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Blessed Are Those Who Draw Funny Pictures

February 18, 2014

A recent quick-sketch double caricature of Pope Francis, who’s often seen smiling and giving a thumbs-up.

Is he really a fan of humorous illustration? That’s one illustrator’s theory, anyway… : )blank vertical space, 32 pixels high

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highThe guy’s got a great smile. Occasionally he will give a double thumbs-up, though it’s usually less flashy than the one I drew.
Pope Francis smiling and giving thumbs-up

Here he is, responding to my work. Very kind, Your Eminence– thank you!Pope Francis giving big thumbs-up

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Are you a fan of Pope Francis?

Is a person’s smile a pretty good indicator of their sense of humor?

Do you think the Pope will be canonizing me any time soon??

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. SingingTuna permalink
    February 18, 2014 10:25 AM

    I “like” this! [Still can’t “Like” it, though, due to some wackiola interwebs failure]
    Yes, he does have a great smile. Smiles are soooo important. Yours is super, too!
    LOVE the illustration — that thumb-icon is perfection!
    Saint Markarmstrongillustration? A little long for a saint’s name, but not unheard of. I just looked up the list of names and most are a bit shorter. Well…a lot shorter. The long ones seem to work bec someone’s added descriptors, like “Saint So-and-So the Confessor” or “Saint Immaculate XYZ of the Pristine ABCs.” Maybe “Saint Armstrong of the Illustrative Marks?” It combines all 3 names.
    Sorry if this was anywhere near sacrilegious. I’m sick of shoveling snow and my annoyance is leaking out in odd ways.
    Wonderful to see you!!!!


    • February 20, 2014 5:51 PM

      Most Wonderful Tuna Whatever Swum The Seas–!! So very glad to hear from you– I was about ready to send out a search party! I was gonna ask the Pope to contribute a platoon of Swiss Guards– only instead of those long vegetable dicers they carry, have ’em bring snow shovels in case we hadda dig you out!! : )

      St. Armstrong of the Illustrative Marks… I like it!! And if my halo looks a little tarnished, I could always say I was tryna adjust it using ink-stained hands– yes, yes, I think that’ll work. Every saint needs a good backup story… : )

      Great to see you, Robin– your wonderful comments are one of life’s most intoxicating elixirs!!
      ::runs along your fish-drawn carriage, waves furiously, falls in mud puddle, ker-SPLAT!!::


  2. February 18, 2014 10:28 AM

    Haha.. nice.. did he actually give you a thumbs up?


    • February 20, 2014 5:59 PM

      Ha!! Actually, he was giving me a thumbs-down, but he was standing on his head at the time, so I just took the liberty of turning his picture upside-down. Or do I mean, downside-up??

      Anyway, I had tea with him this afternoon, and he explained that he was so overcome with joy upon seeing my drawing, that he did a headstand, and was really giving me a thumps-UP.

      Uh… I hope that’s clear, my dear Tanushri!! : )


      • February 20, 2014 7:38 PM

        Oh, what I actually meant was “Wow, you actually met him??!! How Lucky!!”

        Nice to hear your story.. hope you had a good time with him… 🙂


  3. February 18, 2014 11:12 AM

    I’d be very impressed if the pope was at all aware of your work.
    Perhaps send him this one?


    • February 20, 2014 7:09 PM

      I’d be very impressed, too, if the Pope was at all aware of my work. In fact, I’ll go further: I’d be stunned, shocked, and shaken to the core!! Of course, it is possible– I may be on a list titled Things That Need To Be Dealt With, or possibly Exorcisms Needed ASAP… : )

      I thought your suggestion about sending Pope Francis a copy of the caricature was an excellent one! He doesn’t seem to have a personal email address, but I did find one for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications: so I sent a JPEG copy thru them. I also posted the blog link to Pope Francis’ Facebook Page. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from him very soon… : )

      Always appreciate your humor and support, sir– thank’ee!!


  4. February 18, 2014 1:48 PM

    I suppose he follows your blog. Thats why he is always in good mood with a big smile. There are rumors that they are looking for an illustrator to pep up the bible. Have you already got call?


