Somebody Should Bully the Artist


I gave it a shot, but I’m not very happy with this one. 
The story hook is fabulous and I wish I had done better with it. It’s not the the usual “how to protect your child from bullies” story, but “what if your kid is the rotten one?”
(It sounds like a horrible revelation, bringing with it feelings that you’ve failed to instill a basic sense of humanity in your offspring. But I’m a bit of a wimp, so I’m probably secretly worried that my kid might knock me around if I didn’t raise it in a properly wimpy fashion.)
Now, with my hindsight goggles firmly in place, it looks like my intentions were sound. It’s an effective idea — the bully-child right there, threatening the reader — but I don’t think the execution is appealing. I envisioned an illustration in the style of Jon Whitcomb or Al Parker, but they used models, drew like the gods and were brilliant. I tried to fake it, inventing the characters and then tightening them up by looking at bad reference after the fact; I don’t quite have the chops to pull that off. If I had gone a bit more cartoony — but with a more edge or bite than my usual cute newspaper stylings — this drawing might have fared better in my self-review. 
When I saw it in print, the unconventional, limited palette didn’t bug me as much as I feared it would, but it came out darker than I hoped. Newsprint is awful for subtle tones, which is why I usually avoid a delicate approach, particularly with duller colors.
I suppose, every once in a while, I need to do something like this as a reminder not to do something like this.
Here is how it looked on the page, and I think the layout is wonderful. Very nicely assembled and it makes the image look better than it does on it’s own. For years, page designer Jennifer Schaefer has taken my efforts and gifted them with great designs to live in; she always helps me look like a real newspaper artist, particularly when I have doubts about that. 

See full post here: Jeff Durham2012-04-05.