“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 third of my six strips.
The Columbus Commons is a park in the middle of Downtown Columbus. It is on the spot of the old City Center Mall, which was torn down once a bunch of malls out in the suburbs drew people away. The Commons, as it is called, has been a great addition to the city. You can go hear a concert, go to a free fitness class, buy food from a food truck, and lots of other pursuits. There is something going on there seemingly every day.
I wanted to lampoon these fad exercise programs that are popping up around here, and because The Commons features lots of exercise programs, it seemed like an appropriate setting. These exercise classes usually involve a name like “Insanity” that promises that you won’t have any fun doing it and prepares you for surviving the apocalypse more than anything else. There are also exercise programs like Zumba! that make exercise fun by making it not seem like something else, like Latin dancing. I know quite a few people who love these classes.
Not much to say about the content of this one. This was, however, the strip that presented the most difficulties. I had the strip entirely drawn except for the bottom panel and left it where the dog, who has a fondness for paper, could grab it:
I tried to stitch it back together, but I eventually had to start all over. I did fix a few things as a result, so the end was better.
I had to create a new Doug for one panel and I flipped around the second panel with Doug and Alison:
I’m not satisfied with the top panel. I took a photo and traced it to draw the skyline, but I think I overcooked it-there’s not enough difference in line weight between the characters and the background. The bottom panel is better, but I’m not fond of how much white space there is in the lawn. It looks like the characters are floating there and it’s a little hard to tell what’s going on. Of course I’m likely being overly critical and these things don’t bother anyone but me.
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 does yoga. Check out his Grammar Comics and more resources to bring life to your ELA instruction at his store.