dreaming of a blue toolbox

The world is full of people who love bags and boxes and containers of all kinds.  If that means you,  here’s a wonderful blue toolbox.Trusco_Hip_Roof_Tool_Box_LRG_one_01_large It’s a Trusco, from Japan, and I just want to fill it up with my drawing tools  and all their parts and maintenance and refilling gear and carry it around the house.  And then I want to buy another one to put all my actual pliers and screwdrivers in so I will always be able to find them.  I don’t expect that I will be able to talk myself into actually buying one, much less two, but you’ll have to agree that this toolbox is a big blue dreamboat.

(If you also dream big and love boxes, check out the two big Truscos and their matching accessory boxes here.)

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best of the drawing of the day, week 122: man in tweed

drawingofthedaymanintweedSort of like a Man in Black, except for some reason I decided not to black in his suit.  Instead I started shading it with hatching, and ended up with three or four different sizes of hatching and a few little globs and blots of brushwork for what I hope is a coarse tweed effect.  If you take a close look, you will see that the jacket is lined in silk (presumably) in the magical spiral pattern- because this guy is into some seriously weird stuff.

I debated right up until I declared this drawing finished whether or not to give these two characters a set of matching badges, because I’m pretty sure they’re partners.  But then I started thinking about any agency that would team up an (apparently) baseline human with a sentient transparent flame, and decided that it would definitely be an agency that keeps its badges in its pockets, if you know what I mean.  For those who think the pose suggests a greater intimacy than simply going around protecting our dimension from Things Sentient Transparent Flames Were Not Meant To Know, note that I said they were partners– not that they were just partners.  Perhaps they are also very good friends.  I’m not going to judge.

It’s drawings like this that make me really, really want to learn to color in layers.

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let’s watch tv– the great martian war

(In case you have The Great Martian War awaiting you on your DVR, or are waiting for either a rerun on History or BBC America or the DVD release,  I am putting my appreciation of this extremely weird program under a cut.) Continue reading

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(This is a sequel to the post “in the interests of public safety“.  Just so you know.)

direcorgisidewalkThe sidewalk is still closed/even though it now exists./The dire corgi cannot read.

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car spotting– knight xv

Knight SUV 2Just what everybody needs: here’s a first ever in-the-wild spot of the Knight XV fully armored luxury custom SUV.  This 13,000 lb monster, built on a Ford F550 Super Duty platform and powered by either a V-10 gas motor or a V-8 Power Stroke Diesel, is certainly not something you see everyday.  Besides full armor all the way around (including the grille) it has a bewildering variety of security enhancements, including a milspec night vision system and a black box, as well as all the usual luxury bells and whistles.  The interior is fully customizable.  I will have mine done up as a “first class aircraft sleeper”, with a special space for my dogs.  And satellite TV, and “VIP strobes” in the grille …

Seriously, this website is really entertaining.  Configure your own Knight XV on the Conquest Vehicles site here.  If you’re in a hurry, click on “in stock” and see if they have one already made up that happens to suit your personal needs.  The price of course depends on the configuration you want, but a little research indicates the base is around $300, ooo.

I really wish this was my spot, but credit must go to my husband, who saw the Knight XV at a tollway oasis north of Chicago yesterday afternoon, and was kind enough to grab a shot with his phone camera.  (My edits, though.)

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tumblr sunday- gum wrapper condor

tumblr_n99pixxtGM1r855nqo1_500It sounds like the beginning of a bad ethnic joke from the late 20th, but this was identified as a Polish gum wrapper. (If any Polish speakers out there want to provide a translation,  I would be very glad to edit it in.)

But regardless of its origin, this wrapper tells a most intriguing little two panel tale, that of a pair of youngsters, perhaps a brother and sister, in the American West.  In the first panel, they wear feathers in their hair as they admire the scenery.  But their awe at the rock formations and their clothing suggest that they are visitors rather than Native Americans,  at least not local ones.

In the second panel, there is a dramatic change in both plot and perspective as the pair are carried off by a bird of prey so large that the tips of its wings are cut off by the implied panel border.  This seems to be far from the disaster it would be in most stories, since the protagonists never lose their broad smiles, and the bird himself seems friendly enough.   He even seems to be speaking–is this the second item on their sightseeing itinerary,  an aerial tour?

Even that interpretation doesn’t explain the most intriguing aspect of the entire story: the bird’s hat, which seems to be a beret.  Is he French? A Basque? A beatnik?  Or perhaps he is a victim of a deadline.  The original art was almost certainly hand drawn. Did a botched line or a blot drive the artist to draw his or her way out of the problem by adding the jaunty headwear?

We have more questions than answers, and no choice but to leave the kids and their cool condor pal as we found them, flying over the Polish gum wrapper version of a red rocks Western landscape. Maybe a translation of the text would make some sense of all this, but this cheerful pink world doesn’t really need it.

(Edited to correct copious typos– posting from one’s phone is convenient, but sometimes fraught with grammatical peril.)

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in the interest of public safety

“Closed”.  That’s one word for it.  We would also accept “non existent”.

 “Not there” works too.

(Bloggers are among the few who will miss the Great Neighborhood Storm Sewer Diggings of 2014.  Even the very last stages are full of amusing detail.)



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best of the drawing of the day, week 121– spotted guy in a tank top

drawingoftheday-week21-spottyguyinatanktopRegular reader Wolfie is here for a visit, and I let him pick this week’s best of the drawing of the day.  Great minds (or whatever kind of minds we have) must think alike, because this is the one I would have picked myself.  I really like this slightly grumpy spotted guy in a tank top over a black short sleeve of unusual cut.  Of course, he may actually be slightly drunk, instead.  And I may have been the same when I drew this late last Saturday night.

Whatever its origins, this is a “lucky drawing”, flowing straight out of the scritchy-scratchy pen onto the paper without any planning or penciled underdrawing.  If you look carefully, you can see a lot of false starts and “wrong” lines, particularly in the jawline, hair, ears and shirt.  Solid blacks and weird patterns aren’t just design elements– they’re the tools you use to draw your way out of all kinds of problems.

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recently voted character most likely to: never wear a trucker cap, or where do ideas come from?

beer wolf-blogIn this case, the idea came from a visit to an antique mall in Michigan where I found this striking sculpture of a (very) minor pop culture icon, which immediately suggested this Italian restaurant placemat sketch and accompanying fictional fragment.beer wolf placemat drawingGideon Lykander, Librarian and Archivist, Noakes Library, Sauk Trail State University:

Ms Ginsberg, staff picnic or no staff picnic, I hardly think that this … object constitutes appropriate headgear.  It seems to be made entirely of petroleum based artificial materials.  I don’t care if you and Ms. Halloo and Mr. Swann do think that sleazy bar room artifact “looks exactly like me”.  No, I will not “do the ears” so you can prove it.

There.  Are you satisfied?  Mr. Swann?  Are you giggling?  Put your camera away, Ms. Halloo– if a photograph of me wearing this appears in public in any way, I will bite you.  I will bite all of you and it will be very painful.

Now take this thing away and bring me my Panama.  And a mimosa. A large one. I feel quite faint.

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ten (imaginary) facts about a beautiful victorian lady

victorian lasdeyRemember this haunting photograph from this week’s Tumblr Sunday?  I was determined to find out some facts about the subject and/or the photographer, and also to bring her into the Kekionga universe.  The second task is proving easier than the first.

It turns out that Shelley just found the portrait among some of the Berry family treasures,  and asked her grandfather, old Professor Berry, to tell her the story.  Here are ten facts about the beautiful Victorian lady, as Grandpa Berry remembers hearing them from Great Grandma Ida (who died before Shelley was born) and Great Aunt Leah (who she remembers very well).

  • The beautiful Victorian lady’s name was Lilah Franklin.  Her full name was Delilah, but she never liked it because it “made her sound like a cook”.
  • Although Lilah couldn’t cook, she was an excellent housekeeper and seamstress and was never ashamed that she earned an honest living with those skills at several different times in her life.
  • Lilah was born in freedom after the Civil War, but her parents had been slaves. Since her father, a blacksmith, had a trade, they were able to move North and settled first in Baltimore, then in several places in Ohio.
  • Although Lilah went to school, she considered herself primarily self educated, mostly through free libraries.
  • Lilah was a devout Christian, but with a definite Universalist bent.  She was broadminded and very progressive in her politics.
  • She came to Kekionga in the late 1880s to attend Rutherford College, which had just begun admitting women.  (The school had always been integrated.)  She stayed with the Berry family, although she wasn’t a relative as far as anybody can remember.
  • Lilah was the first black woman to graduate from Rutherford.  She was a fine writer and journalist, and studied both English and library science.
  • She traveled around the country working as a newspaper and magazine journalist, freelance writer, librarian and teacher.
  • She never married, but was rumored (by Ida and Leah at least) to have had romances with several very distinguished gentlemen.
  • Later in her life, Lilah settled in New York City and eventually became a grande dame of the Harlem Renaissance.
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