Monday, February 29, 2016

Horses And Ponies

My Paternal Grandfather was a Sheep Rancher, so while I have never owned a horse I have been around them from time to time and I have always been enamored of them.
A few months ago I attended an Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale and I met this beautiful young stallion. His name evades me as too much time has passed and I didn't write it down. His owner was kind enough to let me photograph him with my phone. Look at those gorgeous blue eyes.

Periodically I have painted and drawn horses. They are wonderful creatures to focus on.

Here are a couple of paintings on paper from the late 1980's.

I have spent a fair amount of time on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona.
The landscape in this area is a totally unique wilderness and I really enjoy painting it because I really, really, really like red.
This is a region of the world where if you are lucky, you can see wild horses. So these are the type of horses I portrayed in these paintings.  This part of the world is still truly wild and is the True West.
My Maternal Grandfather had an amazing collection of paper lanterns that festooned his backyard on Summer evenings and nights. I included some of those in the second painting.

Oil on Paper - 1987

Oil on Paper - 1987
And here is one more photo of the beautiful young stallion with blue eyes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


In the late 1980's I became a contributor to Robert Crumbs WEIRDO. My short stories appeared in four issues during Aline Kominsky-Crumbs tenure as editor. In October 2007 I was contacted by Comic Book Artist magazine because they were producing a comprehensive retrospective issue on WEIRDO.
It was to include interviews with editors Robert Crumb, Peter Bagge, and Aline Kominsky-Crumb, along with anecdotes and short essays by WEIRDO contributors. I was asked to write an essay and I agreed to do so. Unfortunately the magazine ceased to publish so the piece never ran.

So from October 2007,  here it is nine years later:

I suppose that WEIRDO may have been the preeminent comics anthology of the 1980's. And I suppose that there are those who would claim that RAW holds that distinction. This probably only comes down to matters of taste. 
That said, I can't think of a third American anthology from the same period that even mattered.
There may have been something in Europe or Japan. But I never saw it.

The main reason these two behemoths are the two that get remembered is that they were artist produced. The best anthologies always have been. RAW always seemed a little fey and contrived to me. It was beautiful to look at. But it had the nihilism of the drawing room.

WEIRDO had the air of the street. For this very reason, I am partial to WEIRDO.

WEIRDO seemed to take way more chances with the choices about who was published. This probably had something to do with the fact that there were three different editors over the course of the magazine. RAW was always Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly. Because of this there was some crazy crap that got into WEIRDO along with the jewels.
But that is what kept it interesting. It was the reason that it had far more verve than RAW.

One of the things that is so very appealing about WEIRDO, is that it was completely of its moment.
From a certain perspective, it caught the zeitgeist of the 1980's quite well. In 2007 I don't think that it matters anymore. In fact it doesn't matter at all. Neither does RAW.

WEIRDO came out of the gutter and that was where you were supposed to throw it once you were done reading it. To get too intellectual or nostalgic about it is beside the point of the thing.

It was a part of the popular culture in the 1980's. It is over now. It should be.

Over the years I have endured numerous cocktail party conversations about which era of WEIRDO editorship was the best. With various individuals claiming R. Crumb, Peter Bagge, or Aline Kominsky-Crumbs tenure as superior.

There isn't enough gin in the world to make these conversations tolerable.

To me this is just like aging record store clerks debating which era of VAN HALEN is the best.

One supposes that R. Crumb fulfills the role of Diamond Dave. With Bagge doing a marvelous impersonation of Sammy Hagar. Eventually Aline Kominsky-Crumb filled the ever so sensitive role of vocalist Gary Cherone.

There was always one constant in VAN HALEN. That was Eddie Van Halen's guitar.

There was always one constant in WEIRDO. That was R. Crumbs cover.

I hear that VAN HALEN is out on a nostalgia tour with Diamond Dave back in the saddle.

Perhaps R. Crumb could do a tour poster. Both things were huge in the 1980's.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lucky The Dinosaur

Oil on Paper - 1985

                                                    Lucky the Dinosaur, Lucky's dead
                                                    He's not driving in a car
                                                    Lies in repose, in a bed of tar
                                                    Right behind the Art Museum
                                                    Huge Snoozes in his Mausoleum
                                                    Lucky the Dinosaur, Lucky's dead

Monday, February 15, 2016

Playing Outside In My Ruins

Oil on Paper - 1985

 Another Dinosaur painting from my return to the subject matter of my childhood in my twenties.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Monster In My Yard

Oil on Paper - 1985

For a time in the 1980's I revisited the subject matter of my childhood drawings.
These subjects were land, air, and sea battles of war, monsters, spaceships, odd inventions, and of course dinosaurs.
The major difference being that in my twenties I used oil paint instead of crayolas.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pink Ladies

Pink Ladies - 2004 - Page One

Pink Ladies - 2004 - Page Two

Pink Ladies - 2004 - Page Three

Pink Ladies - 2004 - Page Four

This was the fourth short story that I did for the Special Issues of The Comics Journal. The theme for the short story comics section of this issue that was chosen by Gary Groth was "The Shock Of Recognition".
For the second time ever, I did an autobiographical story. This time about a childhood experience.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Glinda Gives Dorothy The Silver Shoes

Another recent watercolor illustration of a scene from "The Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.
In the book there are no ruby slippers. There are silver shoes. The ruby slippers only appear in the film due to technical problems related to filming silver objects at the time the film was made.