Kissing Story Sample

Here’s a new sample.  This is page 1 of a comic book I’ve written that my art rep will be sending out later this summer.  Hopefully we’ll get someone interested in it.  There was some interest in this character from a previous sample featuring her, so we’re hoping it will sell.

This sample reuses the first four panels from that previous sample.  (I reformatted it for rectangular panels and changed the shading style.)  The last two panels are new.

The working title is Kissing Story, but I don’t really care for that.  Hopefully we’ll come up with a better one.  It’s an age-appropriate story about sexual harassment and consent.

I may actually need to change the panel with mom and dad kissing to have them not also hugging because my rep says that may be too much physical contact for the age range.  So, I may post a revision  with that changed.  We’ll see.

Kissing Story Sample Page 1

Moving Day – Image 1

Another commission for Learning A-Z.  This one is a family packing up their living room and kitchen, getting ready to move.

One problem with this scene was that they wanted both rooms to show, but in a portrait-oriented image.  So, I decided to make this house a front-to-back split with a short stairway between the two levels. That let me put the two rooms one in front of the other, but with the kitchen a half-story higher so as to increase the height of the image and keep the living room from blocking it.

It’s done entirely in one-point perspective.  Everything except the people and a few curves was drawn with virtual rulers.

It’s probably a small mid-eighties tract home, judging by the layout.  One that’s been updated with wood floors and new appliances.  But the kitchen is still too small and it doesn’t have a dishwasher.  I’d move too, if I were them.

Page 1 - Final v3


Christmas Cards Available

(Other merchandise also.)

This is the time of year to think about buying Christmas cards.  I have several designs available at my Zazzle store.  (Lately they’ve been running some 60% off sales on holiday cards, which makes them a reasonable price.  Just look for the coupon code.  Today’s is HOLIDAYZSAVE, but that only lasts until midnight tonight.  Black Friday’s coming up, though, so they’re bound to have more good discounts soon.  The code BLKFRIDAYZAZ will get you 60% off until the end of the day 11/25/18.)  The code ZCYBRMONDAYZ will get you up to 75% off on some projects.  I think it’s 60% on cards.  Until the end of the day Cyber Monday.  And I have a coupon code for 60% off cards, among other things. Good until midnight on Monday, Dec 3rd. Use ZCYBRMONDAY2 at checkout.  Use DECKTHEHALLS at checkout for 60% off cards until midnight on Friday, Dec 7th.

My latest is the Christmassy Streetcar that my Dad requested.

Last year’s card was my family ice skating.  Sorry it’s not a more universal image.  It’s very specifically my family, complete with Katie in her Canadian flag hoodie.  I have considered reworking it with polar bears or something skating instead, but I haven’t gotten around to it.
Ice Skating

Before that was a snowman family.  (Also available in portrait orientation and on other merchandise.)
Snowman Family

A single snowman with a cardinal perched on it’s hand/branch.  (Also available in portrait orientation and on other merchandise.  It’s particularly pretty on a coffee mug.)

And, for the more new age among you, a Stonehenge winter solstice card.

Winter Solstice

There are also tons of other products up on my Zazzle store.  Mostly prints and cards, but other merchandise as well.  More-or-less any decent images that I still hold the copyright on are fair game for Zazzle printing.  If there’s any of my work that you’d like to see printed on something and I don’t already have it up, just let me know.  I’d be happy to set it up for you.

I’ve illustrated two books that are available also.  They’d make good Christmas gifts.
The Squishy, Stinky Diaper Written and Illustrated by Karen B. Jones
The Genie Loophole by Paul Maguire Illustrated by Karen B. Jones

(Preview images were generated by Zazzle.  They own the greeting card templates, I own the images pictured on the cards.)

Mommy Moment: Quart Milk Jug

Today I went to the grocery store and one of the items I needed was half & half. I usually buy the store brand (which comes in a tall cardboard carton), but I saw this instead. This is a quart milk jug. One that looks like a baby version of the gallon milk jug. You can’t see, but it even has the little handle around back, just like the big ones.

And you say, “Yeah. So?” First off, this may be a common container some places, but our local dairies don’t seem to use it. Today’s the first time I’d noticed it and I go to the grocery store all the time. It’s kind of neat.

The reason it’s neat is that I have little girls who are of an age to still play with a toy kitchen set. This quart milk jug is the perfect size to use as an accessory for that. So, once I’ve used up the half & half, my girls are getting a new toy milk jug. They’ve already asked me if they could have it, in fact.

Just a little mommy moment I thought I’d share.

Oh, the image came from the Roberts Dairy website, since that’s the brand I bought. It’s not my photo.

In Memory of Joe C. Cribbs

My grandfather died last Thursday and my family and I attended the funeral on Monday.  My mother, later, was kind of upset that the preacher didn’t really tell any stories about him other than just that he was an old, sick man.  The preacher mostly just talked about how this was a sad time and we should take comfort in each other and in Jesus.  It was almost like he had a standard funeral speech and it wasn’t really about my grandfather at all.  There was so much more to him than just an old man who was very sick.

