on mysterious animals and horrible creatures

Today I am going to write about Mysterious Animals and Horrible Creatures, and illustrate what I write with some of my Inktober drawings.  Anyone who has seen even a few of my comics, cartoons or drawings, knows that one of my major subject headings is weird animals of various sizes, usually interacting with people or humanoid characters.  This has has been true for pretty much forever; I have always been fascinated by both real animals and all the beasts of fiction, from dragons to cryptids, and with stories of familiars and “psychic pets”.

In the sketchbooks in particularly, these beings can take any crazy form that emerges from the depths- -the great thing about drawing them is that nobody can say what they “should” look like or tell you you are drawing them “wrong”.  Mine usually have large glowy eyes and or lots of teeth,  but that might not be true of yours.

Mysterious Animals and Horrible Creatures can be very small and lurk peacefully in the fringes of the everyday.  These little beings are quite mysterious, and their level of horror is fairly low.  But they may cause a shiver in those who are so inclined.


They also often appear as shoulder pets or companions to humanlike people.  Is this being a mysterious animal or a horrible creature?  The fact that even the artist is unsure means it is definitely mysterious, and if that touches you with a hint of dread, it is probably at least slightly horrible as well.

While most Mysterious Animals/Horrible Creatures are vaguely mammalian, they sometimes take birdlike form as well.  The “bird guys” often tend toward the Horrible Creature side of the spectrum.

The king of my personal cryptozoology is of course, Josef, who is the self proclaimed main character of not just the entire Kekionga series, but of every single comic and drawing where he happens to appear.  While, he is normally a Mysterious Animal, he definitely has a Horrible Creature side, which he is showing here.  Gale, the Unfrozen Cave Woman, say: “Me give him name ‘little big teeth’. Me see him hunt deer. Now not be able to not see. Forever.”

The important thing to remember is that almost every Mysterious Animal/Horrible Creature is more or less a dog.  And vice versa.

To see more Mysterious Animals and Horrible Creatures click here.


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inktober notebook

First of all, you can see all my Inktober drawings every day in actual October over on the Kekionga Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/kekiongacomics/.  This page is open to the public; you do not have to be a member of Facebook to read and enjoy.  (If you are, please like and follow to get its unique content dropped right into your feed.)

This week, the Inktober prompt for the 11th was “run”, and I drew a centaur (with a passenger) and a dog, all running.  inktober-17-11-run-cleanedup-blogIt was only later, when I was looking through last year’s Inktobers as I filed them into my new filing system, that I figured out where the idea came from.  Last year, Inktober 18th was a day to “Escape”:inktober-18-2016-blog

Apparently all drawing prompts I get involving running or speed automatically suggest a spotted centaur running away with both a passenger and an object of some kind.  And maybe a dog.

(PS: I borrowed the dog from this medieval illustration of the constellations of the Greater and Lesser Dogs.)running dogs-blog.jpg

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best of the drawing of the day: a classic character and adding text to an image

classic character-cleaned up-plus text-final-blog OK.  This started out as an ordinary “best of the drawing of the day” post, with an image I chose from an earlier sketchbook while I was looking for something else.  I was going to scan the drawing, straighten it so the lettering was more or less level, clean up some personal notes to the left of the figure that included a spoiler, and insert it in a block of typeset text that was going to start with a transcription of the lettering.

I got as far as the cleaning up part, and for some reason I clicked on the text icon, the one that you use to add white text to an image to make a dopey internet meme, and typed the transcription right onto the page, using the ordinary keyboard manipulations I use to mess with text on a word processor.  And it just sort of works.  The font is Trebuchet Bold, Trebuchet being one of the four or so fonts I regularly use as pointed sticks.  It’s also Kekionga’s official sans serif text font.

Careful readers will note that I got so excited to be teaching myself  a simple image manipulation technique that is probably mastered by modern kids in about the fourth grade, that I made a bunch of errors in transcribing the first sentence.  By the time I noticed it I had already collapsed the layers, so I said the heck with it.  Consider it two ideas for a possible final version.  The idea of typing right into a drawing, however, is extremely sound.  More on this later.

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found art/ illustrated/ poem

  • Stakes: bamboo
  • Coffee can; could use brick.
  • I found this poem in my pocket.
  • At least it seems like a poem.
  • The doodles could be illustrations, or maybe they aren’t.
  • I used a brick.
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    hulk do laundry, write poem

    Rain tomorrow; Hulk do laundry today.  Find Hulk ku poem while wash towel.

    • Hulk put all towel
    • in wash same time. Bathroom now
    • shiny, bright, noisy.
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    it’s inktober!

    Inktober Day Three: Poison.  It’s up to you whether you think that some of the refreshments on offer are slightly toxic. Or maybe “Poison” is the name of the Horrible Creature on the left.

