While with my wife at Lindgren and alone at Tribu, I sketched. The female at the table was at Lindgren’s. One of these women was outside Peet’s Coffee on Fourth Street as I recall (Asian with glasses) and the Afro-chick came out of my imagination after a similarly endowed woman walked in–and walked out. Her bootay inspired my drawing.
Ostensibly, the primary purpose of this blog was to motivate me to draw more, so that on some level the presence of a ‘public’ face that this blog represents, would press me to draw more. In this, it has worked quite well and in this I am well pleased (not trying to sound like Jesus there), so when I include drawings done that are less than current, I feel in part like I’m cheating a little bit.
So, again–if you (and you know who you are) see ‘old art’, feel free to call me on it.
The drawing below is mildly interesting in that it was originally done in pencil, scanned and imported to my iPad app procreate where I applied color. Fwiw I will be making more sketches in current times rather than mining the older stuff.
A couple of pages from drawings done over the course of the past couple of years, while I avoided/struggled with doing comics, doing simple sketching was still my capability.
And here, also from Friday night at home, my wife at the kitchen table scratching away at a Linotype etching. Me? Well, I was drawing her, naturally.
Weird day, Friday. First thing in the morning I get a call from the caregivers for my Mom. Seems she’s really out of it; non-responsive, out of it…and then that afternoon I get a call from our son who makes a surprising, life-changing announcement out of the blue, only to email back several hours to say ‘never mind’, so…wtf?
What do you do–well, whatever you can with the information you have, right? I’ll call the doctor on Monday again and well, wait to hear from our son. He’s still young and capable but still–he’s our son and we worry. So…breakfast, work…whatever. And these sketches this morning at Cole Coffee over on College Avenue.
Ordered a macchiato but they charged me an extra 20¢ for a ‘for here’ cup. Again…wtf. You want me to pay for doing your dishes, fine–then that’s your tip. Sorry.
(PS–son called and he’s fine; just going through an apparently brief existential crisis)
When I moved to Japan in 1984 for what I realize was my ‘rite of passage’ into adulthood, I wanted to be in a situation where I had no fallback. No parent to bail me out. To create a life all on my own.. just doing it in a foreign country, learning a foreign language as well as a foreign culture.
Back in the 1980s, gaijin literally ‘outside person’, were fairly rare in Japan. Even in Tokyo, it wasn’t uncommon to go a few hours without seeing another foreign face (unless you were just outside one of the ubiquitous English language schools that popped up at the drop of a pair of chopsticks). Hence the little comic I came up with–Shadow of the Gaijin, which would ultimately morph some dozen and a half years later into Tokyo Days, the series of three short comic tales that illustrated my first several days living in Japan.
‘Shadow of the Gaijin’ was occasionally replaced titularly (that word cracks me up) with the simpler ‘Sensei’ which most anyone, even non-native Japanese will know means ‘teacher’, and yes, that’s how I spent most of my working hours while in Japan.
Here are a couple of one-pagers chronicling the nameless gaijin as he wrestles with the nefarious ‘Tee-Hee Club’ of rampaging Japanese schoolgirls. Parts 1 and 2, the complete story!
We were sitting around the dinner table with a couple of friends the other night and my wife was showing off my old sketchbooks for laughs and we all started talking about comic strips and how they might change with the times, or if they were not graced with the poetic license of never aging.
We tried to picture the Peanuts gang all grown up and ready for retirement. How would that look? Would all have survived? Would Lucy have actually have become a psychiatrist or maybe some pop psych guru? Shroeder a concert pianist?
Me? I was curious about the dog.
And just for fun, here’s the page I used to do some rough sketchups of the characters. Interesting to note that my reference was all from online sources, with a sketchbook in front of me, a pencil in hand, and my iPad in front of me with the Google results for such things as ‘snoopy images’, or ‘predator drone images’. You’ll note that I reversed a couple of panels in terms of order to better tell this brief vignette story, gave Charlie a baseball cap, and didn’t add in the satellite dish on the doghouse (though in retrospect I wish I’d left it in). It was fun.
I have…probably in our shed, maybe one or two large ledger boxes filled with my sketchbooks. I might have 50 or more, many with at least a date on the first page so that I can have an idea of when I did these drawings.
The drawings illustrate my life and personal history to a degree, and the sketchbooks also proved at times to be as much a diary as anything. Memory lane.
Here is a little freehand one-pager comic I created…probably in the late 80s when I was living in Japan, teaching English and seeking out…whatever someone in their very early 30s might be seeking.
Now some 25+ years later, I can say categorically that I found…something. Whether it was what I wanted or more what I needed, well…