Strip: This is Camping (Part 3)

This is Pi Day #011.c

The best campfire secrets are all written in s’mores code…

Everyone loves the burnt ones, right?

If you’ve been following along this week you’ve probably noticed that I’ve tried yet another new thing. A trio of comics, in black-and-white, more akin to a traditional newspaper three-panel strip. It might become a more regular thing. It might not. I have a bit of spare time because The Girl has been on summer vacay at her grandparent’s house for the week and my evening parenting duties have been reduced to a ten minute Facetime call.

I have been thinking a lot about storytelling and character development, and one of the things that I’ve been struggling with between the weekly four-panel strips and the single panel shorts is telling a more cohesive story. Like… we went camping last weekend, but I didn’t want to drag the funny stories out for a whole month with that one, and I’m already drawing four-panel weeklies for October, so… yeah… new plan.

The nice thing about drawing an independent little comic like this is that I’m not beholden to formats or schedules or anything. Instead I can just try new things: like draw simpler cartoons (notice not much changes besides the words and mouths!) and punch out three new gags in a row. Maybe I do this every week for a few weeks then I don’t anymore… maybe I give you a multiple-strip story once a month. Maybe it’s only for special occasions. It’s not a forever thing, but … Who can say?

If you’ve enjoyed these three extra cartoons let me know if I should do more like this… or stick to the weekly full colour versions.

Strip: This is Camping (Part 2)

This is Pi Day #011.b

If you’re ever captured in the wilderness, remember to ask: take me to your cedars…

I’ll likely avoid drawing comic strips about it –mostly because it is a weird and humorless quirk and little more– but I have a mild obsession with cast iron cookware. We made “the switch” — I write it like I’ve converting to a religion or something and it’s not a far off analogy– about a year and a half ago, and as an aspiring culinary cuisine-artist there is no going back.

The obsession pays off in the wilderness. No, not in the deep, deep woods when we backpack, but when we truck-camp, and can haul fifty pounds of seasoned iron to the lake and grill amazing food over the open fire.

The Girl thinks it’s hilarious: dad and his cast iron. But she doesn’t quite as much object to the meals, so I don’t have much patience for her mirth-making at my expense. Campfire waffles? First tell daddy how awesome his perfectly seasoned grill pan is…

Strip: This is Camping (Part 1)

This is Pi Day #011.a

Did you know that you can’t run through a campground? You can only ran… because it’s past tents.

We made a new rule this year: The Girl helps set up the tent.

When I was ten I’d been in boy scouts (it was still called “boy” scouts back then) for years already and I’d struck camp more times than I had bothered counting. Bunking off from set up duties was not an option.

Nowadays, we usually just pull up to our site, start unpacking, and at some point the The Girl stealthily runs off to find some other kids… and we see her when her tummy starts rumbling for dinner.

I figured I should the responsible parent and push a few more life skills onto her shoulders… like say, helping me set up the hulking green beast of a tent that would be our home for the next four days.

She did.

She expected a reward, a reward of something sugary as a result. But she did help. I’ll give her credit enough for the attempt.