Pancakes & Pi

Five years ago today I embarked on a multi-year web comic journey.

I have May fifth marked in my calendar as a recurring event to remind me that on that day (THIS day) in 2017 I uploaded the first of about 200 comic strips that I wrote and drew.

Almost all of those strips are still available online at where I used to have a particularly nice website but after a couple of upgrades and moves has been pared down to a basic collection of posts and comic strips and a wee bit of history about the whole effort.

The premise behind my strip was dad jokes.

And pi day, the celebration on the fourteenth day of the third month of each year, March 14th, as it connects to 3.14 seems like a day baked around the very notion of a corny dad joke. So, every day at our house was pi day. Yesterday was pi day. Tomorrow will be pi day. This is pi day.

At the time my kid was just entering her double digits and was delicately balanced in a narrow window of time where she was old enough to appreciate her old man’s sense of humour but young enough to say enough funny stuff herself. I took the advice of “you should write this stuff down” to heart and then to the next level, and started drawing and publishing it. A few hundred fans online and lots of family and friends seemed to appreciate the effort.


The era was so fleeting that I was just getting into the groove of writing and drawing and telling these little parenting tales in comic form before I noticed that she’d become a more sensitive teen and ribbing her in comic strip form was no longer a green zone activity.

I tried to adapt and adjust the strip, but like anything with a lot of momentum behind it, steering it into a new direction proved to be more like steering a train than a bicycle. It didn’t. And coupled with a pandemic and other more pressing family concerns the whole thing fizzled into more of an archive than an active project.

I write here often about both cartooning and sketching and in my personal history both these things have a wending and winding history deeply rooted in my life. My digital art project of drawing a weekly (or often more frequently) comic strip consumed a huge chunk of that history and was one of the first times in my life I was very public about those interests.

Five years on, there’s no real plan to revive the effort and This is Pi Day has been tucked away in the archives of my creative efforts as just another thing I did once.

I’m ok with that. But it doesn’t hurt to point in it’s direction on an anniversary of the effort and say “I made that thing!” and be a little proud that I did.

Pandemic Puppies

At least half the dogs in our neighbourhood these days are less than a year and a half old.

The pandemic puppy phenomenon did not pass us by around here, and every day as we go for our walks in the rain, shine, epic heat or brutal cold, we encounter so many other of these pandemic pups in the park.

Pups who have neither care nor concern that the very pandemic that forged virtually every aspect of their lives to date still has a lingering subtle effect on their human companion’s day-to-day.

Some day, maybe even soon, things will go back to normal… ish.

But maybe not quite yet.

Snow Spotting

It’s hard to say whether dogs are philosophical observers of the universe around them, wondering at the world as it flits past their existential mindset … or if they are simply easily distracted.

I think I’d like to think it’s the former.

My dog and I go on three walks a day lately. This time last year, just as the snow was starting to fall, she was a two-month-old puppy and was limited to exploring the world on a short leash in the containment of our backyard.

A year later, and we’re touring the neighbourhood by foot with regularity, often meeting new people and new dogs, stopping to sniff virtually anything … well, she does most of the sniffing.

I’m not oblivious to the world around me, but after forty-five years something as mundane as a patch of grass sticking from the snow or a blue jay sitting on the branch of a tree is ordinary enough that I think my brain just naturally tunes it all out.

But not her.

Everything is a curiosity. Everything is worth stopping and savouring. If that’s not the definition of existential delight at the world … and if we can’t learn a even just little bit from that .. I don’t know what else there is to say.

Houseguests & Hobbled Pursuits

Long-time friends travelled from a neighbouring province this past weekend and used our basement guest room as a free hotel suite while they were attending their son’s sport tournament in our city.

Six hours of driving from their house to ours has not been a particularly restrictive barrier for more routine visits previously so much as a global pandemic gave everyone pause for such travel over the last two years. But as the outbreak wanes (even temporarily maybe) and as such things go, our little bubble grew to six people and two dogs for four days, and glimpses of normal peeked back into our lives, however briefly.

Much conversation happened. And as he is a creative-minded soul, much of that much conversation swirled around our respective creative pursuits both planned and paused.

I’ve been drawing. A little. Not so much as I used to, but a little.

For those who have dug deeper into the archives of this site and clues bread-crumbed throughout, it may come as no surprise to learn that for three years prior to this blog I drew a small web comic chronicling the based-on-real-life adventures of a dad and his pre-teen daughter. A weekly comic peppered with kids-say-goofball-things and bad-dad-puns swirled around a stick of light-hearted family humour.

Our houseguest was one of my fans, and since we’d last spent any quantity of time in the same room two things have happened:

a) I’ve stopped drawing said comic, and

b) he’s started writing (but not yet drawing) his own.

“I was hoping you could walk me through how you make one.” He asked over dinner the first night. “For example, show me how you put a comic strip together and publish it online.”

“Yeah, sure.” I agreed, stuffing another mouthful in between thoughts. “I mean, I can’t teach you how to draw in a weekend, but I can walk you through my workflow. Sure.”

Putting together something as complex as a web comic series isn’t a single skill after all. Ideas turn into stories. Stories are mapped out against art. Art is compiled and refined into panels and spreads, which themselves are output as files. Files are posted and promoted and shared and enjoyed. And every one of those steps breaks down into fifteen, twenty, or maybe five-hundred individual steps and skills and practiced abilities that have been honed over decades and are yet are somehow still too rudimentary to be called expertise.

“How do you know all this stuff?” He asked as I later walked him through the multitude of files on my computer, whizzed through the act of compiling a simple strip and exporting it as a web-friendly file. “And why did you stop?” he added, mostly pondering aloud why someone who could, no longer did, while he who yet couldn’t, struggled to begin.

“Time.” I offered. “Inspiration. Priorities. Hobbled motivation.” It all rolled off the tongue far too easily. “Honestly, I don’t know.” I said conclusively. “Sometimes you just lose momentum, I guess.”

“You shouldn’t have stopped.” He shrugged. “You’re so good at this.”

And I, being terrible at taking a complement, merely laughed awkwardly and continued the tour of the comic strip factory on my computer.

Sometimes, perhaps, maybe, hopefully even… it takes a detour through an old, familiar neighbourhood, like spending the weekend with old friends, to bump one out of a rut. I don’t know if I have been yet, but …