Sunday, April 29, 2018

Homebody Dad #2

Milo pointed the camera at David and hit record. “And...action.”

David smiled and started talking “Hello, I’m David Livingston and I am a cartoonist for my website…”

“Wait. Cut,” Milo said. “This doesn’t look right. We need to do something about the lighting. It looks like we’re filming in a warehouse or making a ransom video.”

“I don’t know. We can turn on this desk lamp and use a piece of paper to soften it.”

“We can try that,” Milo said. “Also, after you say your name add ‘and these are my demands’.”

“Ha, ha. This is serious. PayMeOn accounts with videos are 20 percent more likely to get funding,” David said.

“Twenty percent? That seems awfully high.”

“I don’t have the exact math, Milo,” David sighed. “Let’s use the desk lamp and a piece of paper.”

David turned on the lamp as Milo turned off the ceiling lights. David taped a piece of paper to the lamp to cover the bulb. Milo looked through the camera and at David as he sat down. “That does look a little better. A bit more natural.”

“That’s good. Okay, cue me.”

“All right…” Mike hit record. “Action.”

“Hello, I’m David Livingston and…”

“...These are his demands,” Milo growled.

“Dammit, Milo,” David lept out of the chair toward Milo and the camera.

“What’s the plan for today?” Alison asked, grabbing her satchel and heading to the door.

“Milo and I don’t have any investor meetings today so I have blocked out all of today to work on my website. I only have about a week of material left so I need to get more done,” David explained.

“Sounds good,” Alison and David gave each other a quick kiss.

“I should be done by lunchtime,” David said.

The familiar horn sound blared and the audience groaned. Drew Carey offered his sympathies to the contestant and then segued to a commercial break and said the Showcase Showdown was next. David was on the couch with a bowl of cereal.

“This show should be on in primetime,” David said with a mouthful of cereal. “But then it wouldn’t be on now…” he said ominously.

As the game show ended, David looked at the time as the next show started: the four ladies who argued with each other. David figured it was time to start working. He went upstairs to the office he made himself in the guest bedroom.

He sat down and began drawing. He drew two guys looking at another guy. Do you know anything about Juan? Not really. He’s quiet and keeps to himself. Huh. I guess it takes Juan to know Juan.

“Hah. Classic,” David said. He then began drawing another but stopped shortly after drawing the panel. He stopped acting enthusiastic about working and began doodling on the legal pad he kept on the desk specifically for notes and doodles. He got up from his desk and went into Oliver’s room. He was taking his mid-morning nap and should be waking up soon. Oliver was still asleep. “Oliver,” David whispered. Oliver didn’t move. “Oliver!” David shouted and shook the crib.

Oliver awoke and began crying.

“Oh, Oliver, it’s okay,” David picked Oliver up and hugged him. “Daddy’s here. Let’s go see if Joe and Blue need help solving another murder. Oh, but someone needs a little change first.”

Around one, David was feeding Oliver some lunch. “How about one where I make fun of kids shows talking to the audience? Dora asks a question and there’s no answer. Each panel we zoom out more until we see her TV is in an abandoned house.”

Oliver didn’t respond and just continued to eat whatever was on the spoon David was using.

“A little too dark? Ah, you’re just a baby. You don’t know what the Internet likes,” David’s cell phone rang. “Hey, babe.”

“Hey. How’s your day of work going?”

“It’s going great. Give me your opinion on this one. This guy is reading the newspaper and with each panel his face shows confusion. In the last panel he smiles and says ‘Oh, I get it. Cathy thinks she’s fat.’” Alison went silent. “Did...did the phone cut out?” David pulled the phone away from his ear and saw the cell phone still connected.

“No,” Alison sighed.

“It’s not funny,” David said.

“No, it’s not that. Just...he’s reading a newspaper. Is Cathy even in the newspaper anymore? I know it came to an end a few years ago. I’m sure it will be funny to someone though.”

“No, I’ll keep working on it. How’s your day?”

“It’s fine. A lot of paperwork today but that is most of my job.”

“Want to quit? Come draw cartoons with me?”

“That sounds amazing especially the part where we’re homeless on a street corner with a cardboard sign that reads ‘Will draw cartoons for food.’”


“I have to go. See you around five.”

“Love you.”

“Love you too.”

“You like my comics,” David said to Oliver. “Here, let’s show you how to post a positive comment on Daddy’s website and create a Facebook account so that you can Like my Page.”

“I can’t believe how many views this comic has gotten just in the last six hours,” David said to Alison as they stared at the computer screen.

The comic was loosely based on he and Alison’s conversation earlier and just their whole life situation so far. The first panel showed David and Alison talking. I want to quit my job and draw cartoons online for a living. The second panel was a close-up on Alison. I guess. Let’s do a six month trial. See how it goes. Third panel. Oh, thank you, honey. I love you. David hugged her. Alison smiled, What’s the worst that could happen? The fourth panel had the whole family on the street in ratty clothes next to a refrigerator box. David was holding a sign that read: Will draw cartoons for food.

“It’s because you’re being real. You’re showing a part of your life. People like that. They like stuff that’s relatable,” Alison said.

“I guess so. I don’t know why people don’t want commentary on comic strips that haven’t been around in almost a decade but whatever,” David shrugged.