Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Benefits of Sharing Images on Social Media

Yesterday I posted a question to Facebook asking those that take images from my FB page and repost them to their own FB pages, why they do that instead of just using the share function built into Facebook. I was surprised at some of the responses to this post. I was accused of selfishness and a few other things. My point wasn’t to impose unreasonable limitations on viewers or to make accusations questioning the character of those doing this. On the contrary, I clarified that I don’t think those people have wrong motives. This swiping of images is just a common practice in this digital age that most have not thought about concerning how it impacts the creators of online content. So here is my case for how taking images in this manner hurts not just me, but any online content creator.

Think of my FB page as an art gallery. I want people to come to my gallery, enjoy it and tell others so that they can come to my gallery too. Copying my cartoons and reposting them is like taking my art out of my gallery and then making your own gallery with my art in it so that people will go there instead. People still see my art, but they stop coming to my gallery. My gallery stops growing.

Social media creates a web that grows and benefits the creator of the original content. When an image or video is taken and reposted, those benefits now go to you, and cease for the creator of the content. The benefits have in effect been stolen from the creator.

Here is a list of some of those benefits:

1. Sharing cartoons and other images by using the FB share feature creates a link that makes it very easy for the viewer to go to the page of the creator. One click is all it takes. Without this link most viewers will not go to the trouble of finding the creator’s FB page. Too much work.
2. These shares are recorded by Facebook and count towards the positive record of the creator’s FB page. These stats matter.
3. The number of shares are displayed on the creators FB page and provide encouragement that the cartoon is seen and being enjoyed by many. These numbers provide a gauge of how the image is doing. “Likes” are good. “Shares” are great!
4. These shares help the number of fans or followers to a given FB page to grow, which is the desire of any content creator.

To further make the point of these benefits, here's  a very nicely written article from another content creator.

I don’t charge for the online use of the cartoons. I want them to be shared without cost so they will be shared as much as possible. Some artists do charge for their art to be used and make part of their living by doing so. See this issue from their perspective.

Years ago, Far Side creator Gary Larson saw his cartoons being copied and posted all over the web before social media got going like it is today. This upset him as he saw it as a loss of control of his creation. He wrote this letter to try to stop this activity:

I’m walking a fine line here. On the one hand, I confess to finding it quite flattering that some of my fans have created web sites displaying and / or distributing my work on the Internet. And, on the other, I’m struggling to find the words that convincingly but sensitively persuade these Far Side enthusiasts to "cease and desist" before they have to read these words from some lawyer. What impact this unauthorized use has had (and is having) in tangible terms is, naturally, of great concern to my publishers and therefore to me — but it’s not the focus of this letter. My effort here is to try and speak to the intangible impact, the emotional cost to me, personally, of seeing my work collected, digitized, and offered up in cyberspace beyond my control. Years ago I was having lunch one day with the cartoonist Richard Guindon, and the subject came up how neither one of us ever solicited or accepted ideas from others. But, until Richard summed it up quite neatly, I never really understood my own aversions to doing this: "It’s like having someone else write in your diary," he said. And how true that statement rang with me. In effect, we drew cartoons that we hoped would be entertaining or, at the very least, not boring; but regardless, they would always come from an intensely personal, and therefore original perspective. To attempt to be "funny" is a very scary, risk-laden proposition. (Ask any stand-up comic who has ever "bombed "on stage.) But if there was ever an axiom to follow in this business, it would be this: be honest to yourself and — most important — respect your audience. So, in a nutshell (probably an unfortunate choice of words for me), I only ask that this respect be returned, and the way for anyone to do that is to please, please refrain from putting The Far Side out on the Internet. These cartoons are my "children," of sorts, and like a parent, I’m concerned about where they go at night without telling me. And, seeing them at someone’s web site is like getting the call at 2:00 a.m. that goes, "Uh, Dad, you’re not going to like this much, but guess where I am. " I hope my explanation helps you to understand the importance this has for me, personally, and why I’m making this request. Please send my "kids" home. I’ll be eternally grateful.
Most respectfully,
Gary Larson

I am not going that far, although some have reacted as if I did. I LOVE when people share my cartoons. They become partners in ministry with me by doing so. All I’m asking is to keep the benefits that I and other content creators should have when our cartoons, images and videos are shared. Please use the “share” button that Facebook has provided to do the sharing. If you also want to copy my cartoons to your computer to look at later offline, that’s fine. No problem there. I have a huge and growing collection of digital art images myself. But whenever possible, if I want to share an image online, I go out of my way to at least try to link it back to the source.

