When I was in my twenties and living in  San Diego, I worked as a breakfast cook at the trendy “Sweet Beats” cafe in south Mission Beach. I was a messy, hard working, high energy cook juggling many tasks in the kitchen at once. I moved quickly and was often covered in enchilada sauce, guacamole and pancake batter.

Not a pretty sight.

But despite my penchant for messiness and for wearing the colors of the Mexican flag, I made it a point to put out the most beautiful and artistic plate arrangements. Before my customers feasted on their meal, I whet their appetite with a feast for the eyes.
They always came back for more.

It’s all in the presentation.

The same is true for cartooning.
I’m still cooking up a storm but Brad is doing all the presentation work.

Let me explain. Brad and I will get together like two chefs and brainstorm a menu. This is fun. We consider who will be attending the big feast, come up with some themes and begin writing ideas about what and how to serve these ideas.

After we’ve decided on the main course we begin to write strips that will tie into the main theme. When we were writtng the Rockin’ Rhino story line, we thought; “Hey, what if Todd went to the zoo to live sketch real rhinos for the project?” This prompted Brad to write some funny zoo gags.

After the menu is down and we have a couple of weeks worth of strip ideas, Brad goes to work on refining the story, writing character driven humor with only the best quality and organic ingredients. He then sends me a rough layout of the strip. It’s basically the menu.

I take the menu and start to prepare the ingredients to order. I’m cutting, slicing, adding spice… I’m still a little messy here. My goal is to get the arrangement just the way I want it. When I am satisfied with the finished pencil, I’m ready to ink.
This is the cooking process. I’m adding heat with just the right touch. No undercooking. No overcooking. We don’t want it well done, but we do want it done well.

When done, it is almost ready to serve. This is where Brad comes in and gets all puckish with his plate. Wolfgang Puck-ish that is and garnishes a masterful presentation. He adds color, attitude, texture.

See the penciling, inking and coloring process below. Brad’s refined palette is done completely with photoshop. And there’s no messy clean up!
I’ve come along way since San Diego.


(The finished ink page, using Windsor Newton Series 7 brushes)gh_christinacooks_b&w_72


(colored in Photoshop)


(From 2007- featuring recording artist and friend, Jon Michaels,  and vegan cooking superstar, Christina Pirello. Jon wrote Christina’s theme for “Christina Cooks.” He also wrote our theme song, once featured on our Green House website, “The World Goes On.” This comic shows an earlier incarnation of the Green House concept, where Todd has created a superhero earthworm character, that follows him around like Hobbes to Calvin. No one else sees “Earth Worm-the World’s Most Down-to-Earth Superhero” except Todd.  . . and us, I suppose! Our plan for the new version of The Green House is for a similar relationship to develop. . . but Earth Worm’s is going to have a little different personality. . . stay tooned!)

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