Dandy Bears

Back to a familiar subject matter in my sketchbook today – BEARS! This time they are a couple of dandy bears hittin’ the town in search for love. Look out ladies!


It’s all in the strut.

Harry T. Burn – August 18, 1920

On this date in history, the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution was signed into law 100 years ago in 1920. This was the amendment that granted women the right to vote.

I was recently asked to illustrate an article in Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Magazine that commemorates this story, which will appear in September’s issue (and who graciously allowed me to post this today on the 100th anniversary of the event). It’s a fascinating tale of a young 23 year-old Harry T. Burn, a Republican member of the Tennessee General Assembly.


Harry T. Burn on the steps of the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville in 1920 complete with mama’s letter in his pocket before going in to cast his historic vote. (Click on image to enlarge.)


For an amendment to be passed, 36 of the then 48 states had to ratify it. Thirty-five states had done so, but one more was needed. In Tennessee, it was a hot-button issue with passions raging on both sides. It came down to a 48-48 deadlock in the vote, and the young Harry had yet to make his decision.



Harry had received a letter from his mother urging him to vote in favor of the issue, a letter he kept in his suit coat pocket as he sat there in chambers while all the heated debates raged on. Ultimately he voted to ratify, which was the final approval needed for the amendment to be the law of the land, all thanks to a letter from mama.

The art is a bit of a mixed media endeavor. It is partially traditional with warm gray colored pencil outlines, black ink wash, and then color tinting was added within Photoshop to help give it an old-timey feel.

John MacArthur

The time of lockdown here during 2020 has got to be the strangest societal experience of our collective lifetime. One of the stranger of the restrictions placed upon us by our government has been the suspension of religious freedom despite stores being open, restaurants being open, open beaches, massive public demonstrations, political rallies, and even air travel where everyone breathes the same recycled air for hours on end.

Well, we have acquiesced, and have reverted to watching our churches online. All of our preachers have inadvertently become televangelists. During this time of uncertainty, I have been thankful for the biblical wisdom my own pastor has released upon us week after week, backing everything he says with what is written in the Bible, spoken in a calm, easily understood manner.

My pastor is John MacArthur. My church is Grace Community Church.


Believe it or not, this is my sermon notes.


You know, back in the day, I used to sit in services doodling while listening. For me, doodling was always a way to help me stay awake during a long talk, business meeting, sermon, or otherwise. It helped me focus on what was being said. Unfortunately, in church I was a distraction to those around me who would watch me doodle instead of listening themselves. So, I stopped.

With church being online only these days, I’ve gone back to doodling during the sermons. While some doodles are random, a few Sundays back I found myself doodling my pastor from the computer screen. Later, I took the inked drawing into Photoshop to add some quick color.

I’m not much of a portrait artist, but caricatures flow from my hand from time to time. So, this was drawn with the utmost respect.

Declaration of Independence

Happy Independence Day!!

Instead of doing some sketch of a patriot for today, I thought it might be fun to see ol’ British King George III’s reaction to learning that the Colonies decided to rebel against him on that fateful July 4 back in 1776.

I’ll bet ol’ Georgie had wished the postal service had that day off that first year, but that would come later.


Good thing they didn’t go with Thomas Jefferson’s first draft, the Declaration of Dependence.

Ray Harryhausen at 100

Today marks what would have been the great Ray Harryhausen’s 100th birthday. To film and animation aficionados, Ray’s name is highly praised, and rightfully so. He was a brilliant stop-motion animator who, following in the footsteps of Willis O’Brien (the man behind the original King Kong), Ray elevated the world of visual effects in live-action movies that set new standards for decades. His work was often a part of science fiction and fantasy movies, but even if a film itself wasn’t necessarily great, Ray’s work on its own was groundbreaking.


Click on the drawing to see it larger!


My favorite of Ray’s work, and the favorite of many, is the skeleton sword fight from Jason and the Argonauts. It was made in 1963 , which means there were no computers involved. It was just little skeleton puppets moved one frame at a time, lit to look like it was outside, and large real human actors were filmed separately from the skeletons to look like they were interacting with them. Insanely difficult to pull off, but done so brilliantly. Here’s the scene:

I feel very privileged to work in the animation business, and was thrilled to have had the chance to meet and talk with Ray a number of times before he passed. His tales of working in this business inventing techniques and trick along the way were fascinating. They were especially fascinating because while I usually work on projects that are completely animated, Ray’s objective was to have the make-believe stuff appear to be real by having it interact with real things.

Perhaps the most unique brief chat with him came from bumping into Ray on a sidewalk here in Burbank, CA one day. Most people walked by without giving him a second look, but then a young animation guy  like me knew who he was.

Ray passed away at the age of 92, but what an amazing legacy he left behind.

Drawn & Quoted: Father’s Day

“I’m the stuff men are made of.

– John Wayne (1907 – 1979)



Alright, Pilgrims, show some love to those dads out there today because it’s Father’s Day!

This is the first Father’s Day without my pop. Got to thinking about him, and his favorite actor was John Wayne. Dad watched all his movies, and in particular, he loved the westerns. It’s no wonder, growing up in Arizona, Pop had a bit of the cowboy spirit about him, and John Wayne was the ultimate example – the epitome of manliness with the right amount of sentiment. While my dad ended up working in the world of business in the shadow of New York City, he always maintained a touch of cowboy just underneath the surface.

So, call up your dads today, give them a big ol’ “HOWDY,” and make sure they know how much you appreciate how they protected and herded you and the rest of the family over the years.

We’re Closed!

With the whole world shutting down, does the Wuhan Virus really care all that much? It’s gonna do what it’s gonna do….



With everything shutting down here in the United States, and from what I hear, in other countries, too, the plight of the Griswold family from National Lampoon’s Vacation seemed like a natural fit. That poor Coronavirus has travelled all the way from Wuhan, China to come to America, only to find the country closed. Nothing is going to stop it from having some fun.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t get a BB gun at a sporting goods store and start having too much fun at our expense.

Green Eggs & David Newman

One exciting thing that helps the Green Eggs & Ham show leap from the screen is the magnificent music of composer David Newman, a veteran composer of many movie scores over the years (Galaxy Quest, The Sandlot, Hoffa, Ice Age, etc.). I had the pleasure of watching him work his magic with an orchestra in the recording studio one day, and afterwards felt the urge to Seussify him.

David Newman is quite musical, Making melodies that are Seussical.

Later in the year, I snapped this second image of David onstage at The Hollywood Bowl where he conducted a concert of John Williams’ music. Film music royalty.

That night, John Williams spoke of his friendship with David’s father, Alfred Newman, the great composer and former head of music for 20th Century Fox (he wrote the fanfare in front of all Fox movies!)

Be sure to watch Green Eggs and Ham

streaming now on Netflix!