So much for going out with a bang. I did intend to finish up the week slash month with a real powerhouse of a depressing real life comic, but alas, it seems not meant to be. It’s almost midnight and I’ve only got about half the script nailed down. I lettered the part that felt certain, but even if I had the entire script, it would be 1 a.m. before I even started the illustrating part, which takes a lot longer. So, instead, please welcome the newest addition to the RedBubble QWERTYvsDvorak store: the Flying Sea Turtle Express. Get it on a mug!
The rock is also suitable for children with lactose intolerance, chemical sensitivity, and peanut allergies. Not recommended for kids with behavior disorders, though.
There will be no teal pumpkin in front of my house this Halloween; at the rate I’m going this year, there will be no pumpkins at all, let alone jack-o-lanterns, unless we obtain and carve them Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. I feel for kids with allergies. Personally, the list of things I can’t eat anymore is almost as long as the things I like these days, but there are just too many variables, and my budget for candy is pretty small anyway. Plus, we rarely get more than 2 dozen kids, and half the time we take off around 8 to go to a party.
If you haven’t seen It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, it’s worth 21 minutes of your time. I mean, media-wise, the ’60s were a simpler time. There are no explosions, no gore, and nothing the least bit scary, but it’s still a Halloween classic, in its way.
For many months now, I’ve been turning over an idea for another big, serious, depressing comic about my childhood, something that I’ve written about in longer prose work, but couldn’t quite figure out how to frame it in comic format. Today the way in seems to have revealed itself, but there wasn’t a chance to get it started because I went to 6 shoe stores unsuccessfully searching for a pair of minimalist sneakers identical to the pair I’ve been wearing since 2012 instead of drawing a long comic. Maybe tomorrow. Or at least get it started tomorrow, as I now realize that today is only Thursday.
You’re both so ugly people go as you for Halloween.
Special fangs to the dear friend (referred to, here and there in Dragon comics as the Vampire Bat, for reasons that must soon become clear) who sends out Halloween care packages every year and in whose honor this spooky insult comic was created. Most of the items in the image are from this year’s Halloween box; one is from a few years ago, and there’s also a commemorative matchbook for Bonnie Jo Campbell’s first novel, Q Road. You can’t make it out that well, but it’s a pumpkin with a butcher’s knife sticking out of it. Anyway, these buttons cracked me up the most. The jack-o-lantern especially looks like a real jerk.
Sadly, I still live in the desert, so all the chocolate in the Halloween box melted. However, the box itself is pretty nice. 1000 household uses. Skull Face and Jack-o-Lantern may insult each other in front of it again in the future. So spooky!
Ah, it’s all in good fun.
Tomorrow I have a photo shoot for a hair color blog. Financial remuneration has been suggested. Art!
Usually, I like to think of myself as a pretty calm and thoughtful dragon, but sometimes, lately, for example, the little foibles of humanity can enrage me. I was seriously screaming at clueless drivers who were completely innocent of the rules of the road, especially those pertaining to the 4-way stop, and one car in particular not only almost caused an accident, then made 2 turns and a lane change without signaling. The driver remained blithely unaware of the mayhem he left in his wake.
It’s rare that someone dates to disrespect me to my face, though. Not since the late ’80s, anyway. Usually, if anyone tries, I cut them right down because I’m proactive like that. Every so often, for political reasons, I find it more prudent to smile and pretend. And then stew. And then make them a low level villain in a novel. Anyway, I think this comic helps.
The greatest thing you can do to someone who is rude to you is kill them with kindness. Smile and give them a big hug whenever you walk by. Call out their name and wave if they unexpectedly enter the room.
Or, you can draw a hilarious caricature of them and pass it around to people sympathetic to your cause.
In the end, dragons stay dragons. And vulgar, constipated people stay vulgar, constipated people. Eventually, most people work out which is which.
If you’ve got the curves, baby, I’ve got the angles
Gentle pastels, like the ’80s when the ’80s weren’t flashing eye-gouging florescence as they so often did.
This weekend I probably had too much fun. Party on Friday, party on Saturday, long nature hike with the Fox on Sunday. Obviously, I got nothing accomplished. My new T-shirt design remains in my head, as do numerous comic strips, graphic novel panels, short stories, and novels.
I wrote a sonnet in honor of a friend’s birthday. A sonnet is something I haven’t written in years, but that’s what the Fox does for special occasions and it seemed appropriate. Constrained forms are actually easier for me. Then, I thought, why not write it out with pen and ink? But it had been so long since I’d used the materials that it didn’t work out as planned. I ended up doing 3 drafts, none of which were especially pretty. The best version still ended up with fingerprints and smudges all over it, and the handwriting was nothing special. Also, there was ink all over the floor, and all over me. My friend loved the poem–I knew he’d rather have a personal present that I made–but after thanking me for it, he said he was going to frame it. So now everyone will see my lack of command over my materials.
