Sunday, October 29, 2017

Halloween 2017

I think that maybe I've done something similar to this before - at least the headless beaverman concept. Not so sure it was mounted on a moose though, and definitely not a zombie moose, nor wielding a chainsaw either. So getting all my tropes in a row plus an exquisite rendering in glorious full-color meant that I went a-head with it. "Return of Night of the Living Alaskan Chainsaw Massacre?' "The Headless Mooseman?"
Bonus post: had more fun playing around with a wash variation... BOO!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Little Cabin of Horror

My very cool boss - one of several between the three gigs I'm working this season - down at the Alaska Public Lands Information Center (downtown in the Morris Thompson Center) asked me if I'd lend my talents to creating a couple posters for our little cabin of horrors for this year's festivities.

It's always a bonus to get to have fun and create some art while on the proverbial clock, not to mention raising a coworker from the dead (besides using my morning pot of coffee). Granted a lot of doodling happens over innumerable breaks - making art is messy as far as not staying neatly inside the lines of any external schedule or serious activity. But having a legitimate excuse to raid the supply cabinets for office supplies is an opportunity to apply one's skills in a different way besides the usual demands of an 8-5 job. Utilizing fistfuls of highlighters, scented markers, poster paints + a couple sheets of foamcore, about six hours later we had a spiffy - if not downright spooky - display ready to install at the weekend event.

Speaking of which, this is part of an annual assemblage of local businesses and organizations (spearheaded by the Fairbanks North Star Borough) that temporarily take over Pioneer Park so as to provide a safe scene for families to do some trick-or-treating.

Shades of the infamous Zombeaver, I now have a great icon for this year's Halloween, and also discovered the existence of Sharpie oil-based markers, which I'm now a huge fan of. Boo!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

"No Bears"

A lot of the cartoons that I draw are over and done with really quick. This includes the reading of/looking at, as well as also in its creation, as in it doesn't take much time to render at any stage: from conception, doodle, pencil, ink, shade, edit and prep for publication.

All this to say on occasion one come across the sketchbook that takes a LOT more time, particularly to draw. But it's an opportunity to really get into the panel, to lose yourself in the lines. 
That's probably the closest this medium comes to in so far as what ranks as a comparatively long investment of time + attention in other mediums, like say painting, sculpture, ceramics, metalsmithing etc. Close, but still not as much - there are times I have to remind students or folks watching a demo that it's only with experience that you can knock out a finished drawing as fast as it might appear from the perspective of anyone who doesn't do it themselves on a regular basis. What seems quick to them, is an infinity to me.

Something else really subtle that I pick up on with a very small number of random folks (interestingly enough a high percentage of whom happen to be other artists) who get a peek at the process, especially when looking at the inking of the original: their eyes linger across, around and into the piece. I can tell they aren't just doing the usual superficial visual/perceptual consumption. Like they are really looking.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Speak Out/STFU

Been internalizing and reflecting on this as it's unfolded across social media, which is the point. By all means, men need to speak up, and speak out. It’s incumbent upon us to effect change.

That being said, there’s also the perspective that perhaps this is also a real good time to just simply shut the fuck up and listen.

Yeah, it hurts.

Update: Required reading - "Stay here, in this difficult place" (The Unforgiving Minute).

Plus another repost that bears repeating: "...perpetuating the same cycles of abuse I originally turned to comedy in an attempt to escape. It hurt to learn – like watching Superman fail you or any other bullshit metaphor for fallen heroes..." (All My Heroes Are Monsters)

Sunday, October 15, 2017


No doodle for this one: a good example of spontaneous creation while in the process of working on other panels. It's like a mental announcer comes on and says "we interrupt this broadcast with this special breaking report" and BIFF! from outta left field when you least expect it the muse reaches on over and takes the wheel

But instead of a sketchbook scan of any idle inspiration I do have a rather funny anecdote to share about this particular panel. After a critique of ongoing student projects I caught myself saying to them "what's the worst that can happen? You screw it up and start over." This was in response to some apprehension amongst a few folks who were commenting on how intimidating using pen + ink can be if you're not used to using it, and are unfamiliar with the occasional learning curve that gets splattered all over the place. 

Penciled version #1

So what I said wasn't exactly either a vote of confidence nor much of a consolation. But in retrospect it did highlight what may be a fundamental divide between the experienced artist who doesn't suffer through the dreaded "paralysis through analysis" that I see hamstring many a struggling student. From my personal perspective it's only a slight speedbump in the overall process - oops, oh well... just redraw it (or let it slide as you go on to the next one): progress not perfection!

Penciled version #2

I mention this only because I had to eat my own damn words when I "lost" the original penciled panel for version #1, and after wasting a couple hours of tossing the home, studio, office, classrooms and car, I just had to resign myself to re-creating it. I had already scanned the first version, as evidenced by finding a jpeg file of it on my desktop - hence the "Penciled version #1" first posted above.

Cat-Scan: "cold cat-hode fluorescent lamp"… no worry about any cat-aracts

Occasionally I utilize a glorious tabloid-sized scanner that I have access to, as opposed to piecing together scans from the letter-sized Epson at home (an skilled artform unto itself). In theory every time you redraw something it ought to to improve.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

24 Hour Comics Day 2017 (In Absentia) + "PSilence"

Last weekend I got up extra extra early, grabbed a box o' donuts, energy drinks + bfast sammiches and snuck over to the ongoing annual 24 Hour Comics Day event, hosted once again by the local Comic Shop. Since there was just a relative handful of hours left I only managed to pencil out a few new panels in the sketchbook, transcribed from scribbled notes shoved into the omnipresent man-purse. Also worked up the above-posted page: recently been thinking of a new series of one-pagers that play around with silent letters (ie "dummy letters" in this specific instance).

As I was teaching and up on campus for a ten-hour stint on Saturday I really missed out on reconnecting with friends & folks, most of whom had succumbed to exhaustion long before I showed up. Mikaela (Capricious Caribou), Chaweinta (Do All Your Thinking In This Box), Tara (Tara & BunBun) and Hannah (The Daily Delilah) were the finalists still on-site right up to the bitter end. Two outta twenty-two successfully made the challenge - but, as always, everybody was a winner by just participating for however long they could.

Here's a backlink to a previous post recapping last year's event, and a landing page with linkage to other years is here.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Goldfish Spawn"

Just the other day I was visiting the restroom of a public lands organization, and noticed the profusion of publications in the stall which were all hilariously stereotypical and appropriate to the institutional mission. As in, piles and piles of hunting + fishing mags. As it happened, I had also just finished snacking on some crackers. JUXTAPOSITION!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

"Now What?"

This would have been one of those comparatively rare instances where I recognized in advance that it might just be better off scanning in the doodle stage and using that instead, as opposed to meticulously rendering each & every member of the whole damn herd instead.

Also makes for a really short blog post. Especially when there's no accompanying insights or observations. That is, aside from the obvious political implications. Ah crap, I swore I wouldn't go there for once.