My Poor Widdle Hand…

Boy, I had a bad week. I couldn’t work at all. The week previous index finger knuckle was getting very sore. I thought it was arthritis. I had arthritis in my hands eight years ago. It was getting so bad I could barely hold my pen. My middle finger would lock up. Ever happen to you?  Frau Grace told me to stop drinking coffee. The caffeine was doing it to me. I quit and in a week I was fine. If you have arthritis do what I did and drop the caffeine. Now I only drink decaf. Well what I had last week started out like the old arthritis. But then it went to my wrist. I had had tendonitis before in my left wrist, so I know what it feels like. Well, my wrist is better, but my finger is tender, but getting better. Tomorrow (Monday) I hope I’ll  be able to draw again. Believe it or not, I love drawing my cartoons. It’s been frustrating. The only thing I was able to get done was a little pencil work. Here’s a preview.

PreviewI’m very sorry to report that my dear English teacher from high school, Jeanne  Parrish, passed away two weeks ago. I loved her very much, and she had thousands of former pupils who felt the same. Last January I was back in Bradenton, Florida, and I had the opportunity to spend time with her. She would have been 96 next month. Here we are in 2011 at my Manatee High School reunion.


I don’t know If I posted this little story recently. It’s from November 2007.  It brings back memories of my high school. There was a girl there who was a ballerina. Here’s week one:Ernie 07-11-12 Ernie 07-11-13 Ernie 07-11-14 Ernie 07-11-15 Ernie 07-11-16 Ernie 07-11-17

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Happy Veterans Day!

I was never in the service (and I suspect that the service was far better off without me) but I hold our brave men and women in high esteem, and I thank all of you for your service. My father served in World War I on the USS Arkansas. He shoveled coal in the boiler. His mother lied for him about his age so he could get into the Navy. He was sixteen. The ship had a bear as a mascot I was told. And one of my old man’s jobs was to wrestle the bear. My old man was tough. My cousin Red (This is my cousin by marriage, but we’re very close. When my father died he was sort of a surrogate dad.) was in the Coast Guard during WW II. His ship sunk the  first German submarine in US waters. During the war, Jack Dempsey toured doing boxing exhibitions. He picked Red out of the crowd, put gloves on him, and proceeded to beat the snot out of him. My mother’s grand father, George Luttrell, fought in 13 major battles of the Civil War under the command of Stonewall Jackson, and then Robert E. Lee. He carried shrapnel in his arm until he died. Then my great-great-great-great grandfather served directly under George Washington, and was a minor hero of the Revolutionary War. He disobeyed and order from an officer in order to save a convoy of men and wagons. He was tried, found guilty, and Washington personally sentenced him to spend a day in Washington’s own tent.

And here is the final installment of “Buddy Draws the Comix”. Whew!

And here’s Buddy Valentine making Sam Cooke roll over in his grave.

I liked those two Sundays that I posted last week, so here are three more from 1990. Back then I used to draw a title panel for each strip. So here are the strips as I drew them in their original format. Sorry, I don’t have the color files for these old ones.Ernie 90-03-04 Ernie 90-04-29 Ernie 90-07-29

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Mighty Scary!

Yes folks, My Halloween story that appeared last week was mighty scary! I hope I didn’t damage the psyches of too many little kids. My Halloween wasn’t bad at all. Me and the frau went out to a couple of bars. First to the Elks lodge. Frau Grace wanted to win the grand prize like crazy. The head Elk or whatever they call him had to drag her off the stage. She went as The Devil With The Blue Dress On. She made me sew an alligator on her hat. And guess which cool dude won the $144 50-50?!!! Hah!IMG_4673 IMG_4812 IMG_4683 IMG_4689Around ten we headed over to the Maplewood Grill (in Vienna Virginia, not Austria) Rienhard is my favorite piano player. Is he ever good. And here’s Tracy flogging me with her cat o’ nine tails.IMG_4856

IMG_4854OK,  for all you masochists, here’s Part Seven of Buddy Valentine drawing the comix.

Speaking of Buddy Valentine, he dropped by and dropped off still another tape. Only the Lonely. Hold yer ears, Folks!

OK, Here’s a couple of Sundays from 2009Ernie-09-01-25-Color Ernie-09-03-15-Color


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He’s Baaaaack!

First off, I’ve updated my Buy Stuff page. Click the link above.

Part Six of me again drawing comic strips. Here I begin my ink drawing. I do it in two stages. First I draw the outlines. After that I erase the pencil work, and then I do the cross hatching and shading.

I had a wonderful relaxing time on the Outer Banks in the town of Avon. For most of the time the weather was beautiful.

We shared a big house on the ocean with our friends. Here are a few pictures:

From the dune in front of the house we rented:IMG_4596 The beach looking south to the Avon Pier.

IMG_4636The space ship in Buxton south of Avon:IMG_4599Halloween around the corner, there was a ghoul by the space ship holding a very scarey loaf of bread with carrots and eyeballs:

IMG_4601Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The tallest brick lighthouse in North America:

IMG_4606The beach South of Avon:

IMG_4646Sunset on the Ocracoke ferry:IMG_4615Here are six stand alone gags from September of 2012…

Ernie 12-09-03 Ernie 12-09-04 Ernie 12-09-05 Ernie 12-09-06 Ernie 12-09-07 Ernie 12-09-08

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I’m on Vacation…


On the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Frau and I are here with friends for the week. So I can’t show the next part of me drawing comix until next week. I’ll let you know if we’re still friends next week. Photo on 10-19-14 at 10.13 AMSo all I have for you this week is six trips from October 1998…Ernie 98-10-31Ernie 98-10-26 Ernie 98-10-28 Ernie 98-10-30 Ernie 98-10-29 Ernie 98-10-27

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Enter Cheeseman

Here’s Part 5 of me drawing three daily comic strips. This clip shows me lettering. It also shows me screwing up and fixing it. The clip is about five minutes long.

