Monday, December 31, 2012

The Last Resort: Optimism

I'm not real big on "year in reviews" but it's hard not to look back and do just that at this time of year. That being said, I'l try to keep this short. 2012 has been a good year for both me and Mesy Comics. I had no idea where I was going when I started this in January but it's lead to some good places: Got to do some art for Parry Gripp, got to give thanks to one of my childhood heroes, Mark Kistler, and got myself creating again. I'm proud of the work I've done this year and very grateful for all the support I've gotten from family, friends and even a few new readers! It's been a fun journey.

This year I was also blessed with a new baby girl (a lot of the reason why posts have dropped off the last few months) and I've been enjoying spending time with her and the family.  I plan to make that a priority next year as well. I'm not putting the comics aside but I doubt I'll post as much stuff in 2013 as I did in 2012. I don't know that would be possible even without the baby. Most of the old stuff has already been posted.

Still, I'm optimistic about the future of Mesy Comics. I have high hopes 2013 will bring just as much cartoon fun for me as 2012 did. I'm looking for to what new stuff I can come up with as well as digitally remastering more of the old. To end the year, I've drawn this comic to commemorate my optimism. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a happy new year!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Who Is Guy Fawkes?

Happy Guy Fawkes Night! Maybe that's not the right phrase but I'm not British, so who cares! It is however the 5th of November and I just finished watching V for Vendetta. Seemed fitting, being election eve and all. The movie still holds the same power for me as it did when I first saw it and I recommend everyone watch it at least once. I also hacked out this cartoon in honor of the occasion. Not a new comic exactly but an amazing accomplishment considering my daughter is barely 2 weeks old and I get no free time (or sleep) any more.... enjoy.... and if you got the time why not enjoy a good movie. Watch V for Vendetta!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Last Resort: No Man Is An Island

Although the resemblance is uncanny, the fat guy in the inner tube is not me. I'm much fatter than that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Cheez: Panel 6

Now that I have set up the way I want it, I can focus on drawing comics again. I'll start it off with another digitally remastered strip from The Cheez. I like this one because I worked in a cameo of one of my oldest characters, Dobo.

I also like it beacause this is how I spent my Saturday mornings as a kid. I'm proud to say my 4 year old daugher is following in my footsteps and has great taste in cartoons. Her favorite cartoon.....FUTURAMA!

Sunday, August 19, 2012 Has Launched!

Like, the first monkey shot into space, has launched!  Technically I should say "relaunched" .... but since the 2005 launch was such a brief and utter failure I doubt anyone even remembers it. So, I'm calling this the launch.

How is any different than this blog?   I suppose you can consider this the mouth of Mesy Comics and as the new face. I wanted a more professional format in which to showcase my comics, illustrations and graphic design. Eventually the site will include all three. Right now it's just a gallery for The Last Resort and The Cheez. As I produce more comics and get my graphic design portfolio updated, they will be displayed as well. Currently there is some over-lap but I plan to eliminate most of that over time.

The only thing I plan to keep here is the blog and maybe the downloads portion. I'm still working out the kinks. I do know that this will be the less formal side of Mesy Comics: a place where I can announce new projects, post commentary, and whatever else I feel like rambling about.  The new site will mainly be a gallery.

To commemorate the launch I've re-branded the company and composed this illustration in honor. I've also included a copy under the downloads in case anyone would like to use it as a desktop background.

Thanks for taking an interest in my work and I hope you enjoy the Mesy Comics journey as much as I have. It's been an exciting year and I'm looking forward to seeing where else this goes!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hamizilla: Illustration for Parry Gripp

This is a little departure from my usual cartoons. Parry Gripp put out a call for artist this week to illustrate his song "Hamizilla". I knew immediately I wanted to do it. Parry Gripp's songs are great! Getting the chance to illustrate one was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. It's the least I could do for the guy who created "Up Butt Coconut". Take a listen...If you don't think it's funny then you already have an Up Butt Coconut. Good luck removing it.

