Category Archives: Idea

Who’s applying to Grant’s tomb?

Filed under Idea, Link, News

I’m applying to Grant’s tomb! (I also wear short shorts.)

Remember that artist-in-residence thing I was a finalist for a little while back? Well, I’m taking that idea and parlaying it into a bunch of new grant applications in Chicago; There’s no shortage of funky installation ideas, but I need some capital in order to build them. It’ll be something to do while trying, in the back of my mind, to compose the verbal part of that graphic novel project below. I’ve got one line I like, and everything else ends with me thinking, “nah, that sucks.” I’ll try to belt out some stuff tonight and then cherrypick from that to get something that works.

You have to admit, one of these would be a pretty impressive status item; I think it’s pretty well established that infamy is just as good as regular ol’ good-guy fame. Everyone in that pantheon of larger-than-life figures is King Midas.

Thanks, other fool.

Filed under Fun, Idea

I am, and my life is, the proverbial tale told by an idiot. Several dozen times a day I quietly cry out, “ow!” as I remember something un-smooth or embarrassing that I said perhaps yesterday, or perhaps when I was five. I know I should let it go, but that’s like saying that if you have fair, easily burned skin, maybe you should go tanning. Thanks. But today I was forwarded this poem that at least eloquently expressed that same feeling. Maybe one day I’ll be able to shrug off all my blunders, but if I had that kind of Cask of Amontillado wall built over my ego I wouldn’t have considered being an artist in the first place.

Oh yeah, poem:
By Czeslaw Milosz, translated by Robert Pinsky and the author

The history of my stupidity would fill many volumes.

Some would be devoted to acting against consciousness,
Like the flight of a moth which, had it known,
Would have tended nevertheless toward the candle’s flame.

Others would deal with ways to silence anxiety,
The little whisper which, though it is a warning, is ignored.

I would deal separately with satisfaction and pride,
The time when I was among their adherents
Who strut victoriously, unsuspecting.

But all of them would have one subject, desire,
If only my own—but no, not at all; alas,
I was driven because I wanted to be like others.
I was afraid of what was wild and indecent in me.

The history of my stupidity will not be written.
For one thing, it’s late. And the truth is laborious.

Every line of this poem is a morning-after story – I have lain in bed after many a night on the town and gone over my various actions and pronouncements, and come to the same conclusions. I only wish I could say them with such economy and compression. If I could, no doubt I’d have much less to be embarrassed about.

Last page!

Filed under Idea, News, Project

The book proposal drawing is done! All that’s left is the words, which I’ll spin in my head while packing for this move to Chicago.


Something about it still doesn’t quite satisfy me – I think it’s because the “painted” style doesn’t appear and I kind of rushed the “tendrils” that appear over everything, but it’s only a proposal, so the final version will have a much more polished style. In any case, I’ll spend the next few days sitting in a coffee shop, putting tracing paper over printouts of these pages, trying to come up with good narrative and good composition.

OMG spoilerrrrrrs! That weird cylinder thing in the previous pages is the human character’s “descendant” from millions of years in the future. He (It?) is trying to protect him from harm, and the “eye” thing is his assistant whom the cylinder-being created to help him in this case, but since Mr. Eyes won’t come into being if the human man isn’t harmed, the eye dude secretly wants to kill him. Anyway, I was thinking that the whole “prose” section would be from the point of view of these two post-human beings, with the dialog of the two humans being completely parenthetical to that, and the third-person explanation of their behavior being the whole conciet from which I’d write this. I thought it would be a good device to tie the two styles together, and also a good way to add some real “narrative” that isn’t often seen in graphic novels. They’re a visual medium, to be sure, but it’s very, very difficult to comment on specific behaviors or mentalities with nothing but tiny squares full of drawings. Check “Bus” in the comics section for an attempt, but I’m going for something a little more complex this time. Anyway, feedback is appreciated.

To the Sky!

Filed under Fun, Idea, Link

I just finished a 4-page sample for a possible collaboration on a graphic novel – A drama this time, as opposed to a comedy or a big existential “look how smart I am!” festival. I’ll refrain from posting it because this is just between me and said collaborator, but rest assured, I am not resting on any kind of assured laurels or, heaven forbid, sitting around drinking scotch and drawing goofy cartoons that shall remain unposted for fear of embarrassing loved ones…

In the mean time, however, feast your eyes on this:

This is, and I feel I can say this without hyperbole, the greatest thing to ever be on TV, ever. I don’t even like TV that much – in the ’50’s they told the public that this magic viewing tube would be a window unto knowledge heretofore unseen by the general public….

