Sunday, January 21, 2018


Yeah. this optimistic-fatalism panel sums up my reaction to many things as they unfold before me... "Wait... what?"

Of course it's also hand-in-glove with another mood temperature swing: thirty-below to thirty-above and then back down again. Wheee... "When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot, hang on and SWING."

For New Year's we opted for no fireworks, forget + forgive any resolutions, just Alaska surf & turf and Sunday funnies. Then back to the cocoon...
Peace to you and yours.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Residency Recap: Golden Heart Academy

Here's an overview - cribbed from my official "narrative report/evaluation" of my recent residency (following the ones at Eielson and in Eagle) throught the Artist In Schools program that the Fairbanks Arts Association fosters in conjunction with the school district. This was a bit different, as the Golden Heart Academy itself is housed inside the Fairbanks Youth Facility, which was definitely unique opportunity to reach an under-served and over-looked population.
More below the fold...

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Keep Digging"

How low can you go? Unfortunately we're getting almost daily experience in political spelunking, and it appears to be a bottomless pit at this point. The irony-meter is pretty much pegged at red line, but sooner than later it seems there's always a spike - like, of all people, this guy's new job - that shorts everything out. Reset. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Lord of the Tree Rings: "Orcas"

A rare overlap between Middle Earth and Alaskana lore (excepting the "Elfie" + I've even forged a Maine connection). Don't often have the chance to get my inner nerd on, and hopefully there's enough Tolkien-heads around who are simultaneously up on their cetacean lingo.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Semester In Review: Fall 2017 Recap

Wrapped up another simply amazing semester: always a humbling privilege to have the opportunity to sit in the passenger seat and see where students take their work. There's been a couple brief updates along the way touching on specific highlights (pen + ink/collaborative pages and the annual greenhouse outings) but it looks as if blog updates from the campus studio classes will at best get covered with these all-in-one recaps (like for last spring and fall semesters).

But I still do take plenty of images so as to capture the memories, which many of the artworks also do, but it's always interesting to juxtapose the meta and mullings against previous essays from back when Ink & Snow first started. In most cases there's really nothing more to add: repeated lessons have all proven the point that the exercises work. As the image above during a subtractive assignment using charcoal so beautifully illustrates, it's all about getting your hands dirty. And I'll include a few bonus images of my own examples, since there's sometimes nothing better than leading by example - as in the case posted up top of sitting in for the caricature exercise as a participating model.
More below the fold...

Sunday, January 7, 2018

AK Subie SCUBA®™

After driving to town in below-zero temps + conked-out car heater = open window (-30°F wind chill) to try & stop breath condensation from icing up on inside of windows, I’m officially filing a patent for my new AK SUBIE SCUBA®™system… I figure it'll just automatically drop down from the ceiling like when there's a sudden loss in cabin pressure with planes.

Actually there's a funny story that goes along with this particular panel (as is often the case: easy inspiration when one's life is a joke). The heater was intermittently working for quite some time, and this particular problem extended all the way back over the past few winters in fact. But when I took it in to my favorite mechanic for some other routine maintenance, I had them check it out. However they couldn't find anything wrong with it, as that just so happened to be one of the times it decided to work. Then while after picking it back up and driving away, the heat stopped again, and as the temperatures outside were beginning to plummet, it became somewhat of an issue. The blower motor was obviously still operating, and the front panel instruments also worked to increase or decrease the air flow. But the buttons to select which specific vents it came out from didn't have any effect anymore - it just sort of trickled out of everywhere. Enough leaked up onto the windshield to make it defrost where I could safely drive - until now, as it began to produce only cold air, hence necessitating the emergency opening of windows in order to see/prevent frost buildup on the interior.

As it turned out, of all things, the air conditioner unit was the culprit: a sensor was shorting out and making it constantly produce refrigerated air - apparently even simultaneously when the heater was operating. As the outside temperatures dropped over fall into winter, there was a slow buildup of ice behind the dashboard - like a little glacier that began to creep along until the block of solid ice froze out other components. Needless to say I opted to yank the air conditioner instead of spending more large sums of money to fix something I haven't ever used in Alaska. Just one of the many ironies that led in turn to an idea that will make me rich + famous.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


Threw just about everything I had at this one: grand culmination of an almost insurmountable amount of current events, that happen at such a constant, daily rate of delivery that it becomes difficult to keep track, until it becomes a veritable tsunami of bullshit.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Opening Tonite: Distilled Nuggets III: The Most Interesting Beaver in the World

Another reminder of this evening's opening down at the distillery: swing on by for a laugh + libation! Well, there's a caveat to that...

