Animation Lesson

Few people know that, at one time, I wanted to be a cartoonist.  I even had a highly successful comic strip that I drew during college.  If you define “highly successful” to be “one of my friends liked it” and if you define “drew” as “It was about planets because I could draw circles and that was about it.”  Another career option cruelly cut short due to small details like lack of talent.

Fast forward to the present day.  I’m a big fan of web comics and love seeing the drawing talent that people possess.  One of the people I’ve most recently found, is JC of  Head on over and see some of the wonderful posts and drawings that she’s done.  On second thought, read the rest of this post first and then go there.  I guarantee that, once you’ve browsed to her site, you’ll spend hours laughing at her wonderful posts and drawings.

A few months back, she posted a “how to draw” that involved lines.  Then, on Sunday, she followed this up with another one-liner post.  Inspiration struck.  So here is my attempt to follow her instructions.  Sure, my lack of skill might have gotten in the way a bit, but I couldn’t at least give it a try.

First, I started out with some lines.


Then, I added some eyes.1

The arms and legs began to add some personality. 2

Next, came the dialog.


Finally, I added some color elements to give it some zip.


  Not bad, if I do say so myself. I don’t think I’ll quit my day job, though.

Mom Field Trip = Dad Day With Boys

Today, over on, B is recounting the story of her mom field trip with Christina from CutestKidEver to see Rene Syler (aka Good Enough Mother).  But what of the flip side?  What did the boys and I do while B went on her road trip?  Well, the boys and I had our own fun times.

As you may remember, I was undecided on whether or not I should go to Free Comic Day.  After B left, I made my decision: We were going.  I armed the kids with their Green Lantern rings from our Green Lantern party, got them into the car and headed over to Zombie Planet.

I had heard that the 501st, a group of Star Wars fans who dress up like Stormtroopers, would be there.  NHL was excited to see “costumes.”  Ever since Disney, he’s gone costume-crazy.  He must meet (and get his photo with) any costumed character who is anywhere near him.  He was not disappointed.

We got out of the car and there, in front of the store, was a single Stormtrooper.  He was joined by a Tusken Raider.

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The Tusken Raider would occasionally make a growling sound (like the one that the movie Tusken Raider made as he stood over Luke Skywalker).  This scared NHL off from getting his photo taken with the Tusken Raider.  So we went indoors and proceeded upstairs to the free comics section.

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Unlike last year, when it was “take as many as you like”, there was a 5 comic per person limit.  I had gone online the previous days to Free Comic Book Day’s website to see which comics would be available.  This meant that I knew just which comics were the best for my boys and which should be skipped.  The only complaints from the boys came when NHL looked out the window and spied Spider-Man.  He insisted that we *HAD* to go outside right now to meet the web slinger.


I explained to NHL that we needed to check out (even we had nothing that we were being charged for).  Besides, I had brought some Phineas and Ferb action figures that needed peg stands.  I hoped that the comic shop would be able to help.  (Sadly, they didn’t have what I needed.)

Finally, we left the comic shop and NHL immediately approached Spider-Man for a photo.


Then, I made a Geeky Daddy decision.  NHL was wearing a Green Lantern ring.  Green Lanterns Hal Jordon was supposedly “born without fear.”  So I couldn’t very well let him leave afraid of the Tusken Raider, could I?  I’d have been deducted 30 Geek Points!

I spoke with him about it and he finally agreed to get his photo taken.


After that, we headed home for lunch and some comic book reading.


Once the boys were fed, I decided that it was too nice of a day to be couped up indoors.  So we grabbed some of our colossal cannons and headed out to play.

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Eventually, NHL had a bright idea.  His great-grandmother had given them some butterfly nets, but NHL thought they’d make great colossal cannon disc catching nets.  And they did!


Our next door neighbor’s daughter, N, also came over and played with the boys for quite awhile.  Eventually, they tired of chasing after green discs and wanted to play with bubbles.  Cue the Winnie the Pooh bubble blower!

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They also wanted to play with chalk and I eventually relented.

