Behold The Cheese in Retrospect, Part 8

Today we’ll have a look at five more old cartoons from my old website (defunct). They haven’t been hosted anywhere in a long time and I’m brushing off their digital dust.

Old-time music is folk music with roots from the musicians’ cultural ancestry, typically acoustic, traditional. That wasn’t what I meant below by “old-time”. I think I meant something like “country time”, like the lemonade, but I drew this cartoon in a few seconds and didn’t really think about the words. (This cartoon comes from 2007, when I doodled lots of fast cartoons to substitute for my face in my Facebook profile picture. Detail didn’t matter to me.) I’m not sure why Pac-Man thinks old-time is bad, or why the jar of probably mayonnaise is also upset about this.


Here we see three otters. One is a respectable detective with a deerstalker hat. The detective otter seems to know what happened to the otter with its eyes closed. Appears that it feel asleep, and it’s not appropriate in this context. Could be a wedding going on. Man, you’d get in so much trouble for falling asleep at a wedding.


This cartoon was drawn rotated 180°. I scanned it flipped, and I thought it was a lot funnier this way, so it stuck. I think the intent was that the fish skeleton was floating on its own through a museum (still surrounded by glass), and the security guard was confused about this. This was drawn not long after a related movie released. Turned 180° as it is below, it seems more like both the guard and the fish skeleton are suspended in a bizarre space, and the guard gives up on trying to rationalize it, as if giving in to dream logic. Notice the punctuation after the word “Huh” is not a question mark. That’s surrender to the Absurd.


This here cartoon is about a rebellion we can all afford to participate in. The bank I use has printed labels above the door handles to offer a hint at what to do with the doors, much like the ones in this cartoon. This person here has decided not to follow the imperative offered. If the person is trying to enter a bank, they’ll need to wait until someone else opens the door, because physics won’t allow a push here. I suppose the person could tailgate a door puller into the bank. But is dependency on others’ compliance really rebellion?


Any time I see three circles with even some overlap I see the iconography of Mickey Mouse. The creature on the right is wearing shorts, gloves, and shoes that look like something Mickey would wear. (Always seemed strange to me that Mickey didn’t ever wear a shirt and Donald never wore pants.) The Mickey cap is there too. Easy to see a mouse here. Don’t mind the menacing eyes and teeth. The creature to the right of the worm is not wearing shorts, gloves, or shoes. So, which one is the real mouse? What do you think, reader? I hope we don’t have to settle for the old conclusion that we may never know.


Sharpie fun,

Behold The Cheese In Retrospect, Part 7

Ah, another cheesy review of my old cartoons and comics website, Behold The Cheese. I drew most of these cartoons and comics between 2007 and 2011. The oldest ones are what I would now call Two-Minute Comics, which are scribbles in permanent marker capturing a silly idea. The latest ones (most not shown yet, saving for later entries in this series) were comics of two or more panels that were drawn all right. Today’s cartoons come from mostly 2008, except the obvious permanent marker cartoon, which comes from 2007. In the summer of 2008 I worked at an internship in Forrest Gump’s Savannah, GA, and I was drawing mostly with a Pilot V-Ball pen on printer paper. I had most Fridays off at that job, where we practiced “four tens”, or four days of ten hours each day. I spent most Fridays doodling and reading. The results are the cartoons that look like the ones below. Keep in mind that this retrospect series had not been chronological much at all.

Oh wow, it’s Batman! Anyone remember Bat Boy from the Weekly World News? That’s the reference here. I think this evolution follows most of the Pokémon conventions, in that later forms get more spikes and are notably cooler. Batman also has a lot more money than Bat Boy. He buffed up quite a bit too, but so did Christian Bale in changing roles from Trevor Reznik in The Machinist to Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Dark Knight Trilogy. Speaking of which, I’m pretty sure I drew this around the time The Dark Knight was in theaters. Does Bat Boy relate to Bruce Wayne in any way? Has anyone watched the TV series Gotham? Does actor David Mazouz (young Bruce Wayne) resemble Bat Boy? These are pressing questions. Someone has to know.


Here we see a couple that is upset about professions. The woman is upset with the man about his being a clown, and the man is trying to deny it even though it is very obvious he is a clown. Maybe they are in some kind of relationship where keeping secrets about professions—however comical—is frowned upon. It’s unclear. I was playing around with expressive eyebrows here, having never really drawn them before. The clown eyebrows are very Peanuts, and the woman’s eyebrows are just horizontal lines (that were supposed to represent frustration). I like how the clown’s hair came out. Someone told me tonight these cartoons reminded him of The New Yorker cartoons. The single panel cartoons definitely had The New Yorker as an influence. These very literal paragraphs surrounding the cartoons have The Monkeys You Ordered as an influence, where I think the literal interpretation of something silly is even funnier than a punchline. In fact, being a fan of situational humor, I don’t really like or use punchlines. I much prefer reversals of expectation.