But seriously, it'll be exciting to see how the virtual layout will be made manifest in reality: part of the process in selecting pieces for the show involves some digital shuffling on the overall composition of the unique space at this particular venue - there'll be a followup post after the main event documenting the details. CHEERS!

"Go ahead... ask me how's it hangin'?"

(Update: Yeah, so I forgot to print out the template, and so the show was put up totally shooting from the hip - here's hoping the morning after reveals somewhat straight lines...)

Process: After culling the archives from 2017 (here's last year's show, and the year before) and selecting pieces, two sets - one for backup just in case - printed onto cardstock (hat-tip as always to the folks down at Date-Line Digital Printing); mounted onto foamcore using industrial-strength spray adhesive + burnished down; eyeballed trimming with a straight-edge + box-cutter (frequently replenishing the blades & backing board); affixing double-sided mounting squares on the panel backs; and boxing everything up for transport (not the first time I've been very happy to be a cartoonist, as there aren't that many artists who could have 75 pieces in one box). Grand total prep putting all the pieces together = couple hours editing/reformatting, couple hours mounting, couple hours cutting, and about one hour putting everything up on the wall. Now to get some original art in order, plus see what's in storage for tshirts + books...

Update #2: Added another couplefew hours for leavening the stock in my originals box that I pack along to most gigs. Periodically cull the archives for pen + ink pieces, adding some watercolor wash to a bunch in both B&W or full color, and shrink-wrap as many as possible so as to reduce wear & tear. I always try to have several tiers of pricing on black & white line art, black & white wash, full-color wash, and deals on digital prints (rolled over from other shows and/or extra backup sets for the current exhibit), along with the usual freebie samplers.

Sunday, December 31, 2017


And the same exact sentiment goes for fireworks, since this post falls between Xmas + NY's celebrations. Neither of which I'm particularly paying much attention at all to this year. Except it's awful hard to ignore explosions, which more and more these days makes me think of people in other places around the world who are traumatized by real ones as the war pigs play with their toys. Here in 'Murica we call it entertainment. Really there just isn't anything man-made that doesn't pale in comparison to what's already in existence out there in the natural world. Except maybe cheesecake, I'll give us that.

Done ostensibly as a classroom demo, this panel underwent a few revisions: obviously having the lights on while unplugged was an issue, and the inclusion of the thought-bubble seemed in retrospect a bit too much, and so both were edited out of existence in the final print version.

Let's hear it for one of the subtle benefits to taking leaks off the porch at subzero temperatures during the long darkness of winter: having indoor plumbing would mean missing out on so many opportunities to just simply take a moment to revel in the wonder.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Distilled Nuggets 2018: The Most Interesting Beaver in the World

Raise Your Spirits! For the third year in a row at Ursa Major Distillery (see posts from 2017 + 2016) for next weekend's 1st Friday I'll have another annual retrospective featuring the best panels of the year from the Nuggets feature along with editorials, doodles and the infamous edits (always seem to be the real crowd-pleasers).

A note that this is also distinct from the exhibition currently on display up at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, as that collection covers the best-of material from 2011 - 2016.

Tangential to the opening reception - on-site but technically not located in the distillery proper - original artwork will be available for purchase along with the usual merchandise such as books & close-out tshirts.

Mind you, all of this is unfortunately subject to the short-sighted and capricious whims of the State of Alaska's Alcoholic Beverage Control board which is mulling over the limitations on what defines "fun" at these establishments.

Contact your local representatives and let them know what complete and utter nonsense this latest effort to regulate & cripple local businesses into non-existence is.

Granted I have a vested interest in the issue, but my bias is obviously grounded in many, many years of developing a symbiotic relationship with local, independent shops, from ice-cream parlors to cafes and bookstores to breweries. It's absolute bullshit - straight-up, no chaser.