calvin and hobbes

Art Before Commerce by john cheng

I always go back to Calvin and Hobbes as one of the earliest influencers of my journey through the realm of art. I loved it as a child and I still love it as an adult. Thank you Bill Watterson for your wonderful work of art that continues to inspire me. 

Watch this great piece by kaptainkristian, Art Before Commerce.

A look at the comic strip that elevated the medium. Support this channel at https://www.patreon.com/kaptainkristian Follow me at https://twitter.com/kaptainkristian Music: Flamingosis - Football Head ProleteR - April Showers Calvin and Hobbes dance by Adam Brown: https://vimeo.com/78040385
Art is never done as long as it has an audience.

Lifted: No. 1 by john cheng

Click the image to read the comic.

Click the image to read the comic.

I haven't posted in a very long time, but I felt like sharing what I had worked on towards the end of last year. It had been a long time coming, but I really wanted to try writing a comic where I could pour in all of my random interests and create a world where I could vicariously have fantastical adventures through. 

The process of writing and illustrating it myself was quite a learning experience and I'd like to do more of it in the future and hope that I get better at it too. I was originally going to keep it to myself, but I figured ... why not? You can click the image above to read the comic. I hope you enjoy it!

If you happen to really like the comic and want a physical copy, you can purchase one through blurb.com by clicking the thumbnail of the cover.

WSJ ~ ‘Calvin and Hobbes’: America’s Most Profound Comic Strip by john cheng

Christopher Caldwell, of the Wall Street Journal, did a great write up about Calvin and Hobbes. Read the entire article at WSJ. Oh how I miss the days of reading through these comics.

At its simplest level, the strip is about the friendship between a bright 6-year-old misfit (Calvin) and his pet tiger (Hobbes). Its “trick” is that Hobbes is a lifeless stuffed animal when others are present and a rollicking, witty companion when they are not. So the story can be understood on many levels. It is about the richness of the imagination, the subversiveness of creativity and the irreconcilability of private yearnings and worldly reality. Where Calvin sees a leaf-monster trying to swallow him, Calvin’s father sees his troublemaker son scattering the leaf-piles he has spent all afternoon raking.

Illustration Inspiration by john cheng

Illustration by Kevin Dart

I've been delving more into my illustration habit the past week or so and have been trolling through some of my favorite illustrators for inspiration.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

The first and foremost source of inspiration and influence will always be Bill Watterson, illustrator and writer of Calvin and Hobbes. He probably has had the biggest influence on me because I grew up reading Calvin and Hobbes like my life depended on it. His writing is also very witty and communicates well to an audience of all ages.

After Mr. Watterson, I have a giant list of illustrators that I've come to admire but cannot list them all. For now, I'll list out the ones that I've been attracted to mostly because of their content, color choices, and style.

Illustration by Kali Ciesemier

Kali Ciesemier has beautiful illustrations for many articles as well as her own personal works. What I love about her work is the saturated colors, composition, the thumbnails that she does and the minimal usage of outlines. Her blog is also where I learned about Chris Wahl's brush packs for photoshop. You should download them if you already haven't done so.

Illustration by Kevin Dart

Kevin Dart has some amazing illustrations that I love and adore. There are also rarely any outlines in his work as he uses contrasting colors that sit next to each other to convey the illusion of lines. It is a very basic concept, but difficult to pull off in my opinion but he accomplishes it like no other. His backgrounds are also super detailed and beautiful.

Illustration by Olivia Huynh

Olivia Huynh is yet another illustrator/animator that uses minimal line work. Noticing a trend here? Her work is so full of life and her animated gifs always make me smile. I love her color choices and her composition is impeccable as well.

Illustration by Sam Bosma

Sam Bosma is the only illustrator out of this set that uses more line work, but his line work is so enticing to me mainly because of the precision and textures that are involved with his linework. He has so much variety to the characters he draws and is always pushing his limits on the amount of details he includes in his characters. When his detailed characters all come together in one giant composition, it is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Be sure to also check out the Steven Universe tumblr to check out some more beautiful illustrations under the direction of Kevin Dart and and design of Sam Bosma if you want some more inspiration.

Bill Watterson Returns to the Comic Strip by john cheng

Bill Watterson, shown in this 1986 file photo, has provided the poster art for "Stripped," a new documentary about comic strips. (C.H. Pete Copeland, The Plain Dealer)

Let me tell you. Just getting an email from Bill Watterson is one of the most mind-blowing, surreal experiences I have ever had. Bill Watterson really exists? And he sends email? And he’s communicating with me?
— Stephan Pastis

The legendary creator of Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Watterson, as returned to the stage! Read the blog entry of Stephan Pastis about how he came to interact with Bill Watterson and end up collaborating with him on a new comic strip.

Check out a few of the new comic strips below!