Cartoonist, Draw Thyself

JohnRamblings Cartoonist, Draw Thyself

If you know me, you’ll know the drawing of me just above here does not look like me in the slightest.

You know.

This one.


I’ve started using it as my Twitter avatar, too. Even though it’s not even close to me. It’s so far off the mark, it has  its own zip code. The duck looks about as much like me as my drawing of me does. On average, you see, I look something like this:


Or this:


Which isn’t too say I’m poor caricaturist. While I’m not great at the art proper caricatures, I can and do come close, from time to time. When the stars are aligned, and the wind’s blowing in the right direction.You know.

I was happy enough with this Rupert Murdoch sketch, for example:


And here’s a Joss Whedon:


Woody Allen:


Even when not actually attempting caricature, per se, I can get by at least, with a few simple lines.


On occasion, I’m asked to draw people on Munchkin cards,or in the Munchkin style, and I’m quite happy with the results. You probably don’t know these folks, but trust me: all parties involved were very pleased with these:



Moving away from simple sketches, here’s Monte Cook and Jen Page of GeekSeekers fame:


Likewise, I was chuffed with how Ken Hite and Robin Laws turned out, too.


So why have I never, ever, been able to draw myself? At least, not honestly? Why do I hide behind the simplest Dork Tower/Peanuts/Munchkin-esque doodles I can come up with?

I’m self-reflective, questioning and honest (I hope) with myself in all other aspects of my life – often to the point of absurdity. So why can’t I literally take a good, hard look at myself in the mirror, then draw what I see?

Possibly, I’m simply scared to go there. Like many cartoonists, I’m trained to look for the oddities in people’s faces…the flaws. To emphasize those. And when I find them in myself – and there are many – I flee screaming. Metaphorically, at least.

Do other cartoonists have a hard time drawing themselves? I don’t know, but most don’t seem to, judging by their avatars, bios and blogs.

Here’s me, as a Munchkin, as drawn by my insanely talented friend, Lar DeSouza, by the way. It’s awfully good.

john kovalic munchkin
Me, by Lar.

Lar also has no problem drawing himself, I might add. (Heck, there’s nothing the guy can’t draw. Try him. No. Go on. I dare ya. Really. He’s just that good.)

Lar, by Lar.

So perhaps it’s not other cartoonists, who shy away from drawing themselves. Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps I simply prefer using my psychological self-portrait as my avatar. An image that shows me, not how I think I look on the outside, but who I think I am, on the inside.

You know.

This one.


– John




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