On "idea days" I spend a lot of time doodling aimlessly. I have stacks of sketchbooks filled with random nonsense that my future children will be annoyed to inherit.
I don't like showing them because its somewhat like a window into my brain. But I thought I'd give you a peek just this one time. I don't know why there are so many skeletons on this particular page.
I recently bought a big pack of multicolored ultra-fine point sharpies, and it's really added a nice flavor to my formerly black and white drawings.
The sad thing is that a whole page of doodles like this may only yield one or two quality comic ideas. I guess it's not the most efficient method. I haven't really figured out an efficient method yet.
Any other doodlers out there?
Spread The F Word
Visit www.FMIN.us for more information.
Visit www.GoComics.com for today's comic.
Dec 4, 2008
On "idea days" I spend a lot of time doodling aimlessly. I have stacks of sketchbooks filled with random nonsense that my future children will be annoyed to inherit.
Dec 3, 2008
Dec 2, 2008
"It must have rained last night." I thought innocently as I inspected my front yard yesterday morning. Then I noticed that my neighbor's yards were bone dry, and only the gutters in front of my house had water in them. "Nuts" I thought.
After the city told me it was my problem, I started pulling back the gravel and found that the water was still flowing steadily from somewhere under the earth. Eventually, I discovered an old forgotten landscape beneath mine. Like unearthing an ancient civilization, I felt the thrill that Indiana Jones must know as I found decorative brick, a tree stump, and a different kind of gravel that was simply covered over by primitive landscapers.
Fresh water was now flowing out of the earth like an Artesian well. I shut off the water to the house and began digging. This continued for some time. Deeper and deeper I dug without any sign of the source of the water, and I began to suspect I had found a natural spring. As I was wondering about the startup costs of a bottling company, I found a cracked pipe. I turned the water back on to see if it was the culprit, and sure enough, water sprayed high into the air as if from the back of some new species of desert whale. After a quick trip to Ace Hardware, I plunged headfirst into the hole, and spent the rest of the afternoon repairing the pipe. To anyone passing by, I must have looked like the victim of a horrible sky-dive accident. Finally, as the sun began to set, I crawled backwards out of the hole to observe my work.
I had a very manly conversation with my neighbor, Ralph: "Yeah, I went with the telescoping coupling to avoid further digging" I'd say. "Sounds about right", he'd reply, and so on. After the pvc cement dried, I turned the water back on. No drips. A successful repair.
Ralph mentioned he had a leak in his backyard. "Bummer" I replied. An awkward silence followed.
Nov 20, 2008
Nov 14, 2008
I thought I'd share this with you all. Occasionally I will drop little things into my comic for my own amusement. This comic has a few. The first time this tattoo artist was featured, he had longer sleeves and you couldn't see his tattoo. Someone mentioned to me that you will never see a tattoo artist without tattoos. On one hand, it's a good point. On the other hand, mind your own business.
Anyhow, this time I cut off his sleeves to show that he does have a tattoo. I have actually designed a few custom tattoos for friends over the years. The tattoo featured is one I designed for a friend that never got used (His fiancee put the kibosh on it). It's the six-winged angel described in Isaiah 6:2. Also:
-On the wall under the new advertisement you can see the remains of the last special offer: Tea Time Clown.
-The Chinese characters on the wall are all real words.
-The customer is wearing an Arizona State University T-shirt, my Alma Mater.
-One of the tattoo options is the F Minus circle logo. I'm still waiting for the day someone actually gets this tattoo.
Nov 12, 2008
Monday's comic reminded me of a letter I got the day it was published back in January of 2007. I'll share that letter with you now, exactly as I received it. Prepare to be astonished:
"i am a reader of daily comics on line and came across a comic about god talking with a family reunion that had just died because the mans grill polluted the air, that you wrote. well i wish you guys would use your talent and your job to be a positive meaning to our world and speak about things that you know are the truth, but instead you guys (believers of global warming) know hardly anything about global warming and with knowing only a little bit of what truly is global warming you would like this whole world to pay trillions of dollars to pay for something that this world knows little about. global warming as hap pend before and it has happened before and has been proven but everyone for some reason wants to avoid the truth and would like to be a bitch to this world. hundreds of years ago the vikings lived on an island Greenland. it was describes as a green and lush place, hence the world green land. also have you flown in a plane and seen how much land is not used by humans and then flown over a city and see how much a little city can have no affect it has on the area or world around it. i would like for you to write back to see how much you actually know."
