Aby-a-Day – 10 November 2020: Izaak and Major (Cartoon Tuesday)

Just an idea that popped into my head this morning…Izaak as Pixie, and Joe Biden’s Shepherd Major as Brutus. I used a Pixie and Brutus fan art by DiviantArt user Space Meme Stardust as my reference for the first rough sketch.

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Because my new MacBook Pro hasn’t arrived yet, and because I hated the hand-drawn speech bubbles, I turned on my laptop for a few minutes just to add them (and my signature) in Photoshop.

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I also saved the video of my drawing process, just for fun (ie, because Procreate lets me). Click on the image to watch it on Flickr.

Aby-a-Day – 9 October: Crossword Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

Crossword puzzles are very popular in Sweden. There are dozens of different crossword magazines available, and all the daily newspapers also publish them. A friend sent me this one from https://www.dn.se/kultur-noje/kulturdebatt/sveriges-korsordsmakare-var-korsordstradition-ligger-snart-i-spillror/Dagens Nyheter a year ago, and I recently found it whilst I was looking for something else.

I love it, of course, because it really illustrates a FIFe show’s layout. And the breed depictions are really nicely done. I couldn’t find much out this illustration at all, sadly, but I did find the artist, Ann-Charlotte Odén, on DeviantArt, so I may send her a message asking about it.

As for the translations: The top running pair are saying, “I suggest we start a sports club for cats instead!” (He’s probably a Turkish Angora) The other cat is saying “Okay!”

“Ouch! He only had 10 points to go to 100!” says the Abyssinian.

The black silver classic tabby British Shorthair says, “That’s not the right way to hold (a cat)!” and the Cornish Rex agrees, saying, “Oj! What’s happening!?”

And the human is saying, “Ow! I pulled (a muscle) between my heel and calf!” I have no idea what that means…I suspect all of the comments are clues to the crossword puzzle itself.

Which means the answer to that last one is probably “Achilles.”

Aby-a-Day – 31 August: Jacoby and his doppelganger (Friday Flashback)

Five years ago today, I posted about Jacoby and a plushie made in his likeness by Avanii on DeviantArt.

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We still have both Jake and his plushie simulacrum.

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I fixed the ears to make them more upright and less…floppy.

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Jake seems to be slightly envious of his alter-ego…

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….But he posed nicely with it when I took some five-year commemorative photos of Jake and his alter-ego.

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…And…we’re done.

Aby-a-Day – 15 May: “He Was Funny and Friendly” (Cartoon Tuesday)

I took these photos of Lorelai when she first arrived. But this one shot in particular reminded me of an illustration done by a Russian artist named Spirit of Alaska on DeviantArt

Rory looks just like Bluekit (later Bluefur and then Bluestar) does in this drawing! It was the first thing I thought when I saw this photo. I just wish I could draw like that! Check out her other Warriors illustrations on DeviantArt; she is amazing!

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These are the other shots from that series.

Aby-a-Day – November 3: Warriors Mash-Up (Cartoon Tuesday)

Thanks to the release of a new Warriors Super Edition today, I was reminded of this silly sketch I did last year. It doesn’t really involve Abys, but if you know the Warriors books – and Frozen – you will probably find this amusing.

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When I posted it on DeviantArt, I explained, “So, this happened…I’ve been re-reading Warriors (just finishing the second series) and a song from Frozen came up on my iPod and…yeah. I HAD to sketch it to get it out of my head. But can’t you just see Brambleclaw/star and Squirrelpaw/flight as Kristoff and Anna? Cats can’t really put their arms behind their heads like humans can so SquirrelAnna is kind of doing a lucky cat thing.

“AND THEN…well, Ashfur would be Hans, wouldn’t he, and of course Leafpool is Elsa. So I had to add them and then “Let it go” made me think of Crowfeather…and then Nightcloud and Jayfeather came to the party. This is actually my very first Warriors fan art…

“But back to the first thing…I really need to finish this. When I have some spare time LOL.”

Yeah. SOMEday I’ll finish this…

Aby-a-Day – June 4: “Lackadaisy Homage” (Cartoon Thursday)

As I mentioned a couple of cartoons ago, I am absolutely head over heels in love with Lackadaisy, a webcomic by Tracy J. Butler. Imagine the 1920’s – bootleggers, gangsters, flappers…but with cats.

