Saturday, January 5, 2019

Misc. Artsy-Fartsy (roundup redux)

“The purpose of literature is to turn blood into ink.” ― T.S. Eliot
“The purpose of cartooning is OW SHIT DAMMIT” – J. T. Smith

Following up the start of the new year with another random batch of imagery & associated mullings. Based off of the recent scenario pictured above I briefly entertained the idea of changing the name of this blog to Ink & Blood, but all sorts of other connotations arise from that imagery, (not to mention it's been done before) so I settled for a bandage instead. But it goes without saying how much of myself I literally put into my work.
(more below the fold)

"I've been burned before"

Crunch time: this past Xmas I had to get up extra early and get the holiday/b-day card done before the wife woke up. Let's hear it for getting toasted on the holidays!

Soon as the ink was dry the watercolors went on and the traditional was carried on, this time featuring a group shot with both Moochie-Bear and Atticus. Added bonus in the palette matched the special Sponge-Bob wrapping paper.

(that's a wrap folks)

Mind you that was an added luxury, seeing as how most times cheap bastards like me get to weasel out of such niceties by claiming cartoonist privilege when we have to resort to emergency measures in present wrapping.

Contains one real, live Kliban kitty!

Speaking of both cats and Christmas, it's a sure sign that you married the right person when you both wind up getting each other the same exact calendar. My hero Kliban would be proud no doubt, especially that his stuff is still available (here and here).

Geez... everyone's an opinion editor these days

On the other hand, don't let the cuteness lull you into any false sense of security, as they'll turn on you in an instant. And people think that my chewed-up pencils is surely some sign of psychological neurosis or oral fixation.

Sign #2/Nerd alert: She somehow actually manages to not only find a comic that A) you’ve wanted for years, and B) still didn’t yet have, and C) scores the complete ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ISSUE RUN. And just like that, there went my entire goddamned vacation. "So what'd you do over break - go anywhere or do anything exciting?" "uh..."

Better start binging

So that now brings my total collections of extant series (besides some omnibus editions like the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Doom Patrol, Miracleman and a whole lotta Batmans) to just a couple essentials: Sandman and the Lucifer spin-of. And the incredible Saga is still ongoing.

And holy moley has it already been thirty freakin' years already? Yup, that'd be twenty years after the first decade, and five years after the 25th anniversary festivities. My humble little feature made its debut in the pages of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Heartland section on Sundays) in December of 1988. And like a fine wine it's gotten more expensive and gives me acid indigestion.

Moving on little bit farther down memory lane: here's an action shot at one of the author signings down in the big city of Los Anchorage during the release tour of my second collection "Beaver Fever" in 1995. I remember me and my buddy schlepping cases of books across downtown between the hotel and the couple venues. It's also interesting to see the number of photocopied samples I had on hand to hand out. I still do this even today at all my gigs, whether demo sessions, residencies or exhibitions, but the same exact sentiment is behind the sharing of such imagery on-line ("chumming the water" theory of marketing). Only thing that's really changed is the hair...

That includes my woeful system of cataloging archives and record-keeping, as evidenced by trolling through this antique portfolio. Sometimes it's truly overwhelming to take these little sorties back into the past and skim through the voluminous leftovers... almost as much as paying attention to what's on the docket for the new year. No wonder I keep getting drawn (literally) into the eternal moment and focus on the doodles right in front of me.

One momentous inspiration came about with the release of the latest volume of The Best American Comics: the 2018 edition includes work by both my fellow SCAD Sequential Art department graduate alum Max Clotfelter and also from one of my favorite instructors at that institution, Ted Stearn (great interview with him here). This annual anthology is one of my go-to examples I like to hand out in the classroom during the comics unit as they illustrate the diversity of content + stylistic expressions inherent with contemporary comics. And what a kick in the creative pants to see these guys sitting on the shelf of the local comic shop alongside the works of other industry giants. This is exactly why I like to have release parties in such a setting, as it's like a perfect example of "your work goes here."

Speaking of, as I sat at the kitchen table for the final morning coffee and sketchbook session of the year, and perused the pages of the newspaper, I was reminded again about how truly awesome it is sharing the pages with so many other local talents, and how grateful I am of all the behind-the-scenes activity and support that goes into each issue from all the staff. CHEERS everybody!

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