Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ben Kessler's 'Tommie Of The Year' commencement address at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Ben Kessler Tommie Of The Year commencement address at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota

Click cartoon to view larger image. Largest.

Ben Kessler Tommie Of The Year commencement address at St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota

A new B16 and Vatican Kitty cartoon.
Click cartoon to view larger image. Largest.

A papist after my own heart: Ben Kessler takes a stand - American Papist

Criticized for preaching the truth -

I've taken the suggestion of Douglas Bass (0f our own mnorgblog, which is currently undergoing a makeover) and added the word 'spiritual' to the The Via Della Riconciliazione Roed cartoon below.

Thanks to Methodist Minister Revabi at her The Vicar of Wadley for posting a few recent cartoons, including the Madonna cartoon which is still in progress.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

North Dakota National Guard Spc. Michael Hermanson Memorial Illustration, In Progress

North Dakota National Guard Michael Hermanson Memorial Day Illustration
Click to see larger image. Largest.

Finished left side portrait for the drawing in progress below. This is one of those illustrations where I draw the sections separately and then arrange them into one using Photoshop. I'm combining two drawings for this illustration; the above from Michael's National Guard photo, and the other using as reference a photo of Michael in high school, pictured with the entrance of North Fargo High itself.
Need to sleep a little and go at this fresh in the morning. I'll have the completed memorial illustration posted a little after eleven central time on Monday.

North Dakota National Guard Michael Hermanson Memorial Day Illustration
Click to see larger image. Largest.
In Progress.

Thanks to Megan for allowing the link to her personal reflections of Michael Hermanson.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Fairfax County Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino and Police Detective Vicky O. Armel Memorial Illustration, In Progress #2

Click above to view larger image. Largest.

Detail from illustration in progress.

Fairfax County Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino and Police Detective Vicky O. Armel Memorial Illustration, In Progress #1

Fairfax County Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino and Police Detective Vicky O. Armel Memorial Illustration, In Progress #1

Click above to view larger image. Largest.

Thousands Mourn Slain Detective (Armel) -The Connection Newspapers

Outpouring of Love For MPO Garbarino - The Connection Newspapers

First draft of a Memorial Day Weekend 2006 illustration. Still has a way to go, but the main elements are in place. I'll post the second version of this late Saturday, followed by the finished memorial cartoon late Sunday night.

I had originally planned a solitary illustration for Fairfax County Police Detective Vicky O. Armel, who was slain on May 8 by a gunman outside the Sully, Virginia Police Station, and who was laid to to rest the day before Mother's Day. Her funeral took place at the same church which she had started attending only two years prior, following her conversion to Christianity at the age of 38. The day before her funeral, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in nearby Washington, D.C. held their annual candlelight vigil during Police Week 2006, 'Respecting, Honoring, and Remembering' 466 new names added to the memorial. Many in town to attend Mrs. Armel's funeral also attended this ceremony as well. My original idea was to combine Detective Armel's memorial portrait with a scene of the NLEOM-perhaps something incorporating the candlelight vigil.

Fairfax County Master Police Officer Michael E. Garbarino, who was shot five times in this same incident as he sat in his patrol car outside the Station, succumbed to his wounds nine days later on May 17. I decided the highway flag tribute, which took place over the funeral procession route by members of the Gainesville Volunteer Fire Department, would make for a better theme for a combined portraits of these two brave and selfless officers.

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Madonna's True Confessional Tour, In Progress #2

Click to view larger image. Largest.

I isolated a section of the 'Madonna's True Confessional Tour' cartoon (in progress #2) and scooted it off to the affiliates as today's cartoon. I think it works fine as a solitary image, even without knowing it's part of a larger thingamabob which I'm still picking at.

Here's the complete second version of the cartoon, still in progress.

Click to view larger image. Largest.

I'd like to add some figures on the sides of the road watching in wonderment as Father Augustine and the confessional pass by. A message will also emanate from the loudspeakers, although at the moment I have no idea where to put it. How about-in a pitch higher than the human ear can hear?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Portrait Studio and Galleries link

Here's a link no one has seen for some time, including me. It's to my old portrait studio and galleries, which have been off floating somewhere in the ether of cyberspace for the past few years.

I came across these page while gathering hard copies of some of my Lines Of Duty memorial illustrations for the purpose of submitting them to the syndicates. I also found this old photograph of myself at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, where I operated a small studio for most of the 90's.

