Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Clipping Cartoons

I have an Andy Capp cartoon on the front of my refrigerator that I consider to be one of the funniest comic strips I have ever seen. When I first read it, I immediately cut it out and stuck it on the fridge. The cartoon has survived several moves, my first marriage, a divorce, and is still on my fridge almost five years into my second marriage. I looked at the cartoon tonight and realized it has been on my refrigerator for almost 23 years! Anyway, here's the cartoon...

...what really makes it work is the artwork in the last panel:

Folks, it doesn't get any better than this!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Inside References

Back in 1980, when I first came up with the "Joe Rat" comic strip, I included an inside reference in the first comic strip that was published. Prior to my drawing the cartoon, I told my best friend David that I would include a nod to "Boscoe" chocoloate drink, and in the final artwork the character was holding a glass in his hand with a straw sticking out of it. Twenty-seven years later, I've done the same thing again, once more for the benefit of the same individual, David, who's still my best friend. The reference this time is a nod to the old SCTV sketch comedy series - one of my and David's favorite shows back in the 1980s.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Preacher Man

I recently came across the following postcard on a website called Post Secret.
I've not yet decided what I think of it, but at times I can relate.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Cartoon for Valentine's Day

"Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight…
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me…
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me…
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
(Psalm 51)

Monday, February 12, 2007


I saw this evening that Found Magazine is publishing a book of lost and/or discarded Polaroid photos that people have come across. Reading this, I was reminded of the time I met the late Red Skelton back in 1984 or 85. He was in Raleigh to do a show at Stewart Theater (or was it Thompson Theater?) at NCSU as part of their Center Stage Series. A friend of mine was a reporter for the Rocky Mount Telegram and invited me to come to the press conference as his "photographer." There were only about 8 or so people at the press conference, and the event turned into more of a visit between all of us and Mr. Skelton. At one point, the venerable comic asked all of us to stand together in a group so he could take a picture of us with his Polaroid camera. Once the picture came out, Red Skelton smiled and said, "Now, you're my friends, and I can put this with the other pictures of my friends." He then produced from his coat pocket a huge stack of Polaroid photos he had taken of his other "friends," and passed the photos around for us to see. It seemed odd to be holding a Polaroid of Queen Elizabeth, and another of Ronald Reagan... these are not folks you generally find in a Polaroid picture! But, needless to say, I was honored to now be a part of such an elite group of friends!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"I Pray You Will Weep"

At the end of our second worship service this morning when I stepped out of the pulpit to do the benediction, I funny thing happened. I felt lead by God to say something I wouldn't normally have said. I looked at the congregation and said, "I pray you will weep." I was not wanting any sorrow to befall them, I was speaking in terms of praying that each of them would come to an acute awareness of their own brokenness. I was speaking in terms of each person coming to terms with what sin really means - to really grieve over our disobedience to God. As part of this morning's message, I read the words of David in Psalm 51: "Against you, you alone, I have sinned." Our disobedience breaks God's heart, and when we realize how much He loves us, shouldn't it break our heart too when we break His? Do we blow off our sins because we know God will forgive us, or are we truly sorrowful over the fact that we are fallen? Are we sorrowful enough that we would shed tears over our sins?

I pray you will weep.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


On January 25, a producer and film crew for the syndicated television program "American Bible Society Presents" interviewed me for an upcoming episdode. The interview went well, I suppose. But if I never have to sit under the bright lights any time soon again that will be okay with me. My office has an open area of about 8'x10', and in that space we had the following:
· 1 medium size tripod with a spotlight
· 1 medium size tripod with a boom microphone
· 1 huge tripod with a huge television camera (they told me the camera cost about $150,000)
· 1 television monitor
· 1 huge tripod with a 3'x3' square light
· sound equipment
· 1 man to operate the sound equipment
· 1 man to operate the camera
· 1 man to conduct the interview (plus a chair for him)
· me (with a chair as well)

Needless to say it was cramped in here. Once we got started, I was very nervous, and never really did get comfortable in front of the camera - funny thing, I speak in front of a hundred or more people every Sunday, but I was nervous speaking to three men and a camera. But when we were finished, the producer told me it went great. He said I gave them a lot of good stuff to work with.

The show will probably air sometime in March or April, the producer will let me know when and where, so I can post that information here and on the Church Mice website .

Now here's the kicker - this show is a syndicated television program. Way back when I first started Church Mice, I prayed that one day it would get syndicated. (Syndication is, after all, the Holy Grail for cartoonists). It dawned on me after the interview that God answered my prayer. I got syndication, just not the kind I had envisioned. Just goes to show, no prayer goes unanswered!

I am still having trouble believing all of this has actually happened. Someone from California flew out here to do an interview about Church Mice - it blows my mind... God has really blessed me.

P.S. For you 'toonists, get this - the camera operator was telling me he once worked on a project with Chuck Jones... how cool is that?

Church Mice and Me

I am a Methodist minister with an online cartoon ministry. Please check it out by clicking on the banner below:

Click here to visit Church Mice

God gave me the ability to draw, and I pray that these cartoons might help someone come to know God's grace. I spent the first half of my life running from those who would force Christianity down my throat, and so I am now attempting to use these cartoons as a way to present the message of God's love in a non-threatening way.

I am married to a wonderful woman who happens to be a professional clown. We have a beautiful daughter and are expecting our second child at the end of May.

Dipping My Toe in the Water

Thanks to a blog which was begun by a friend of mine, a fellow Christian Cartoonist in Kentucky, I've decided to begin one of my own. I don't know how many people will read it, but if you've found your way here I pray my ponderings might be a blessing to you in some manner.