Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Anniversary and the Halloween comic that almost was.

Today is my wedding anniversary (and, conveniently enough, my wife's as well). For my sketch I drew the very first anniversary gift that I ever gave her. It was for our six month (dating) aniversary (yeah, cute, I know...). She had recently said something to the effect of "I could listen to that Modern English song, Melt With You, over and over and never get tired of it" (or something - I'm probably misremembering) So I took her at her word and made a tape of just that one song, over and over. Five times on each side (I taped over a short promotional cassette. Looking at the cover I made for it, I realize now that my design skills really haven't improved all that much since High School. Certainly my hand lettering is no better.
Anyway, Happy Anniversary honey.

Also today is the deadline for submissions to Jon Morris and Manning Krull's BOO! Halloween Stories 2006 I already told you about my one submission, but I was working on another as well, a proper story this time. Alas, once again I bit off more than i could chew. I'm about two pages short (out of six pages) and there's noway I could churn that out tonight. Maybe next year, huh?
Here's a sample, what would be page three of the story:

And there's my crappy hand lettering again.

Anyway, Happy Halloween everybody. And (again) Happy Anniversary Rachelle!

Friday, October 27, 2006

not a sketchless day without sketches

First of all, I've had a new piece up at Jon Morris and Manning Krull's BOO! Halloween Stories 2006. Actually it's a really old piece that some of you may even remember from my art skool daze. Or not. Whatever. Go check it out anyway.

I had a story that went with that once, but all I could find was an old photocopy of the first page:

Next order of business, check out this lady's seemingly grotesquely large hands (picture from the front page of our local paper today):

For some reason this photo struck me as really, really funny. Maybe I'm starting to lose it.

And, lest you may think I did not sketch anything today, we also have this:

I am not yet sure what all of this means but I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

R.I.P, Fishstick

So, I walk into the office to scan in this sketch of our goldfish, Gus (aka Fishstick) and what do I find but said fish floating face up. Eerie coincidence? Some magical curse that kills whoever i draw?

Maybe it'd be a little more creepy if it wasn't already clear to us that he's been on his way out for the past few days. It's one of the reasons that I even drew the sketch (that's why he's floating kinda' sideways in the picture.) For whatever reason, I never chose to try and draw Fishstick until he was one foot in the grave (not counting my life with pets*). Turns out that fish are kind of fun to draw.

A funeral service will be held later today around the toilet bowl.

(* - I've been meaning to add updates to Pets for a while now. Interestingly, this is the first change in our animal parentage status since I originally posted it. That was one long-lived fish!)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006

just sketchtastical!

Another quick sketch towards the same comic as the last one. This is mostly for layout purposes and will look somewhat different if I ever finish the comic (*sigh*). For example: this is meant to be a subway station so I may throw a train and some more people in there. Also, the graffiti wil not actually spell out "graffiti."

but anyway...
this strikes me as kind of a crappy sketch, but it pretty much gets the layout that I want here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

it's kind of a comic

So I've been taking advantage of my break from deadlined strips that no one cares about to work on my non-deadlined strips that no one cares about. These panels are from a story that's been written for over a year now and it's just waiting for me to draw it. I actually started this one as a fully painted comic (presented in IC) but I may have to re-think that plan or else it'll take me for frickin' ever!!. Maybe I'll go all digital with my new tablet instead. Still trying to get a good feel for that, though.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

but this one goes to eleven

Did some more jamming with Chris and Jeff this weekend.
For those of you that don't know, I've been playing viola on and off since grade school (mostly "off," lately. I used to be quite good, i guess, but now I'm mostly just reallllly rusty.) Chris and Jeff are both musicians (I don't know if they have anything from their band up on the web but here're some tracks that Jeff did on his own) and they've let me play along and basically drag the two of them down on a couple of occasions now.

Fortunately for posterity's sake (or maybe unfortunately), Chris has had his recording equipment running for these noise-jam sessions. This here is an older one that I've had up on my webspace for a little while - I think I may have even directed a couple of you to this one already. Fair warning: it's long and dissonant and without discernible structure. Listen at your own risk.

And speaking of which, here is another nasty little gem that Chris and I recorded, a cappella (w/ overdubs), one drunken night. This one is definitely NOT work safe and the jury's still out on whether it's safe anywhere else.

Anyway, you've been warned.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

popcan and the most boringest tangents in the world, ever

If you could draw anything, anything in the world, would it be a pop can? Well, I did.

I just couldn't leave well enough alone at that. I had to go and throw a bunch of rambling text in there. Wheeee...

This sketchblog thing is sure off to a good start.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Because Fabricari demanded it. Mostly Banal is temporarily turned into a sketchblog. A new sketch every few days or so, maybe even a little comic here and there (but probably not the autobio/diary/journal stuff for a little bit.) 'til I can pull it together.

Enjoy what you have wrought, Fabricari, enjoy...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I guess I'm on vacation

So, as i mentioned last week, I draw most of my "Mostly Banal" strips at work during break time. We're allowed two ten minute breaks and a twenty minute lunch by OSHA regulations. As a result of my cartooning preoccupation, though, my breaks were becoming a little - shall we say - extended. Well, somebody finally noticed.

My break times become a bit more restricted now and I haven't been able to compensate at home. Until I can work out some alternate drawing timetable, I can't keep up with the three-a-week schedule. If I can't do that then I don't see a point in these diary strips - as I see it they only work as a concept by regularity and accumulation. So Mostly Banal is going on haitus for a little while.

I'll, uh... see you when I get back. Whenever that is...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Your Guide to Finer Living:
Spinach and Black Bean Quesadillas

I meant to post some more on the other books I got at the sale, but - whadya know - no time.
Maybe later - I did get some interesting books.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Book Sale Book: A Cavalcade of Clowns

A Cavalcade of Clowns
Illustrations by Bill Yenne with text by Laurence Senelick.

I passed on this book several times before picking it up. It's just so ugly. But there's something that really drew me in.

It purports to be a children's book (as far as I can tell), covering famous clowns throughout history. The text conveys an obvious affection for the art of the harlequin and the research seems genuine (though I am no clown expert). But, of course, it's the art that called me back.

That a book is made for children is often used as an excuse for bad artwork, it seems, but this book appears to go out of it's way to be ugly. The design is clumsy, the rendering is flat and amateurish and the colors...

But i think that's what got me. the clashing primaries, the intricate linework that recedes behind walls of flat color, and the mishmash of similar shades vying for the same attention on the page. At first I thought it was the "train-wreck" quality of the design that got me, now I'm not so sure. After all the exaggerated figures and two-by-four to the face color schemes have a certain fitting echo to the garish caricature of humanity that' s represented in the best of clowns.

Visual subtext or just bad design, there's still something to be learned from a book like this. Either way it's made a place in my collection (and maybe burned some images into my retina).

You can find some wierd stuff at a used book sale...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

goin' to the booksale

The anual AAUW used book sale was this past weekend. I look forward to this every year. People donate books throughout the year and they are resold at deeply discounted prices. The second to last day is half price day (half off the already low "used book" price) and the last day is bag day, where you fill a grocery bag with books and pay only five dollars for the lot of them. Seriously, FIVE DOLLARS for a bag full of books!

Every sale in the past four years I've found something comics related that was worth buying. That's not an easy task in this town, and this year it took the combined vetting skills of myself, Rachelle, and Shannon too, to find something like that (Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe collected Volumes one through seven for four bucks! - a good find). Maybe in the next few days I can share some scans from some of the other books I bought there too.

Monday, October 02, 2006


I usually draw these strips on my breaks at work. Today we had our big year-end inventory, so no time to draw. I'll probably just do two strips this week. We'll see...

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