Monthly Archives: April 2009

Take This Job and Poet.

Filed under Fun, Sketch

…Didn’t even know it…

Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and, well, I just had to do something… I had earlier uploaded some old MSPaint doodles I did a while ago into a “misc” folder on this site, then started rhyming about them idly while washing the dishes today, and decided to make a little thing of it:

The Buddha Balloon, the Budda Balloon!
It must have come out of some kind of cartoon,
defending itself with a thund’rous kaboom
As it floats through the clouds on its way to the moon!
The wonderful, magical Buddha Balloon!

With gold and brocade it is always festooned,
catching all eyes from man down to raccoon
Such a wondrous sight you won’t see again soon
The stupendous-superlative Buddha Balloon!

The Magma Slug
Just wants a hug.
Though he is dumber than a bug,
He’s dangerous as any thug,
For while he has no cranium
His slime contains uranium.

The NanoPie
is very shy.
It hides while days and weeks go by
But when the season urges
it finally emerges
And though it makes no scream or “boo”
Most are surprised by its gray goo.

….Can you tell I like Ogden Nash?

When Culture gives you Lemons…

Filed under Fun, Idea, Link, Sketch

Did some sketches to accompany the grant proposal in addition to the actual descriptions of the thing. I’ll just re-use the fancy collaged forms I made for the hotel gig, at least as far as the descriptions of the thing itself goes. Here are the two (very rough! These will all be full oil paintings!) sketches to accompany the app:


The basic idea is that there are LEDs behind each of the paintings, and a central control console with a button corresponding to each one. You have to press the buttons in sequence to get the cover over the large central painting to retract, and as you “activate” each painting, a section of it is backlit, providing you with a clue as to what the next painting in the sequence might be. You can’t see all those clues here, since this is just a rough sketch, but they’re described in the accompanying text (Here, they’re drawn in the left-to-right sequence you’d activate them – Try to find the connections!) The sequence is supposed to represent a progression of various styles and media in art, but have them circle back and eat their own tail, with the central painting being a kind of synthesis of the whole deal. Looking at it now, from a more objective viewpoint, I can see how it would be a bit of a head-scratcher, but it’s already a literal puzzle in the first place, so I think it works out….Well, I wouldn’t have posted it, otherwise.

I’ve got three other developed conceptual installation ideas involving building rather elaborate objects, two that require old cars, and one that also requires a boat, so I’ll see if this simpler one flies first.
Excellent Madison comedian Alan Talaga, AKA Dan Potacke, has put together this video for his live talk show. Consider this a plug.

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.

Winding Down

Filed under Fun, Gallery, Project

Added this one at the last minute – It can fit in anywhere in the sequence. Not sure if I like how it turned out, though; it’s a little different from how I envisioned it, and I just kind of flew by the seat of my pants. In any case, I can still cover up parts with words, and there’s only one page left now.


Despite the occasionally clunky acting, I have to say that “Fringe” is a surprisingly decent show. I had it on in the background while I was working on this and thought it was entertaining enough to cue a bunch of them up. EDIT 4/29: OK, saw a few more episodes, and the main character seems to have a Harry Potter-like “special destiny” that’s slowly being revealed. My surprised enthusiasm in the show has cooled off a little.

Rolling on.

Filed under Project

Page 4 is done!


Now it’s bedtime, because I have quite a nasty headache. Night, y’all.

Sometimes I do things.

Filed under Fun, Link, Sketch


I just got what I feel is, in all objectivity, quite a rad album. Right now I am listening to the first track, “Carolina,” on loop – It is just that awesome.

A man said to me, “give Pikachu a new face.”  So I did:

Finished a logo for a comedian I collaborate with, and a little 3D modeling project for fun. I might have those up later.

But right now, it’s time to get back to work on that graphic novel proposal…

Less Minor Progress

Filed under News, Project

The second page is done (updated in the previous post to reflect this) and now the third page is done, too:


…They’ll all make a lot more sense when the words are added.

Now it’s time to sit down for a little work on page four.

In this manner, perhaps?


Ohhhkay, it’s bedtime.

Minor Progress

Filed under Project, Sketch

Not finished yet, but this project’s going much more quickly than I expected, so here’s page two, which I started today and hope to finish tomorrow (UPDATE- Finished):


I’ll be moving in about a month, so I’ve set that as my deadline for sending it off to publishers, squeezing it in among my normal commissions.