In 2011 I resolved to draw a cartoon every week. The resolution didn’t last very deep into the year—hopefully I’ll do better this time around. One of the cartoons I DID complete is this one.
Perhaps my greatest regret is that Maia and Mom never got to meet: they would have adored each other. This drawing was my attempt to open a window into an alternate present where I could close that unhappy gap.
Hard to believe I drew this six years ago. Maia would be 6 in this picture (I still remember the flowery fleece she’s wearing here), and it would have been Marts’s 79th birthday.
Today would have been Marts’s 85th birthday, which doesn’t seem as old as it once did.
Like so many others my age, I had the Wacky Packages monkey on my back something fierce back in the 70s.
When Topps resurrected Wacky Packages a few years ago, I was compelled to buy a few packs. But I was disappointed with the gags and the art. I’m not quite sure why—it’s certainly not an issue of my sense of humor becoming any more refined. I think it’s just that none of the parodies seemed very clever. I remember my mom loving the old Wackies, so much so that she would often refer to products by their Wackified names (Log Cave In syrup is one I remember her using a lot). None of these new ones seemed like they’d have been Marty-worthy.
Anyway, I recently dug out my old collection, and it got me to thinking about all the ideas early-70s Jon had for new Wackies. I think you can see where this is heading.
OK, so this may not be especially clever. Fair enough. I came up with this particular idea a few years ago, while cat sitting for friends. I actually did a mock-up of this design and slapped it on the Pop Tarts box in their cabinet. My idea had been to replace several other products in their house (the only other one I remember was Adam Ant’s in Your Pants for the game Ants in the Pants), but it was too much work.
This is one of three Wacky-esque sketches I dashed off a couple of days ago. I used a computer art program to color it, which was not easy. I don’t think Topps ever came up with a Wacky for Pop Tarts. Seems like it would have been pretty low-hanging fruit.
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of my first visit to Koinonia, a Lutheran retreat center, former camp, and frozen deer carcass burial ground in Highland Lake, New York. It’s a tradition that dear friends of ours have followed for years and years, and it’s a tradition that I am touched, flattered, and honored to have been invited to share.
It’s also a tradition with which I have something of a love-hate relationship.
I love it because I love the people we go with, I love the peacefulness and closeness to nature of the setting, and I love how much Maia (and the other next-generation kids) looks forward to and enjoys the weekend. Those are powerful forces. And they need to be, because pretty much everything else falls…elsewhere…on the love-hate relationship-o-meter.
Well, I’m being a bit unfair here. Within the tradition of Koinonia weekend, there are many, many “subtraditions”—subditions, if you will—that are fun and funny and comforting and all the rest of it. Things like rocket launches; games of Balderdash, WhooNu, and Taboo (which hasn’t been played since Eric and I used our telepathic link to lap the field many times over)(for me, one of the goals of these games is to come up with answers that get Rafi to snarf whatever he’s drinking); gorging on cookies; making hourly treks to the local grocery store (Peck’s); and on and on.
But there is one Koinonia subdition that stands alone in importance and majesty. Well, importance. OK, maybe just longevity. I think it would be a violation of something or other if I explained any details of this rite. Suffice to say, it’s called Frosty Frog. It doesn’t look exactly like what’s depicted here, but it’s close enough.