Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pig Post - Went to Market

Happy Holidays everyone! I've been wrapping up the work I've been doing for a client these past few months, and while I'm pretty much done, I'm also spent! I figured you wouldn't mind if I took this week to have a holiday from the comic; but I'm also hoping my Pop won't mind if I share his Christmas present with you guys.

I made watercolor pig illustrations for everyone in my family, and each one was of the "Little Piggies". My Pop, ever the bargain hunter and savvy shopper, naturally received the Piggy that went to Market.

Have a great New Year, and we'll see you next week!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Larry's Directions

Many of my regular readers probably have seen this illustration already since it was the illustration I made for my 2011 Holiday Card, but it being Christmas and all I wanted to put it up for all the rest of you to (hopefully) enjoy.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope wherever you are you are enjoying good company, good food, and good times!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Employees Only - The Christmas Album

I usually try to make my own gifts every year because...well, I'm always broke. But the nice thing about making your own gift for someone, especially the people who have everything they want anyway, is that they can't buy it anywhere else.

Regrettably, I often wonder if I'm doing my friends and family any favors by giving them my home made stuff. Usually they're the ones to give me feedback like, "Ian, this sucks" or "Wow...really?" before I send out my product to customers and clients. So, not having that review process means I'm sending out my gift cards untested, and I always worry it sucks... but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

Anyways...Merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Employees Only - Sugar Plum Dub

With Christmas music there is a strange desire to mix the old with the new, and dubstep has taken its shot. Hearing some of these songs, I can't help but wonder if holiday plays and recitals are going to have dubstep performances in the school gymnasiums that used to have Nut Cracker and the like...and if those performances will be awesome...

Seriously, have you seen this video? I think the dance part of dubstep is the most exciting part of the music.

Probably not the best music to sleep or dream to though.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2011 OPPC Company Holiday Card

An Instagram of the final product.
Click this photo to see the illustration on my portfolio site!
Once again I'm lucky enough to say that my employer asked me to work on the company holiday card! It's quite a big honor, especially given OnePoint's continued success and growth across the country into new markets means that more people get to see my artwork!

This year's illustration really came out well, which I think is due in large part to the great feedback and direction I got from the company about what they were hoping to see. The simplicity of integrating an illustration into the company's logo really should have been something I thought about long ago, but it just goes to show that you never can run out of ideas...even for a holiday card in a very specific section of the pharmacy industry!

For any of you who work with me at OPPC, thank you for your support and kind words for this year's and all past years' cards!


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Employees Only - Upgraded

To really pick up on what's going on, you should visit last year's set of comic strips, titled the Christmas Caper, wherein Santa was drugged so the Mix and I could save on travel expenses to Alaska. Naturally Santa would be a little resentful when he figured out what happened, and this is why I'm more than happy to leave him no reason to skip out on my presents this year.

For the discerning Employees Only reader, you'll be amused to discover that I wrote "Jo! Jo! Jo!" on Santa's coffee cup. This is why they pay me the big bucks people.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

Employees Only - Gift Wrapping

Hot Cockles was apparently all the rage in Victorian times as a Christmas game. Put simply, you rest your blindfolded head on somebody's lap while everyone else hits you and you try to guess who they are. One site I visited said that the practice was even more "festive" during Medieval times, in which you'd be standing blindfolded in the street while people hit you - but I didn't come across any other sites to corroborate that. At any rate, the Victorian version was used to flirt...making "Hot Cockles" a precursor to Spin the Bottle I suppose. I'll let you think about that without any more help from me.


-Next time you complain about a game of charades, remember what the alternatives used to be!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Employees Only - Thanksgiving 2011

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you find yourself suitably stuffed and tired today where ever you enjoy the holiday!

As of this posting I think I have around 21 regular readers for Employees Only and my blog in general - and I know that it's 21 because number 21 actually told me I could raise the tally last week! It's a great feeling to know you guys are out there enjoying this nonsense, and so I'd like to say "Thank You" to all my readers today. I'd do it everyday if it didn't get too weird to do so, but at least today I can do it without concern...

Thank You!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Employees Only - Mistaken Identity

As of this posting my little nephew still hasn't decided to make his appearance, but he's certainly keeping my sister and the rest of the family on our toes.

My Sister has visited at least two different hospitals in the past week so far, which makes me think she's shopping for a hospital. Since there's easily around 20 or so hospitals in the Phoenix metro area, there's a strong possibility this comic could be historically accurate by the time I get to make faces at my nephew for the first time. Until then, all the other newborns should enjoy the show!


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Employees Only - Originality

Zombies are very much in vogue right now - but you can't just throw zombie on to anything and think you'll be the belle of the ball. So as perfect as a Zombie Gaddafi sounds, consider that you may not be the only person who listens to NPR who also knows how to rhyme and has a penchant for the undead.

