Tag Archives: raven

Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”

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Will I be doing any more hand lettering in the immediate future? Quoth the raven, “Not tonight.”

This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! La la la!

Pretty often, the Halloween design is the bulletin board I’m most looking forward to. This one definitely was. I knew I wanted a raven, so I knew I had to do Edgar Allen Poe. The sticking point there was picking the right stanza; the poem is a lot longer than I remembered. I guess it could have worked with just “Quoth the raven ‘Nevermore’,” but where’s the fun in that? You don’t get very much poetry in 4 words.

Then again, cutting 170 paper leaves with terrible plastic scissors was nothing compared to the 4 straight hours I spent inking this bad boy. The raven himself was fairly simple. I sketched him out on Monday, cut and pasted him Tuesday (lost a lot of time because the Girl had hours of math homework to get to), fixed him up a bit more on Wednesday and blocked out the letters (in true Halloween horror fashion, I lost a lot of time on Wednesday because the school had a freaking hard lockdown because there was an active shooter across the street; The Man says it was an accidental discharge but tell that to 400 crying children who have just spend the last hour hiding quietly under their desks in a dark classroom), sketched out the lettering on Thursday (lost more time because the Girl had conferences at a different school in the suburbs and also some jerkface kid had pulled out 30 or 40 staples and tried to peel the raven off), and then strapped myself into my iPod and went at it with a handful of permanent markers on Friday.

It was 4 hours straight with no more than a few minutes break here and there to stretch. Made a lot of mistakes toward the end. It is what it is. I don’t have a name for that font; it’s just something that came up when I Googled “fun Victorian fonts for kids” and started clicking.

Sadly, the kids are on autumn break, which is a thing here. I always wanted an autumn break was I was a kid, and was always told to shut up about it, that I didn’t need a break because school just started. Kids today are lucky with their autumn breaks and their regular early dismissal days. But not so lucky with their active shooter hard lockdowns. Anyway, good thing their break had already started and the teachers just had grading day, because there’s no way I would have finished this if I also had to deal with children.

Anyway, you can read the complete poem here, and you should if you haven’t.

Seriously, my hand hurts. Happy Halloween.

 

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Something to Squawk about…

This T-shirt has the pre-school seal of approval.

This T-shirt has the pre-school seal of approval..

Another satisfied customer models the Punk Rock Raven kids’ T-shirt size 7 in green.

My thoughts on the magnificent corvid being well-documented, there is not much more to say about this shirt other than it’s adorable, almost as adorable as this kid. Especially adorable on this kid.

I took another stab at using Photoshop to color correct an image today. It didn’t come out bad, except that somehow I managed to make a tree in the background look completely fake, and by the time I even noticed, it was too late to undo it, so I had to go down to the pixels and fix it up by hand. As this was only my second attempt, we can call it a qualified success. Will continue to learn.

Punk Rock Raven Goes Totally Hollywood

Raven: out of the forest, into the city.

Raven: out of the forest, into the city. Photo courtesy of VioletPhotography

Direct from California, we have another iteration of Punk Rock Raven, pictured here on a red tank top modeled by the ever-lovely Violet.

One takeaway I’ve gotten from customers is that the sizing on some of the shirts is unexpected. Although the site shows a female model wearing the “unisex tank top” (pictured above), the sizes on that product are actually calculated for men. The “racerback tank,” however, does use women’s sizing: the chest measurement for a small racerback is 3 inches less than that of a small unisex tank. In any case, if you’re on RedBubble buying a T-shirt, and you’re trying to decide which size is correct for your body, there’s a tiny link beneath the size choices that says “sizing chart,” which explains how that particular style is cut. It’s different for the different types of shirts, so I would advise checking that out before you order. Then you can easily measure yourself/your favorite shirt, and choose accordingly.

Closer view of the bird. Every feel like giving someone the bird? Well, now you can.

Closer view of the bird. Every feel like giving someone the bird? Well, now you can. Photo courtesy of Violet Photography.

I noticed that this design wasn’t available on the coffee and travel mugs, so I reuploaded it to remedy that oversight. Now Punk Rock Raven can join you for breakfast or on the road.

Click this link to check out Punk Rock Raven products in the QvD shop!

More Cute T-shirts on Cute Kids

Are you this happy? No? Do you have a QWERTYvsDvorak shirt? Do you think there might be a connection?

Are you this happy? No? Do you have a QWERTYvsDvorak shirt? Do you think there might be a connection?

