2020-10-11 – disgusting

a ‘room with a pugh

So about Inktober…

Not exactly why I fell off the Inktober wagon, but here we are. I still plan on getting through all the prompts. It’ll just take a bit longer.

I had this one sketched out back in October. What’s funny about this is that Maia, on one of our drives to down to her barn, commented ruefully (in response to the nasty mushroom smell down by Kennett Square) “it smells like when Mom cooks mushrooms!”

I have never been able to capture a reasonable cartoon alter ego for Lisa. This is one of my worst attempts. Ditto Maia. Of course, of all the people I draw, they’re the ones I most want to get right–which I’m sure makes it all the harder.

2020-10-05 – blade

What does the “C” stand for?

It’s May 1986. The mighty Canton Warriors are destined for a glorious season of Class S baseball, but lately they’ve been a bit inconsistent (roller coasters, and all that). Maybe the shocking departure of Matt Nobody is still casting its long shadow on this team…

The Warriors needs a spark, but there’s none to be found. You’d be forgiven for wondering why none of the team’s quad captains has been able to step up and provide that spark. But lately, they’ve been pretty flat. Listless. Going through the motions. Really, they’ve been as much captains as this blade of grass…

I’m not getting out of the gate too strong this Inktober–I have almost a week’s worth of prompts to catch up on. Ah, well.

This was yet another prompt that, initially, didn’t do anything for me. All I could think of was knife blade or skate blade. I considered drawing a Hartford Whaler or Maia on rollerblades, but both seemed too involved. At some point I was talking to Lisa about my struggles with this prompt, and she said “what about a blade of grass?” And, well, that settled that.

2020-02-11 – “collect ’em all” (9)

(2020-02-11) f'reak
now with more inclusions!

It’s been a while since I’ve added to this series. Indeed, I was stunned to see that it had been (with the exception of a double-duty drawing from Inktober 2019) almost TWO YEARS since I’d done one of these parodies.

I started this one last summer, when Maia and her friend Rachel had the Wawa F’real monkey on their backs something fierce. I’m never sure about “cheating” and using the computer to add lettering, but I’m pleased with how it worked here. It’s almost a requirement any time I need white text.

Had a surprisingly hard time thinking of crap to put in the ice cream. Should have put a mushroom or two. Used the wrong magic marker for the bone, which should be white and not grey. Oh, well. I do like the tentacle and the hand.

Gruss vom Krampus (2018)

2018 Krampuskarten (crop)
He’s gonna need a bigger basket.

Here’s last year’s Krampuskarten. For this fourth effort I returned to featuring the childrens. For some reason, this set in my head that I am on a rotation of who is featured with the K-man (spoiler alert: I continued the rotation with Krampus 2019). I should break that pattern. The problem is that I am running out of ideas of what kind of devilry I can show Krampus perpetrating.

I was particularly pleased with this drawing. The kids look reasonably like who they should be, and I like how Krampus and Santa came out (as it were).

Oops: I intended to include the usual suspects on the naughty list, but I accidentally omitted Todd.

2019-10-17, 18 – ornament, misfit

10-17, 18 ornament, misfit
“Trim up the tree with Christmas stuff…”

I guess we’re to the “cheating” phase of Inktober. First I dig out a drawing from more than 30 years ago; now I’m wrapping two prompts into a single drawing. But given how perfectly these prompts worked together, I don’t feel particularly guilty.

We have boxes and boxes of Christmas ornaments in our attic. Some inherited, many given as gifts, some purchased, and others crafted into existence by one or the other of us.

The item on the left is from the “some purchased” category. It’s one of a series of small ceramic, surprisingly screen accurate, ornaments produced by CVS in the late 1990s to commemorate some anniversary of a well-loved animated Christmas show. I don’t know what prompted me to buy any of these—we didn’t have Maia yet, so I can’t offer up the excuse that it was for her (though she does love these ornaments, every year rerouting them from the family Christmas tree to the little tree she sets up in her room). Its tie-in to the 10-18 prompt is, I hope, obvious.

The ornament on the right, on the other hand, is an example of the “crafted into existence” category.

Made with only the finest aluminum foil, egg cartons, yarn, and staples, this happy little elf was part of a limited run of, oh, maybe 20 or 25, lovingly produced and hand numbered (not really) in 1971 by the 5-year-old craftsboys and craftsgirls of Wilma Bockelman’s Canton Elementary School kindergarten class. How many of these do you suppose are still around? Only two have been cataloged. And, no, don’t bother looking on eBay: they almost NEVER show up there.

