Sunday, May 26, 2024

"Captain Kangaroo"

As was pointed out by a friend, yeah, this one really dates me. I suppose Bob Keeshan ought to be in the pantheon of wholesome heroes from that era in that viral meme about wholesome male role models like Mr. Rogers, Bob Ross, LeVar and the other Captain (unfortunately actors portraying fictional characters).

As a youngster my folks maintained a tight control over my media exposure, limiting me to just a few hours of PBS television a week. So no small wonder stylistically my characters share lineage with puppets. Deadpan and droll humor was, and still is, an influence and hallmark of comedy that I prefer. And then I was allowed to pick my own shows, so the Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner Show (at the time, the most violent show on the airwaves) was first, followed closely by the discovery and consequent lifelong obsession with monster movies. Turns out I turned out fine.

Here's a snapshot taken of the page in the issue of Sundays that it ran on, alongside last week's posted panel. Do me a favor and support democracy, local journalism - and the peripheral talent - with a subscription. Thanks. 

Sunday, May 19, 2024

"Comb" (aka "Bear Hair A-Part")

Remember folks: a fed bear is a head bear. Not that anyone would ever pack items for hairdressing into the wilderness, and someone really needs to update their renderings of contemporary shelters. Recently I had an olfactory trigger on catching a whiff of some mildewed canvas and it immediately transported me back in time to all the barbaric camping gear I used to haul around in the backpack as a teen. Not to mention the most scary things in that neck of the woods were accompanied by a banjo. Now that I have a banjo, and have been charged by grizzly bears, people still scare me the most, followed closely by mold.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

"Thinking Made Visible" @ UAF Museum of the North

A brief recap of the opening + overview of the group show up at the UAF Museum of the North. They closed back on the last Friday of April (4/26/24) for a private event: the opening reception for the new exhibition "Thinking Made Visible," which is gonna run until January. I teased a little bit about this gig when they started promoting the show with some instructional shorts (link here), but it is such an overwhelmingly awesome show it bears repeated visits, so as to catch the many amazing details easily overlooked in a crowd.
...more below the fold...

image Diane R. Hunt

"Springtime" (In Alaska)

All snide aside, this cartoon illustrates the contrasting usage of color in a cartoon. Can't seem to find any particular post where specific attention is called to the self-imposed monumental stylistic shift that started to emerge in print aroundabout April of 2021. That's when the ratio of approximately 95% traditionally black & white material was inverted and now the vast majority of panels are rendered in color. Here we can see the comparative er, value, in when to utilize each approach as a method of enhancing the narrative.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

"Stuck Behind a Diesel"

This is a rare panel in particular, on account of I got no insights about either the process or inspiration behind it, besides being stuck behind an inordinate number of these rigs recently while out running errands - especially at subzero temperatures... when you can both see and smell it.

Well, I guess you can count the trivia that it's technically possible - just not advisable - to sketch out such an idea while sitting at a streetlight,  idling away in more ways than one.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

"Odin, All-Son"

This piece + pot segues quite nicely with last week's where the wonderful world of mythology saved me from an eternity of make believe. Thank the gods. Also a major influence was diagnosing (and removing) a dying ABS in my Subie at ten-below zero - inspiring to be sure.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

"Shed Pelt"

When I was a kid my first book I ever wrote was about a skink who wore a soda bottle cap for a hat (hence his name "Pep C. Skink"), and a recurring plot point was the shedding of his tail. Bookend that with the bear skinning scene in Midsommar, it makes a fertile focal point for a funny.

It also served as an encapsulation of the unusually high numbers of mosquitoes that plagued Interior residents this past season as an excerpted spot illustration.  

