Tag Archives: holidays

It’s the Time of the Valen!

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It’s the purest form of love there is: the love between a baby dragon and its parent.

Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you hate people or not.

I am trying to love people.

This was a pretty simple piece. I used Sharpie for the black parts (excluding the eyes), which saves a lot of time. I sort of wanted to make the chest part rainbow, but I also sort of wanted to go home, and home won. From a technical perspective it’s not one of my most amazing boards, but from an aesthetic point of view (particularly the aesthetic point of view of an elementary school student) it’s a raging success.

As I adding the stapled details some third graders came to admire my work and asked me what the dragons’ names were. I told them to feel free to name the dragons themselves.

One girl said, “The baby’s name is Shadow.”

So her friend decided, “The big dragon is Midnight.”

Shadow and Midnight. Names that work equally well for black cats as red dragons, apparently.

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

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You don’t need that white stuff to have a nice December. I promise.

I don’t typically do Christmas-related things, except for making gingerbread with the kids, but I do like a nice holiday bulletin board that somehow celebrates the season of lights. I was thinking about home—my parents just bought a house a couple miles from here, and are in the process of selling the place I grew up—and how much I love where I live, so this is a quintessentially Tucson image: the big adobe, the happy cactus, the chili pepper bundles, and the tiny luminarias.

I meant to post it a couple days ago but it’s been a rough week and a half. First the power cable for my MacBook Air died, and it was a couple days before I could get a new one, by which time I had some mild but debilitating version of the flu. Now I’m 10 days behind on the comic book, but I can finish page 10 tonight and maybe I can do 2 more in the next week and catch back up. I padded my schedule a lot in case of emergencies/apathy/lethargy.

So, Merry whatever if you celebrate something round about this time. No matter what time of year it is, you should cherish your family and friends.

Dragon Comics 148

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Seriously, you *never* hear people talking about goodwill in the spring or summer. 

It’s not my holiday, and I’ve never understood it. For most of my life, Christmas comprised a glorious chunk of time in which everybody left me alone long enough to focus on whatever consumed me in that moment. The few years of my adulthood I was invited/persuaded to participate in some sort of seasonal celebration I felt like a martian.

Well, even more of martian than usual.

In panel 4, I guess I was going for some kind of tannenbaum/dreidel mashup. The tree came out well and it deserved a little spotlight attention.

‘Tis the Season

Although Christmas decorations that come out before Thanksgiving enrage me, when it comes to holiday bulletin boards, I do have to start early. I always do Halloween/All Souls, which leaves me with 6 weeks before winter break, so I can either scramble to do something sort of late autumny followed immediately by something early wintery (why is “wintery” a word, but “autumny” is not?) or I can stay on the one-every-6-weeks or so schedule and encapsulate the entire holiday season into one comprehensive thought.

Here’s my thought for the holiday season 2014:

Don't worry; be happy

Don’t worry; be happy

Originally, and for many weeks, I had intended this bulletin board to somehow feature hands. First I was thinking of a photo of people with different skin tones making a sort of hand mandala, but I don’t have access to that kind of paper anyway, so I considered another idea. Before I did any of the above paper cutting, I first cut a piece of brown paper into the shape of two hands forming a heart, like so:

Like this, except, you know, more cordate.

Like this, except, you know, more cordate.

Then I cut the big red heart to fit inside the finger heart and made some rough cuts for the flames, at which point I laid everything out on the tab and realized that the hands were going to obscure the fire. By then I had already settled on the quote (I just Googled “joy quotes,” because that’s what I always end up with for the holidays anyway) and I figured the flames were going to look cooler than the hands, but I thought I could reposition the flames to make it work. At that point, I rolled everything up into a couple tubes and took them home, intending to cut all the letters at night. Instead, I drew Dragon Comics, so that when I went back to school Wednesday I was no further along than I had been on Monday.

For about 30 minutes, I fine-tuned the flames so they were not all identical, and pasted the colors together. I lightly affixed the heart to the bulletin board and arranged the flames underneath it, stapling and gluing in various ways I have learned best keep paper stuck to cork in a windy courtyard. I went to add the hands, saw there was no way to make them work, and that they didn’t look that great anyway, and discarded them. Instead, I hastily cut and paste the lettering, which is all very freehand with only the scarcest guidelines or regard for size.

I think the font offers a sense of joyful abandon.

Total time: about 6 hours (although I do spend a lot of time kibitzing with the librarian while I work).

Joseph Campbell was a great thinker, and I would hope the entire world could become familiar with some aspects of his work. He certainly did a great deal of research into the human condition, and with it, what makes people happy, and what makes them miserable. Understanding culture, and using it to maintain our humanity, is a more favorable choice than not understanding culture, and being crushed or dehumanized by it. He’s probably a pretty good example of a self-actualized human being, and a man who was able to find his life’s work in doing something he loved, and apply his life’s work to making the world a better place. I think that makes him a hero, even if his hero’s journey might not have been quite what he would have described as classically heroic.