Friday, December 21, 2007

Search and Research #86

Well, well...I did actually get this done tonight, so here it is. This will be the last strip of 2007. See you all in 2008! Peace!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Search and Research #85

Last week was exam week for my wife, which meant that I spent a lot of time fetching water and chocolate, and not drawing. But, she's done now (yay!!) until spring so I'm back to getting this story line together. I added the cool little powering down flash effect on SCOM's screen in the last panel by filling in the screen black, and then making a flash with a white out pen. Once the white out dried, I came back in with a pen and made the ends of the flash pointy. It was pretty cool (at least to me.) Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Search and Research #84

Wai Fai? Eli, what does that even mean? Well, it's pronounced Wi you get it. I don't know, I just thought it was funny. And, just to show you that I didn't totally go off my rocker, here is a gentleman listed on IMDB with this name. Why does she have a sword? Well, in my initial doodle, she had one. I don't know, it seemed funny. Totally implausible, but I like drawing samurai swords, and how else would I be able to draw one? I guess it helps her fix things. Where is it in this scene? Well, Marc couldn't very well allow here to just leave it on the desk while she fixed SCOM, so he is keeping it safe for her in his office. I think that's about it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Search and Research #83

Introducing...a new character!!! All colleges have (or should have) a dedicated ITS person handling computer issues, and here is ours. We're going to try to keep working her in, as well as our other staff characters (who, it has come to my attention, are not showing up very frequently but will be soon). I've included the initial character sketches I did for her for your enjoyment. If you are celebrating the American Thanksgiving holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!!! If you are not, I hope and wish you a wonderful week! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Search and Research #82

It's good to be back to drawing the actual strip again instead of the whole "behind the strip" thing. We've got ideas for the next few strips which is good too. Based on a conversation I had with my buddy Jason, I decided that the hardest part of doing these strips is coming up with a workable idea. Ideas that are funny, and that will play visually, while staying in the context of the world we've established is pretty tough.

I'm also posting the character sketch I did for the guy checking out the book. I usually work out the visual quirks of new characters on a sheet of typing paper before going to the strip. It also allows me to work out any problems before I get to the nice sheet of paper I draw the strip on. I hate messing those up because of something that I could have worked out earlier on crappy paper but didn't. Enjoy!

*P.S.* - Some of you may have noticed that our little image viewer for the previous strips (in the list of links above) has been sort of out of whack for a little while. I've corrected the problem (it was my fault) so that is back up and running. And up to date.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Search and Research #81

This is the last one of these "behind the scenes" ones we'll do. Back to our nice, disorderly library next week!! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


So, last Tuesday I'm about to start my shift at the service desk when my back starts to hurt. I take some advil and start my shift, but the next time I have to get out of my chair, there are shooting pains through my lower back. I go home early, and basically didn't get out of bed for the rest of the week 'cause it hurt too bad to sit or walk.

I discovered during that time that few things turn off those creative juices more than being in pain. It seems, at least for me, that artistic creativity is sustained by periods of time where I can concentrate and focus on work, uninterrupted. On a good day I will be able to work on a piece and forget about the passage of time, coming out of my 'zone' once the piece is complete. I'd never really taken the time to think about my creative process like this before, so there was some positive gain from this time out of the game. It does mean, however, that I'm not positive if I'll be able to post the next strip this week. I'm able to sit in a chair with less pain now, which is a big improvement, but I also have to go to work, which means that when I get home, I've been sitting for 9+ hours without a break and I usually need to go lie down to give my back a rest. So, we'll see.

I just wanted to give everyone an update, I hope you are all well. Later!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Search and Research #80

Ok, so it turns out that every now and then a comic strip artist (and his friend who helps him write the strip) need to take a month and a half off. August and September are the busiest times of the year for me at work, and I've had various family in town, which has been nice. My buddy Jason welcomed his second daughter into the world, so he has been understandably distracted from writing.