You may want to stick to the old bed sheet with holes for eyes, put on an iPod and say you're Steve Jobs.

Happy Halloween everyone!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Employees Only - Ianism: Burnt Goat

In listening to audio recordings that I've made, I noticed that I have an unfortunate tendency to say things that are clearly wrong, but I have no idea I'm doing it. It's like I'm Biff Tannen; saying stuff that everyone around me is just not bothering to correct me on. I have no idea why people aren't either; it's not as if I'm intimidating to be around. Hell, my family delights in pointing out how I screw up things, but no one has ever pointed this out - and I can't fathom why. I wrote down four from a single recording; so there could be hundreds of sayings I've mucked up all this time!

I think that maybe it just sounds authentic, and so no one's called me out on it yet. But I'm not one to wait for someone to make fun of me...especially when I can make fun of myself.


No goats were harmed in the making of this comic.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Employees Only - It Stings A Little

I love mountain biking in the desert, and I hope I survive it long enough to do it well into the future. Funny thing about mountain biking in the desert though, you fall. And if you happen to be me, you fall a lot more than your pride will admit to.

Now the funny thing about falling off a bike in the desert is that usually you put your hands out to stop yourself from breaking your clavicle...but there are so many pointy, poisonous things on the ground that it could be better just to tuck and roll, and then pray to whomever that you'll avoid having to pull out a pincushion from your face. You should pretty much expect to bleed on any and every trip, but the excitement comes from finding out how you'll end up bleeding!

So yeah - everyone should try it!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Employees Only - A Whole New World

Doesn't life seem so much more full of possibilities when you don't have work getting in the way? What's ironic about it, for me at least, is that when I don't have to work I usually sleep in and then spend my day watching Discovery network channels and playing Xbox. That, or I balance the checkbook, do my laundry and exercise....so yeah, completely waste my time.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Employees Only - Separation Anxiety

I really will miss Gamefly, but they apparently have a harder time letting go of me.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Employees Only - Secret Ingredient

Ah Try Not to Die, the only reality show that gets to the point and harms people for your entertainment. Although the point is for our brave cooking show judge to tiptoe around Anaphylactic shock, I have to admit that I didn't research bee cuisine. I'm guessing there's a possibility that bees can be quite tasty when prepared properly...? I'd rather not find out on my own, so I'll leave it a mystery.

For those keen en•Blog readers out there - yes, this comic was posted much later than it should have been. Sorry but I've had more distractions than usual. I can't promise more won't happen next week, but I'll get you a comic regardless. See ya!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pig Post - Piano Pig Photo

Apologies on posting a photo, but I promised my piano teacher I'd practice some pieces, and I don't have time to produce a proper pig post.

Employees Only will be up on Thursday though - see you then!


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Employees Only - The Sound of Vampires

Oh man do I love Susie and the Learning Monster comics. It's medicine for my soul.


Bam! Finished the comic! How do you like them apples Twitter? Betcha weren't expecting that!

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Pig Post - Camping

The thing about camping is that when I'm out there, I have fun but I'm ready to go home and shower. When I'm  back home, I start thinking about how nice it was to go camping. I just can't win.

This time though I think the only thing I really want is s'mores and hot dogs, so that's easy enough to do with a fire in the backyard...once they lift the high pollution restrictions.


Thursday, September 01, 2011

Employees Only - Carrying the Torch IN 3D

One thing about The Mix....he delivers.

Exciting news on the professional front - I'm working yet again! This time I'm scrambling to amaze and wow potential clients with my creative story telling and artwork, which shockingly enough is something I feel pretty comfortable attempting! But worry not, I will be taking back the artistic reins for Employees Only next week and the weeks following regardless of my other work. I'd gladly do a daily comic with nothing but Mix artwork if such a thing were possible, but he's trying to get into medical school right now - so his artistic services are "special occasions only*" for right now.


* Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and when ever I wear out my wrist from too much drawing. Book The Mix today - availability is limited!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pig Post - Barista

Pig posts lately have no rhyme or reason behind them - they just pop into my head and then I sit down and draw. So make of this one what you will - perhaps I'm craving a bacon mocha...which actually sounds worth a try.



Thursday, August 25, 2011

Employees Only - Carrying the Torch

To say that I tired out my hand working on my commissioned comic this month would be a big understatement. My hand and wrist still hurt a little a week later, and I actually was looking into the best way to approach my comic in the future without requiring any need for later amputation!

I figured that rather than postpone your weekly dose of comic, I'd recruit the ever talented the Mix to help out. I guess we can honestly say he's come through with "flying colors", but I hesitate to say that in any more than a descriptive sense. I may have to institute a random drug test for my guest artists in the future... either that or check the mirror more closely for any green-tendriled tail that I haven't noticed before.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Comics in the Classroom!

