Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sandals - Not Shoes - at Work!...Nice!

Wearing sandals at work is no problem if you work in the beach industry, or at the beach, or for a total awesome dude, or, in some cases, happen to be a women! What is it with the ladies being able to pull of sandals in the work place and not us dudes? I've seen many a lady walking around in dresses, skirts or whatever wearing something that looks very much like a sandal but has maybe an inch of lift in the back, sometimes less, and they call it an open toes dress shoe. 
   I would think to myself, "Totally unfair!" as I waited to get home (or even the car sometimes) to kick off my "feet choking" shoes for a cool pair of "Finally my feet can relax" sandals. The equivolent of finally pulling off that tie at the end of the day, if you have to wear one. Thank God I don't! I'm not much of a tie guy, and my middle-of-the-road salary will always reflect that.
Actually, I admire the ladies industry for having been able to pull off this "sandals as shoes"ploy for years! But that didn't help my, sweaty, stinky, tight shoe problem that has been a hassle for me most of my working life...until now.
That's because, FINALLY, some cool sandal companies have come on the scene and created sandals that look more like, and wear more like, SHOES!...Yes, all the feel and freedom of sandals has arrived! Dudes, are feet are saved.

Right now, I'm wearing a new pair of Sanuks ( If you're any kind of a dude, you have either seen these or already own a pair or two. For those who don't know of them you need to bust over to your local surfwear shop or location and check them out!
Yes, they make the traditional sandals that will have your boss saying, "No beuno in el officio!" But, they also have a style they call their "Sidewalk Surfer" line that look enough like shoes that you might just get the okay to wear them in the work place.
Here is the pair I've been sporting all summer and my feet thank me everyday! The best $60 I've spent in a long time. Mine can look a bit on the slipper-side, but Sanuk does offer some that look even more shoe-like for those harsher bosses. Check them out! They are totally Dude Shoes!
Speaking of Dude Shoes, our friends across the pond in the UK have a line of shoes that feel like, wear like, but don't look like sandals at all. They have the total shoe look with the total sandal feel and they are appropriately named, you guessed it, "Dude Shoes!" ( Shoes for the total dude! I just ordered my first pair under the advisement a great "Dude" friend who is already on his second pair! You can see their whole catalog and order online. Tons of styles and colors to choose from. Average cost is 45 pounds sterling and 12 pounds to ship ($85 all total). That's dress shoe pricing.
Dudes, your feet have been crying out to you for years. It's time to save them, rest them and get them to stop smelling so bad...dude. Your boss might even thank you for switching!!
One of the women in my office looked at my Sanuks and tried to play the, "He's wearing slippers" card!
She, of course, was in open-toed sandals that didn't even have any extra heal to make them look more like shoes. She knew this was the first step in men taking back some well hidden, comfortable feet time and I could tell she didn't like me discovering this long lost ancient secret held tightly by women for so many years. Well, move over ladies, we're here,
walking in relaxed, and we're here to stay, comfort and all....dude!

If you know of other dude shoes we dudes should know about, let us know in the comment section. We, and our fett, will thank you....dude.

Keith Poletiek is the cartoonist and creator of  the daily online comic strip "Dude and Dude" Distributed by Universal Uclick at for United Feature Syndicate. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Creating Dude and Dude: Life in the "Dudeio"

Many of you dudes - that know I wear a few hats - have been asking how it's possible for me to draw a daily comic strip and still find time to write & promote my kid's books, travel & speak, handle marketing/publicity & sales for a local camp, do freelance cartoons and graphics, manage a home life as a husband, father and now grandfather, and keep my sanity. Dude, it's easy, you just do it!

Does the phrase, "Jack of all trades - Master of none" come to mind!

Actually, it is a very hectic life and finding the man hours can be brutal. Many days I'm left with getting up at 4a.m. to get a little time in the "dudeio" (what I call my studio) creating Dude and Dude or finishing up a T-shirt design or logo for someone. If much needed sleep wins out on a particular morning (dude, I don't know who is coaching sleep, but he has a great won-loss record), then late night "dudeio" sessions become a must with deadlines creeping up on me like a cheetah near the watering hole. Not good!
Subsequently, I've had to come up with a quicker method, for now, to produce Dude and Dude, using a bit more technology than I would like, and a little less, time consuming, freehand drawing to create a finished cartoon. If Dude and Dude continues to grow an online audience (3,400 subscribers at to date with over 100,000 individual hits weekly), and if print syndication is an option in the future, then less hats means more freehand sketching of the comic strip....The goal!!

Here is a quick overview of the process for creating the comic strip for those who asked or are curious or just a dude with some time to kill.

I spend as much time or more coming up with, writing, editing and fine-tuning each comic as I do drawing and creating them. If you see me around town I usually have a sketchbook or scratchpad with me wherever I go. I will acually designate certain coffee shops, beach locations or dude hangouts to hangout at in the hopes of having a quick nugget of an idea pop into my head. I jot it down quickly, these nuggets leave rather fast! Dude!

It all starts with sketching and inking the characters who will become part of the Dude and Dude community. In this picture is the actual first sketch of Dude and Dude. They were created in an airport terminal in Phoenix, AZ where I had just spent a week in 117 degree temperature speaking at a conference. As I sat, waiting for my flight home, all I could think about was being back in SoCal, near the beach and never wanting to leave the sand and surf again....thus, the two "Dudes," with the same mindset were born.

From the sketch, I do the final blackline inking, then I scan the image into my computer, bring it into my art program and add color. Once the character is comic ready, I copy and paste the image into that day's cartoon keeping a copy of the image saved in the library of art that surrounds the work station of each page I work on. Pulling from the library of characters, objects, backgrounds, etc. saves a huge amount of time and makes a daily comic possible at this point.

The purist cartoon critics blast me for not drawing everything fresh, and comment negatively at the similarity of backgrounds, character, etc. To them I say, "One, I agree, and Two...Dudes, lighten up!" Writing sells comics, not appearance! Abide, and go with the flow until time allows. Is it funny, satirical, slightly humorous and/or remind you of yourself, or days gone by? Then this comic is for you and all those "Young and Old Souls" out there that look at everyday as casual Friday!

When the panels are complete, the coloring is done and the gag in place, I save it all and prep it to send through an FTP site to Universal Uclick at Universal Press which now handles the electronic Distribution of Dude and Dude for United Feature Syndicate. I try to send a few weeks at a time and stay at least a month or more ahead on finish comics...that cheetah (deadline) is in the tall weeds staring at me me, waiting for me to fall behind the herd!

Dudes, if you have questions about what art format
I use, what pens, paper, etc. Contact me anytime
by email or Facebook. Please send me comments and testimonials as well for my promo file. Send me ideas, dudeisms or just your thoughts about Dude and Dude. I'd love to hear your best dude stories as well. Sign up to get Dude and Dude emailed to you daily for FREE (while the offer lasts) at Join the Dude and Dude Facebook community at

The new website is underway. We're hoping to launch it in September. News, Updates, Books, Products, Everything Dude and Dude will be there!.....Dude!

Keith is the cartoonist and creator of Dude and Dude. A daily comic strip Distributed world-wide by Universal Uclick for UFS on - All rights Reserved

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