Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DMC Hawaii Thumbnail

I'm writing an article for the Honolulu Weekly this time, but somehow I managed to get art involved too.
The story is about Disproportionate Minority Contact in Hawaii's Juvenile Justice System - Native Hawaiians account for 40% of youth involved in the JJS here.
UH Manoa's Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning helped put out a report with suggestions on how to fix this and I put together an article explaining all that.
This image is a thumbnail I did for an image I think I'll use to accompany this article. The editor of the Weekly asked for an image of troubled youth, and since the story is abstract, and not about any one youth in particular, I decided to obscure the face with heavy shadows that should hopefully also add a lot of mood and emotion.
However, it is still a news story, so we don't want the image to color the story too much, since it is fabricated (the image, not the story). We'll have to see what happens. I may have to revise before I can start painting for real.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Four Elements

Part of my "real, live superheroes" project, this image was created by taking a photo of four friends posed as superheroes representing The Four Elements.
At the Ka Leo Arts Festival, my booth was a "get yourself drawn as a super hero or villain" booth. Thanks in large part to my marketing champion Reece Farinas, I made a lot of money and made a lot of people happy at the same time! Most of the customers took their pencil drawings home with them, but these guys asked me to keep theirs and turn it into a full blown, colored comic cover. So here it is! Hope you like it.

To the left is the original pencil drawing I did at the fair.

As always, right click on an image to open it in a new tab and view it full sized.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Far Side of Business Bullshit

Since these illustrations were never used by TwentyWhat Magazine (the Obama Romney one was, but these ended up not making the cut for what the editor was looking for) I decided to use my buddy Vince's fake captions and turn these into hilarious statements about our times.  I hope you enjoy them too:

Disney buys Lucasfilm, Death Scars ensue

My cohorts; Josh Harmon and Vince Fitzgerald, and I had already created a timeless Star Wars comic with an excellent joke about Darth Vader's alleged skills with handling children and teenagers with patience and safety. Well, when we heard Disney had bought out Lucasfilm with intent to release an Episode 7 in 2015, we realized that our timeless joke, with a minor tweak, could also become a current event commentary with timely implications. Before I explain what is posted below, let me first clarify this project the three of us are working on. All three of us pitch ideas for comics and the ones we like get put above the ones we think suck. Josh and Vince are the refinement process where those good ideas are transformed into workable comic strips, with some help from me. Then, I start drawing, making sure to send them updates as I do this, so that if anything is wrong, we can catch it early on and not after I've slaved for hours on it. Then, we might make some tweaks in the dialog to better match the facial expressions that came out of my artwork, or throw in a Disney reference in the punchline at the last second to gain relevance. Then it's pretty much done.
Vince is also in charge of making us a website for these comics to live in. The site is moving along, but not faster than say, a Honolulu City maintenance project, and we're still talking about what our comic should be called. I personally am all for "Rocky Dennis Memorial Inner Beauty Pageant Comics" (or RDMIBPC, for short), but we also have several other possibilities like "Angry Itch Comics," "Three Amigos Comics," "Fancy Gentlemen's Tea Party Comics" etc.
For now, since website and name are still nebulous at best, I'm going to post the comics we make here for now, so they don't lose their timelessness, and once the site is up, we'll just stick the comics we finished before the site was ready into the site archives as though they were there all along haha.
So, without further ado, presented here is the first comic collaboration between the illustrious Josh Harmon, the Grand Goof Vince Fitzgerald, and myself, the humble clown with a stylus and a tablet, Will Caron: "Death Scars."  Featured first is the original, timeless version, and after that will be the version with the Lucasfilm referenced punchline. Enjoy.
And here is the Lucasfilm joke version:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Last Wish

It's that time of year again! Halloween, or Hallow's Eve, as the Catholics call it. In traditional fashion, I'm back with another Gothic Whimsies and Dangerous Doodles, part of the Buried Alive collection. I hope you enjoy: "The Last Wish."

