David Jablow received a doodle pad a few years back that forever changed his life. The Roxborough resident and illustrator transformed the vague outline of a pinup girl into 40 unique sketches, which he parlayed into a book and continued Web notoriety.
His book, do it yourself Doodler, takes one generic image and springboards into multiple universes, involving the devil, space, deep sea diving and super heroes. The rough outline of an unfinished pinup model hovers atop the page and links each of his drawings. However, Jablow rarely duplicates efforts and has his heroine in numerous poses.
"A friend of gave me a novelty doodle pad and I started doing some of them. For fun, I posted them on a Flickr page, and I got lucky that someone picked them up," he said.
His friends at the alternative art website Meathaus shared his progress in September 2010 and launched his Web fame.
"They posted it, and it created a huge boom. I got a lot of interesting responses, and it really shows how the Internet works," Jablow said.
As Jablow continued his work, more people shared his doodles—websites like Buzz Feed, Phawker and Reddit.
That led AdHouse Books to publish the 40 drawings in the do it yourself Doodler in 2011.
After publication, Jablow went about his normal routine. He continued working as an illustrator and launched the Phillies comic, Dugout Phunnies, with friend Jon Goff. .
Traffic on his website spiked.
"It's funny we've had this recent resurgence. We had people visiting literally from all over the world," he said, claiming visitors from remote places like Russia and Taiwan.
The Huffington Post hinted at feminist overtones and hailed his drawings as "fun and empowering." While he appreciates the praise, he said there's no hidden meaning in his work.
"There's no political statement, no agenda. Basically she's in a bizarre position, so there's all this empty space. Forty sheets is a lot, and it was really a drawing exercise. I just had to make my brain come with 40 cohesive images," he said.
All of his success led to a sequel. Jablow currently is drawing 50 sheets off "another doodle pad idea—a bizarre, retro look that's more '70s. It's not quite Farrah Fawcett but more like hippies. I'm just embarking on the idea now."
And for Phillies fans, Jablow said Dugout Phunnies should come out with a September issue.
Look for all of Jablow's work at his website. His books are available for purchase at in Manayunk.