Friday, August 21, 2009

Traffic School Doodles - The Heartaches

I did an online traffic school the other day that promised to be "FAST EASY & FUN!" which was none of those. I had to read a thousand boring pages of the same rules written 50 different ways, and inbetween each lesson they make you wait for 15 minutes or so doing nothing...just watching the clock tick slowly by! Aaargh. The whole thing took 9 hours. In the dead times I drew doodles over my notes.
Here's the main character from "The Heartaches". She's an ostracized "creative" just like you, probably. She draws, sings, plays guitar, collects dusty vintage toys and has imaginary friends.
Here are some of the other characters. She has a hippie Dad who encourages her creative pursuits and lets her play his vinyl collection of classic rock LPs. She also has a cat who eats bugs, birds, bats, rats...and manages her band.
Her Mom is the opposite of her Dad. She's a very serious career woman who hates all things creative and frivolous.
That's the generic version of Mom above. Then I thought, "Who has the look of someone you wouldn't want to be your Mom?"
And I remembered this horrible woman on HLN that has a news show that's all about abductions, murders and Michael Jackson. She's always yelling and pounding a gavel at her guests.
I think I'll go with something like this for the Mom. I'll have her use the gavel too at the dinner table to keep order in the house.

I have more traffic school doodles of Betty Boop and other crap. I'll post 'em later.


Joey Lee said...

Brilliant. This place is just a neverending source of inspiration.

I feel foolish even linking my latest construction studies, but here goes.....

more studies

Niki said...

Thew mom looks like Haruko...Especially in that last panel!!

Juxtaminute said...

I love this pitch! Theres something amazing about the way you draw kitties.

I'm currently enrolled in a 2 year animation coarse at a small local design college. I've been following your blog for a few months now and I'd like you to critique my progress. I'm about to start my second year and my goal is to be good enough to work for you by the time I graduate! =) I will be posting more work throughout the week.
cartoon studies and sketches

Bob said...

Hey John, I saw in some previous posts that you have a private online school for cartoonists who want to become better and I would really like to be part of that!

I did 2 hierarchy copies here doodlesandstuff

and previously I did some construction exercises here Bullwinkle, Hands, Mickey, Bugs Bunny study and some George Liquor sketches.

I plan to continue to do more assignments and I hope to hear from you soon.


cartoonretro said...

Great post! Love the drawings, and this is easily my favorite of your show concepts.

HemlockMan said...

Why were you doing a boring nine-hour online traffic school?

Mitch L said...

Hee John,

Those drawings are awesome. I can begin tomorrow with inking.

anareis said...

Querido novo amigo Gabriel, estou precisando muito de novos amigos pra me auxiliarem no meu projeto. Estou criando uma minibiblioteca comunitária e outras atividades pra crianças e adolescentes na minha comunidade carente aqui na minha comunidade carente no Rio de Janeiro,eu sózinha não conseguirei,mas com a ajuda dos amigos sim. Já comprei 120 livros e também ganhei livros até de portugal dos meus amigos dos meus ,se quiser pode visitar meus blogs do google,ficarei muito contente. A campanha de doações que estou fazendo pode doar qualquer quantia no Banco do Brasil agencia 3082-1 conta 9.799-3 ou pode doar livros ou pode doar máquina de costura ou pode doar retalhos,ou pode doar computadores usados. Qualquer tipo de doação será bemvinda é só mandar-me um email para: , eu darei o endereço de remessa. As doações em dinheiro serão destinadas a compra de livros,material de construção,estantes,mesas,cadeiras,alimentos,etc. Se voce puder arrecadar doações para doar ao meu projeto serei eternamente grata. Muito obrigado pela sua atenção

thomas said...

Seems full of story/dramatic possibilities.

Though, if the idea was pitched, I'd think there'd be complaints about the Mom being a femi-nazi.

Maybe not....

But would the Mom also have a sensitive side too, like collecting seed catalogs, or collecting Hummel figurines?

Jack G. said...

And I remembered this horrible woman on HLN

Ughh! I can't stand her either.
I also hate that kind of news.

Anonymous said...

