Joe Patrick is a freelance cartoonist doing his best to make his hobby into a career. He currently fills his days designing websites and scheduling ads for the Omaha World-Herald. To the delight of his wife, he also spends way too much time obsessing about comic books.
Cristina Byrne and Joe Patrick possibly met in 2015, in Omaha, Nebraska. It was on the 6th floor of the Omaha World-Herald building downtown.
DIBS: So, Joe, we meet on the 6th floor. You are what is called, Ad-Ops, an ad trafficker for the Omaha World-Herald. I would say that we became friends fairly quickly.
JOE: That's sounds right.
DIBS: It was probably because I needed something from you guys. I feel as if most work-relationships start that way.
JOE: We met fairly early on - you were buddies with my cubicle mate [also named Joe], and you stopped by to ask a question about one thing or another.
But the thing that told me we'd end up being pals - is when I took a couple days off and came back to a picture you made with Joe's and my faces Photoshopped onto Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat. It's still hanging up in my cubicle today!
DIBS: Ha! I remember that! I actually had Rex do it for me because I didn’t have Photoshop on my computer at work. I couldn’t figure out which Joe was who. I could only identify you as Things 1 or Thing 2 not Joe McCampbell and Joe Patrick.
Since I've known you, you had this new year’s resolution, correct? Something like every day you would post a positive thing that happened that day? Could you go into detail about how that started?
JOE: Okay, you are sort of right. This all started back in 2015, when I made a New Year's resolution to write and post one haiku every day on Facebook. It started as something silly to do, but people really seemed to enjoy it, and then started asking me how I was going to top it for the next year.
DIBS: I remember reading those and I really liked them.
JOE: So for 2016, for better or for worse, I decided that I would resolve to draw something every single day. I did this partly because, like you said, I was trying to recapture a love for making art that I had kind of lost over the years. At first, I thought they'd just be quick pencil sketches, but as the year went on, the drawings got more and more elaborate, transitioning from pencil to ink to full color - some small, some large. It ended up being a huge undertaking, but I did it!
DIBS: It’s nice to hear that you stuck with it. You said you were going to do it and you did. There is a sense of hope and or motivation to that.
JOE: This year's resolution has been more vague - not a daily task but a more general commitment to expanding my art into new areas and learn new techniques; to basically better myself artistically however I can.
DIBS: What has changed in your cartoons from last year to this year? What sort of cartoons do you draw?
JOE: Well to start, I hope I've gotten better! Most of the characters I draw are existing characters from pop culture - movies, comics, etc.
DIBS: How do you decide what you are going to draw each day?
JOE: I don't really know what I'm going to draw each day, but I will run with "themes" that cover several days or weeks. For example, I spent a few weeks just drawing characters from The Venture Brothers, then several days doing characters from old Hanna-Barbera cartoons later that year. This past August, I did an entire month of characters created by the famous comic artist Jack Kirby (creator of Captain America, among many others), in honor of what would have been his 100th Birthday.
DIBS: What responses have you gotten with all this?
JOE: I've been lucky enough to sell several pieces from my 2016 batch, and I've also been hired to do various logo and t-shirt designs. In 2016 and 2017, I also helped Legend Comics & Coffee collect donations for their annual fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Nebraska by "selling" original sketch commissions during their Free Comic Book Day event in May.
The response to these art experiments has been really great, and even if I never sold anything, just getting back into creating art on a regular basis has been really rewarding.
DIBS: Please feel free to add anything else.
JOE: In addition to the art thing, I also have a podcast that I produce with local rockstar/chef Matt Baum (drummer for Desaparecidos and Montee Men, head chef at The Blackstone Meatball).
Matt and I are lifelong comic book fans and started working together in local comic shops over 15 years ago. We decided to take the daily nonsense we talked about and share it on the Internet with everyone. The show is called The Two-Headed Nerd Comic Book Podcast -- we started in January of 2011 and have been going strong ever since!
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Art Work Created by Joe Patrick