I know quite a few people got QvD T-shirts for Christmas, and they promised to send me photos, but this is the only one I have so far. OK, that’s not 100% true. There is also this:

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That’s a giralicorn on the left. The welding masks and nunchaku are, I believe, cherished elements of this family’s Christmas tradition.

There is an explanation for that photo, but it doesn’t make any more sense than the photo itself.

For six long years before QWERTYvsDvorak, I was the lead writer for a successful international Internet-based company. Technically, I was hired to write web content for search engine optimization, which meant one thing in 2008, when I started, and means about 15,000 different things in 2015. During my tenure, I was often called upon to work on more direct marketing type stuff, advertising, outreach, mass mailings. When I worked at WW Norton, I also had occasion to work with the marketing department.

Here’s one thing I’ve known about myself: I suck at marketing. Beginning with my utter inability to market myself as a likable human being (see yesterday’s post) and continuing steadily to today, I’ve never had the knack of convincing large groups of people to view my perspective favorably. This is weird, actually, since I’m a decent writer and have a degree in psychology and have been told by many people that I would excel in both the fields of advertising and law. And possibly, if I could make myself care about either of those things, I could be good at them.

But even though I would love it if people bought more T-shirts, I don’t know how to make people want to buy more T-shirts. I don’t know how to make myself care about selling enough to do the work of selling. I mean, I know how to create an ad campaign and pay various broadcasters to promote that material, but I hate that stuff. I just want to draw the T-shirts (step 1) and get to step 3 (profit), without working on step 2 (?).

Anyway, here are some adorable T-shirts. I drew them. Certain human beings appear to take joy in possessing and wearing them. If you too feel that there might be some joy in the acquisition and donning of our fine QvD merchandise, it would give me immense pleasure to sell you a T-shirt.

Above left: Blondie is wearing a yellow kids’ Princess Sealestia of Aquastria T-shirt.

Above right: Big Brother is wearing a green kids’ Punk Rock Raven T-shirt.

Bottom left: Daft Punk is wearing a light blue girly fit Giralicorn T-shirt.

Click hyperlinks for instant T-shirt gratification.

Dragon Comics 23

Surprisingly enough, the hardest thing I've had to draw in these comics was that freaking easel. It's still wrong, but it's the best I could do without a reference image.

Surprisingly enough, the hardest thing I’ve had to draw in these comics was that freaking easel. It’s still wrong, but it’s the best I could do without a reference image.

Painting. I wish I had the money to take some classes; it doesn’t seem like something I’m likely to puzzle out on my own, at least not without spending even more money on materials. An expensive hobby. Even using the computer, it’s tolerably difficult and takes some getting used to.

The song whistled in panel 3 should be “Chinese Work Songs” by Little Feat. Somehow, I couldn’t find a YouTube track for this one, only a remix or the whole album. Little Feat is an eclectic jam band that formed in 1969, but, unlike most rock bands of that era, they managed to not destroy themselves, although the lineup has changed over the years. The album Chinese Work Songs  was released in 2000. Their most recent album came out in 2012.

I guess what this comic is really about is the way a good mood can be so easily destroyed, like cotton candy when you dump water on it, while a bad mood is far more tenacious, like bubble gum stuck in your hair.

 

 

Quoth the Raven, “Shop My Store”

I overheard Fox telling Otter, “Dragon draws these T-shirt designs but they’re all for girls so we can’t get any.” Gah! Gendered much? OK, fine. I drew this freaking raven, based on a photograph I took at the Grand Canyon. There is nothing girly about this raven with his weird punk rock mohawk head feathers, all right?

This raven is not interested in your problems.

This raven is not interested in your problems.

He’s all dark and brooding and mysterious and whatnot, sitting high above you, looking imperiously down like a king on his throne or something equally majestic.  Ravens are bigger than crows, and somehow more dignified, and they’re so dark that they seem to almost swallow the light into them.

Of all the designs I’ve done so far, this is the first one that really seems to look good on a cell phone case.

Mythologically speaking, Raven is the bringer of knowledge (in the form of light) to mankind; he literally steals what belongs to the gods in order to make it public domain. Raven is a friend to people, and a force to be reckoned with. If you’ve never gotten close up to one of these birds, you’ll be surprised at how large and sturdy they are, almost like raptors in their muscularity. They’re also, when they feel like it, extremely vocal. I believe they can be taught to mimic human speech, but even in their own tongue, you can get a conversation going. I’ve had long back and forth exchanges with chatty ravens, some of them rather far away. If you hear a raven, call back and pretty often it will answer you, even if you can’t see it.