    • February 21, 2014 10:53 AM

      My wild and crazy Tutti!!! Your comment made me roar with laughter!! I like your analysis– it sounds entirely logical to me. It conjurers up a vision of the Pope walking past a group of cardinals with a big smile on his face. One of the cardinals frowns and mutters, “He’s been reading that awful blog again!!” Ah, well– it’s hard to please everybody… : )

      No one’s called me about illustrating the Bible. I have gotten several calls suggesting I “take a hike,” “get lost,” go fly a kite,” and “take a long walk off a short pier,” but of course that’s not the same thing… : (

      Thank you for your most outrageous and wonderful comment!!


  5. February 18, 2014 5:41 PM

    Awwww, blessed they are INDEED!!!!!!
    PS Your paintbrush bouquet was …out of this world! Thank you, my friend! 🙂


    • February 21, 2014 10:59 AM

      Ah! Knowing you is a special blessing, my dear Marina– and it doesn’t matter whether you’re at your easel or buried under a mountain of packing crates and boxes!! Now I must trot down to the flower shop and order more Paintbrushes for you!! : )


  6. February 18, 2014 7:01 PM

    Does humorous illustration have a moral dimension? Can it be construed as a good?

    YES! (Haha, Mark, you know I’m always going to be drawing on the cache– I like what you have to say even in previous drafts.)

    Is a person’s smile a pretty good indicator of their sense of humor?

    Yes. I think Pope Francis would be delightfully amused and honored of your portrayal. I really like what I’m reading about him, his outlook, his focus, and his outward demeanor.


    • February 21, 2014 11:09 AM

      Ha! Thanks, Jak. Yes, I took some philosophy and theology courses in college. I became a dangerous man when I learned phrases like “moral dimension.” I’m always trying to work them into a sentence… : )

      I like Pope Francis, too. I like to think the Holy Spirit has put him in the right place at the right time. I know there are many false smiles in the world, but I also think most of us know a genuine smile when we see it. Pope Francis seems to have the genuine article. He’s a lot like you and me that way… : )


  7. February 18, 2014 8:12 PM

    I don’t know very much about Pope Francis, so I can’t say that I am a fan, but I do approve of his approval of my favorite illustrator!

    Yes, a person’s smile tells a lot about a person. Even more so – their eyes when they’re smiling.

    Yes, the Pope will likely shoot you out of a cannon soon. 😉


    • February 23, 2014 5:58 PM

      My dear Maddiekins… when I read that last line of your comment, I let out quite a roar. How loud was it? I happened to glance out the window, and I saw 6 deer, 2 dozen wild turkeys, 17 squirrels, 23 chipmunks, and an old porcupine on crutches come sprinting out of the woods!! Well, well, sometimes these things can’t be helped… : )

      Besides making me laugh, your pun associating canonization with canon, the artillery piece, brought back a memory: I once had an assignment which required a cartoon drawing of a guy so unpopular, he was canonized with a canon– complete with a limerick! I’ll see if I can dig it up and post it on my Facebook page.

      Your comment was charming, just as you are charming, my dear Maddie– thank you!! : )


  8. February 18, 2014 8:38 PM

    I am a HUGE fan of Pope Francis. I love the thumbs up, Mark, and I’m sure he’s giving you the A-OK on your illustrations. 😉


    • February 21, 2014 2:09 PM

      Thanks, Judy! Thought you might be a fan of his. I could see the two of you swappin’ war stories over a Utica Club! Say– I wonder if they’ve got any openings in the Vatican Press Office?? I’ll have a word and see if I can get you in. I suspect you could set your own hours, etc– whatever it takes to nab the extra prestige of having your name on the masthead!! : )


      • February 21, 2014 10:31 PM

        As cool as I think Pope Francis is, I suspect my hubby would miss me if I became the spokes dudess for the Pope. (How cool would that be?) The commute would be a bear. 🙂


        • February 24, 2014 10:00 PM

          I think he would have given you a private jet with a big Schultz and Dooley logo on the front, but you’re right– it would still be a tough commute… : )


  9. SingingTuna permalink
    February 19, 2014 8:28 AM

    YAY!! Safari let me LIKE this! And I really, really do.


