Where I Work

Frau Grace and I are going to be leaving Virginia in a couple months. We have our place on the Chesapeake Bay where we’ll be living for a while. Before we do, I thought you might like to see the room where I’ve been drawing for the past two years. We rented a townhouse in Reston Virginia after we sold our house in Oakton Virginia two years ago.

This is how my drawing table looks in the morning. It’s pretty typical. The photograph on the board at the bottom left is my mother and my sister and Pete Fountain taken about 15 years ago. The big guy at the top left and elsewhere is my friend and editor of the Swedish Ernie Magazine, Lars.

DSCN0063I do a lot of work on my computer. I edit the drawings and prepare them for publication and send them to the syndicate. I also do this blog, except right now I’m doing it at our Bay place and  I’m using my Macbook Air. My big computer is a 27 inch IMac that I’ve had for about 5 years. I’ve bought many many Macs over the years. That’s my HP scanner on the left. I did that drawing above the computer about ten or twelve years ago. It’s like a Where’s Waldo. It has characters that I’ve used over the years. There must be a hundred of them. I always thought that it would make a good jigsaw puzzle if I colored it. Perhaps I’ll post it on my blog in the near future if I remember to.

DSCN0064Here’s a board where I keep my work schedule and stuff like doctor’s appointments. That’s an old single panel cartoon on top of my audio mixer. I’ve been scanning the old gags into my computer. That’s from about 30 years ago. Tempus Fugit.

DSCN0066My bookcase. I used to have lots more cartoon books, but I had to get rid of them to make room for my junk. Maybe next time I’ll show you some of my treasures. That blue thing hanging on the side is my ukelele.

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DSCN0061These guys watch over me while I draw. I love those talking birds. There’s also a rubber chicken and Ren and Stimpy. Frau Grace thinks it’s creepy. Like Norman Bates.

I don’t know if I recently posted this story from 1997. If I did, sorry. But I kind of like it. Ernie takes a room at the Motel Cucaracha…

Ernie 97-01-20 Ernie 97-01-21 Ernie 97-01-22 Ernie 97-01-23 Ernie 97-01-24 Ernie 97-01-25 Ernie 97-01-27 Ernie 97-01-28 Ernie 97-01-29 Ernie 97-01-30 Ernie 97-01-31 Ernie 97-02-01 p

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Did I ever show you this?

Peter Steiner and I have been friends for over 30 years. Way back when we were both members of the Cartoonist Association, which was comprised mainly of free lance magazine cartoonists. Virtually all of us of that ilk were members, at least those who lived on the East Coast. Peter was principally a New Yorker cartoonist, and when the Washington Times newspaper was started up they hired him for a daily cartoon. He retired from both positions about ten years ago. Now he lives up in the hills of rural Connecticut, way out in the boonies. He spends his time writing novels and painting. He also has a house in the Loire Valley that he visits every year.  You’ll find information about his cartoons, his portraits, and his mystery novels which, by the way, are all set in France. Peter is a bit of a Francophile. As matter of fact, about 20 years ago he and I together went to the Angouleme International Cartoonists Festival and then on to Paris for a week or so. What I want to show you is the portrait he did of me back in 2005. If you’re interested, here is his web site.

IMG_3684What did I do for St. Patrick’s Day? What do you think? I went to a bar and got loaded. Terruy Lee provided the music. And it just so happens that his mom’s birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day. Here she is all the way from California.Want to hear Buddy Valentine sing an Irish song? Hold yer ears…

Back in 2009 Arnoldine was screaming for a pony:

Ernie 09-09-21 Ernie 09-09-22 Ernie 09-09-23 Ernie 09-09-24 Ernie 09-09-25 Ernie 09-09-26 Ernie 09-09-28 Ernie 09-09-29 Ernie 09-09-30 Ernie 09-10-01 Ernie 09-10-02 Ernie 09-10-03

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My pitiful childhood

Actually that isn’t quite true. But when I was a little kid I was at the bottom of the class. I just came across two report cards, the first from third grade in Pennsylvania and the second from sixth grade at Anna Maria Elementary in Florida. There was a common theme…IMG_5282I always practiced good health habits. That was my best subject.

