Happy new year, everybody! I thought I'd do a look back at 2011 via the cartoons that I drew last year -- a walk down archived-memory lane. It was really supposed to be an easy exercise in image re-posting, but wow -- I drew a lot of Sleektoons last year, it turns out. Here's nearly all of them. :)
(January and February are pretty thin -- I started 2011 in South America and was traveling to Las Vegas during the first two months.)
Jan. 23, 2011: BoC Universal Happiness Day
By my count, yesterday was the 12th time this season when all three BoC teams have played games on the same day (including one time when the Ducks played the Sharks while the Kings played another team), but it's now the first and only time this season when all three BoC teams won on the same day.
Ah, remember back when things were sort of going well for all three BoC teams? The cartoon is sloppy as hell, but the exuberance was real -- dang I miss winning.
Feb. 25, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Goalie Debut Tonight!
This was posted for Dan Ellis' Ducks debut, which would soon be followed by Ray Emery's debut as well. Jonas Hiller's mysterious vertigo ailment sucked for us Ducks fans, but bad-pun cartoons always help us cope a little bit -- at least I hope it did.
Feb. 27, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Duckademy Awards Night
This was a nice summary of Anaheim's shortcomings going into a critical stretch run. Fortunately, towards the tail end of last season, the Wizard of Oz was extra generous in his giving to the Ducks.
Mar. 2, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Our Odd-Number Year Opponent
Two one-goal losses, plus one by shootout -- I feel a bit bad about kicking an Avs team while they're down, but somehow Colorado has avoided this sort of subjugation over my blogging career. There's a first time for everybody, I guess.
There once was a time, not too long ago, when a visiting team would play three straight games in the state of California and come away with three straight losses. Not at any point yet in this season, but it did once happen -- and this was the tasteless tradition that followed.
Mar. 24, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Nashvillains!
This was far-and-away the best-looking predator I drew all of last year, including the playoffs. It's a cute pun gimmick, too.
Mar. 30, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Flame Mignon
The Ducks can truly piss away the Flame's playoff hopes with a victory today, and my guess is that it's going to be of the storybook variety. Anaheim has trailed in six of its past seven games, yet they have a sparkling 6-1-0 record over the stretch with every contest decided by a single goal. The dramatic heroics lately have really been off-the-charts.
A tribute to Calvin pissing on things as the BoC teams conspired to knock Calgary out of the playoff picture.
Apr. 13, 2011: Star Wars Gameday -- Episode VI: Return of the Playoffs
The third installment of the Star Wars trilogy proved to be one of the best, except that the Anaheim Ducks refused to follow the storyline and kill off Pekka the Hutt. Still, that's one link worth clicking back on -- lots of good cartoons in that series.
Apr. 22, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- The Trial of Jar Jar
13 Campbell called together the team representatives, the reporters, and the people, 14 and said to them, "You brought me this man, the one who injured Nashville’s leading scorer. I have examined his collision in your videos and have found no basis for suspension. 15 Neither have the on-ice referees, for it was a linesman who made the call. As you can see, he has done nothing to deserve suspension. 16 Therefore, I will have him serve two minutes for interference and then release him."
18 But the whole internet shouted, "Suspend this man! Release Torres to us instead!
This was actually a re-used cartoon from when the Ducks first acquired Jar Jar Ruutu. But I like the sacrilege that was way too appropriate for Good Friday -- Jar Jar's suspension made for some inappropriate Christ symbolism.
Jun. 13, 2011: Stanley Cup Finals, Game 6
I always take a long blogging break after Anaheim's season ends, but I did draw up some cartoons for the Stanley Cup Finals. It proved to be a bad omen for Vancouver, though -- all four times I published an SCF cartoon, the Canucks lost. You're welcome, Boston.
Jun. 15, 2011: G7 Gameday -- Cup For Grabs
For G7, I kept it classic. Both pouncing animals look pretty good, I must say.
Jul. 1, 2011: UFA Day 2011 -- Spend your brains out!
This could be a really strange UFA season.
Some teams like Buffalo are overspending because they've recently fallen into rich ownership. Some teams like Florida are overspending in order to reach the ever-climbing salary cap floor. Some teams like Toronto are overspending because it's completely in their nature -- they know no other way.
It was a pretty strange July 1st, though in retrospect I guess the Leaf should have been a Ranger. Still, all three BoC teams did a lot more through trades this summer than through early-July UFA signings. Cartoon had some accuracy to it for once. :)
Not a cartoon, but the Three Stooges of the Ducks' top line was a pretty nice sight gag.
Jul. 14, 2011: Oil Embargo vs. Oil Dependence
Sometimes Sleektoons can tell the story of two BoC teams at once -- the Kings had their grievance with Edmonton in the Ryan Smyth trade, while the Ducks were trading pretty often with the Oilers in a short span of time.
Jul. 26, 2011: Posters on a Fence
This was the third panel of a multi-panel post, and it was a nice punchline for two teams. The summer of 2011 involved a lot of waiting for both #8s to sign.
Aug. 4, 2011: Hamu Selännlet: A Finnish Soliloquy
To play, or not to play: that is the question.
I rarely try to draw actual players -- my gimmick is much more about cartoony team logos -- but this Teemu Selanne contemplating his future turned out pretty good. And the Shakespeare adaptation was pretty solid, too.
It's been noted before, but there's something about the Minnesota Wild logo that seems to bring out the best in me as a cartoonist. This time, the Sharks were making lots of offseason deals with one team.
Aug. 16: Ziggy: The Remakes
Ah, the late part of summer -- blogging really just starts going in all sorts of wayward directions. The three Ziggy-as-a-hockey-player cartoon series was short-lived but fun to do.
Aug. 25, 2011: iBoC: SB Nation's New iPhone App
A couple of times this past year, BoC participated in network-wide campaigns, such as the announcement of SB Nation's iPhone app release. I like to make sure that our announcements fit the BoC tone, though, and this adaptation of the blog logo was a nice addition. Speaking of blog logos...
Sep. 3, 2011: Sleektooning up other blogs' logos (Japers' Rink, Raw Charge, Nucks Misconduct)
Sep. 5, 2011: Be-Labor-ing the point: Sleektooned blog logos, Part 2 (The Copper & Blue, SBN St. Louis, Winging It In Motown)
Sep. 8, 2011: Sleektooned Blog Logos 3: Now it's a Trilogy! (In Lou We Trust, Matchsticks & Gasoline, Defending Big D)
Sep. 15, 2011: Sleektooned Blog Logos 4: Are we there yet? (Hockey Wilderness, Stanley Cup of Chowder)
Sep. 18, 2011: Sleektooned Blog Logos 5: Sunday evening edition! (Lighthouse Hockey, Eyes on the Prize, Pension Plan Puppets, Arctic Ice Hockey)
Sep. 20, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Another Sleektooned Logo (Five For Howling)
Sep. 22, 2011: Sleektooned Blog Logos: Two Prequels and a Sequel (Jewels From The Crown, Mile High Hockey, Anaheim Calling)
Sep. 29, 2011: Sleektooned Blog Logos 8: Ocho! (The Cannon, On The Forecheck, Second City Hockey)
Oct. 7, 2011: Ducks Gämedääy -- Sleektööned Säbres Blög Lögö (Die By The Blade)
Oct. 8, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Europeanness. (No, you are!) (Blueshirt Banter)
Oct. 14, 2011: BoC Gameday -- FTF Logo Time! (Fear The Fin)
The longest-lasting and most productive stretch of themed cartoons this blog has ever seen, and I still didn't get to every hockey blog on the network. What started as a behind-the-scenes joke design for Jewels From The Crown turned into a late-summer explosion of alternate blog logos. More effort went into these designs than the rest of 2011's cartoons combined, and there were lots of great results. Ah, productivity...
Oct. 5, 2011: Self-Survey: The SB Nation Reader Poll
Another personal touch on a network-wide campaign. A so-so drawing, but a great punchline.
Oct. 17, 2011: BoC Gameday -- And they're off!
So this current season started well for the Ducks -- early on, I was even able to make fun of a different team than Anaheim. Short-lived, of course, but fun while it lasted. :)
Oct. 27, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Where The Wild Are
Soon, though, the cartoons started to reflect more desperation -- this was another fantastic adaptation of the Wild logo.
Oct. 30, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Blogger See, Blogger Do
In honor of the way the Ducks started yesterday's game, I'm going to attempt a team-inspired creative challenge. Let's see if I can draw a gameday cartoon in the 14 seconds it took Anaheim to surrender the opening goal. Ready? Go!
And by the end of October, things had completely fallen apart for the Ducks. Sleektoons mirrored the team's performance.
Dec. 2, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Intreau to Boudreau
After I got Randy Carlyle fired, the introduction of Bruce Boudreau as Coach Kirby meant updating an old BoC classic.
Dec. 10, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Kirby Your Enthusiasm
More image doctoring to drive a nickname home. :)
Dec. 14, 2011: Ducks Gameday -- Back of the Pack
But even with a new coach, on-ice results keep sucking for Anaheim. Another adaptation of an old gimmick, the "Art of Suicide" series is another shining example of my continual lack of class or tact. But hey -- I'm a cartoonist who reflects his team's fortunes, good or bad. Here's hoping that Coach Kirby can get that blue duck smiling again before too long.
So, there's that. What was your favorite Sleektoon from 2011? Feel free to share your answer in the comments.
Prediction: I should be around for game comments tonight -- welcome back, J.S. Giguere! Ducks end 2011 with a lot of resolutions to make.