Anyway, here's the illustration in it's six-nipple glory!! Hopefully Parry likes it and it gets selected. If not, I have a pretty bad-ass illustration for the gallery. I'm so happy with it, I decided to make a desktop background out of it. It's available under the new Downloads tab at the top.  I think the reason I like it so much is because, with illustrations, I can spend a little more time creating them. It becomes about the art itself and is the reason I got into cartoons in the first place. My favorite thing about the piece (besides his six-pecs) is that he's wrecking shop in my home town of Baltimore. Who hasn't come to Baltimore and had the same fantasy?! I got to live the fantasy through this radioactive mutant hamster! Very cool.

Hope you guys like it as much as I do and hopefully it makes the video!  GO! GO! HAMIZILLA!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mark Kistler

I was reflecting back on the early days of drawing comics and thinking how much I enjoyed a PBS show called "The Secret City" (and later Draw Squad), with Mark Kistler. He has an energetic style and love for the art combined with a talent for teaching it to others. If it were not for his shows, I don't know that I'd be drawing comics today.

I have to credit my mom, first and for most, for instilling a love of art in me as a child. Chic West for laying the foundation for my skill in traditional art techniques; Josh Fendell for opening my eyes to a career in art and thinking about art in a non-traditional sense; and Mark Kistler for opening my eyes to drawing comics and having fun with art. Without these people in my life, I'd probably be dying of boredom as a mechanical engineer someplace.  I wish I could thank them all personally but sadly Chic West and Josh Fendell have passed away. (My mom already knows how much I love her and appreciate her. Thanks mom!)

I think the best thanks I can give to Mark Kistler is to share his work with my kids and share the link to his site with the rest of the world. I'm happy to find out this morning, that he's still doing work with teaching kids to draw and producing videos! I'm a bit late to the party since it appears he started imagination station in 2009. I'm hoping it's still going strong and my PBS station runs the show. He also has DVDS and does school assemblies!  I can not tell you how excited I am to show Mark's stuff to my own kids.

Thanks Mark!  Check him out....

Mark Kistler's Imagination Station

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Last Resort: Sidewalk Art

I have to credit my wife for most of this joke. If it weren't for her poking fun of me it wouldn't exist. And if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have half the traffic I have to this blog. She's my biggest fan, my biggest promoter, my editor and my better half. I don't know what I'd do without her.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Last Resort: Misery

I got some complaints that my comics have bin a little "out there" so, I made one with a little something for everybody: a bad pun, animals, a recurring story line and a kick in the groin! Check the archives tab above if you missed the previous comics from the barnyard and maybe you can figure out why the chicken is so angry.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Last Resort: How To Make A Viral Video

Sitting here in my subterranean lair, drawing comics nobody sees, and contemplating the mysteries of the internet, I wonder how to get more traffic to my site... if only I had a disease infested monkey.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Last Resort: Casual Friday

I should probably wait until Friday to share this comic but it's still funny.

In Defense of MC Chris

I don't really intend to start using this blog as a soap box but a recent incident compels me to comment in defense of MC Chris (and human decency). I don't know MC Chris and I only recently found out about his music. He's a rapper, artist and helps fight cystic fibrosis. Last Thursday he apparently threw a fan out of a show for heckling one of the opening acts. The fan responded by posting his side of the story on the internet. The incident caught fire and MC Chris was bombarded with hate. In response MC Chris posted a video on Youtube apologizing for his past behavior. In doing so he breaks down emotionally.

What happens next? ...He's met with more hate!!

People who know nothing about the incident, or him, feel the need to make him feel worse? For what? For having the decency to apologize? For feeling badly about the way he treated somebody else? It takes more balls for him to post his apology on the internet (under his own volition) than to sit behind the safety of a computer screen and make fun of someone. Being a good person and doing the right thing is hard. Doing it under public scrutiny has got to be even harder. How many asshole-celebrities lead completely miserable lives and behave awfully? Thousands. Now of those thousands, how many have ever apologized for anything unless they were under court order to do so? None that I can think of.