    Inktober began a couple of days ago, and once again I am participating.  For those who may be unfamiliar, Inktober is a shared art project where artists of all kinds and at all skill levels commit to making a finished drawing in ink every day during the month of October and share their drawings on social media.  Some people do random drawings, others follow a theme (someone I know is drawing villains from Marvel’s X-Men universe), while others are using one of several prompt lists that are circulating around the Internet.

    I am using the quasi-official prompt list, since I feel sort of vaguely guilty about how the ongoing Drawing of the Day project means I am (in theory) doing the same basic task every day anyway.  Using the prompts, rather than doing my usual semi- automatic drawing, and committing to finishing and posting every day make me feel like I am giving sufficient extra attention to the project.  Being me, I have hidden the prompt list somewhere in the studio and am trying very hard not to think more than one day ahead– I snatch a glimpse every day after I’ve posted that day’s drawing.

    Find my daily posts on the Official Pam Bliss Facebook Page, which you can find at https://www.facebook.com/kekiongacomics/  Remember that this is a public page and you don’t have to be a member of Facebook to visit.  (If you are a Facebook person, you are cordially invited to like and follow.)  I’ll be posting some of my favorites here as well.

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    sunset and fishbones

    From Iowa’s Daybook:

    “I was walking home from Corby at dusk with Gale, and we stopped at Sunset Point.  The weather has been weird lately and we have been getting these incredible colorful sunsets. Today there were these strange looking clouds as well, in stripes or lines.  I was really surprised when Gale told me one of her “cave girl” stories about them; she hardly ever talks about the past unless people ask her, and I don’t usually ask.

    Gale: Those clouds we call Ribs of Mother Sturgeon.  Mother Sturgeon swim in sky.  She make rain, she make fog and sleet. The stars her eggs, many eggs laid in sky. Sometimes, sunset light shine through her, see her ribs.

    And then she made a gesture that I guess was light shining through the ribs of a mighty sturgeon in the sky.  Beautiful, and a little spooky.

    We met Suki –and her cameras– on the way home.  I hope she got some good pictures of Mother Sturgeon’s Ribs.  I don’t know what kind of clouds those were: I’ll have to look them up.  But they’ll never be stripes or lines to me again.  They’ll always look like fishbones.

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    50 superheroes: number 22

    Ahoy and avast, tars and pirates, officers and mermaids, kelpies and sirens and seadragons all:’tis the mighty Barquentine, bandy legged hero (?) of the seven seas.  Hero with a question mark, because the line between honest tar and pirate rascal is thin at best, and depends more than you think on the captain.  And if Barqu’ is the captain himself, he may act purely on the spur of the moment.

    His origins probably lie in films or the theater: Barquentine is another costume based super, but his is too nice to be a simple Halloween-costume-come-to-life.  It may be the magical cutlass strapped to his back that holds his powers, or the cut stone that makes its pommel could be an alien artifact. Or maybe the cutlass is a good red herring, and Barquentine had his powers all along and just displayed them for the first time while filming out on the waves, or playacting the same on stage. Regardless, he is a broad shouldered, pugnacious little guy– a well salted sea dog with “hold fast” tattooed on his knuckles.  And, in keeping with the ancient tradition of superhero encyclopedias, he gives his “real name” as Davy Jones.


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    santa and mrs. claus at the chinese buffet

    Polaroid CUBE

    American Chinese buffet restaurants are famous for their eccentric decorations.  Our local recently installed this eclectic display above the sushi counter, featuring two large green and brown ceramic planters with elephants at each end, filled with mysterious containers (one was definitely hand sanitizer) and trimmed with colorful artificial flowers, with a large “Christmas Village” house in the center.  This was flanked by two white porcelain statues that remind me (in this context) strongly of Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Only three months till Christmas!

    (For a bonus point, find the Hershey Kiss candy.   Photo taken with the Polaroid Cube toy camera between visits to the steam tables.)

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    50 superheroes: number 21

    Clark Luxor is a weird dude.  His name is easy: Luxor is Egyptian-y, and his hornrim glasses remind even the most casual comics fan of Clark Kent.  But otherwise, what kind of person, and what kind of super is he?  My guess is the key is the headpiece or crown he’s wearing.  That’s a Gadget if I ever saw one, possibly a Magic Item or a Mystic Treasure.  Either way, it transforms geeky grad student Clark Lennox into Clark Luxor, the Swinging Sphinx.  He’s a scholarly wit and a bon vivant, the life of every academic conference, museum exhibition opening and antiquities auction.  And of course he can turn some pretty freaky powers on any malefactors he meets along the way, from art thieves to forgers. But it’s his work in the field, protecting historical sites from looters and the destructive forces of war and climate change, that make him significant on the wider stage.

    Clark Luxor may seem a bit silly or over the top, with his floppy ears, mirrored sunglasses and flying carpet, but he’s actually one of the world’s most important specialized superheroes.  Posterity will owe a lot to the Swinging Sphinx.

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