Monday, December 9, 2013

Heads Up

Before you think I'm getting too sentimental in my old age with my postings, here's a pretty splash page from 1942 by Charles Biro that should keep us feeling heady.

Full disclosure: I don't think anyone actually lost their hat-holder in this story, thanks to Crimebuster and his monkey. 

I jes' love the old comics.

An Old Chestnut

Here's an old chestnut . . . roasting on an open fire?

By now it seems like every man, woman and chile in the world must have seen everything that Mary Engelbreit ever conjured up. Then again, perhaps there are some new comers to the scene, so this graphical message is for them.

©Mary Engelbreit — Believe

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Kid in Me

Holiday comic covers like this one by Daan Jippes are so appealing to the kid in me. And it's a good reminder that now's the time to find your tree, if you celebrate that way.

Daan Jippes — Walt Disney's Christmas Parade #2 — 1989

Friday, December 6, 2013

Slap Him Out've the Air!

Comic book artists have an undeniable talent for telling expansive stories in confined areas. Imagine putting all this action into two small panels and giving it believable perspective and superb rendering. Many comic book artists are graphic geniuses. The graphic genius of these two panels is Russ Heath (I don't know if the breakdowns are by Heath or Joe Kubert.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ghoul Friend

I've only recently discovered the new Mickey Mouse animated shorts for TV.  I think they're pretty cool, in their own way.  I'm a bit surprised that the Disney Studio is okay with some of the premises and jokes in these shorts, but l think by doing so they are gaining back some audience, like me, that they lost a long time ago.

I'm not into the zombie thing that is going around, but I like this set-up shot of Goofy for one short called "Ghoul Friend"— good for a Halloween posting I think.

© Walt Disney Productions and their appropriate designees

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Portraits! I paint portraits! If anyone would like to commission a portrait of a special someone (and that could be you, by definition), now is the time to start the process in order to be shipped in time for Christmas or the other holidays.

Email me for details and costs.

Portrait artwork © 2013 Thomas Haller Buchanan

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How Often?

How often do we get to see the Christ Child AS a child, not a newborn? Not that often.

Margaret Tarrant 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Epic Scene

Knud Andreassen Baade 
Scene from the Era of Norwegian Sagas — 1850

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Furor Poeticus

Have you ever thought much about 'automatic writing'? Otherwise known as psychography, it's writing 'which the writer claims to have produced from a subconscious or maybe a spiritual source without awareness of the content.'

Similarly 'inspiration' 'refers to an unconscious burst of creativity in a(n)...artistic endeavor.' 'In Greek thought, inspiration meant that the poet or artist would go into ecstasy or furor poeticus, the divine frenzy or poetic madness. He or she would be transported beyond his own mind and given the gods' or goddesses' own thoughts to embody.'

Hmm. Every once in a while, I sit down to a blank sheet of paper, sharpie pen in hand, clear my mind, staring inward through the paper to a bare room, painted white (but with no light on), filled with white noise and a hint of Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk in the dark while humming to himself. Or something to that effect.

And then I draw. I draw without thinking, without stopping, without being aware of what I'm drawing, mostly without taking my pen off the paper. All in 30 second intervals. 

This drawing is one recent result. Hmm, 'given the gods' or goddesses' own thoughts to embody...' 

Anybody have a good anger management class to recommend for the gods and goddesses? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Close Your Eyes and Dream, Dream, Dreammmmmm

Boy, here's a dream I haven't had in a couple of weeks.

Moritz Stifter — Allegory of Dream

Under the Sea

Under the sea sets always make a great location for fantasy drama.

William Shackleton

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I'm a sucker for images that have some sort of glow in them.

Charles Courtney Curran — 1913

Life without Fantasy?

What would life be without fantasy? It would be a textbook.

Charles Courtney Curran — circa early xxth century

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Monochromatic Green

This is one of those paintings that inspires the 'What th'--!!' segment of my imagination. Not your Thomas Moran landscape. Monochromatic green, wow.

 Gustav Wentzel

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lovingly Immortalized

A  beautiful low chroma portrait painting of Mme Mucha, lovingly immortalized by Alphonse Mucha.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Deeper Level of Explanation

Thoughtful, balanced words of a foremost scientist.

Image of the Abell Cluster of Galaxies

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Attractive Allegory

Dedicated to all my painter friends—a very attractive Allegory of Painting. Remember, fat over lean . . .  or is it . . . whatever.

