Artistic License Revoked – “Behind The Panels”

I LOVE doing Family Night comics, but lets face it, there are jokes and gags and stuff that I just can’t do in that strip. So once I had Family Night going full steam, I decided to create a new comic where I could be a bit more free in the subject matter, and get more wild with the humor. I wanted to go extreme with the comedy. So basically, I needed a comic where I could say and do all the things that I couldn’t in Family Night. And so Artistic License Revoked was born.

Artistic License Revoked is about two struggling writers trying to catch their first big break.  Between 2007-2010 I had co-written two books with my good friend Mark Hothi, and when it came time to come up with a concept for ALR I really didn’t need to look much further than our crazy friendship and our foray into the literary world.  I had a blast writing two books with him, mostly because we work so well together and we laugh a lot, and I was confident that element of our friendship would translate well into a comic strip.

When it came time to design Mark’s character for the comic, one thing I knew I wanted to do was give him a beard like he has in real life.  Only bad thing about cartoon characters and beards? They tend to hide the bottom half of the face, which can lead to limitations in the character’s facial expression.   So to compensate, I knew I would have to show almost all of the character’s expression through his eyes. But I think it worked out nicely because I wanted to draw his eyes rather large anyway to embellish some of his more predominate facial features.


At the time when I designed my character for Family Night, I was influenced by comic artist Humberto Ramos and I think it shows a little in my character.  Specifically, the eyes.  What I didn’t realize at the time was that while drawing eyes without any white part looked visually interesting, it also made it challenging to express emotion through them.  Similar to Mark and the beard problem, I was going to need to come up with a way to compensate for that loss of expression, and exaggerating my character’s eyebrows was a perfect solution.  In fact, most of my character’s “acting” is done with the eyebrows!

Originally, because my character is in both of my comics, I wanted to do something a little different visually in ALR to distinguish the two.   I really wanted to give him a heavy “5 o’clock shadow” to convey the slightly rougher edges of the character but unfortunately the idea never really materialized and he (I) ended up looking pretty much the same in both comics.

It’s really a toss up who is the more sane of the two characters, Mark and I are both pretty far out there!  But I have a lot of fun making this comic, and I hope you guys enjoy them too! Thanks for reading!


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