73 from El Chivo!

KN4FIS ham radio cartoon QSL by N2ESTJim, KN4FIS, sports a mountain-man beard and goes by the nickname El Chivo, or “the goat.” He also works digital modes. Can I put that all together in a single QSL card? Of course.

To represent digital modes, at first I considered overlaying a screen shot of actual software. Problem was, it looked out of place next to the cartoony style of the rest of the card. That’s why I decided to go loose and cartoony on the monitor as well. It doesn’t have all the details, but it looks unmistakably like ham digital software if you’re in the know.

Final touch: a Special Forces badge on Jim’s baseball cap. Jim is vice president of the P7X Amateur Radio Society at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. For your service — and the service of all hams associated with our military — we salute you.

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All about public service

Gordon Wes Tech public service watermarkThis is another cartoon I created for Gordon West’s new Technician license manual, illustrating public service. We all know this guy, of course: Club baseball cap, orange vest, and a half dozen handi-talkies hanging from his belt. (The only reason I’ve never been this guy myself is I can’t afford a half dozen handi-talkies — a single dual-bander usually suffices.)

A lot of new licensees joined our ranks for just this purpose. Are you one of them? What public-service groups do you belong to? And how many radios do you carry on event day?

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Happy hams end to end

Happy hams end to endHamtoons is back — but after more than four months away from my drawing board, I was rusty. I needed a running start to get back into it. That’s why I decided to finish this goofy drawing of two happy hams doing the bump.

It originally was a rejected sketch for a QSL. The client wanted something that represented his work, end-to-end software solutions, if I remember correctly. But how exactly do you draw that? You can’t — so instead I presented him with the dancing pigs. It’s just where my mind went. I mean, hey, it’s ham radio, right? And the two hams are end-to-end, right?

He didn’t go for it. Still, I liked the sketch, so I filed it away. This afternoon I finished it for your listening and dancing pleasure. Enjoy.

To those of you waiting on commissions: I’ll be contacting you shortly. Thank you so much for your patience.

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Blue Ridge: mountains, trains and trout

KW4ZQ cartoon QSL by N2ESTI put Hamtoons on hiatus a few months ago to take a full-time job editing a newspaper in the north Georgia mountains. Sadly, the job didn’t work out — that’s why Hamtoons is back — but the move from Atlanta did. The people here are wonderful, the scenery is beautiful, the air is clean and the traffic is almost non-existent. I seldom miss Atlanta these days.

I eventually started attending meetings of the Fannin County Amateur Radio Group in Blue Ridge, Ga., a start-up club devoted primarily to emergency communications. That’s where I met Chuck, KW4ZQ, a new ham who went straight for his Extra and got it in one test session.

Chuck wanted a QSL that reflected everything good about Fannin County, which has turned into a major tourist destination over the last few decades. That meant the card had to have mountains, lots of mountains. The area also is known for its fishing — Fannin County bills itself as the Trout Capital of Georgia — and the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which carries visitors from downtown Blue Ridge to nearby McCaysville, where I live. Chuck sketched out his idea, and with a few tweaks I managed to incorporate all three elements into his QSL card.

Blue Ridge and Fannin County are great places to live or vacation. Feel free to visit us — or, at the very least, give KW4ZQ a shout if you hear him on the air. I’m sure he’ll be glad to send you a QSL.

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When a ham snaps …

Look-at-thatThis is one of the last cartoons I drew for QST some years ago, and it’s one of my favorites.

I don’t remember the exact details of the article it accompanied, but I do remember the set-up: Some poor amateur had worked so much public service that he eventually lost his mind, so much so that at his final assignment he mistook a fishing rod for a handi-talkie and started barking status reports into it.

Anybody else been in his predicament? I haven’t — yet.

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