Gruss vom Krampus 2017

Krampus kard 2016
admiring the Christmas trim

Well, actually, 2016.

Here’s my Krampuskarten from last year. As always, nobody comes out looking especially like themselves, though I think my version of Krampus himself is pretty consistent from Krampuskarten 2015.

Taking Krampus in a bit of a different direction here. As I understand it, he’s really about punishing the bad kids. Here he’s just lech-ing out on the womens. But that seems like something he’d do. If and when Krampusnacht catches on in the US—I still can’t believe it hasn’t—you can bet that this will be added to Krampus’s MO.

Quick housekeeping note: I’m going to start tagging people by first name only, and I may even go back and change the tags of my previous posts. I got some unwanted attention/feedback when tagees from previous posts came up in Google searches (but I’ll admit to being pleased that my blog posts showed up in the search results!).

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1986 – “drawn, quarter-ed”

(1986) quarters and tokens
brake it down!

Made the drive to visit the homeland this past weekend, and as I hit the Garden State Parkway I remembered this drawing. It makes me appreciate EZ Pass all the more.

Not sure what hits me most about this cartoon. Seeing (sort of) my faithful old Plymouth Duster? Naranjito as my copilot? The quaintness of a 25-cent Garden State Parkway toll? My Prince Valiant haircut? My having hair?

One thing I know for sure: quarters (less so tokens) in those days did a lot of things—bought a game of Hat Trick or 8 Ball Deluxe (“quit talkin’ and start chalkin’!”), bounced into beer glasses, disappeared into machines to yield plastic egg–encapsulated toys (Fast Food in Apple-Scented Capsules!)—but speeding my trip on the Garden State Parkway was not one of them.

1990 (?) – “a guy sits in a bar…”

(1990) a guy sits in a bar...
“I really wish I knew where he was going with this…”

This cartoon fragment resides on one of the first pages of the sketch book I’ve been working in for…forever. Every time I take out my drawing supplies, I flip past this sketch to find a blank page.

That’s supposed to be me on the right (the hairline and facial hair may not be quite the same these days, but I’m sure anyone who knows me will readily recognize the looks of annoyance). Based on the drawings on the surrounding pages, this sketch is from 1990. Beyond that, I have no idea what’s going on here. I have no idea who the other person is (or even if it’s supposed to be anyone specific), what bar this is (strangely, even though the sketch doesn’t necessarily indicate “bar,” I know that’s the setting here), or where I was going with this strip. If I had to guess, I’d say this was likely to be some kind of I-don’t-want-to-hear-how-great-things-are-going-for-you-my-life-sucks statement. Or something similarly uplifting. I might guess this was during the time when my pal Eric was first dating his now-wife Laura—the other character here looks a little like a glassesless Eric—but (a) Eric wouldn’t have been inclined to prattle on about his good fortunes and (b) Eric doesn’t drink.

My beer is probably a Yuengling Lager or a Molson Golden. I was a bit of a label-peeler, so it’s amusing to see I found it worthwhile to capture that here. It was also extremely important, evidently, that I capture the precise position of the two snacks that escaped the bowl in each of the first two panels. And what exactly ARE those snacks? Goldfish?

Dialogue and theme aside, I like how this one was turning out. I wish I’d finished it.

2011-02-27 – “break out the cooking sherry for the old colonel!”

2011-02-27-the-old-colonel
Canton, CT (circa alternate 2011)

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.

Ah, crap.

2012-02-15 – “unh enh-enh”

2012-02-12-new-frosty-frog
Weekend at Pastor Bob’s

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.