More studies + my research on tit-eyes

conjunctive eye tits

many thanks for looking, John :)

The Blue Orange said...

I love the Mother's teeth, sorta reminds me of Baleen whales.

I do wonder though, since they're polar opposites, what is it about the Mom that the Hippie Dad is attracted to? Was she a former Hippie that 'cleaned' herself up? Or does she have some other trait that attracts the Dad to her?

As for studies, I drew two pictures of Daffy from Duck Amuck, though I had some issues trying to connect the construction of a standing Daffy to a stretched one.

Duck Amuck

CartoonSteve said...

Nice! Much better than my DMV Doodles. Speaking of traffic related stuff: How to spot unmarked cop cars

David R said...

Hi John,

I'd like to be a part of the "secret blog" too. Here's a link to some compositional studies: composition exercises

rodineisilveira said...

Johnny K.,

Seeing these materials, it seems which I'm listening to the song I kissed a girl (recorded by Kate Perry for EMI).

Bob said...

Hey John I just tried clicking on my first link to my hierarchy drawings and they weren't working so heres the link again

doodles and stuff


Mike Hernandez said...

Oh John...I am so glad you and I share the same class of hemorrhoids when it comes to traffic school.

Lovin' these doodles, by the way. Personality-wise, the mother character sounds an awful lot like my own mummy.

clockwerkz said...

Hey John, love your site. Been following it for a couple of years now. If you get a chance, I'd love for you check out my blog:

Fins Art

I've posted all sorts of different sketches for your consideration, and will be posting frequently.

Thanks for offering up the free online college!


Kat Lamp said...

The hairy hippie dad makes me laugh so much! Love the flowers coming out of his head!

JoJo said...

Hey, John I just got your notes. I did a new study before that and just uploaded it. I posted the process too. I'm going to keep trying and apply your notes.

I tried to loosen up a bit more to preserve the flow.

Here it is.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Hey John, do you know anything about the release of the book about you and your art?
And are you involved in it in any way?


JohnK said...

Yeah, I'm writing it. It should be out by next summer.

Pilsner Panther said...

Mr. K., you realize of course that you could get in serious trouble for not paying attention in traffic school!

I solved the whole problem by not driving, which has probably saved so many lives on the roads that I ought to be given a medal. I was such a lousy driver for the entire four years that I did it, I was very lucky that I never ran over anyone (and they were even luckier). Putting me behind the wheel of a car was like giving a live hand grenade to a three-year-old. Or like the opening scene of a Mister Magoo cartoon... basically the same thing.

Just where is it engraved in stone that everyone in this country has to know how to drive a car? I've searched the Constitution from one end to the other (not easy, it's a large ship), and I can't find any such law.

My mother is an even worse driver than me, but she got a license anyway... because her brother was the DMV examiner who gave it to her. She once put her foot on the gas pedal rather than the brake, and drove her Dodge Dart right through the back wall of the garage, resulting in a $6,000 repair bill to the house. The car was unscratched, so was she, and don't ask me why.

No matter how good a driver you might be, the one in the next lane could be a complete moron like her.

Next time you're out on the road, think about that!

But then, I don't live in SoCal, where public transit is almost nonexistent. I get around pretty much on foot... or an a good day, both of them.

Kyle said...

Wasnt she in your Old Navy ad?

Sven Hoek said...

Can't wait for the book. And I like the Heartaches. You described her and it sounded just like my daughter. I'm the hippie (sort of) dad and my wife is the nazi. I love it.. Can't wait for someone to piock it up and make it.

Severin said...


Also, I have a rather pertinent question about copying drawings. When copying a drawing from another artist, should I strive to mimic every detail like an inbetweener? Or would it be better to apply my own corrections? I see benefits to both approaches, and this question keeps me awake at long hours.

An example would be this cover drawing. I chose to draw Porky's face as closely as I could to the original cover, but I could also have forced perspective on his left eye a little to make it seem rounder.

Any insights would be greatly appreciated! I'll keep doing these warm-ups every day.

zach said...

I took one of those a year ago and cheated big time. The whole thing took about 2 hours.

