Saturday, December 31, 2011

Not Dead Yet

I've been hearing rumors that the world is supposed to end some time soon. Yeah yeah I've heard that one before! It's tomorrow in India, and I see that The Nothing hasn't consumed the subcontinent. And that's good, because I still haven't drawn up a list of New Year's Resolutions.

So I'm home again after finally finding the party I was invited to, on the other side of the hill. Short version: we ate home made tamales (thanks Mija, you are awesome!), imbibed margueritas (thanks Josh, who transported his new super duper industrial strength blender), planned a future party, did a few crafty things, and I drew this while the two guys talked about semiotics, er, semantics, er....both!

Jared (Neil? Damian? Jordan? what is your name again?): "Okay so how many syllables is this? 'w.w.w.' Count 'em. It's like fifty. Just say world wide web, man, that's the real shortcut". Neil/Jared/Charles/Simon had a HUGE glass of wine, I failed to draw that to scale. But you get the idea.

Happy New Year y'all!

ps. Three years ago to the day, I was in a plane flying to India. Whacky. Technically I had already landed. That year I celebrated my birthday twice. Think about it: India is, what, 12 hours ahead. I was born in America, at 12:40pm on February 27th. That means in India, it was February 28th at 12:40am. It's so weird to think about a Dali-esque period in my life. Er, I have lot of D-Periods actually. Well, here's toasting to the next one! Cheers!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Deluge, Glorious Wreckage, Comics Are Great

If I didn't mention it before - and you know by now that much of my life and blogposts orbit around the weather - it is raining in earnest, after rows of days marching by in relative un-dampness. Witness:

While all that rain and wind is thrashing around, I've been listening to this Comics Are Great! podcast hosted by Jerzy Drozd. As I mentioned in a previous post, you can Google Jerzy and find a plethora of sites and projects he creates and is involved with. A wonderful artist, he teaches workshops and facilitates knowledge transfer with an enthusiasm, panache and exuberance that is so inspiring and fun. This particular podcast is paneled by four teens who have been making comics for years and they impart a generous whallop of wisdom. Their love of comics and industry, thoughtful responses and involvement is exciting to witness. Check it out!

And, while listening to the young creators, I've accepted my own offer of drawing cartoons, making some more fan art! It's something I can do while listening to the podcast, and absorb what is being said. If I'm working from scratch I find it's too much for my brain to split attention between drawing and listening. Here's my outtake from the wonderful graphic novel Wonderland written by Tommy Kovac and illustrated by Sonny Liew. Swooning!!

Once again I have worked myself into a tiny little corner of my studio space. Time to lever myself out of this chair and clear the table to begin anew. Ahoy mateys!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Illustration Friday - Messenger

I'm taking up the torch again; ironically, I'm fueled by the torrential rains (I'm staying inside and drawing today, you see). After about three weeks of no rain (lots of clouds though), we're finally back to real pacific northwest weather. Ah, the 'torch'? Illustration Friday!. It's been a long time.

This week's topic/random word is Messenger.

If you know me at all, you'll know that usually rain doesn't stop me from going out. You'll also know that I don't own a car, but I do own a bicycle, and my two feet and legs (and a bus pass). But this is practically a monsoon. A monsoon, I tell you! Oy! Mr. Messenger! I guess I need to borrow yer Wellies!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ahoy! Greetings from the wheelhouse of Flagship V! It's not quite wet enough out there to start calling in animals two by two, buuuut it is raining once again here in the Pacific Northwest's Willamette Valley. By the looks of it, we are destined for drenching.

Our December Freeze is over, for which I am eternally thankful. There is a huge difference in twelve degrees daytime temps, especially when it's damp. 46 beats 34 no contest. This is positively balmy!

I decided that maybe it would be fun to sit around and copy cartoons, you know, like you did when you were a kid? Today I picked up a book I had on reserve at the library: Otto's Orange Day by Frank Cammuso, illustrator, and Jay Lynch, writer (who I've learned is a big name in underground comics). The book is geared for kids, the drawings are really fun and the story is snappy. Here are some of my copy/interpretations.