In this next cartoon we see what happens to your batteries when they die. They hold funerals. The tears are actually some kind of magnesium dioxide solution, not saline water, so don’t get too close. You can see that I’m referencing the Duracell and Engergizer brand names here. I’m glad that competing battery brands can get together and respect their dead. I got a nice comment on this cartoon when I used it as my profile picture on Facebook. A friend said, “This belongs in a newspaper.” What do you think, readers?


Next, we see some bananas with faces and limbs getting very excited about being bananas, probably after being something else for some duration. What did they used to be? Are they actually bananas if they have faces and limbs unlike most bananas? Is this actually just a visual play on the adjective “bananas”? If so, why would they be excited about being nuts? Does that mean they are actually nuts and not bananas? They don’t look like nuts. We covered what nuts look like in Part 6.


Good, here’s another Two-Minute Comic of some creature leaping up from the grass. The image file was called “nemnoo.jpg”, where a nemnoo was an imaginary creature I came up with that is mostly eyes and feet. I think the nemnoo is checking for predators by jumping up above the grass. What eats a nemnoo? Do nemnoo taste good?


That’s all for now.

Keep your eyes open and wonder,

Behold The Cheese In Retrospect, Part 6

Let’s look at five more old Behold The Cheese cartoons. Note that I am scouring my old image files for the Behold The Cheese website and posting images in roughly alphabetically by file name, saving some of my favorite cartoons for last. In fact, I’ll probably end this “In Retrospect” series with my five favorite Behold The Cheese cartoons, ones that I hope my readers will appreciate too.

Here we see a horse and frog having a conversation. The frog is not facing the horse. Maybe he was already walking on two legs to the right, and the horse was following the frog and had a secret to share. It looks like an important secret because of the three question marks following the question. I’ve always found repeated punctuation really funny, starting with the ellipsis (…). In fact, there’s a nice symmetry here for the horse and frog, three question marks (???) and three periods (…). This cartoon suggests that blonde Disney princesses are all actually the same character. My favorite Disney princesses are Pocahontas and Mulan.


This next cartoon is a tribute to my old gamer handle, InappropriateNuts, often shortened to iNuts. The nuts are inappropriate when paired so closely, reminiscent of human anatomy colloquially called the same thing. You can see here I was playing around with cross-hatch shading instead of just thick lines of permanent marker. You can also see my real last name as a signature here. This was before I decided on going by my pen name Arthur Hovinc.


The next cartoon may be one of my favorites. I had been noticing that my cartoons rarely filled the whole paper when I drew them, and I wanted to play around with that in a cartoon. I think it’s interesting that invisible characters have visible word bubbles. Do you think the invisible character is a bird? The character is definitely close with Mary the bird. I’m kind of hoping that the character is in fact an invisible bird, but I can’t really say what he is. How long has the character been invisible? Note the repeated exclamation points. He’s pretty excited about being invisible, in the general sense (as in, he could be terrified). So many unknowns here. What a mystery.


This next cartoon was from a series of cartoons drawn in the summer of 2008 when I was interning at an aerospace company and drawing a lot with Pilot V Ball pens. It would seem that these two characters don’t know each other and are in a kitchen. The character with the last word is a little sassy. Is he drinking water or milk, or something else? Hard to tell when everything is black and white. Again, note the repeated punctuation marks. I once had a boss that used six exclamation points in a row to convey excitement. (GREAT JOB!!!!!!) Back to the cartoon, I think it would be terrifying to find someone I don’t know in my kitchen drinking my water or milk, especially with such sass. It’s unknown how this conflict ends.


In the last cartoon for this entry, we see Miniature Cow. Some people that are probably normal sized (but it’s not certain) seem to have been looking for and chasing after Miniature Cow. Maybe Miniature Cow stole something valuable, probably pretty easy to do at her size. Imagine all the places a Miniature cow could sneak into. Then again, where is a cow going to hide the loot? After I drew this cartoon, I thought about making Miniature Cow a recurring character. This cow has no udder (shown) because Behold The Cheese was rated TV-Y7, just like most of my humor. I thought the whole idea of a miniature cow was udderly hilarious.


