Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Word From Our Sponsor

The writing staff here at bwhitecartoons.blogspot.com  (me) is dedicated to bringing you the highest quality laff-fest you can find on the web. Sure, there are plenty of blogs out there bringing you the details of every aspect of the author's tedious everyday existence, but only this blogspot can bring you you the details of MY tedious everyday existence!

Such jocularity doesn't come cheap, however, so I have turned to Google AdSense to help support this blog. For those of you not familiar with it, GAS lets blog authors post ads on their sites, based on the topics they write about on their blog. If a reader of the blog sees an ad that interests them, and clicks on the ad and orders said product, Google will send a few pennies to the author of the blog. Sounds pretty good, right?


First of all, I don't know what system the Google folks use to decide what ads will be appropriate to list on my site. It seems their computers zoom in on random phrases, and then plunk an ad on your site. Some examples:

• I have written extensively about my loathing of clowns, so why do I have a bunch of ads for clown related services?

• I have also expressed my love of squirrels in various posts. Why are there a bunch of ads for squirrel extermination services? I love squirrels! Don't respond to these ads!

• I have mentioned Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse now and again, and the products showing up here all look pretty nice to me, so there's  one point for GAS.

Then there are the ads that have NOTHING to do with my posts, like "BLACK DATING IN YOUR AREA", and "SHE HAD YELLOW TEETH". How did those pop up on my site?! I am all in favor of black dating (or anybody dating for that matter), and am not a fan of yellow teeth, but why did Google think these were product/services my readers would connect with?

I really don't know, but if you are a lonely black person with yellow teeth and a squirrel infestation problem who needs to hire a clown- This is the site for you!

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Time Out!

Yes, I know, I haven't posted anything of note in the past few weeks. (Of course, there may be some of you out there who are of the belief I have never posted anything of note.) However, the show Perfect Wife and are appearing in closes this weekend, so things will be back to normal (or as normal as it gets around here), and I'll be posting more often.

So rest rest up this weekend, and brace yourself for the freight train of chuckles coming your way!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Where Does the Time Go?!

At the beginning of this year, I promised you, my faithful and not-so-faithful readers, that I was going to make a concerted effort to post more frequently. As you may have noticed, I have failed miserably. I do have an excuse though: Time flies!

We have been really busy here at Casa del Blanco lately. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day to get all the things done we want to do. I know you, dear reader, are probably busy too, so this excuse of mine may seem lame, and even whiney, but it is the only excuse I have, so please bear with me.

Alas, most of the things that have kept me busy would not be very interesting for you to read about. Sure, my recent haircut came out nice, but I'm afraid the  details of the whole procedure would not keep you riveted. So here are some of the more interesting things that have happened hereabouts:

• I've picked up a few gigs doing character development on some top-secret projects, unfortunately, I can't tell you anything about them. Yet.

• I gave a guest lecture on caricaturing at a local cartoon class taught by my friend and mentor Mat Brown, and had a wonderful time. The class was full of bright, talented, amateur cartoonists, which is a refreshing change from the usual slug-a-beds you encounter in the student population of most local cartoon classes. The highlight of the evening was when Perfect Wife posed for the students for a caricature. It was a brave move on her part, and I believe she left with her self-esteem intact. It was pretty funny- if you  weren't her.

• Perfect Wife and I celebrated 20 months of marital bliss yesterday! We went to a fancy restaurant (Fancy for us, they had silverware and everything! Also, no item on the menu had "Mc" on an entree name.). I had the best piece of prime rib I ever had, served with something called a Mashed Potato Garlic Cake, that was yummy too. Unfortunately, PW's salmon was overcooked. When we complained to our waitress, we were comped dessert and drinks. That would have been nice if we were paying for it, but we were using a gift certificate.

Sadly, when we returned home, I realized how long it had been since I had eaten beef (we've been eating chickens and piggies mostly, lately), and I experienced a few hours of gastric distress. It wasn't pretty.

It was still a wonderful evening.

• The biggest time-sucker for PW and I, is that we are performing in another local musical. If you have ever performed in a play, you know how much work is involved. I got lucky this time, as I only have a small role that involves no heavy lifting. PW, however, has a fairly large role, so it keeps her pretty busy. She is, of course, wonderful in the role, and I get goosebumps watching her from the wings. Lest you think I am biased about her performance, she even got a nice nod in the local paper's review.

One unfortunate side effect of our participation in the show is that we are out of the house a lot at night. This has caused Rocco the Wonder Dog to begin to have some " separation anxieties".
These anxieties usually manifest themselves by Rocco befouling the kitchen floor while we are out. Cleaning up dog droppings at 10 at night is not exactly the perfect ending to the day.

The show runs 2 more weeks, then hopefully life will get back to normal.

Or as normal as life gets around here.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another Look at Books

Whenever I teach a cartooning class, the students are  always asking me what "how-to-draw-cartoons" books I recommend. Whether this is a demonstration of their hunger for knowledge, or that they feel I am lacking as an instructor, I dunno. In any case, I always steer them towards Preston Blair's "Animation" book. This is the bible of how to draw cartoons, and every cartoonist worth a damn has a copy of it in their library. If you wanna be a cartoonist and have yet to check out this book, turn off your computer and go buy a copy RIGHT NOW! You can thank me later.

Of course, Mr. Blair's book isn't the only cartooning book out there. There are hundreds of cartooning books out there for the hungry cartoonist mind. Some are fantastic, some, eh, some downright awful.