Anyway, we're back! Tell your friends! I'm hoping to post a new strip at the beginning of each week; I think that will be a much more realistic schedule for me these days. This strip is sort of poking fun at me and Jason, and imagining what our characters are doing while waiting for us to come up with new strips. Just in case there is any confusion, this is Marc out of his costume, chillin' in his crocks and listening to his iPod. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Search and Research #79

Well, we had to do one more. We felt like the gnome was interesting enough to keep around, so we had to have a way to let everyone know that he wasn't going anywhere. Plus, now that Marc is off of his back, we felt that SCOM wouldn't really care if the gnome got up to hijinks at night, so we needed a way to show that they're on better terms. That is my attempt at the old TV batmobile there in panel 1. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Search and Research #78

And...we have conclusion of the library gnome saga. Or is it? We'll just have to see. I like this character and he seems a good foil for SCOM, although a different sort of foil than Marc. I apologize for the longish wait for this one, but as I said last time, I've had a brother moving into town, and a brother leaving for college for the first time, so it's been a busy week. Next strip will be sooner. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Search and Research #77

We are almost to the conclusion of this little story arc! My youngest brother is leaving for college in a week, and both of my other brothers will be in town in a couple of days, so for the first time in a couple of years, our whole family will be together, and you'd better believe that I'm going to be enjoying that for all it's worth. I'm going to try to get the concluding strip up late next week, but I hope you will all understand if it's a little while. I'm a big believer in the importance of family, and I've got a great one, and now that everyone is growing up, times when we are all together are becoming rare.

This has been a super busy and full summer. Once school starts up again, I'm looking forward to having more time to devote to these strips. Until then, please enjoy this one!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Search and Research #76

Hey! I'm back! and I think I've finished my big commitments for the summer. It was a real pleasure to get back to drawing this strip, I must say. A big thanks goes out to Jason Watts who took it upon himself to try to keep a little activity going in relation to his blog. If you look back at strip 17, you'll see a picture of his character, TurtleWax, on the wall.

This is technically a color strip, because the markers that I used to fill in the dark areas was a warm gray, which I was using in the hope that it would sort of indicate the transition from the dark of night to the lighter tones of early morning. It's still dark in the library, just not as dark. You get the picture. Anyway, scanning that in as grayscale (which I usually do) made it a cool gray which I didn't like nearly as much. So, its in color to preserve that warm gray. We are nearing the end of this story arc, I promise!! Enjoy!

Oops, I almost forgot. For more information on Gene Roddenberry (who was referenced in the strip) click here.
(Marc is clearly a devout Trekkie)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ha Ha! I hijacked Eli's Blog!

Hey that's what happens when you don't post a new strip for 2 weeks!

Hey everybody... at least I hope there's still an 'everybody'. You guys might have thought we dropped off the planet. And I KNOW you are hung in deep suspense wondering how the Library Gnome thing is going to turn out :-D.

Eli has had a very busy summer. He made a presentation at a library conference in Miami last week, and next week he's one of the leaders in a summer camp outside Nashville.

So while he's out, I'm going to try and keep you guys entertained with an old strip I toyed with in college. By 'old' I mean I did this in Spring of 2000, so over 7 years ago. I only did 5 strips, and I will be posting a few of them on my blog for the next 10 days or so...

So check me out at, or click my name over to the right under contributors. Enjoy!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Search and Research #75

Can it be? It is! A new strip! Being that this was number 75, a color one, I wanted it to be worth coloring. I want the color to enhance the scene in some way, to be necessary, so I either craft the story lines so that an important scene falls on the colored strip, or, if I can't rush a story in order to do that, I'll do a strip that is outside of the story arc, which is what I'm doing with this one. I'm not much of a colorist yet, and I didn't want the backgrounds to be white, but adding the dark gray tones of our shelving really made it seem sort dark for a party. Oh well. Also, the colors of colored pencils always seems sort of weird when I scan them in. I'm not sure what to do about that.

My friend Bryan, a co-founding member of this strip, is moving with his wife, to Virginia this week, and so I wanted to commemorate him in the strip in some way. Bryan has always pitched the idea of 'Snacks In The Stacks' as a library function to welcome new students, an idea which we all find humorous, but has never been implemented. So, as a tribute to Bryan, I drew it into this strip.

Some of you may recall the watermelon reference as a story left as a comment back in strip #29. Bryan and I both found this story hilarious, and my buddy Jason thought this was the perfect place to put that into the strip as well.