I hope that this information has been helpful to you and I thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Most respectfully,

Dan Lietha

Saturday, November 12, 2016

My Fairy Tale Ark Art In The Ark Encounter!

 About a couple weeks before the Ark Encounter opened to the public, I received an email from the Ark Encounter Art Department requesting a piece of artwork I had originally produced for an article I had written and illustrated for Answers Magazine in 2007. The art was to be used in an exhibit on the small, fairy tale Arks we see far too often in church nurseries, and children's books.( I've even produced a 50 minute presentation on this topic, a small part of which you can see here.) I could have just sent the art over to them, but I took a few extra minutes to add a secret touch that would be fun to tell others about ... later. 

I had hoped, later, would be during the first visit to see the Ark with my family. You see, the secret touch was the hidden addition of the names of my wife, Marcia, and daughter, Hannah into the artwork. But that's not quite how it happened. More on that later.

Lots of artists hide things in their artwork and in the past I’ve hidden Marcia’s name on covers of books I’ve illustrated.  See here. But this time I was excited for the opportunity to hide hide Hannah’s name too! 

When you look at my illustration of a fairy tale type Ark, find the elephants and the lions. The trunk of the female elephant is the location for Hannah’s name. And the jawline of the female lion is the location of Marcia’s name. Each of these animal's mates are looking at the hidden names. 

Can you see "Hannah" 
 in the  female elephant's trunk?

Can you see "Marcia" in the jawline of the female lion?
For all those reading this that are going, “AWWWWWWWWWW!” there’s a twist to this happy secret. You see, I didn’t see the actual print of my art in the exhibit until 6 weeks after the Ark Encounter opened. During that 6 weeks, I told a few friends and then eventually Marcia, Hannah, and a bunch of relatives on Marcia’s side of the family of the hidden names. All of them were excited to go to the Ark and see this special secret and I was happy to have them see it.

 Then in mid-August my family and I visited the Ark, and I saw the actual art as it was used in the exhibit and it wasn't quite what I expected. The exhibit was very nice, but the print of my art was too small for the details of the tiny hidden names to be seen! Nobody could see it.

Oh well, It’s still a fun bit of information to share with people even though I have to add the part about the fact that the names can’t be seen. :-)

Here they are! Really!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Vacuum Cleaners

Most people don’t know that right before my professional cartooning career took off, I was a Filter Queen vacuum cleaner salesman … for about a month. I’m a horrible salesman, so the only thing I took away from that “job” was a renewed love for Filter Queen vacuum cleaners. BTW I grew up with one in the house and my parents still have that unit! And it still works!

Anyway, Marcia and I got married 2 years after my sales career tanked and our first vacuum cleaner was a Filter Queen! However, it was a much cheaper model called the Princess. I wanted the Majestic which was the model I tried to sell, but they were EXPENSIVE!!! $1500 - $2000 or as much as the salesperson could squeeze out of you. That was probably the top reason I was no good at the sales game. There was NO way we could afford a Majestic so we got the best FQ unit we could fit into our income.
Our old Princess
Flash forward 23 years later and the powerhead motor burned out on our much used FQ Princess. Marcia encouraged me to get it fixed so I found online (isn't the internet handy?!) that the motor would cost $40 - $50. Not bad. But I decided to look around to see if I could replace our now dear old unit with an older Majestic for reasonably close to the price of fixing our unit. I did find a few on Craigslist, most of which were $120 and up. I was surprised to see how many generations of the FQ Majestic there were since I had tried to sell them back in 1991. I kept looking. 
This ad had been posted for 12 days!
A few weeks later while we were in Wisconsin visiting family on vacation, I found a FQ Majestic on Craigslist in the Duluth, Minnesota area that had to be TOO GOOD to be true!!! It was only one generation older than the newest model (it's about 8 years old) AND it was being sold for only $35!!! Deals like this are usually some sort of scam, but the older gentleman that I spoke to on the phone seemed sincere and genuine. He said it was only used for part of the year as they spent half of their year away in Las Vegas. And the unit had only light use plus it came from a non-smoking home with no pets! I said I'll take it! The next day we met them and I bought it... for only $35. WOW! This was no scam.
Our NEW beautiful Filter Queen Majestic!

