I wanted pinking shears for a special request bulletin board I’ll be doing later in the week, but apparently that’s not a thing anymore, because I had to buy a set of 12 “decorative scissors” to get the one pair I needed. They’re not as high quality as the ones my mom used to own but the whole set was $13 so I’ll probably get my money’s worth. Testing them out tonight, I accidentally made this flower, which I then painted intentionally and glued down with matte medium. Cute. I’m on a mission to get paint on every time of this floor.
Last week I attended a retirement party for a woman who’s worked at the school where I do bulletins boards since the Reagan administration or something. Like pretty much every educational administrative assistant I’ve ever met, she liked to project a gruff and unyielding persona, covering up her sweet side to prevent people from bothering her unnecessarily, but really, she’s very nice. She used to live in the town where spent my uncomfortable adolescence, and always wanted to reminisce about this particular diner, which my mother told me has long since closed.
She recalled, rapturously, the sandwiches at this place, but my memories are quite different, and I only have one. I never actually ate there; there was a cheaper and better deli closer to my house, but one day, my friend the Vampire Bat took me there. We were in high school and she had a crush on a busboy who worked there. We went in around 3 pm, when there were few customers. The busboy apparently had a crush back, because he greeted her effusively, sat us at a table, and, at her request, brought us ice water, pickles, bread, and butter. No sooner had we laid in to our ill-gotten feast than the manager noticed that we were not paying customers, but freeloaders dirtying a table and distracting the busboy, and promptly threw us out. This was one of many establishments from which the Vampire Bat got us ejected when we were in high school.
To celebrate the AA’s retirement, I painstakingly crafted a paper pastrami sandwich on pumpernickel rye swirl with a Kosher dill pickle. She was appreciative. I’ll probably get this design in my RedBubble store.
This is a card I made for a friend’s lingerie-themed bridal shower. The dark red edging around the letters is Sharpie and the rest of the design is cut origami paper, some leftovers from my 1000 paper cranes project. The word “sexy” is also cut paper. It was almost one contiguous piece but I ripped it the tiniest bit while cutting it out, and then ripped it again trying to fix it.
I’ve been mostly working on another project while obsessing over the future of humanity. Part of me felt defeated by reality and overwhelmed with helpless terror, but then I read this New York Times article and thought about what Rabbit keeps reminding me about samizdat and it’s like—yeah, one tiny voice against a hurricane, but also, a million tiny voices against a hurricane. Some people think Trump wanted Bannon off the security council because he resented the media’s implication that Bannon was pulling the strings. I drew this comic after being tagged in a Facebook status that suggested cartoonists portraying Bannon as a puppetmaster could help limit his influence by appealing to Trump’s grandiose sense of being the most (only?) important person in the world.
I’ll draw webcomics again, I guess, but 4-5 a week isn’t going to happen at least until I finish the other project. In case you’re wondering, it’s called “Close Encounters of the ∞ Kind.” I didn’t name it; it’s a collaboration. I should probably talk about about it later.
Behold! The Ultragorgon!
No, it isn’t a confused tribute to Stranger Things, but rather to something that actually happened in the ’80s: The Jim Henson Hour. In this episode, “Monster Maker,” a kid visits a puppet shop and sees this half-finished dragon puppet, the ultragorgon, which later comes to life and teaches him things (bad things, I seem to recollect). The ultragorgon is massive. In real life, it took 8 puppeteers to animate him. Looking back, I don’t really remember The Jim Henson Hour and seemed to recall this as being associated with his previous project, The Storyteller. Much like Jim Henson, that project was wonderful, and ended way too soon. The Jim Henson Hour wasn’t terribly successful, and the network pulled the plug on it instead of giving him a chance to get it right, and Henson died about a year later. But “Monster Maker,” as a stand alone story, is a lot of fun.
I loved the design of the dragon, and thought it could be adapted to other things, so I’ve had the picture for a while, and when I decided to make the most elaborate jack-o’-lantern I’ve ever made, I pulled it out. It’s not really an exact match or anything, but it did come out pretty interesting for a misshaped pumpkin with a face cut into it. The nose was originally more complex but I accidentally punched it out. Oh well. You always have to do the smaller details first. Once you’ve made big cuts, you don’t want to mess with what’s left or you can knock the pieces out. The eyes are nice, and the ridges at the top of the head and down the center of the face. You can’t really see the horns that wrap around the side The thing about pumpkin carving is that you only do it once a year. If we did it once a month I bet I’d be much better at it.
Tn the right you can also see the edges of the cat pumpkin that the Girl carved mostly by herself, after spending 45 minutes staring at her pumpkin and talking about what she wanted to carve. She accidentally punched her whole design out, so The Man had to pin it back in with toothpicks. You can also see a bit of the Boy’s “derp” pumpkin. I guess it was supposed to look goofy but actually it looks worried and scared. It reminds me of my paternal grandmother, whose catchphrase was, “Oy vey, I was so worried.”
