ARCHIVES

2006



  • THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE

    THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE

    Polaroids from our wedding night.


  • THE BRIDE

    THE BRIDE

    drawn on Christmas Day


  • A WRITER WHO DRAWS

    A WRITER WHO DRAWS

    Saul Steinberg called himself “a writer who draws.”


  • WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR WEDDING

    WHAT TO PACK FOR YOUR WEDDING

    Sketchbook page of what I’m packing for our wedding weekend.


  • PLUG FOR A FELLOW ALUMNUS

    PLUG FOR A FELLOW ALUMNUS

    Jordan Tate attended Miami University’s Western College Program and earned a Bachelor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Studies in 2003. He is currently an M.F.A. candidate at Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts. Some of his work is held in the permanent collection at the Kinsey Institute for Gender, Sex, and Reproduction. I […]


  • GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST

    GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST

    “Maybe I’m even extremely biased but, on my honor, there is something to this place! And this something can be sensed by a person with mettle who agrees that life is sad, monotonous — this is all very true — but still, nevertheless and despite everything it is exceedingly, exceedingly interesting.” —Isaac Babel, “Odessa,” quoted […]


  • THESE CODED DRAWINGS ARE REALLY MY JOURNALS

    THESE CODED DRAWINGS ARE REALLY MY JOURNALS

    Bruce Eric Kaplan on his comics as a coded journals of his life.


  • MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: COLOR

    MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION: COLOR

    I’m going to teach myself color. It’s something I’ve never understood, and something I’ve never really been able to do. I’m sure that somewhere I have a subconscious understanding of it, but I just can’t consciously create effects using it. I suppose the solution is getting out a big box of crayons and starting to […]


  • WILLIAM BLAKE AND UNCLE SCROOGE, HAGGLING OVER MONEY

    WILLIAM BLAKE AND UNCLE SCROOGE, HAGGLING OVER MONEY

    On the subject of money and an engraving by William Blake called “The Laocoon as Jehovah with Satan and Adam.”


  • MORE MAPPING

    MORE MAPPING

    Here’s another map I did with the ol’ sumi-e brush for an essay I’m working on.  The piece of paper was really huge, so I had to take a photo with the digital camera.  I had all this random junk floating around my head for the essay, but I couldn’t figure out how to put […]


  • BEAUTIFUL EVIDENCE

    BEAUTIFUL EVIDENCE

    A mindmap of Edward Tufte’s BEAUTIFUL EVIDENCE.


  • MY READING YEAR, 2006

    MY READING YEAR, 2006

    Top ten favorite books I read in 2006.


  • HARRIGAN ISN’T AFRAID

    HARRIGAN ISN’T AFRAID

    “harrigan isn’t afraid / after years of waiting / to be her husband…”


  • HEY! THE XMAS CURTAIN CALLS

    HEY! THE XMAS CURTAIN CALLS

    “My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight.” —Italo Calvino, Six Memos For The New Millenium Drew these two pages while listening to a solo KCRW gig by My Morning Jacket’s Jim James. Jim James’ voice + silo reverb = heaven. A beautiful equation.


  • BIRDSEED (ONLINE COMIC)

    BIRDSEED (ONLINE COMIC)

    “Birdseed,” a silent comic.


  • MY LISTENING YEAR, 2006

    MY LISTENING YEAR, 2006

    Just me riffing on John Porcellino: Special treat: an updated page of every Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour show.


  • WHAT IF WE GIVE IT AWAY?

    WHAT IF WE GIVE IT AWAY?

    A couple of comic pages and Cory Doctorow’s “give freely and they will buy” business strategy.


