This week I travelled to Independence Missouri for a Big Read event. I’ve done many of these over the years since adapting Fahrenheit 451 into a graphic novel. The Big Read creates events around well known books for schools and libraries, thus if they choose to do events around Fahrenheit, I am often invited to be a part of it. I had a great time talking to students at the Kansas City Art Institute, and the local libraries. If you live in Independence, check out my original art work on display at several library locations. Yes, I forget which ones. Check local listings.
These events are mostly uneventful, and this trip was no different other than my hotel being right next to a restaurant called Twin Peaks. The first day there I wandered over to this “Twin Peaks” to grab lunch as something in my head told me there was something in my head about Twin Peaks I should remember. Not something to remember about David Lynch or Log ladies, but something else. As I got closer, I did notice that the windows were tinted and I could not see who or what was inside. Also the front door was plastered with pictures of women in bikinis or wet t-shirts. Then I heard the roar of a motorcycle and saw that the parking lot on the other side of the building was occupied by a biker gang. As in Harley’s and guys dressed in leather jackets with patches. Then I remembered why I knew the name Twin Peaks. Last year at a Texas Twin Peaks location, there was a motorcycle gang shoot out of some sort. Twin Peaks is basically a Hooters for bikers. Thus, I pretended not to like what was on the menu in the window (there was no menu in the window) and continued walking to the Mexican restaurant conveniently located 5 miles away.
Easter Fact One:
This weekend is Easter, and many of you are busy with the Pagan (or not Pagan depending on what side of the “War on Easter” you take) ritual of painting the unborn embryos of chickens in bright happy colors. Likewise, some of you may be tempted to partake in the eating of Cadbury Creme Eggs. This is not a Pagan ritual per say, but…large swaths of society will shun you if your are caught dating someone known to frequent Cadbury Creme Egg dens.
Easter Fact Two:
I tried my hand at submitting some Eater themed cartoons to the New Yorker, but as you can tell by the above title, it didn’t work out. I guess they didn’t want the hate mail. Easter Fact Three:
Bunnies are cute.
It’s been a while since I showed off a few of the gags from my massive pile of rejected New Yorker cartoons I have in my closet labeled “Closet of Rejected New Yorker Cartoons.” Some get resubmitted so I don’t like to show off too many, but one of them was topical and the other was offensive to Frasier fans. Thus, I think it’s safe to say the short painful lives of these gags are over. You could say they can now go back to Florida and throw away all their Paleo diet books.
This week’s Dark Horse Presents (Issue 19) features another chapter of Brooklyn Blood by Paul Levitz and myself along with other stories by a plethora of creators. Below is page one of Chapter three (sans copy).
I also did a little reportage type drawings and thought this particular one was an interesting failure. If you can tell what it is then, that’s great. But over all, it went so far off the rail it’s embarrassing. And interesting. And embarrassing…
For reasons I don’t remember, I once did some research into the mythology of the “Stag,” or the “White Stag.” Cernunnos, for example, is the stag horned god of the Celts. Thus, when I finally got around to watching the first season of “The Leftovers,” I couldn’t help but notice all the appearances of a deer and or a Stag and it’s significance in the story. I won’t go into it here as I don’t have time, and the ten people who read this will be mad I revealed spoilers for the show. Thus, Stag images were my warm sketches this morning.
Despite the adorable GIF you see below, I don’t really care much for Valentine’s Day. It falls too close to Lincoln’s birthday and that makes me think of stove pipe hats. And that makes me think of Seaman’s Lincoln’s Birthday Sale commercials. And then of course I’m thinking about stove pipe hats again. You can see where this is going, right?
Anyway, I made my first Gif back on New Years, and found that it was a fun way to produce a quick animation. Thus, I decided to make the below GIF for one of those NPR contests. A fun contest, not one that involved thousands of dollars in prizes and or a chance to meet Leonard Lopate and accidentally call him Brian Lehrer.
I did not win this contest. Losing NPR contests is a special skill I’ve developed over the years. In fact, way back in 2007 I entered a “Thanksgiving Cartoon Contest” to be judged by Bob Mankoff. George O’Connor was one of the winners, if I remember correctly (WNYC’s web site no longer has this episode on line), but I was not even an honorable mention. Since then I have come to know and plan my secret revenge on George, but that’s another story. We won’t even go into the musical contests I’ve entered lost on Public Radio. I’m just happy this last competition has left me with a Valentine GIF that I think perfectly sums up something that I can’t, and shouldn’t put into words. Enjoy!
It’s a good thing I call my Mother once in a while, as she informed me last night that this Sunday is SUPER BOWL SUNDAY! In honor of that day, I spent time this morning warming up my fingers with these sketches of possible designs for something I’m working on that has nothing to do with the Super Bowl. I can tell you all about it some other time, but for now, we need to prepare for the Super Bowl! So…I’ll have to give my mom another call and see if she knows how to prepare for… that…
Part two of Brooklyn Blood, written by Paul Levitz and illustrated by myself, is out (was out) on stands yesterday in the new issue of Dark Horse Presents (Issue 18 to be exact). Cover and a peek at my interior art below. The issue also feature work by Rich Woodall, Carla Speed McNeil, Shawn Aldridge, David Chelsea, Craig Rousseau, Julius Gopez and others. Cover by Craig Rousseau:
Sneek peek at my bit: I’ve posted before about my process for working on this project and you can see that post HERE. What we’re talking about this week is covers! Covers and blizzards! The previous issue of Dark Horse Presents featured a cover by me, but as we all know there were many other cover ideas that didn’t see the light of day. Or in my case, just ONE other cover idea. Thus, I present for you here, the unused cover (sketch) to Dark Horse Presents issue 17! Pretty exciting eh?
Whew! That was A LOT of excitement to take in just before a blizzard. Now, get out there and buy some milk and bread (and dog treats)! See you next week!
Not much to post on the first “post” holiday post. This morning I’m warming up my fingers with some sketches that could be designs for something I’m working on. Or not. I can’t type much this week as I’m fairly busy, but next week I promise to tell you about the Rum cake I made for New Years. It’ll be an amazing, exciting post! Honest!