“Sidewalks” is part of “Sketch in the City,” an ongoing series in Columbus Alive! featuring Columbus cartoonists in a six week run. This is the second of my six strips.
Because my second Sidewalks strip wasn’t tied into any specific location, I had the opportunity to spotlight a few local businesses. Extremely, local in fact; all three are within a few blocks of where I live.
Because I live so close to The Ohio Taproom I frequently see people walking there with empty growlers (and of course returning with full ones a few minutes later.) The growler phenomenon hit Columbus big time within the past year, and The Ohio Taproom features products from Ohio microbreweries on tap. They even let dogs come into the store! It’s a great place.
You can also usually pick up something from Four String, and the IPA mentioned here is a consistent favorite of mine. I usually don’t get a growler, though. They sell it in cans at the grocery store.
The boy in the strip is wearing a shirt from State of Devotion, a T-shirt company that highlights cities in Ohio. Jim Jackson, the guy who makes the shirts, lives next door. I own a couple of shirts and they are by far the best quality T-shirts I have ever worn. I might consider buying enough that I could wear one every day in the summer, but Jim might find that a little creepy.
Now onto the nitty gritty of the strip.
The original comic was quite a bit different from the final product.
At the advice of my friend Max Ink I flipped the first three panels around so that the text balloons fit better. Since the boy speaks first, his speech balloon would be on top, but Alison’s would be below but slightly to the left. Since in the Western world we read left to right, this was a bit of a problem that was solved by flipping the panels for better word placement.
Obviously there was a little digital editing that took place. I added the logos on the shirt and the growler by grabbing them from the web. That was a lot easier than drawing them by hand. I really wanted to get them right since they had to represent actual logos. This created an interesting situation for my because John Evans, the owner of the Taproom, wanted a copy of the strip for the store. I would have gladly given him the original except that the logo wasn’t on it. I printed a nice copy for him and signed it instead.
I’d also like to thank Max for helping trim down the dialogue here. I originally had a minor gag in the second panel about the name “growler” that suggested that “burper” or “barfer” might be a better word for it because THAT’S the noise you would make if you finished one. I ditched that gag for a more streamlined approach. Sometimes simpler is better.
The author of this article is David Rickert, who leads parallel lives as a cartoonist and teacher. When not creating comics out of thin air, David teaches high school English Language Arts in Columbus, Ohio. His witty and engaging cartoons turn abstract and complicated concepts into concrete and concise images to embed content into our long term memories. Let’s face it: he makes boring topics entertaining. And he actually is pretty hip. Check out his Grammar Comics and more resources to bring life to your ELA instruction at his store.