Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Golf With Your Friends

It's safe to post this now. I did this as a gift for my friend Scott for his birthday (which was like two months ago) to commemorate the trip my friend Paul and I took to visit him back in April. We went golfing in Palm Springs, which is why my fat ass on the end is holding a sketchbook. It's because I don't golf. You can see the original sketch, which I did en plein air out on the links, right here.

I didn't shave for the whole week I was there!

It's a 2-D World

Years ago I picked up a science fiction novel called The Planiverse, by A.K. Dewdney. Somewhat in the spirit of Edwin Abbott's Flatland, The Planiverse tells the story of how mathematician, computer scientist, and teacher Dewdney has his students create a two-dimensional world on a computer system as a course project. To their astonishment, the fairly simple program somehow connects to a real two-dimensional universe where they are able to communicate with one of the inhabitants who is called Yendred. Dewdney uses the framework of the story to present Yendred's world and show us how it all works. We're able to peer inside buildings and even see the workings of Yendred's body . And the plot keeps things interesting enough so as to not get all bogged down in the physics of it all. I really dig this kind of thing...books where the author goes to great lengths at planning out the world that we are visiting. Not to mention that the plot contains a hero's journey as well.

I saw the book tucked away on my shelf the other day and started flipping through it again. Oh, how I wish someone would create a 2-D artificially intelligent version of this for my computer, replete with little Yendreds walking around, building things, going fishing, with their insides all pulsing.

As an homage, I designed a book cover for it. I thought that maybe we'd view Yendred like we would an X-Ray or an image from an electron microscope. I actually used the line drawing that the author made of Yendred, altering it somewhat to match what he might look like if we came across him today, as opposed to seeing him on one of those green CRT displays from back in the 80's when the novel takes place.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Acquisitions

I picked up a few things over the last couple weeks. First up, I got the winning bid on a cool illustration by cartoonist Chris Houghton at the Kids Read Comics auction at Green Brain Comics last week.

This is a book I'd been looking forward to for a long time. The Abominable Charles Christopher is a serialized web comic and has been collected in a gorgeous first volume with a fuzzy suede-like cover.

I mostly purchased the next book because I like to say TIGERBUTTAH. Try it. It's fun. It's filled with lovely gouache paintings. Plus it was printed by the same folks who make the Golden Books from my youth, hence the nifty metallic spine.

Lastly, the latest hardcover version of my sketchbook.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Satori Sketchy

Dr. Sketchy Detroit was back at the Belmont yesterday. It was a lovely late spring evening and we sat out in the courtyard where Satori Circus posed up for us. And it was good to see some old friends show up and join us too. These are my drawings from the night, the sixth image down being from a three-artist round robin sketch where we each spent five minutes adding on to what the previous artist did.

Also, due to the family friendly nature of my blog and for the benefit of under-aged Facebook friends, the un-edited versions of the first and last sketch have been hidden here and here.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In a galaxy far, far away...

As a kid, among my most prized possessions were my Star Wars action figures. The first set of four figures were made available through the Star Wars Early Bird Special Christmas Cardboard Envelope Thingy. Kenner Toys hadn't thought to cash in on the success of the movie by merchandising toys for the holidays. In a last minute effort to not miss out on what would be millions, they came up with the idea of selling cardboard envelopes with a gift certificate inside to send away for toys that hadn't been made yet. Then they would send you one figure a month: Artoo, Leia, Chewie, and Luke. This was at a time before everything was merchandised to death. In fact, Star Wars started the whole shebang of merchandising everything to death.

Needless to say I was nuts over Star Wars. That two hours and twenty minutes of film still influence every brush mark I make. So I begged and begged and begged to get a cardboard envelope for Christmas. And I did! And my envelope didn't have a gift certificate in it. Which sucked. And who at the local Toys-R-Us is going to believe you that the certificate was conveniently left out? So no Star Wars for me. I had to wait months and months (which in kid time is, like, forever) for the figures to arrive in stores so I could take them home to take on my Micronauts.

I played the hell out of these things. Along with my best friend Mike, epic stories were concocted and played out in the sand box in his back yard. I even lugged them with me on a family trip to California where they got a little melty in the ninety degree heat. Han Solo would never stand quite right again.

At some point, probably years later while I was working or at school, my mother cleaned the basement and gave all my Star Wars action figures (along with the Micronauts) to little Roy down the street. I guess I was okay with it at the time. I'd already painted Chewbacca white because I wanted to see what an albino wookiee looked like, so I was pretty much done with them. I hope he got as much out of them as I did.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Niece Bri shows off her and her uncle's handiwork from a Sunday afternoon of painting Munnys (Munnies?) at Lift in Royal Oak.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Family Portraits

I took my Mom and Aunt to a family reunion last weekend...well a kinda-family reunion. It was a reunion for my mother's half-sister's husband's family, so I didn't expect to be related to many there. But apparently I was, though most of them I didn't know or haven't seen in a million years. Here's some sketches: my cousin Margie, my Aunt Nina (the family story teller who is now over 90), and a bunch of boys playing on the Slip-n-Slide.