February 18th, 2015

Ask A Cartoonist: Recharge!

by Countess Tea

Today is National “Recharge Your Batteries” Day! I’m pretty excited– I’m going to go to the gym, take a nice bath, and try to go to bed early.

I asked our cartoonists what they do to recharge their batteries– creatively, or in general! Here are their answers.

I recharge my battery by getting 8-10 hours of sleep almost every night—and by reading the New York Times each morning to raise my outrage level and give me ideas for strips.
Zippy recharges his battery by tightly grasping Shelf-Life’s shoulders and absorbing his pathological energy.
-Bill Griffith, Zippy the Pinhead


I recharge my batteries by going camping or walking (and we are off to the Brecon Beacons in Wales tomorrow, for a few days).
–Alex Hallatt, Arctic Circle

Are you kidding? I draw strips about battery all the time. Here’s one from last January.
–Bud Grace, The Piranha Club

When it comes to mobile devices, keeping a battery charge requires advance knowledge of available outlets.
–Bill Holbrook, On the Fastrack and Safe Havens 

To recharge my batteries, I try to get outside and take a walk. My wife and I are both avid walkers and after a brisk walk around the neighborhood together (or treadmill when it’s been as cold as it’s been lately!) I am usually fully charged and ready to get drawing again!
–John Rose, Barney Google and Snuffy Smith


I have a simple way to recharge…..no batteries required!
–Rina Piccolo, Tina’s Groove and Six Chix


I recharge my batteries from all this writing and drawing with… more drawing! I find that stream-of-consciousness doodling with a pen in my sketchbook (A Canson Universal/180 harbound) frees my mind and lets me wander to fun places.
— David Reddick, Intelligent Life

You’d think the distractions of working at home would make me less productive, but they actually help me mentally recharge. Every hour or so, I’ll take a short break and do laundry, straighten up, shower, etc. (usually involves cleaning). Also, instead of an official lunch hour, I’ll use that hour to work out. Helps keep my mind flowing and my butt from spreading. The only drawback is that I have to eat while working. Lots of crumbs in the keyboard.

As far as artistically recharging, I like to read books/articles for reference or just listen to music. Or steal other people’s ideas. Whatever works.
–Terri Libenson, The Pajama Diaries

As for recharging the batteries, it’s walking the dog. One of the best things about it helping me appreciate “bad” weather. We go out no matter what, and once I’m out there in woods it’s impossible to not take in the beauty of each season.
–Hilary Price, Rhymes with Orange

–Mort Walker, Beetle Bailey

Nothing gets me excited about drawing again like drawing with my nieces. Their uninhibited expressiveness helps me remember what’s so fun about making pictures. They lift me up when drawing slips into “just a job.”
–Jim Borgman, Zits




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