Normally I enjoy analyzing a letter like this for you, but with this one... I think this one is funny enough on it's own. Besides, I have to get back to work, being a bitch to this world.
Don't forget to pre-order the new F Minus book, available this spring!
Nov 10, 2008
If you recognize some of the comics in papers right now, don't worry, you haven't traveled back in time. We are celebrating by showing some favorites from last year, all of which can be found in the new F Minus book, entitled F Minus: This Can't Be Legal--
The new book will arrive in the spring, just in time for Christmas gift returns. So when you open that book of Ukrainian poetry from your grandma this year, let your reaction be fueled by the thought, "This will soon be the new F Minus book..."
Don't forget, the new comics.com allows you to rate, email, comment, and embed F Minus comics!
Nov 4, 2008
I did! And I got this sticker for my troubles. Not to mention the pride of doing my civic duty. Also, a grouchy old man told me to "Turn off that phone!" even though I don't think it was an actual rule. Ah, old people.
Nov 3, 2008
Oct 30, 2008
I'm in the New Yorker! Well, sort of. Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert was interviewed in the Cartoon Lounge yesterday. He is asked to list his favorite current comic strips and he said Pearls Before Swine, Basic Instructions, and F Minus. Cool!
I've never met Scott but I owe him big time. He once just mentioned me on his blog and my hit counter shot through the roof.
Next step: Get the F Minus book in Oprah's book club.
By the way, book 2 is coming. If you haven't read the first book yet, you better get a copy, or the next one will make no sense.
Oct 25, 2008
Here are some pics from the Tour De Fat bike ride in Tempe, AZ. It was the first time I have ever done it, but it won't be the last...
Here's me on my skull cruiser:
This guy was riding a shopping cart bike while playing a make-shift didgeridoo with another guy in the cart keeping rhythm with drum sticks. I followed this guy most of the way. Pulling these speakers blasting great biking music ensured the party went wherever he did:
Shoes for wheels. Wow.
I won't even try to explain this:
Ask for a bike this Christmas.
News from the good folks at Comics.com:
We'll be launching a BRAND NEW COMICS.COM website in a few weeks! We've added all sorts of nifty functionality to your favorite cartoons and editorial comics: rankings, comments, save/share capabilities, RSS feeds, widgets, extended archives and best of all: It's all going to be FREE!
That's right, free. And it includes an extended archive for most of our comics.
SURELY THERE MUST BE A CATCH. No catch! You'll just need to register to take advantage of our nifty new features (unfortunately, we can't carry over the registration from the old Comics.com), but registration is free. So stop by, sign up and enjoy your favorite comics and editorial cartoons like never before!
We look forward to seeing you on the new Comics.com
Oct 24, 2008
I've been asked about my Halloween costume so I thought I'd let you in on the idea early. Linz and Cam and I are going for a trio costume this year. We will be... The First Thanksgiving. That's right, we will go as the birth of our most delicious holiday. One of us will be a Pilgrim, one will be a Native American, and one lucky person will be a turkey. I will post photos later. Below is a photo of the three of us dressed as skeletons riding bicycles. (Bicycles not pictured)
Hey all, Sorry I haven't blogged for a while, but I've been very busy. For one thing, I've been moving. I'm still here in good old Arizona, but now I'm a few miles closer to New Mexico. So I've been doing a lot of painting and cleaning and looking for boxes behind stores at midnight.
Also...... --I proposed-- to my longtime girlfriend, Lindsay. And she said yes! Here is a picture of the happy couple:
This was taken right before we were kicked out of medical school. As you can see, it was meant to be.
This is good news for F Minus fans, because Lindsay has the difficult task of convincing me that I have seven more comic ideas in me every week. In exchange, I record her favorite shows on the Tivo.
We're planning a May wedding.
Sep 30, 2008
You may have noticed that the online daily comics are now in color. I color the Sundays myself, but the new dailies are colored by someone else (I'm not sure who). As a control freak when it comes to my comics, I'm hyperventilating a little bit.
So the question is, do these first comics seem a little psychedelic, or am I just overreacting? I feel like there is a LOT of yellow. Thoughts?
Sep 27, 2008
Sep 15, 2008
The next movie I'm looking forward to: Watchmen
It's based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. It's the only graphic novel to make Time magazines list of the 100 best English-language novels.
The trailer is pretty cool, and it looks like they are staying true to the book. Plus I like the Smashing Pumpkins song.
There's plenty of time to read the book before the movie comes out. It's a great story.