If I may plug my own work for a moment (especially since I'm planning to direct syndicate reps to this blog post) Lines Of Duty should make for a successful newspaper feature. I continue to receive many positive and encouraging responses to these illustrations. LOD strives to transcend, to appeal to all demographics. I believe it succeeds, primarily because of the very worthy subject matter. For my own part, I try to give each memorial portrait the best presentation I can.

Lines Of Duty is the only regular feature which honors fallen police officers, firefighters, military personnel, etc. I wouldn't want to be the editor who has to explain why they aren't running LOD. As a person who wants as much recognition for these heroes as they can get, this a great pickle to put people in.

The most recent completed LOD memorial portrait is of Pasadena Officer Kyle Ballard.

As I was composing this post, Kyle's friend Darcy discovered the portrait and left this comment-

Wow, what a great pic. He was one of my best friends. And he truly was one of the best friends anybody could have. I miss him more and more everyday. It's nice to see his 3 boys all the time and see a piece of him in them. In memory of S87.

Thanks, Darcy, and thanks for Officer Ballard's S-87 radio call number, which I will add to the back of his shirt. God bless, and thank you.

I enjoy producing these illustrations, so it would be a gift to be able to draw them on a full time basis. I have a few new LOD's in progress, including one for Fairfax County, Virginia police detective Vicky Armel. If no one minds too much, I'll put the cartooning aside for a few days and get a few additional LOD's scanned and posted. It would be an appropriate focus for this upcoming Memorial Day weekend.

Thanks to Chris at The World: IMHO for posting the livefeed for the regularly updating cartoon. Thanks as well to the folks at BuildDeFence for adding faithmouse to the blogroll.

The Madonna's True Confessional Tour, In Progress

Madonna's confessions tour, mirrored cross crucifixtion cartoon

Click cartoon above to view larger image. Largest.

In response to Madonna's current 'Confessions' tour, where she dons a crown of thorns and pretends to be crucified on a giant mirrored cross. I'll try to have an updated version of this cartoon later in the day on Wednesday.

CartoonBaron sent me this nifty drawing a few weeks ago. Sorry it's taken so long to post it on the site.

زمكان has posted a hurricane Katrina cartoon on this arab humanist Ladeeni thread. Thanks to Pookie18 for posting the recent Da Vinci Commode cartoon in Monday's Today's Toons thread at Free Republic. On the Italian Cattoblob, scapy chirps in with this commentary -

Hai appena guadagnato un po’ di pubblicità tra i miei amici sei il primo blog di satira schierata bene che trovo in italiano, e il secondo dopo faithmouse.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Via Della Riconciliazione Roed, In Progress

I'm stretching the Da Vinci Code allusions as far as they'll go, but if you can bear with me I think this should make for a nifty cartoon and a nice presentation of Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican Kitty. B16 looks a bit 'albino monk' here; in the second panel he'll come off much better.

Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican Kitty, The Via Della Riconciliazione Roed

Since I'm making you suffer again with a half-completed cartoon, here's an explanation. Via Della Riconciliazione is the main thoroughfare which leads directly into St. Peter's Square. It translates into English as 'the road of reconciliation.' Not sure about the history, but I believe the street received its name around the time of Italy's allowance of the Vatican's sovereignty. Roed is a homophone of 'road.' A roed is also a bunch of fish eggs. So, the road to Catholicism is also a way (via) to reconciliation with God. The people of the church are the 'roed' of the fish, who is Christ. Allusion here also to the miracles of the loaves and fishes, and to the Pope as the representative of Christ on earth. The crowd in St. Peter's Square (second panel, in progress) is not only the roed but the future. In the second panel (look away if you don't want to know) we learn that the Pope is actually declaring not just to Vatican Kitty, but to the crowd gathered below them in St. Peter's square- 'There is a great truth I must tell you. We are the living descendants... of the Lord Jesus Christ!" Should make for a very nice post if you have a Catholic blog.

Preview of the second panel.

El got married and I missed the entire thing. Thanks to the fabulous Curt Jester for giving faithmouse a link. Father Joe, a Catholic priest and pastor of The Church of the Holy Spirit in Forestville, MD, in the Archdiocese of Washington, DC. has honored us (mouse in pocket) with a link on his Piece Of The Puzzle. Renew America has posted the recent Da Vinci Commode cartoon on their homepage. Liberty Bell, which recently returned to cyberspace, has done the same. Welcome back!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Ms. StarMole Cartoon, In Progress

Very raw sketch for the next Father Alldeer series cartoon, meant to show that Ms. StarMole has a changed nature, if not personality.

