Thursday, October 27, 2016

10 years of Grickle Halloween cartoons!

I'm happy to announce there is a long play collection of ALL the Halloween-themed Grickle shorts from the past decade on Youtube! There is even a little NEW material added via a spooky intermission located in between the cartoons!

Relive the nightmares on the Grickle Channel!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Monday, October 03, 2016


I've got a NEW cartoon up on the Grickle Channel! It's titled "Lunch".

Perhaps it will serve as a welcome distraction from the insanity these days or function as commentary? I'll let you be the judge, but hopefully it provides a moment of pleasure either way.

I've been working hard on a BIG Grickle short and there is finally light at the end of the tunnel! If you're already a Grickle Patron then you'll be hearing more in the near future about that! And if you're not a Patron yet then have a peek at the perks and consider supporting Grickle!

Hope everyone's week is off to a splendid start!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The latest Grickle cartoon is up on my Youtube Channel. Have a look and then sit and think about it. Or just go on with your day. The choice is yours!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The motorbike that became a computer

My Dad was really into motorcycles.

He grew up fixing bikes and taking apart motors all the time. He loved it. Very mechanically minded, my father.

Me, not so much.

When I was 11 years old my Dad surprised me with what I think he felt was a monumental birthday gift.  A Yamaha MX 80cc motorcycle was propped up on its kickstand in the backyard. My very own motorbike! All for me. To learn how to drive on. Change gears. Change oil. An engine to care for.

Pretty cool.

I liked the Yamaha. I learned how to drive and got to understand the notion of gears. I was aesthetically pleased with it's yellow and black gas tank. We went on a few father/son fishing trips, each of us on our own bike, driving deep into the backwoods of Northern Ontario. Good times. Looking back I realize that it must of made my Dad so proud and happy that his only son was embarking on a tradition of loving motorcycles just like he had.

It was short-lived.

The early eighties were a time of change. A time when the idea of having a computer in the house was becoming the norm. A home computer. I became VERY obsessed with the idea of owning a Commodore Vic-20 home computer. It was hands down the coolest one out there in my mind. It's warm, off-white, creamy-colored base with striking black keys set it apart from the pack. Plus it was LOADED with an astronomical 5 KB of RAM! It was all I thought about. I pestered my parents relentlessly.  I remember visiting the little computer shop on Queen Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie and just salivating over being surrounded by Commodore products. My parents could see how much I wanted one.

At a certain point my Dad approached me about one path towards purchasing a computer. With a heavy sigh he explained to me that, if I was willing to, I could sell the Yamaha and use that money towards a computer. He must have hoped I'd say "No way! How could you even dare propose such a thing?"

Instead I jumped at it instantly. No hesitation whatsoever.

His face didn't show it but I'm sure that stung him.

My father listed the bike for sale and within a week it was gone forever. The following week we got the Vic-20.

A REAL computer! In our HOME! It had a datasette for cassettes, a cartridge slot for cartridges, and you could write code on it and everything! Nothing could tear me away from the Vic-20 for the next few months. I'd play Snack-Man until I couldn't see straight. I'd be writing "10 GOTO 20" and all sorts of other magical phrases as I attempted to bend the computer to my will. The Vic-20 was the King of the computing world and I was part of it's royal family!

Then the Commodore 64 came out.

The Vic-20 was last year's news. A glorified calculator with crappy knock off games on it. I'd gambled a lifetime of motorcycles on the Vic-20 and lost.  My beige, has-been, archaic computer paled beside the Commodore 64's steely grey tones that just screamed "new supreme power." It didn't have just a datasette, it also came with a FLOPPY DISC DRIVE! It was unstoppable and I was never going to be in a position financially to upgrade to a 64. I was stuck in an obsolete class of computer owner shamed to the shadows of insufficient coding capacity. I could barely muster the enthusiasm to load up Snack-Man anymore on the datasette. Life had turned cold and grey.

But then the storm clouds parted somewhat. A friend of mine down the street got a 64!

I pretty much began to live in his basement on weekends. The world of the 64 was so much more vast and populated than the Vic-20s'! There were games upon games upon games! AND a lot of them weren't even just cheap imitations of arcade hits! They were genuinely built for the 64!

My friend actually didn't have a ton of store bought games starting out. But that wasn't much of a hurdle because he had a connection in our neighborhood. An older kid who was a computer whiz with an apparent disdain for authority and law. Once every month or so we'd make a trip to his house with a stack of fresh floppy discs. And hovering over his shoulder while he sipped a Coke, he'd fill my friend's discs with all manner of the latest 64 games from God knows where. He didn't tell and we didn't ask.