Today, I'll spout my opinion on two books for wanna-be cartoonists, one good, one, ewwwwwwww.

If you are a fan of the TV show, " The Simpsons", and love to draw, then "THE SIMPSONS HANDBOOK", is the book you have been waiting for. This coffee table book is jam-packed with tons of tips on drawing Springfield's favorite family, as well as great drawing tips in general. Add in to the mix transparency overlays that show you how the main characters are drawn, as well as tips from production artists on the series, and you have one fun book. While this isn't an ideal first book for the novice cartoonist, for anyone who has the basics down, it's a wonderful addition to your cartoon library. Even if you don't want to draw at all, if you're a fan of the show, the behind the scenes looks at these characters is sure to bring a smile to your face.

One negative thing about this book: The price. It retails for $39.95, which I feel is a bit pricey. However, you can usually find it on Amazon for as little as $13.08, a much more reasonable price.

On to the other end of the spectrum. I always assumed, if you were writing a book about cartooning, you should actually know how to draw cartoons and know something about them. Apparently, I was  mistaken, as  "cartoonist" Brad J. Guigar demonstrates in his book, "THE EVERYTHING CARTOONING BOOK".  Not to mince words, this is one of the crappiest books on cartooning I've ever seen (and I've seen some crappy ones)! The drawings are awful. A seventh grader would be ashamed of some of these drawings,  and the author seems to come  from the school of, "Hey! If you draw crappy, don't worry! The computer can fix it", school of thought. This book is so full of misinformation and bad examples, it makes my brain hurt. If you actually own this book already, my best recommendation would be to read it, and then do the opposite of everything the author suggests.

I feel mean dumping on a fellow cartoonist, but man, this book sucks.

If I have peaked your interest, and you are a glutton for  punishment, you can get it for as little as $6.94 at Amazon. Don't say I didn't warn you.

That's just 2 of the many, many cartooning books out there. If you have a book you'd like my opinion on, drop me a line in the comments section.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Clownin' Around

As I may have mentioned before, as a lad, I was terrified of clowns (truth be told, to this day I am not really too comfortable around them). Unlike many irrational fears, however, I know the exact source of my phobia. 

When I was about 2 years old, my Mother took us to Woolworth's. I was still in a stroller. There was  some sort of family promotion going on, so there was all sorts of cheesy entertainment like jugglers, fortune tellers, monkeys and of course, clowns. I had never seen a clown before, so when this huge, white faced creature with  a red nose and yellow teeth approached my pram, giggling and twisting balloon animals, I was  terrified. I began shrieking and crying, and the clown, as they always do, tried to make things better by getting in my face to show me how "nice" he was. 

This of course, made things much worse, and we left Woolworth's posthaste. It was too late though, the damage had been done, and every future encounter with clowns resulted in an awkward public spectacle for my entire family.

Naturally, my older sister, age 7,  with her "puckish"  sense of humor, found my aversion to clowns amusing, and she soon found a way to heighten her enjoyment of my phobia. One day, she came bursting into my room and announced, "Billy! Hide! The Mean Clown is coming!" I did not hesitate to question her. All I needed to hear were the words, "Mean", "Clown" and "Coming". I was immediately in panic mode! I had to hide, but where?! "Under the covers!", my sister suggested, and it seemed as good a place as any, so I dove under the sheets, my heart racing.

Under the darkness of the covers I heard a voice growl, "WHERE"S BILLY?!" "He's not here, Mean Clown", my sister responded. "I bet he's under these covers!", I heard the Mean Clown say, and I began to feel a finger poking the covers of my bed.

If it were possible for a 3 year old could have a coronary, I certainly would have at this point.

Eventually, my sister persuaded the Mean Clown that I wasn't there, and he left. I was eternally grateful to my sister for saving me from the Mean Clown.

Of course, my sister actually WAS the Mean Clown, and if  you think I must have been a pretty naive kid to think a seven year old girl was a Mean Clown, you would be correct.

The Mean Clown popped up a few times more, before my sister tired of the game, and came up with a new way to amuse herself, by telling me the "Bus to Disneyland" was coming, and I should pack a bag and go wait for it on the front steps.

But that's a story for another  day.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm Back!

Hello Dear Readers! I know it has been awhile since I have posted anything here, but I have been super-busy!

Okay, that's a lie. 

The truth is, is just haven't been able to come up with anything that is worthy of the high quality that I know you, the reader, demand of this parade of laughs. I do have a few ideas roaming around in my brain, however, so I thought it would be fun (or at least, easier for me) if YOU, my devoted followers, decided what you wanted to see.

Here's a few ideas:

• A detailed recounting of the worst production of the musical, ANNIE, I ever saw.

• In the same vein, tales of horror from community theatre. These stories are not for the faint of heart!

• Another tasty dish from the Bill White Cookbook.

• Information on what I would do if I was King of the World.

• Why everybody but me is an @$$hole while driving.

• I finally settle the argument, RAZZLES: Candy or Gum?

• More hideous examples of my student art and the pathetic stories behind them.

• More stories about Rocco the Wonder Dog or Perfect Wife (Actually, don't bother voting for this, I will most likely do it anyway).

I could go on, but this is the short list. Please take a moment and vote for one in the comments section. Also, if you have something you'd like to hear me vent about, please let me know. 


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