Thursday, January 30, 2014

My Guest Gig as Cartoonist for Rogue Symmetry the Comic Strip

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A few years back, I helped out my buddy Derrick Wood with his strip Rogue Symmetry. Derrick had injured himself somehow... what was it... I believe it had something to do with drinking and trimming trees with a chainsaw. No wait, that was my uncle Buford. No, I think Derrick had sneezed violently while nail clipping his drawing hand... Nope, that was my cousin Jerry. I am sure it was Derrick's hand though because he couldn't draw for a month or so. Wait, I remember... Derrick was arm wrestling his six year old daughter and she cracked a bone in his hand. I;ll stick with that one. Gotta be it.

Derrick's Rogue Symmetry is a immensely popular strip on Comics Sherpa. This guy has probably the biggest following out of all the Sherpa strips. So when he asked cartoonists for help, I saw a great opportunity to get some of his readers to check out Charmy's Army. Well, that and I wanted to help him out of a jam... but mostly to steal away some readers. I wrote and illustrated the single panel comic strip featuring Batman, Flash and Superman... which was TOUGH because I don't do single panel strips. The quick gag has never been my specialty.  I write stories... not jokes.

Be sure to check out Derrick's blog at...

- Davy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How To Write a Comic Strip - The Davy Jones Way

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I guess the one question I am asked the most is "How do you come up with these funny strips?". Is there a trick to writing? Is there a special system for conjuring up these crazy scenarios. Well here is my secret. It may only work for me, but you are all welcome to give it a try.

The only time I have to write is during my lunch hour at my real job. In real life, I am a graphic designer for a packaging and manufacturing company. When I can sneak away, I love to go to a busy restaurant with a notepad and a pen. The white noise produced by the busy chatter of the patrons helps me focus my thoughts in a daydream-like state. I have to keep track of my time though because it is so easy to lose yourself in your thoughts and have the hour fly by. After completing sketching out each strip, I carefully check the time to insure I return to work on time.

The white noise is only the beginning of the process. The next big step helps me get my mind in the correct pace. I draw four rectangles at the top of the page. These shapes represent a four panel comic strip. I'll sit and stare at the first panel and Charmy... or Fug... or Weaver... or someone just starts playing out the scene in my head.I scribble down the conversation. After the first panel plays out in my head, I move on the the second panel... and then the next... and then by the fourth panel a zinger, or joke magically plays out! Sometimes the funny ending reveals itself in the third panel, and I'll adjust the final to a three panel comic strip. Now, every once in a while, the strip plays out with a punchline in that first panel or the second panel. Whenever that occurs, I just keep plugging away. It never fails that I can then get two jokes into one strip for my readers!

I have my rhythm with this method and it works well. On a good day during my lunch hour, I will crank out scripts for three strips. Minus drive time to a restaurant, time to order and get adjusted, I spend about thirty minutes writing. In other words, the stories are not flying out of my head. it takes a lot of daydreaming and pencil tapping to get the ideas out and onto the paper.

- Davy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Charmy's Army the Comic Strip - Charmen Packy Meets Lio

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Back around September, I did a two week series of strips where Charmy tried getting the attention of the comic strip syndicates by kidnapping their stars. The strips were a huge success highlighted by this strip featuring Mark Tatulli's Lio. The strip was one of the few strips I did at Comics Sherpa that was chosen of their "Pick of the Week" and I probably owe it all to the fact Lio appeared in my strip. He just has a certain "charm" about him.

I have been a fan of Mark Tatulli for years. Both of his strips Lio and Heart of the City are two of the best strips in syndication today. What is also highly impressive is the fact that Mark's style of writing and illustrations are so different between the two strips. This impressiveness is what I hope to achieve with my strips here at Okra Comics. I guess time will tell if I can come close to being as awesome as Mark. 

This strips was very fun to draw up. I actually drew the monster in one try. Typically when drawing a new character, I will draw a the figure several times until I get the look I like. I will sometimes work up close to 100 sketches before I get the look and personality I prefer. Currently, I am having a really hard time finalizing two characters for my comic strip Hero Sandwich. Once I get these two guys the way I want them, this new strip is going to be my best strip from my arsenal.

