You’ll have to take my word for it that all those background feathers looked way more amazing without the rest of the comic. But you get the pictures. Those are feathers. Everything is floating after getting through the great pressure of the molten core in comic 161. Mmm…allegory. These feathers took way too long to draw. Dragon flying was fun. The Man looks comfortable, but he usually does.
These are all true stories, every single panel. I did overhear a TSA agent laughing about a dildo in a carryon bag on the X-ray conveyor belt. My husband did get detained because the TSA determined that gluten free flour tested positive for explosives. A TSA agent did take my unopened packages of hummus and yogurt, insisting they were liquids, because, if you turned them upside down, they would fall out. My father does say what he says in panel 4, female Israeli soldiers with Uzis do interrogate you if you walk through the door of El Al, and I really did accidentally carry a switchblade through security, and a TSA agent really did find it, decide it couldn’t possibly be mine, and ask me what I wanted him to do.
Airport security in this country feels broken, perhaps because we’ve given the TSA so much power, and so many of those agent don’t seem especially intelligent, generating a system where ignorant bullies have carte blanche to take out their insecurities on people who just want to go see their families. It would be nice if we weren’t all treated like terrorists, considering that the TSA apparently couldn’t catch a terrorist if they ran naked through security with a stick of dynamite in their mouth. Everything about airline travel is pretty messed up, but security is just a joke. I can’t count the number of times people have told me they didn’t even realize they had knives in their bag until they got home. The TSA misses all the dangerous stuff, and then ruins people’s day over 3 bags of gluten free flour. Plus, they talk to you like you’re the idiot.
It’s frustrating, and all we can do about, as far as I can tell, is bitch on the Internet. I actually wrote the “hummus is liquid” story on one of my old blogs, and I get a lot of mileage out of the switchblade story at parties. We’ve given up real freedom for imaginary security.
At last I can reveal what I’ve been doing with every free second in which I had the ability to focus during the last 10 days! It’s a mosaic collage for my sister and brother-in-law! The had a civil ceremony on Tuesday, and their big wedding is going to be tomorrow. I haven’t given them this gift yet, but I can’t imagine my sister will be spending a lot of time on the Internet the day before she gets married.
I had a bunch of other ideas for their gift, but everything fell through and making something cool was the only reasonable option. I chose a sea turtle because I know they like turtles, and a Vancouver-inspired backdrop because that’s where they live.
I started out by purchasing a bunch of origami paper and this 11×14 board. I sketch out the islands in pencil, tore up the blue paper, sketched out the turtle on notebook paper (you can see a bit of it in the upper right hand corner) and generally chose colors for things.
Using matte medium, I began to mount the squares onto the board to form a background representing mountainous islands and their reflection in the water. I used a bunch of metallic and foil papers, which don’t photograph that well, because their colors change depending on the light. I would sort of like to make a shirt out of this design, but I’m not certain how well it will translate.
Then I began the turtle. Using my original sketch, I cut out a silhouette, and then I created stencils for the individual pieces of the turtle by slowing dismantling the sketch. You can see the diminished remains of the sketch to the right. The metallic background paper is orange, with green streaks if you turn it in the light.
Here, the turtle is complete. Just the details on each flipper took about 20 minutes. The turtle itself probably took 4 or 5 hours. It wasn’t as easy to do such fine work as it used to be; my body doesn’t want to sit for that long at a stretch, and my eyes don’t want to focus on tiny details, and my hands tire easily, especially cutting small pieces like the skin texture. Now the sketch is in 50 pieces scattered all over the office.
Somehow I neglected to photograph the process for the man and woman riding the turtle, but if you scroll back up you can see them, although I wonder if their colors ought to be brighter and more contrasting. Well, like everything, I learned a lot. If I did it again, it would be different and possibly better, but there’s no way I could do this again. Maybe another animal.
So, all in all, the completed project probably took close to 20 hours. I lose track of time when I’m working. Sometimes I have to keep Netflix playing, even though I’m not watching, just so I have a way to mark the passage of time and remind me how many hours I’ve been sitting there.
Congratulate my sister on her nuptials if you know her!