Charcoal portrait

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Here’s a sketch I did of a kid in charcoal & chalk on brown butcher paper. Still waiting on that Moose Riders guest art I’ve been promising. Hopefully next week.

I’ve talked a bit about my daughter’s medical drama in the blog here. Her school does the whole Jump Rope for Heart thing every year to raise money for the American Heart Association, and she LOVES it. Last year she was the top fundraiser at her school. So, if you would like to help the inspiration for Lola raise money for other kids with heart problems like hers, go here and click the “Give Now” button on the right. Thanks!

More sketches, RIP CBH

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I know I promised some special exciting guest art, but I’m still waiting on that. I’ve got another page of sketches up there, including kind of a self-portrait thing in the bottom-right corner. I think I’ll go get a haircut today.

My father-in-law passed away last weekend, which is why this post is late. He was a crazy-smart man with a dry wit and I feel privileged to have known him. I would always call him for advice on auto repair, and my trivia team’s success is owed in large part to his knowledge. No one would ever describe him as “cheery,” but as Hemingway said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” I miss you Charles–your loss is deeply felt by your family and friends, and I’m lucky to have considered you both.

My mother-in-law wrote this obituary:

Charles Benjamin Holland, 68, died at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on March 10, 2013, after a lengthy illness.

Charles was born on Sept. 8, 1944 to Harvey and Mabel, nee Swagler, Holland of Shattuc, Ill., and it was there that Charles grew up. Charles graduated from Carlyle High School in 1962, and matriculated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was married to Marsha Worden on Sept. 17, 1965, and lived in Carlyle, Ill., from 1965 to 1979, where Charles worked initially as a reporter on the Carlyle Union Banner and eventually as the parts manager at Mount Motor Sales. In 1979, Charles moved his family to Centralia, Ill., where he worked as Parts Manager for Seeburger Olds. Charles was divorced in 1991, retired in 2002, and remained a resident of Centralia, Ill.

“It is not often someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”-E. B. White

Charles studied writing and literature, but had life-long interests in fine art photography, wildlife, and fine firearms. Always the most informed person in the room, he enjoyed trivia, and spent the years since his retirement pursuing the avocation of photography. Charles exhibited his award-winning and compelling photos of the wildlife, landscapes, and people of Southern Illinois in photographic competitions throughout the state. He was published in many Illinois Wildlife publications and brochures. Recently, Mitchell Museum in Mt. Vernon, Ill., acquired one of his photographs for its permanent collection. Charles loved to hunt, read, and engage in intelligent discussion. He was a crack shot, a genius, a man of ideals, strong work ethic, and a dead-eye with a camera. He had true grit.

He had been a member of Ducks Unlimited, the KVS and Centralia Trap Clubs, Light and Lens, a board member of Centralia Cultural Society, and a Clinton County Election Judge. Charles was a mentor to the photo clubs at Carlyle Jr. High and High School. He inspired students to do their best and see the art in their everyday lives. Charles was a life-long blood donor.

Charles is survived by his family: daughters, Heather Holland-Daly, husband Tim, grandson Myles Daly of Belleville, Ill., and Sarah James, husband Charlie, grandchildren Truman and Winifred James, also of Belleville. Also bereaved are ex-wife, Marsha Holland of Swansea, Ill.; siblings, Harvey Holland and wife Janet of Shattuc, Ill., Mark Holland and wife Jean of Medina, Ohio, LuAlice Kampwerth and husband Kevin of Carlyle, Ill. Charles also leaves numerous nieces, nephews, cousin Terry Swagler, and aunts Bonnell and Martha Swagler of Shattuc, Ill.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Children’s Hospital of St. Louis, Mo., or Carlyle Photo Club. On-line condolences may be sent to


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Just a few scribbles up there from my sketchbook–including a guy that I think of as Jemaine from Flight of the Gorillaz. 🙂

Almost have Chapter 3 ready for the printer and for digital download–just waiting for a piece of guest art from a really talented artist. I’ll give you a peak at it next week, and I think you’ll dig it. Keep checking back here weekly in the lead up to the launch of Chapter 4!