  10. Mia Moravis permalink
    February 19, 2014 9:19 AM

    (…for they shall inherit the earth!). This is fascinating, Mark! (Yes, you’ll be canonized shortly!)
    ~ Mia


    • February 23, 2014 5:24 PM

      Inherit the earth?? Zounds! I’m not sure I’m up for those kind of custodial duties!! Just make it a pot of black coffee and a bag of chocolate-covered peanuts… : )

      Thank you, my dear Mia!! A supportive comment from a person with your myriad artistic talents is worth its weight in… well, in chocolate-covered peanuts!!– and I can’t give higher praise than that!!

      Canonization? Not likely!!– but if it happens, I’m gonna ask you to sign on as producer!! : )


  11. February 20, 2014 12:16 AM

    I am a fan of Pope Francis! He seems like the happiest pope ever (probably because he reads your stuff, Mark, which makes him wise as well!)


    • February 25, 2014 2:29 PM

      Oh, my! Now I’ll have to go look for my socks. Your comment knocked ’em clean off ’bout a country mile!! I dislike trudging thru snow in my bare feet, but this time I’ll be doing it with a big smile on my face!!

      Wow– the Pope looks happy ’cause he reads my stuff, and it also makes him wise… That does it!! I’m puttin’ this wonderful comment in the Flattery Hall Of Fame!! Bless you, dear Linda, you have made my day as per usual!!! : )


  12. February 20, 2014 12:36 PM


    I love your theory, Mark, and I can’t stop laughing! hahahahahahahaahahahahahaha


    • February 25, 2014 2:20 PM

      Ha!! No one laughs better than you, Inge! I’m always amazed how your mighty laugh rolls across the ocean, and shakes the house to its foundation!! It always knocks my moose head off the wall, but I don’t mind– it’s worth it!!

      Thanks as always for your good-humored support! : )


  13. February 22, 2014 7:20 AM

    Yes, Mark; I can’t help but like this Pope; he seems so genuine. For me it’s his smile (more than anything else) that gives the impression that he is ‘real’, with heartfelt understandings and beliefs determined by experience…

    Just as a by the by, Mark: The last image reminds me of Stanley Laurel. Remember him? 😉


    • February 25, 2014 2:56 PM

      Carolyn!! How lovely to see you! It’s been ages. Love your new gravatar as well– welcome!!

      I like your take on Pope Francis: warm, understanding, genuine. Perhaps the three of us should get together and form a club… : )

      Now that you mention it, I can see a resemblance to Stan Laurel in that last photo– the smile and the chin. You’re a film scholar, too?? I shoulda guessed! Wonderful to see you! : )


  14. soul . to . earth permalink
    February 24, 2014 10:58 AM

    As is my habit*, I praise the Lord who is pleased with your humour. Mark, et benedictum eloquium tuum, opus! Mark, blessed be your work, if Google translate is to be trusted?

    [* = my entire schooling in India was at Convent-run schools… me church cred, I hope?] 😉


    • February 24, 2014 9:46 PM

      Good Heavens!! Habit jokes, benedictions, Latin– it’s like Dante’s Divine Comedy condensed into a single comment!! You are entirely too much, my dear Radhika, but of course that’s all part of your enormous charm… : )

      Convent-run schools? They did a great job, they always do– which means you’ve not only got church cred, you’re a very dangerous woman!! : )


  15. February 28, 2014 8:09 AM

    I love this illustration…. With a thumb mark, and a thumb head with thumb’s up.. 🙂

    Hmmm… it’s only now that I knew that there is Pope Francis. Thanks to you Mark for bringing him alive in one of your illustration masterpieces.

    I enjoy reading all the comments here as well… Your responses to their comments entertain me as well especially with “tanushrisinha… ROL

    Great post! My thumb’s up to you! With my pucker lips- mmwahhhhh


    • March 6, 2014 11:48 AM

      I was just speaking to the Pope about you, my dear Toothsome. He’s looking for a good dentist, and I recommended you. I said there was an aura of holiness about you, because you were always drilling holes in people’s teeth. I think he was impressed… : )

      Yes, always some delightful comment exchanges here at the Armstrong Donut Shoppe. I seem to attract some very interesting visitors– like yourself, for example!!

      My sincere thanks to you and your minty-fresh pucker lips!! : )


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