And here's a page from said book

Have I mentioned how much I love comics. Mr. Cammuso's characters are so bouncy, rubbery and borderline manic. Just like I like 'em.

So, speaking of comics!! I've been listening to the podcasts over at Comics Are Great!. It's the brainchild of Jerzy Drozd, co-facilitated by Ann Arbor District Library, and roundtabled with guest artists from all over the globe. It's a truly fantastic production. You can google Jerzy because he has an umpteen websites and is involved with lots of different projects - all geared towards comics, teaching comics, singing praises to comics, drawing and talking about comics. I really like this program because there is a live feed each wednesday 9:30am EST and the casts are available to view in an archive - and they include video. The guests are practicing and professional comic artists and there is a wealth of information offered. And, they have a lot of fun doing it.

One of my latest favorite artists is Rebecca Clements. Her website is adorable, pure joy, and even though her webcomic Ruffle Hall is unfinished and on indefinite hiatus, the few pages are so packed full of fun and whimsy that I'm feeling well-fed.

I jammed on the last sticker from the pack that Anthead sent, and now I'm going to watch some BBC. Lately I've been really into The Human Planet and Wild China. Top-notch. Did you know that there are bats the size of bumblebees? And they live inside the hollow stems of bamboo? And they all puppy-pile inside together? It's true! It's amazing! This world is truly astonishing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

yo! ho ho!

Where have you guys been?! What have you been up to? What did I miss??

Well, my tan has faded and with it my chances for skin cancer (I guess) (trying to look on the bright side of winter here, folks!). We've just had nearly three weeks of no serious rain, which has been hallelujah. At the same time I'm wondering if I should import a camel, because are we now in a drought? I have been assured that La Niña will be in residence (second year running - who re-elected her anyways?). I am sure that she will make a proper spectacle of herself. The season is yet young.

I landed a very part-time job at the community college campus library. It nearly pays for rent. I'm not whining, just doling out the facts. I keep learning how to live on less! And bless me and all of us who have paid our 'fair share' of taxes over the years, because now at least I can claim penury, enough to be given a food stipend from the State. It is something I really am grateful for. I was also able to defer my school loans!

The next news of glad tidings is this: a full time position at the library, my current place of employ, has been posted. It was an internal posting, and I was given much good advice and editing from a co-worker for my résumé and cover letter. There were even those lovely Supplemental Questionnaire Questions at the verrry end of the whole application process (surprise!!). After I hit Send, I received an automated email response confirming my submission. This was rapidly followed by another form email declaring that I did not qualify. 

At this point, all I could do was laugh. Loudly, heartily and rather maniacally. Got on the horn with HR and asked What seems to be the trouble? Basically I haven't logged in enough hours as an employee to qualify as an internal applicant. I have worked 115 hours. To qualify, one must have worked at minimum 1040 hours. 

Here are the glad tidings I spoke of earlier! There weren't enough internal applicants and so the job has been posted to the general public. I mean, that's good, right? It is. Sure, I will be competing with a few hundred other people. But, I have a leg up: about a dozen years experience in the specific areas they're looking for, and 115 hours at the community college. Ka-Pow!

Full time will be a definite change. I haven't worked a full time job for a decade. I haven't needed to. I don't have a mortgage. Or a car. Sure I have expensive tastes, but I can amuse myself for very little. A full time job will give me a chance to catch up, and hey, health insurance would be freaking awesome! But (a Privileged But), a big adjustment. 

So there's that.

Oh! Right! I'm not in school anymore, either. I thought maybe I'd be ready to return this Fall? Nope. Dang! Freaking me out with the school loans ratcheting up. And, my heart isn't in it (lame as that sounds). So, on to earning money instead of incurring debt! Hooray!

Here are some doodles I diddled today. This guy sent me a pretty sweet sticker pack, with some left open for me to jam on. Happy Hols, y'all!

Next post, I'll insert some Highly Recommendeds for webcomics and podcasts! Stay tuned!