Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Hand-Me-Down Wish

Geoff Hassing is a cartoonist who knows a guy who knows a kid who has a serious disease. Geoff's friend works with the Make A Wish Foundation, whose purpose is to help very sick children's dreams come true--in this case, the dream of a 10-year-old boy named Bryce who wants to be a cartoonist and hoped to meet Bill Watterson of "Calvin and Hobbes." Mr. Watterson turns out to be very hard to reach, so Bryce settled for his second choice: meeting George W. Bush so he could thank the president for signing legislation to fast-track some drugs that might help his condition.

I love the fact that it's easier to meet the President of the United States than Bill Watterson.

Anyway, Geoff thought he could honor the spirit if not the letter of Bryce's first wish, and put out the word to cartoonists who might want to inscribe an original cartoon and send it to Bryce. Unfortunately, I don't part with my Mom's Cancer originals--few of which would probably be appropriate for a seriously ill kid anyway. With Bryce's ambitions in mind, I thought I could do a new piece of artwork that also had some good advice for an aspiring cartoonist. So I came up with this:
The original is about 8x12 inches, India ink and wash on bristol board, done with all the same brushes, nibs and stuff I used for Mom's Cancer. I wish my lettering were neater; I'm out of practice and working at a different scale here than I did for the book--and since I'm sending Bryce the original, there's no opportunity to fix it in post-production! But overall it captures what I wanted.

Frankly, although some syndicated and otherwise successful cartoonists are pitching in, I doubt getting a batch of drawings from cartoonists he's never heard of will measure up to Bryce's Watterson hopes or his Bush reality. But if he's serious about making cartoons, he should learn a lot from seeing some real-life examples. Well done, Geoff!


Otis Frampton said...

Brian, that is a wonderful illustration and message for cartoonists.

Any chance you can provide a better quality/larger version to print out? I'd love a copy for my wall.


Brian Fies said...

You bet! I'll e-mail you a URL shortly. Thanks for asking.

Geoff Hassing said...

great piece of artwork for Bryce. I'm waiting on one more piece to arrive then I'll be mailing them off to him.

I agree that it's probably not the same as meeting Bill Watterson, but hopefully it will still inspire Bryce in his cartooning.

Thanks again buddy!