Last night the Frau and I went out to Winchester,Virginia. On the way we stopped at the Holy Cross Monastery outside of Berryviolle, Virginia to buy some fruitcakes from Brother Vincent. Just like last year, Brother Vincent had a basketful of new kittens. He finds homes for all of them.IMG_4573 IMG_4575

Eddie Pockey is a terrific local musician. He and His wife, Gail, invited us to their annual party. There was lots of good food, good people and good music. Not only can Eddie play a mean guitar, he’s also damn good on the Hoover Upright.


This is Eddie and Brint Hannay. Brint is a terrific guitarist.

IMG_4586Here’s a clip of him and Brint playing. I don’t know the fellow on the steel.


Speaking of music, Buddy Valentine dropped off another tune, if you want to call it that. Hold yer ears, folks.


Here’s the finish to the Superhero Rodent story I started last week…

Ernie 09-07-13 Ernie 09-07-14 Ernie 09-07-15 Ernie 09-07-16 Ernie 09-07-17Ernie 09-07-18

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Lars Mortimer

Comic fans who live outside of Scandinavia are most likely not familiar with Hälge, the creation of Lars Mortimer of Sweden. At the time of his passing, his strip was the most popular in Sweden, which is saying a lot, because Swedes are crazy about comics. Hälge is a moose, and Scandinavia has tons of them. Lars will be sorely missed among his legions of fans. Here is a little tribute I drew for a commemorative comic book to be published later this year.HälgeOK, here’s the next installation of me drawing a daily comic strip. Part 4 shows me doing pencil work. An entire strip is drawn in pencil before adding ink. There’s Part 4a and Part 4b. As I mention in the clip, it takes me a good deal of time to draw a strip, so you won’t miss much if I only show 4b. It’s about 7 minutes long. If you would like to see part 4a, let me know, and I’ll make it available.

The boss over at King Features wanted to know if I ever drew superheros. Does an ursine defecate in the arboretum? Here’s week one of a two week series from 2009…Ernie 09-07-06 Ernie 09-07-07 Ernie 09-07-08 Ernie 09-07-09 Ernie 09-07-10 This was in reference to the government bailout of the banks during the recession.

Ernie 09-07-11


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How Buddy Draws the Comix – Part Three

Ok, I know that you’re saying “WHAT ABOUT PART TWO?!!! Right. Ok, you can look at Part Two. All it is is me counting letters to cram a long dialog into a tiny space. Here it is. It’s really boring.

Part Three shows a time saving trick that I often use to draw repetitive scenes. It’s the beginning of my pencil work. Here I’m drawing a character in mirror image, and transferring the sketch to three different panels. You can also do this by drawing the image (not the mirror image) and turning it into a kind of carbon paper by scribbling with a soft pencil on the back. Then you just trace the image onto the comic strip. In Part Four that I’ll put up next week you can see a drawing on my table that has made for this purpose. Here’s me beginning my pencil work transferring an image.

Troy from Virginia emailed me and said he would like to see another Earl story. I think it’s a terrific idea. I don’t draw Earl enough. So I told him I’d start on a new Earl story this week. I already have a couple gags in my head. Thanks for the suggestion, Troy. In the meantime, here’s an Earl story from 1997.

Ernie 97-03-24 Ernie 97-03-25 Ernie 97-03-26 Ernie 97-03-27 Ernie 97-03-28 Ernie 97-03-29

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Buddy Draws the Comix

I made a movie of me drawing a couple weeks ago, just in case somebody is interested in seeing how I go about drawing Ernie/Piranha Club strips. The entire film shows a good portion of a day’s work for me. If I’m drawing daily strips, I usually do three per day. It generally takes me about half an hour to pencil each strip and two hours to ink all three. So it’s usually about three and a half to four hours a day that I spend drawing and lettering. Writing takes time as well, but it would be hard for me to film myself pacing back and forth trying to think. As Curly Howard once said “I try to think but nothing happens”. I’m dividing the movie into several parts because it’s long, and all at once would be boring unless you’re really into comics. This first part shows me composing the gags for the day…

How Buddy Draws Comix Part 1: Composing

Here’s a panel from that day’s strips:3

Way back in 93, the annual Piranha of the Year Competition…Ernie 93-11-01 Ernie 93-11-02 Ernie 93-11-03 Ernie 93-11-04 Ernie 93-11-05 Ernie 93-11-06

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Grandpa’s Back

And so is Shorty. I’m sorry for posting this a day late. I had some personal problems that took up all my time. But things are getting back to normal now. At least as normal as they ever get in the Grace mansion. I had two emails regarding the wild fruit I was eating on my September 7 blog. Turns out those things are pawpaws. I’d heard of them, but never saw one or ate one. A tip of the hat to Arnold and Arthur. Check this out. I heard it when I was a kid. I’ve got a ton of work to catch up on, so here’s the second week of Grandpa trying to bust out…(BTW, I have another two week story about Grandpa, Shorty and Nurse Heimlich waiting in the wings. I don’t know when I’ll publish it, but here’s a little hint: Grandpa falls in love. Uh-oh!)Ernie 08-04-07Ernie 08-04-08Ernie 08-04-09Ernie 08-04-10Ernie 08-04-11Ernie 08-04-12

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