Tag Archives: summer

Have a Sweet Summer

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Yeah, and, um…bee good, OK?

All week I believed I was going to make a bulletin board featuring a picture of a date palm, but somehow when I got to school, I made a bee on an opuntia flower. Admittedly, it’s not my absolute best work. The school ran out out of black paper and it was about 100° outside and I just wanted to finish because it was 5 pm everyone had gone home and I still had 3 more engagements for the evening. But it’s not a bad bee. Or a bad flower. Still, whenever I do anything, I immediately see how I could have done it better. But this is better than not doing it.

Anyway, school’s out on Thursday, both my district and the Kids’ district, and the pool water should hit 80° this week, so it’s as summer as it can get. Summer I, I should say, since, of course, we have 2 summers in southern Arizona. But I like them both. There’s nothing like a summer sunset in the desert, especially if you observe it from your own back yard, next to your own pool.

Kid Logic III or Seriously, When Does School Start?

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In the next panel, the kid puts on winter pajamas, wraps herself in a quilt, and goes to sit in the stuffiest room in the house, and we’re back to the situation in Wednesday’s comic. It’s a vicious cycle. 

Whew! Better late than never. Part III in the continuing saga of children in the summertime. The temperature actually dropped almost 20 degrees since I had the idea for this comic, and it’s only in the 90s, but it’s getting humid. Soon the monsoon rains will come.

I wanted to draw and post this comic last night but it was really kind of a delirious day and I didn’t get to the computer until after 11, at which point I couldn’t focus on drawing, so I put it off and put it off. I wanted to have it up by 2 pm today, at least, but then the Fox wanted to buy us chicken and waffles and then go swimming and hang out and The Man wanted to talk and my parents called, la la la.  I’m supposed to be at the Misseses Kitty’s house in 4 minutes, which obviously isn’t happening either.

There are highs and lows, but ultimately, I have to admit that my life is pretty blessed. In terms of privilege, I’m probably in at least the top 10%. Things are going to be OK.

Kid Logic II, Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

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It’s like walking in a winter wonderland in June. With strawberries and organic greens.

Kid Logic, part 2, the sweatening. Pretty self-explanatory. This would have been the segue if I had done an 8-panel comic. The punchline didn’t come to me until after I had drawn the entire thing. Originally, it was just setting up the next part of the comic and less funny. Personally, I don’t like going into the walk-in fridge at Costco at all, but at least in the winter I’m dressed for it.

Today the heat backed off and it was only 103. They’re predicting the monsoon will start this week, 2 weeks ahead of the historical schedule and probably 3 weeks earlier than it’s been since I’ve lived here. We haven’t even turned on the air conditioner yet; we’re still on evaporative cooling, which you usually can’t use during monsoon conditions. Weird summer.

Kid Logic I, or Same Planet, Different Worlds

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I get chills just thinking about it. But that’s probably just this fan blowing over the sweat.

Originally, this was panel 1 of a much longer comic based entirely on actual things that the Girl did/said this week, but the day got out of hand and it would have been hubris to imagine that I could complete 8-panels in the time allotted, especially since I had already been to the Fox’s writing party and gotten 1500 words out.

The point is, it’s hot. Like, sick hot. Well up over 100 degrees hot. And despite the fact that they have lived here their entire lives, certain children seem constantly surprised by desert summers and repeatedly ill-equipped to deal with them, which is hilarious if you can remove yourself from the situation of being the person in charge of helping those children deal with them.

This hypothetical little person didn’t actually think that Frozen pajamas were cold; I suspect she was wearing them for more idiosyncratic reason, probably connected to a desire to wear all her clothes equally, in their turn, but she was wearing long sleeved flannel pajamas, and she did complain that she had trouble sleeping because she was too hot, and she does habitually wrap herself up in a warm blanket, regardless of the ambient air temperature. She also willfully fails to comprehend the use of evaporative cooling, despite the fact that we’ve explained it to her 100 times. Ergo, she never, ever considers opening her window, even when we tell her to open the window, meaning she is deliberately keeping her room 15 degrees hotter than the rest of the house. No matter how many times I outline the process by which she could end her suffering (wear less clothing, use less bedding, open the freaking window), she continues to act as a fully autonomous human, choosing to create an uncomfortably warm environment, and then complaining about it and ignoring any real solutions.