We'd then run back to hole up in the basement and try out the discs. There seemed to be about a 60-40 % success rate with whether a game would load up or not. But there were so many to go through it never mattered much. If it didn't load we'd just move on to the next.

One game that we always held our breath on while it booted up was Karateka. It worked about 50% of the time and it always felt like winning the lottery if we got it to load. The intro was SO dramatic and intense (check out the above Youtube video). It still gives me chills! So many hours of my life were spent just sitting there looking at a comic with the buzzing and ticking of a floppy drive in the background. Interrupted by anxious glances at the screen to see if a company logo or menu had popped up yet. Glorious and formative years.

My Dad still loves motorbikes. He's still very mechanically minded. I've never owned a motorcycle in my lifetime since that Yamaha MX 80. And I'm most definitely still not mechanically minded (just ask my tolerant wife). But whenever we visit my parents these days I do manage to sit down in front of my Dad's Playstation and play many, many rounds of whatever video games he's into lately with him.

It's not exactly a father/son fishing trip but it's a trip of sorts I suppose.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Become a Grickle Patron!

Hey everyone!

I've created a Grickle Patreon Page! It's been a long time coming! Over the last year or so I've been quietly weighing the options of how best to fund my ongoing efforts in the Grickle Channel and Patreon seemed like the smartest option!

I've really struggled with how to properly monetize Grickle. Initially I'd been considering a Kickstarter campaign but the more I researched it it felt like the wrong structure for what I was doing. I plan to create Grickle cartoons for as long as I can keep breathing air and drawing stuff and Kickstarter is more tuned to single projects or finite endeavors. I long ago started allowing ads on Youtube thinking that the revenue would help in purchasing soundEFX and software upgrades. But man, unless you are PewdiePie I don't think it's possible to really sustain yourself off that. I even added the "Support this channel" on my Youtube page, above and beyond the ad revenue, but again things are structured in such a manner that by the time Youtube and Google have had their bites you really aren't left with much of anything. It's helped but it's far from enough to cover the costs and time I put into the channel.

So here's hoping that Patreon is the answer to allowing me to fund my current work on the Grickle Channel and provide a bright new future where I'll be able to justify turning away freelance work and other paying gigs to spend even more time making more cartoons! If you've enjoyed the animation over the last decade please consider becoming a Grickle Patron!

There's a bunch of perks to being a patron too!

I've set it up to provide an ad-free Vimeo channel with advance access to NEW Grickle cartoons before they appear on Youtube! A behind-the-scenes newsletter will showcase different past shorts with early sketches, storyboards and commentary! Higher tier patrons will get special postcards mailed to their home announcing upcoming cartoons and special events! There will also be a chance at winning original Grickle art! SO beyond supporting the channel you'll definitely be getting something for your patronage!

I'm really excited to kick off this new era of Grickle and I hope you are too!

Climb aboard!

Friday, April 08, 2016

The Hidden People are WATCHING.

I did a Twitter poll the other week asking what everyone's favorite Grickle character was.

The Hidden People won it by a narrow margin over Principal Skeleton.

So in an effort to utilize this new found data and also to help fund the ongoing explorations of the Grickle universe, I present to you a NEW Hidden People t-shirt! Now available at the wonderful new Grickle Shop!

They're watching you. They're always watching.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Grickle Shop is OPEN today!

As mentioned previously there's a brand new Grickle Shop open for business today! There's a bunch of things I've never made available before! Stuff like MUGS! Grickle mugs! And debuting is "The Smartest Dog in the World" shirt! Available in yummy cranberry or olive colors!
I'll be adding new designs incrementally over the next few months! Keep an eye out!

I should also mention that I'm likely going to shut down the Grickle Store very soon. So if there are any prints, items, you were thinking of getting on there I'd do it soon! I've loved running my own store over the years but I'll be honest, the extra time and energy it takes to keep on top of orders has taken it's toll. I'm very happy to hand over the managerial reigns to Stash Riot and the new Grickle Shop.

On to a new era of Grickle items to fawn over!

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Grickle Shop!

Well as much as I tried to not let it happen, it happened.

I have severely lagged on keeping up on this blog.

But I'm here today!  Primarily to give a heads up that there will be a brand spanking new Grickle Shop this Wednesday, March 23! It will feature a completely new and exclusive "The Smartest Dog in the World" shirt, along with some other exciting Grickle-y items!  I'll be adding new designs in the coming months as ideas hit me. So keep an eye out for it! There will be a proper link as soon as the site goes live! But for now feel free to let the world know it's coming! Or you can just keep it quietly to yourself if that's more your thing.

Further updates! Life's been going well for the most part.