Frankly I find it refreshing that the guy is trying to set things right. The world could use more people like MC Chris and less of the internet lynch mob. He does charity work to fight cystic fibrosis for crying out loud! Even if he is an complete jerk at his shows (which I can't verify or deny), I'd say his off the stage work makes it a wash. MC Chris is a human being. Cut him some slack. It's so easy to tear somebody down to try and make yourself feel better. At the end of the day you still have to look at yourself in the mirror.

Too bad the people who need to hear this probably don't read my blog but it feels good to get it off my chest. Thanks for listening..... now back to my usual comics.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Last Resort: Pac-Man Fever

This one's probably just weird but it makes me laugh so I'm posting it!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Last Resort: The Joys of Travel

I know it's been a while since I posted but I was on a much needed vacation the past couple weeks. It didn't take long to get the old creative juices flowing again...the creative juices taste a lot like anger.  Airport security will do that to a man. I don't particularly like having my civil rights violated. I like it even less when I have to watch my pregnant wife get felt up by some government stooge. Later that day, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and this cartoon was born.

I can't help but wonder if my name will now be entered into the government's watch list...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Last Resort: Facebook Rage

This comic has been inspired by the over-hyped Facebook stock offering of the past few weeks.... having people constantly ask me if I'm on Facebook for the past decade sewed the seeds though. In case you can't tell, I have a little rage about all the pressure to join Facebook. Google Plus works just fine for me thanks. Truth be told, I'm not a big fan of social media in general. I don't need 12,000 virtual firends, just a select few REAL ones. I don't feel the need to catalog and broadcast every minutia of my mundane existence. I don't have an iPhone or an iPad and I don't want one. I don't need to be hooked into the rest of the world 24 hours a day and be bombarded by tweets, twits, pseudo news articles, scare-mails, scams, adds for dick medicine, and other pointless garbage. Social media can be a very useful tool in moderation. I don't want it intruding on every waking moment of my life. Sorry Mark Zuckerberg. Take a hike. If I want to be connected to people. I'll do it the old fashioned way: Face to face, not through Facebook.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Cheez: Panel 2

Thanks to my wife for catching my typo on the last one. Remastering comics at 5:30 in the morning probably isn't the best idea... I'm surprised there aren't more errors.... but it's got to be done. When these comics were originally made, my lettering was a weak spot. While I'm taking the time to color them, I thought it best to reset the copy.  Here's the 2nd in the series.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Cheez: Panel 1

After college I spent my free time drawing comics and trying to figure out just how to get my work out to the public (and make money). The internet wasn't what it is today and I didn't have the resources to self-publish. Syndication seemed like the way to go, so I set to work developing a strip. I had no real concept for a strip or much perspective beyond what I personally found funny. I had no idea what would sell and what people would like. The only comic I'd ever done with confirmed appeal was the one featuring Moon Cheese from college.

It seemed like as good a place as any to start as any, so I began drawing up a syndication proposal. I had no idea what the strip would be about, put very little thought into the characters and was pretty much going to make it up as I went. In the end, it turned out to be about my alter ego: a slacker trying to find his place in the world, his ex-hippie parents (nothing like my parents) who enable him and a few friends. It was met with the inevitable rejection... frankly it's a wonder the proposal turned out as well as it did.

I learned that if you want to succeed, you need passion and the virtue of selfishness. You can't create for someone else and expect it to be good. It has to come from within. The Cheez was created for a nebulous public that I had no concept of and it showed. The work lacked heart and would have been doomed to fail. It did serve to teach me a great deal about the art of comics, so all was not lost. I got some great feedback and constructive criticism from would-be syndicates, instead of the usual form rejection letter.

I took that as a sign my work had potential and it motivated me to keep going. I'm glad I did. Looking back on this strip I can see the bright-spots as well as the failures and I'm proud of The Cheez, despite it's short-comings. It gives me great pleasure to see it digitally remastered now. Hopefully you all will enjoy it as well. I begin with the first panel of that syndication (from 1998 I think) and will post it in it's entirety in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Old School "The Cheez"

Well, I'm finally back to the drawing board. Literally and figuratively.  I know I'm long over due for a new post. Life got in the way once again and time has been a problem ... so I decided to remaster some old material in hopes of getting to post more frequently.