I love Tracy’s intricate and detailed style and I could never hope to compare, but I did find this pastel illustration from a 1927 J.L. Taylor men’s fashion catalog which I could mimic.

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And so, here you have Jacoby and Angel as they might appear in a contemporary illustration in the Lackadaisy universe.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – May 25: Unboxing a treasure (Miniature Monday)

Today on a very special edition of The Daily Abyssinian…My custom, hand-made, cold porcelain ball-jointed Jacoby doll, which she has been working on since February 2014, arrived on Friday!

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It was funny, because I had just tracked the package and the website didn’t show any shipment progress since the 12th.

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The Jake doll was very well packaged for his trip from Brazil to Boston.

In fact, Ana even made a video about how she packaged him.

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In amongst the packing peanuts and bubble plastic, there was a little bag of candies and tea. Aww!

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The doll himself was in another box, well-wrapped in more bubble plastic.

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Which, of course, the real Jacoby was more than happy to assist me with.

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“Come on, Mom! Open it!

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Inside the bubble plastic cocoon, there was a little plastic box wrapped in brown paper and tied with string.

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Naturally, once I untied it, I had to put the string on Jake.

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Then it was time to open the box.

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Ana made him quite the little wardrobe, too.

She made a video showing them off and explaining how she designed and made his little outfits.

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Even the clothing was packaged with care. The little jackets were wrapped around little styrofoam balls.

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Jake really liked those little balls. There were two of them and they’re still rolling around the apartment.

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Although, the starch peanuts were fun, too.

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The wardrobe consists of jackets, shirts, collars, scarves and even a little hoodie.

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There was also this sweet little souvenir magnet. I was loving every second of this grand unveiling!

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With all of her dolls, Ana sends a satin storage bag for the dolls.

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Also included in the box were the patterns to make more little outfits…

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…instructions on how to care for the doll, and also restring it if need be…

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…And a certificate of authenticity.

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Finally, I got to the moment of truth – it was time to unwrap the actual doll! All the while I was chatting with Ana via Messenger.

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That was fun for both of us!

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It was kind of like he was being born.

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And at last he was out! Isn’t he adorable? I think his eyes look like the Geico gecko‘s eyes.

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Ana also made mini-Jake a little green braided collar and a set of miniature tags that just match his real ones.

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They really do look just like the real tags! She said she made them from plastic soda bottles with nail polish and foil tape.

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Jake was quite impressed with his little effigy.

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“See? He looks just like me!”

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After all the excitement was over, Jake and his mini-me went to go sit in the wrapping paper.

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Thank you so much, Ana! I love him! And I think Jake likes him, too. You can see more photos of mini-Jake in Ana’s DeviantArt page.

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“Iz mah cuzin from Brazil!”

Aby-a-Day – May 11: World’s smallest show cat (Miniature Monday)

Of course I had to take some photos of the Jacoby mini-me while I was at the Seacoast show.

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We visited the Arubacat booth, where he tested out their excellent cat trees.

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He also tried out a scratching post.

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Then, even though he wasn’t entered, he stood on the judge’s table!

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(And look who’s in the background!)

Also, remember the other custom ball-jointed doll I was having made by Ana VonBorowsky? Well, he is finished, and she is shipping him to me today! I absolutely cannot wait to see him in person. Of course, he’ll be featured in this blog when he gets to Boston, but if you want to see a few photos of him – and his wardrobe – before then, check out Ana’s gallery on DeviantArt!

Aby-a-Day – April 6: “And I shall call him ‘Mini-Me’…” (Miniature Monday)

Back in December, doing one of my random searches for Abyssinians, I discovered Leo3DModels, a brilliant ball-jointed dollmaker on DeviantArt. Based in Russia, he makes the doll parts using a 3D printer and then he assembles them.

When I saw this picture, I was intrigued…

…But when I saw this photo…I knew I had to get one made of Jacoby. I mean, he’s not just a dollmaker, he’s one of us! He has a Somali!

As it happens, Leo has an Etsy shop, Elleo Dolls, where you can order your own custom kitty! I was so entranced with his little blue Abyssinian that I scraped up all my Xmas money and ordered one on 13 January.