I'm deep into thumbnailing my first "Ernesto& Peter" graphic novel (which I will post progress pics on, I swear). So far so good, I think. I'm liking these guys and enjoying getting to know them and that's always a good sign.

I've been also quietly working on creating a Grickle Patreon account! It's nearing completion and I hope to launch it in the next month or so. Beyond just supporting me as an artist it'll offer the opportunity for you to become a patron of Grickle with such benefits as a secret, behind-the-scenes newsletter, sneak previews, ad-free content, and a chance to win original art! More on that as the situation develops!

I've been continuing to post doodles and animation on a daily basis to my Instagram account. So if you haven't checked it out you should! And speaking of animation I've been weekly updating a new Vine cartoon now for months! It's been fun to do and the 6 second parameter keeps my brain on it's toes!

Let's see, what else? Oh! I watched the new "Pee-Wee's Big Holiday" on Netflix last weekend. I'm a huge fan of "Big Adventure" and had thoroughly prepped myself to feel immense waves of disappointment while watching "Big Holiday." I was WRONG! "Big Holiday" did a fine, fine job! There are some really solid gags in it and Paul Reubens totally shone as Pee-Wee again. I was pleasantly surprised. Hats off to Judd Apatow and everyone involved in the production! I'd say my only minor beef with it is that I wished it had incorporated some nice stylized stop motion animation into the effects like the good old days. Otherwise, well done!

Okay. I'm putting down the mic now and getting back to work.

Thanks for reading everybody!

More soon!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Peter & Ernesto announced!

Hey everyone!

Just a short post to share some exciting news in the world of Grickle today! I'm working on a graphic for First Second called "Peter & Ernesto"! It's about two very different sloths who are the best of friends! And while it will be geared towards younger readers I hope that everyone will really dig the adventures of these two!

More news and work-in-progress images will appear in the coming months!

Very stoked to be doing comics again and extremely pleased to be working with First Second on this project!

Things are good! Hope everyone is doing well out there!

Friday, January 08, 2016

A New Year...again.

It's 2016 now.

The future is here. I've got a lot planned for this year and I'm excited about it BUT I'm not admitting to anything until I'm sure it'll happen. That way no one can hold me to any of it.

I'm a New Year's coward. It's true.

Although one thing I will admit to is exciting progress on the Grickle Gardens! For those of you who don't frequent this blog often, the Grickle Gardens is my customized table hockey set that I've been obsessing over the last few months.

I'm happy to report that the set is once again playable! I've pretty much completed adding all the decals to the boards. On the outside there's an arbitrary looking arrangement of old school hockey logos that I've admired over the years. Some are NHL but others are from the defunct WHA and junior leagues like the OHL and WHL. I even got some NCAA representation on there (Gophers, eh). There's still a little space left on either side that I may add further decals but those precious spaces will only be given to logos that have gone through intense scrutinization and vetting.

On the inside rink boards I've got a mish mash from Canada, Minnesota and California. I'm especially proud of getting a few specific Sault Ste. Marie businesses (my hometown) on there! Mrs. B's and the old Aurora's are looking good! And just for my wife I made sure to get the Triple Rock Social Club put on, a Minneapolis mainstay!

I've also got all the Rangers and Red Wings numbered and named now. It's an all-star cast from across many eras. A best of the best, with a few arbitrary abberations thrown in there. As stated in an earlier post, I went with John Davidson for the New York nets instead of a more obvious choice like Mike Richter or even John Vanbiesbrouck. His mask was too cool to not try and paint. I think he turned out alright, given my relative novice painting skills.

On the other end of the rink I have, who I'm calling, "Moderne Sawchuk" suited up for Detroit. Terry Sawchuk was the obvious choice to me for the best of the best Red Wing goalies. But the idea of trying to paint either a maskless version or that crazy fleshy colored mask he wore in the sixties seemed too daunting a task for my limited skill set. So I decided I'd attempt a fictional updated version of what Sawchuk might look like if he played nowadays. Moderne Sawchuk.

I've played a bunch of games with friends and my son and table hockey has lost none of the charms and thrills I remember from my youth! Such a fantastic game! The layouts and strategy are so much closer to how an actual hockey game is played, than say how a fooseball table relates to actual soccer. Superior, in my opinion.

I've now begun to strategize how to get some real nets with mesh made, along with purchasing some further teams that I'm in the middle of customizing. Next up I hope to put an early 80's version of the Minnesota North Stars on the ice. Dino, Meloche, and bunch of other old familiar faces will soon grace the Grickle Gardens with their esteemed presence. Here's a sneak peek of the work in progress.

Alright! I've talked your ear off enough about table hockey! I will now release you back into the internet wilds! Thanks for reading!

I'll post more Grickle related news as soon as it happens! Stay tuned! :)