The Moose Riders, Page 92

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Here it is–the end of Chapter 3. This marks the halfway point of the 6 chapter story I outlined in late 2009 based on a drawing I made in…2008? Maybe? Took me awhile to get this far due entirely to my own procrastination. Feels good to have shaken that off. Since I got back on the ball last January, I’ve managed to finish off 65 pages–67 if you count covers. That’s more than twice as many pages as I drew during the 1st two years of the Moose Riders. I still have a very small audience made mostly of family and friends, but I really do appreciate all of you taking the time to read The Moose Riders and share it with YOUR family and friends. For those of you buying TMR stuff, whether the digital comics, the print comics, the original art pages, or the other merch from the Zazzle store, thank you sooo much. It means a lot to me that you’d be willing to shell out real cash for a comic you can read online for free. You guys are the best.

The bad news: Now it’s time for another break in the story. TMR will go on hiatus during March to give me time to prep Chapter 3 for print and digital sales, and also to finish the preliminary work on Chapter 4–write the script, design some new characters, etc. Chapter 4 has me excited and a little nervous. We’re finally going to find out what happened in Talkeetna, which means more characters, more perspective, and kind of a weird running gag that I thought would be very funny and clever four years ago. Not entirely sure how it holds up now. Also, I’ll try not to keep you wondering too long about what happened to Lola and Moose.

Anyhow, I’ll be posting doodles/sketches/whatnot over the next 4 weeks, and then we’ll jump into Chapter 4 of The Moose Riders on April 3!

The Moose Riders, Page 90

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Don’t know about that “PFF” sound effect in panel 5. Not familiar with the sound a bullet whizzing through snow-covered pine needles makes, but that’s my best guess.

Sorry page 90 is a few hours late. Two pages left in Chapter 3, then I’m taking a few weeks to get Chapter 4 prepped before it starts up. Hope your Valentine’s Day is full of chocolate and dirty love. Or at least the chocolate.

The Moose Riders, Page 89

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So I finally upgraded to the latest versions of WordPress, Webcomic, and Inkblot last weekend and ended up breaking things a bit. Managed to get a few things sorted out, but for some reason Categories and Tags aren’t working the way they are supposed to. If you have any insight into making these fixes, I’d appreciate the advice. Other than that, it’s mostly cosmetic stuff that I have to take care of, so hopefully you’ll be noticing a few more changes over the next week.

Oh, also–check out those social sharing buttons up there near the top of this post. Click one or all of those things and spread the joy of The Moose Riders with those sad unfortunates who are unaware =)

Edit: Experimenting with various Social Sharing plugins for WP, so those sharing buttons I mentioned earlier aren’t at the top of the post anymore. Currently have some over in the right sidebar, but no promises that they’ll stay there. Still not entirely pleased with the plugins I’ve found so far. Any of you folks have a favorite you’d recommend?

The Moose Riders, Page 88

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I forgot to plug Page 87 on Facebook last Friday, so if you missed it you might want to catch up.

It looks like now that I’m back to color, I will also need to go back to the 1-page/week schedule. I was hoping to avoid that, but coloring slows me down a lot.

Also, have you heard of the Comic Rocket thing? Very cool way to put together a reading list of webcomics, and then keep up with them as they update. It keeps track of the last strip/page/episode/whatever that you read so you can pick up with it right where you left off. Handy, yes? Very similar to in purpose. Anyhow, go add The Moose Riders to your Comic Rocket reading list already (or to your inkoutbreak list if you prefer)!

The Moose Riders, Page 86

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So that’s the end of another flashback, and now we know how the kids got separated from their parents. I know there’s not a whole lot of story happening here, but I like the dramatic effect of one big panel with the kids striking off alone, leaving their folks to an uncertain fate while the cabin burns to the ground behind them. This, of course, is what leads them to that very first flashback we saw way back on page 7. We return to color on Friday!