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 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?