Sep 12, 2008
First I accused a lady at the bank of having an accent. She seemed irritated by this, but then admitted her father was from Romania. Get over it, lady. You picked up an accent.
While driving down the freeway, someone threw a cigarette out of their car and it hit my windshield. I immediately pressed the button on the shift stick. It doesn't actually do anything, but in my mind it fires a rocket at the car in front of me.
I was noticing the nerdiness of some nerds at the coffee shop. Then as I was leaving, they complimented my shirt, forcing me to acknowledge my own severe nerdiness.
Finally, my soda told me "You are not a winner." It seems that only Coca-cola has the guts to level with me. I threw it away.
Sep 11, 2008
No, there is no 9/11 theme in today's comic. There is a firefighter, but he's kind of a background figure.
For future reference, if you ever find yourself wondering, "Is Tony implying (whatever) with this comic?"-- The answer is... No. No I'm not.
Sep 8, 2008
Hey everyone, come out to my portrait drawing class on Saturday, September 27th from 2-4 p.m. at Changing Hands Bookstore. Learn the basics of drawing lifelike portraits with charcoal or pencil, and get an overview of artistic anatomy and various drawing methods. The cost is $25 for the class. Bring whatever drawing materials you feel comfortable with. It should be a good time, and I promise not to single out your drawings and ridicule them, like some teachers I had in the past.
Sep 5, 2008
Today the Calgary Herald published a letter to the editor that refers to F Minus, and it suggests something that interested me very much.
"I realize that, compared with the weighty matters that cause many to write to you, the comics page is not that significant. However, I did want to make a few comments about the Aug. 30 edition. First of all, we had the final chapter of Lynn Johnston's consistently delightful For Better or For Worse. I know that I am among many who will miss the ongoing reports of the family, and Johnston's unique ability to weave poignant and funny moments together. She is a Canadian treasure.
At the other end of the spectrum (and page) we have F Minus. I cannot understand why you publish this dreadful strip. Its title truly is its grade. Today's strip (with a child pouring gasoline over his tricycle) was mystifying. What is supposed to be either amusing or creative about a child wasting a precious and expensive resource while harming the environment?" -Philip E. Carr
Several things delighted me about this letter, but I'm going to focus on one specific idea: The Comic Spectrum. According to the author, on one side of the spectrum is the "consistently delightful" For Better or For Worse. At the other end... the "dreadful" F Minus. I'm going to assume Mr. Carr would be okay if I changed it to "consistently dreadful" for uniformity.
I decided to work up a helpful chart of the comic spectrum for your convenience. I've included some comics that readers have suggested should replace F Minus (and are therefore delightful). Please let me know where you think other comics might land on the spectrum!
Sep 4, 2008
The other day I mentioned that no one has complained about a human being dying in my comic. Well, that streak has ended. First thing this morning I get an email from a disappointed reader...
"Your efforts were in very poor taste as to the subject matter. Anything that implies involvement in suicide, regardless of intent is callous and inappropriate."
Sigh. In my opinion, there is no subject that can never be joked about. It's all about how it is done. But more importantly in this case, the comic makes no mention of suicide. There may be a lake below the cliff, sufficiently deep for jumping. There might even be the world's biggest pillow. It's all up to you, the reader, to make it what you want.
So technically... I've still never had a complaint about death in my comic, since this comic does not refer to death.
Of course if there is a giant blender at the bottom of the cliff, it's a different story.
Sep 3, 2008
Hey buddy, how ya doin? Is your day going okay? Worried about paying the bills or getting that promotion? Relationship troubles? Maybe you feel a cold coming on, or you've been having trouble sleeping?
Hey, look on the bright side. At least this hasn't happened yet:
Sep 2, 2008
Today's comic features tiny killer turtles. It did not occur to me when I wrote it that a killer turtle appeared in another comic we discussed earlier. Remember? I predicted the future. So I expect you all to be searching the news today for stories of dead sharks with tiny turtle bites.
By the way, I've never received any hate mail about comics featuring dead human beings. I know, I need to let it go. I'm just sayin'.
Aug 27, 2008
I got some hate mail in the form of a letter (paper, envelope, stamp) delivered by the post office, which apparently still exists. She must have been really upset to take the time and money to tell me how unhappy she is with me. She was upset about the squirrel/cat/lemur comic we discussed earlier. She suggests I upset a lot of pet lovers. Why does she assume I'm not a pet lover? I've had dogs and cats and gerbils and snakes and fish and I loved them all. That doesn't mean I'm so emotionally fragile that I can't joke about their deaths. The fish killed each other off by ganging up and murdering the weakest one. It would have made a great reality show.
