Bill, KL7TC, wanted a QSL that said something about Alaska, where he lives. Snow? Check. Mountains? Check. How about a club logo and an ARRL diamond? Easy peasy. And a husky with a headset? Why not?
The northern lights that appear were a little more challenging. Because it’s tough to illustrates with line art, I instead dropped in a free stock photo of the real thing. It works.
After a few tweaks — mainly toning down the typography from bright yellow to subtle blue — the QSL was good to go.
KL7TC’s QSL has one other unique feature: On the back of the card, instead of a dot indicating Fairbanks’ location on the map, I placed a heart, acknowledging the city’s slogan as “The Golden Heart of Alaska.”
Ever seen Bigfoot on a QSL card before? Me neither. Until now.
Jim, K7QI, lives in the Pacific Northwest and wanted something unique to his region. Bigfoot reputedly lives there, so why not put Bigfoot on Jim’s QSL card?
That’s exactly what I did. He’s sitting there sending CW on a cartoon approximation of Jim’s Elecraft rig. And because Bigfoot sightings are rare, I drew a squirrel in there to take a picture of him. Now you know what that Summits on the Air station from Washington looks like …
The back of Jim’s card is as personalized as the front. I offer two report forms: a generic one that fills only half the card and allows mailing your QSL as a postcard, and a more complete one like this. Most clients go for the more complete report form. It includes a state map with your QTH marked, complete QTH information, your call sign set in a style that matches the art where possible, and whatever logos you care to include. Most clients go with the ARRL diamond and perhaps their home club’s logo, but Jim went for logos that highlighted his military experience and his involvement with the National Rifle Association. If it fits, I can give you any logo you want — and it’s included in the price of your card.
Steve, W7CBA, lives in Montana and likes the great outdoors. Can you draw me being chased by a grizzly, he asked? Sure, I said. And thus began this QSL card.
I changed it up a little, with Steve fleeing in panic while the bears size up his abandoned handi-talkie and backpack. Next thing you know, the bears are going to want to get their Tech licenses. (By the way, there’s a really good Tech study guide that just came out with illustrations by N2EST. I imagine the bears will either find it helpful or delicious.)
For extra points: Who recognizes the source of the above headline? Hint: He wasn’t a ham-radio operator but did have something to do with Hamlet.
I 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.
This cartoon QSL was fun to draw. Pete, K0BAK, operates a lot from the road and wanted an all-purpose card usable for any activity from any QTH. Because it’s best to operate from as high as possible, I placed him and his Honda van on top of a plateau. Maybe the mountain goat on the other plateau knows how he got there.