Heres how you cheat for those interested. Copy and paste each web page of the instructional material into word for the particular section. If the test question asks about pedestrians for example, search the document for pedestrians and you'll find the answer.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Sounds awesome:) Can't wait!

ThomasHjorthaab said...

John, I know you probebly has a lot to do, with your cartoon college blog and so on, and I haven't had the time to go deep in the stuff your posting, unfortunatly... But I would really appreciate if you'd make a comment on my stuff:)


Pilsner Panther said...

Now, look at that, everybody cheats! If I had any ability to draw a storyboard, I'd like to collaborate with our esteemed (and pressed) Mr. K. on a script called, well— "Everybody Cheats!" No need for any new characters, Ren & Stimpy could star.

Ren is a Bernie Madoff-type shameless crook and "advisor", and Stimpy is his clueless "client." It's kind of nightmarish in the best Bob Clampett manner, so Ren is both the defense lawyer and the judge. There are many cuts back and forth between Ren the judge, Ren the lawyer, and a completely baffled Stimpy. During the whole meshugges, the theme music from "Perry Mason" is playing in the background.

Stimpy: "What am I doin' here? All I did was run over some dumb ol' cop with my car!"

Ren: "This is Traffic School! Obey, or you'll be sent to another school that's even worse."

Stimpy: "Worse? How could it ever be worse?"

Ren (nasty laugh): "Simple... your new instructors will be— Catholic priests! The next words you're going to hear will be, 'Bend over, Junior!'"

Stimpy then falls apart like a Tex Avery character— there's nothing left at the end of the scene but his body parts scattered all over the floor. A little janitor like the one in the Mr. Peabody cartoons walks in and sweeps up the fragments and deposits them in a garbage can.

Black out.

akira said...

man, i for one am glad you had to do the traffic school thing, just so we could have these luscious drawings.. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOUR BETTY BOOPS!!!! (i wonder what kind of ears you gave her????)

Tom said...

When the CA DMV first came up with the online option for traffic school, it was possible to complete the course in one hour. This got back to them, however, and they revamped the process to last at least eight hours, to better resemble punishment. If one gets more than one ticket within something like 18 months, the DMV makes the online course last no less than 12 hours! Pathological bureaucratic bottomfeeders.

Benjamin Anders said...

I really love the quick Heartache doodles. They have a lot of energy in them. Can't wait to see more Betty Boop drawings.

I did some construction stuff from your previous lessons. Construction Studies

If you have the time, it'd be helpful to get a critique on them.


Iron maiden said...

Its a nice concept but the mother looks so generic couldnt you think up of a better design

Jennifer said...

Hi John, I have a question.

With the relatively low-cost of computer animation tools and the zero cost to publish on YouTube, why couldn't your team create a few episodes of The Heartaches, publish them on YouTube, and get a buzz through word of mouth? The YouTube audience has grown exponentially, and you have a large enough fan base that could help spread the word.

thomas said...

And just because no one's mentioned them.. the tights and light switch are neat too.

I look foward to a storyboard post for the "Heartaches".

thomas said...

Just looked at the Curly Fleece Poodle story from 2007.
Were the parents the same characters that they are now. It doesn't really seem so.

The girls attachment to CFP made me a little confused about her age.
When I first saw the tights, I thought that they were going to be the girl's best friend or confidant, or "Yoda" type figure.

I thought that that would represent the age of the character (10- 13) more than the poodle.

The poodle is a great character, though.

J.K.-Do you know about a rock school, run specifically for girls? I think its in the Northwest. There may be a film about it.

SoleilSmile said...

YAY! I STILL want you to do this series! Aw c'mon. PLEASE??

Chompers said...

The cat manager is awesome. I bet he always collects from evil club managers. I imagine he and the mom have a very contentious relationship, but she grudgingly respects his business acumen and the fact that he keeps the house bug and rodent free.

Benjamin said...

Would that harpyish lady happend to be Nancy Grace? She is damn terrible in every way, it seriously pains me if she is on a TV where I can't change the channel, usually an airport or something, I get all squirmy.

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Nathan said...

The kind of cartoon mention above in this post reminds me my childhood. I to use to draw the same kind of drawing when I was 6 years old. Infect I was more bad in drawing than that of this.