There is something, to me, unspeakably comical about this photo of a baby and a mountain lion. The mountain lion is real and alive, behind a thick wall of plexiglass. This mountain lion is relatively young; I remember he came to ASDM when he was still a cub, and he was very active, pouncing all the vegetation in his habitat flat. Once, a couple months ago, a dove flew into his enclosure and he stalked it for a good 5 minutes. He looked just like an enormous house cat: chest down, tail up, hips twitching. However, he didn’t have the slightest clue how to hunt. While a group of humans waited in anticipation, cheering him on (did you know in America it’s illegal to feed live animals to other live animals for spectators who have paid to be there?) he slowly crept forward and then, still a good 15 feet from his prey, pounced.
The bird flew away.
The humans sighed and laughed.
Undoubtedly, that mountain lion would pounce that baby if he found it in his habitat, but since it’s at the window, the mountain lion is used to just looking. Anyway, I know it’s not the best photo I ever took, but none of the other ones from that shoot really blew me away, even when I cropped them. This is the most interesting one from that day.
I think I’ve finally come through to the other side of this sinus infection. Hallelujah! I woke up this morning only slightly congested, took a handful of OTC meds, and was basically able to breathe all day. It’s a modern medical miracle. Last night I seriously thought I was going to have to live with impacted sinuses for the rest of my life. Although I have a zero percent chance of finishing my entire list tonight, I got through a good part of my week’s goals. There’s one more project I can squeeze in tonight.
Wow, am I ever having hardware problems. The computer is getting old and it gets weirdly sluggish at times. I deleted thousands and files just to make it work at all, but somehow Photoshop was having trouble with this image, so I wasn’t able to play with it much. Monarch butterflies in the pollination garden at ASDM. I’ve been trying to get this up for an hour and I’m all out of patience. I’m starting to really miss comics, but I have a few more things I have to accomplish this week before there’s headspace for that. So: butterfly. Maybe my sinuses will clear up, and then I can stop taking all this medication, and then my head will clear up, and everything will be easier.
I’m dizzy because I took Nyquil. Perhaps I should call it a night.
She works hard for the honey, so hard for it, honey.
Here’s a crisp little honeybee for your pleasure. Captured this image near the pollination garden at ASDM, which was simply buzzing not only with her close kin, but also her cousins, the solitary carpenter bees. Despite the fact that carpenter bees are unreasonably large and fairly slow moving, I was unable to get a clear shot of one that day. This is unfortunate, because they’re shiny and astonishing and people don’t seem to be familiar with them. At my old place, there was a particular one living in a dried agave stalk who used to always hang out when I was doing yoga. They’re perfectly comfortable with humans.
I did minimal color correction on this one. It was already pretty sharp. I like the little grains of pollen on her head. I guess bees don’t suffer from allergies.
Tonight, The Man and I attended a Yelp Elite event at the Tucson Botanical Gardens in conjunction with Natures Connects, which is a traveling exhibit of giant Lego sculptures. In addition to free nighttime access to the gardens (very nice this time of year) we got tamales from the Tucson Tamale Company, small batch paletas (a kind of Mexican popsicle, if you’re not from around here), much booze (a hallmark of Yelp Elite events), a chance to play with Legos (with an Instagram contest for best Lego tree), and a scavenger hunt (tied for first, winning 2 free passes to the gardens–usually we have a membership but ours has lapsed, so this is a nice bonus). There were also gift bags with nature-themed playing cards, a jigsaw puzzle, a tie tack, a highlighter that’s also a Lego block, and a coupon to the gift shop.
Last night I wrote a sonnet. Tonight I’m playing with fonts.
This hummingbird lives in one of the aviaries at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum; this picture was taken last Wednesday in the late afternoon. It’s cropped pretty closely and then I played with the color until it matched my mind’s eye a little more closely. The brightness is correct, but I’m afraid the color at the bird’s throat might not be. If this is, as I suspect, an Anna’s hummingbird, the tone should be more purple than red. Still can’t trust the camera. But the untouched image doesn’t come close to demonstrating the brilliant dazzle of a hummingbird in sunlight and this is a little more indicative.
Like the hummingbird, I need to rest between flights. I have a couple more pictures like these, from that same day, which I’ll try to share this week, but I’m taking a little vacation from comics. They’re noisy in my brain and I need some space to think. I want to write a poem, and an article about comics, and finish at least 2 T-shirts, so it’s time to land for a few days. I think I’ll sit on the floor, with a notebook and a pen, and write.
I had a lot of big plans for the end of the year, art-wise, but maybe they were too big. Or maybe I’m not equal to the task. Anyway, there’s a strong possibility that I’ll take a few days off from the blog to focus on the T-shirt shop. I’d like to add at least 3 new designs before Thanksgiving, and possibly figure out some type of advertising scheme to help me sell a couple of them. Lately I have multiple ideas for comics every night, but drawing them seems daunting and time-consuming and they’re hard to realize, ultimately. It’s easier if I get started earlier in the day, but lately The Man has been staying up late and I don’t sit down to work until close to midnight. It’s not conducive to great art.
This weekend could have been the ideal time to catch up, but instead some friends decided that it was actually the ideal time to party like it’s 1999.