As always, right click on either page to see it full-sized in a separate window.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


This past Saturday the talented TOKiMONSTA (LA born Jennifer Lee) visited Fresh Cafe in Honolulu and dropped some dope beats in one of the best live shows I've been too. On par with NextDoor's presentation of DJ Krush, TOKi kept the energy high and the dance floor packed for her entire 1.5 hour set.
The hip-hop beats and layered, electronic soundscapes she created with her equipment was mesmerizing. After the show she stayed and talked with some of her fans, including my friends and I and was available to sign copies of her debut album Midnight Menu which, together with her recent release, Boom (released by Analogue Monsta - the combination collaboration between Suzi Analogue and TOKiMONSTA) were both available for purchase at Fresh Cafe for the fan-friendly price of $10.
I had such a good time and enjoyed the music so much that I decided to paint a picture based off one of the photos I took at the show using Painter12.  This is the result. The hardest part was getting the glowing neon colors to sit well with the dark hues that make up the complimenting shadows those neon lights were casting. That and getting her face right at this angle (still not completely satisfied with that, but she does look Korean at least). 
Anyway, this was one of the first portraits I've done in Painter12 and I thought it worked pretty well. The oil brushes definitely feel more real than in photoshop, but there are a few silly things about Painter too that, one would think, after 12 generations would have gotten fixed - c'est la vie. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Working Title: Death Scars

Starting a new project is always difficult, especially when you're working with talent that's 3,000 miles away from you and your best source of interaction is Skype and GoogleDocs. Fortunately, there is talent. I'm working with my two good friends from college, Josh and Vince, to create a new web comic. We haven't settled on a name for this project, or on anything really, but we have a few good ideas and hand that can wield a stylus on a Wacom, so what the hell. I really hope this takes off. 
The first idea we're hashing out is a comic about Darth Vader and his skill with children. After an initial study and layout,the first panel came out like this (left). Fortunately, practice seems to make me better (who knew?) and after some practice and a painting of TOKiMONSTA, I can now say that the artwork for the strip is complete (I hope). Here it is, in glorious ExtraColor:

Monday, July 30, 2012

Election 2012: The Oz Express

Here we go folks! All aboard the Oz Express - that's what the Weekly is dubbing this coming issue which will feature the very green cover image to the left.
This issue is all about the upcoming August elections in the beautiful state of Hawaii and, of course, Rail is the big issue on everyone's mind (hence the "Express").
I seem to be the rail artist of choice for the Weekly - not that I'm complaining. I got to draw a giant Kirk Caldwell with an equally giant spritz bottle polishing a hypothetical Rail; Ben Cayetano as sheriff chasing down the banditos stealing taxpayer dollars to fund Rail; and now my favorite: Sen. Inouye (the Great and Powerful Dan) and Grabauskas (head of HART) as the wicked witch of the Rail plus four of the most dynamic challengers to Rail (and development in general) as Dorothy, the Lion, the Woodsman and the Scarecrow.
Best of all for me personally, I finally got to do a layout that is essentially a comic book cover and as an extra special super bad-ass bonus, I got to try out Corel Painter 12 as my new tool of choice. A late birthday gift from the best parents in the world.  Look for the hard copy this coming Wednesday the 1st of August. I may also post some images from the  intermediate stages of this process too, just for fun. Stay tuned!

"Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?"

(As always, right click to open the image in it's own window - this will allow you to zoom in and check out those awesome oil brush strokes - love this program!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Will's TwentyWhat? Artwork in an iPad Magazine

Well it's official; TwentyWhat Magazine knows its design. Sleek, streamlined, sexy. Simple.
This iPad and PDF magazine is "a young woman's guide to defining her decade," according to its Facebook page.
And the coolest part in my opinion is that the whole thing was created in the graduate Spring 2012 magazine management course for the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Entirely student created , student run and student driven. Impressive.
About a month ago or so my friend Gerilyn, who graduated from High School with me, asked me if I could provide some illustrations for a couple stories she and the rest of the staff of TwentyWhat were preparing for their September issue (bravo on being a month-and-a-half early on deadline) - the original artwork was already posted after I completed it.
Here we have a few samples of the actual page design for their upcoming issue that incorporate my artwork.
The first is a compare and contrast piece on Obama and Romney as young men: who their first loves were, where they lived in college, where they traveled in their twenties.
The second is an advice piece on how to successfully network in this tech-savvy and fast-paced age. Tips include, using twitter and not wearing distracting name-brand items to interviews.
Although the magazine is geared toward young women, I think that some of it can certainly apply to men as well, and besides - it just looks so good!

If you have an iPad, I recommend getting a copy of their September issue once it hits the "stands."
Their first (I believe) issue came out in May of this year and can be viewed online at docs/may2012.
Give them a "like" on Facebook and read through some of their articles. The design is great, the message clear:
"When life hands you lemons, start a lemonade franchise and retire young."
Keep up the great work TwentyWhat.

As always, right click on an image to view it individually and increase it's viewing size.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cayetano Rides Again!

