Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Fortunes told while you wait

There's no story to go with this one, I just thought it was a fun twist on the "man and his remote" cliche.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday sketchbook: Corralling the OK

I showed this to my son, and he had no idea who Wyatt Earp was. The “Gunfight at the OK Corral” also drew a blank. He must’ve also missed the Star Trek episode “Spectre of the Gun.” 

Anyway, Wyatt Earp is best known for his participation in the Gunfight at the OK Corral, along with two of his brothers, Virgil and Morgan, and Doc Holliday. 

And here’s a little something for the Gee-Whiz File. According to, although Wyatt Earp had three wives, he had no offspring. Probably due to his lack of manners, I’m guessing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

More meetings

This is an old cartoon that stemmed from a conversation I had with my buddy Blair on our way home from Mutual one night. His dad was stake president, so he had way more meetings to go to than my dad, although my dad had his hands full with a whole different set of responsibilities.

This cartoon came to mind when they announced a bunch of additional meetings during church today -- and I didn't have to go to any of them. But there have been those days where meetings have started early in the morning, continued throughout the day and well into the evening. Being in Primary totally rules!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rise and shine. Ish.

I had one friend who tried not to schedule any classes before 11 for this very reason. She's now teaching early morning seminary.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Good Heavens!

Good Heavens was a strip I tried several years ago. It was different from most of the stuff I'd been doing, and I cranked it out on a whim. It still makes me laugh!

It didn't occur to me then, but after all the misinformation that came out about Mormons when Mitt was running and the brouhaha and confusion stemming from the FLDS mess in Texas, I wonder if the fact that I was pedaling a strip about Heaven from a return address in Provo had anything to do with the big syndicates passing on it...might put some weird stuff 'bout them Mormons in there! Gasp!

As you'll see, this certainly wasn't a vehicle for pushing any doctrine. I was just looking for some jokes. After all, Heaven can be a funny place. People are dying to get in!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spreading it around

Besides being used by UDOT, this one was picked up by a couple of other states. They replaced "University Avenue" with whatever their local project was.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's all about recycling

In celebration of Earth Day, I thought I really ought to run something environmentally-conscious, or at least a little green. This seemed to fit the bill.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Another missionary moment

So after sacrament meeting one day a few years back, two young women in the ward came running up up to me all giggly.

"Are you the Kevin Beckstrom in the magazines?"

I thought that was an odd question, but being a public relations practitioner, I could have been quoted in any number of publications. "What do you mean?"

"The one with the cartoons in it, The New Era? Is that you?" Then they whipped out the magazine and showed me this one. I was surprised to see it because it was one that the magazine bought a long time ago. And the girls were totally impressed that I was indeed the Kevin Beckstrom, too.

It's entirely appropriate cartoon to share today, too. When we woke up this morning, it was snowing hard. The lawn was covered with snow. When we came back home after church this afternoon the sun was shining and the neighbors were out mowing the lawn. Welcome to Oregon...go figure!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Last night at dinner, we had a discussion about what would be a good name for a band now that the Porcupines is officially defunct. The Barking Spiders was the winner ("barking spider" is a family euphemism for passing gas). We figured there would be many opportunities for some innovative promotional tie-ins. And the band would probably get a lot of air play. So to speak.

Listen to an MP3 acoustic version of "Ode to Indecision"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Double jeopardy

This got a better reception with the highway crews than I expected. I wonder why?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This one just kinda makes me smile. Maybe it's the chairs.

In an odd way, it reminds me a bit of my bud Gary, the photographer. He's a beyond-avid fisherman...he even has the book Max the Minnow hanging off his monitor at work. He also has an awesome photography blog that's worth visiting.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This was one of the first strips of "121" to appear in the Daily Universe.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday sketchbook

I guess technically this isn't a sketchbook item, since Coldwell Banker had me do a customer courtesy card using a variation of this cartoon.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A missionary moment

Yes, this is based on a true story. It's actually an easy thing to do in Korean.

My best language faux pas, however, was different.

Elder Sellers and I were knocking on doors in some apartments across from one of the college campuses in Yeosu. A young lady answered the door, we introduced ourselves...then she screamed and slammed and bolted the door.

We asked the ward mission leader what was up with that.

"What did you say at the door?" he asked. We told him, and he started laughing.

"You were off by one syllable," he chuckled. "You didn't introduce yourself as missionaries. You introduced yourselves as sex teachers!"


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Back to school

Back in my college days, somehow or other I convinced the folks at The Daily Universe, the BYU student newspaper, to run a comic strip that I had developed.

There were a few things that I had going in my favor to help convince them. One was that I had been taking journalism classes for the past year or so, so the Powers That Be knew who I was. Another was that I said I would do it for free. And, as one of the faculty advisors said, "This is better than a lot of the stuff they run in the Herald." I think he meant it as a compliment...

The name "121" came from the apartment where the characters lived. I couldn't think of anything better at the time. Most of the characters in the strip were based on my fellow j-school students. Some knew who they were, and some still don't.

Publication of the strip also fulfilled a dream of mine - to have a comic strip printed in the newspaper next to Peanuts, which was the only other strip they were running at the time.

This "Sunday" panel was drawn as a way to introduce the characters when I tried to market the strip. It was subsequently turned down by all of the major syndicates (and many of the minor ones as well!).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Here's another from the University Avenue project. The subcontractor for traffic control really was Flasher Barricades.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


A while back -- OK, a LONG while back -- I worked for the Utah Department of Transportation. We had a project that was going to tear up and replace the pavement on University Avenue through the heart of downtown Provo.

Working with the Mayor's Office and the local merchants' association (actually, Linda Walton, who totally rocks!), we came up with an idea to make it an adventure rather than a nightmare to go downtown during construction.

One component of the outreach was a series of public service announcements in the form of a comic strip, "Explore Provo."
It was a lot of fun, we had good success, and the project finished ahead of schedule and under budget! What more could you ask for?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Moses, Moses

With the passing of Charlton Heston, photos of his movie roles are all over the media. That reminded me of a set of bookmarks we made for our Primary class: "Follow the Prophets." One of the favorites was Moses. He totally rocked the eight-year-olds.

Favorite Heston quote: "Soylent Green is people!"

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monday sketchbook

Sometimes ideas never make it past the sketchbook. Sometimes it's not difficult to see why.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In the beginning...

This is the one that started it all.

As a sixteen-year-old kid in high school, I spent a lot of time drawing cartoons. I decided to send a batch in to The New Era just to see what would happen. After all, they offered to pay good money for ideas they used, and I was in need of good money. And for a sixteen-year-old, any kind of money is good money.

I’m not sure exactly how it transpired, but my girlfriend at the time (Valerie) called up the folks at the magazine and arranged for the two of us to meet with one of the artists to get some pointers. So one day after school, she drove us downtown in her blue Chevy Nova and we went to meet with Bro. Whittaker in his office at the Church Office Building.

Bro. Whittaker was very kind — but I was scared to death! After all, this was the big white tower at 50 East North Temple, and I was meeting with a real artist to talk about my cartoons. He asked me about myself, cartoonists I liked, what my future plans were. He also showed us around the production room. He was encouraging and gave me some tips. It was way cool.

I lost track of how many cartoons and cartoon ideas I sold to The New Era, but there were a lot. Those cartoons contributed quite a bit to my mission account. And Valerie may have gotten some better quality dates out of the deal, too.