Stay TOONed for more...

- Davy

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Charmy's Army the Comic Strip - Orders are Orders

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Here is another preview of what's coming. I hope to begin posting on regularly by Mid-March. Mondays - Wednesday - Fridays will be strips. Tuesday will feature a puzzle and Thursday will post the Puzzle Solution. At least, that is the plan so far. 

Follow my blog and stay TOONed!!!!

- Davy 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Charmy's Army the Comic Strip - The Many Faces of Charmen Packy

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I want to warmly welcome all the new readers who are reading my blog. The numbers are quickly rising up through the roof. After only three weeks, I am seeing about 1500 hits per day. Most is spam of course, but I wish to believe it is a frenzy fervor of new fans latching their minds onto my awesome comic strips!

So in case there really is this horde of new readers, I thought I would give you a visual history of the last three years of my comic strip, Charmy's Army. As you can see from the picture, Charmy has portrayed a ton of "characters" of the course of my comic strip. Sometimes he dons the disguises in order to impress women at The Candy Bar where Charmy hangs out when he is not at the army base... which seems to be a lot.

In some cases, as when he was dressed as a cowboy and mistaken for Gooser Dadburn in "The Tale of True Twit", he used the outfit to bring a band of murderous thugs to justice and vengeance. This seven week strip is now being reworked into a graphic novel slated for a 2015 release.

More characters are on their way. Thanks for reading and PLEASE leave a comment so I know you are real. lololol.

- Davy

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Charmy's Army the Comic Strip - More info about the Dork Knight

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I had quite a few people asking how serious I was about the Dork Knight graphic novel I revealed yesterday. Oh, I am quite serious. The novel is titled ANTidote. This will be so much fun because of the fact the story is set in an alternate universe so none of the rules of the D.C. Universe apply. No one is safe. As a matter of fact a HUGE staple in the Justice League is killed off in the opening scene by The Joker is typical, over-the-top, gruesome fashion. How else would The Joker pull off such a crime?

I have done numerous character studies and reinvented a few characters. For instance, Robyn the Girl Wonderful is a hot 21 year old female... which will lead into all sorts of sidekick jokes because the other heroes with sidekicks are using young boys... I always had such an issue with the silver age juvenile sidekicks. Aren't there child labor laws? Or child endangerment laws broken? 

I guess the biggest challenge for this project is DC Comics themselves. No matter how cool this book ends up, I can't get it into people's hands unless I get permission to use their characters. Let's be honest, I have a huge passion for my art... but I am determined to make money from my work. In order to do this, I have to sell DC Comics on it AND give them a big slice of the pie. I have no problem spreading the wealth. The real obstacle will be obtaining their blessing.

My plan is to just get the book written and create storyboards. Then I will pitch the rough concept and hope for the best.

Anyone have any contacts at DC Comics?

- Davy
(c) 2014 Okra Comics

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Charmy's Army the Comic Strip - The Dork Knight

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Gotham at dusk, a city once masked in fear upon nocturnal slumber can once again rest easy. The Dork Knight, our protector, has blanketed the meek, shielding us from evil. No more shall we live in fear,,, for our caped crusader is here!

I have a really cool graphic novel in the works that pits Charmen Packy as Batman against both the JustAnts League and The Joker. Basically, when a member of the JustAnts League is murdered by The Joker, the League set out to seek revenge on the murderous clown and Batman must set in to insure the heroes stay within the law... which they do not. Batman ends up having two battles on his hands.

Charmy's Army's graphic novels are a mix of slap happy silliness and overly dramatic heroic chronicles, My goal is to have one of four concepts for graphic novels completed written and story boarded by the end of July. Then I will see if I have time to illustrate the book or if I have to do a team up and find someone to work with. It is a scary thought because I am a lot like Batman. I work alone.