Thanks to Ray at Stella Borealis for posting the recent Da Vinci Commode cartoon, as well as to Georgette at Chronicles Of A Meandering Traveler for the heady compliment.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Being Human

Click to view larger image. Largest.

Newest installment in our current Father Alldeer storyline...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Da Vinci Commode

Click cartoon for larger image. Largest.

Finally got that grass mowed. Now, back to the cartoon.

Not too bad-still working on a few revisions, mainly having to do with visual flow. If you've returned a few times to see the completed version only to be greeted by cartoons in progress, sorry for having pulled your chain. I try not to treat these cartoons like fine porcelain. If I need to flush out this or that in order to get things just right, I'm willing to do so.

Anyway, please come back again later this evening for the full color cartoon. In the meantime I need to sit on this cartoon for a few hours and mull things over...

Click cartoon for larger image. Largest.

Thanks to Dawn Eden for linking to the cartoon above. Jeff The Baptist has full permission to steal my post titles. Audra has added a link to faithmouse on her new The Peace Embroiderer blog. Thanks to God Save America for adding a link to the cartoon. The Canadian Mounties memorial illustration has landed on this Crips versus Bloods forum (adult content). Ragey links to faithmouse on his stupid pic page (adult content).

A pulpy page-turner in its original incarnation as a huge international bestseller has become a stodgy, grim thing in the exceedingly literal-minded film version of "The Da Vinci Code." Tackling head-on novelist Dan Brown's controversy-stirring thriller hinging on a subversively revisionist view of Jesus Christ's life, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull, but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material; result is perhaps the best thing the project's critics could have hoped for. Enormous public anticipation worldwide will result in explosive B.O. at the start in near-simultaneous release in most international territories, beginning May 17 in some countries -- day-and-date with the official Cannes opening-night preem -- and May 19 in the U.S. and elsewhere. - Variety

Sorry to hear link partner Lauri Byrd of the newly renamed has left Polipundit. Thanks to Carolina Cannonball at The Crescat for plugging the current favorite character poll and throwing in her hat for Neverborn. Lee from the U.K. at Nine Tenths Full Of Penguins displays the Narnia/March Of The Penguins cartoon beneath the observation 'Penguins are for life not just tenuous Christian allegory'.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006 / Squirrels Gone Wild

Click cartoon for larger image. Largest.

A much delayed cartoon for Father Tom Carleton at

Monday, May 15, 2006

B16 and Vatican Kitty Panel

Click for larger image.
Still working on that Da Vinci Code full page cartoon. Here's a panel.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Prayer For Meerkat's Fungal Infection

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Drawn for Meerkat from the POE forum, who has a bad foot fungal infection.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Stupid Cartoon, In Progress

Click to view larger image. Largest.


Friday, May 12, 2006

Stella Borealis

Click to see larger image.

A banner I've created for Ray at our own Stella Borealis featuring Solomon, Neverborn, and a monstrance. I've updated the larger image from Friday.

Neverborn seems to be beating the pants off of faithmouse for favorite character in our current poll. I have a few semi-completed Neverborn toons buried somewhere on the drawing board; I'll dust one off and post it sometime next week.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Two Guesses

Click cartoon for larger image. Largest.

This cartoon is called 'Two Guesses.' In the last panel Ms. StarMole was meant to say "I'll give you two guesses who these people are supposed to be!" In the final analysis I decided that the cartoon didn't really need the additional dialogue; in fact it looks a lot less cluttered without it.

Thanks to Gail Nobles for adding a link to faithmouse by way of one of the recent Lines Of Duty cartoons at her Little Benny cartoon site.

Father Altier Reassigned To Nursing Home

This was only a rumor yesterday, but today it's confirmed-Father Altier is being reappointed as an assistant chaplain of a nursing home.

