Sunday, December 27, 2009

Virtual Opening - SHC Comic Book Gallery

Hello to all Salty 'Hams . . .


I've just opened the first of our Online Galleries, the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas Online Comic Book Gallery. It has big images from 27 pieces, with links to their online homes, and it has additional links at the bottom, to a whole bunch more. Go check it out, and let me know what you think!

This gallery is for online comics, not print-only comics. So any of you who have books in print, that can't be read online -- that stuff's not linked. I suppose I could do a separate gallery for those, but that would be less like a gallery and more like a book store. Hmm . . . maybe that IS an idea. But anyway . . .

To qualify as "comic book" work, I decided it has to be 2 pages or longer. So if you just draw strips or single panel gags, etc., I'll put you in the Comic Strip Gallery. Whenever I get around to setting that up.

The following cartooneestas have work on display in the SHC Online Comic Book Gallery: Jessica Campbell, Jamie Cottle, Aine Crabtree, Howard Cruse, Chris Garrison, James Hislope, Marcus Lusk, Mark Martin, Mega Comics/Mark Poe, Tim Rocks, Chris Rosko, Jason Shoemaker, Sio Williams, and Andrew Willmore.

* I know what you're thinking: Where's Hal Jones? His stuff actually isn't readable online right now, so I'm gonna wait until he has it up and running again before I include it.

* Chris Fason doesn't have anything readable online right now, either, I don't think. Do you, Fason? [edit: It turns out Hero Happy Hour IS available to read online, so I'll be trying to add it into the gallery in the next couple days. - G ]

Each artist has 3 pieces or less on prominent display, and some have more listed in the additional links at the bottom of the page.

Now's your chance to let me know what's wrong with this gallery:

* I tried to jumble up all the work in a pleasing way, but if you think I should've put your work in a different position (or positions) on the page, let me know and I'll consider moving it.

* If you think I should've chosen different pieces of yours to highlight, just tell me, and I can change them out.

* If you wish I hadn't put something of yours up, tell me and I'll take it down.

* If you have something online that I didn't include, but you wish I had, let me know. If that's the case, I probably didn't even know about it.

* If you wish I'd used a different image to represent your comic, send me something else to use in its place. To look nice with the rest, it should be 6" high at 72 dpi. For some of the images that I used, I blew them up a bit to fit. If they fuzzed out, I sharpened them in PhotoShop, which doesn't always look all that good. So if you want to send me a higher res version of the same image (or a different image), I fully understand, and I'll totally change it out.

This is a wonderful collection, so read these comics and enjoy the heck out of all this awesome Alabama talent! Also, if you're working on something or cooking up an idea, I hope this'll inspire you to make it a reality and hang it in this gallery. Viva SHC!!!

. . .

** Note to Howard Cruse: Hey, Howard, I put page numbers on everything in this gallery, so viewers might have some idea of the length of what they're about to get into. But since your comics are split up in that nifty way, with just one or two panels per page, I didn't know the real page counts. I estimated, based on the panel sizes and number of panels, as to how many pages the original comic might have had. So on yours, I put page numbers with question marks after them. If you want to tell me the real page counts, I'll change them out. Or, with your permission, I could just take the question marks out, figuring that my guesses are good enough to let the reader know if they're about to read something long or short. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Holiday art from our fellow SHC Howard Cruse:

... and go HERE for the full family newsletter and all that stuff.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Check out our new fellow SHC, Beverly Toole.

Here's her Salty 'Ham page, and here's her deviantART page.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Day for Slams?

I've scheduled most all of the Salty 'Ham Slams so far on Sunday afternoons, figuring that might be when the most people have free time. But I know of at least 3 of our fellow SHC's who can't make it on Sunday afternoons, because they have a regular thing going on then. I was thinking about moving it, next time, to a SATURDAY afternoon (providing I can book the time at the J).

How many of you regulars have an opinion? Is Saturday afternoon better for you, or worse? Please comment below, or shoot me an email. Thanks.

*** edit ***

That post was kind of a goof-up, because if I move it to Saturdays, we can't have it at the J. That's the Jewish sabbath, so of course they don't book meetings there on Saturdays!

Still, let me know about your availability anyway, in case we learn that more people could actually do Saturdays. In that case, maybe we'd find another venue. Although the LJCC has been VERY good to us.

It's THAT time again?!

Personally, I think Christmas is a humbug. So I drew this Merry Humbug card, a couple of years back.

