Star Struck

I don’t often meet celebrities, but when I do, I blog about it!  I was star struck this week!

Regular readers to this blog may recall:

All of these posts were inspired by the efforts of a twelve year old son of a friend of mine.  His passion was cartooning – not the digitally created things that are so easy to do and common to find – but the old-fashioned type with a storyline, sweat and a pencil at a drawing board.  The result?  He just posted his 101st cartoon on his blog, Instant Isaac.

Creative Commons License
J2LCOMICS by J.Lim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at

I was going to post something when he hit the magical 100th post but I held off until now.  You see, the cartoonist was travelling with his family (mother @doremigirl) and they were making a stop mid-Ontario at the home of @TechieAng and @bharrisonp.  My wife and I and @royanlee‘s family were invited to supper and a nice informal get together.  While we have all been friends online for some time, I believe that I was the only one who had personally met @doremigirl.  I was excited to be invited and we made the 5 hour drive.

We had a wonderful evening, complete with a nice BBQ and swimming for the kids but what was special to me was the opportunity to meet my favourite young cartoonist.  Throughout the evening, through conversation, I got an opportunity to see what makes Isaac tick.  I learned the origin of the name, how ideas for the comic strip are generated (we all suggested that a swimming pool incident might make for a good comic in the future…), how long it takes to draw a strip, how it gets from paper to digital, how the comic of the week is selected, who is editor is, who does the posting, who his inspiration for cartooning is, who his favourite music teacher is, …

It was a great opportunity to have the chance to just sit and chat with a young man about something that he is truly passionate about at this point in time.  He’s twelve so we’ll give him the opportunity to change his interests but, if he keeps at cartooning, his blog will serve as a very comprehensive portfolio demonstrating his growth over time.  It is truly amazing that he’s able to post on a weekly basis.  And, they’re not generated at the last minute.  By both his and his father’s estimate, he’s already created about 150 strips so he could go for another 49 weeks without generating new content.

If anyone is looking for an exemplar about how blogging can enable a student, they only need look at Instant Isaac.  The really cool thing is that his cartoons are released with a Creative Commons license.  Just give him attribution and don’t make a derivative work and you can use his efforts.

He is an amazing young man and I wish him all the best.

The coolest thing of the evening?  His dad took a picture of the two of us.  Because of his age, I won’t post it here but I’ve got it printed and it’s in a frame of the personalized Instant Isaac comic that adorns the wall in my den.

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Isaac Turns 1

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I had this conversation with my friend @doremigirl.  Back and forth, we had been talking about our kids and their passions.  She mentioned that her son had a passion for cartooning.  That really caught my attention because I think that’s the first time I’d even heard of that.

It wasn’t cartooning in the digital age by the digital age.  There are all kinds of software packages and online services that make digital cartooning open to more students.  That wasn’t his passion.  His passion was actually freehand drawing the cartoon to express himself.  This truly was unique.  You can read about our original back and forth here with a followup here.

The conversation also involved the concept of copyright.  At this point in his cartooning career (he was 11), he wasn’t ready to make his first million but just wanted to share his efforts with the world – or at least the part of the world that was interested.

The result was the blog J2LComics – My Life in Comics.

He did want to make sure that the integrity of his work remained and so applied a Creative Commons license to the blog.

Now, stop for a second.  How many times have you seen someone create a blog for all the right reasons and then it peters off after a bit because it actually is work?

I’m here today to say that, in the past year, Instant Isaac has become one of my “look forward to reading” blogs.  Faithfully, cartoons appear and they continue to generate a smile at this end.  While his mom claims that the characters have no resemblance to any one in particular in real life, I don’t know about that.  Sometimes, the storylines seem pretty real!

To celebrate the one year anniversary, this week’s cartoon was a repeat of his very first effort.

J2LCOMICS by J.Lim is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

I’d like to extend my congratulations for a year’s effort of entertaining his audience.  Keep it up and we’ll look forward to more insights into Isaac’s life.  In the meantime, I hope that BlogBooker is used to capture this great year in cartooning.