At the age of 45, Father Altier has served 17 years in the priesthood, 14 of those as Assistant Pastor at the world-renowned Church of Saint Agnes, and now Archbishop Flynn has decided it is just and proper to relegate him to a nursing home. This is a priest who generously spends long hours in the confessional bringing souls back to God, who has been responsible for guiding numerous young people to offer their lives in religious vocations, who for 17 years has painstakingly given instruction through his Fundamentals of Catholicism course to over 150 people each year and brought hundreds of converts into the Catholic Church, who is renowned for his skills in spiritual direction, who acts as board member and advisor to several orthodox Catholic organizations, and who up until recently had been preaching to a worldwide audience via A Voice in the Desert website and Relevant Radio broadcasting.
Since March 1, Catholics worldwide have been asking the following questions: Why did Archbishop Flynn silence Father Altier? Why did he shut down a Catholic website known for its fidelity to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church? The first clue came when Archdiocesan spokesman Dennis McGrath told the Star Tribune, "I surmise that Father Altier's contrarian position on VIRTUS is the issue." VIRTUS and its related program Talking About Touching (TAT) are the answers proposed by the Bishops of the United States to the sex-abuse scandal which broke out in 2002. Unfortunately, these graphic sex-ed programs are in direct violation of Vatican teachings on human sexuality and do nothing to stop predators but instead place the burden of protection on young children themselves. Archbishop Flynn served as chairperson of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse which developed these programs and he chose to proliferate it throughout his archdiocese beginning in the 2006-2007 school year, with pilot program testing to start in the spring of 2006. As the material content of these programs became more widely known, concern grew over their appropriateness. And because many aspects of VIRTUS and TAT are contrary to Church teaching (see sample lessons at ), Father Altier felt it was his duty to inform parents in an effort to protect the young children who would have their innocence irrevocably shattered by such programs. -from The Desert Voice
Personally, I wouldn't mind being reassigned to a nursing home for a few years myself. I could use the time to catch up on projects. My perspective on this is that, for Father Altier personally, it may not be such a bad thing as long as he doesn't spend the rest of his life there. The humbling experience and time given to reflect should produce some excellent homilies. The question is-for how long? Is this a respite before a triumphant return to St. Agnes', or a depot stop on his way to a more distant locale?

Two Guesses Panel

A panel from the next cartoon in the Flynn/Altier series, in progress.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Happy Day

Father Robert Altier, Archbishop Harry Flynn, and St. Agnes Catholic church in St. Paul, Minnesota cartoon series

Click cartoon to view larger image. Largest.

Roxanne Palmer, editorial cartoonist at The Brown Herald posted this comment a few weeks ago on this site, in response to my open query as to whether I should introduce a liberal perspective into the cartoon-

If you introduced a 'Christian progressive' character that represented thoughtful, intelligent rationale for a liberal mindset, that's fine and dandy. I also think it would make for an interesting dialogue.

And at this point in the story arc, it would probably be easy to add another cast member to the crew as we've met many new ones recently, and it's clear that many of the characters have changed. However, I hope it's not going to just be slapping a crucifix on Ms. Star-Mole.

If it's your own personal desire to explore other viewpoints, I heartily endorse it. You shouldn't feel obligated to assuage the hurt feelings of Internet trolls, though. It's not like there's a shortage of liberal cartoonists.

It'll be interesting to see how this turns out- this moves faithmouse away from the traditional 'political cartoon' format, which has always been rooted in propaganda and one-sidedness.

I say go for it, since you seem to like the idea. Then, if you find that it's not a useful concept, then drop it.

Roxanne's comment about not slapping a crucifix on Ms. StarMole sort of stuck on me. Even though I've never agreed with the character politically, I sort of like her. She has nerve. So many characters have changed since Timothy A. Bear fell asleep for two years-why not Ms. StarMole as well?

So I've slapped her not with a crucifix, but an ankh. Ms. StarMole the uber-atheist has done the unfathomable; she has found Christ, and is now a quite active lay member of the uber-liberal St. Jean of Snark. She has also, as you may notice from the small triangle pin on her vest, come quite boldly out of the closet.

Gaybear changed to Francis by way of personal religious revelation, not as the result of being prostelized by any of the other characters. I'll extend the same respect on this issue to Ms. StarMole as well.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happy Day Panel

Had to hit the hay before completing this, but here's the second panel.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Happy Day, In Progress

Continuing both the storyline and the Father Altier series...

Thanks to mercyhour for adding the cartoon the blogroll at View From The Pew. Denny Hartford has done the same at his Vital Signs Blog. Student Danesha Jones at Texas A&M used the pray hurricane Katrina cartoon from last year as the subject of a rhetorical analysis. Gratzie to Christine for adding the live feed to her Ramblings Of A GOP Soccer Mom .

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Favorite Character Poll

Another poll! For those who have an opinion to lend, thanks for voting. I pay attention to the results of the polls and comments; they actually do influence the cartoon.

Adstat, the service which makes these customizable polls available, allows only up to ten choices per poll, so for now I'm foregoing gathering opinion on many secondary characters such as Fraud Fits, Chaplain Catodanno, Howard Donkey, Devil Cat, Professor Ferret, Reverend Rhino, and others.