Our new Filter Queen Majestic works and looks like almost new, except for some light wear marks on the powerhead. I’m still stunned. When this unit was new it would have sold for over $1500 at least! And the Lord blessed us with it for only $35. WOW! I love it! Praise the Lord!

Yes, you really read a blog post about a guy that loves a vacuum cleaner. :-)  And I use it too! True story!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

And The Winner Is ...

The winner of my contest that will be drawn in an After Eden cartoon is ... Titus1nine.

I whittled the list of entries down based on the answers given and then the remaining entries were given a number. Then I shook 6 dice, and the number assigned to Titus1nine came up 3 times in one shake. Thanks to all that entered. When I post the cartoon, I will also identify the cartoon.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

YOU Could Be IN An After Eden Cartoon!

It's time to announce the final contest in the CreationWise 20th Anniversary Celebration. Back in November a family situation came up and I was unable to complete the final two contests at that time. As an update, the third contest winners have been notified and they (David C, Joshua W, and Erkka J) will be receiving their autographed CreationWise printed cartoons in the next week. So that leaves one final contest:

YOU Could Be IN An After Eden Cartoon!

There will be only one (1) winner in this final contest. The prize is the winner will be drawn as a character in one, new, yet to be created After Eden cartoon! I will also print out the cartoon, autograph it and mail it to the winner.

There are four steps to complete to enter the contest:

1. Share three (3) of my cartoons from my Facebook page to your Facebook page.

2. Comment on this blog posting and let me know if you follow any other cartoonists on Facebook and if you do, share their Facebook page address in your comment.

3. In your comment on this blog, also write ideas to help me to gain more likes on Facebook. What kinds of things would you like to see on my Facebook page that are not already there?

4. Send me your email address so I can contact you (if you win) to get your photo so I can draw you in the After Eden cartoon. A good quality photo of the winner will be required to be sent after the winner is notified. Your email addresses will not be used for any other purpose outside of this contest. Send your email to:

Only the winner's first name will be used in the cartoon.

The contest will end on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 12:00 noon EST. I will select the winner with the help of a dice and post the results on Facebook and my blog later the same day.

You may enter this contest as many times as you like, however you must complete each of the four steps completely as listed above with each entry. 

If the winner does not respond to my email to him or her within 5 days, a new winner will be selected.

New After Eden cartoons are posted on Fridays. The After Eden cartoon in which the winner will appear may not appear on the following Friday. It's production schedule will depend upon my current demands and deadlines. I will produce the cartoon as soon as I am able to do so.

This contest is not connected to Facebook in any way.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

CreationWise 20th Anniversary Giveaway #1 Results

The first giveaway is closed and the results are in!

There were a total of 34 entries. Thanks to all who participated.

The winners were chosen by using this random number generator.

And the winners of an autographed A is for Adam book plus development sketches are:

#2 - Kathy S

#19 - Christy W

#30 - Shannon H

Congratulations! The winners will be contacted by email.

Thanks again to all who participated!

There are three more giveaways to enter this month! Hope you win!

Join the CreationWise 20th Anniversary celebration HERE!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

CreationWise 20th Anniversary Giveaway #1

This contest has expired. See results here:

This is the 1st giveaway for the CreationWise 20th anniversary celebration and it involves some of my artwork! There will be a new giveaway each of the remaining Saturdays in the month of November 2014.

This giveaway is NOT affiliated with Facebook or Blogger in ANY way! In the video I mistakenly state the contest is on Facebook.  The 20th Anniversary Celebration is on Facebook. The giveaway is not! It is only here on my blog.

How to enter
You need to do 4 simple things:

1. Watch this 1.5 minute video and listen for the year that I sent Ken Ham a special batch of artwork in the mail. Write that down! BONUS INFO: That year is also shared in the blog posting referred to in step 2.

2. Google the words, " Lietha cover blog secret hidden Adam". It's important to get the spelling right! The top search result will contain a big secret about the original version of the book A is for Adam. Read the info in my blog about the secret and write that down!

3. What is the name of your favorite cartoonist NOT named Lietha?

4. Email me at and tell me the correct answers to steps one and two as well as your answer to step three!

You will be entered in the giveaway! There will only be 3 winners.

Contest ends next Saturday, November 15, 2014 at  9:00 AM EST.

Winners will be chosen at random.

I will announce the winners on my blog as well as contacting the winners by email.
The prizes will be shipped out the following week.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Report: One Year of 50 Push-ups Every Day

On March 30, 2013 I began a year long task of 50 push-ups each day. I actually added an extra day to my year as I ended the daily push-ups on March 30, 2014. 

I did not begin able to do 50 in a single set and as I recall, I started by doing one set of 30 and then a second set of 20. It took me about two to three weeks to work up to 50 in one set. Then after that I started adding more to the minimum of 50. As you can see, I made it up to 80 a day before my shoulders started telling me to back off and return to 50 a day.  Actually I think I did 85 a day for a little bit. I know one day I did 100 (in one set) and set a personal record. Toward the end of my year of push-ups, my wrists started to hurt, so I had to change form and to do my push-ups on my fists to prevent my wrists from bending during the exercise. This was surprisingly difficult.

In this video my form is not perfect, however my chest touches the floor each time I go down. My extension on the way up could be better, but like I said, doing this on my fists added a challenge for me. Give the video a watch if you want to see an O-L-D man doing push-ups. It was rewarding to, in a sense, cross the finish line. 

My total push-ups for the year was between 20,305 and 20,500. I should have kept better records but these numbers are pretty close.

I do have to qualify my "50 a day" by saying that I missed doing my daily push-ups on around 15 days. Most of those days were lapses of memory and a few were for medical reasons. However, each missed day was accounted for a made up on the following day. I did more than enough push-ups for the entire year!

I hope this information encourages somebody out there to try something a little different. The benefits for me were the added muscle and strength for such a small investment of time and effort. I will now modify my exercise routine to include a variety of lifts and moves for a better all-around fitness and at least a two day rest of the muscle groups before working them out again. The year of daily push-ups was a nice discipline to build upon.

Push-ups numbers through the year:

March 30 - April 15 ……………….... 50 push-ups x 17 days = 850 push-ups
April 15 - April 30 …………….…….. 55 push-ups  x 15 days = 825 push-ups
May 1 - 15 ………………………...…..60 push-ups x 15 days = 900 push-ups
May 16 - 31 …………………..……… 65 push-ups x 15 days = 975 push-ups
June 30 days ………………………... 70 push-ups x 30 days = 2100 push-ups
July 31 days …………………….……75 push-ups  x 31 days = 2325 push-ups
Aug 2 - 12 ………………………...….. 80 push-ups  x 11 days = 880 push-ups

Shoulder started hurting. Backed off to 50 a day for the rest of the year.  

Aug 13 - 31 …….…... 18 days
Sept ……………….… 30 days
Oct  ………………….. 31 days
Nov ……………….…. 30 days
Dec  ……………….…. 31 days
Jan …………………… 31 days
Feb …………………… 28 days
Mar  …………………… 30 days

50 push-ups  x 229 days = 11,450 push-ups
TOTAL 20,305 Push-ups

Monday, March 31, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Thirty: Ken Ham

This month of caricatures ends with a famous face that I know pretty well. He's my boss, Ken Ham. I've drawn for him for over 19 years. He's had quite a major impact in my life. Thanks Ken!  I hope I've helped you a little too. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Twenty-nine: Mark Lietha

Today's featured face is NOT Dr. Phil! In fact this face is not of a famous person, at least not according to most people. It's my baby brother Mark Lietha. Now I know the rules for my caricatures this month was that they are to be of FAMOUS people. Well, that's true, but today is my birthday and I chose to feature my brother. Not good enough for you? OK, it's my 50th birthday! Ah yes, I thought that might do it. 