So, farewell for now, Bryan. I hope that Virginia will prove an interesting, fulfilling, and rewarding place for you and Laura.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Search and Research #74

Ok, I was able to finish my project and get back to the drawing table. I call it an art project, but it relied heavily upon me using Adobe Illustrator. I have version 8, and it was, at first, completely incomprehensible. I couldn't even draw a line without having to look in the users guide. I was able to figure it out in the end though. I apologize again for the extended absence, and encourage you to read the past few strips, starting at strip #69, if you've forgotten what's happened so far in this story arc. Enjoy!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Search and Research #73

I like drawing SCOM at different angles because he's got such a distinct angular look. It usually doesn't make sense to draw him at angles most of the time when he's on the desk, so that's why I try to move him around. My wife would also like to point out that SCOM's face in panels 1 and 2 really show how I look trying to wake up every morning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Search and Research #72

Looking at this one now, I realize that in my haste to lay this strip out and ink it, I drew the figures 3 different sizes. I'll need to pay more attention to the character sizes when they aren't at the service desk. The desk seems to help disguise a lot of size flaws throughout the strips. I hope that doesn't keep you from enjoying this strip.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Search and Research #71

So, here's our character I showed a few days ago. You'll notice that he no longer has those weird pointy toed slippers. Those turned out to be hard to draw at angles and didn't really look all that good...a lose/lose situation. So they were axed in favor of no shoes or feet showing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007


I was going to try to get a strip done this weekend, but my grandparents are in town for my youngest brother's graduation from high school. I don't get to see my grandparents much, so I spent time with them and got a late start on this strip. I had to design a new character before I could do the strip, and it took me too long to design him, so I won't get the strip done tonight.

However, I'm debuting this character design today to whet your appetites. Who is he? What purpose is he going to serve? These questions and more will be answered in upcoming strips!

*Edit* - I mentioned my younger brother in this post, and I've posted a likeness of him that I drew and inked at my art blog. Check it out if you want.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Search and Research #69

Thanks for hangin' in there with me everyone. I should be able to get at least a couple of these up per week for the next little while here. My buddy Jason and I are cooking up a sort of extended story arc here at the beginning of the summer. We have a beginning we like, but haven't worked out a middle or end yet, so at the moment, this is an adventure we are all on together! Enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Search and Research #68

Maybe some academic libraries are different, but finals week always seems like our busiest week, and then the following monday the library is completely empty, heralding the start of summer. There's no gradual decline...once those exams are over students never look back. Welcome to the summer everyone (in the United States)! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Search and Research #67

Aaannnndddd....We're Back!!! It's finals time around the country and I think that I can safely say we're all ready for summer! It's interesting to hear some of the phone conversations students are having during this stressful time...relationships and studying around the clock don't seem to mix. The stress levels of some of the students inspired this strip. Enjoy!

*edit* I just realized that I never finished darkening that dude's hair in the third panel. Nuts!!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

It's been a little while....

Hello, hello, it's been a while since I've posted a strip, and I WILL be posting new ones this week, but I thought I'd pop in and show everyone what I was working on in my absence. The church I attend hosted a 'Spring Marketplace' over this past weekend, and about a month ago, I was invited to share a table by a friend of mine. I accepted, and then realized that I had almost nothing to sell. Thus, all my free time turned into 'art time'.

I work full time at a library, so I had evenings and weekends to do this art. I was also volunteering one night a week for a few hours, and had a couple of regular meetings every week, as well as a second job that takes about an hour every evening, so obviously I didn't have time to do this art and a strip.

Now that the marketplace show is over I thought that I'd post a slideshow of the art I created. You can view it here: Eli's Show Art

If anyone is interested in purchasing any of this art, you can find my email at my website and contact me.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Search and Research #66

So, all of this started with me reading a book about coincidences. I thought "Marc could start having coincidences, and get more and more agitated. It'll be great!" But, it turned out that the coincidences were sort of hard to visually translate. For instance, in this one, I tried to indicate that even though two different people were holding different conversations, they said the same exact thing at the same time. But I'm still not sure if it came across that way. Also, I had to start asking myself, where am I going with this? I was sort of stuck, so a big shout out goes to my friend Jason, for bailing me out of this story line. New story next week. Enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Search and Research #65

Many of you probably noticed that last week was pretty spotty in terms of getting strips up. I'm afraid (and also delighted) that I'm starting to get art projects to work on outside of the realm of comic strips. As a result, the next couple of months may see fewer strips. I apologize for this, but it is a situation that I've been hoping to find myself in. I also apologize for not updating that strip viewer in a while. I've had time at home to get online to check my email and that's about it. I'll try to get it updated soon. Ok, that's all the housekeeping business I have right now. On to the strip! Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Search and Research #64

As Sunday was Easter, I decided to spend most of the day with my family, watching the latest episode of The Office, and not drawing a strip. I'd like to thank my friend Jason's wife Angela for her help with this strip, she came up with the phrase Mega-Byte Sandwich. As you can see, that is a hard drive on a bun, with a bite (byte) out of it. For any of you who don't know, that really is what the inside of a hard drive looks like. If I had it to draw over, I think I'd put the bite out of the other side of the bun so that it's more visible. Oh well. Enjoy!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Search and Research #63

And thus ends the saga of the staff meeting. I have to say that given the way some students treat the library, I'm surprised that we haven't yet had someone bring in a Foreman grill and start cooking.

