Tuesday, October 27, 2009


You're not going to hear from me (see any new posts) until maybe Sunday, as I lock myself into my studio, turn off phones, teevees, radios, AND the internet. It's a design session for a new exhibit, and I'm going to eliminate all distractions as I draw, make models and experiment with some special effects. It's a scary thought, but I've done this before and it's worked.

Speaking of scary, since I'm going to be offline on the big day . . .

Happy Halloween
and Best Witches
from me to you!

Frank Pape—Thais

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite—The Little Witch

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite—The Witches Ride Their Brooms Tonight

Comic Opera

Wally Wood accomplished a huge body of work with his time on this plane of existence. The EC period is probably the most admired of his oeuvre, but his later Mad stuff was also brilliant. It's unfortunate that color was not an element of that time period. It would have taken his work into a more dimensional realm, that is to say, it could have allowed focus, so that foreground and background could better be differentiated. But that's a minor quibble for this piece.

This "Comic" Opera posted here is for fans of Wood, but also for fans of the newspaper comics. This has incredibly complex layouts for such small space and jammed with detail of comic characters. I would go through and annotate who's who, but you probably know as much or more than I.

Wood's use of other cartoonist's styles blends perfectly with his own, making them more 3 dimensional with his craft-tint rendering. I have broken down each scan to tiers, rather than pages, so that you might look in closer to the wonderful detail.

The writing also is funny, and the 'songs' are terrific. If you know the melodies at all, give it a try, singing it out loud.

And watching Dagwood Bumstead die on stage is worth the price of admission alone.

This is later Mad at its finest. Cheers Woody!

Comic Opera 2

Comic Opera 3

Oh, if only Wood had carried on the Flash Gordon strip . . . sigh.

Comic Opera 4

oh, and hey, look up above--Dagwood's OK. Just grazed his scalp!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Rainbow Gold

The old books are just so overflowing with faerie enchantment!

In this 1926 book, beautiful artwork by Dugald Walker takes us to the other world. Try sitting in a bay window seat on a drizzly or snowy day, with a cup of chamomile, Secret Garden playing on the stereo, and reading a book of poems like this one. Your spirit will soar.

To see more of Walker's magic, go to Mr. Door Tree's site by clicking here.

Rainbow Gold 2

Rainbow Gold 3

Rainbow Gold 4

Why Feel the Need?

Alphonse Mucha—Jaraslova—c 1930

Why does an artist feel the need to create a drawing or painting based on a photograph, when that photo is perfectly serviceable as a likeness of a person? Because he or she can. The nuances of differences that an artist infuses in the work interprets the subject with more 'reality' than most photographs.

The portrait painting, in oil, by Mucha of his daughter Jaraslova is very satisfying to look at, even without knowing anything about the subject. Mucha has made a personal interpretation of someone he cares deeply for, and we are privileged to see through his eyes and heart.

The photograph, below the painting, is also satisfying to look at and could stand on its own as an artistic document, but the painting communicates on a transcendent level and is what we consider 'art'.

Mucha painted many young women as subjects in similar poses over the years, yet many of them would not be considered 'portraits'. Many of those were idealized portrayals, but this painting we know immediately to be a real person. When is a portrait a portrait, and not just an image of a person?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My First Love

Portraits are my first love of what I endeavor to create. I get great inspiration from the great portraits of the ages, and I was almost tempted to start a new 'blog showcasing them. I got ahold of my senses, before I committed myself to yet another expenditure of time, and decided to post them here periodically, with a new category label, so they'll eventually gather together.

Many of what I'm calling 'portraits' may not have been intended as such. They are studied portrayals of people, for whatever reason—not necessarily to say, 'here is a likeness'. They are to show persons as a subject of interest, a study of whatever qualities that we recognize as meaningful. That's the kind of portrait I'm talking about. More thoughts about that later.

My favorite period of portraits, at this point, is the first half of the twentieth century, but there are favorites from all eras.

Blue Mandarin Coat—Frederick A. Bosley—1927

My Favorite Bag

Good gosh, I know I'm crazy for images when I find that I even save a bag for nearly 20 years, just for the image.

I had reason to be in Portland in the early 90s. Alright, the reason was that I was there to meet my wife's plane as she flew in from Japan. She was terribly tired from her time in Japan, and we chose to hang out in Portland and area for a few days. We LOVED the place.

But while my wife caught up on her rest, I had fun looking around, and I came across this comic shop. It was very cool and I bought some neat-o signed prints and some comix and stuff that I hadn't seen elsewhere. And this bag was free.

Yay, Future Dreams. They're still around, but I think they relocated from these addresses.

A Young Goonglebird

Bad news, good news time.

Bad news is that this is the last regular Pogo Sunday strip to be posted on this 'blog.

Good news is that that you'll be getting lots more Pogo Sunday strips over on a new 'blog dedicated to Uncle Walt and his work, starting in 2 weeks.

The Pogo Sundays on this 'blog have been running with the conceit of "Sunday, Kelly Sunday", displaying strips of 45 years ago today, since this year shares the same dates as 1964. Well, hey, who's going to miss that when you can see Kelly alla time? Stay tooned for more info.

In the meantime, ONE-LAST-TIME, it's Sunday, Kelly Sunday—from 45 years ago today:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Capture

Another Herbert Draper painting, this entitled "The Capture". Well alright then.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Eerie and Creepy

Some Eerie and Creepy images by Berni Wrightson (and a bit of Jeffrey Jones).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Black Angels Have No Wings

Since I've put up a Lawrence Stevens' pulp illustration, I feel like I need to put up one of Virgil Finlay's as well, from the same time period. This is one from Amazing Stories, August 1952. Not an absolute favorite, but serviceable for the occasion.