Voila! My second cover for the Honolulu Weekly is about Ben Cayetano's bid for Honolulu Mayor. He promises to kill Rail if elected, and claims that would be justice served as Rail is allegedly highway robbery on the part of the city at the expense of we taxpayers. Whether that's true or not, I'm not sure, but with this city's track record on public projects and using the ends to justify the means, I wouldn't be that surprised. Another thing Cayetano says in the Weekly interview is that the city is using taxpayer money to pay for pro-Rail advertisements, which are inherently anti-Cayetano, which could be seen as the city buying the election, or at least trying to. Interesting stuff. And it'll probably only get juicier as we get closer to the election.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kirk gets his hands dirty

My first freelance cover, published by Honolulu Weekly on Wednesday, June 20 (also the summer solstice, if you care about that sort of natural thing) depicts Honolulu mayoral candidate, Kirk Caldwell, as a roll-up-the-sleeves, "hands-on" kind of guy who will work closely with people on the ground to spritz up the city and make it shiny and nice looking. At least that's what he said in the Weekly's interview with him. 
I'm not sure how many people in the state consider Caldwell a lightweight, but I think that will be his main problem to overcome in this election: making people believe he has the chops for the job. He was promoted to acting mayor after former mayor Mufi Hannemann resigned to run for governor (he then lost to Neil Abercrombie, whom I can't wait to draw in some capacity), but was quickly booted out himself during the special election by Peter Carlisle, who is the current mayor of Honolulu. Now Caldwell is trying to recapture his seat, by vote this time, but he's up against Carlisle as well as former Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano, who has come out of retirement to run for mayor on an anti-rail platform. Cayetano has the best shot, I think, at winning. He stands out from the other two in a number of ways besides his anti-rail stance. He was governor. Boom. That means a crap-load to a lot of people. And even though he was a giant bully while he was in charge, there are a lot of people, especially among lower wage earners, who support him outright. Caldwell is lucky that he has union endorsements because that's the only defense he has against Cayetano stealing more lower income voters from him.
Second cover for the Weekly is currently in production and will be posted next week sometime after it is officially published on the 27th. It is, incidentally, about Cayetano and his anti-rail stance. The Weekly interviewed Cayetano who is claiming that HART is building rail against the best interests of Hawaii's people and in a dishonest, non-transparent way. He also claims that the city is buying the election away from him by using tax-payer money to fund pro-rail/anti-Cayetano advertisements. He's calling the whole business Railgate. We shall see if that is accurate or not. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Drawings: Business B-roll

More commissioned work for Twenty What magazine (the Obama vs Romney image was also for Twenty What). These images will be paired with career tips.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Obama vs Romney - 2012

Before they were political rivals, locked in democratic combat over the most powerful position in the world (arguably), they were young men, and kung-fu rivals, locked in mortal combat over the fate of the universe!
Ok, not really.  I drew these "20-something" versions of President Obama and Governor Romney for my friend's graduate student publication on the mainland. I won't drop any names until the actual issue comes out, but they've got a story about the candidates when they were young, so this is my versions of the two of them as young men. 
The background won't be in the finished version as I believe the figures will be cut-outs that surround the story. Seemed like a good piece to post since we're drawing ever closer to November. Hopefully some other wonderful and hip publications will want to use this image too. Email me! :D

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Making of the Nightlife Guide: a Ka Leo behind the scenes

Brian Tseng / Ka Leo O Hawaii
The cover photo we used for Ka Leo's Nightlife Guide, November 18, 2011.

Ever wanted to see how we make the newspaper? Here's your chance. The talented cinematographer Shinichi Toyama follows the Ka Leo crew around as it prepares the Nightlife Guide. From planning and conceptualizing, to interviewing, photo shoots, designing and putting the pages together and all the way until the finished product comes out. Check it out.

Green Party of Hawai‘i secures ballot place through 2020

After 3 successful years of petitioning and signature gathering to appear on Hawai‘i's partisan election ballots, the Green Party of Hawai‘i is now legally mandated to appear on all partisan ballots through 2020 without the need for petitions.
After a Green Party member beat out a democratic incumbent and republican candidate on the island of Hawai‘i (the 'Big Island'), Green Party support has continued to increase on that island and the Party hopes this is a sign that their influence will continue to spread throughout the rest of the state.
For more information, check out starting tonight at midnight, Hawai‘i time to read our news report on this. Link will follow tomorrow.

- Will

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Vignettes on the margins

Tomorrow's issue of Ka Leo will feature an article about Gail Tsukiyama, author of "A Hundred Flowers" and "The Street of a Thousand Blossoms," and the Celebrate Reading Festival, which she will be speaking at as well as reading from her works.
The artwork was originally created as an accompaniment for the article so, for the purposes of the blog and the Internets in general, I decided to turn it into a poster for the event, partially because I'm trying my hand more and more at design as well in an attempt to market my skills a little more strategically. Enjoy!