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I noticed the skies were getting dark and warned the boys that we might have to go inside soon.  Besides, B’s return time was getting closer and closer.

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As B pulled up, I hurredly gathered the chalk and got the boys (and N) off our driveway.  The boys said goodbye to N and hello to B.  Then, as we walked in, the heavens opened up.  Perfect timing!

The boys and I had a fun day together and B had a nice Mommy Road Trip.  I’d call that a win all around!

Aloha Friday: Superheroes

Tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day.  This is when comic book stores across North America give away select comic books for free.  We went last year and the boys had a blast collecting and then reading through the comic books.

This year, will be a bit more complicated.  B’s going to meet someone for lunch tomorrow.  This means she’ll be out for most of the time that Free Comic Book Day runs.  The complication is that I don’t usually drive on Saturdays for religious reasons.  My geekiness (“must take boys for free comic books”) is battling my religious side (“must observe Shabbat”).  Who will win?  To be honest, I still don’t know.

Meanwhile, I’ve been introducing my boys to various superheroes.  They love the Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Ant Man, Wasp, Thor, Black Panther and Hawkeye), Young Justice (Robin, Superboy, Miss Martian, Kid Flash and Aqualad) and Batman on the TV.  They have also been introduced to the Green Lantern.  My boys just love superheroes and would love to pour through new comic books.  Somehow I’ll have to make this work for them.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Who is your favorite superhero and why?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #86

A Guest Noodle

NKB_TechyDadHelpers_TEASER One of my great pleasures in life (besides my wife and kids) are comic strips.  I’ve been reading comic strips for as long as I can remember.  I used to get the paper as soon as I could, tear it apart until I could find the Funnies and pour over Peanuts, consume Calvin and Hobbes and get freaked out by the Far Side.  As the Internet took off, I sought out my favorite comic strips online.  At first, the pickings were slim but little by little the comics came online.

Then, I noticed something interesting.  Not only were the comics I knew and loved online, but a lot of other comics were online as well.  Comics with no large syndicates backing them were sprouting up left and right.  Some might have spoken to a niche, some might not have fit into your average newspaper and some were just too out there for the comics page.  Not all of them were good, of course, but many of them were.

I began following a lot of comics.  One of the newest ones that I’ve followed is called Noodle Knobs.  It features a mom, dad and a kid nicknamed “Noodle Knobs.”  Here’s the twist: The characters in the comic strip aren’t fictional.  In fact, the family is quite real.  The artist is the father (known on the site as The Daddy).  In addition to comics, NoodleKnobs also features a blog where The Mommy and The Daddy discuss (separately or together) various topics ranging from illness to kids toys to nicknames.

But today’s NoodleKnobs has a special place in my heart.  Why?  Because my boys and I are in it!  Yes, NoodleKnobs put out the call for parents to guest blog about their own NoodleKnobs.  I answered and that guest post runs today, along with a comic that The Daddy drew.  The teaser above is a shot of JSL meant to whet your appetite.  Is it whetted yet?  Then head on over to to read my guest post and see the full comic!

Geeks-In-Training Meet Free Comic Book Day

As a father, I have many responsibilities. I go to work Monday through Friday to pay our bills. I take the kids on excursions to let B get some quiet time. I cook dinners. I even change pull-ups and wipe rear ends. My most enjoyable fatherly responsibility, however, is training them in the geeky arts.

NHL already likes Star Wars. Both he and JSL love Looney Tunes. JSL will even, when prompted with “Rabbit Season” say “Duck Season! Fire! PSSSH!” (The sound of him imitating Elmer Fudd’s gun.) They also both love computers. NHL will beg to be allowed to learn more about computers and JSL has come to expect being able to see his grandparents via Skype whenever he wants.

On the superhero front, NHL watches Batman The Brave and the Bold with me and wants to know everything about all the heroes and villians. He gets especially excited when the heroes begin beating up the villians. (Perhaps too excited, but that’s a topic for another blog post.) He’s also watched Super Hero Squad, Spectacular Spiderman and X-Men: Evolution with me to get him into Marvel’s heroes and villians.

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