IMG_5280But I improved…IMG_5281That was my last report in elementary school.

This is what I drew on Friday. Here it is half pencilled:IMG_5277Here is one of the finished panels.IMG_5278Did you download my daily comic strips from 2005 in pdf format? It’s free. Find the link on my Buy Stuff page. By the way, you can get an Adobe Acrobat app for your IPad or IPhone and use it to open the strips.

Here’s a real old one. From Ernie’s first year in 1988. Dr. Pork, cosmetic surgery.

Ernie 88-09-22 Ernie 88-09-23 Ernie 88-09-24 Ernie 88-09-26 Ernie 88-09-27 Ernie 88-09-28 Ernie 88-09-29 Ernie 88-09-30 Ernie 88-10-01 Ernie 88-10-03 Ernie 88-10-04 Ernie 88-10-05 Ernie 88-10-06 Ernie 88-10-07 Ernie 88-10-08

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Enough Already!

This is the last of it, I hope.IMG_5251

This was two days ago. Spring came today. Hallelujah.

All I did all week with the snow storm was sit home and draw silly cartoons. So just to fill space, here’s Buddy Valentine singing a very romantic song. Ladies, please send your proposals of marriage via email.

Two weeks ago Roscoe emailed me and asked if I could run some of the old Piranha of the Year strips. Happy to do so, Roscoe. He wrote:

I’ve been a big fan of your strip since it was called Ernie.  I’ve also enjoyed the recent “behind the scenes” strips with Arnold nicknamed T-bone and being the sophisticated guy ordering a Tequila.  Could you please run a series of the old Piranha of the Year strips on your blog where Sid would do anything to win when facing overwhelming odds?  Thanks so much.

I hope Roscoe doesn’t mind my printing that. As Roscoe said, The Piranha Club was initially titled Ernie, but my editor wanted to change the title. In most of the papers where it appears outside the U.S. it’s still known by its original title. I emailed Roscoe back with a little fact about my old man that you might find interesting. During the silent picture days, my father went to California several times. He found work on the movie lots working for Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle, and later both Fatty and Buster Keaton. When Buster became such a big star, the studio decided that Buster should make his own movies apart from Fatty, so they split the crews. My father figured that Fatty was the bigger established star and stayed with that production crew. It wasn’t long after that that the Virginia Rapp tragedy occurred, and Fatty’s career was ruined. My old man had to come back to Chester, Pennsylvania, his home. Perhaps if that hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be here today.

I drew several Piranha of the Year stories. Here are two, 1991 and 1992.Ernie 91-09-23 Ernie 91-09-24Ernie 91-09-25 Ernie 91-09-26 Ernie 91-09-27 Ernie 91-09-28Ernie 91-09-30 Ernie 91-10-01 Ernie 91-10-02 Ernie 91-10-03 Ernie 91-10-04 Ernie 91-10-05

1992

Ernie 92-10-19p Ernie 92-10-20p Ernie 92-10-21p Ernie 92-10-22p Ernie 92-10-23p Ernie 92-10-24p Ernie 92-10-26p Ernie 92-10-27p Ernie 92-10-28p Ernie 92-10-29p2 Ernie 92-10-30p Ernie 92-10-31p Ernie 92-11-02p Ernie 92-11-03p

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Za Zdorovje

What do I do for fun on the weekends? Frau Grace drags me to a Russian vodka tasting party. Complete with a Russian balalaika band.

Balalaika Band

This is a contrabass balalaika. The guy told me that made it himself 20 years ago. Big sucker.IMG_5245Steve tasted his share…IMG_5227And guess who was the big winner? Susan! She won about 18 bottles of vodka. I’ll be hanging out at her house for the next week or so.IMG_5238IMG_5242IMG_5243IMG_5249OK, enough of my drinking habits. Fred and Deb asked me about a beautiful baby contest. I haven’t been able to find the particular strip they were interested in (I’ll keep looking) but here are a couple Sundays that I found. I’m sorry the first one isn’t in color. It’s B.C. (Before Computers)Ernie 90-03-04Ernie-12-01-22-ColorWhile I was looking for beautiful baby contests, I came across this ugly dog contest from 2009.

