Pathetic Aesthetic was the comic strip I drew in high school and early days of college (1999~2004). It’s primarily a four-panel gag-a-day style strip, though I did create a few long-form stories. In the earlier comics, the characters are younger kids (8-ish) and then get aged up to about 16…yet the artwork stays pretty much the same. Towards the end I did try to make the characters look more like teenagers (like the picture at left).
All of my comics take place in the same universe. Erin and Albie are the parents of Deanna from Art Club. Martindale is Doug’s dad. Ceciley is Susan’s coworker in Overqualified.
Erin is my self-insert, of course. In the earlier strips she has a ponytail on top of her head. She is the main character, the most normal person in a group of weirdos. She’s a lovable bundle of nerves.
Albie is Erin’s childhood best friend. By the end, they are boyfriend and girlfriend. Albie can be moody and has dad issues. He is artistic and likes to listen to “weird music.”
Ceciley is Erin’s second-best friend. Where Erin is very reserved, Ceciley is outgoing and dates lots of guys. She is very vain and is always on top of the latest fashion trends. Towards the end (not posted here) Ceciley gets pregnant by a loser guy. Scotty becomes her tutor, and he winds up being her baby’s defacto father.
Scotty is Albie’s slightly younger brother. He’s a nerd who is into computers and animation. He has a longstanding crush on Ceciley. Scotty is very serious and has no time for your bullshit.
Martindale is a weird, dorky guy who has the hots for Erin. He likes to speak in outdated slang and wears a ruffly baby blue tux to formal occasions.
Cathie is Erin’s younger sister. She is notable mostly for having an unhealthy obsession with Scotty. She and Erin also have a baby brother named Andy.
Tessa is another, lesser-seen friend of Erin’s. She’s very sarcastic and cynical.
All of these comics are from 2001-02.
The Dance (2002)
This was my final project for 11th-grade Art Lab. I am pretty sure I had to ask for special permission to make this my final project, and the boner jokes and such made it somewhat controversial. Some of the art/text is cut off because the originals were a tiny bit larger than my scanner.
Most of the coloring was done with acrylic paint. I would draw the comics once, paint over them, then draw the details back on. I wanted flat, solid colors (no streakiness) and couldn’t afford markers.
Bonus comics from my early college days: