For the love of cartoons
Jeff Chaltas’ “Dogbone Boulevard,” is a collection of his quirky comics
Fall 2018 Edition
For as long as he can remember, Jeff Chaltas has had an affinity for cartoons. He’s especially loved the quick, witty humor and simplicity of one-panel cartoons and had plenty of his own cartoon concepts.
Chaltas, who received his master’s degree from the School of Journalism in 1999, started putting pen to paper and fleshing out these ideas decades ago. But there was one problem. A career in corporate communications hadn’t helped him learn how to draw.
When he sent his early cartoons to greeting card companies across America, he got one response.
“One company in Maine said, ‘These are funny concepts, but you need to work on your drawing,’” Chaltas recalled. “So, I just put it on the back burner for years and years — for decades, even.”
It wasn’t until he took a six-week class at Johnson County Community College a couple of years ago that he started to find confidence in his drawing. When he did, he started working on a book of his own one-panel whimsical cartoons.
The result was “Dogbone Boulevard,” a collection of 25 of his comics, with subject matter ranging from the sanitation of public pools and a cat driving a car.
He’s always had confidence in his humor and his ability to connect his humor to images. Chaltas once placed in a Kansas City Star caption contest, which only helped his confidence in his humor, but his drawing was still lagging.
It took plenty of practice, and with it came confidence in his cartooning style as well. Eventually, he felt ready to release the cartoons of his playful characters to the public. The rather simple drawings are unique to Chaltas, and so is the humor, which he always seemed to have a knack for.
“It’s definitely a weird sense of humor that I have, and I don’t shy away from that,” Chaltas said. “Hopefully others out there have just as weird a sense of humor and find it funny.”
Chaltas self-released the book of cheery one-panel cartoons in November 2017 in paperback and a Kindle version, both of which are for sale on Amazon.
–– Christian Hardy is a May 2018 graduate from Derby, Kansas