I have drawn Charmy many times as both Batman and The Joker. The drawing to the right here was inked for a Scholarship in my late mother-in-law's name. I put it up for auction at the end of the year and never thought anyone would bid on it. I was shocked by the support my readers gave me and it sold for $100.00. This is when I realized my comic strip has established a real fanbase. This revelation is what lead me to leave Comics Sherpa and build my own bigger and better website. Hopefully all the time and money I plan to pour into this will build an even bigger audience for me to entertain. 

Here is one last look at Charmy as the Dork Knight. This strip was from last year when Warner Bros announced Ben Affleck would play Batman in the new movie franchise. I very rarely do comic strips that draw storylines from the news. I like to write material that will always be funny. If Ben pulls this role off, my strip will no longer be funny. Of course a lot of people say my strips are never all that funny to begin with. Bwa ha ha ha ha....

Please help support my dream. Share my posts on all the social media platforms you currently use. Follow my blog with the "Follow" gadget on this page. Charmy's Army will be the next big comic strip. Get in on the ground floor and one day you can say, "I was there when Davy was just another guy with an impossible dream"!!!

- Davy Jones

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Welcome to the NEW HOME of Charmy's Army!!! - Please Follow!!!

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Thanks for supporting the troop at Charmy's Army the last three AWESOME years!!! The comic strip has outgrown its former home on Comics Sherpa. This new website allows me to better communicate with my readers through the added blog feature. 

Will I will use this to discuss issues of the day and push my political agendas down your throats? HECK NO!!!! The one thing about THIS cartoonist is that I just wanna make my readers laugh. I don't want to change the world. My only agenda is to make people happier than they were before reading one of my silly strips.

I want to make money at this one day. The biggest start is through Adsense on Blogger. In order to do this, I need a ton of people following my blog. I need a minimum of 1000 followers to even qualify for AdSense approval. Please follow my blog and share my posts on Social Media.

I plan on launching the site in Mid-March 2014... about two months from now... BUT if I get 200 followers before then, I will drop everything and begin IMMEDIATELY!!! lolol. This site is going to be HUGE, but to do this I need support... And supporters WILL be rewarded. I will have giveaways of autographed sketches beginning in April. To qualify, of course you gotta be following the blog and sharing posts on Facebook. My marketing plan is going to push this site beyond my expectations. I just have a such a good feeling about this.

2014 will FINALLY be my year. The year I finally succeed at my childhood dream.

Thank you all for ALL the years of support. The fun is only JUST BEGINNING!!!!

- Davy Jones

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Monkeying Around" Strip 6 of 6

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Be sure and follow my blog! There are a few ways to do this....

FOLLOW BY EMAIL - Use the "Subscribe" icon to the right and key in your email address. You will get my blog emailed to you!!!!

FOLLOW THE BLOG - Use the "Follow Me" icon to the right and connect with your Google account.

OR DO BOTH!!!! and insure you never miss one of my comic strips.

HELP SUPPORT MY DREAM!!!!! Syndication......

Friday, January 17, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Monkeying Around" Strip 5 of 6

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This test week has gone really well! I have picked up several readers from Comics Sherpa and my view count is triple the number I had there. Of course, according to my stats, 90 percent of the traffic is spam. In other words, it is just servers looking around at other sites. None of those hits are real... but the numbers look good.

Please let me know if there are any topics you'd like to read about. I want to make this a fun site everyone looks forward to reading every day.

I am looking forward to officially kicking this site off in a few weeks. LATER!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Monkeying Around" Strip 4 of 6

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I received a TON of emails today asking me to continue my history of Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis. Not many people know much about Stephan's life before his famous comic strip. The years 1932 through 1998 are shrouded in mystery. Most people have no idea the guy is nearing 100 years old. It is quite amazing what someone can do with a little Photoshop and hair dye.

After the Street Grinding business went under, young Stephan sold the family monkeys and used the money for Law School. To help pay the bills while studying Law, Stephan worked for Harold H. Knerr coloring The Katzenjammer Kids. His stink on the strip lasted for six years, running from May of 1932 through July of 1938 when he was replaced by a much younder Charles M Schultz... who of course later created his own strip Peanuts.

