Sunday, July 27, 2014

Exhibit: Christopher Green & The Polyhedron Bubble

Interior residents are in for a real special treat for the next coupla weeks: comics artist Christopher Green has an exhibition up starting Monday evening at the UAF Fine Arts gallery, with an opening reception this Friday, the 1st Friday of August. He's also an alum of the Cartoon & Comic Art course at UAF Summer Sessions and veteran of 24-Hour Comics (incidentally this show also dovetails quite nicely with a great display of the current class' work which is posted throughout the Fine Art department's hallway showcases). Chris has previously returned to our creative community to share and host comic-related events and it's always super great to have him back again for a visit in this neck of the woods.
Please come see the works on display that features recent imagery and documents Chris' recent experiences and also showcasing his processes at creating the work.

As of late I've become quite fond of showing off his book from last year "Where Ever Flows The River": whimsical, playful linework is matched up with an almost haphazard wash of muted color, and the varying arrangements of panels + lettering (in a couple of languages no less) works in perfect tandem with the narrative rhythm. The family fable unfolds as we meanders though a story that explores how the characters react and progress in their quest, as the group attempts to uncover their curious lineage in this both naive and crafty drama. All of Chris' artistic elements combine into something not unlike the mysterious creatures that lumber and flit across his imaginary world: familiar and yet new - at times the whimsical and fantastical imagery shares a secret place where Winsor McCay is playing with Hergé after mushrooms & wine: a pure delight to look at and a worthwhile, satisfying read. Can't wait to see the newer pieces in the gallery... speaking of:
Polyhedron Bubble -- Comics Art: From Idea to Object

An exhibition of comics work by Fairbanks and Toronto-based cartoonist, mumblethief christopher green. Stages in the production of a comic book will be on display: penciled and inked pages, preliminary sketches, watercolours and more! The final printed comics will also be available for reading and purchase. 

Mumblethief Christopher Green was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and is a UAF graduate and the Sequential Artists Workshop in Gainesville Fla. His comics are motivated by a desire to share the sights and stories found while exploring the physical, spiritual, and imaginary worlds he has encountered. His work has been featured in the UAF Sunstar,, mural art outside the entrance to the UAF Woodcenter's Pub, and can be viewed at Wall Of Balloons, and art comics festivals and comic shops across the U.S., Canada, and Japan.

Opening Event: Friday, August 1, 5-8pm
On display: July 29 - August 9, 2014, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
University Art Gallery, located to the left of the UAF Great Hall in room 313 of the Art Department wing of the Fine Arts Complex.
Admission is free.
Call 907-347-7064, or email for more information

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Browser Crash"

Can't tell you how many moments have passed just like this. The only evidence of impetus being the wreckage of what was in front of us, and what lays behind.

Newton's Laws of Motion include that of a body being at rest, and being temporarily stalled out in a mental forest just means I'm overcoming the moose of inertia. How much of my time is spent pondering irresistible forces meeting immovable objects all of which exist entirely within my imagination.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Art/Work: Freelance Isn't Free

Been thinking (again) a lot about the curious hesitancy of folks who invest an incredible amount of capital in basic infrastructure when starting a business. It's a given that construction, for example, will require significant money, and one never blinks at the requisite costs of say, plumbing, electricity, and other fundamental components. Designing a logo, however, and consequently supporting artists in the creative community, seems to be a subject which doesn't merit serious compensation, and is often treated as an afterthought. People think nothing of paying for the letterhead's envelope, the tshirt or signage said logo in emblazoned upon, much less arguing over the comparative fees that are incurred in the course of conducting normal business. Yet artwork on the other hand is oftentimes treated as something other than what is of equal importance - and arguably crucial facet when it comes to marketing and advertising. To say nothing of recognizing artistic effort as a legitimate craft and skill.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

When Nature Calls: Outhouse Ornithology Observations

“ occurred that the birds, whose twitters and repeated songs sounded so pretty and affirming of nature and the coming day, might actually, in a code known only to other birds," be the birds each saying 'Get away' or 'This branch is mine!' or 'This tree is mine! I'll kill you! Kill, kill!' Or any manner of dark, brutal, or self-protective stuff--they might be listening to war cries. The thought came from nowhere and made his spirits dip from some reason.”- David Foster Wallace, The Pale King
   One of the more special moments one gets to experience when living without running water are the many, many instances throughout the course of an average day spent sitting outside listening to the woods fill with summer song. It’s a matter of simply being outside enough – results may vary depending on one’s dietary habits - and observant enough to identify the multitude of species that inhabit the dense forest surrounding our cabin. Aside from the omnipresent, incessant whine of mosquitoes there are discernable movements (no pun intended) in accordance with the time of day, each passage with its own associated species.

Later evening: Usually treated to the liquid burble of a Hermit thrush, and if I’m lucky, either the resident Boreal owl or Sharpshinned hawk will be out hunting. The wheedle-deedling of our crop of Chickadees begins to subside.
Early in the AM: the daily pandemonium of Ravens, interspersed with the sweet warbling of White winged Crossbills high atop the spruce; plus our pair of Gray Jays start the day’s debate inbetween the Sandhilll crane commuting conversations as they wing their way from the pondside roost en route to grazing at Creamer’s Field. All-too soon the territorial pissings will break out amongst the neighborhood Red squirrel clans. At times this cacophony in our neck of the woods sounds almost too noisy, there are so many busy denizens at work or play.
"In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence." - Robert Lynd
   But that’s until the background din of civilization begins to permeate the air as the waking city comes to life, and the distant hum of traffic plateaus into to a dull, homogenous din. Fortunately it’s far enough away so as to not blanket us with the omnipresent white noise of, say, anyplace closer to the edge of urbanized space, so we remain at “ear’s-length” distance. Too often in close proximity with others of our own species we forget the first true loss of habitat: aural intrusion, when the integrity of individual airspace itself becomes a casualty of a socially shared environment. More often than not we have no choice but to have to listen to an unending roar from a river of noise that surrounds us, envelops us in constant din from engines, air traffic, advertising, speech and so forth. Soon we lose this rarified sense of awareness, sometimes resorting to marking our spatial territory by establishing zones of personally chosen noise, as in a car radio. Or more increasingly adopt a habit of retreat by plugging in headphones and earbuds, further insulating ourselves from the flood of sound + fury. This aesthetic anesthesia and disconnect with our surroundings, and the natural world, is never more apparent than noticing the loss of birdsong, from, say, downtown or amidst any forest of buildings and streams of concrete. It is just as poignant, even sad, to actually hear the call of an animal so out of place, as it tries to be heard above the noise we have created and can no longer really hear ourselves. Assuming anyone is listening.

   As with the roster of birds heard from the outhouse, from a distance, one can just as easily attribute occupations, intent, and perhaps even project personality on the respective automotive calls: emergency vehicles and other alarming outbursts; rednecks who couldn’t care any less how annoying and rude they are; the guttural construction of new “nests” which in themselves represent in turn even more loss of habitat. Mostly it’s the monotonous, inexorable daily flow of our own kind, vast flocking herds of individuals each ensconced within their own bubble of sound, and collectively creating a place without the connection of a call.
“Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free.” - Leonard Cohen

Saturday, July 19, 2014


A decidedly non-Alaskan gag: personally I share the sentiment of the dwarf as far as the proclivity of folks sharing their annoying selfies. Or maybe I'm just jealous because I can never seem to line anything up when I try to take one.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Purje's "You Might Be An Artist If..."

Via Hyperallergic (hat-tip Jeff Pert for the repost): visit Laurn Puje's website End of the Line for more of her work. 
"Combining a graphic vision as macabre as that of Edward Gorey with formidable painterly gifts, Lauren Purje is a uniquely gifted young contender in the contemporary art scene whose progress will be well worth following, not only in future gallery exhibitions, but on her constantly evolving web site as well." - Ed McCormack, Editor, Gallery&Studio Magazine

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Lesson Plan: Bake Sale"

The first step in building any future is evidently to dig a hole.
Let’s see: $110 million for the Engineering building (funding still incomplete); $4 million for renovating the Akasofu building; $28 million for expanding the Wood Center; $88 million for the Life Science building; $245 million for a new power plant… etc. etc.

So over the past year UAF has spent almost half a billion dollars building stuff, and now have to slash $12 million from their budget. Near as I can tell the only financially sound career UAF is advancing these days (or practically investing in) is in construction.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"The Toe of God"

Did this panel as a classroom demo, and during the drafting of the caption quite the discussion ensued: how, if at all, would God swear? Presumably taking one's own name wouldn't be necessarily in vain. I'm sure there were much more provocative firsthand reactions during the 7.9 quake off the Aleutian Islands that occurred on June 23rd - one of the largest ever recorded in U.S. history.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Comics Alternative + David Wasting Paper

A quick couple of additions to the blog roll and Cartoon Resources menu: Derek Royals and Andy Kunka's The Comics Alternative: "Two Guys With PhD's Talking About Comics" (also on Facebook here): and David Paccia's David Wasting Paper (Facebook link here). Just as much as discovering new books at the Comic Shop I love finding previously unknown online resources like these!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Beaver Moon

Up until now I'd never actually known about the Algonquin "beaver moon," but via Alaska Dispatch it appears to be a grounds for a new seasonal celebration:
Full Beaver Moon – November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter.