When I was in high school, my Art teacher, Mrs. Lee, told me I was a compulsive doodler. I liked the sound of it and, over the years, I've noticed that it's true. Whenever I'm sitting at my desk at work waiting for the computer to do its thing (render a 3D file,save a PDF or...whatever) I immediately and almost absent-mindedly pick up a pencil and start drawing. Usually, I've put down a couple of lines before I even know what it is I'm drawing.
That happened today. In this case, the sketch was of Herbert, my favorite character from FAMILY GUY. I'm not sure what it says about me that my favorite FAMILY GUY character is a crafty, 80-year-old gay pedophile, but it's a fact. I usually love everything about the show but Herbert especially makes me laugh. He really seems to bring out the best in the writers. Most of the characters on the show change their personalities to fit the needs of the story (Stewie and Brian especially) but Herbert (and I suppose Quagmire) has a singularity of purpose that's fascinating to watch. Unfortunately, it so happents that his purpose is getting into the pants of any kid in the neighborhood. Gross, yes. But also endlessly amusing. I wonder, sometimes, if I would find Herbert half as amusing if I had children of my own. Probably not, but I guess I don't have to worry about that.
This sketch evolved from a casual doodle to a bit of an experiment. When I was a kid, NATIONAL LAMPOON published an issue in which they took several comic strip characters (Little Orphan Annie, Popeye, Henry) and illustrated them in a relatively realistic manner, emphasizing the more freakish aspects of their faces. They were colored with a strange, grungy sepia tone and the overall effect was pretty creepy. It stuck with me and I think about it from time to time. (I'd love to track down that issue again.) Once the sketch of Herbert started to take shape, I decided to go in that direction with it. I think it actually turned out pretty well. I know I wouldn't want to run into this version of the old perv in a dark alley.