March 6, 2011

A Day in the Life of Jaboo (in comic form!)

It was a random, dare I say serendipitous, confluence of events that led to me drawing a comic about my cat.

A few days ago as I was leaving for school, I unexpectedly found a mysterious bulky brown envelope propped up against the door. It was present for my cat Jaboo from the little girl who lives upstairs. She's about 5 or 6 years old and once left a scrawled note taped to the door saying Jaboo had been elected Mayor of Cat Town. I suspect when Jaboo's out gallivanting about he's actually just upstairs a lot of the time. Their family also has two cats. Anyway, this envelope contained two old margarine containers with kitty snacks inside. Adorably, the package had two previous attempts at writing "Here is a present for Jaboo" that were hastily scribbled out with the final message written on a piece of masking tape.

This was definitely worthy of some sort of thank you card and I had this niggling idea of making a comic after recently attending the Serendipity graphic novel conference (see last post). Say what you will about my scrappy drawings, but I've been reading more alternative comics over the past year and, uh, let's just say drawing skills are not a requirement for making comics (a point reiterated by the Serendipity panelists, even though they were all amazing artists anyway). During a workshop with Aaron Renier and Jason Shiga, we were shown by Shiga how to make a clever choose-your-own-adventure style comic, so I had a pre-made comic just waiting for the panels to be filled in. The comic folds every which way so it's hard to show how it works with any justice, but you might get a sense of how it unfolds in these photos:

Following the arrows, you essentially end up with a branching 5-panel story with four endings. Very cool.

Uh, keeping in mind the target audience, here's the comic presented linearly (without all the unfolding fun):

I gained a greater appreciation of cartoonists for the time, effort, and commitment in producing even a small amount of work. Drawing consistency is also not my forte as I more or less drew a different cat in every panel. A discerning eye may be even able to pick out the order in which these panels were drawn (as my enthusiasm progressively dwindled).


  1. Awesome! Well done. I'm sure Margot loved it.

  2. This is awesome!!! hahhaha great tale.