One of the reasons you didn't see any posts for this month is because I had a paid gig! (That sounds awesome even being typed out...even my keyboard clicks seem merrier!) Even better, Employees Only lent over it's style and humor to a project that will hopefully help kids in school do better at test taking! How do you like them apples?

Although I can't share the whole project with you because it is now part of a product that the company will be selling to schools, I can share a few details that didn't make it into the comic which I thought might be interesting...sort of a director's commentary.

The concept circles around a duck (which I've privately named Pearson) that helps three kids prepare to take tests. Oddly enough, a lot of kids don't really know how to take tests in general, nor do they know the best ways to prepare and study for them. I went with a duck because I figured it was odd enough that most kids would at least give it a chance.  However, because I was under such a tight deadline, the story stuck very much to the point and there's no back story (IE - there's no reason why there's a duck helping kids take tests).

To me this is secretly hilarious. I love nonsense stuff, and ducks are perfect non sequitur in my opinion.

The student characters are also a little too busy being helped with test preparation that they don't even get introduced properly, but for any who may be curious they are named Neil, Kevin, and Felicia. Each had a personality and as the story developed I started to really sense their identity, even though there wasn't much chance for it to show through. I did squeeze in a small amount of shtick between Pearson and Neil though that was a lot of fun for me to include into the story - I'm really hoping that students respond well to it.

Overall I'm really pleased with what I was privileged enough to do, and that's in no small part thanks to Employees Only, which I'm looking forward to returning to (Pig Posts too!). We'll catch you at our regular (ish) schedule this Thursday - thanks as always for your patience!


Thursday, August 04, 2011

Employees Only - Accessorize Backpacking

The Bear Grylls Parang*, by the way, is priced to move at only $30 on Amazon. At that price how can you afford not to ignore the fact that it's primarily used for jungle survival?

Actually, I'll tell you how...zombies. Don't even act like I'm joking around either, because we all thought the same thing when we saw it. Yeah, the wife may give you the look when you try to pass it off as camping equipment, but we'll know secretly that its day of undead protection will come. When it does, you'll not only be ready, you'll have a very stylish Bear Grylls approved weapon that will be the envy of your neighbors.

Better buy 2.


*If enough people use the link to buy one, I'll use my earnings to get one too! So really, you're helping me survive the zombie apocalypse as well.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Employees Only - Knotty Hammock

As I sink more and more money into an upcoming hiking trip, I've fallen down the rabbit hole that is hammockforums.net. If you thought there's a simple and straightforward way to hang a hammock on a tree, you Sir are very much mistaken.

I've spent days figuring out how to optimize my damn hammock, and I've really only skimmed the surface. If you want to see how crazy it gets, check out these YouTube videos and then stay indoors and play video games like sane people do.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pig Post - Comic Con

I loved going to Comic Con, but it's been awhile since I last did. The big hope is that if I ever do return it'll be as an exhibitor with some things to sell and show off - Until then, here's a pig illustration to get out some of my pent-up geek.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Updates to the Portfolio Site!

I'm very sorry that there isn't an Employees Only comic up today. I had one planned but it just fell apart as I was working on it. I'm going back to the drawing board and hopefully I'll have something worth posting next week.

To tide you over, I've updated my online portfolio site - iancastruita.com - with the latest portrait and illustration work I've been doing. A majority of the updates are the pig posts that I did last month, but I also updated it with a logo illustration and a charcoal portrait that I'm very proud of.

Until next week, thanks for your patience! I'm hoping to make it worth your while!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Employees Only - Peeping Princess

This comic is for all you Zelda fans out there, which is hopefully more than just the Mix!

In other news I've had one amazingly distracting week that has obliterated any routine I typically to cling to. This unfortunately means I have a lot of catching up to do, and there will be no illustration or comic next week. I've got a few paying customers to keep happy, so that's what I'll be focusing on.

I'll probably be posting a few photos from a cool project I was part of last week to tide you guys over. Thanks for hanging with me in the mean time!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pig Post - Helping

An unnamed insurance company's use of a lizard for a mascot really has gone off on a tangent, but then again, so has almost every insurance company commercial. I'd say throw that gecko into the thick of action! How bad can an accident be when you have a tiny lizard helping you out?

At any rate, it makes for interesting illustration, so there you have it.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Employees Only - Final Destination

Coffee is one of those beverages that sounds like a great idea at the time, but I always forget about the consequences later.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pig Post - The Big Catch

Ahem - I think I may have gone overboard with rendering the water!



Hello? Is this blog on?


Friday, June 10, 2011

Employees Only - The Winner Is Deep Fried

I know the Mix does important work for the government, and he's even told me what he does. But I can't help but wonder what he really does.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pig Post - It's Magic!

This one ended up being better than I thought! Hope you like it too!


