Chesca Hause here, and taking copious notes is my coping method for motherhood! Tantrums, stress, and blowouts don’t seem so horrible when they’re turned into a joke.
“Why cats?” people ask. I’ve never liked drawing humans (hair and noses are HARD! ), but I’m also a big biology nerd, so I enjoy being able to incorporate animal gags into my cartoons. There is so much in common between kids and cats that coming up with a joke that ticks both boxes is my holy grail.
Despite the fact that the characters are based on my own family, they’ve taken on a life of their own, attending Hogwarts, becoming robots, and visiting The Three Bears! Scroll down to see, but don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tapas, or Webtoons for BONUS panels detailing what happens next!
At school, I was always known as “the cartoonist.” I went to university to study animation, but after a year, I dropped out and spent my time freelance working and playing too much World of Warcraft. I eventually created the website Cartoonize My Pet and turned it into a profitable venture. But sketching pets over and over again became tedious, and by then I had children and wanted to put my newfound parenting knowledge to use.
I was watching Daniel Tiger with the kids one day and grumbling about their perfect lives. I wanted I could watch something a little more “authentic.” Then it occurred to me that while I couldn’t make a TV, I could make a comic!
My Daniel Tiger epiphany was aided by the appearance of Fowl Language and Hedger Humor comics in my parent groups. I’m also buddies with Zach Cranor of Last Place Comics in real life. I thought he could make it huge because he used to have a popular comic series back in the day. The irony is that we ended up inspiring one another. His previous success motivated me, and then my success aided in his return to drawing comics!
Here’s some advice for the grasshoppers of the future. Take what you know and put your own spin on it. It’s my family for me, but turning them into animals gives me additional tools to play with and a brand that’s instantly identifiable.
I keep a lot of notes. What happens from time to time can be transformed into a comedic (my husband and I joke that our 7-year-old is the best writer in the house!) Sometimes it’s simply a seed of an idea, while other times it’s a full-fledged concept. I’ll read over my notes again and see what I can add to them. Once I have a script, I’ll rough it out in comic panels to evaluate the flow, usually showing it to J (husband) to see if he can improve it. I’ll go on to tidy pencils, inks, and colour after we’re sure it’s reading correctly. If you want to see more—and laugh at my bad rough drawings—check out my Patreon page, where I record the process for each comic.