Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scrawlings of a Madman

Generally, when I'm working on final art, I go through alternating periods of, "I'm worthless!" and "I'm brilliant!". Usually, I land in the area of, "At least I'm OK.".

Sometimes, when people look at my drawings, I get an occasional, "I bet it doesn't take you too long to draw, huh?". I am a tortured soul, dear readers. If you only knew.

You see, I just drew this frog 6 (and a half) times, wasting precious and pricey watercolor paper, because one little wiggly line didn't look wiggly enough. Or because the circles of the eyes were TOO circular. Or because the lines that make the mouth met kinda weird. Or because there were a few too many "bumps" on his skin. Et cetera.

I know what you're thinking. "Huh?"

Cut me some slack. "I'm brilliant!"

In the end, we have prevailed. On to page 2!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Top Ten (October 2009)

Make it 6. It's been a weird month, and I'm shortening my likes to a mere 6 tops. Better luck next month. I mean, I'm enjoying, still, some of the other things from previous lists. Top 6.

1. SPUD. Julie is my go-to for good books. She brought home, from the library, a bunch of novels she thought I'd like. Top of the pile was this one by John van de Ruit. Billed as South Africa's CATCHER IN THE RYE, it's a hilarious story of a young teen kid who is starting an all boys boarding school in South Africa. It's set in 1990, so there's an interesting fall-of-apartheid backdrop. Told through a series of John "Spud" Milton's journal entries. There's a sequel, which I intend to track down and read directly.

2. BLACK TICONDEROGA. I went looking for pencils to buy for using at my TROUBLE GUM readings. I found a box of these. The standard Ticonderoga comes in classic yellow, but these look so much cooler and were cheaper, for some reason.

3. A.D.: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE. This new graphic novel from Josh Neufeld is the true tellings of 6 survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Neufeld interviewed 6 different folks, smartly, from very different sides of the socio-economic spectrum. With amazing results. Steeped in details and the sort of stories that have been sadly forgotten or perhaps never known at all. It's in extremes of frustration, heartbreak, and inspiration. Very well done. Very recommended.

4. MELISSA AND DOUG LEARN-TO-PLAY PIANO. This tiny piano is a birthday gift for Romy. She can actually play this mother! But, I think I'm getting more enjoyment out of it than she is. I love plinking out my little tunes... Theme from Star Wars, Rainbow Connection, O Christmas Tree, "Chopsticks"... you know, the essentials.

5. CHRIS WARE'S NEW YORKER HALLOWEEN COVER and ACCOMPANYING COMIC STRIP. I love his take on parents with iPhones, passive-aggressive texting, and Halloween. Beautifully drawn, as always. Read it here.

6. ROMY'S FIRST BIRTHDAY! Wow, I can't believe it's been a year since this. Romy, dear, you are the apple of Mom's and my eyes. Happy, happy, happy day.