  • A WEDDING EQUALS PENURY, BUT MEAT IS A REWARD

    A WEDDING EQUALS PENURY, BUT MEAT IS A REWARD

    Two bits for today.  First is an excerpt from the highly-recommended ESQUIRE’S THINGS A MAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MARRIAGE (which actually manages to be witty and informative at the same time): East Indian Hindu couples are married before a small fire, into which they toss flowers, water, seeds, and fruit, which are considered the four […]


  • THE MUSES ARE TAKING A SMOKE BREAK (AND READING COMIC BOOKS)

    THE MUSES ARE TAKING A SMOKE BREAK (AND READING COMIC BOOKS)

    The first two paragraphs of David Hajdu’s NYTimes review of Ivan Brunetti’s outstandingly awesome (Christmas gift of the year, hint hint…) ANTHOLOGY OF GRAPHIC FICTION, CARTOONS, AND TRUE STORIES: Upholding its duty to officiate lay consecration in America, Time magazine recently assessed the latest candidates for anointment as the literary voice of the young generation, […]


  • MENTORS, APPRENTICESHIPS, AND IMMORTALITY

    MENTORS, APPRENTICESHIPS, AND IMMORTALITY

    Couldn’t sleep last night, so I kept reading my biography of William Blake. Got to thinking about apprenticeships (Blake was apprenticed to an engraver for 7 years — from the ages of 14 to 21) versus the kind of classroom teaching most of us get these days. I’ve never had my eye out for teachers, […]


  • WILLIAM BLAKE, READING COMIC BOOKS

    WILLIAM BLAKE, READING COMIC BOOKS

    As a child, William Blake saw words and images together in the morbid mid-eighteenth-century equivalent of comic books.


  • AND I LOVE HER

    AND I LOVE HER

    This is a Sharpie sketch I did of Meg this morning. Friday we start the 30-day countdown until our big event. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of sketching her… Last night we went to Joseph-Beth to see Harvey Pekar sign copies of the BEST AMERICAN COMICS. Not much action — Harvey gave a […]


  • BOOK REVIEW: FUN HOME

    BOOK REVIEW: FUN HOME

    My book review of Alison Bechdel’s FUN HOME ran this month in Cleveland Magazine as part of Cuyahoga County Public Library’s “Choice Books” advertising series. We don’t have a working scanner at the library anymore, so I had to settle for a photocopy: FUN HOME is a really hard book to do justice in 200 […]


  • COLORBLIND HEADCOLD

    COLORBLIND HEADCOLD

    The running around caught up to us. I don’t feel good enough to post anything else, so here are a couple of crayon/ink scribbles I did at my mom’s house over the holiday. I am, essentially, colorblind, and I only had three crayons, so give my color a break. Some wisdom from Tom Waits: “There […]


  • WHAT!  EMBRYOS ARE BABIES!

    WHAT! EMBRYOS ARE BABIES!

    One of the things I love about holiday road trips is all the ridiculous stuff you see along the highway. I like to keep the digital camera up front with us, just in case we see some gold… For the past month, there’s been a billboard over on Carnegie Ave (in between the Hot Sauce […]


  • WHY NOT MAKE IT A MONOLOGUE?

    WHY NOT MAKE IT A MONOLOGUE?

    Facial expressions, hand gestures, pauses, and visual cues make comic a great way to approximate the experience of oral storytelling.


  • DOUBLE-SPACED, 12 POINT, TIMES NEW ROMAN STRAIGHTJACKET

    DOUBLE-SPACED, 12 POINT, TIMES NEW ROMAN STRAIGHTJACKET

    Short week, this week, what with the holiday coming up and all. Had a marvelous weekend full of running around and reading books. My reading habits are fluctuating wildly these days between non-fiction, books on design, and comic books. Not too much interest in prose fiction at the moment, although I’ve been dipping into Oliver […]


  • IT MIGHT EVEN BE AN INSULT…

    IT MIGHT EVEN BE AN INSULT…

    David Byrne: “the word intellectual is never meant as a compliment, is it?”


  • THE POWER OF GUNSMOKE AND PERRY MASON

    THE POWER OF GUNSMOKE AND PERRY MASON

    This is the script excerpt from one of my favorite parts of the three-hour BBC documentary The Power Of Nightmares, where the godfather of the Neocons, Leo Strauss, is discussed, along with his favorite TV programs: VO: Strauss believed that the liberal idea of individual freedom led people to question everything—all values, all moral truths. […]


  • USING FLASH AND YOUTUBE TO MAKE A TRAILER FROM PRE-EXISTING MATERIAL

    USING FLASH AND YOUTUBE TO MAKE A TRAILER FROM PRE-EXISTING MATERIAL

    Plan inspired by a post on Dan Zettwoch’s blog and Stanley Donwood’s work for The Eraser: Now I just gotta learn to animate using Flash…