…That space above is my only reaction – However! This program that I have linked to is one of the very few things I’ve ever seen that actually fulfills that promise of humanism and knowledge. Here is not only a view of the entire universe on an emotional, meaningful level, but a manifesto for human cooperation rarely seen in any medium. I defy you to watch this episode and remain dry-eyed. For those in a hurry, the 37-minute mark starts off The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Hole in the Head

Filed under Idea, Link, Sketch

Some researchers made a video of the way space would warp one’s view if you were falling into a black hole. The universe is weird, man!

Apparently the grid is just to show the way space-time is warping. The color of it indicates red shifts or blue shifts… I love to be reminded of the strange things that can happen outside human experience.

…It makes me feel like this (Got this program called EZ-Toon I’ve been playing with…):

The sleepy guy in Meditation.

Filed under Idea, Sketch

A little digital painting practice – Copying a Rembrandt:
“The Philosopher in Meditation” is the name of the piece. I like the homey atmosphere and thought it’d be a good thing to work from to practice some lighting and atmospherics.

Going to finish a commission, putting vectors over the freehand sketch, then then hit the sack – It’s one of those sleepy days.

I’ll leave you with this video, which I absolutely adore:

Prague’s Franz Kafka International Named World’s Most Alienating Airport

American Football and Russian Science

Filed under Idea, Link, Sketch

I tend to be on the side of the little guy against big business, but this kind of stuff really irritates me:

“The paper is getting much attention. A spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, a group well known for its close ties to food companies, emphasizes that food is not tobacco. Of course it’s not. But food companies often behave like tobacco companies, and not always in the public interest. The Milbank paper provides plenty of documentation to back up the similarity.”

I had typed out a few paragraphs on corporate responsibility and the difference between a shoddy product that spontaneously causes harm and a “vice” that everyone knows causes harm when not consumed in moderation, but you’ve heard it all before, and I realized that my reaction was just emotional to begin with: This is lame. This is 10-o’clock-curfew, abstinence-pledge, stand-up-and-say-three-things-about-yourself, “non-traditional”-baby-shower lame. I don’t know what it is about this kind of smarminess that’s so distasteful – Maybe it’s the subtle suggestion that you can’t handle your own affairs. Now, I am not one of those Ayn Rand-reading balls of congealed resentment who thinks anyone who doesn’t want to own all the money in the world (or isn’t a programmer or an engineer or something) deserves to get run over with their own Prius, but there’s something in this kind of thinking that makes me bristle. It’s like it’s trying to turn you into a yuppie. This is yuppie-thinking. Not even the good kind of yuppie.

Going to be doing some program covers for the Billings Outlaws football team, here’s a quick conceptual sketch of the coach as the archetypal “chessmaster”:

Here’s an ode to the Russian Soyuz-type spacecraft, still putting around in orbit after 40 years. Keep on cruisin’, little guy:

You’re filling out nicely, Blog.

Filed under Idea, Link, News, Sketch

Added some links to the main page, if you look over on the right, there. No, that’s too far. Back a lit- Yeah, right there.
Someone online was describing a nightmare he had when he was little, where Superman was waiting in the bushes to attack him. I thought it was such a goofy idea I had to sketch it:

The Simpsons used to be so awesome:

I think it can be a problem when anything gets too polished: Notice the strange lavender sky and Homer’s weird motions and angle during his soliloquy – I think it makes the whole thing a lot funnier and more “intimate,” contrasted with how the animators have figured out a way to do everything consistently now, taking the surprise out of it. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but when the show was dealing with the ’80s and early ’90s it seemed so much “realer,” whereas now they make self-conscious references to things like cell phones and Facebook in a bid for relevance. Any comedy that isn’t completely absurdist needs to engage with the society that created it somehow, granted, but by deliberately drawing attention to the “furniture,” I think it actually diminishes its ability to comment on and point out all the silly things we take for granted. …Or you could just say “Show, don’t tell.” Whatever works for you.