Ernie 09-06-15 Ernie 09-06-16 Ernie 09-06-17 Ernie 09-06-18 Ernie 09-06-19 Ernie 09-06-20 Ernie 09-06-22 Ernie 09-06-23Ernie 09-06-24 Ernie 09-06-25 Ernie 09-06-26 Ernie 09-06-27

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Boy, this brings back memories…

Of course when I was a little kid, we didn’t have snow plows to make the forts. We also made igloos. It snowed all day yesterday. We got about a foot. The kid in black throws like a girl. Check this out…

Snowball fight

Like I said last week, I drew a Stinky Stinkbug story. Here’s my drawing table with a bunch of half drawn Stinky strips and a Hunchback of Notre Dame story that I finished on Friday. Blow it up and you can see the details. Click on it then zoom in.

IMG_5212Brian emailed me last week and reminded me how computer savvy I am. Kind of. Back in 1965 the Florida State computer took up the entire basement of the Keen Building. (My office was on the sixth floor.) Now my IPhone can do more than that behemoth, and faster. It ran Fortran. We had to punch cards, like the old Univac computers back in the early fifties. I wrote one program that had to be a couple thousand cards long. The mathematics was very clever, if I do say so myself. It was a reiteration scheme to determine solutions to two dependent equations for which an empirical solution was not possible. But Brian reminded me of a strip from 1980. He writes:

Dear Bud,
Back in the ‘Ernie’ days, there was a great strip where the boys had successfully entered a password to get a cup of coffee, only to be asked to recite the Gettysburg Address – an early form of what is now known as ‘two-factor authentication’.  Pretty relevant nowadays, and rather prescient on your part!  Any chance we could see this one again? Published on 7-6, don’t know the year.
Many thanks, Brian

Here is the two week story.

Ernie 89-06-26 Ernie 89-06-27 Ernie 89-06-28 Ernie 89-06-29 Ernie 89-06-30 Ernie 89-07-01 Ernie 89-07-03 Ernie 89-07-04 Ernie 89-07-05 Ernie 89-07-06 Ernie 89-07-07 Ernie 89-07-08

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Back to the Freezing North

At least I’m not in Boston. I was in Boston for the blizzard of 1978. Over two feet of snow. And I had been living in Florida 30 years. Oh, yes. Happy Valentine’s Day.  You know, of course, that Valentine’s Day was named for me. Buddy Valentine. Buddy Valentine was a pen name I used for a feature I drew twelve or so years ago. It was called “Babs and Aldo”. I originally called it “Babs and Binky” but King Features didn’t like the name. “Binky” was the name of Jiggs grandson in George McManus’ “Bringing Up Father” with Jiggs and Maggie. It turns out that King started syndicating my old strip to alternate city weeklies this January. See if it’s in your city. If you live in a city. Here’s a little sample:

Babs-&-Aldo-03-10-15 Babs-&-Aldo-03-10-14 Babs-&-Aldo-03-09-23 Babs-&-Aldo-03-09-20Ah, VCalentines Day! Look at the beautiful flowers I gave Frau Grace…IMG_5206And she cooked a beautiful Valentine’s dinner for me…IMG_5205She always eats the turkey off the bones before she gives them to me.