Our fellow SHC Andrew Willmore, on the other hand, got in the real spirit of the season and just posted this on his blog:

Anybody else got any holiday cartoons to show off? New or old, feel free to post them here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Mommy of All Hiccups - Scrolly Comic

As an experiment, I just reformatted The Mommy of All Hiccups as a scrolly comic. I just posted it on my sketch blog, so please go visit it HERE . . .

. . . and let me know how you think it works.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Categories on SHC page

Hey-hey, Peeps!

There's a new facet to the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas web site. Now, when you click on The Cartooneestas, instead of seeing a full list of ALL the artists at once, you see the following clickable options:

All the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas (52 Entries)

Comic book artists (23)
Comic strip artists (13)
Animators (14)
Caricaturists (9)
Writers (30)
Illustrators (23)
Superheroic artists (11)
Anime-influenced artists (8)
Cartoony fine artists (15)

My hope is that visitors to the site will be less burdened by looking at such a long list of mystery-people. They can just click the category they're interested in. Also, possible new recruits might look at the categories and, on seeing that we already have a certain number of like-minded cartooneestas, be encouraged to join.

Now, I have already put you all into various categories (often more than one), but it's hard for me to know your exact wishes. I may have left you off of a list that you'd like to be on. Maybe I forgot you were into a certain thing, or I didn't know. Or, I may have put you on a list that displeases you; maybe you don't want to be thought of in a certain way. Please don't be offended if I goofed up! There were a few instances where I just flipped a coin.

So, to make sure everybody's happy, please do me this favor: Check each list for your own name (they're alphabetical by last name). If you want to be added to any list that you're not already on, just email me or comment below. If you want to be taken OFF of any list that you ARE already on, again, just shoot me an email, or comment below.

What qualifies you for a certain list? You can be on a list because you have a ton of experience in that category, or just because you wish you did, and you're working on it.

Say, what do you think of these categories? Are there any you wish I hadn't created? Do you have any ideas for categories you think I SHOULD create? I mean, categories that would have at least 5 or 10 people.

Poof! You've got cancer.

Had a great time at Rojo the other night chillin out and drawin comics. I took the liberty of colorin this page just for fun.
- Derek

[edit -- This is from a comic jam done at Salty 'Ham Slam 5. Billy and the Magic T-shirt credits: panel 1 and first half of title by Derek Anderson; second half of title and panel 2 by Chris Garrison; panel 3 by Chris Fason; panel 4 by Tim Rocks. Color by Derek Anderson.

To read the full, 2-page comic jam, read the recap of Salty 'Ham Slam 5 HERE (one post below this one).

Salty 'Ham Slam 5 - On Reflection

Our fifth official get-together went swimmingly. We had it at Rojo this time. Tim Rocks, Chris Fason, Ed Abernathy, Stephen Smith, Sam McDavid, Chris Rosko, and first-timer Derek Anderson were present. And me, Chris Garrison. Oh, and not-yet-signed-up gadabout Paul Godbey came, as usual, and brought two guests: his sorta-nephews, Jonathan and Christopher. Did I leave anybody out?

We got right down to business drawing a bunch of comic jams. Unfortunately, we were being dripped on. We were out under the awning, and there was a terrific storm going on, so the leaks were a hassle. It was kinda like camping.

Really, this was our own fault. We probably could've just gone inside and been fine, but for some reason we just stayed put, even through tornado watches and warnings, and the rather frighteningly violent shaking of the roof and windows around us. Haw! You REALLY should have been there!

Despite all that, here's what we drew --

A rare two-pager:

Bat Heartache credits: panel 1 by Chris Garrison; panel 2 by Tim Rocks; panel 3 by Chris Fason; panel 4 by Ed Abernathy, who drew me and added a blank thought balloon .. so I filled it in; panel 5 by Chris Garrison; panel 6 by Chris Rosko.

Some of these are on blue paper, because that's what Derek Anderson brought.

Spider-Granny credits: panel 1 by Derek Anderson; panel 2 by Chris Fason; panel 3 by Tim Rocks; panel 4 by Chris Rosko; panel 5 by Tim Rocks; panel 6 by Chris Garrison.

The rain drops are clearly apparent in this one:

The Cookie and the Carrot credits: panel 1 by Derek Anderson; panel 2 by Tim Rocks; panel 3 by Chris Fason; panel 4 by Chris Garrison; panel 5 by Derek Anderson; panel 6 by Chris Rosko.

