Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Drawing Random Monsters: An Interview w/ Illustrator Jake Rohdy + Free Original Art Drawing!

With the flick of a wrist, self-taught artist/illustrator Jake Rohdy can turn anyone or anything into the most impossibly charming version of themselves. People, plants, cats, dogs, rodents, pachyderms, crustaceans, cephalopods...all turn into adorable, lovable creations when Jake sets his sights on them. Aside from his own comics, Jake has performed this service for indie rock bands, websites, blogs, and even an HVAC industry magazine!

Currently, Jake Rohdy manages four (yes, four!) cartoon series. Chuck Charles is for fantasy adventure lovers. It features a hapless band of warriors and wizards meandering about the countryside bungling their way through misguided adventures. Tilly and Todd tells the tale of a frustrated house cat and her mortal enemy/closest confidant, a wise cracking house plant. The Random Comic series is a look into Jake's home life and inability to give up geekyness in exchange for domestic bliss. Comfort Zone is inspired by Jake's work as an HVAC tech. Basically, it's his hilarious way of venting about horrible clients and their unfair expectations. Finally, there is From The Vault. When pressed for time, Jake will sometimes post a drawing or unfinished piece of work from the past.

Despite sharing so much of himself through cartoons, Jake doesn't care to give much bio info. Here's the extent of his online bio:
"About Jake
He may or may not draw comics that people may or may not read.
His art background is nearly non-existent
grammar and spelling is laughable
but he’s glad that you care enough to learn about him
go ahead and pat yourself on your back. Thank you."
When I asked for a bit more detailed info, this was his reply, "I don't know if that is good enough, but I try to keep things modest around these parts! If you need good information, or perhaps factual information: Jake Rohdy, small town in Michigan, wife, cat, houseplant." Honestly Jake, that is good enough for me.

Thankfully, he was a bit more talkative when it came to answering the questions for the interview! Don't forget to visit him online at or his Facebook page! Also, see below for info on how to win an original piece of artwork from Jake Rohdy!

Q: How do you find time to juggle four strips plus post sketches in From the Vault? Are you drawing all the time?
Jake: It seems like it. But it's less time I have to spend with my wife, so I'll continue to suffer! Luckily, I don't draw every different strip all the time. My main focus is on the Random Comics and Chuck Charles, the other comic strips I do on a whim. And when I can't come up with any good comics, and find myself staring at a blank piece of paper, I have the From the Vault series to fall back on. I drew all of those while sitting in class at college. So, I post those when I can't come up with a comic on time.

Q: A lot of your Random Comic series deals with band mates arguing. Are you drawing on your own failed band experiences?
Jake: Oh God I wish I was in a band! I've always wanted to be in a band, especially a bad one! I just really love music, so any chance I get to talk about it is great! My wife no longer cares about my opinion on music or what I consider good music. So those strips give me a good outlet for my music fandom.

Q: Also, every band you draw has a totally different, hilariously terrible name. Do you ever run out of bad band name ideas?
Jake: I haven't yet! I come up with funny ones all the time, of course there are some I can't use in the comic strips! If I had to choose an all time favorite name that I came up so far is The Kami Cosbys. Every time I think about that name I chuckle... Anyways you would be surprised on how many names I think I come up with that are already band names! So I always Google the names before I write them! Believe it or not, there are some really creative people on the internet...

Q: What’s with all the sea creatures hanging out in bars?
Jake: To be honest I just love drawing random animals and monsters, It gives me a chance to draw something other than talking heads. And who doesn't want to see a crab trying to pick up chicks at a bar... You know he's pinching some girl's butt when he's three deep!

Q: Your protagonist in the comic series Comfort Zone is a wise cracking air conditioning repair man. My HVAC system has been acting up a bit this Summer. Would you mind taking a look?
Jake: Hell yeah! As long as you pay for the plane ticket and give me a place to stay! We'll make a weekend of it! Unless there's no beer, then you're shit out of luck. But seriously, what's it doing? Low on charge? Bad capacitor?

Q: Just out of curiosity, what kind of house plant is Todd?
Jake: Todd is .... that is a good question! I'm not sure... a green one? The funny thing is Todd is a real plant! That whole strip is based off my real house plant and cat. Pretty much everything that happens in that strip has happened in my household. Tilly and Todd is the only comic that I make that if you Google image search it comes up as one of the first pictures, along with Tilly and Todd no nits! A children's book about lice.... at least I think! Is it wrong that I Google search my own comics? Probably...for sure...

Q: So, in Chuck Charles, you claim The Lady of the Lake has the following counterparts: The Lad of the Lagoon, The Belle of the Bight, Cousin of the Cove, The Boy of the Bay, Person of the Pond, Chap of the Canal, Husband of the Harbor, Gal of the Gulf, Runt of the Rapid, Pal of the Puddle, The Senorita of the Sound, and The Woman of the Wash. How many more did you come up with but had to leave out?
Jake: I STRUGGLED to get all of those! For like an hour.... But that may have been because I had been drinking... Is it okay that I'm drinking right now? Because I'm not stopping, I just wanted to see you were comfortable with it...

Q: What is your favorite bad joke?
Jake: Besides the ones I write? Ummmm... I can't say I have a favorite, but I have heard some really awful ones! I do work in the construction field after all.

Q: What artists/illustrators are you currently following?
Jake: I don't really tend to follow anyone, I'm not really a computer/internet savvy person to say the least, (I still use Microsoft paint to edit my comics). But I had a friend send me a link to an awesome French cartoonist who seriously draws some awesome and in depth comics. His name is Boulet, and you can check him out at Besides that I always tell people to read Bill Waterson's Calvin and Hobbes, because that is the gold standard of comics. And I will literally fight anyone who says otherwise, seriously....sssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiioooooouuuuussssllllly.

Q: Would you draw us your rendition of a “gaming mouse?”
Jake: I have no idea exactly what you wanted by "gaming mouse", So instead of asking I just drew this. Mario Paint anyone?

 If you like 

**Click any pic to enlarge!

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