Monday, December 31, 2018

The Countdown: The Top Ten, part 1 (10-6)

What we've been waiting for all year! Here's the Top Ten from 2018. Today we examine the first half!

10. Here's another one that snuck in at the end of the year. Everybody loves the tots!

9. There was a series I ran earlier this year, "Hymns for the Road Home." The gags were based on songs that might make the after-work commute just a little less stressful.

8. No. 8 comes from another series, "Halloween Movies for Missionaries." This year was the cleverly titled sequel: "More Halloween Movies for Missionaries."

7. This one was hatched late at night, and my wife and I egged each other on as we worked on the words.

...and rounding out the first five of the Top Ten:

6. We've all been there. It's almost like it was yesterday!

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the Top Ten! Be careful out there tonight!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Countdown: The Runners-Up

Welcome to the runners-up for 2018! These are those that, for whatever reason, didn't quite make it into the Top Ten but were still favorites among readers, editors... or what have you (see below)!

5. This cartoon from February is the "what have you" portion of our program. Occasionally we have a cartoon that gets hijacked by a bot, or "borrowed" by an online publication without permission. This one was undoubtedly grabbed by a bot — it's an OK cartoon, but was surprisingly dominant statistically. It scrapes its way into the countdown just for that reason alone.

4. Have you ever lived in a missionary apartment? If you have, you totally understand this cartoon!

3. This one from last August is just plain silly. 

2. I have a son serving as a missionary in southern California. One of his areas was a bit affluent, and almost every house had a security camera with a recording device to leave a message. Folks seldom answered the doors, but he got pretty good at teaching the security systems!

1. Choosing the right can be so difficult at times — especially if you're not sure which hand is which!

Be sure to come back Monday as we start the official Top Ten of 2018!

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Countdown: Sketchbook

This has been the most interesting category to follow this year! We have the perennial favorites — General Conference notes — that dominate in every statistical category. It's the default champion. Our countdown looks at the best of the rest. We've had a few surprises this year, too.

5. President Monson Retrospective: Can you believe that it's been a year since Pres. Monson passed away (January 2018)? We've seen so many changes and received so many new challenges that it seems like so long ago!

4. Moroni in Primary: What do you do when your dad compiled the book you're singing about?

3. Light mindedness: We've all been there from time to time; some of us are there a lot more often than others!

2. Stick to the covenant path: There are always distractions when you're on the path. You can pretty much bet that most* of the distractions aren't worth it!

*By most I mean none of them are!

1. Silent Night: This one rocketed to the top of the Sketchbook charts. Sometimes it's timing, sometimes a cartoon captures a particular sentiment. And on occasion, you get both! This may graduate to a full-fledged cartoon next year!

And there you have it — the tops from the Sketchbook from 2018. Tomorrow we take a look at those that almost made it: the runners-up for the year!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Countdown: The others

These were a little more difficult to determine this year, as both Zarahemla Times and Good Heavens were on hiatus for a good portion of the year. I'm working on a compilation of Kerry Jo's mission blog, and I found a few story holes that needed to be filled.

With that in mind, here are the tops from those three comics!

Sis. Kerry Jo's Mission Blog:
One thing I really like about Sis. Kerry Jo is that she doesn't seem to have too many filters. She says what many of us are thinking — for example, the recovering from conference strip below. Look for more from her this coming year!

Good Heavens:
Good Heavens is where I get to inject a little political and social commentary, and occasionally refer to the news of the day. It got to be just a little too much to keep up with this year, so the strip is taking a bit of a time out. We'll see what happens in 2019.

Zarahemla Times:
Like Good Heavens, Zarahemla Times has been on a bit of a break for the past several months. I plan on coming back to it next year, although it may only be monthly at first.

Here are a couple of favorites from 2018. The scripture marking one was featured in the New Era!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Countdown Begins: Memes and things

From time to time I share stuff I do for work or church. Here are a few of the more fun things we've done.

5. May the fourth is a big day for us and safety messages. And, yes, sometimes we have to force the jokes:

4. Springtime is our big push for safety, with the start of construction season and travel season, plus people are just out on the road a lot more in good weather. Here's another subtle reminder from the crew at the Princess Bride about travel safety.

3. You can't go too far wrong quoting — or misquoting — the Bard!

2. OK, it's not ALL about driving healthy and work zone safety. Sunday school stuff gets thrown in here from time to time as well!