Paolo Veronese — Allegory of Painting — 1560s

Update: after looking at this published post, I realized some people would think that I was referring to the subject when I talked of fat over lean. I was not. "Fat over Lean" was and is a technique term in handling of paint on a canvas, directed toward painters. I was being flip here because that's a basic lesson for artists. I love the statuesque figure of the woman here. Like I said, a very attractive subject. 

FYI, I NEVER intend to make seemingly negative judgements about anyone's appearance. I know I'm going overboard in explanation here, but oh-Lord-please-don't-let-me-be-misunderstood.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fantasy Narrative

I'm starting to cross-post some images between here and Facebook, thinking people may be of two different audiences, with a little overlap. This way the images may reach more people than the blog alone, which is kind of the point of doing this sharing stuff.

This painting is sort of remarkable for it's time of approximately 1880 by Carl Spitzweg, showing fantasy in a narrative form (there's a specific character-driven story going on here).

Carl Spitzweg — fantasy painting — circa 1880?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Delineated Life

Even before 'officially' publishing the first issue of Pictorial Arts Journal, we're nailing down the first sub-publication 'imprint' of the Journal, called Delineated Life, which will publish intermittently with the main Journal. Its purpose is to showcase one artist and their work per issue. Sometimes it will be a classic master from long ago, and sometimes a current, contemporary, right now artist.

The first issue of Delineated Life is dedicated to the cartoon mastery of Walt Kelly, a natural, timing-wise, to tie in with his 100th birthday (even though he left us 40 years ago).  The online publishing date is August 25 (Kelly's birthday) and I'm working round the clock to pull it together, as well as officially publish the Journal itself. And, oh yeah, I'm not making any money from this (yet) so I have to keep plugging at my deadlines as well. Poor me — hah! I love where these publications are heading, and sooner or later I should be able to collaborate with artists and writers and layout artists and other creatives, so that it's not just me having so much fun!

This is the cover, as it stands now, and there will be many wonderful interior pages that will explore the Whirled of Kelly.

I'm still casting out a call to any professional cartoonist or animator to contribute a tribute drawing jpeg, demonstrating what Kelly and his work has meant to you, personally and/or professionally. We need jpegs by the week of August 4, but hopefully sooner. And it would really be helpful for you to send over an email even earlier to let us know you're planning on doing one. Of course we know how life gets in the way of things like this, so it's not like you HAVE to do a tribute, even though you intended to. But heck, even a simple sentence or two will suffice if you don't have time to whip up a drawing or doodle. Each person who contributes some sort of sentiment can have a bio-blurb and website link next to their piece. C'mon, I know there are so many pros out there that admire Kelly's legacy. Join us in this 'time capsule'.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where is She Now?

This is from the cover of a sweet card I received from a girlfriend in the 1970s, postmarked Sausalito. Where is she now, I wonder . . .

Johnny Gruelle — circa 1915

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Fine Day in Atlantis

I've lost track of who the artist is here, but this lovely illustrative vision of a fine day in Atlantis seems directly ancestral to Greece.

Update: The artist is Lloyd K. Townsend, 
with thanks to Breezmeister!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Can't you just hear the snap and crackle of fabric whipping in the wind? Such is the power of visualization.

Marianne H.W. Robilliard
 Draped Female Figure on a Wind-Swept Sea-Shore — circa 1906

Friday, July 5, 2013

Re: Bop

This is a toe-tapping bebop rebop retro-retro style drawing that I promised to post a long time ago. I don't break my promises, I just sort of misplace them for a while.

This is by Jim Engel from the 1982 Bop Magazine #1, intro page. Jim, I didn't know you've been around that long, you must've been 2 when you drew this.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Old Dead White Guy with a Beard

This is a portrait of a professor of the old school (literally!). It's the sort of portrait you can imagine hanging in a dark musty hallway, or top of the staircase of a seemingly ancient place of higher education. As a student I might have casually dismissed this guy as just one more 'old dead white guy with a beard'.

Now, as an old white guy with a beard myself, not yet dead thank you, I see this fellow's personality with great clarity and admiration. His face is one of quiet good humor, intelligence and a love for his field of study. This is a professor that I would gladly have studied under, whatever his field was.

Sir George Reid —Professor George Downing Liveing — circa 1913

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wow Factor

Bob Lubbers was one of the great cartooning penman of his generation, yet I haven't seen much of his strip work reprinted. In this Tarzan strip he displays a 'wow factor', like unto Foster and Hogarth.

Bob Lubbers — Tarzan Sunday — 1951

Friday, June 21, 2013

Spirit of Delight

Don't give up on this blog, just been busy. Great stuff yet to come.