Following Law School and passing the bar exam, Stephan worked for a small firm known as Ketcham, Hangem and Askemquestchumslater. Here he worked with Weaver Vinson Ketcham, father of Hank Ketcham who is the creator of Denise the Menace. Stephan would not actually meet until a week after Stephan left the firm. That meeting was the turning stone to Stephan's career.

I'll have more information for everyone tomorrow. Please let me know in the comments below if you are enjoying this history lesson.

- Davy Jones

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Monkeying Around" Strip 3 of 6

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I bet you had no idea that Charmy was a talented musician!!! For you whimper snappers, Charmen Packy is playing a musical instrument known as the Street Organ. Back in the late 1800's to early 1900;s, the street performers who played this instrument would be accompanied by a White-Headed Capuchin Monkey. Pearls Before Swine's Stephan Pastis was supposed to take over his father's Street Organ performance when he was a kid, but the fad went out of style when Stephan graduated high school in the early 1920's.

After the demise of the Organ Grinders, America faced a HUGE crisis. Monkeys. In the mid-1920's monkeys were everywhere. Organ Grinders everywhere gave up their art and laid off their monkeys. Monkeys could not find work. By 1930, The Great Depression saw monkeys on every street corner. A Bill was passed in 1933 that called for the round up of all monkeys. The bill was called The Big Monkey Act and called for all captured monkeys to be captured and shipped off to Brazil.

Monkeys sent to Brazil were all at first sent to containment camps were conditions were deplorable. Disease spread through the monkey troop. The entire group was looking at certain death until one man, Juan Valdez, stood up and demanded change. Juan gave refuge to the entire population and trained them to make coffee. He called them his Monkey Grinders. Teaching the monkeys to hand grind coffee beans was no easy task, but to this day Juan Valdez still uses monkeys to grind his coffee beans.

- Davy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Monkeying Around" Strip 2 of 6

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I write my strips as short stories. As a kid I was fascinated with Bloom County and how Berke Breathed could spin a yarn. I read everything Mr. Breathed wrote. I would clip Bloom County out of the newspaper and collect them in scrapbooks... reading them over and over again... studying them. I was determined to become as good as Mr. Breathed... BETTER...

The most important lesson I learned is that politics are boring. Mr. Breathed would get "preachy" at times and I would become so disappointed. I was a kid and could care less about lampooning politics. I swore I would never be "preachy" in my strips. I just want my readers to laugh... and occasionally blow coffee out their nose.

PLEASE, if my comic strip EVER causes you to expel any liquid refreshment through your nostrils, LET ME KNOW. Post it in the comments and I will add you to my Blow Hole Hall of Fame. It is a real deal so don't roll your eyes. Of course, I take NO RESPONSIBILITY if you get burned by a scolding hot cup of joe gushing through your sinuses. Please get your lawyer and file suit against the coffee manufacturer. I accept NO responsibility for your roasted snouts.

Please drink responsibly.

- Davy

Monday, January 13, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Monkeying Around"

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Here is a strip from last year that introduced us to Flimp the Chimp. We'll see more of Flimp in the future. I actually created Flimp twenty years ago as Billy Hamm's pet monkey in my other strip Just Say Cheese (now known as Okrapolis) but the monkey did not work out.

Flimp won't be a major character in the series, but if I ever get an animation deal, Flimp will get a lot of attention. I have a bunch of ideas for Flimp if the Fox Network is interested. :)

Enjoy today's strip and be sure to FOLLOW and SUBSCRIBE to my website using the icons you see to your right.

- Davy Jones

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Please Leave a Comment on the Blog

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Hello loyal readers! I hope everyone followed me from Comics Sherpa. I gained a very large following there, so the move to my own website was a tough decision. If everyone follows me here, success should be around the corner. If I have to rebuild my following, then I am in for a long reboot. lol...

Anyway, I am just checking for bugs. Please leave a comment so I know the comments section is working. Also, let me know if you followed me here from Comics Sherpa.