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He arrived last Tuesday, 31 March. Here he is fresh out of the box outside the post office.

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The next morning, mini-Jake met big Jake.

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Jake was busy soaking up sunshine, but he was interested in meeting his miniature self.

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Jake was especially interested in the tail.

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Of course, I am also waiting for my other custom ball-jointed Jake doll, which Ana tells me is very nearly completed. That’s a project that’s taken over a year, and I cannot wait to compare the two dolls! As you may have noticed, I’ve started a new semi-regular feature, Miniature Mondays, so I can feature some fun photos of the mini Jakes and their little adventures.

Aby-a-Day – March 7: “Custom” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Custom.”

I am having a custom ball-jointed doll of Jacoby made by Ana VonBorowsky. I commissioned her last February, but I’d been trying to get a spot on her commission list for a few years. She’s an amazing artist and an incredible dollmaker and she doesn’t offer commissions very often.

These are a few of the “Work in Progress” photos. I can’t wait to see the finished doll! She is even making some miniature clothes for him to wear!

Aby-a-Day – February 3: Of Wolves and Cats (Cartoon Tuesday)

No idea what inspired this…I’ve been watching old Jack Benny program reruns lately so I’ve been immersed in “old-style” comedy. You know, Jack Benny’s regular show ended the year I was born, so these shows are well over 50 years old…but they’re still incredibly funny. Some things really are universal. So maybe this comes from those classic comedy shows.

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Either that, or I just wanted to draw a Tex Avery-style Jacoby.

Also, shoutout to CoyoteMange and his FREE Photoshop fur and feather brushes! I played with them A LOT while I was colouring this. They really made the Fancy Feast Girl’s fur look great.

I also used this lineart by Keenami on DeviantArt as a reference for Angel’s pose…I just could not get it right!
(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – January 13: Nous sommes tous Charlie (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last week, something terrible happened, which has affected cartoonists around the world.

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I consider myself a cartoonist. I’ve been drawing cartoons since I could draw. I actually even got in trouble in high school for controversial anti-Reagan editorial cartoons I did for the high school paper that were also published in the local paper on their “Under 20” page. Some people have said that the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were “asking for it.” Others have said that the cartoons were offensive/obscene/profane/bad, as if these had been painters or musicians or some other type of “real” artist who had been attacked, it would have been a bigger deal. But it’s not about WHAT you draw. It’s not about being offensive. It’s not even about liking the cartoons that Charlie Hebdo has been publishing since 1970. It’s about someone deciding that because they don’t like what you drew, you are worthy of killing.

And the way things are, someone could be offended by anything someone else drew.

5 guys who drew cartoons were killed because some other guys with guns didn’t like those cartoons. And that’s not right.

Nous sommes tous Charlie.

à la mémoire de:
Cabu (Jean Cabut)
Charb (Stéphane Charbonnier)
Georges Wolinski
Tignous (Bernard Verlhac)
Philippe Honoré (Honoré)
(ce sont les caricaturistes)
Bernard Maris (“Uncle Bernard”)
Elsa Cayat
Frédéric Boisseau
Michel Reynaud
Mustapha Ourad
Et les policiers:
Frannk Brinsolaro
Ahmed Merabet

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – December 16: Stocking Stuffer (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is just a little something I came up with while riding the Commuter Rail out to Natick.

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I don’t think Jacoby actually fits inside his stocking, but if he could…

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And here’s the original iPad sketch, just for fun.

Also, I really want to thank CoyoteMange for an awesome set of Photoshop fur and feather brushes they made available for free download on DeviantArt! This is the first time I tried them and I really like the effect. I think these are going to be a major influence on my cartooning in the future.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – August 31: “Model” (Saturday Photo Hunt)

This week’s Photo Hunt subject is “Model.”

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Jacoby is a marvelous model.

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He has been the inspiration for my personal plushie project, but Avanii from DeviantArt also made me a plush Aby modeled after our Jake.

These are her photos of him in the woods of Holland.

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I really like how she did his paw pads. They’re needle-felted wool.

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I think Jake likes them, too.

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Contrary to popular belief, modelling is not easy!

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Especially when your model falls on top of you!