I was in Dunedin

That’s just north of Clearwater. Turns out I had an unbirthday last week. (I don’t have birthdays any longer. I haven’t aged in fifteen years.) Dunedin is a very nice small town. We went to The Livingroom. That’s a terrific restaurant in downtown. The food was wonderful. On the outside of the restaurant is a pet mural. You can pay to have your pet’s portrait painted into it. The proceeds go to some animal charity:IMG_8214Here’s a closeup. You can see one portrait is waiting to be finished.

IMG_8216The inside is decorated like somebody’s living room.

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Check the ceiling lights. They’re shaded by lampshades.

IMG_8223This was early. The joint filled up soon after. They grow your salad on the wall:

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Thanks so much to Ann, Rosemary (Ann’s sister) and Arthur and Marthur. (Art and Martha spent a couple days with us here in Bradenton.). And check the cake. Turns out that Rosemary and I share the same birthday. So they split the cake down the middle. How about the piranha?!

IMG_8229Enough of that. Here are some Sundays from 2000. At the time I was doing a bunch of comic book work, and these were inked by Jay Scruggs, a terrific cartoonist in his own right. Notice that the lettering in some of the strips is very regular. I made some font suitcases, and then I wrote a little program that would alternate the different font sets as the dialog was typed in. I think the hand lettered dialog is much better.Ernie-00-10-22-colorErnie-00-04-30-Color Ernie-00-08-06-Color Ernie-00-05-07-Color Ernie-00-04-23-colorErnie-00-05-21-Color

 

 

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It Ain’t As Easy As It Looks

I thought that you might be interested about what goes into putting together my comics. I don’t just start drawing. First I have to come up with the gags and a story line if there is one. I think a lot, and if I’m lucky I come up with a basic gag. But that has to be translated into a something which will fit into the newspaper with the right timing and the right format. I also often have to create new characters. That’s the easy part. The drawing isn’t very hard, that is, unless it’s complicated in that I have to make clear what’s going on given the tiny space in a cartoon panel. Writing the jokes and laying them out is the hardest part. Here is typically what I go through in preparing a weeks worth of strips. In this case it’s a story where President Trump asks me for advice on how to run the country. Most of it is about getting the dialog to say what I want it to say. I write and rewrite trying to make it work.IMG_8178I’m not a good caricaturist, so it takes me a very long time to work out a depiction of someone that you can kind of recognize. Here’s the Trump that I finally settled on:Trump faceNot real good. I know some caricaturists who are so damn good! The best I ever knew is Klas Danielsson. Brilliant man. For example he was the Swedish Jeopardy champion. And he used to translate my comics into Swedish. My story about President Trump will start March 6

Enough of that. Here is a story from the US election in 2008. By the way, I predicted the nominees. I’m psychic, you know.

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Cortez Clam Jam

A few yers ago I posted a little video I took of Bob the Cockroach in the Men’s room at the Clam Factory in Cortez, Florida. My elderly cousin, Al loves to go to the Clam factory, Before his stroke he was there every night of the week except Sunday eating raw oysters. On Sundays whe went to the Anna Maria Oyster Bar in Bradenton and ate raw oysters.. He’s nuts about raw oysters. Hes always trying to pick up old ladies. His pickup line is “Do you like raw oysters?” It doesn’t work. I take Al to the Clam factory on Tuesdays when they jam. People love the joint. The music is kind of loud for me. Here’s the jam from last Tuesday:

People have been asking me if I intend to publish more book collections in the future. Yes, I do. I hope to get three more Ernie/Piranha Club books out this coming year. I also want to publish two single panel books, one of which will be fuol of science cartoons. When I first started cartooning I had an inside track since I was a PhD physicist (yes, it’s true), and I sold lots of cartoons to science publications.

Here are some Sunday strips from 2009

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Village of the Arts

The Village of the Arts is a neighborhood which is a short walk from downtown Bradenton, Florida. Local artists live there and have their studios and galleries in the old little houses. I drove through there today. It was Sunday and all the galleries were closed. Take a gander:

 

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Back in January 1998 Enos was having marital problems. So who doesn’t? Frau Pork and Mother Packer have changed their hair styles since way back then.ernie-98-01-19 ernie-98-01-20 ernie-98-01-21 ernie-98-01-22 ernie-98-01-23 ernie-98-01-24 ernie-98-01-26 ernie-98-01-27 ernie-98-01-28 ernie-98-01-29 ernie-98-01-30 ernie-98-01-31

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Happy New Year!

Today Frau grace and I took a walk through The Robinson Preserve in Palma Sola right near Bradenton, Florida. I had never been there. It brought back memories of my childhood. The Robinson preserve is salt barrens. Very little is left from the days of my childhood on Anna Maria, but walking through the preserve brought back memories. When I was a kid on Anna Maria Island we had two places to play. The beach or the JUNGLE. I’d come home to the trailer all covered with mud and scratches, and my mother would say “Where have you been?” and the answer was THE JUNGLE. It really was a jungle too. Like this:

img_8113Here’s a boardwalk through the mangroves:

img_8118This is typical of the open areas where we played. At big high tides, this will be under water:img_8092This guy fishing off a bridge told me that he had caught and released at least twenty fish in the previous hour. Black drum, snappers (I’m guessing mangrove snappers), sheepshead. This year has been great for fish. I haven’t seen so many mullet since I was a kid. Here’s a panorama of a bayou:

img_8090My Iphone 5s does a great job with panoramas.

Enough of that. This story is from winter, 1994. Sid loses
Earl. Omigod! Will they ever be reunited?!ernie-94-02-07 ernie-94-02-08 ernie-94-02-09 ernie-94-02-10 ernie-94-02-11 ernie-94-02-12 ernie-94-02-14 ernie-94-02-15 ernie-94-02-16 ernie-94-02-17 ernie-94-02-18 ernie-94-02-19 ernie-94-02-21 ernie-94-02-22 ernie-94-02-23 ernie-94-02-24 ernie-94-02-25 ernie-94-02-26p

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My Computer Went Blewey

I  have to take it in to some computer jock on Tuesday to see if we can bring it back from the dead. It’s a 31 inch IMac from 2010. But I have my 2013  AirBook. I’m such a competer savvy guy. When I was in college so many many years ago the University computer (Florida State) took up the entire basement of the physics building. (I was a whiz on my Deitzgen slide rule) Now a laptop can do more than that big old dinosaur could. When I was a grad student we fed our programs into the computer with punch cards. I wrote programs with hundreds of cards long. You don’t remember the old Univac Computer, do you?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish for you a healthy and prosperous 2017!

Here are some new years strips from long ago…ernie-04-01-02

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How to Spot a Redneck

Like this.

Merry Christmas, everybody! Here are some Sunday Christmas strips from years ago…ernie-05-12-25-colorernie-03-12-21-colorernie-02-12-22-colorernie-97-12-21-colorernie-88-12-25

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Hey, Christmas is a Comin’

And the geese are getting fat. And it’s not too late to get your weird Uncle Charlie one of my books for Christmas. I can use the beer money.

I’m back in Florida from the frozen North. Hallelujah. Check out the Southwest Airline teminal at Reagan International. They’ve got these pads hooked up to the internet all over the place. Wowzer!

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You can watch tv, check Facebook and get loaded all at the same time. Ain’t technology grand?!

Some neighbors dressed up their mermaid like Santa. Those are painted coconut shells on her bosoms.

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Let’s all get into the Christmas Spirit! Here’s Santa fighting the elements in 2004:

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Back in the Frozen North

Actually the weather turned out to be not so bad. Loinfruit and I got the shack ready for winter. And my oysters look great. A year and a half ago0 I bought 400 tiny little baby oysters. They were about the size of my little fingernail. Now they’re big enough to eat. But I have mixed feelings. They’re like my own little babies. I don’t know if I can kill them. I made two cages for them. During the warm months they float at the surface. During the winter I sink them to near the bottom so they don’t freeze.

img_8042 img_8043 I got a nice email from Estonia last week. Taivo Põrk (Yes, that’s his name. I’m sure Dr. Pork’s parents were Estonian. I never knew.) asked me to post the Goatherd Story from 1996. It seems that the Estonian Minister of Agriculture is a goat farmer. It gets weirder and weirder, doesn’t it?

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How to Throw a Cast Net

Years ago, my cousin, Greg, was real good at it. Then he went away to earn a living. After many years he’s back and he showed me how to throw a cast net. There have been lots of Mullet around this autumn. Back when I was a kid they were thick in the water. I used to see tight packed schools thirty feet in diameter churning the water. You could almost walk on themOnce my father hit one with a brick and brought it home for dinner. And when I was in high school, whenever we needed to raise money for some project, we’d have a fish fry. Mighty fine. Smoked mullet is delicious. So is deep fried mullet. But it has to be very fresh. It goes bad fast. Also when I was a kid, the fishermen used gill nets. When they found a school of fish close to the beach, they would surround the fish with a very long gill net. Maybe 100 feet long or so. We would help them pull the net onto the beach and they would give us a fish in return. Way back then fish were all over the place. No longer. Commercial fishermen have to go out at least a hundred miles to find them. There was a fisherman once down here, this was back in the forties. He was arrested for fishing  mullet out of season. But he was acquitted. His lawyer successfully argued that a mullet is not really a fish. It’s a bird. This is because a mullet has a gizzard, and only birds have gizzards. I think it’s a true story. Here’s my cousin Greg showing me how to throw a cast net.

Here are two short stories from this time of year back in 20002. Effie does her best to make woodpecker stew, and Ernie gets a chin job…

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