I am working hard to get the site up and running by the week of March 13th. This site is going to be a big jump start to my cartooning career... if all works as I have planned in my head.

Any suggestions for the site are welcomed. Let them in the comments below... or just say "Hello". 

THANKS for your support of my dream!!!
Davy Jones

Introducing "Okrapolis - The Legend of Hamm and Cheese"

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Here is a strip I created back in High School! Back then I called the strip "Bazzle Presents". The strip's main character then and now is Fug Cheese. Fug and Floyd the Dragon are the only original characters. 

Billy came in three years later when I renamed the comic strip "Just Say Cheese". This name remained for years... until recently when a strip named "Just Say Uncle" was syndicated. I knew I would have an issue down the road and the time was perfect for a rebrand.

The story is set up in the town of Okrapolis. I decided to name the strip after this little town because the chances of anyone else using that name is pretty slim... I would hope! FYI, it is pronounced oh-KRAWP-oh-lus. Oh as in "Oh boy". KRAWP as in a "Crop of vegetables". Oh again as in "Oh boy". Lus as in "fabuLOUS".


Friday, January 10, 2014

Charmy's Army in "Spock and Awe"

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Here is a an old strip from last year from Charmy's Army. This is the comic strip I have been working on for the last three years. New strips will begin running in March. My drawing style has greatly improved since this strip was published. Check back soon to see how much the strip has improved!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Davy's 2014 Resolution

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A note from Cartoonist Davy Jones, creator of the strips from Okra Comics

2014 is going to be my year! I have worked very hard over the last three years to fine tune my skills, and I am now at the level where I feel my talent can be taken seriously. My goal is to see success for one of my comic strips. I focused solely on Charmy's Army over the last three years which was a great strategy. It made me stronger, and now it time to use my strengths on my other comic strips.

So what are my goals? Do they include syndication? Well, syndication is not on my mind. I sent two rounds of submissions to King Features, Creators, The Washington Writer's Group and Universal UClick, receiving only one response in the form of a form letter. Even though I knew syndication was a long shot, but the fact that I never received an honest response was extremely discouraging. I plan on submitting comic strips again this year, but this time I am not going to beat myself up over it.

This year my goals are simple...

And you are here! My goal is to have as many daily readers here as I did on Comics Sherpa within the first three months of launch. I was averaging about 65 - 70 hits per day on Comics Sherpa. This site will officially launch in March, so I hope to capture the numbers I had at Comics Sherpa by the end of June 2014. From there, I will set a new goal for viewership for October after we all see how many daily viewers I can gather.

One crushing blow last year was the demise of the one paper Okrapolis and Charmy's Army was published in. For nearly a year both strips appeared in "Cape Cod's The Funnies", a monthly publication of comic strips and puzzles. Being published was very inspiring, but losing my only printed outlet was devastating. There is another monthly publication I wish to get into called Funnies Extra, but after four submissions to their editor, yes FOUR, without a response, I feel my chances are slim to none... but I refuse to give up. I am sending my FIFTH submission in three weeks. After that, I plan on hitting small, local papers which publish 3 issues per week... It is a growing trend I hope to benefit from. I can fulfill their needs where traditional syndicates cannot. Just getting a run in one paper this year would make my hard work worthwhile.

I will publish a book sometime this year. It may be an eBook. I plan on shopping whatever I end up with to publishers. The best option of course would be a printed book which I can take on a signing tour. I have an extremely original concept for this first book. Stay tuned here for details later in the year.

Comic Cons give cartoonists a grand stage on which to push your work. I plan on attending either Houston's Comicpalooza or Austin's Comic Con this year, drawing characters and pushing this website. I am trying to get in free as a guest. I was invited once before to Houston's Comicpalooza two years ago, but the week before I was bumped. The same year I was tentatively invited to Austin's Comic Con, but they never could fit me in. If I cannot get in without purchasing a booth, I will drop this goal. I need to turn a profit on my work first before I invest any more capital.

Those are my goals. Help me achieve them by sharing my posts and checking in every day.

Davy Jones