Monday, June 06, 2005

The Beautiful Body

The Beautiful Body

The Baltimore Notebook

I really like these little guys. A couple of weeks ago I started drawing strips in the above style, and I've really enjoyed the freedom that comes with using so few elements. There's something extremely charming about their bare-bones construction; and despite their simplicity, I haven't had any problems minimally depicting their emotional state. Still — because I naturally want to do detailed work — I attempted to translate them into more complex-looking characters. But something was lost in the process, and that route was abandoned.

This particular cartoon sits in a tiny moleskine sketchbook I bought two weeks ago, to accompany me on a weekend excursion to Baltimore. It's really handy to have such a little book, because I can just keep it in my back pocket. By the end of the weekend, I had the whole book filled.

Comments on this Article

There are currently 30 comments.

[ Add one of your own! ]


Show us the whole book!

Or more stuff in it!

Mikkel Malmberg

Hehe, I totally dig bare-bones-kinda-people.

That guy (with the great body) is so satisfied with his "work" - it's so easy to see!

I really like the pic where he's climbing - now that's dynamics!

And the rich guy has a tall hat?! Of course - he's rich!

Show us more of that book!

Rob Weychert

As you know, this is one of my absolute favorites from the book. And I can see how something would be lost if you tried to complicate the style merely for the sake of complication. The simplicity here works perfectly. I won't even suggest removing any frames!


I concur... more book please.

That rich guy is crazy though. For all my money I'd want the "art" stuffed, pickled in formaldehyde and signed by Damien Herst.


I purchased a MOLESKINE book in Austria a few years ago to journey with me to far off and distant lands…which mostly has become closeby and frequented plots. They're great books with a wonderful history.

These little guys have a clay type of feel. I'd love to see a little Flash app where one could be pushed and pulled. I just want to squeeze them! Kinda like how I want to squeeze you. S Q U E E Z E until poop comes out.


I really wanted to comment on the hilarious likeness between your rich guy and the Monopoly Man, but Springfish's confessions made me all out of words...

Jeff Louella

They funny thing is, being a developer and not a designer, I don't even think I can draw those simple characters.


Heh. I remember seeing you draw in this style. And I remember thinking that it was what you did 90% of the time. The other 10% ended up on your site. You knocked out about a dozen of these in an hour, if I remember correctly. Hot.

John Nick

Awesome strip. And Moleskines are little gifts from heaven. SO GLAD you preserved that part of the scan.

The Zan and Jana of my personal kit are a Moleskine and a Rhodia grid pad (sizes change).

So I freaked out upon viewing I HEART HUCKABEES to see Dustin Hoffman jotting in a Moleskine and Lily Tomlin in a Rhodia.


great style!
the simple depiction of the bodies adds impact to the movements and comic effect


just when i thought your sketchbooks couldnt get any fancier...

and kevin, because of you my total hatred of sockmonkeys has turned to mere tolerance. that's a real testiment to your work.


Thanks everyone! It's nice to know this style is working, because it's fun as hell. Don't worry. You'll see more.

And Bandelin, some day I hope to get you interested enough in Sock Monkeys, that you'll stop burning them and tying them to railroad tracks...


What kind of work out/eating program is the "masterpiece" on to get great lines like that? Is that guy in the top hat a sponsor from muscle & fitness or something?


I appreciate anything simplistic. But then again...I had a threesome. And thats pretty complex.

Peter Costello

The little guys are great!
I bought a moleskin diary the other day for 2 squid because its june now. This was actually a bonus as (although lined) it leaves the first half of drawing in.


Juna - He's not really on a fitness program. He just has extreme self-confidence. Art collectors love confidence.

Vito - The fact that you had a threesome EVEN THOUGH you value simplicity just illustrates your amazing strength of character. You're one of the beautiful people, now....

Peter - What would that translate to in American currency? Any idea?


Squid is American currency. Get with it.


Is it? I've never heard of that! Ian, once again your financial knowledge saves my bacon!


I thought people from England payed with squids... you know... since they live on an island and all.


that's a nice neglect of the box border boundries (BBBs) in that there strip.


Yeah - these strips are about as close as I can get to a Sutter comic without ripping you off...


hey- these are great, do more, for they are a constant joy to be shared with all in my graphic design class.
I have a Molskine, however I've been working in it for weeks. I'm not even half way through it. Any idea's on how I could increase my sketching quantity?


Jonathan, I have two thoughts on the subject. You can:

  • Carry the book around with you constantly, and draw in it immediately when something catches your fancy. Or you can...
  • Decrease the quality of the sketches. As you can see... it worked for me. :) hahah


how about putting contents of that sketchbook up on the site?


Haha - I'd love to, David. But that's a pretty massive undertaking. It'll have to fall into the queue of other sketchbooks that need to be seen. Someday...

Peter Costello

Hehe. Squids was a typo. 2 Pound.
johnathon Dont worry about filling the book, just enjoy the sketching. My note books are a cross between sketchbooks, journal and a convenient place to write a phone number. I probably get about 3 months out of a standard A5 visual diary.


I love those little guys. They've gotten me though many a difficult night of thinking of Vito's threesome.


A question: what pen do you use for drawing in your Moleskine sketchbook? I have trouble finding one with ink that doesn't just skate off the slightly waxy surface...


Yeah - that's the one problem I noticed with the moleskine - that paper doesn't really wanna take ink.

I used a Micron Pigma Liner, black ink, size .03. It works alright. The page sucks up the ink, and the line becomes more grey than black. If I really wanted black, I'd probably try a crowquill pen with India Ink - but I haven't actually tried that...


I hear the Pilot G2 is popular amongst Mollies, but they take a while to dry.

[ Back to Top ]

Recent Articles

[ Visit Article Archives ]

Who Carols Mojo and the Leaves MUSTACHE! The Symbol For Jerk Interpreting Excelsior Dead Love The Big Sandwich Mojo The Bounty Hunter Sketchbook 22 Live! Six-Penny Anthems II