Geeze! I’ve been looking through old strips to try to find something that people would just die to see again. It’s been such a long time. Here he is. Your favorite comic character. The indomitable Stinky Stinkbug! Along with his pals Bobby Fly and Spike Spider and his girlfriend Stinkette! (I’m going to draw some new Stinky comics this week.)Ernie 10-04-05 Ernie 10-04-06 Ernie 10-04-07 Ernie 10-04-08 Ernie 10-04-09 Ernie 10-04-10

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Sorry I’m late

I’m in my old home town, Bradenton, Forida, and yesterday we had a family medical emergency. But things are ok now. I grew up in Anna Maria Island just below Tampa Bay. Here are some picts: This is the trailer my famiy lived in for about 5 years. Before that we lived in an even smaller trailer. It was pretty bleak way back then. There was no air conditioning, we didn’t have toilets,  the mosquitoes were like a plague of locusts that never went away, and the water was virtually undrinkable.IMG_5165There’s some good eatin’ down here. Every day Red eats at Duffs Buffet. Either that or the Golden Corral. An adventure in senior eating!

IMG_5134If you ever go to Bradenton, visit the flea market. $5 watches and tons of other junk.

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Dinner at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar…IMG_5166

Or the Clam Factory in Cortez…

IMG_5098We ate six dozen.
Grouper sandwiches at the Tide Tables on the water at the Cortez Bridge.

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Every Sunday a boat ride to the north end of Longboat Key. Here’s an escort…

 

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The weather was beautiful. During the summer this area inside the pass between Longboat Key and Anna Maria is packed full of boats and people walking on the sand bar or swimming.IMG_5176

Today Frau Grace and I drove down to Sarasota and had lunch at the City Grill.

IMG_5196If you ever go to Florida try to visit the Sarasota Bradenton area. You’ll like it.

Back in 1996 the Japanese were buying up prairie dogs like hotcakes. KACHING!

Ernie 96-07-15 Ernie 96-07-16Ernie 96-07-17Ernie 96-07-18Ernie 96-07-19Ernie 96-07-20Ernie 96-07-22Ernie 96-07-23Ernie 96-07-24Ernie 96-07-25Ernie 96-07-26Ernie 96-07-27

 

 

 

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My fun filled nights are over

I’m leaving for Florida tomorrow and Frau Grace is going to nail me at Tampa International. BUT…

 

Country Joe, who, for some unknown reason, lives in Japan, keeps sending me pictures of his favorite foods. The man must be certifiably NUTSO! Maybe he’s over there because they won’t let him on an airplane. You know how you smuggle food on the plane so you won’t have to buy it? In the old days they used to feed you crap that was almost edible.  Now you have to buy it. Here’s what C.J. eats:

Fish heads

 

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Tons of squid of courseP1000117

 

Including squid jerky

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Peanut crusted squid

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And octopus dumplings. These beauties he buys from a vending machine. Can you imagine? You drop your buck in the can looking for a Zagnut and out pops squid dumplings.

 

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Not for me. When I cook I cook good wholesome AMERICAN food! I made spaghetti the other night.IMG_5048

Now that’s some GOOOOOOD EATIN!

Another reminder, you can download my 2005 dailies in pdf format for FREE. Go to my Buy Stuff Page.

Here are some old single panel cartoons from way back when…

D-45D-51d-48 B-20 D-46

 

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It Is NOT My Birthday!

I repeat, it is not my birthday. I stopped having birthdays ten years ago. It works. I haven’t aged a bit since then. But Frau Grace and I went to brunch today with some of our friends. The drinks were lousy and the food was about the same. But being with people you like makes it all so much better. Here are Louise and Steve…IMG_5045

And Don and SusanIMG_5044

Both Louise and Susan sing beautifully. I found Louise on YouTube:

 

Tuesday morning Frau Grace goes to Texas to visit her sister.  So if you live in Northern Virginia, look out. Lock up you wives and daughters and domestic livestock.

If you haven’t yet, download my 2005 daily strips. The link is in the Buy Stuff page. But it’s free.

Here’s a story from 2004. Ernie is at it again…Ernie 04-02-02 Ernie 04-02-03 Ernie 04-02-04 Ernie 04-02-05 Ernie 04-02-06Ernie 04-02-07 Ernie 04-02-09 Ernie 04-02-10Ernie 04-02-11 Ernie 04-02-12Ernie 04-02-13Ernie 04-02-14

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