The Francis / Gaybear poll was pretty decisive, with 65% favoring the recent change in the character. Baring the occassional non-partisan issue cartoon such as the 'praying hands' image below, I'm sticking with the continuing storyline. Therefore, we'll meet up with Francis and Clare once again sometime during the next month or so.

Even though I'm staying away from taking political stances, I wouldn't want to see the cartoon abandon its focus on life issues and religious free expression. The introduction of a Neverlived character would do no harm to Neverborn. Similary, it does no damage to the cause of religious freedom to point out that a fallen soldier isn't allowed a Wiccan headstone in a military cemetery. This is what I meant by agreeing to make the cartoon more 'liberal'; laying off the partisan and expanding focus. The good result here is that the cartoon might become more Catholic, which wouldn't hurt.

Oh, enough already. I need to draw something.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Red And Blue Praying Hands

Click cartoon to view larger image.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Da Vinci Load / Panel

One panel from the full page 'Da Vinci Code' cartoon in progress. As with the previous 'Lord How Times Flies' cartoon, this should take at least a few days to complete.

The background for this image is a scan I made of the folder for a set of postcards I picked up at the Vatican PO in 2000. I mailed two of the postcards to family, but still have card #3, which I may add to the page as well.

I'm building this cartoon over the next few days at this Hipinion forum.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lord How Time Flies

Click for larger image. Largest.

I may do some revisions on this page in the future, but for now let's call this completed.

The 'Phat' poll results, with just under 100 votes, are as follows-
It's inappropriate. Please put some underwear on that mouse! 43.2%
I hope future cartoons have even stronger adult themes. 15.9%
I thought it was perfect. Don't change a thing! 40.9%

How I would read this poll is that more than half are in favor of the same or stronger content. I purposefully didn't define 'adult' content, just to see how many voters would be willing to allow me every inch of rope necessary to either hang myself or produce better work.
I believe the above full page cartoon is indicative of where I'd like to go with the strip. I've been commenting in secular, sometimes hostile forums as of late, and I know some people feel I'm doing so as a way of reaching out to the unsaved. I'm not. I'm not on a secret mission to convert the unwashed; as a matter of fact, these former critics of my work are helping me much more than I could ever help them. I've come to the conclusion there's a great disparity between what I believe, as an ideal, and the person I actually am. I haven't lost any of my conservative, Christian principles-I've just faced the reality that I'm a much bigger sinner than any of my critics.
The material which I believe some people may now find unacceptable in this cartoon is meant to display and explore the flaws of my characters. This is what I mean by 'honesty'. The by-product of this might turn out to be humor. Faithmouse the cartoon would benefit from a lot more humor.
In related news, I've decided the 'Da Vinci Code' cartoon would benefit from an appearance by both Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican Kitty. God willing, I'll have that posted by early Friday morning, sometime just before sunrise.

We have tulips!

We also have cardinals, nesting right outside our front door. Here's a peek inside their nest-

I dutifully removed their first nest (we also have cats, right inside our front door.) The nest reappeared a few days later, complete with the three eggs you see above. So, we're resigned to cardinals. A blessing really, provided we can keep them out of the cats.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Da Vinci Load, In Progress

I drew Tom directly from his T.V. appearance last night on David Letterman.

Here's a very thoughtful and appreciated email I received this morning in response to the ongoing poll-


I read your announcement about changing Faithmouse
with some trepidation, especially with regard to
posting on the sites that have forums on your work.
Our Lord is said to have led captivity captive, and I
applaud your call to shed light in dark places, both
to strengthen the weak and to bear witness to the
proud. I am led to intercede for you in prayer and
the Holy Spirit.

I will evidently need to view Faithmouse with
discretion now; her deshabille in Phat was striking,
and definitely NSFW. Having her character show the
vulnerability of being conflicted by her burden and
past actions will no doubt provide considerable ground
for artistic expression.

Producing "apolitical" work will be a stretch; since
you are at the same time proposing to introduce
liberal views. All media could use a rest from the
well-trodden Chimpy meme. *please*

Christ himself did not espouse political partisanship,
but he did exhort righteousness, civic responsibility,
public mercy, and integrity; things that both of the
leading parties could take to heart.

Let me urge you to be strong, to keep your message
pure and true, and to continue to seek the Lord's
leading in your life and the use of your creative

Ephesians 6:10; 1 Peter 2:1-3; John 4:14; James 3:11;
Proverbs 5:15; Matthew 12:34-37; 2 Peter 1:16

Yours in Christ-