fifty superheroes: number seventeen

The Queen of the Night is a classic “night flyer”– a flying hero who can see in the dark, takes a bat or a night bird as a costume influence, and is just generally nocturnal.  What I like best about the Queen is the contrast between their name and their heroic style.

Normally you’d expect a character called The Queen of the Night to be highly feminine, with a conventional “female style” costume that, whether it’s an elaborate operatic confection with stars and moons all over it or a simple black skintight, leaves no doubt as to her gender.  Instead, this Queen of the Night has cultivated an androgynous style, with a plain (though batlike) cape over simple jeans and gloves (plus an equally simple shirt or jacket, not shown), with their only costume-y details being a stylized set of goggles and a charming little steering tail that is *probably* attached to the cape.

I think the Queen is a woman, but I’m certainly not sure, so I’m not burdening them with my gender assumptions.  Let the Queen of the Night fly on, an anonymous dark spirit on the midnight wind.

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mammoth good advice

Spent the productive part of the day at the county fair, where I saw a cartoon mammoth and read some nicely lettered good advice.  

The two were not connected, but I feel the mammoth would agree with the sign’s request, since he seems to be the irritable type. Nobody likes involuntary sand.
(I also think he would have enjoyed my delicious walking taco and quart of homemade root beer, and I would have shared both with him if I could.)

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hulk poem onion

(The Incredible Hulk is in my kitchen, making caramelized onions and writing poetry.)

  • Hulk magic skillet: 
  • Onions disappear, make
  • brown taste delicious.

Hulk learn new word today: umami.

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fifty superheroes: fifteen and sixteen

The most obvious of sketchbook superhero duos: Pen and Brush.  They are meta almost by definition.  Maybe they are artists, calligraphers, or even cartoonists themselves.  Or maybe they are self aware drawings? Maybe my sketchbooks themselves are their “city”, the area that they patrol and protect. I kind of like that one. A sketchbook can be a pretty exciting place, and there are definitely times when an internal superhero or two could come in handy.

I also kind of like the fact that they are both drawn with both tools.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the names came along after the drawing was finished, and I am absolutely not sure which is which.  I also have no idea what their powers might be– except that since they are a big guy and a little guy I would want the little guy to have the big powers and the big guy be more subtle.  Or maybe they are more matched than they look– one working in white,the other in black, to correct all those “bad drawings”.

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all kinds of mammoths

Regular readers of this blog know that Twilight Beasts (“exploring the magnificent world  of lost Pleistocene beasts”) is one of our favorite Other Blogs.  All Pleistoscene beasts, from dire wolves to Nebraska camels, are aces in my book, and many of them survive in Kekionga because I want to draw them and write stories about them.  Chief among these not-extinct inhabitants of the Indiana of the Mind are the woolly mammoths, who act as stalwart adult presences standing behind the weird actions in the foreground, and generally represent history and continuity.

Symbolic as they may be, and as much as they talk, I try to draw and write them as real mammoths, and I can count on sources like Twilight Beasts to help keep me honest.  Today’s Twilight Beasts post is particularly useful and interesting, offering an overall survey of mammoth history world wide, and a list of links to other TB posts on mammoth topics.   There’s a lot of good reading here for mammoth lovers!

Let’s illustrate this link with a page from a recent Kekionga story, because it has some good mammoths and also because of the”Not helping, Liam.” joke, which always cracks the author up. (Kekionga sasquatches are also Not Extinct, being the descendants of robust Austrolopithecines.  But a story for another day.)

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martin landau

This blog was deeply saddened last night to hear of the passing of Martin Landau, that most elegant of genre (and non genre) actors.  And this blogger is not ashamed to admit that she had a long term crush on Mr. Landau through most of her youth, and has been sadly reminded that maybe she never quite got over it.


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fifty superheroes: number 14

Number fourteen of the fifty sketchbook superheroes is The Swordswoman.  It’s a simple name, but she’s a pretty direct young woman.  She has a powerful sword and she knows how to use it, and the old fashioned word “swordswoman” sounds both chivalrous and swashbuckling, so who needs anything fancier?

I’m pretty sure from her costume that The Swordswoman is a hero in training– that looks like the practice uniform of a superschool to me.  And while her shirt fits her nicely (obviously made in a women’s size), her trousers and boots look like boy’s gear, or a men’s small.  Maybe this school just recently went co-ed, and The Swordswoman is one of the first girls to swing a blade on the hallowed sands of its school of arms.   Her expression is ambiguous– is she apprehensive, or trying not to grin?  Regardless, none of the others are going to lay a finger on that sword.

As for the design of the sword itself, my only excuse is that I have been watching many, many episodes of that greatest of all reality competition television shows: Forged in Fire.

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movie time at the cinemark: spider-man: homecoming

It is, as they say, an ill wind that blows no one any good.  A broken tooth and an emergency dental appointment can lead to a free afternoon and an unexpected trip to the old Cinemark.  There were an alarming number of small children eating popcorn in the lobby and running up and down the hall, but it turns out that there was a popular new kiddie flick playing in several houses and the crowd for Spider-Man: Homecoming was of an appropriate range of ages and well behaved.  The appropriate age for this teen-movie outing in the MCU might range down to a reasonably mature 10 or so– it’s definitely appropriate for young people in way other outings in the series might not be.

The teen-movie thing is key here: this is Spider-Man as originally conceived (mostly)– a fifteen year old high school kid with the typical problems (grownups, grades, pals and gals, etc.) in addition to his superheroness. A flavor of classic teenage movies, from Andy Hardy to the work of John Hughes, runs through this one and mixes surprisingly well with the MCU stuff we all have come to expect.  From the opening credits set to the old theme music from the Spider-Man cartoon series to the closers (gorgeous!) accompanied by “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones,  it’s something a little bit different, and with the MCU, that’s usually a good sign.

The rest is behind the cut because this kind of flick is fun when fresh. It’s mostly in the “Notes” form. (Oh, and stay for the bonus scenes –both in the movie and in the review.) Continue reading

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read a complete comic! and more good stuff coming

Thank you, blogskateers, for being so patient while I got some stuff sorted out over the last few days. Now we have good news: a project completed (see below) two fun new projects in the sketchbooks I might be tempted to “sneak peek” sooner or later, and a new piece of fiction which, dog willing and the creek don’t rise, will start running next week.  I also went to the movies: look for a review of Spider-Man: Homecoming tomorrow.  (I thought it was pretty good, actually.)  And Friday we will host a visit from another of the 50 Superheroes.

The finished project is a complete comic for you to read, including (what I hope is) fun! creator commentary.  This is an important story for understanding Kekionga as a whole, and it’s all for free over at the Official Facebook Page. (You do not have to sign up for anything, give your name, or be a member of Facebook to go there.

Just look for the Celtic Wolves, and scroll down till you see Josef making a mess of the recycling.Enjoy the comic, and we’ll see you tomorrow as we get back on schedule.

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best of the drawing of the day: the royal lizard

You are cordially invited to spend the weekend in the palace– your tour guide will be The Royal Lizard.  He looks like a monitor of some kind, possibly even a Komodo dragon, but he is most definitely royal.  Enjoy your visit.  I don’t think you will be devoured, but you will definitely have to share your meatballs.

(And if you want to read some comics, possibly even read them aloud to your own lizard, remember that Tabloid, a long minicomic from Kekionga, is running on the Official Kekionga Facebook Page! (Click here.)  Read it page by page, with full creator commentary– this is a public site and you do not need to be a member of Facebook to visit and enjoy. )

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