Another two-pager:

Billy and the Magic T-shirt credits: panel 1 and first half of title by Derek Anderson; second half of title and panel 2 by Chris Garrison; panel 3 by Chris Fason; panel 4 by Tim Rocks; panel 5 by Chris Garrison; panel 6 by Chris Rosko; panels 7 & 8 by Derek Anderson; end titles by Chris Garrison.

Twilight of the Chairs credits: panel 1 by Chris Garrison; panel 2 by Derek Anderson; panel 3 by Chris Fason; panel 4 by Chris Garrison; panels 5 & 6 by Tim Rocks; panel 7 by Chris Rosko.

If I messed up on any of these credits, y'all tell me.

Now here are some wacky super-hero parody comics by Paul's guests (as with the rest, click to enlarge) --

Hero Guy: Attack of the Hippies, by Jonathan:

Justice Idiots!, by Christopher:

Paul had me blank out some of the words on that one, on account of he didn't approve of the language.

The Green Light Bulb and the Rise of the Homelessmes, by Jonathan:

With their jabs at hippies and the homeless, I think maybe Jonathan and Christopher are heavily influenced by South Park.

Boys, I'd advise you to check out some of the great super-hero parody comics that have come out in the past. It's always important to know what's already been done, so we don't cover the same ground again. So look into Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham, Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, What the -?!, Fission Chicken, Flaming Carrot and the Mystery Men, The Tick, Hero Happy Hour . . . and I'm sure there are a bunch more I can't think of right now. These are sure to inspire you. And you need to read some of this stuff, so you can make sure you meet or IMPROVE ON the standard that they have set in the industry!

You might be able to find some of these at Bob's Comics in Centerpoint.

Unfortunately, the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas only signs up members who are 18 and over, so Christopher and Jonathan can't join just yet. Anyway, regarding the latest slam . . .

People ate mexican food and had a few beers, and fun was had. So -- to the 50-sum official members of the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas -- join us, won't you, for the NEXT Salty 'Ham Slam! (as yet unscheduled)

You can look back at previous slams, here: Slam 1, Slam 2, Slam 3, Slam 4

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Unlikely Album Covers

So, this is my first S'HJ post. I did these today, as a preliminary step of my final assignment in 2-d design class. Our assignment was to create a fictitious album cover or poster, and these are just a few ideas I made some thumbnails for. Feedback would be much appreciated, especially if you have a fun, or interesting idea for something unlikely to be on an album cover.

-Sorry I forced you to think about Ray Romano.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

AstroBrain No More

I went to AstroBrain Comics in Alabaster yesterday, only to find that it was their last day of business!

Owner Steve Higginbotham says this on AstroBrain's web site:

"I'm sorry to announce that Astrobrain Comics is going out of business . . . The reason for the store closing is very simple: it's not bringing in enough money to pay the bills and has reached the point where it's impossible to stay open."

Oh well, it was a nice little store while it lasted.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam - Reminder

Hey, this is your REMINDER --

The next slam will be next Tuesday, December 8th at Rojo! 7:30 pm until whenever. And it'll be a fun comic jam slam. More info HERE.

So far, I've heard that J'Mel Davidson, Heath McPherson, Tim Rocks, Chris Rosko, Christopher Davis, and Derek Anderson are hoping to attend. And me, Chris Garrison. Anybody else coming? Say so in the comments below, or email me, or just show up.

What's the Big Idea?

In this recent post, I linked to this set of sketches on my sketch blog, and I invited my fellow SHC's to elaborate on them by inking or coloring them. Jonathan Hooks has answered the challenge with this piece:

Jonathan added the nipples, adam's apple, and poo. It's fun to see someone else's take on my original doodle, Jonathan, but ... ewww!

Any other takers?

Triple Header

Hayley "Sio" Williams recently posted this three-headed purple goat drawing to the SHC facebook page.

Nice, Sio! ... But you provided no explanation. What's up with this guy?

Here's my guess: We all know Hades has a three-headed dog guarding his gates. But it turns out he has a whole menagerie of three-headed animals. To Hades, this is just a run-of-the-mill ram.

Incidentally, my great-grandfather was killed by a goat. My dad says it was careless of him to turn his back on the animal, because "it was a known butter." So be mindful around goats, or you might end up like William Martin Garrison.

Paul Wilm - Twice in One Night!