1. Our local missionaries asked us to do mini videos about our favorite scripture from the Book of Mormon. Our family did a few, but this one — based on an old cartoon — was a favorite:

Stay tuned tomorrow as we take a look at the top hits from my other strips!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Sketchbook: And then she called for Silent Night

"Baby It's Cold Outside" isn't the only Christmas song getting shade thrown at it this year. "The Little Drummer Boy" seems to be getting dissed right and left as well.

As one sister in my ward put it, "Just what every tired mom wants to here while she's trying to put her baby to sleep — a drum solo!"

Which is probably why "Silent Night" is one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time.

Have a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2018

When Samuel speaks

Christmas is just days away. It might be time to start getting some of your shopping done! Or repenting. Whichever.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see

OK, purists — yes, I know it was Linus who wrapped the tree in his blanket. I'm taking some literary license.

Besides, any day you can work a Peanuts reference into a cartoon is a good day!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Oh, deer

I know a few elders who would be willing to try something like this!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Know your customer

I don't know if it's still true, but back in the day we didn't have vendors hanging outside of the MTC. But there were often attractive young ladies who made the sidewalk in front of the MTC a prime part of their jogging route. Just sayin'.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sketchbook: Treats for Santa

Upon rare occasion, fellow LDS Cartoonist Arie Van De Graaff and I come up with similar ideas — albeit with some variance in our approach. Such is the case with this one. The gag is based on a similar theme, but our interpretation is much, much different.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

On the short side

I post this with some trepidation. I've noticed that several of my cartoons this year have become obsolete because of changes in church operations. As I was working on this, the notice came out about the changes in Primary and Young Men/Young Women. Not that there's an official height requirement for missionaries — but you never know!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Sprucing it up

Having cleaned out a few missionary refrigerators, this isn't far from the truth.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

In the field

There was no place that I felt like I could relate to the shepherds more than while I was serving as a missionary. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Flippin' sweet!

This week, the Light the World focus is on service in the community. There are many ways to serve, whether it's donating to a local charity or serving your neighbor.

Or by sharing your tots, dangit!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sketchbook: A voice of warning

We had a special stake conference yesterday, with Elder Cook from the Quorum of the Twelve as a visiting authority. Because of that, the building was packed to the rafters!

About three minutes before the meeting was to start, from the front of the chapel there was a loud "BEEP BEEP BEEP!" sound. People started looking around, trying to determine what the noise was — to me, it sounded like a smoke detector.

"Great," I thought. "Right before a general authority comes to speak, we're going to have to evacuate the building and go stand in the rain!"

The beeping stopped, and we then determined what it was: a back up warning signal on someone's electric wheelchair! 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Extending and invitation

LDS cartoonists used to crank out home teaching cartoons hand over fist. They were a staple of Latter-day humor.

Ministering cartoons, not so much.

Maybe because it's a different approach, maybe because everything counts.

In the meantime, we LDS cartoonists are trying to adjust. It's a struggle.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Beyond naughty or nice

After all, they never made a movie called, "Man's Search for Jolliness!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Don't adjust your dial

We're experiencing technical difficulties, so we're running this classic from Christmases past instead.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sketchbook: Hunter gatherers

Another side comment from Sunday school class yesterday, studying Jeremiah.

Thank you, Kim M., for the inspiration.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Day of Service

#LightTheWorld kicks off today with a day of service. Our service project got scrubbed at the last minute, so we've been planning something else to do. Any ideas?

Besides dank memes, I mean.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Programming for the arts

I haven't taken an official survey or anything, but I would imagine that the majority of Latter-day Saint artists got their start coloring the programs at church.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Gone, but not forgotten

I guess sending Christmas cards is kind of an anachronism. But still, you don't have to email or DM any of those newly-discovered relatives either!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Ready to light it up?

This year's Light the World campaign looks like an exciting one, and a great way to serve as Jesus did: with simple acts of service and love.

This year, each week will have an area of focus on whom to serve: Light the World, Light the Community, Light Your Family, Light Your Faith.

Each focus area has a video to inspire you. And if you want, there's a downloadable calendar to help light your imagination on how to serve.

It all starts with a day of service on Dec. 1, and culminates with a special Christmas service at church on Dec. 23. But it doesn't have to stop there. Keep the light going.

Join me and thousands of others as we light the world with His love.