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

- Billy Collins, Marginalia

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Woman's Choice

An illustration appearing in tomorrow's edition of Ka Leo O Hawaii to accompany an article about how old men, and really just men in general, should butt their hoary heads out of women's reproductive rights. 'Nuff said, Washington. Women don't tell you not to masturbate because it kills potential life-forms, or half-life-forms (not to be confused with this), though - if you read the article you'll see - that's already been thought of too. Article goes live in 2 hours. Link to follow.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Crumbling hope

Cover art for Ka Leo issue featuring the last Candidate's Corner on Obama. Other than the New Student Orientation guide from last summer, this is the only cover art I've had for Ka Leo, I think. Pretty sweet!

Friday, February 24, 2012

The $200 Million Man

Mitt Romney: the republican frontrunner. But what does the man actually stand for? He's passed liberal, some would even say socialist, health care reform for his home state (something I would congratulate him on, but which his voting base will not). Yet at the same time, in less than 20 hours now, Romney will head to a hotel ballroom to give a speech sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, a front group founded and funded by the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers are gas barons who have bankrolled Tea Party extremism and committed their own $200 million to try to prevent a reelection for Obama.
One thing we know about him, his net worth is somewhere around $200 million on his own, he's in the top .06% of wealth in the nation, he's tall, slim and has a shiny white smile. Also, he's white. These factors should not be overlooked in an election that takes place in a country where what you stand for and how you intend to improve our country along those lines is less important than who your parents were, where you went to school and what you look like. For more, check out Edward Hickman's piece
The last of the candidates for Ka Leo to cover is Obama. Look for the artwork and the article on Monday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Introducing the 2012 Candidates' Corner

Time for the rat race once again. Ka Leo will be featuring a profile on each of the remaining candidates in the following weeks. Here's a drawing to help kick things off. I'll add the links as well as any other art I get commissioned to do to this post as they appear in Ka Leo. Enjoy!
Profile on Ron Paul is already up, with an awesome drawing by Nicholas Smith, our comics editor, accompanying.
Update (2/23/12):
The profiles on Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are also up on Ka Leo. Mitt Romney will appear in tomorrow's issue (24th) with a drawing by me. I'll post that tomorrow. Monday should see another illustration by me to close out the series. It'll be a cover illustration of Obama.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

008. Now You've Gone Too Far

They can, apparently, take our freedom, but they can never take our Interwebs. That's when they cross the line - not the wire tapping, the breakdown of due process or any of those other things - the Interwebs.
As Sarah Neal wrote in a Ka Leo opinions piece"The success of these protests floored me. It's just too bad that the protests essentially boil down to this: we were afraid the government was going to take away our favorite toy, and we had to stop it."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Virtual Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day, if you're all alone, there's a literal solution filled with virtual romance. Our writer Paige Takeya wrote about several of the best virtual dating sims - many of which work the romance aspect of the game (why you're playing it in the first place) into quests to save the world or combat monsters. The most interesting sounding to me, Catherine, features psychological segments in which the main character must climb up a perilous tower in his dreams - dreams that relate to the real world situation he finds himself in (navigating between a love triangle that features him, his longtime girlfriend Catherine and a mysterious one-night-stand named Katherine.  Anywho, even if the games don't sound fun to you, or you have a real date for V-Day already, the artwork is still pretty sweet (a mon avis). Enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Data Wars

I love it when my Editorial Cartoon of the week matches so perfectly with a well written Ka Leo article, the way it does this time. Boaz Rosen did a good job explaining that this is an information and advertising war between old style media moguls and new, online-based media empires like Google. Fox vs Google ... hmm, not sure who I'd honestly root for there. First inclination is Google, but they do track all my clicks and then bombard me with ads they hope are tailored to me. And why? So they can profit off of you and me the same way Rupert Murdoch does.  Bo is more articulate, so if you want to read more about it, here's the link to the Ka Leo article.
There's also a story on Ka Leo that explains the SOPA and PIPA acts pretty well too. It was written by Antonio Lamb, one of our seasoned reporters. Here's the link to that too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

007. The Nut and the Tree

The exciting finale to Jimmy Cha's adventures in North Korea - at least for now. It's time to get back to things that didn't happen a month ago. I'm planning to get back to normal, 3 panel, college-themed comics and I have a few ideas in the works, so stay tuned.
I'm also working on an illustration for the opinions section at Ka Leo, who will be running a story about SOPA and PIPA and, more generally, about government attempts to censor the internet and free information. The article is being written by the ever-awesome opinions editor, Boaz Rosen, so it should be a bangarang.