Paul Wilm makes cool art. I think I invited him to join Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas a long while back, but I need to bug him about it again. Anyway, go check out his upcoming show at Bottletree, and his installation at Bare Hands, both starting this Friday:

Paul Cordes Wilm
new works at Bottletree
3719 3rd Avenue South
opening reception: Friday, Dec. 4th
5pm - 9pm


Paul Cordes Wilm
"New Ghosts On Old Wood"
water closet installation
(part of the SHINE '09 - The Alternative Tree show)
at Barehands Gallery
109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South

Don Stewart's Gator Aid

I received this in an email from our fellow SHC Don Stewart --


Hello, Everyone -

The NOLA alligator drawing is finally finished, and the “Gator Aid” project is ramping up for December kick-off!

Just to bring you up to date, I have been working with the Wetland Watchers - an energetic group of middle school students in New Orleans. These seventh and eighth graders are on a mission to preserve and expand the wetlands in their area, as part of their class work in environmental science. Their award-winning science teacher, Mr. Barry Guillot, is keeping track of their progress on their class web site,

Last April I visited Mr. Guillot and his students at Harry Hurst Middle School in Destrehan, LA. They asked me to come up with an alligator picture to help raise awareness for the Wetland Watchers program, and gave me a long list of items that they would like to see in the design.

Take a look here to watch the ’Gator grow from preliminary sketches to the finished ink drawing, with commentary along the way:

Prints of the Gator Aid drawing will be released on December 6th, at a fundraising gala in New Orleans. Advance orders are already being accepted, with plenty of time for delivery before Christmas. Signed and numbered prints will be available in two sizes:

17 x 22” Giclee (Digital) Prints: Edition of 100 (One Hundred) pieces: $100 each
16 x 20” Offset Lithograph Prints: Edition of 1000 (One Thousand) pieces: $50 each

Half of the proceeds from print sales will be donated to support the Wetland Watchers program. In addition, a number of celebrities with New Orleans connections will be signing copies of the Gator Aid drawing, which will then be auctioned at the fundraiser. Chef Emeril Lagasse, writer Andrei Codrescu, musicians Dr. John and Branford Marsalis, and exercise guru Richard Simmons have all agreed to autograph Gator Aid prints, in support of the Wetland Watchers program.

Those of you in the New Orleans area are invited to come and join the fun! The Wetlands Reveillon will be held at the Destrehan Plantation from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday December 6th. Food, Music, Art, and Les Bon Temps for everyone!

Hope to see you there,

DS Art ™ – The Visual Humor of Don Stewart
2805 Crescent Avenue
Birmingham, AL 35209

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Recent Sketches

Hey, everybody. Here are some recent sketches I just scanned:

Click here to see 4 more pages worth, or here to see all the stuff on my sketch blog. Want an assignment? Color one o' these ... or clean it up and ink it and color it ... and post it here. I'll be interested to see what you do with it.

new B&W cover from Nolen

There's a new Black and White cover by B'ham artist (and friend of ours) Nolen Otts:

Beautiful, Nolen!

Nabbed Another'n!

I've added another new SHC to our list of what I call "cartoony fine artists." Check out John Lytle Wilson's SHC page HERE.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam 5 - planning stage

Howdy, all you Bible Belt-based pencil pushers.

I've scheduled the next slam for Tuesday, December 8th. It's not at the J this time, but at B'ham's hip and snappy Highland Ave. Restaurant, Rojo! 7:30 pm until whenever. So mark your calendars now!

Cartooneestas can get supper or have some drinks there, if they like. My plan for this slam is that it's gonna be a great big comic jam night. More info HERE.

So far, at these get-togethers, we've welcomed the following talented cartooneestas: Christopher Davis, Brian Ratigan, Russell Quick, Shaun "The Weezel" Burnett, Chris Fason, Garth Potts, Stephen Smith, Hal Jones, Kirk Creel, Pat Snow, Tim Rocks, Ed Abernathy, Chris Rosko, Sam McDavid, Jamison Harper, Heath McPherson, James Hislope, Frank Cummings, Tim Spinosi, and me, Chris Garrison. And special guest Nolen Otts. And strange visitor Paul Godbey.

So if you'd like to meet any of them at the next Salty 'Ham Slam (or any other SHC members who we haven't seen yet), email them and invite them to attend on December 8th.

So who's coming?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

John Lytle Wilson opening

There's an art opening at Rojo tonight (Nov. 5, 2009), from 6-10. Stuff by John Lytle Wilson, the guy who did this:

I'm planning to drop by; maybe I'll see you there!

