Frequently Asked QuestionsWhy do you draw mummies?
I've always loved mummies and all things ancient and Egyptian. When I was five years old, one of my neighbors was a retired Sanskrit scholar and archaeologist. She took a liking to me and told me stories about the pharaohs. She also showed me pictures of mummies and Egyptian artifacts. It made a huge impression on my little mind.
Mummies make the perfect blank canvas. We can't tell their sex, race, or age until they speak. If we take the original premise of the Egyptian religion at face value, which is that the pharaoh will need his mummified body in the afterlife, it supplies endless possibilities.
Why do you draw old people?
I have drawn old people since I was a child. The old people in my comics look like my grandparents, who lived in rural Kansas and Missouri. Their fashion sense had been frozen decades earlier, which made them look like they lived in a world all their own. I loved that, and I loved them. I visited all my grandparents for days and weeks at a time, until my parents made me come home. The grandparents let me help them do fascinating things, like make jelly and quilts and play dominoes.
Have you always drawn cartoons?
Yes, I started when I was three years old and drew like a fiend all through high school. I was hot to go to art school, but my high school art teacher insisted that cartoons were not art, henceforth not suitable for a career. So, I became a high school English teacher, but hated it. Then I became a hairdresser,which was more fun. I also worked as a secretary, bartender,and owned three small housekeeping companies, always looking for that perfect job that seemed to elude me.
Ten years ago, my mom had a severe stroke. While caring for her, I became frustrated with her compulsive talking. She followed me around the house asking things like "Why do you keep moving the bathroom?" One day I snapped.
"What would it take for you to be quiet ten minutes?" I asked.
Her mind bounced around like a ping pong ball, which explains why her answer came from so far in the past.
"Draw me some of your funny little people," she said. "If you draw me some pictures, I promise to sit and be quiet the whole time."
Desperate for a little peace and quiet, I took her up on it, and four hours later I had drawn my first cartoon since high school. Mom had kept her word and stayed quiet for four hours, quite a feat considering her previous record was under five minutes. Naturally, I drew every day after that.
Believe it or not, it was not until this time that I realized my high school art teacher had given me rotten advice. Cartoons are art, and he was wrong, and why did I listen to him at all?
Where do you get your ideas?
Cartoon ideas pop into my head at all times of the day and night. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and write down up to fifty ideas. As I'm writing, I can see the finished cartoon in my mind, and I try to come as close to that as possible when I draw. When I started drawing mummies, I got well over a thousand captions in three weeks' time. Evidently, my subconscious works on cartoons most of the time, like a computer with a program running in the background. Sometimes I like to think of something to draw spontaneously.
What is your drawing routine?
Every morning I get up around 3 a.m. and draw until time to get ready for work. On the weekends, it's more. I must listen to electronic music when I draw, such as the Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, and all of their cousins. I like to draw on heavy copy paper and use a Pentel Extrafine Superball #R204. Now that I have a website, it takes away from the drawing time, but it's worth it.
Who were your cartoon influences?
It's crazy how many cartoonists I have admired. I loved all the superhero comics as a kid, and I tried to emulate the artwork in Katy Keene. Paper dolls were popular, like Betsy McCall, and all movie and tv stars had their own paper dolls. I loved L'il Abner and Brenda Starr ,in the newspaper; well, I loved all the comics in the paper, as well as every single animated cartoon that existed.
When I babysat the neighbor kids, I could hardly wait to get them tucked into bed, so I could look through the Playboy magazines stashed in the linen closet. My natural sense of humor is pretty close to those old Playboy cartoons. The apex of Playboy cartooning back then was a series called "Great Farts from History". It was pure cartooning genius.
These days, I watch Spongebob during dinner, and I look at all the webcomics that I possibly can.
Have you published anywhere?
Yes. My cartoons ran daily in the Clinton Democrat for two years. I also did a fair amount of commercial art on the side for places like Educational Resources Inc. (illustrating textbooks) and the University of Missouri in Kansas City. It paid well, but I got bent out of shape if people asked me to redraw things. I also self-published a book in 2000.
When Joey Manley announced his decision to create Webcomicsnation, I knew that it would be the right place for me. Actually, I must take issue with his statement that "all you need to know how to do is draw". In truth, all you need to know how to do is draw and process your images. The tech guys where I work showed me how to edit my images, but somehow they neglected to mention cropping. When I activated the website, my cartoons displayed on a full piece of paper. Maybe I can convince people that I did it on purpose, I thought, like a deconstructed thing. Well, maybe not. I hope to keep upgrading my web education as I go along.
Do you want to be rich and famous?
Sure, as long as I get to draw every day for the rest of my life.
Pat Jones ||
Hello, virtual world. I live and draw comics in the Kansas City area, and thanks to Joey Manley, I can share them with all of you. ... full profile