Edit: Haha! Look at this Google ad that just appeared on my blog:
Aug 9, 2008
Aug 8, 2008
After all the whining about the cat/squirrel, I'm wondering why I didn't hear anyone crying about the chicken on the windshield from a couple of Sundays ago. Chickens are kinda cute. Cute as cats I'd say.
Mmmm. Chicken sound good.
Aug 7, 2008
This morning I woke up to a recommendation from Amazon in my inbox:
I guess this shows the accuracy of the Amazon recommendation system, since I've never bought my own book online. Look what else they recommended: Speed Bump by Dave Coverly (I've met him), Collected Stories of Roald Dahl (one of my favorite writers as a kid), The biography of Douglas Adams (one of my favorite writers ever), and Batman... of course.
I wish Amazon would create a magic eight-ball style question and answer feature. Then when I need some direction in my life I could just ask Amazon.
By the way, here's some direction for ya; order the F Minus book today.
Aug 6, 2008
Uh-oh. Today's comic pictures a roadside roadkill memorial to a squirrel. At least that's what it is supposed to be. The idea is that wild squirrels made a memorial for one of their fallen brothers. One problem: it looks like a cat. I already got an email:
"I was disturbed by today's cartoon with the roadside memorial to a cat. I hope that you were not trying to be funny as it is a very sad thing to lose a beloved pet."
Now that I look at it again, it does look like a cat. The first time I drew it, it was skinnier and more rat-like. I didn't want it to look like a rat at the time (I should have just left it), so I cuted it up a little bit. "Now that's a squirrel!" I thought. Wrong. When you can't see the fluffy tail, it's just an ambiguous mammal. I completely forgot to add the buck teeth.
For some reason, a dead squirrel is more acceptable to our delicate nation than a cat. I'm not sure why.
Oh well, as the old saying goes: You win some, you piss off cat people.
Aug 4, 2008
Jul 22, 2008
Jul 18, 2008
I'm going to see The Dark Knight tonight so if you've seen it already, don't tell me anything about it except how awesome it is, which I already know. This picture of me as Two-Face was my Halloween costume from a few years ago. If anyone wants the other two sides of the suits I cut in half, you can have them for a reasonable price.
Jul 17, 2008
If you've been watching the news, you've certainly noticed the outrage over this cartoon: It's the latest New Yorker cover, and it depicts Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and his wife holding a machine gun doing a "terrorist fist bump" while the American flag burns in the fireplace.
When I first saw this, my brain made some immediate unconscious assessments which appear in my field of view as a stream of data, not unlike the Terminator assessing his target:
1. New Yorker = Satire
2. Political Cartoon = Satire
3. Conclusion: Avoid face value, look for hidden message
Therefore, I thought, "Ah, the New Yorker has satirized the preposterous claims by the media that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim, a terrorist, and a hater of the American flag by depicting them together in a cartoon." (Yes, I think in full sentences.) Regardless of whether or not you think this cartoon was done well, it was clearly supposed to be satire.
However, it seems most people (including all major TV news networks) are missing this assessment ability, because the result was public outrage! Without considering the source and medium of an idea, you are bound to misunderstand it.
Unfortunately this happens on a smaller scale all the time. Consider this cartoon I drew last year:Here is an email I received in response: "The cartoon with the two bears, one of them with a leg in a steel-hold trap, is highly offensive to those of us who champion animal rights and abhor the use of such barbaric, horrific contraptions."
Clearly this reader lacks the ability to assess the source and medium of this image. This is what I imagine transpired in the reader's brain as she read the morning funnies:
Ah, Mutts... what a delightful cartoon. That's just how my pets are! Now then, on to F Minus... no... NO... OH HEAVENS, NO! This cartoonist wants bears to be caught in steel traps! That's why he drew it! Why, why, why? I must write him an email and express my counterpoint that steel traps are NOT good!
I hate to do it, but it might be time to bring back The Big Red Arrow of Comedy.
Jul 15, 2008
Jul 12, 2008
While trolling the free section on Craigslist, I came across this little gem:
Womens Bag of Bras
Size 34B (4)
All are used, but some are in Like New Condition, ALL have been washed/cleaned
Will ONLY give to another women, no creepy men....my husband will run you off.(seriously)
I'm sorry, but I think giving away a bag of used bras on Craigslist qualifies you as being a little bit creepy, lady.