Friday, June 03, 2011

Employees Only - The Crow of the Rooster

I know what you're going to ask, and I'm way ahead of you. Enriqué is a US citizen - so he's not taking any jobs either. I made sure to draw him that way.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Pig Post - Bustin'

This guy is my tribute to last weekend's Phoenix Comic Con, which has shown me that I'm not the only one to absolutely love the Ghostbusters. I had a great time (and absorbed a lot of information!). I'm hoping next year will be even better!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Employees Only - Land of Plenty

It never fails that whenever I walk into a warehouse store I barely make it out with my wallet full or my cholesterol levels intact. The things are feed lots for fools who think they're going in to just buy some juice, and instead realize, "Hey, that's a good price for a gallon of Head and Shoulders!"

Of course it's a good price for a gallon of Head and Shoulders! You'd be mad not to get 3!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pig Post - Pigzilla

If you remember the Tax Day Pig Post, you may have seen this guy lurking in the background. I felt like playing around with the idea a bit more and tried to make a movie poster style version.

It's a bit sloppy because I threw it together quickly, but hopefully you'll like it!

See you Thursday!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Employees Only - Getting Out the Message

Depending on what you may believe, the end of days is coming upon us as early as this weekend. I actually found out about it because there are billboards littered across town telling us to update our calenders for the occasion...and I find that a little odd.

Those same billboards advertised beer and body wash not even a couple months ago...I mean, where does it stop from there?

Ah well, if I do see any of you next week, we can all repent at our folly for not taking the billboards seriously.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pig Post - Weak Mind

I've got good and bad news. The good news is that I'm very busy with many projects for actual paying customers in addition to all the other nonsense I usually do.

That bad news that I mentioned though...I'm having to push back some pig illustrations while I work on the stuff that's paying me. I don't plan on skipping any Employees Only, so look forward to that in a couple days. But between my various jobs and things like eating and sleeping, I've only had time to come up with the pig illustration ideas, I haven't found time to actually work on them.

You pigs will return next week! Promise!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Employees Only - The Green Thumb

I used to think I knew how to water and take care of plants, but several dead money trees seem to think otherwise.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pig Post - Graduation

Today is graduation day for my big brother, whom I suppose must now be referred to as "Doctor"!

After seeing him spend years staring into his computer screen, surrounded by stacks of print outs and books, I can tell you that his achievement today is very much well deserved, and I hope he knows just how proud our whole family is of him.

He also likes pigs. A lot. Sometimes he giggles when they appear on the television. With glee.

So this illustration is for him! Congratulations Doctor!


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Employees Only - Disaster Distraction

It's easy to get a little worried about tragedies occurring more often, and with somewhat greater intensity, but apparently science says that it really isn't getting worse.

So what are they not telling us? 
*Insert ominous music*


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Pig Post - Portal

I've been enjoying Portal 2 and thought an illustration was in order. I loved the first one and the second so far hasn't disappointed!

Unfortunately for all my projects and any semblance of a social life it's just too good to put down - which made this past week a huge pain with all the stuff I really needed to get done. But the wheels of progress are cranking once again. I'll be seeing you guys regularly as scheduled!

(Unless the Portal 2 DLC is equally awesome.)


Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Break

Update 5/3/11 - Pig posts and Employees Only start up again this week, beginning tomorrow! Thanks for hanging in there with me as I get out all the kinks!

I hadn't planned on it, but my recent computer upgrade has demanded all my time. This means that this week is an unofficial vacation from Employees Only. Sorry for the short notice, but hopefully in the future I'll have a buffer ready so unforseen issues don't delay your comics!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Employees Only - Dr. Bison's Nefarious Schemes

Ooooh Bison. You think you've won this round, but this has only just begun!


Previous Bison here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pig Post - Tax Forms

Ain't it nice to be done with taxes?

You are right? Because if you aren't I strongly suggest you don't waste time playing around with the fake tax form to the side.

Otherwise, please fill out the accompanying pig documents, and do whatever with them! I'm curious to see if anybody actually does print this out, but hopefully you don't have to do that in order to enjoy it.

It is a PDF, which means you need Acrobat or Adobe Reader to view and print it.

See you Thursday!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Employees Only - The Zoo Trainee

My day is a little better knowing I've brought another episode of Try Not to Die to the world. You're welcome.

While not a Mix original, I thought of him and his hoards of cats while creating this comic. The only thing that keeps those four-legged allergy factories away is tiny red dots zig-zagging across the carpet.

That...and human flesh. Oh wait, I meant belly rubs.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pig Post - We Buy Truffles

I had to rush this guy because I overslept, but I think it came out alright considering how quickly I made it. If anything it's good practice for next time I'm under the wire on a deadline!

See you Thursday!


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Employees Only - Updated

Whew! Just got this comic in under the wire! Hope you enjoy!