Drawing Up Laughs
Local Cartoonist Puts Pen to Paper in Hendricks County
Writer / Heather Chastain
A local man’s passion project has been 25 years in the making. Mark Ewer started cartooning while in the Navy stationed on the U.S.S Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“I started reading Gary Larson’s comics, and I thought he was brilliant,” Ewer says. “I also thought, I could do that. But it turned out I couldn’t do it. So, I just kept at it. I’d work and edit and try again until I honed my skill to get where I’m at.”
Ewer spent his time in the Navy as an aviation fuel technician and was also based out of the Police Naval Air Station in Memphis, Tennessee. He now works part-time for CSX. And recently began drawing for CartoonStock.com and The Hendricks County Flyer. He said getting those jobs took time and patience. “I don’t give up easy,” he says. It took about six months before his work was picked up by CartoonStock.com and several months of submissions before he was hired by The Flyer.
“When I start drawing, nothing is safe from my pen,” Ewer says. “Most of my stuff is very sarcastic, very edgy. I’m not afraid to say something in a cartoon most people would be afraid to say out loud.”
Now he says he’s learning to draw with an editorial edge.
“Most of my work recently has been editorial,” Ewer says. “I want to create different character styles. I’m working to develop my editorial niche. I don’t want the characters to be the same as what I’m doing for Cartoonstock.com.
The former Naval technician said he’s a good satire cartoonist. “Now I’m just working to be the best editorial cartoonist I can be,” he says.
To draw his cartoons, he begins by drawing them in pencil. Then traces over them with pen. Finally, he takes them to his computer to do the coloring.
One of the cartoons on his Facebook page shows a man sweating trying to hold up an ISTEP anvil. The man is wearing a sign that says, “quality education.”
“My children grew up in the Indiana educational system,” Ewer says. “I always thought ISTEP was an unfair assessment of where a child should be placed.
He says he’s relieved ISTEP is going away.
Another cartoon shows the changes in Hendricks County. You can see in one picture a farmer in corn fields and then in the next picture, it’s a man walking out of Wal-Mart with a gas station next door. Another satirical cartoon shows a man reading a newspaper with the headline: “Hendricks County second healthiest county in Indiana” with his doughnut, pancakes and syrup next to him.
While he enjoys cartooning, Ewer said he has realistic expectations.
“I’m not trying to get rich,” he says. “I just really like doing it, and I’m always looking for opportunities to sell my work.”
To learn more about Ewer’s work, you can visit his Facebook page Facebook.com/MarkEwerCartoons.
Currently, Ewer works to develop 3-4 new cartoons a week. “I also have a stack of cartoons three inches high I’ve drawn that need completed,” he says. “I also have pages of cartoon ideas I haven’t even drawn yet.”
Ewer is also looking to expand his work and let people know he can be commissioned to do pieces for local businesses.
“I do cartoons all the time, but I can also do customized ideas. I can draw whatever you want” Ewer says.