This comic is 20 years old (holy crap I'm getting old) and first appeared in The UMBC Retriever. I was a cartoonist in college but my work was considered too edgy and rarely made it to print. The editor hated me and I heard the staff hated her. Anything that made it to print was a small miracle and probably slipped in behind her back. Whether an attempt to get her fired or because other people liked it, I really don't know. It was a frustrating time for me and I resorted to making fun of the other cartoonists. I hoped they would poke fun back, but one quit the the rest ignored me. I plowed on for two years and managed to refine my craft and have some fun ... not how I'd envisioned it would be, but it all worked out pretty well. I was able to experiment, find my style and laid a good foundation for a lifetime of cartooning.

The best creative thing to come out of that time was the character Moon Cheese. This strip was his first appearance in 1992 under my strip's original title "The Essence of Putrescence." Didn't really roll off the tongue but it did some up the crap I was churning out.  Anyway, this was by far my most popular individual strip. When I saw it clipped out and posted on a professor's door, I knew I was on to something. It was the first time outside of my family and friends that I knew somebody else thought I was funny. This was the beginning of taking myself seriously as a cartoonist and the seed for my first attempt at a syndicated strip, called The Cheez.

I'll be digitally remastering The Cheez in the coming weeks. For those unaware, click on the image to get a larger view. Enjoy and thanks, as always, for reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Last Resort: You Are What You Eat

A couple of months ago, my wife and I attended an interesting lecture by Michael Pollan  and it got me thinking differently about the food I eat and the food industry in general. I can't say I've changed how I eat much but at least I'm more aware of what I'm eating now. CAFO beef still tastes good and I'm still poor, so CAFO is what's for dinner. I should also say, I don't care how healthy you make a box of cereal...none of them taste better than a box of Froot Loops! 

Still, the Omnivore's Dilemma is worth the read and eating healthier is a good idea. I mean who wouldn't want to eat healthier sustainable food that isn't stuffed full of corn and antibiotics??? Unfortunately, eating healthy is for the rich and I'm getting poorer every day. Might as well laugh about's the cartoon inspired by Michael Pollan's works.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Last Resort: Visual Aid

For those of you looking for a new comic yesterday I apologize. I was a bit under the weather. After an Easter egg hunt and lacrosse game with the kids I was done for the day. Today I'm feeling good again and back to the ol' drawing board!

So, after spending a week thinking about the new direction of The Last Resort, I've changed my mind. I don't like the idea of dumping all the comics I create into one weekly post. (In this case one comic...I'm a slacker!). It muddles the jokes and makes for a awkward commentary. Instead, I'm going to post whenever I create something new or want to share something old. I still plan to do at least one per week. If you miss one, just go  to the "New Stuff" tab up top. I'll also be posting all new stuff there.

Now on with the strip....this one is in response to my dilemma this week. While it has the graphical grossness I love so much it also has a certain sad and pathetic quality about it that makes me laugh. Hopefully you will like it too. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Last Resort: End Of The Road

Well that's it for The Last Resort....the old material that is. Like the show about the dead people, that's the first 48. Give or take. When I submitted this strip for syndication back in 2005, most syndicates required 48 panels. None of them in color. The panel you see here was actually the last panel in my proposal. It was also a declarative statement for me as a cartoonist. After a decade of frustration, this was my best shot at syndication and I was done. I felt I'd "made it" even if I never did get published. Looking back, I'm still pretty proud of it all but I'm still pretty done with trying for a syndicated strip.

This blog is now my strip and I have to say I'm very happy with  it. I have to thank my wife, once again, for talking me into it and for being my biggest fan. She's the best! The last three months have been a fun exercise in blogging and rewarding to see my entire syndication proposal in color.... AND I created some new stuff along the way!!

Is this truly the end of the road for The Last Resort?  HARDLY!  Roads? Where I'm going I don't need no stinking roads! I still have a ton of old material laying around that I can color and share with the world, dating all the way back to the early days in 1988-89. I also have a lot of jokes written for The Last Resort that I've never bothered to draw up yet and a couple new ones I came up with this year. There should be plenty more coming from me but there's no way I'll be able to update daily. I have a full time job and a family but I'll do what I can.

