Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Caricatures

I've had a couple caricature gigs at Christmas parties lately. Instead of doing them with a black marker plus one grey tone, I decided to try it with black plus one color.  Takes the same amount of time, but adds a bit of cheer.  Check 'em out!

These pics are kinda blurry, because I took them on my phone. But I think you can see them okay.  (Click to enlarge.)

Awesome Birmingham restaurant Rojo had a great party, and here are some of the drawings I did there:

I think they came out pretty cute.  Folks definitely enjoyed them, so it was a lot of fun.  I still have theories about how I could get cartoonier, so I'll keep trying to improve.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Caricatures

I was invited to draw caricatures at a Halloween party last night, and here are my ten faves.  (Click to enlarge)

I solved my problem of smearing ink, mostly, by bringing along a little piece of cardboard, which I used to occasionally fan the caricatures as I worked.

I changed from one brand of marker to another, for my gray tone.  The new one blends together better.

I'm trying to push myself into cartoonier territory, which I think helped to make this new batch better than the last batch I posted.  What do you think?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Zoo Laffs Coloring Contest -- results show

I recently had a Coloring Contest, over on my weekly webcomic Zoo Laffs.  I asked my readers to add color to this pinup (click images to enlarge)--

I received two beautiful entries.  One by Nazareth Craig:

... and one by Matt Bixler:

Wow, that's a tough choice!  They're both gorgeous. I think I'll combine the two, taking the tinted background and dark, forboding Chickzilla palette that Nazareth used, and dropping in the candy-colored wombat from Bixler's version:

Voila!  Prizes will be awarded to both winners.

Zoo Laffs Caption Contest -- results show

Three weeks ago, I held a Caption Contest over at my weekly webcomic, Zoo Laffs. I challenged the readers to create a caption or some dialogue to go with this pinup (click to enlarge) --

Contestants were asked to submit their solutions in the comments below the pinup. Although I got a lot of great entries, nobody's solution quite struck me as the PERFECT answer. So, I've decided to mix and match.

One solution, by Dave
, began with the phrase, "Chip Slatherton, Daily Wombat!", which I quite enjoy. He also named the heroine Chickzilla, which I think fits her look. My idea, based on that, is that she is hotel heiress Chica Ramada, and that she's been dubbed Chickzilla by the tabloids.

Several people posited gags on the raunchier side. Which is understandable, considering Chickzilla's short dress and Chip's angle on things. I think there could be a solution which addresses this issue, without getting too crass. How about: "Chip Slatherton, Daily Wombat! Miss Ramada, would you mind keeping your legs together for just two seconds, so I can get a decent photo?"

On the milder side, Kevin came up with:

     Bear: Any chance a guy like me has a shot
           with a dame like you?

     Girl: Bearly.

     Bear: What say we take a chance and see what

Ha! Nice puns, Kev. I thoroughly enjoyed this answer. But since I've fallen in love with the idea of Chip's being a wombat, I don't think I'll go with the bear joke.

Joelle bided her time for a couple weeks, then finally chimed in with an ambitious piece of dialogue, including a complete story arc and the inner thoughts of both characters. A+ for enthusiasm alone, Joelle! And within her solution was the following exchange:

     He: How do you stay in such great shape?!

     She: By walking fast and kicking little jerks
          like you to the curb.

I really like that, because one can plainly see her muscular legs and the curb in the picture. And I like the phrase "kicked to the curb," and judging by Chip's position between Chickzilla and the street, he's clearly in danger of being LITERALLY kicked to the curb.

The rest of Joelle's answer, like Kevin's, expresses the hopeful notion that the two may strike up a relationship, which warms my heart. But for brevity's sake, I think we'd better cut it.

So, in conclusion, by combining my favorite attributes from the answers of both Dave and Joelle, here is the winning solution:

     Chip: Chip Slatherton, Daily Wombat! Miss

           Ramada, how do you stay in such great 

     Chickzilla: By walking fast and kicking
                 little jerks like you to the curb.

Prizes will be awarded to both winners.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I went down to the college campus with Ed Abernathy today, and we drew a bunch of caricatures.  Here are mine (click to enlarge) --

I definitely need to work on my caricaturing skills, if I ever want to call myself a proper caricaturist.  This one of Wallace is nice, though. I decided to start using one gray marker today, and I think it worked out pretty well.

I love to use my favorite brush pen, but I keep smearing it.  I guess I'll have to either be really careful, or else start using a less smeary brand for caricatures.  I hated giving people these messy pictures with my fingerprints all over them.

The best one of the day:

Thanks for a fun time, kids!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Zoo Laffs Contest Prizes

Over at my weekly webcomic Zoo Laffs, I'm holding some silly contests. The winners will be allowed to choose between the following wildly desirable prizes. There are nine of them.

All these things are in okay-but-not-completely-fantastic condition. That's a technical term, often used by professional appraisers.

Sorry for the slightly blurry pictures. I took them with my phone. I assure you these objects are not blurry in real life. (click the pics to enlarge)



This guy is seemingly handmade, probably crocheted or knitted or whatever by someone's grandmother. He's super clean and nice. 25" head to toe.

Read about the rest of the prizes by clicking Read More >>, below.

Zoo Laffs Coloring Contest

If you'd like to enter the Zoo Laffs Coloring Contest, please use this high-res image. Click to enlarge, then right-click or control-click to save it. And thanks for entering!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wanna Be a Zoo Laffs Guest Artist?

It sure would help me stay caught up on my webcomic Zoo Laffs, if I could occasionally present a strip by a guest artist. Do you want to do one? Drawing comics is fun! Especially drawing funny animals and cute girls. Plus, DummComics has a great following. Your strip will be enjoyed by thousands, and we can put up some links to your stuff or whatever.

You can use my characters -- Alistair Woods, Buckley, Jakey the Jerk, Michael the Armadillo, Perry & Sherry, The Nice Pair, Alex Gander, Onion Puss, HornDog, and Horatio Hamhockefeller -- or, if you think none of them are suited to your gags, you can make up new Zoo Laffs characters.

I'd dig it if your strip carries on in the Zoo Laffs tradition of jokes about girl trouble, revolving around meeting women, maintaining relationships, or suffering breakups. But if you want to buck the trend by exploring other subjects, that's cool too. I won't reject a strip just because it doesn't deal with romantic foibles.

Before you get too into it, email me a rough sketch or scriptlet. This way, if your joke is too similar to one of mine or another guest artist, we can nix it or rework it before you spend much time on it. Email me at cgarrison[at]

Don't have an idea for a Zoo Laffs strip? Email me anyway. If I like your work, I might just give you one of mine!

(Or, you could do a guest strip for Zoo Laffs' backup feature Inanimate Antics!)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chris Garrison's Cartooning Workshop

Calling All Cartoonists!

Forstall Art Center of Birmingham will be hosting a one-day cartooning workshop, taught by me, cartoonist Chris Garrison (creator of Zoo Laffs and founder of the Salty 'Ham Cartooneestas). As you draw, I'll help you hone your basic cartooning skills: construction, line of action, silhouette, and expression. As the day progresses, I'll discuss inking, character design, appeal, flair, staging, and storytelling.

You are strongly encouraged to bring your sketchbooks and drawings with you for some informative input. Whether you want to draw superheroes, manga, or breakfast cereal mascots, this workshop will help you to become the BEST cartoonist you can be!

Ages 16 and up.
$75 gets you in, and a very nice set of supplies comes with the deal. And lunch is included!

Saturday, June 25th, 2011
10am - 3pm
at the
Forstall Art Center
(at the Palisades, in Birmingham)

Here are some more samples of my work. Click to enlarge: