Sunday, July 10, 2016


I got the idea for this panel while sitting at one of the usual satellite studio locations and staring out the cafe window. In the parking lot was a friend's pickup truck, and his beautiful Alaska malamute was patiently awaiting his return while hanging its head out of the back window.

A funny side-note was how I'd been experiencing withdrawl from not having an iPhone on me at all times, so similar to a phantom limb syndrome, I kept reflexively reaching for a resource that wasn't there anymore when I was wondering how to spell "malamute." The original joke was a caption that read "malemute/femalemute" which, even without an accompanying image, I thought was a funny concept. But it turned out that was based on a misspelling, so this idea was next in line.

One method in achieving a nice, soft sepia tint to ones washes.

I actually love the sound of dog teams baying in unison, as there are a fair number of mushers in out neck of the woods, so at certain times the valley is filled with a harmony of howls, as each lot successively daisy-chains off its neighboring pack. It's the Official Soundtrack of The North.

There's a bonus B-side remix to that soundtrack: Years ago I had the rare fortune to sit on a hillside right across a small valley from a pack of wolves who were vocalizing while lounging about on the tundra. Accompanying me on this trek out to the White Mountains was the Significant Otter and Bird-Dog, who kept tipping her head in quizzical perplexity at the howling. Perhaps it triggered the dormant, ancestral connection with a spirit pack, or maybe she couldn't quite understand the regional dialect.

On a similar note (literally), there has been several occasions at our new digs back out in Ester that we've heard a resident pack of coyotes yipping away up in our neck of the woods. In marked contrast to the dog, however, the cat couldn't seem to care less.

In theory, only one of the objects on the table is intended to be a cat toy.

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