Michael J. Swart

June 25, 2014

Looking Back at 100 Illustrations

Filed under: Data Cartoons — Michael J. Swart @ 1:05 pm

So I recently took a look at the illustrations I have on this blog and I realize that I’ve got 100 illustrations. I’ve even built a page to show them off. Since 100 is a nice round number, I’m going to take this opportunity to look at some trends. I’ve grouped some of my illustrations into categories:

Movie Franchises

the Princess Bride:

Star Wars:

Star Trek:

Lord of the Rings:


Turns out I’m also a bit of a narcissist:


A little over half of my illustrations are of people, and a smaller fraction are of fictional characters. But only a tiny fraction of those are women. I’m a bit worried about that. Maybe it says something about pop culture. Maybe it says something about me. I’ll have to give that some extra thought.

My Favorites:

This illustration has the right level of snark and it just makes me laugh. In my head I’ve titled this one “Grumpy Ted Codd” and I have this on a mug. It was one of my first illustrations I ever published and I’ve never been able to capture the same feeling of humour and relevance.

I was proud of this one because the likeness turned out. It was one of the first feelings I had that I was getting the hang of this.

Looking back on this now, their heads are too shiny. But this illustration was used with one of my most popular articles and I find myself looking for this article at least once a month. I hit the Browse By Illustration page and start looking for the mythbusters.

I did this one for a guest post on SQL Brit’s site. There were a lot of details in the spaceship and it’s a different kind of drawing than drawing faces. The pun works and I got to reference cheesy 80’s sci-fi… classic.

In General

It’s been a ton of fun. I don’t know what I have in store for the future but I do feel like a change of format is due.

As always, the comment form below is open. I’d like to hear what you think.


  1. Do one of Massimo

    Comment by Marianne — June 25, 2014 @ 3:57 pm

  2. Awesome site. Love what you are doing.
    Came across your site while searching for ACID explanations.
    What tool do you use to illustrate?

    Comment by EK — October 20, 2014 @ 2:50 am

  3. I use Adobe Illustrator.
    I think if I had to do everything all over again, I would have learned Photoshop or Gimp. It’s a fun hobby.

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — October 20, 2014 @ 8:43 am

  4. I love these, especially Vader’s “Join Me” and Yar’s “Love your data”; both clever yet simple double entendres.

    Comment by Charles Burns — September 14, 2020 @ 1:37 pm

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