I would like you to consider making my brother "famous" in a special way. I'd like you to think of him often and pray for him. A few weeks ago he was diagnosed with throat cancer and he is now undergoing chemo and radiation. As you can imagine it is not a pleasant process. The good news is that the doctors have given him a promising outcome and that is encouraging. 

Doctors and medical technology are a blessing, however, our hope ultimately is in the God of the Gospel. He is in control, and each thing that comes into our lives is in His hand.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Twenty-eight: George Younce

I've always liked to listen to singing with excellent harmony and quartets were always a great source of such harmony. By the early 1980's I was already a fan of the Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers and others. But it was George Younce that caught my ear and brought me over to become a fan of the Cathedral Quartet. That man had a DEEP bass voice and he was an excellent singer. I had the privilege of seeing the Cathdrals live in concert three times. They were a treat to see preform. George Younce and Glen Payne were quite a team and had a long history together. They sang together for a total of about 43 years. It was sad to eventually see the Cathedrals retire in late 1999 and then shortly thereafter lose Glen Payne to cancer. George continued to sing without his best friend and then we lost George

On April 11, 2005. He and Glenn are singing together again!

I miss those guys and am so very grateful for the many audio and video recordings they left behind. What a wonderful legacy we can all still enjoy. Praise the Lord!

Here are a few must-see clips featuring George Younce and the Cathedrals:

Should You Go First/Beyond the Sunset

Hymn Medly


Mansion Over The Hilltop

Champion of Love

Boundless Love

Can He, Could He, Would He

Master Builder

George Younce Funny Moments

More Funny Cathedrals Moments

Friday, March 28, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Twenty-seven: Michael Card

For 27 days of this month I've drawn faces that have been important to me for mostly shallow fun and entertainment reasons with only a couple exceptions. Todays caricature subject has provided me with very meaningful and worthwhile musical entertainment, worship, and Bible study. Michael Card is a singer, song writer and musician and is probably my favorite Christian music artist of all. His songs are loaded with theology, scripture and biblical teaching. I really enjoy the sound of his music, most of which he writes himself. One can listen to his CDs and study the Bible at the same time! How many Christian artists can you say that about?

I've seen Michael Card in concert at least 4 times and saw him once in Nashville signing books at a Christian book convention. Unfortunately I didn't get to meet him but just gawked from a distance. I really would love to meet him someday to tell him what a difference his ministry of music has made in my life. 

Here's a VERY small sampling of my favorite Michael Card songs:

God's Own Fool

Love Cricified Arose

The Way of Wisdom

Things We Leave Behind


El Shaddai

Poem of Your Life

Know You in the Now/Could It Be

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Twenty-six: Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones

"Snakes, why'd it have to be snakes?" My favorite Indiana Jones line from all of his movies.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Twenty-five: Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa

Rocky was such an inspiration for athletic focus back in my younger days. I'd watch one of the movies and/or listen to some of the music to set my mind on the race ahead of me. I used to be a runner. The Rocky theme and Eye of the Tiger really got my heart pumping!

Even today, from time to time I'll play one of the Rocky movies (except for number 5) while I draw and it provides a focus for producing artwork too. However, I do have to control myself when the Rocky theme comes on and force myself to stay seated and not jog around the room boxing the air. But other than that, it's not the distraction you'd think it would be! I mostly just listen to the movie when I draw anyway.

I haven't seen one of the Rocky movies for a while. It may be time to watch one again! Yo Rocky!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Marching Thru 30 Famous Faces - Number Twenty-four: Brent Spiner as Lieutenant Commander Data

Since I drew Spock for the first week of this 30 caricature month, it's only right and fair that I also draw the Spock-ish character from Star Trek the Next Generation. Data was very entertaining and I enjoyed this Star Trek series very much. Something seems a little off in this caricature though. I can't seem to put my finger on it though. Maybe you can find it.