Saturday, December 5, 2020

"Baked Alaska" #21-24

It's that time of the year when we turn to the pages of the Alaska Cannabist and review another batch of homegrown groan cartoons.
(more after the jump)

An homage to the genius of the Coen Brothers’ 1998 classic "The Big Lebowski," specifically the iconic shot of the Dude on the infamous rug. Probably more than a little mental resin scraped up from back in the day when I had shag carpet on my drawing desk, a quadraphonic system around the waterbed, and a ceramic Pegasus bong w/wings that wrapped around your face. Bonus trivia: The background score in the studio over my own headphones while drawing this particular panel was Brian Eno’s 1978 classic “Ambient 1: Music for Airports,” (remastered in 2004 + in HQ no less), which I had on vinyl at the time.

Another note of trivia about this one was the several instances of digital editing: the cut + paste of both a Carhartt logo (ubiquitous logo here in this Northern neck of the woods) and the cover of an issue of the Alaska Cannabist magazine. And I also short-cut the detailed rendering of the buds lifted from one of the first panels “Move Over Giant Cabbages/New Entry at the Alaska State Fair” on account of those being a real pain in the but to draw and I was being lazy just this once. And for those of our audience playing along at home, there's also an Easter egg with one of my more enduring logos snuck into the piece as well.

Let's hear it for homographs, as there's a triple-pun rolled up inside this panel. Residents of Tok will appreciate the clarification, and the highway gag was an afterthought only while inking in the text.

And of course there's the obvious hat-tip to Brewer & Shipley's big, uh, hit from 1970 "One Toke Over the Line."  Fairly certain there's absolutely no-one living in the town of Tok that hasn't ever made this connection before.

"I'm just holding it for a friend" - no, really... but seriously. I use only the best possible live models available for my reference sketches. Probably a good thing the cats don't have opposable thumbs.

But one can immediately see the value of having such examples on file for future reference - if anything, after this particular venture I will have become uncannily adept at rendering such dexterous configurations.

I'm actually kinda pleased at this one, particularly the compositional arrangement of elements, plus a palette that dials down on Photoshoppy effects. Not to mention the very serious admonishment on operating a vehicle while impaired - it's a DUI - there's more than enough natural beauty to trip out about on any road trip in Alaska (not to mention the many hazards on our highways).

Yeah I know, not the first time I've picked the low-hanging fruit as far as funnies on this topic, but I figured it's worth it with the extra value-added bonus second gag.

I've been quipping for a while now how art departments and ceramic classes all across the state have had to rethink their marketing campaigns since legalization.

Always makes me flash-back in sympathy for probably every other high-school 3D art teacher (including mine) that has to plug all the paraphernalia creations with slip right before every firing.

Lastly here's an extra panel that got cut only after everything was already drawn, scanned and colored. Should have been caught and at least reworked if not abandoned at the sketch level. I mean, I though that maybe it could be mothballed as an emergency backup for use at another time, but the longer it sat there the dumber it got over time. Some folks actually look at me in the same way.

Finally I had to realize it was funny only to me, and while amusing myself is a fringe benefit, ostensibly the job is communicating concepts to others, so hey man, just had to let it go dude. Reminds me of the collection of underground comix I have, and how rereading them is more often an exercise in wondering what the hell they mean anymore. Guess you can put that caption on my tombstone: "It was funny at the time."

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