She did have her own solution, though. She got a fan and pointed it at her bed. So she could blow hot air at her heavy quilt and winter pajamas.

Summer in the Desert

Serves you right for wearing a fur coat.

Serves you right for wearing a fur coat.

This is more or less a true story, as long as you accept the premise that I have such a deep personal understanding of my cat that I understand the precise meanings of her vocalizations. Fairly certain this translation is accurate. The only thing that I’ve exaggerated is the size of the lemon tree and its proximity to the pool. Everyone knows you can’t plant trees that close to an in-ground pool.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for someone who has to walk around in a heavy black coat in the desert summer, but at the same time, she also has the option of hanging out in the air conditioning and waiting until the sun goes down to hang out outside. I get that she wants to be near me, but given her typical feline disdain for swimming, it’s hard to see why. Like, we don’t have to be together all the time (that you’re awake), Cat. When I’m doing stuff you don’t like, such as hanging out in the sun or submerging my body in water, you’re not required to join me. It’s your choice, meaning it’s really not cool for you to complain about it the whole time.

Fortunately for desert cats, there are always cool tile floors upon which to splay ones furry limbs.

For the record, the cat is perfectly capable of swimming. I once saw her swim the entire length of the pool to get away from a another cat that was threatening her. So she could totally jump in and join me instead of whining about it.

Anyway, this comic took about 5 hours to draw, and it among the best ones I’ve done so far. I’ve come a decent way in a year and a half. Maybe I will be ready for my next big project when the script is finished, hopefully in August.

The Breezeway Part 4

Spring 2014, Here again I had the idea for the design first and then found an appropriate quote later

Spring 2014, Here again I had the idea for the design first and then found an appropriate quote later

It’s important to photograph these images as soon as they’re posted. The colors do fade very quickly, and every once in a while, the kids deface things. This one not only got sun-bleached in a week or two, but also got scribbled on by someone who clearly was too young to hold a magic marker. It’s still very beautiful to me. These letters were all cut out freehand.

Spring 2012, the teachers really seem to like the poetry boards

Spring 2012, the teachers really seem to like the poetry boards

More freehand letters, plus I cut every one of those leaves out by hand. Sort of wish I had planned the layout a little better, but it’s still fairly striking.

And here is my last bulletin board of the 2013-2014 school year. Anyone who lives in southern Arizona has seen the sky like this: during the monsoon, if it rains in the afternoon, sometimes it clearly slightly afterward. The clouds are all lined up like this, with sun tumbling through the breaks and spilling down over the mountains, which glow gold, red, and purple, depending on the time of day.

Summer 2014, the monsoon sky

Summer 2014, the monsoon sky

This sampling of a dozen images represents most of my favorite, and maybe about half of the designs I’ve done since 2009, when I first started. Looking back, it’s not an insubstantial body of work!

 

The Breezeway Part 3

Spring 2011, a Tree of Knowledge

Spring 2011, a Tree of Knowledge

I’m interested in the idea of dimensionality. Some of the previous bulletin boards used layers to create depth, but I experiment with other methods of making the images pop. For this tree, I actually constructed a number of little books and then attached them at various angles to showcase the third dimension.

Summer 2012, a Sonoran Desert Mandala

Summer 2012, a Sonoran Desert Mandala

Here, I used multiple layers and curled the edges of the flower using the blade of a pair of scissors to create the 3D effect. The species represented in this image include saguaro, prickly pear, ocotillo, palo verde, yucca, fishhook barrel, cholla, and bird of paradise.

It’s always a challenge to create holiday bulletin boards that reflect our local culture while remaining nondenominational.

Winter 2013, Another Ofelia Zepeda quote, paired with my take on the beautiful Mexican tin lanterns. I used layers and string for dimensionality here.

Winter 2013, Another Ofelia Zepeda quote, paired with my take on the beautiful Mexican tin lanterns. I used layers and string for dimensionality here.