tumblr sunday: jealous of a vintage illustration

tumblr_nipre9mdYw1tn7avwo1_500I’m not jealous of her outfit or her photographic gear, but at this time of year, the fact that there are leaves on the trees and she’s out with her camera gives me a touch of the green eyes. Or, I’m going to buy a lens this week, and I don’t care.

This, and other images that inspire various random emotions on my tumblr, here.

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a cubic cat

Had the Polaroid Cube in my pocket when I dropped in at the vet’s this morning for a fresh supply of minty fishballs*, and was moved to try to photograph Sebastian, one of the the resident cats.

This Sebastian is quite a character: he has the run of the office and usually stations himself in the waiting room to greet human visitors and check out all the other animals.  He doesn’t seem to be afraid of anyone or anything, from hysterical fellow cats in boxes to dogs ten times his size, and observes the world around him with an objective enjoyment which is almost artistic.  (If this cat has a blog we are all in deep trouble.)  As you see, he was quite interested in the camera and has the makings of an excellent model.

The large images are the original super wide angle shots, while the squares are cropped out of them.

*”Minty fishballs” is what we call the Omega fatty acid capsules we give our older dogs.  They are made of fish oil with mint added to keep them from being too unpleasant.  Dogs love them. They’re minty and fishy.)

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on a weird day, eat a sandwich

You know it’s a long, weird day when dinner is a sandwich eaten at twenty after nine at night.  But what a sandwich, one that makes up for the late hour and at least some of the weirdness: broiled marinated free range chicken, thick and juicy and broiled fresh right out of the food stash, on 14 grain toast with Grey Poupon Country Dijon mustard, (the stuff with all the seeds), washed down with a double Cuba Libre.  The butcher calls the marinade “House Blend”, and now you know as much about it as I do.  But it is darned tasty.

If I’d known the twenty after nine sandwich was going to be that good,  I would have taken a picture of it so I could blog about it.

And then I blogged about it anyway.

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the best of the drawing of the day, week 143: self esteem

drawingoftheday-week-143-selfesteemThis guy is a beautiful butterfly, and don’t you forget it.  And he is fabulous, as is his little pal that sits on his head.  The shirt was originally penciled in stripes and the main character in spots, and “I’m a beautiful butterfly.” was going to be the title of the drawing.  Putting the line on the shirt in a kind of 80’s self affirmation font was one of my better ideas, I think.  However, this might have been a better drawing if I’d kept the spots.

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the sheet music cover- pencils

alwaysdoyourbest-1-pencil-200The theme for this year’s Oh, Comics! anthology is “Music” and I decided to write a theme song for Foursquare, Kekionga’s home grown superhero.  The first page of the story called “Theme Song” is the imaginary cover for the imaginary sheet music, featuring Foursquare, Iowa and sidekick!Josef.  It’s drawn in the classic Kekionga style (which some of the story is not), except that Jack is wearing yet another version of the Golden Age Foursquare costume.  Someday I will fix the design for it, but there’s no real hurry since it exists primarily in Jack’s head anyway– I’m not sure he always imagines it the same way himself.  Foursquare’s pose is swiped, as it often is, from CC Beck’s original Captain Marvel. You can tell Josef is being a sidekick because he is wearing a little cape.  Iowa is just too amused by the whole thing.

Thanks to Wolfie for writing the first draft of the second verse of the song, which was proving difficult.

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japanese woodcut demon

IMG_20141029_134633Yesterday, a superhero and his underwear-clad shoulder devil.  Today, a Japanese demon who looks like a superhero.  Unlike so many of the demons and ghosts in the Halloween themed wood block print exhibit in the Japanese galleries, I find him more handsome than otherwise. And his winged headpiece would do any superhero proud.

(practice shot with the new phone camera, which is surprisingly good at museum work.)

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the devil on one shoulder …

Captain_Marvel_Adventures_Vol_1_31And the better angel of your nature on the other.  I can understand why Cap’s shoulder devil wears a union suit of long underwear– it’s an easy parody of any superhero uniform and an apt one for the famous Big Red Cheese.  But why is his shoulder angel a blonde?

(I particularly like this version of the Captain Marvel character design, with his calligraphic eyebrows and dots for eyes.)

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tumblr sunday: royal evolution

One of the interesting things about having a monarchy (and a longlived monarch) is a chance to watch the evolution of a person in engraved portraits, rather than the usual photographs.  We all know that Queen Elizabeth II is quite an old lady, and that she has been on the throne since she was in her twenties.  And for all that time she has been featured in the design of a lot of paper money, not just in Great Britain, but in all of the Commonwealth countries.  And every time those bills are redesigned (which is more frequently in the rest of the world than it is here in the States), the artists make a new, up to date portrait of the Queen for the front of the bill.   It was just a matter of time before somebody made an animated monetary gif like this, which includes some youthful portraits as well:queen-gif I can certainly see the political value some nations find in the stable symbolism of a constitutional monarch.  If nothing else, he or she is always there to do the basic work of representing the nation in people’s lives and do it in a non partisan way, leaving the government free to govern.  And somebody like the Queen can become a familiar figure in other parts of the world as well.  I’ve always sort of liked her, just because she’s always been there.  Plus, she has corgis.

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january thaw

As this winter seems to signal a return to the familiar weather patterns of the past (as opposed to last years endless months in the Dreaded Polar Vortex), we were pleased to see a good old fashioned January thaw today.  As it often is , it was accompanied by blue skies and thin, high, fast moving clouds.Polaroid CUBEPolaroid CUBEThe Polaroid Cube is an ideal camera for taking cockeyed photos of the sky.


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buzz bomb!

CaptainMarvelBuzzBombIt’s a cheerful name for a not at all cheerful thing.  Except this buzz bomb is a cheerful example of the classic Golden Age comic book premium.  Does the fact that it was produced during World War II (or perhaps immediately afterward) excuse it from being in bad taste?  Or does the bright, three color innocence of the design itself excuse it from any profound moral questioning?

This moral debate was most unexpected. All I was doing was looking for some cool examples of classic Fawcett hand lettering for the title page of a comic, I’m working on. Those exclamation points are really something.  And the smooth brushwork of the key line looks great in dark blue.

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