By day Troy Knechtel ’85 supervises a classroom of seventh-graders, but by night he retreats to his desk to create “kartoons,” a series of Christian cartoons illustrating biblical teaching and Christian living.
Troy has long been a doodler, drawing cartoons from his youth and providing art for fliers, posters and T-shirts for church and school. He always loved drawing, so when an educational company showed some interest in his illustrations, he hoped to use his talents to earn some extra money. Although this possibility fell through, Troy mentioned to a friend that he had begun cartooning again. Offering to set up a Web site for Troy, the friend challenged him to draw Christian devotional cartoons.
This was just the push Troy needed to get started, and he says the Lord has blessed his work ever since. The cartoons are sent out to almost 1,200 people in over 40 countries and are then posted on the Web site, which has had nearly 100,000 visitors in its brief year-and-a-half existence. The cartoons are free to churches and missions organizations. Troy admits he hopes his work will someday be published, but has given up his cartoons and his plans to the Lord.
Troy gets his inspiration for his cartoons during his quiet times, reading his Bible or a devotional book, or soaking in a message from his pastor. His desk is littered with drawings on napkins, church bulletins, and post-it-notes; ideas sometimes are tabled for months until becoming full-fledged cartoons. Troy has found that he cannot read the Bible looking for a cartoon idea; it is only through listening or reading to see what the Lord wants to teach him that he is inspired with an idea.
Even with his love for drawing, cartooning was never something Troy envisioned for his future. After graduating from Westmont, he played semi-pro basketball in Europe and South America and wanted to work with kids in some capacity. He pursued his teaching credential and now teaches math to middle- and high-school students in Hemet, Calif. He lives with his wife, Susan, and his children, Meghan and Adam.
Troy’s cartoons are available on his Web site, located at:www.christiancartoons.com/kartoons.