I'll start with a new section called "Saturday Morning Cartoons" and see how it goes....that is I'll post whatever I come up with during the week on Saturday mornings. After it's posted I'll archive it to a new tab called "Saturday Morning Cartoons" in case you miss a post. So, look for the Last Resort to post weekly starting on March 31, 2012!! Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope you'll keep reading!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Last Resort: Lake Wobegon Effect

I assume this is a common cultural reference for most Americans but if not, I'll provide a little background. Lake Wobegon is the fictional home town of Garrison Keillor from the radio show Prarie Home Companion. It is said to be a place where "All the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average." Complete garbage but not unlike Anytown, USA. Hence the term "Lake Wobegon Effect". Everybody's great for no reason. All the kids are in the gifted and talented program. Grow up!

If this interests you, read Harrison Bergeron. It's a great short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Anyway, thinking about the Lake Wobegon Effect sparked this comic.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Last Resort: Death's Little Brother

I'm feeling especially optimistic this morning despite the subject matter of today's cartoon. I've never been accused of being an optimist but there's one thing I've come to realize in my 40 years on this planet: the world is not going to end in your lifetime and if it were to end, there's not a damn thing you can do to stop it. You can either live the rest of your days in fear or just live.

I use to live in fear but now just live. Don't get me wrong, I'm still obsessed with some pretty grim subject matter but I don't take it nearly as seriously as I once did. Every generation has an over developed sense of their own importance. As if no one in the history of man kind has ever experienced what you are experiencing or has the power to shape the world as you do. Get over yourself. People are the same now as they've always been. Access to cable, the internet and a 24 hour news cycle doesn't make you different it just makes you subject to a bombardment of negative information that a human being shouldn't be subjected too.

I've survived the threat of nuclear annihilation from the Russians, several planetary alignments, heaven's gate, swine flu, the avian flu, west nile disease, half a dozen raptures, the year 2000 and the financial collapse. People before me have survived world wars and plagues. As each new prophecy of doom passes another one will take it's place. Something will kill you. It's the inevitable price of being human. You can either worry about it or go on living.


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Last Resort:The Talking Candy Dispenser

I'm a bit tired this morning thanks to davlight savings time so, I picked an easy one to color. Inspired by too much sugar, not enough sleep and an actual PEZ® candy dispenser I bought one day... enjoy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Last Resort: Ashtray Hands

This is probably one of my least understood cartoons but I don't care. I still like it. It was inspired by watching a documentary on gorilla poachers and an Orioles baseball game in the same day. Both horrific spectacles that scared me for life. I remember thinking a trained chimp could field better than the Orioles 2nd basemen at the time (this took place way before Brian Roberts' time with the team). Yes, I know this is a picture of a monkey and he's playing first base so don't bother me with details! Anyway... I hurled my insults at the TV and this cartoon was born.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Last Resort: Gambling Problems

Based on a true event I witnessed in college, this cartoon wrote itself. The visual pun played out before me in a college dorm room and amused me enough to later draw the cartoon. I probably shouldn't laugh at immigrants struggling with the language barrier, since I can barely speak one language, but the guy was able to laugh at himself. I think he'd be fine with the cartoon. Not sure how he'd feel about the fez however...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Last Resort: Leap Day

Inspired by the fact that it's Leap Day, a brand new comic has leaped from my mind to the digital paper. Happy Leap Day! Enjoy the brand new cartoon!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Last Resort: Dragon Ass

In case you're wondering....NO! I don't live in my parents basement. I did however, spend a lot of time playing D&D in my parents basement. I spent even more time drawing cartoons. Today I still work in a hole in the ground. But, it's my own hole, thank you very much!

I probably should get out more.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Last Resort: Where's The Braille

Ok, so this is the 2nd joke that pokes fun of blind people performing some sort of absurd act. Unsurprisingly, it has drawn some criticism from "nice" people who think I'm mean.To them I say, take a closer look. I'm not making fun of blind people. I'm making fun of stupid people.

Don't get your underpants in a bunch. I'll get around to making fun of you soon enough.