Sunday, April 14, 2024

"Creative Currents" write-up

Continuing on with this recent spate of self-promotional postings and gigs around town (with watercolorists, beaver ecology and museum exhibitions) the folks over at The Alaska Current were kind enough to do a little feature on me in their continuing "Creative Currents" series spotlighting some of Alaska's amazing talent. Special thanks to Sam, and bookmark their website for other statewide news + follow 'em on Facebook too. Also I was alerted to how remiss I've been at properly crediting for the Significant Otter who actually snapped the picture of me after chasing me around the trails in Denali long enough to capture the moment. Oh, and promise I'll get right on that "painting & printmaking."


"Alaska Prometheus"

One of the reasons I grew up as an atheist had to do with being raised (exposed) throughout my adolescence to a steady diet of two main themes: fairy tales and mythology. By the time I was taken to a fundamentalist church, I already possessed enough skepticism and independent thought to question what was being said, something the majority of family members and friends that grew up in such an environment never had the opportunity to learn about anything outside their narrow perspective - truly a Promethean undertaking. What they still suffer from is similar to the siloing effect we see currently fraying the social fabric.

And so instead of dwelling on that, let's instead take a moment of appreciation for just about anything that Ridley Scott does - in particular here, the 2012 film "Prometheus." This and "Covenant" take their places next to the Alien Quadrilogy of extended director's cuts. 

Or, you can just as easily leave trash bags in the back of your pickup truck unattended. On a more serious note, take a moment to reflect upon the life of Richard Nelson, who belongs in the same flock as David Petersen, and who taught many of us about the life of Alaskan animals such as the raven, and who I learned more about praying than from any preacher.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

"Thinking Made Visible" Video Shorts

Here's a little teaser for an upcoming gig back at the University of Alaska's Museum of the North. Along with a hundred other artists, my work - both as a cartoonist and also as a drawing instructor - will be featured a part of an exhibit that'll run for almost nine months, titled "Thinking Made Visible" (direct links here to videos for "Sketching the Glacier Bear" and "Sketching the Beaver"). Absolutely great footage shot & mixed on-site by the director of exhibits, and seeing firsthand all the outstanding effort, time and energy put onto every wall at the museum by all of the awesome staff of designers, perparators and student assistants - they really know how to put on a show!

It's been since 2017 that I had a solo show up at the museum, but I'm on site each and every semester leading my posses of aspiring talents on sketching field-trips every semester for many years. It's an outstanding resource for research, reference and inspiration, basically a big ol' box stuffed with stuff to draw - every trip I always discover something new, and the students plenty to draw upon for their upcoming pen & ink assignments. Included here as a special bonus for this post are two recent demos that I just did a few weeks ago for a couple Beginning Drawing classes this very semester. In fact the originals of each (ballpoint + various Sharpies) will also be a part of the exhibit - along with my man-purse/gear bag and a small pile of actual sketchbooks from the studio.

I have a bad tendency to talk to the monitor and/or screen instead of directly engaging listeners with repeated eye contact. My bubbling, outgoing and vivacious personality while lecturing is pretty much a controlled panic reaction to being in front of people, and so actually locking eyes with anyone would derail my squirrelish attention span. Case in point on the videos you get the same exact view my wife usually gets of me when at home while I'm on the goddamned computer for hours at a time.

In the almost thirteen minutes between the two shorts (7.29 + 5.25) I manage to turn around only once - right at the end of the bear session, with a smartass quip about needing an applause sign, throwing money and saying “cut!” The flip side of that is I also never shut up the entire time, providing a running commentary on my process of sketching, defining Art, Love & God, and my fursona. While I might not be quite up to Bob Ross boss level – I even occasionally drift away while doing a demo and disengage entirely from communicating with speech – I can effectively walk AND talk… and chew all at the same time (if not weighty topics, then at least some gum).

It's all worth it if not just for the initial footage of sharpening a pencil with a knife (definitely frowned upon by official museum administration) whereupon I am shown deeply inhaling the aroma freshly-shaved pencil and uttering the timeless words “...because nobody ever sniffs a stylus” – which I, for one, am glad to have such a precious moment captured forever for posterity.