Call your best friend today,

Behold The Cheese In Retrospect, Part 5

Let’s have a look at five more old Behold The Cheese cartoons.

We’ll begin with this classy cartoon. Remember: Behold The Cheese was mostly toilet humor. What do you think this character is feeling in this picture? Embarrassed? Relieved?


The next cartoon was drawn because I love the game Shadow of the Colossus. In that game, the colossi moan and howl when your playable character stabs their weak spots. Colossi are often covered in dirt and grass-like fur, making them seem very connected with the earth. I thought it would be neat to show a solid rock with sisu tell an earth-covered colossus to suck it up.


This next cartoon is a disappointing physics lesson. Sound does travel faster in solids than liquids or gases, but that doesn’t mean you’ll hear a whole lot just listening to a wall. They say that talking to a wall isn’t fruitful, but maybe we need to spend more time listening.


This next cartoon never actually appeared on the Behold The Cheese website, but I definitely drew it in the same time period. I think I thought it would be too weird. It’s a demon head and a sad blob floating while a laughing man leans back in his chair. Henrietta is probably involved somehow. I think it was my first “mixed media” cartoon in using something besides a permanent marker. I wanted extra detail on the demon’s face.


The last cartoon is a nod to my first classes in electrical engineering. In the lab portion of one class, we used an oscilloscope to measure electrical signals. There was a mode on the oscilloscope called High-Z Mode. Basically, it’s a mode to read voltages in the least disturbing way possible. Here’s a more technical explanation for those curious, but I’m a poet on this blog, not an engineer. Sometimes when I try to explain science and electronics to others, they cover their ears and say, “La la la la la la.” So this smiling egg in a field of squiggly lines is just as good an explanation of what High-Z Mode is as any technical one I would try to give.


Make sure you look outwardly at vistas and inwardly at yourself,

Behold The Cheese In Retrospect, Part 4

Today we are going to consider five more classic Behold The Cheese cartoons that I drew. The five that follow are classic because they are all drawn in permanent marker, before I started using fancier pens.

Here we see an aspiring acorn looking out at some naked and jolly trees. These trees are playing volleyball, singing together, and playing on the swings. These trees also have faces, and the acorn does not. I’d aspire to have a face.


Here is a business manager who proves his loyalty to his company everyday, by not bathing. This guy knows he can get to work earlier if he just skips the shower! I can’t take credit for this joke. You can thank Patrick Star.


Next is the first cartoon to ever be used for Behold The Cheese, before it was even called Behold the Cheese. My earliest permanent marker cartoons were really quick drawings I used for my Facebook profile picture instead of my actual face. That means this cartoon was the first time I had the idea to substitute my mug with some scribbles.
The idea of this cartoon is inspired by an arcade game, whose title I can’t remember. I used to work in a bowling alley, and one of my duties was cleaning the arcade games. One game had tethered boxing gloves with motion sensors in them, and the player would hold up these gloves and flail, possibly knocking out the computer opponent. I never had the quarters I needed to play the game, so the demo video would just play on repeat. The demo video ends with the boxer character’s point of view experience of being knocked out, everything going white, sounds all reverbed, the trainer yelling, “Work it out! Work it out! C’mon! C’mon!”


Next we see a smiling bucket. Is he Mr. Bucket? Why is he smiling? Did he hear a really funny joke? Did he just finish eating his favorite meal? Lots of questions here.


Next we see an alligator who is giving a lecture on Maryland and its diverse supply of buttons. There’s even a Button City, but you’d probably drive right by it and not notice. I like that the alligator is wearing a tie, he’s a very professional lecturer.
The alt text for this cartoon on the old Behold The Cheese site apologized for using Massachusetts’s initials for Maryland. Besides, I’d rather have a Doctor of Medicine than a Master of Arts.


That is all I care to share for now.

“…Writing is not a performance but a generosity.”
Art (but the quote is from Brenda Ueland)

Behold The Cheese In Retrospect, Part 3

Today we are going to look at five more Behold The Cheese cartoons that I drew.

This was another cartoon that I used as my Facebook profile picture because it was personable. I don’t think Hanna-Barbera will think it’s so charming a drawing, especially without proper licensure.


This next cartoon is about being a rebel. Those “ABSOLUTELY NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY” signs and warnings are pretty common, but what happens when you break the rules? In my animated world, you go straight to the hoosegow.


This next cartoon is another “classic” in permanent marker. What does “J.U.D.R.” stand for? That’s up to you. Feel free to comment on what you think it stands for.
I used to use a sieve when I first met people, asking, “Do you like waffles?” I didn’t care whether they liked waffles or not, but I was curious how they would react and reply to the question. Some of the early Behold The Cheese cartoons were similar, where I drew whatever made my neurons tingle to laughter, and if others also thought the cartoon was funny, then plainly their brains must be wired the same way. I later moved toward humor where there was something to “get”, a humor formula that was more dependable. I still hold dear to me these early cartoons where there really is nothing to “get”. “I don’t get it” makes me smile.


This next one also has nothing to “get”. It’s a hedgehog yelling out “WAIT!!” to a man who’s apparently naked.
I minored in art history, and my classes spent a lot of time looking at images that didn’t represent something accurately, or that didn’t represent anything at all. Photo-realistic paintings may have actually required more grit than great artistic skill, according to the conclusions reached by Tim’s Vermeer (which I officially endorse here). It’s the weird, the abstract, the stuff that doesn’t actually look like the real world that can sometimes stir our emotions, because emotions don’t have any real form. I’m not saying this drawing is THE statement about waiting, but I am saying that art doesn’t have to be photo-realistic to be art, and that cartoons don’t have to be about anything to be cartoons.


This fifth cartoon is one of the early cartoons that again isn’t about anything. I think it was supposed to be Harold Hutchins from the Captain Underpants series, but I drew it very quickly and didn’t care to make it more accurate. He’s on a hoverboard. Hoverboards are cool.


That’s it for now.

What does April 28 mean to you?


Behold The Cheese in Retrospect, Part 2

Here we are again in review of my old cartoons and comics website, Behold The Cheese. I’d link you, but I stopped paying for that domain and hosting probably three years ago. Before we begin, you may want to see the five works we covered last time.

This cartoon was my homage to Action League Now!, which was my favorite segment on the animated sketch show KaBlam! When I was younger, I would create plays and movies based on Action League Now! with action figures of my own and my friends, or from junk we found at garage sales. I could never make my Stinky Diver character smell all that bad, but I pretended he smelled.

Behold The Cheese was mostly potty humor.


This next cartoon explored a situation I thought was very funny: bite into an ice cream cone and it blows up in your face.


This next one was not an original joke; all credit to SpongeBob. I just started drawing a nose and then a body grew out of it. I had to do it.


There’s really nothing to this next one. I drew a squirrel. For a while, Behold The Cheese cartoons were my Facebook profile pictures, so this one was for when I felt very personable. I guess it looks a little bit like Rocket J. Squirrel.


In this one, the bald man is jealous that he doesn’t have a hat but the snake does.


And that’s it for this time! Plenty more cartoons to come.

Hiding behind drawings and the Internet,



Behold The Cheese In Retrospect, Part 1

I’ve decided that it’s silly to keep posting about my issues with buzzworthy Internet content. Instead, I’m going to post and review some of my older drawings that currently aren’t on the Internet anywhere. Let me be a content creator and sharer instead of a critic. This is going to be a series, because I drew a lot a cartoons and comics for my old site Behold The Cheese. This is also to encourage me to draw again and add more works to my site.

This one is a thematic comic about a cat eating a moth. It pairs well with the Jaws soundtrack by John Williams.


This one is a commentary on silly Pokémon evolutions. Remember, just give something a tail and spikes to make it cooler.


This next one is a creative exercise in figure drawing and punctuation exploration. Three periods make an ellipsis, but what do two periods and a questions mark make? Hmm..?


I really liked the early days of Behold The Cheese when I chose to draw with only a Sharpie marker on office paper. It was easy, and cartoons (some quite funny!) rolled off really quickly. I’ll remember that approach to at least get started with drawing again in the future.

I’m partial to this next one. Wouldn’t it be funny if you saw a peanut do this? I mean, why would the peanut be sleeping, and then why would he LIE about it?


This one was once the banner for the Behold The Cheese site, and it was the site’s namesake. I loved all the wrapping I put around this cartoon, including the alt text (“Smokes? More like smoked cheddar.”) and the file name (ratdoescheese.jpeg). I like making things talk in cartoons, and I think rats and cheese would probably have this conversation.


Five is a good number, so this is it for the first tour of my old “portfolio”. I’m happy to share these, so I’ll be doing more similar posts soon.

Inspiration is perishable,


Mona and Bubba

Mona and Bubba

When I was in my Electromagnetics II class, I couldn’t follow some of the math. So I drew doodles in my notes instead. The woman on the left (one page of notes) is the professor of the class. The creature on the right (another page of notes) is named Bubba Bill Baker. He likes spare ribs and looks like one of the characters you see when visiting Chuck E. Cheese’s.