Now, I really never knew him, so I don’t have any of my own stories to tell about him.  But my mother told me a couple and I think I can remember a couple things other people said at the funeral.  So, I thought I’d write those down here and then give everybody a link to the page so they can share these stories and add their own (or correct me if I’ve gotten it wrong).  I thought this might be a nice way for people to remember and share their stories about him.

Just to make it easy, I’m going to refer to him as Joe.   That’s because he’s Grandpa or Granddaddy to me and my cousins, Daddy to my mom and Barbara, etc.  This will make it simpler.  I’m also paraphrasing.  I can’t remember well enough to quote exactly what people said, word-for-word, but I think I can get the stories right anyway.

Mom (Vickie Holland) said:

Joe wasn’t perfect.  He was hard on his kids and they were afraid of him.  But he was Daddy to them and they loved him anyway.  She remembered every year there was a fair they’d go to.  It was the highlight of their year and they’d save up all their allowance for two months to have enough to spend on the rides.  But if Joe ever found out he’d say, “I don’t know why you want to waste your money on that.” and it would always just squelch their excitement.  So, they learned never to mention that they were saving for it and just enjoy it when it came.

Well, she remembered one time they were out of town and they went to an amusement park.  Joe was standing there watching them having fun on the rides.  Every time they’d get off he’d ask them if they liked the ride and, if they said yes, he’d give them some money to go ride it again.  Mom said she was thinking, “I like this Daddy.  What happened to my Daddy?”  because it was so uncharacteristic of him.  He just kept giving them money all night and they had a wonderful time.

The preacher was talking about how Joe had played the guitar.  There was a song he used to mostly play that they played at the service called “Wildwood Flower”.  The preacher made it sound like Joe just played his guitar all the time and he loved music.  Vickie said that he was actually very shy about it.  He did like to play and sometimes even sing, but not out around folks.  Mostly just in his bedroom at night. He didn’t play many songs, but that song was one that he particularly liked and was good at.  It was a lively, happy song.

She said he’d gotten that guitar as a gift from his kids and her Uncle Dick.  Dick had all the kids chip in money for the guitar, but really, he paid for it mostly.  But that way it could be a gift from the kids to their daddy.  He did that because he knew the whole Cribbs family was kind of musical and Joe could play by ear a little, but didn’t have an instrument.  He thought Joe would like it, and he did.

Jamie Cribbs said:

They went out fishing and stuff a lot, but what he remembered was the odd things Joe would do that seemed out of character.  Like he’d never play around with stuff.  He’d always say, “If you play with it, you’re going to break it.” and he was always especially careful about his trucks.  But one time he’d gotten a new truck and him and Jamie were out driving.  Well, Joe decided to try out the truck, really put it through it’s paces.  And he was driving around corners, making it slide, driving fast, just playing with his truck.  At one point he slid it completely sideways on the road.  That was so much fun and it’s one of the memories that stands out for Jamie.

B.J. Cannaday said:

She was wearing some high boots that were kind of scuffed at the toes.  She said that Joe had never liked anything she wore and was always complaining about it.  But when she’d worn these boots, he’d said, “Those are some nice boots.”  So, even though she’d scuffed them up since and they weren’t in as good a shape as she’d like, she wore those boots to the funeral because Joe liked them.

Lorene Cribbs said:

Sometimes people would call on the phone asking for Loraine (mispronouncing her name) and Joe would always say something like, “Loraine doesn’t live here, but Lorene is here.”  He wanted people to get her name right.

Now, there’s either a comment box at the very bottom of this page or (if this page is showing several posts) there’ll be a link under this post saying “3 COMMENTS” (or whatever number) and, if you click on that, you can post there.   I’d like everybody to add a comment below and share their own Joe stories so that everyone can remember him as he was in life, not just as he was when he was near his death.

If anyone missed the obituary, it can be found here.

My Grandfather Just Died

My grandfather just died.  I’m sad, but in a kind of abstract way.  I really never knew him.  We moved away from Savannah when I was two or three and were only able to visit occasionally as I grew up.

It wasn’t unexpected.  He’d had Alzeimer’s, or something similar.  He’d been bedridden for awhile and his mind was going.  They thought he might have had a small stroke last week.

I’m actually more relieved than grieved.  He didn’t like living like that, dependent on others for everything.  It’s been so hard on my grandmother.  I know she didn’t want to see him die, but now that he is she can grieve and begin to recover. I’m particularly sad that it happened so close to Christmas.  Now Christmas will always be particularly sad for her.

I’m sad for my mom, my grandmother, my aunt, and my cousins.  For them, this is a painful loss.  For me, I’m a bit sorry that I’m not more sad than I am.  I’ll send flowers.  I may go to the funeral.  But I’ll feel like a stranger watching other people grieve.

I really didn’t know him.