Aside from the logistical issue of having to use small sheets of black construction paper to make up for the weird lack of large rolls of black butcher paper (sorry, but light gray just won’t cut it for Halloween/All Souls/Dia de los Muertos season; this is the dying of the light we’re talking about here, not the general malaise of the light) this one came out pretty close to perfect.
I was inspired by the vast number of great horned owls in this neighborhood; I never see them, but I have frequently heard them and occasionally found their feathers. They’re definitely around. I’ve even heard them in a tree on the school property, although I used for my model and different, more photogenic, and creepier tree two blocks down the street.
Weirdly, none of the pictures came out great, but I did get some nice details of the owls, which I might put on Instagram. You can find me @hubris_and_smoke. It’s mostly photos of flowers but there’s other fun stuff too.
The real reason trees don’t walk is because they’d trip over their own roots.
Although I spent Tuesday night at the Fox’s house writing 3 weeks’ worth of comic scripts, most of the this week has been dedicated to the big project, which is now maybe sort of close to halfway. It’s hard to tell. Hopefully halfway, because it needs to be done in a couple months, and I have sort of verbally agreed to another paying project for the end of summer.
As mentioned, in this comic, “Close Encounters of the ∞ Kind,” different layers of reality will be illustrated in different media. The protagonist’s ever-changing imaginary friends are these whimsical crayon drawings, reproduced at 50% opacity. The main friends are an elephant, an octopus, a bird, and a walking tree, although by the end of the comic, there are many more imaginary friends. And for some reason I decided each friend would look totally different in each frame. So I have to draw like 37 different imaginary elephants. It’s all good.
Last night I drew a super-cool elephant, which originally I thought I’d post here, but this ent is even cooler. This ent is like Fonzie cool. Now I just have to draw about 27 more elephants and 22 octopodes, and 19 birds, &c. &c. And then I can start on the 5th dimension special effects. The Fox and I are going on retreat in 2 weeks, and with any luck (more like determination and forcing myself) all the imaginary friends will be drawn by then, and I can start integrating them into the reality layers. While I’m also finishing editing a novel. And a few other projects.
Anyway, I will publish more Dragon Comics. Next week. We decided we can’t work all the time, so we’ve also been preparing the house for the party we’re having Friday night.
If you’re on the east coast, or somewhere up north, this image might not make sense, but today in Tucson it’s into the 90s, and the entire city is infused with the scent of citrus blossoms. It’s really wonderful. The Kids’ grandmother gave us a bag of lemons and we’ve already finished our first pitcher of lemonade of the season, spring in Tucson being more similar in disposition to summer in most of the country.
Knocked this one out in just under 4 1/2 hours; it’s much easier when there’s no text, and I think the image speaks for itself.
Winter broke the day before yesterday in Tucson. We had 2 80°+ days, and now we have rolling thunderstorms. I saw a rainbow this afternoon. Both the citrus trees are budding and Miss Kitty and I ate Sno-Cones in the park. Even though the rain brings the temperature down, spring returns to the desert; it always does in time for Valentine’s Day. Meanwhile, in national news, the judiciary and the intelligence communities seem to support the resistance.
Sorry for the low quality lemon photo. I should have taken pictures of the tiny purple lemon blossom buds but I never got the lighting right. But I’ve had this lemon tree for 6 years. Last year it made 4 lemons. This year, 1 lemon. Next year, who knows! At least I have a lemon tree. I have several trees. That’s something else to be grateful for.
What? It’s not like we don’t share the same kingdom.
Just a silly little comic. The teddy bear thing was a *bit* off color; it may come around a bit later. But here’s a small sketch of a blossoming friendship based on mutual interests.
We have a little date tree like this in the front yard and the dates are getting closer to harvest time. They’re really better if you go in early in the spring and cut half the dates off; it allows the other dates to get bigger. Otherwise you end up with a million tiny dates that are 90% pit. Maybe tomorrow I’ll cull some of them. They need to be dried for a bit after harvesting, but fortunately, the desert atmosphere is perfect for this. You can just lay the strands of dates down on the porch and eat new dates in a few days.
Athena, goddess of wisdom, offers the Scroll of Wisdom. She bears the head of Medusa, encircled by the ouroboros, on her girdle, and carries the sword of the Tarot, which is a symbolic tool for cutting through illusion to reveal truth.
The idea of alphabets in general has always fascinated me, long before I ever even hear the term “font.” I read calligraphy books in grade school and often wrote out fancy alphabets as a centering technique. I liked the idea of decorative caps, and wanted to write an acrostic story with twenty-six chapters, which I would illuminate with twenty-six initial letters.
Inking the illustration for chapter C: the magical rowan tree. Mandalas feature prominently in the scroll.
Illustrating the Scroll of Wisdom was a new challenge for me. Graphic storytelling had become fascinating to me in recent years, but my ability to draw in a regimented way, maintaining a consistent style and moving a character through a magical landscape, seemed overwhelming. However, the mission seemed clear. After spontaneously drawing Pallas Athene on a sheet of butcher paper, I realized that, rather then cutting her free from the roll, I should utilize this old method creating a text and simply let one drawing follow the next on a continuous sheet of paper.
The completed tree
The story gradually revealed itself: a journey from initiation to mastery. The magician’s journey. The journey of the will. We’ll get back to this in a little while….
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
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.