Meanwhile, look, 'frigerator magnet! Straight off the fridge, just 'cause it is delightful in its own small way. Now I gotta go put it back before the fam misses it.

Monday, June 17, 2013


I love sacred pools, groves and grottos . . .

© Gilbert Williams — The Offering

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Make Themselves at Home

I received a really nice email from Michael McC, who recently discovered the beautiful work of Golden Age great John Bauer. Michael noticed I didn't have any posts with him listed and thought he would be at home on this blog. Well, I'm certainly aware of Bauer and greatly admire his work, I just didn't want to compete with Mr. Door Tree's site where he has shown a slew of Bauer's work here.

But to honor Michael's opinion, I've opened the door and invited a couple of Bauer's pieces to make themselves at home.

Thanks for thinking of this blog, Michael!

 John Bauer — Freja

John Bauer — Winter Tales About the Yule Goat — 1912

Once Upon a High Place

You never know what you may see once upon a high place . . .

Kees Van Dongen — Tango of the Archangel — circa 1930

Monday, June 3, 2013

Two Versions and a Sketch

This is a pretty powerful composition that seems almost Frazetta-like in its sweep and execution, even though it was painted nearly a hundred years before the fantasy master. It was interesting to find two versions and a sketch and assemble them together here.

Évariste Vital Luminais — Flight of King Gradlon — circa 1884



They've Got Pictures in Them? Oo!

Somewhere in this little graphic fable is a lesson to learn well. Choose it wisely. This fellow chose . . . poorly.

©1983 Joost Swarte — Complete Your Collection 

Friday, May 31, 2013

Golden Dream

My posts are a little spotty lately because I've been spending so much time on the new Pictorial Arts Journal that will soon be rolling out its premier prototype. I will be posting about the Journal soon, and looking for a little advice about website formatting. 

In the meantime I'll keep posting when I can, such as this dreamy (literally) image from the Golden Age of Illustration.

Jessie M. King — Love's Golden Dream — 1913

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Curatives for the Soul

Can't you just feel the gentle warmth, the fragrant breeze, the peace and tranquility? Meditating on infused images like this can be curatives for the soul.

Harold Knight — The Morning Sun — circa 1912

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Magnificent Big Cat

A magnificent portrait of a magnificent big cat . . .

Jack Murray — The Saturday Evening Post — August 29, 1931

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Wizard Prince of Arabia — WOW

I'm not really fond of circuses as we generally know them, with clowns and acrobats and such. But  THE WIZARDRY, WONDERS & MAGIC of THE ORIENT in A NEW WORDLESS PLAY of OPULENT GRANDEUR, with 1250 Actors and Actresses, 300 Dancing Girls, 350 Persons Playing Musical Intruments, 250 Singers in Weird Oriental Choruses and 3250 Costly Costumes is gonna pique my interest and I'll be back to see this show every day it's in town, you betcha!

Barnum & Bailey — The Wizard Prince of Arabia — 1914

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Faraway Places

Yes boys, even girls have dreams of adventure in faraway places . . .

The American Girl — November 1930

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ever Fabulous

Here's another one of those seldom seen preliminary studies by the ever fabulous Mucha from the ever fabulous Art Nouveau period.

Alphonse Mucha — preliminary study for an illustration — 1898

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lovely Texture

There is a lovely texture to this landscape image . . .

Ludwig Jungnickel — stencil landscape — circa 1905

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Poetic but Fearsome

 The last post showed a late 19th century vision of a young faun. Here is a an early 21st century vision of a mature faun, of course from Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. Fauns are poetic but fearsome (unpredictable) creatures.

Doug Jones as the Faun — Pan's Labyrinth — 2006

Friday, May 17, 2013

Der Fliegenfänger

I'm posting this image of an interesting sculpture if nothing more than because I like typing and saying its name, and interestingly enough seems to translate as 'The Flypaper'.

Karl Seffner — Der Fliegenfänger — circa 1898

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Don't Let Yourself Be Trapped

Women, don't let yourself be trapped into a relationship with a pig, no matter how handsome or charming he may be . . .

Wilhelm Volz — 1902

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wonderfullly Soft, Strictly Natural

I have a deep thirst.

Noyer — Source Brault — 1938

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Special Representative

Mike Deodato — Wonder Woman — © DC Comics

Thank you Diana, your help would be most welcome!

Monday, May 13, 2013


This boy is having entirely too much fun with his magical horn.

after Moritz von Schwind — Des Knaben Wunderhorn — 1879