Friday, February 24, 2012


Hello Everybody,

Well, I gave this mashup thing another shot. I hope you like it. I had a lot of fun doing this one. I was really kind of scared to mimic sure-handed Jim Davis but I think I mostly got it. My line may be a bit shakier than his but I did my best. I wasn't too sure what Davis inks with. I have my suspicions he may use a brush but I am pretty sure it is a nib. If anyone knows the answer to this, let me know!

So here's the deal: E.T. + Garfield.

Buy it now in the Oily Shop

Both of these things for me bring up my early life. I was born in 1982, a few months after E.T. was released to theaters. It's one of those movies that conjures an evocative nostalgia in me when I watch it. The clothes, the haircuts, the toys, everything. And it still has the power to make me cry even when I am watching it in 2012 on a little ipod screen, taking notes.

Garfield for me is all about my older brother Tobey.  For many years, Tobey was the gatekeeper to my comics interest. He had the stack of Garfield collections in his room and years later showed me who X-Men and Spider-Man were. Garfield always felt like Tobey's thing. You know how when you are a kid, and a friend or sibling has an interest, and it's quietly understood that that it's their thing? They are the expert on that thing. For me, Tobey had that hold on Garfield. And of course that made me want to  get to know Garfield for myself. I have to admit I went through my Garfield-hating days. I jumped on the bandwagon. But that was just a silly decision of youth because I realized later and even more so while studying the strip for this print why it is so popular and considered so special by so many people. It really is a solid strip. To me Garfield is the quintessential 80's newspaper strip. Oh wait. One more Garfield memory. My eldest brother, Zak made a Garfield napkin holder in shop class. He cut the outline of Garfield out of wood, and wood-burned the lines of Garfield's strips into it.  Beautifully done. I loved that thing. I was just so amazed that my brother could do that.

I thought a lot about what mashup to do next and went through a bunch of ideas; and yes, a lot of people gave me ideas, and I thank you for those. But I think the seeds of this one went to my buddy Sean Ford who draws the comic Only Skin; he suggested E.T. to create a Spielberg trifecta. And Melissa Mendes suggested the Garfield end of it. After hearing that suggestion it clicked in my head and I knew it could work. She also found this gem in a pile of trash on the side of the road which kept me inspired.

One more note on the shape of the character's eyes. In present day, Garfield and Jon have oval shaped eyes, but when drawing this poster I wanted the look from the Garfield of the early 80's, when E.T. was made. And during that time, all of the eyes in the strip were circles. I used this collection originally published in another form in 1982 for reference.

Okay. Enough of my blabbering. I know I wanted to say something else but I really can't remember. I will update if I think of it. As always I am offering prints of this little project in the Oily Shop. Here's the whole print and some closeups. I hope you enjoy it and tell your friends if you like it. 
I also have these images on my Flickr if you prefer.

Buy it now in the Oily Shop


  1. Chuck, in my very humbled opinion, you are a writer...your stories about your brothers brought me right back to growing up and being "introduced" to the cool music (CSNY, early BEATLES) by my own brothers...they had the guts to buy great sound systems and I got to listen and learn. But, anyway, that kind of writing is amazing..touching memories in your readers. Good work. :o)

  2. I'm another '82 kid, and I completely feel you with this mashup. You're levitating my child-self. I need to get teotfw #4 real soon.