about his work at DC, check out this cool interview.

And, to see more of his Lanterns … dig this!


Mike Wazowski

Wow. Mike’s awestruck expression says it all — Cate killed it today.

She’s been drawing more and displays great understanding of shape and lots of patience, particularly when inking her pencils. When she wants to  … Cate can draw. But, she needs to want to do it. She’s gotten into a great book we got on drawing classic Disney and Pixar characters. It’s not overly “step-by-step,” but it does break characters down into their basic shapes in helpful ways.

Dad’s Doodles – Peanuts/BPRD Mashup

Francesco Francavilla is one of our oldest friends at 5 Minute Marvels and it has been an absolute pleasure to watch how his career has grown over the last few years. Even with the darkest of subjects, Francesco has a playful spirit in his art — I think that’s what the Big Two have seen and fans respond to in his work. So, when I saw his Peanuts/BPRD mashups on Comics Alliance yesterday, I was compelled to join in the fun with my takes on Marcie/Lobster Johnson & Franklin/Andrew Devon. See Francesco’s incredible art here!  

And, now, a word from Francesco!


Dad’s Doodles – Jack Kirby’s Kobra

Tonight’s 5 Minute doodle (okay, maybe 8 minutes) is for my good friend, Josh Bowron. Knowing of my fondness for all things Kirby AND my penchant for reading “fun, but failed” comics concepts, Josh bought me Issue 1 of Kobra, which is one of (if not THE) last issues Jack ever penciled for DC.

Josh is a comics nut with wild, eclectic taste, an aspiring comics writer and a priest at my church. A comic reading priest … why did I have to wait 38 years for this? Learn more about Father Josh, his thoughts, faith and interests at his blog, Discernland. 


Gracie’s Doodles – Bat-Man & Woodie

Grace fell behind a bit over the past few days and drew Bat-Man (LEGO Bat-Man) and Woody from “Toy Story.” She used a Disney instruction guide and did very well. I love Woody’s eyes and mouth.


Toy Story – Toy Trouble

It’s no secret that we adore Toy Story. In fact, the girls were worried that my Buzz Lightyear action figure was getting lonely, so they gave me a Jessee for Christmas. So, tonight, we drew inspiration from a Toy Story book with absolutely gorgeous art by Jean-Paul Orpinas. Grace’s Jesse is sweet … but I am really proud of Cate’s use of shape and attention to detail. Imagine if she actually drew wirh us more. 🙂

Happy 39th Birthday, Schoolhouse Rock!

I am sorry I’m a few days late, but I’m excited to offer art from Grace, me and four awesome buddies to celebrate the 39th anniversary of the first broadcast of Schoolhouse Rock! Each of our guest artists has a blog you should visit … especially Raymond and Benjamin Jarrell, who contacted us last week. They have their own sketch blog and live right here in NC! Who knew! And, Sandy is working on an OGN right now, which, if it lives up to the preview art, will be awesome. Hopefully, this is the first of several collaborations.

Goodbye Chunky Rice!

The holidays are an awesome time to catch up on all those graphics novels you’ve been meaning to read. So, after finishing Craig Thompson’s “Habibi,” which I got for my birthday, I picked up his earlier work “Goodbye, Chunky Rice.” While visiting Grace’s beloved cousin, Ava, in Atlanta, we asked her to draw Chunky Rice and Dandel with us … to fantastic result. This really shows how incredible Thompson’s style is … at once childlike, while able to fit into complex landscapes and themes he creates.

Sketch Monsters & Spiral-Bound

Grace and I both got books over the holidays we loved … and that love led to sketchin’. In Grace’s case, it was Sketch Monsters by Joshua Williamson and Vicente ”Vinny” Navarrete. Grace wanted to draw “The Love Monster.” For me, I went with characters from Aaron Renier’s “Spiral-Bound,” which was just made available on Comixology. (I’ve already gushed several times here about my love of Renier’s “The Unsinkable Walker Bean” for which I need a sequel, like, now.) Enjoy! And, buy.

New Year … New Art!

Happy New Year! Sorry it’s been a while since we last posted, but we have been drawing … as the next few days will show. We’ll start with a tour of some of Grace’s favorite holiday characters!

The cool thing is that after we drew The Bumble from Rankin/Bass’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, we got to see a licensed puppet performance of the same story at Atlanta’s Center of Puppetry Arts last week. Check out a link to a video trailer of it here. If you’re anywhere near the ATL next Christmas, you HAVE to make this show. It was terrific.