Okay, my life might be complete now. We went to LA and watched a Simpsons table read which is a read through of the script with the full cast in front of a small audience. It was one of the coolest things I have seen to watch people transform into the characters right in front of me.
I'm excited to announce that as of 10/26, Half Full is now available daily in the LA Times. If you'd like to see Half Full in your newspaper, please let your editor know.
GoComics asked fans to draw Snoopy for his bday on 8/10. Had to draw my favorite! #gocomics #drawsnoopy @peanutsmovie #drawsnoopy!
Update: This doodle got picked up by the Washington Post.
About a week ago, I would have told you that Apple Watches were cool but that I had no real need for one. About 2 days into having one, I fell in love. Of course, that's what Apple is all about.
"People don't know what they want until you show it to them.” -Steve Jobs
What I like about the Apple Watch:
I was really happy with my Fitbit until I saw how amazing the Apple Fitness tracker really is. In addition to counting steps and heart rate, it lets you set exercise, calories and standing time goals. It tracks these goals using brightly colored circles that form a target. It's both satisfying and motivating to watch the circles evolve throughout the day. The "stand" function gives you a little tap if you've been sitting too long and suggests you take a walk around. If I'm deeply in creative flow, it helps to be reminded to get up and take a break. It also give you a big picture view of your fitness for the entire month.
I always use Siri or Notes on my phone to take down ideas as I have them. The Apple Watch takes it a step further. I use the Evernote app on the watch and with a quick click, I can speak my idea into my wrist like Dick Tracy and it immediately gets synced across all of my devices. This has worked great for cartoon ideas as well as things I need to remember to do.
The Apple Watch will let you know if a text or a phone call is coming in. I can glance at my wrist and either respond to or decline the call or text instead of jumping up and looking for my phone or digging around for it in my bag. Somehow, this seems to keep me more focused on whatever I'm doing.
4. Apple Magic
There are so many subtle, beautiful Appleisms in this thing. The watch stays off unless you pick up your wrist to look at it. If you have one of the image settings for a watch face (butterflies, flowers, jellyfish) they animate and subtly change each time you look at your wrist. I can use it as a remote control and to change the music I'm listening to. I can ask Siri to get me directions or any kind of information.
5. Dick Tracy Factor
There's definitely something sci-fi and futuristically cool about being able to do things by yapping into this tiny device sitting on your arm.
Do I look like a jerk when I'm talking to my wrist? Probably. I tried to take a phone call on my wrist at a social gathering and one of my friends immediately took off his shoe and held it so his head like "Get Smart" answering his shoe phone:
Can I live without it? OF COURSE. Like I said, a week ago, I had no need for the thing.
Then again, I could live without my iPhone too (maybe.) Regardless, it's pretty darn cool and a ton of fun.
Here are three of my favorite books on writing. I find myself going back to them over and over again. I often listen to the audio versions of the books when I'm driving or out for a run, especially on days when I need a boost or "resistance" is taking it's toll.
"The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
When I first read this, I felt like Steven Pressfield had been camping out in my brain for years and put it all down on paper. In most of this book, Steven Pressfield talks about this thing called "Resistance"--a force of nature that tries to keep us from doing our work. Resistance can show up as the usual "you suck" voice (that creatives know so well) but even more, Resistance is the force of nature that crashes your laptop in the middle of a giant deadline, busts your ankle while you're training for a race and has you fall flat on your face on the way up to the stage to win an award. Steven Pressfield does a great job of explaining what Resistance is , where it comes from and how to get through it. This book has helped me immeasurably.
"On Writing" by Stephen King
Being the giant Stephen King fan that I am, I could read about Stephen King making a pastrami sandwich and be happy. What was fascinating to me in this book was not only his theories about writing but the stories he shared about his childhood, addictions and near fatal car crash. Having the insight of such a prolific and best-selling author was worth the price of admission. According to Stephen King, he writes every day including his birthday, Christmas and the Fourth of July. For me, the fact that he narrated his own audiobook was the icing on the cake.
"Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott
This book has helped keep me sane--or better yet, helped me realize that insanity is an integral part of the creative process. Anne Lamott gives an honest and funny account of what it means to be a writer, what it means (or doesn't mean) to get published and some overall great insight on the process from idea to agent. One quote that stuck with me (that might have been a requote) was "Being enough is an inside job."
If you need some motivation to write every day (or to do anything else daily) Don't Break the Chain.com is a simple and neat website to help you commit. You just click each day you've accomplished your task and try not to "break the chain." I've been using it over the past month to help me quit caffeine (more about that later) and it's been satisfying to see the little red blocks add up.
It's been less than 24 hours and I'm already having Reuben Awards withdrawal. There's nothing more fun than hanging out with cartoonists for a weekend--seeing old friends and meeting new ones.
A bunch of us kicked off the weekend with a run to check out the sights. We ran to the Lincoln Memorial and caught a great early morning view of the Washington Monument.
The weekend was an ongoing string of seminars, parties, after parties and after after parties. The speakers were excellent and we had a great "History of the NCS" panel where we heard fun stories from Arnold Roth, Lynn Johnston and others. There was also a fun celebration of 100 Years of King Features at the Library of Congress.
Jason Chatfield did an amazing job hosting The Reuben Awards along with a hilarious video spoof of the "House of Cards" (the "House of Cartoons) and an excellent Tom Gammill video from the LA Chapter.
I was honored to be nominated for a Silver Reuben for the Greeting Card Division alongside the super talented Glenn and Gary McCoy. Glenn McCoy took home the award with a well-deserved win. Roz Chast won the overall Reuben Award. Congratulations to all of the winners! You can see the full list here.
We wrapped up the weekend with a "Haunted Party" as a nod to the Omni Shoreham Hotel which is rumored to be haunted. While I didn't see any actual ghosts, Ed and Heather Steckley knocked it out of the park as the twins from "The Shining" , The MacParlanes killed it as Uncle Fester and Morticia Addams and the Richmonds and Chatfields made the best Scooby Doo Gang.
There is so much more I want to say but I'm back in the studio and the deadlines that I've been ignoring all weekend are breathing down my neck.
I miss everyone already. See you in Memphis!
I get all kinds of reprint requests from brochures to newsletters, textbooks to Ted Talks. One of my more unique reprint requests came from a certain celebrity doctor who wanted to feature this comic on his television show.
The doctor said that he loved comics (especially ones that he was in), showed the comic and read it aloud. I even got a nice laugh from the studio audience. What the hell, even if it was a laugh track, I'll take it.
If you're up for watching a lot of commercials, you can watch the segment that appeared on 4/9/15.
"Half Full" got a nice mention on Comic Strip of the Day.
Mike Peterson writes:
"Maria Scrivan is also a greetings card creator, and her panel, Half Full, tends to be more sweetly silly twists than strong observational humor, but today's offering falls into the latter category.
And I'm calling it "strong observational humor" because that's how I pack for every trip. (Which is the objective standard, after all.)
Well, except that my bathing suit takes up more space. For which may we all be truly grateful."
Thanks Mike! And I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone in my frenetic packing style.
You can see the rest of the post at: http://www.weeklystorybook.com/comic_strip_of_the_daycom/2015/04/saturday-short-takes.html#sthash.gF2LS21N.dpuf
I am thrilled and honored to be one of the 2014 National Cartoonists Society “Silver Reuben” divisional nominees for the 69th Annual NCS Reuben Awards. I am nominated for the Greeting Card division and the cards I submitted are above.
There is also a write-up about the nominees in the Washington Post.
The work is juried by members of the National Cartoonists Society and must be published in 2014. The winner will be announced on May 23th in Washington, D.C.