But wait! On closer inspection, this specimen isn’t a Bockelman 1971 at ALL! If you look carefully, you can tell that the yarn doesn’t show the fraying and wear consistent with the yarns used in that period. The face is drawn not by crayon but by colored pencil, with cleverly crude strokes designed to SIMULATE crayon. (Also, if you look a lot less carefully, you can tell that the hands and feet are, in fact, crumpled up aluminum foil and not the small jingle bells characteristic of an authentic B’71.) What is the MEANING of this forgery‽

The answer is the story of the origins of my favorite Christmas ornament ever.

My mother kept my original B’71, and it adorned our family Christmas tree every year. Likewise, Carolyn, the mother of my friend Eric—a fellow B’71 creator and owner of the only other known specimen—hung HIS B’71 on THEIR tree every year. Inexplicably but entertainingly, this became a source of great pride and discussion over the years.

Somewhere along the line, my mother LOST a box of Christmas ornaments. And, of course, my prized B’71 was in that box. Thus ensued a new family Christmas tradition: The Chiding of Marty for Losing My B’71. After several years of this, Mom had had enough, so she borrowed Carolyn’s B’71 and duplicated it. Her plan, no doubt, had been to quietly add it to her tree that year with some absurd cover story of how my B’71 had been rediscovered in some distant corner of the attic.

What Marty didn’t realize, foolishly, is that one doesn’t manufacture a B’71 without becoming something of a connoisseur of the egg crate/aluminum foil/yarn arts. I could tell at a glance that this was not, in fact, my treasured B’71 but in fact an ersatz monstrosity. And thus we entered the annual Chiding of Marty for Perpetrating This Offensive Forgery years.

I hope it goes without saying that all of this was good family fun. Mom taking the time to borrow Eric’s original B’71 and re-create it was an inspired counter to my annual taunting of her for losing mine. Since Mom died in 2003 (ay), I’ve retold this tale a million times, and every year that I take out her forgery, I can’t help but laugh.

2019-10-12 – dragon

10-12 dragon
Like Tommy James once said: dragon the line, dragon the line, dragon the line…

The only thing I could think of with this prompt was the Harry Potter books, and I had no good ideas on what fresh take to give any of the dragons from that world.

Then I remembered the old Ed Emberley drawing books. Odin (Backman, God rest his soul) gave me this book for my 7th or 8th birthday, and I really took to it. We got it for Maia many years ago, but it did not have the same effect. Anyway, I remembered that there was a page devoted to, er,  drawing dragons (but none, however, to shrawing shremons). And believe it or not I even kind of remembered how to do it. I embellished it a bit, and this is where we landed.

AND I’m almost halfway through Inktober 2019, and I’m still hanging in there. So yay!

2019-10-07 – enchanted

10-07 enchanted
I’m going to Dizz Knee Land…

Man, am I glad this one is done. Didn’t like the prompt and the drawing was a pain in the ass.

This is little Maia, though it’s from one of her dream sequences, as she’s never been to Disneyland. She was never all that in on the Disney princess thing (thank God). Just recently, though, she’s decided she REALLY wants to go to Disneyland. So there’s probably a trip down there in our future.

My original idea for this drawing was to include Lisa and me, with me giving an irritated, eye roll-y expression. But after slogging through the castle, I didn’t have it in me.

2019-10-06 – husky

10-06 husky
I call it…choices

I’ve been trying not to look ahead at prompts, but I did notice this one when I put the prompt list on the fridge (motivation, you know), and I was looking forward to it. What are the odds both Maia’s parents would be from states whose state school mascot was the same thing?

Drawing the mascots wasn’t easy. Not a very good likeness of Maia, either. But I like this drawing.

College search will start in earnest next year. Not sure what the odds are that either of these schools will be in the running.

2019-10-01 – ring

10-01 ring
I-I-I wanna be a lifeguard…

Can’t believe it’s been a year since Maia (and I think I’m OK sticking with just “Maia” now) put me on to Inktober. She is so crazy busy with riding, marching band, and dance that I didn’t think she’d rise to the Inktober challenge this year when I asked. I was right.

Not too thrilled with this Inktober 2019 kickoff. The drawing is to about my usual standards (sigh), but I’m afraid the idea is too obscure. The two lifeguards are using struggling swimmers as targets in a ring toss game. You know you’re barking up the wrong tree when you feel like you need to explain your cartoon.

Well, there are 30 more days of Inktober. Hopefully I’ll up my game.