Recent Roundup

What's up, y'all?

I've just gone and collected a bunch of beautiful, recent work from some of the blogs and deviantART pages of our fellow SHC's. (You guys should come and post stuff here more often yourselves, just to keep the blog alive.)

All these pieces have been put up in the past few weeks. If anybody has posted something else that they wish I'd included, let me know.

First, some Halloween stuff. A great jack o'lantern by Howard Cruse --

The latest Jenn & Bueno piece, by Andrew Willmore --

Jonathan Hooks
has put up a bunch of stuff on his blog, lately. Here are a couple of cool, creepy pieces --

Very cool Steampunk Abe Lincoln, by Heath McPherson (from an idea by Jonathan Hooks) --

This marks Heath's return to his blog, after a long hiatus. Heath, we'd love to see more!

Collaboration between James Hislope and Tim Spinosi. I'm guessing James drew the guy, and Tim did the colored pencil work. Is that right, guys?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Salty 'Ham Slam 4 - On Reflection

Our fourth SHC meeting was very good. Look at all the awesome cartooneestas who showed up!

Left to right: Chris Garrison (me), Sam McDavid, Russell Quick, Chris Rosko, Nolen Otts, Tim Spinosi, Brian Ratigan, James Hislope, Christopher Davis, and Richard Haigler. Also in attendance were Kirk Creel (who took this picture) and Paul Godbey (who doesn't show up on film).

Russell Quick came all the way from Huntsville!

From 2:00 to 3:00, we put some art out on the table that we could all look at, and just talked about stuff in general.

The mystery over the confusion about Nolen's death was cleared up. He'd been confused with Roy Norrell, who really did die. Roy did a lot of illustrated maps of towns and colleges, and after he passed, it came to me to revise them for later printings. You can see a bunch of those HERE. Roy Norrell, rest in peace.

We also talked about how it wasn't a proper slam without usual regulars Chris Fason and Tim Rocks. So Fason and Rocks, you were missed. And then we had a vigorous debate about the pronunciation of Fason. FAY-ZON or FACE-un?

At about 2:45, I talked about some ideas I have about additions I might make to the main Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas site.

Then, we had a mini film fest. We watched an animation reel by 5 Guys in a Garage, the group that includes Frank Cummings, Tim Spinosi, James Hislope, and a couple other dudes I haven't recruited yet. Then we watched "Sunday," Brian Ratigan's latest stop-motion puppet work. Also, Nolen played a short film, for which he had provided the animated opening titles. Man, there was all kinds of great stuff.

All of these presentations were followed by high-fives and hugs. Some cartoonists, who shall remain nameless, wept with joy.

Finally, we got down to work:

Brian and Nolen had a 45-minute staring contest:

Christopher Davis tried to steal Richard Haigler's girlfriend. Finally, Richard said, "I can stands what I stands, and I can't stands no more!" After downing a can of spinach, this happened:

It ended in an octagonal cage-match. You REALLY should have been there!

I asked everybody to draw in my sketchbook, and I'll show a few of those drawings here:

Little bitty sketch by Russell Quick

Richard Haigler drew Muffin, the dog from his strip, Marty's Life.

Christopher Davis drew this guy. I think it might be some kind of Ivy League bird - a penguin or a rooster, maybe? Somebody should do a color version. I love his tiny tie.

And we passed around these goofy little comic jams:

Cube of Destiny credits: panel 1 by Chris Garrison; panel 2 by Kirk Creel; panels 3 - 6 by Russell Quick; panel 7 by Chris Rosko; panel 8 by Chris Garrison; panel 9 by Christopher Davis.

Tiny Soda credits: panel 1 by Russell Quick; panel 2 by Chris Garrison; panel 3 by Chris Rosko; panel 4 by Tim Spinosi; panel 5 by Brian Ratigan; panel 6 by James Hislope; panel 7 by Richard Haigler; panel 8 by Kirk Creel; panel 9 by Chris Garrison.

Zacky the Clam credits: panel 1 by Chris Garrison; panel 2 by Kirk Creel; panel 3 by Nolen Otts; panel 4 by Chris Rosko; panel 5 by Brian Ratigan; panel 6 by James Hislope.

People ate cookies and candy, and fun was had. So join us, won't you, for the NEXT Salty 'Ham Slam! (as yet unscheduled)

You can look back at previous slams, here: Slam 1, Slam 2, Slam 3