When you look into the toad’s eyes, you can see god.
A birthday card for Mx. Kitty, psychonaut and psychedelic researcher: a Sonoran Desert toad (Invilius alvarius) and some fly agaric (Amanita muscaria).
The toad, the mushrooms, and the grass are butcher paper; the background is tissue paper and origami paper. Everything is affixed matte medium, except the spots on the mushroom and the toad’s eyes, which are tacky glued. The black details on the toad are ink.
I made this card for his birthday because it’s hard to shop for a man who has literally everything he’s ever wanted, including this very expensive bicycle. I guess it’s pretty special, but can’t tell you anything special about it, except that it’s worth more than my car. It was easy to draw, because it figures prominently in his Facebook profile; I didn’t even have to creep around dude’s garage to get the picture. Sketched in pencil on black butcher paper, cut with scissors for the big parts and a scalpel for the details. The desert and mountains are made of layers of tissue paper (used purple with a pink overlay to get that effect on the mountains. The sky is a specialty paper left over from some other project, although I can’t seem to recall which one. The paper is bonded with matte medium, which does very interesting things to tissue paper.
Sometimes a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
I made this as a birthday card for an old friend of mine but I realize it is too amazing not to share with the general world. As anyone can see, I have drawn myself as a Gorn and my friend as Captain James T. Kirk from the original Star Trek series episode “Arena,” in which an advanced race forces Kirk and this lizard guy to fight to the the death in order to—get this—prove that violence is wrong. Something like that. I haven’t seen it in a while. To me, the OG Star Trek is the real Star Trek. I’ve seen some good portions of some of the other series and even enjoyed some of them, but there’s no substitute for the earnest camp and optimism of the original. Its understanding of sexism and racism were primitive, but its heart was in the right place.
They’re magic glasses; that’s why they don’t have a nosepiece. Magic.
We interrupt our irregularly scheduled content of rural noir graphic literary criticism to celebrate my favorite little Hufflepuff, who readers of this space know as the Girl. She’s 14 now (not so little; we’re almost the same height and I can wear some of her pants) so I dashed off this little sketch for her birthday. Really am sorry I didn’t ink the nosepiece of her glasses. I did get her hilarious Ugg boots and her blue hair. We live in Arizona. She wears Uggs. She’s got her own sense of style, this kid.
We’ve been working our way through the Harry Potter series for a while now, and we’re well into Half-Blood Prince. Apparently she used her birthday money to order an official Harry Potter wand off the internet, and then, two days later, she saw one of the interactive wands that activate things at the Universal Studios park in a second-hand store, and she bought that too.
Anyway, this card did say “Accio Cake!” on the inside, but the cake was a lie, because we decided she was a getting a box of birthday doughnuts with a candle stuck in them.
I recognize that some of that’s drab olive green but that doesn’t make a very good title.
If someone were to grade me on my commitment to my art for this weekend, I would flunk, but if the grade were for running around like a crazy person and accomplishing half of everything that requires doing: A+. The Man and I are gearing up for a couple big things plus I had to celebrate my upcoming birthday with all the people I won’t be able to hang out with on my actual birthday.
Saturday, The Fox and Ms. Kitty took me out to one of our favorite restaurants, Feast, which is what we did, and then to a Japanese garden where I fed koi. And pet them. Because that is a thing dragons enjoy. And then there was a big party that night, and then we went to another big party Sunday night. And now most of my tasks remain undone.
It’s important to get to gatherings like these, though, because they remind me that there are good, caring, compassionate people in the world, that there are whole communities of Americans who believe in a doctrine of love and will never support hatred, who will actually speak out and take action and defend others.
#24: We can take my Nissan Stanza.#21: Oh, shotgun, called! Totally! The Monarch: What color is it? Is it diabolical? Or at least butterfly colored? #24: It’s powder blue. Mostly. The Monarch: Great. 21, what do you drive? #21: His powder blue Stanza.
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.
Also, presents. Lots of presents. And I like my cake gluten free, and with no white sugar, but make it taste like it has gluten and sugar in it. And I could surely use a massage while I’m waiting.
Tonight, I said to Mrs. Kitty, “Birthdays are like Santa Claus. When you’re a little kid people go out of your way to make you believe they’re magical, and then one day you’re grown up and nobody cares.” Really, some people care, but you aren’t supposed to make a big deal about it yourself. Because that’s selfish and immature. But why shouldn’t everyone have at least one day a year during which everyone has to be nice to them?
Maybe it’s better to have low expectations. That way, if someone does care, it seems magical again.
While Mrs. Kitty and I were hanging out, we decided to make some art, which I’m going to hold back for next week because it will be more perfect then. But it is delightful. Her exact commentary was “kawaii!”
Anyway, yes, it’s my birthday, and this drawing is my present to myself. But feel free to use it too, if it’s your birthday, and you think everyone ought to be nice to you.