So why would Jong-un show Jimmy his cloning vat?
In this strip, Jimmy finally uncovers Jong-un's plan - but the dictator revealed it by choice. I'm hoping that people pick up on the subtleties in this strip to understand that Jimmy's life is in serious danger here. Jong-un claims to "know what Jimmy really is." Well Jimmy is a spy, which would mean certain death.
But is that what Jong-un is talking about? Or is the dictator just interested in Jimmy personally? The answer could mean the difference between life and death for Cha, and the success or failure of his mission to uncover Jong-un's plans for the future - plans that include clones. Lots of clones. Hope you like it!

Monday, January 23, 2012


Oh what the hay. Since I just drew a cartoon about Chancellor Hinshaw, I guess now's as relevant a time as any to post another one from way back when. Printed back in the summer of 2009, when I was about to be a junior, this comic was my initial reaction to what was the first wave of serious financial crunch for the school, and the Chancellor's lack of response. It seemed like all she ever did was go to football games!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chancellor Birdshaw feathering her nest

This illustration was written to accompany a very good article by Contributing Writer Daniel Hugo.  In it, Hugo blasts University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw for being largely ineffective and concerned predominantly with helping herself. Unfortunately, Hugo also predicts that our next Chancellor will be no better as he or she will come out of the same corrupt, nepotistic and self-destructive process that came up with Hinshaw as top choice to lead our campus 5 years ago.

So why is she a Bird?
Starting over a year ago, we at Ka Leo noticed a distinct Avian-like appearance to the Chancellor in many of her photos.  We are still unsure as to whether it's some trick of the camera that picks up her subtle bird-qualities, qualities that are otherwise overlooked by the naked eye, or whether  we just happen to be really lucky and take pictures of her at the exact few moments in her life when she looks the most bird-like.  Either way, she totally looks like a bird in at least two thirds of the pictures Ka Leo has taken of her.
Starting with the fall 2011 Welcome Back issue, I began drawing an avian version of Hinshaw, though I kept it subtle and in the background and never actually labeled the bird as her (though that distinctly horrid haircut of hers is definitely there).  For this article, I simply decided to re-draw Birdshaw, but nice and big, for all to see.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Unballad of Tad the Sad

Here's a special comic I made for Halloween 2010 about a young lad named Tad and a nasty spirit that eats happiness. 
Right click to open in a new tab and zoom in.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

006. Dear Leader, Part 2

I know I said I'd have this whole North Korea thing done before school started again. I have no idea why I thought that would be possible considering I was in California and Las Vegas for most of break with no way to make comics the entire time.  So apologies for that.  I think I'm going to end the arc after either one more, double length comic or two regular ones (haven't decided yet). Either way, Agent Jimmy Cha will finally find out what Jong-un is up to. You won't want to miss the evil genius revealed.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Messy Monster - Cover Art

Here's a cover design I did for a potential children's book written by Lauren Tsugawa.  The story is really cute and funny and I had a blast drawing this cover. It would be totally awesome if my artwork was featured in a published children's book, especially one written by such a talented writer!
At the moment I don't have permission to post the story as well, but if I do get it, I'll put it up too so you all can read the story that inspired the artwork.
I also included some sketches I did for various scenes from the story below:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Abercrombie's Mind Trick

I decided to put up an illustration of Neil Abercrombie today since I just heard about the first few legal same-sex Civil Unions being performed after the stroke of midnight on December 31st, 2011.  Since Abercrombie is the one who signed the bill that allowed that to happen into law, I felt it was appropriate.  
I also felt it was appropriate since the writer for whom I did this illustration had been following the Abercrombie-Hannemann campaigns as they prepared to face-off in the democratic primary of 2010, and had been particularly interested in gay rights and which candidate was more willing to make that a priority in the campaign
So here's to Abercrombie for doing the right thing, here's to the couples who can now, finally, be legally recognized in Hawaii as couples, and here's too another step along the path to actual equality in America, or at least in Hawaii.
Civil Rights - 1, Ignorance and Prejudice - 0

So why the hell is Abercrombie in a Jedi robe?
Interestingly, this illustration didn't have anything to do with the Democratic Primary or Gay Rights and was created after Abercrombie had already been elected. It was originally created to accompany an article that former Ka Leo Opinions Editor Christopher Mikesell wrote back before the Birthers (thankfully) fell away into the abyss known as "Who-gives-a-shit?"