Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The A-Team: Christine Larsen (far left), Kyle Margiotta (3rd from left) and a bunch of hard-working CHAD students

Last Saturday, we had the honor and privilege to take part in the SPOOKTACULAR in a new way this year. For the first time in five years, we were allowed to hang with the architects and the students at the Charter High School for Architecture and Design (CHAD) to actually design and build a house. A HUGE thanks to Kate Campbell for allowing us to participate in the design this year. On October 25th, all of the house fronts that are built will be braced together and set up in the gym of CcTC, making a makeshift street. This event gives the kids at the center a safe place to trick or treat every year.

Since the cartooning is often looked at as an art form not to be taken seriously, we felt it was very important to really put our best foot forward. Chris Patchell teaches at UARTs on Saturday mornings, and I had to help my girlfriend move. So Kyle Margiotta and Christine Larsen were our "A-Team". They came up with the idea to make an amazing haunted house inspired by the Nightmare Before Christmas. Christine came up with the idea to have folded fabric for the slats on the house, giving it amazing depth. Kyle let loose with the paints gave everything he touched an awesome 3-D effect. Then they let the CHAD students loose on the house, stapling and gluing, and cutting for hours.

Patch and I came late in the day, worked for about and hour, and took a bunch of pictures (and credit) for everyone else's work. It was a golden day! I do say, though, I was proud of the "Zero" ghost dog that I painted, and Patch's Oogie Boogie in the moon is pretty creepy. All in all, I would say we did well mixing it up with the architects, especially since we are just a bunch of rag-tag cartoonists.

Below are some photos. Please have a look. I am becoming a bigger fan of this event every year. It involves so many different groups (architects, students, cartoonists). It shows high school kids how great it is to give to those who are less fortunate, and ultimately, it makes deserving kids really happy. Everyone benefits.

Once again, to learn more about the Children's Crisis Treatment Center, please click here.

Patch and students from CHAD. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to get all of their names down, except Brianna (far left) and Katie (far right). They can e-mail their names at

Kyle's awesomely painted chimney and roof and Patch's Oogie-Boogie moon.
One of Christine Larsen's Skull pillars

Patch and Brianna putting on the finishing touches


The Final Spooky House

Friday, October 10, 2008

2nd Annual Lacey Day

So two years ago, my family took an awful hit. We lost my young cousin Lacey to a tragic car accident on the night of her prom. Since then, we've all been picking up the pieces. I am most proud of Lacey's immediate family, who have grown together and also worked as advocates for teen driving safety. They have also been supporting local Philly youth with scholarship money.

If you are around Philly this weekend, come out to Holy Name Church on Sunday between 3 PM and 7 PM. We close off the street, everyone is happy, and we celebrate the life of a great young girl that was cut WAY too short. You can find out more about my cousin Lacey and the scholarship fund by click HERE.

I'd love to see you all there. The cost is only $25 and goes to a great cause.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


On more than one occasion, the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society (PCS) has saved my life. It is a group of constantly working, big-hearted professionals who always make time for fun, charity and friends. It is a real brotherhood/sisterhood, and I am glad to stand up as one of them and be counted.

Every year, we engage in certain charity events as a group. Often, we try to work with the Children's Crisis Treatment Center of Philadelphia (click here to find out more about CcTC). They are an amazing organization that has been helping abused and traumatized kids in Philly for over 30 years. Local architects graciously run an annual event called the "Spooktacular", where they design and build a small town inside the Children's Crisis Treatment Center and give out candy, giving CcTC's kids a safe place to trick or treat. The PCS is also a contributor to this annual event by drawing hand-made trick or treat bags for every kid who comes to the Spooktacular.

Last Sunday, a small crew of PCS members got together out at PCS Co-founder Andrew Hart's house and drew 75 bags for this year's event. Artists in attendance this year were Andrew Hart, Christine Larsen, Dave Perillo, Chris Patchell, Kyle Margiotta, myself, and Andrew's baby boy Oliver. Have a look at some of the fun and the bags from this year's Halloweenie drawing marathon. Look below or CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE:

Monday, October 6, 2008


Last month I had a birthday, and my friend Concetta drew this card for me. Concetta is the proprietor of AMBLE GALLERY & BOOKS on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties. Unfortunately, AMBLE will be closing down soon. However, the good news is that they will be having an awesome close-down blow-out party with amazing deals and great people getting together to celebrate the short life of an amazing Philly gallery. So make sure you stop out on October 25th. Find out more info BY CLICKING HERE! Show a great friend and a great place some love.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Brochure

Lately, I've been doing some volunteer art work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. I have a very close friend who is the Executive Director of the local chapter. I laid out a brochure for them and designed a logo for this year's "SNOW BOWL", a fund raising event run by their young friends board. It looks like it will be a swell time. I know they are redesigning the entire brochure. t needed a lot of additions and changes I simply didn't have time to make. However, I hope they can still use the graphics that I designed for them:

Fishtown Neighbors Association Logo

Recently, I won a local contest to design a logo for the Fishtown Neighbors Association. I love my neighborhood and have a great deal of pride from living here my whole life. There were certain words that needed to be shown (the name, initials and website), but the rest was all up to the designer.

When designing logos, I always try to take a minimalist approach, boiling the idea down to the bare minimum of lines. My favorite logo designer is Saul Bass (Warner Brothers, Quaker Oats, United Airlines, Girl Scouts, United Way). He's great with the concept of "branding".

I also still wanted to have some of my own flavor to this logo, keeping a gritty, shaky line. So here was the final product:It's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it and happy to represent the neighborhood.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I started a Blog...

I just wanted to start it so I can put my cartoons here on a regular basis. In the meantime, here are some words that rhyme with blog: log, clog, sog, pollywog. More to come later.