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January 16, 2019

CCS Illustrations - Part 2: One-Week Cartooning Workout Spots

Another big project that I developed for The Center for Cartoon Studies in my new job as Director of Academic Outreach was a free email course called the One-Week Cartooning Workout.  The idea is that you enter your email address and then for the next week you get one email a day filled with tips, tricks, an exercise, and links to various examples and resources.  I created the first draft and turned it over to CCS Director James Sturm, who tightened things up, and then I created some spot illustrations to bring it all together.

Since the idea was a cartooning workout, where you are building skills with small exercises, I decided to build the imagery around the idea of those cheesy workout videos from the '80s and '90s.  My wife is a big fan of the Found Footage Festival - we have DVDs and books that they've released and she and I have even attended some of their live screenings - so I was familiar with their amazing montages of various different workout videos.

When it came time to design the logo however, I looked back to a vinyl workout record I had listened to a bunch as a kid, Mousercise.  Using this style, I shifted all the colors to pure Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, and incorporated linescreen dots, to reinforce the traditional printing process that comics have used for generations.

One I had the logo designed, I used a similar type treatment for each day's banner.  I also reenlisted CCS's founder Inky Solomon and his faithful dog Panels and put them in a variety of situations that act as visual puns, combining the tools and language of cartooning and the various activities and gear used in an exercise workout.

For the Day Eight email (spoiler alert: there is a Day Eight email!), I included at least one element from each of the other seven spot illustrations and then had a role reversal of Panels the dog being super buff after Inky has done all the training.

You can sign up for the One-Week Cartooning Workout at any time and it is absolutely free.  If you're looking for some prompts to help you get the ball rolling on your cartooning, it's worth checking out!

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