Next year, I will allot myself more than 90 minutes to carve a pumpkin, and get better tools, and work in a spot that isn’t completely full of flies, and I will make the greatest dragon face pumpkin the world has ever seen.
I lied! Whilst looking at my old comics from Halloweens past, I came across the original version of Halloween Insult Comics and realize that if I could find the original file, I could just write some new insults on the old image. And then I realized that I could use the horizontal type tool for the text, which is much more efficient than hand lettering. So this is a new comic. My hand is mostly OK now, and I have commission comic for cash money to draw this weekend.
The final piece for my Delirium cosplay: a cloud of fishes floating around my head. Turned out to be a good thing that I couldn’t find any prefabricated fish ornaments because these origami fish are banging and jamming and swimmingly wonderful, plus, you know, extra layer of surreality. Why is that person wearing a halo of origami fish on her head?
Learning to fold origami fish didn’t take all that long, surprisingly. They’re painted with acrylics to match the tutu. Start to finish making the fish only took a couple hours, and since I already had the paper from 1000 cranes and the paint from a few other projects, the fish cost nothing to make. The headband was 15 cents and the tiny barrettes were 10 cents each. The wire was the most expensive part.
Also made a set of cloisonné fish earrings from old charms, one of which was my mother’s, and the other of which was a gift from the Vampire Bat. Now, assuming that I can find my regular clothes required for the outfit–fishnet shirt, fishnet stockings, colored stockings, leather jacket–the cosplay is all ready to go. I’d search out the pieces now but The Man is sleeping.
If you’ve never watched The Venture Brothers, none of this can possibly make sense to you, but if you do watch The Venture Brothers, it should all be hilarious. And yes, I’ve seen The Venture Brothers and I know Brock Samson says, “Today you are murderflies,” not Henchman 21.
This is the 3D card I made for The Man’s birthday this week. He’s been making noises about doing this as a cosplay, so it seemed appropriate, although I think he’s doing the original 21, not the 2 Ton 21 iteration I’ve depicted here. And also, he’s probably going to talk in the 24/Ray Romano voice all night, if I know him, which I do.
This version is sculpted from polymer clay. It’s about 2.5 inches high and maybe 1/8 inch thick. I should have done his utility belt but I was tired. After baking 21, I used hot glue to stick him to heavy card stock, to better protect him from getting lost or broken. He probably needs some kind of shadowbox situation.
“Today you are murderflies,” is a great birthday greeting.
My actual kitchen table is 50% kitchen table and 50% workbench/junk drawer/stuff The Man doesn’t know what to do with, but I can set some lovely miniature tables with dishes and fruit and vegetables. Last night, I made this cute bowl and a single lemon and 3 roses and a vase, all out of the little scraps of clay left over from other projects. I didn’t fire them last night because it was pretty late, here they are now. My tiny vase-making skills could use improvement, but I think I’ll try some other, more complicated kinds of flowers and fancier vases in the future.
Yesterday I sent what I believe to be the final files for the Bonnie Jo Campbell comic book to the printers. I can scarcely believe it, but they should exist as physical objects in meatspace within the next week or so. I’m terrified there’s a mistake somewhere, or that I could have made them better with more work. It’s a strange balance, since I started this blog with the intention of giving up the drive for perfection, but somehow, print seems more momentous than pixels.
I made these little guys a couple days ago, in the midst of the BJC project, on a night I couldn’t bear to pick up the Wacom tablet. Apparently, I don’t know as much about Sculpey as I thought I did, because the blue dragon’s wings fell off the minute it came out of the oven, and it doesn’t really stand by itself, even though it was totally designed to stand by itself. Maybe it’s a pendant that’s meant to hang by the loop in its tail. I had The Man glue its wings back on, because his hands are much steadier than mine. I don’t think I’ve ever crazy glued anything without also gluing my fingers together.
The braided dragon reminds me of Celtic knot work, and also, it’s a dragonicorn. A unidragon. He’s got a single green horn.
The third one is my little sigil I use. It’s a dragon, but it’s also a monogram. Sometimes I draw a little arrow at the end of its tail, and give it an open mouth, but you can see how it’s a dragon, and a cursive M, without the extra details.
Will make more tiny polymer clay dragons soon. I bought all these materials for myself for my birthday last year, and the Girl has used more of it than I have.
Not much to say about this; been in a weird space but didn’t want to write more depressing comics. It’s more fun to play with your toys, sometimes. Dragons need to go on interior journeys. Dragons need to lay their burdens down and only carry magic. Dragons need some empty space. Dragons need to relax.