Speaking of cooking, the smoke in this story was inspired by the people who work in a non-library related department below our library. Our fire alarm went off a couple of months ago and we found that the reason was that someone in that department had cooked a microwave pizza in the microwave too long and it caught fire. It was good that none of us had a sledgehammer that day...Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Search and Research #62

I feel that I must stress that I've never been in a staff meeting like the one portrayed here, but given the past meetings that this staff mentioned, smoke setting off the sprinkler system can't be as bad as an opossum getting stuck behind the radiator. Right? That's what I think anyway. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Search and Research #61

Wow, has it only been a week? It seems like much longer. Sorry for not getting a strip up last week, early on I had a bad stomach thing happening which felt like a small dwarf was in my stomach poking it from the inside with a fork. I then took the last half of the week off to celebrate my birthday.

This is picking up the staff meeting story line, and introducing the character of the library director. I'm still sort of tweaking her appearence, so don't be suprised if there are changes the next time she appears. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Search and Research #60

I was looking in our lost and found the other day, and was suprised at how many articles of clothing there were. Socks, shirts, hoodies...all sorts of stuff. I thought we could open up our own little thrift store there in the lobby. Anyway, talking about the lost and found got my friend Jason thinking about the strip, and he came up with the, I think, brilliant name Dressing Down from the Lost and Found. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Search and Research #59

I've never had a catastrophic staff meeting but it's funny to think about. If anyone out there has a funny staff meeting story, I'd love to hear it. Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Search and Research #58

Pardon our absence this past week. My wife and I had a great time hosting friends from Florida and Zimbabwe, but I did not get any strips done. I'm up and running again though. It's been weird to not draw all week...I suppose that's a good thing. Enjoy!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Search and Research #57

I had to do this one as a follow up because in the real life interaction that this is based on, the patron asked to check out a book before leaving! I did just now wonder why Marc didn't get SCOM to check the book out, but I think Marc isn't making any concessions for this guy. Or...maybe SCOM goes somewhere else at night. That might be something to explore at a later date. Either way, enjoy!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Search and Research #56

This is based on the experience of my friend and coworker Bryan this past weekend when we had abbreviated hours due to spring break. I'm not sure why, but it seems that most college students who are confronted while doing something against the rules in the library get sort of belligerent. Is that an unwritten rule somewhere or something? I'm not sure, but anyway, enjoy!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Search and Research #55

This was me last Thursday. The guy in the cafe in our building offered me an espresso while I was down chatting with him, and not wanting to turn down free coffee (my coffee policies are very similar to my cake policies...see last strip) I accepted. I'd never had an espresso before, so it was a SHOCK! I spent the rest of the day drinking water trying to get the aftertaste out of my mouth. I also couldn't concentrate on anything for the rest of the day. I would start working on a project and then a thought would hit me and I'd move on to deal with that thought. Then I had to sit at the service desk for 2 hours!!! I really wished that I had someone to tazer me so that I could wake up after it had all worn off. Hence, the strip. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Search and Research #54

Hey guys (in the plural, non-gender specific, group of people sense) sorry about Wednesday, I had some personal stuff keep me busy all day so I didn't have a chance to do a strip.

In this one Marc's policies are in fact my own personal policies about birthdays, which were faithfully enforced at the party in our library last week. Enjoy!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Search and Research #53

I would try to write something here that is witty and interesting, but the milk and leftover chinese food that I had for dinner 6 hours ago is turning out to not be the best culinary combination, so I will just say that this really happened in my library this past week and so I'm writing a couple of strips about it. Enjoy!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Search and Research #52

Sometimes SCOM's safeguards don't keep him from taking things a bit too far...and, as my friend Jason pointed out, as much as Marc tolorates him, he's not about to take any guff from a piece of office equipment! Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Search and Research #51

I thought for a long time about what to call Marc's dad. For a while I wanted to have Opal call him 'Author and have SCOM ask her if she meant 'Arther', to which she would explain that 'Author' was short for 'Authority'...get it? Authority Record? My wife, however, nixed that one, but suggested Bibb as an alernative. Bibb is a weird first name but is a perfectly acceptable middle name. And Marc's dad just happens to like to go by his middle name, so there you go...Bibb Record. Get it?

If you aren't familier with what a Bib record is, please consult your local cataloger. Enjoy!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Search and Research #50

Number 50! Sweet! When I started this I really didn't know for how long I'd do it, and strip number 10 seemed a long way off. Now at 50, this has been a great experience. I've learned a lot about comic strips as a form of 'thought expression', and have also learned about setting a schedule for myself, meeting deadlines (for the most part) and being disciplined in the task of drawing, even when I didn't feel like it.

It's great to know that you are out there reading these things, and though I don't know most of you, it is you, all the readers, that I think of when I am tempted to slack off. Thank you very much for your encouragement and comments, and with any luck, I'll be saying the same things about strip number 100. Enjoy!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Search and Research # 49

Sorry everyone, I had a stomach sickness early this week which prevented me from doing any drawing. One of those ones where all you can do is just lay on the couch. So that's why there wasn't a strip on Wednesday.

Ok, so Marc's dad...I am very curious about retired librarians. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't just put things in order because it's my job, I do it naturally. When I'm in a store, or in another library and things are out of place, I feel somewhat compelled to properly arrange them, as though it is satisfying a higher order or something. I think that most librarians are the same way; it's just what we do. So what will happen when a librarian retires? A lot of people become more compulsive about stuff anyway with I bet some librarians really would plan out trips alphabetically, arrange their medicine bottles alphabetically, or maybe spend their days at the local thrift store arranging the donated books. It's interesting to think about...and is what gave birth to this strip. Enjoy!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Search and Research #48

I have to admit that I'm not sure what to write here today, so...Enjoy the strip everyone!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Search and Research #47

Now we get to see how Boük creates a record. He find's the information he needs, separates it into Description and Access and then creates the record via the mental interface he has with the computer. We think that his glasses may be part of the mental interface...Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Search and Research #46

We are back in business! Thanks goes out to the anonymous poster on strip 42 for giving me the idea for this one. My friend Bryan was not only excited to have a technology intuitive cataloguer join the cast, but was delighted to hear him espousing his views on cataloguing as though it were an art form rather than a simply technical task. Not being a cataloguer myself, Bryan is sort of guiding the cataloguing dialogue that appears in the strip.

I love all of your stories, ideas and suggestions and want to invite you all to continue sharing them as we go along. Enjoy!

*Edit* - It has been brought to my attention that our international viewers may not be aware who Paul Shaffer is. Here is an image of the great Paul Shaffer from wikipedia: Picture

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Search and Research #45

WooHoo!!! We're finally at the end of this story arc!! I wasn't sure if I'd make it but we're here. Thank you all for sticking with me through this personal storytelling exercise/experiment. I don't think I ever want to try to tell a story that long with comic strips again.

Ok, putting up 5 strips in one weeks has really taken it out of me, so I'm aiming to get the next regular one up around Wed. of next week. Hopefully, it'll be on its normal 3 strips a week schedule for a while. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Search and Research #44

4 strips in a week!! What's happening here? Well, I forgot to post one of the ones from last week...and I'm trying to get number 45 up this week as well, but it's a color one, so we'll see. Either way, 45 will end this little story arc and we can get back to the more nonsensical strips.

Ok, I admit it, I'm a comicbook nerd, and since we were showing artifacts encased in glass in this strip, I had to include Kandor, which is a Superman reference. For anyone interested in reading about Kandor, here is a link to Wikipedia. Enjoy!

Search and Research #43

We're getting closer to the end of this particular story line!! Based on some comments, I would like to clarify a couple of things. First, I pronounce Boük's name like 'book''s just spelled a little differently. Second, he is not blind, he just likes wearing sunglasses all the time, like Bono. His eyes are sensitive to light. That's all I can think of at the moment. Enjoy!

Oh, and don't forget that you can browse through past strips with this cool viewer my friend Jason created for us!!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Search and Research #42

We mentioned Boük in the last strip, and now we get to meet him. Hopefully he will balance out Opal in the cataloguing department. My friend Bryan and I have some ideas for Boük on his own. I'm ready to get him into the mix. Enjoy!