Jul 6, 2008
Jul 1, 2008
MONDAY, JULY 7th and 14th
- KIDS EVENT: COMIC BOOK DRAWING FOR TWEENS (AGES 7-11) WITH TONY CARRILLO, 2-3:30pm
Learn how to draw basic cartoons with Tony Carrillo, whose nationally syndicated comic strip, F Minus, currently runs in more than 130 newspapers. Participants will create their own original comic characters. Come prepared with pencils, pens and drawing paper. Mondays, July 7 and 14.
- Call 480-730-0205 to sign up.
- Check out this article today in the AZ Republic about the class.
Jun 13, 2008
And now, because everyone loves a list, here are my favorite movie fight scenes. They are just my current favorites, so I don't want any arguments. However, I welcome additions to the list. These are not in any particular order. The links will take you to a Youtube clip of each scene, if available. Warning! The clips may not be suitable for all ages. Viewer discretion is advised.
-The Mariachi vs. World Class Turds -DesperadoThere are some great gun battles in this movie, but it's Steve Buscemi's funny narration that makes this scene one of my favorites. That, and the fact that the power of the Mariachi's guns actually lift the bad guys up into the air.
-King Kong vs. Dinosaurs -King Kong (2005)I usually find CGI battles incredibly boring, but there was nothing boring about watching a giant ape open a can of Kong on three ugly Tyrannosaurs. Whether he's smashing a head with a boulder or snapping open a jaw, Kong really brings the pain in this brutal masterpiece. Kong! It's fun to say.
-Jackie Chan vs. Gang of Thugs -Rumble in the BronxIt's too hard to pick my favorite Jackie Chan fight scene, but this one is one of the most memorable. Jackie proves he's the master of using whatever is available to hurt you (ottoman, shopping cart, refrigerator) and hilarious not-supposed-to-be-funny lines. ("You are all garbage!")
-Smeagol vs. Deagol -The Lord of the Rings, Return of the KingThere is something very creepy about watching best buddies Smeagol and Deagol instantly transform into enemies when the ring enters the picture. The look on Smeagol's face as Deagol's heartbeat fades can give you nightmares.
-Neo and Trinity vs. SWAT Team -The MatrixAnytime you get a new TV or surround-sound system, this is the scene you should test it with. The first time I saw this, I had the same reaction as that first unfortunate security guard.
-Pee Wee vs. Francis -Pee Wee's Big Adventure"Go ahead and scream your head off! We're miles from where anyone can hear you!" Hilarious.
-Yu Shu Lien vs. Jen Yu -Crouching Tiger Hidden DragonThese girls will kill you till you die from it. The fun thing about this scene is watching Michelle Yeoh go through several different Kung Fu weapons trying to find a match for the Green Dragon. I know, I'm a nerd.
-Maximus vs. Executioners -GladiatorSure, you could probably kill a couple of bad guys with your hands tied. But if you can do it while making snarky comments, ("The frost, sometimes it makes the blade stick.") well sir... you are a true badass.
-The Protector vs. The Human Skeletal System -The ProtectorHere's a tip: Don't stab Tony Jaa. It really makes him angry. The premise of the movie is pretty bizarre (All this violence over a baby elephant?) but this one scene makes it all worth it. I've never heard the bone-break sound effect put to such good use. I'm wincing just thinking about it.
-The Bride vs. Copperhead -Kill BillThere are so many great fights in Kill Bill (The Bride vs. The Crazy 88, Elle, Gogo). I love this fight because of the suburban setting. I was kind of hoping that little girl was going to bust out with some Kung Fu of her own... maybe in the next volume, eh?
-Naked Nikolai vs. Clothed Thugs -Eastern PromisesYou can find clips of this scene online, but I'm not going to post them. This is by far the most brutal movie on the list, and this scene in particular is very difficult to watch. In it, a very naked Viggo Mortensen fights two guys with knives. Something about bare skin and sharp blades is leg-crossingly uncomfortable. This was one of the few times I've ever heard an entire movie audience groan in horror. Awesome!
-Narrator vs. Himself -Fight ClubThis surprising scene makes me laugh every time I see it, despite how disturbing and painful it is. Especially when Edward Norton is sitting against the wall, punching himself in the face. We've all been there, Ed.
King Arthur vs. The Black Knight -Monty Python and the Holy GrailNot even quote-crazy Python nerds could ruin this scene for me. I remember very clearly the first time I saw this. I was about ten. "What is this wonderful new type of comedy?" I wondered. Changed my life.
So there you have it; my list. Whaddaya think? Your list is better? You wanna fight about it?