Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'll Eat it Up I Love it So!

What movie do I want to see more than Watchmen?

This one.

Click the link, come back, and tell me how many times you watched the trailer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do You Like Drawrings?

I've got to acknowledge a couple of links my brother has passed along to me. He's turned me on to two comic strips. I suppose I'm a bit late in starting reading these two comics because one has been around for five years and the other for around three, but they're worth reading no matter when you hop on board.

The first comic I read was Wondermark, a strip by Dave Melki that uses old Victorian-era illustrations to great comedic effect. Start in the 'A Good Start' area and then move on to reading the entire archive. You'll find good laughs with regularity. My favorite strips are, of course, the silliest ones.

The second comic is called The Abominable Charles Christopher. I was pretty much made a fan by the title alone, but I found the comic itself was even better than its title. Charles Christopher is a sasquatch who is in the midst of discovering the world. He doesn't quite understand how some things work, and can't quite communicate, but he's learning. The animals who live in the forest provide a healthy dose of humor, while many of Charles Christopher's adventures appear to be leading somewhere more dramatic. Combine that with the absolutely superb art, and you have a comic I'll be coming back to week after week. If you're new to Charles Christopher, start at the first episode and move forward. If you're like me, you'll catch up to this weeks episode much more quickly than you'd like. I could've kept reading for another hour or so.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't point out the link to another wonderful website I've run across. The site just happens to contain the work of Mr. Rex Queems himself, frequent commentor on these pages and excellent cartoonist in his own right. It's only fair that I point out this link, since he was the one who introduced me to both Wondermark and The Abominable Charles Christopher.

Ladies and Gentlemen, follow me to the Illustratorium. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Children's Lit and the Loveliness of Trees

Have you ever found yourself in the midst of the semester, an avalanche of assignments hurtling at you, but you only have the desire to work on one of them? I think this might be the first time I've had that experience, since I usually don't want to work on any of them.

The assignment in question is the one from my Children's Lit class. I'm writing and illustrating a story for my boys and I am thoroughly enjoying working the story out in my head. I don't want to tell the story yet, but it has (of course) given me a million ideas that I could incorporate. I'm going to have trouble keeping the story as small as it should be, I think.

I've done some preliminary drawings for the story as well, and it has revealed some of the deficiencies in my art. In particular, I have trouble with trees. I've always found people more interesting and more fun to draw than anything else: trees, animals, buildings, cars, what have you. This has lead me to attend to the actual trees around campus, and I've found that . . . well . . . they're quite beautiful. I mean, I've always loved springtime its flowers, summer's warm greenness, and the spectacular splashes of color that come with autumn.

But it's winter now. The trees are brown and bare, but they're still quite beautiful.

In the yard by the playground stand two white birch towers, with their branches forked like lightning . . .

Out my living room/office window a shaggy barked tree is lined with narrow branches, jutting out like bony fingers . . .

Near Founders hall are two trees standing like old friends, their tops bent back and branches to the sky in praise of God . . .

I guess I had lived under the illusion that trees are basically the same, but the variety is amazing, even among trees of the same species. What makes the trunk divide in two when it does? Why do the branches bend and twist where they do?

So while anyone can appreciate a tree covered with foliage, I encourage you: don't stop there. Love a leafless tree.

Bare is beautiful.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Visit Maple Mountain

A while back my old friend S.D. Smith asked if I could write a post he could put up on his blog, The Maple Mountain Story Club, when he and his wife had their baby. This was probably in January sometime, but I can't directly recall. I like S.D. and I like writing for other blogs, so I thought I would take him up on his offer.

I immediately realized I was faced with a problem. Most of what I post here amounts to hand-wringing about the future or attempts at humor that die miserably. I was guessing that S.D.'s crowd of readers didn't want to hear my progress toward MFA applications (there hasn't been much, by the way), nor did they want a one line humor post that likely involved the word 'butt.' So I had to come up with something good.

As it turns out, I had a decent idea percolating in my head. I had been thinking about The Band's song "The Weight" a lot, and I wanted to do a post on the concept of sainthood Robbie Robertson has in the song as opposed to a true Christian one. So I did. It worked out well because I knew I was never going to write a substantive post to put up here. It would be too much work. But for a friend, I would do it.

Go to S.D.'s blog and check it out. I read part of the post, but I find it hard to revisit my own writing once it's out there for public consumption. I see too many changes that need to be made. I've gotten a couple of nice comments though.

By the way, be sure to read S.D.'s introduction. It's probably the better piece of writing on the page and it captures me pretty darn well. Except I was a c-section baby, so I never went through the birth canal.

See, now you're curious. You'll have to check it out.