  • WE’RE ALL SIDESHOW FREAKS SELLING OUR ODDITIES

    WE’RE ALL SIDESHOW FREAKS SELLING OUR ODDITIES

    - a midnight sketchbook page drawn after our annual viewing of Tod Browning’s 1932 masterpiece, Freaks My mind is still a little blown by the idea that there were really positive elements to being a sideshow performer. Check out these words from an NyTimes article about Ward Hall, King of the Midway: “Nowadays, it’s in […]


  • DANIEL JOHNSTON

    DANIEL JOHNSTON

    On songwriter Daniel Johnston


  • THE IMPORTANCE OF DOODLING

    THE IMPORTANCE OF DOODLING

    To loosen up in the morning, I pull off a huge sheet of trashy sketch paper and doodle with my sumi-e brush.


  • R.E.M. PERSON

    R.E.M. PERSON

    I promise tomorrow I’m going to post a nice pretty picture up here, but for now, The Dems won, Meg and I just finished kicking the GRE in the nuts, and it’s 60 degrees outside, so we’re going to relax and get the apartment ready for the company we’re having this weekend. In the meantime, […]


  • THE MIDWESTERN, MARRIED LIFE

    THE MIDWESTERN, MARRIED LIFE

    Our house is a mess of GRE books right now, so I really don’t have the time to post much anything of any substance. But I did come across a really great paragraph from an interview with my hero, Lynda, about being married and artistic, and a setup that sounds like everything Meg and I […]


  • MP3 MONDAY: MOULTY!

    MP3 MONDAY: MOULTY!

    I remember the days when things were real bad for me It was right after my accident, when I lost my hand… The Barbarians – “Moulty” * * * “Moulty” was a song by a Cape Cod garage band called the Barbarians, who in 1964 grew shoulder-length hair, wore sandals, and were fronted by a […]


  • HOW DO YOU SHOW THEM WHAT YOU’VE DONE?

    HOW DO YOU SHOW THEM WHAT YOU’VE DONE?

    A little exercise in information design/gallery hanging today: What’s the best way to let total strangers know what it is that you do? If you’re a multi-disciplinary artist, how do you express the range of your work? How can a portfolio page engage a viewer/newcomer as well as a piece of art? I like the […]


  • WORKING ASS BACKWARDS

    WORKING ASS BACKWARDS

    Most cartoonists wait til the final stage of their process to pull out the ink and the brush.  Not me.  I like to get out the brush early in the morning, and do my rough sketches in sloppy ink.  There’s something about the brush, the way it can cover a lot of surface in a […]


  • A HALLOWEEN TREAT: GHOULARDI SAYS, “STAY SICK!  TURN BLUE!”

    A HALLOWEEN TREAT: GHOULARDI SAYS, “STAY SICK! TURN BLUE!”

    On Ernie Anderson, father of PT Anderson, otherwise known as Ghoulardi.


  • PAUL WAS AN APOSTLE, JUDAS WAS AN APOSTATE

    PAUL WAS AN APOSTLE, JUDAS WAS AN APOSTATE

    Greetings from GRE-studying hell! For the next two weeks, your humble entertainer will be busy learning obscure words. Words like “adumbrate,” “bedizen,” and “calumniate.” (He admits, he has only made it past the letter “C” in his Hit Parade.) To keep his sanity, your humble entertainer will still be scratching and posting pretty pictures, and […]


  • EXCERPTS FROM A TERRIBLE CALAMITY AT SEA!

    EXCERPTS FROM A TERRIBLE CALAMITY AT SEA!

    An (abandoned) graphic novel-in-progress:


  • COPYING

    COPYING

    “I think copying someone’s work is the fastest way to learn certain things about drawing and line. It’s funny how there is such a taboo against it. I learned everything from just copying other people’s work.” – Lynda Barry This is my copy of some of the panels from a 1930s Gasoline Alley strip that […]


  • SKULKING AROUND BARNES AND NOBLE

    SKULKING AROUND BARNES AND NOBLE

    I really need to get an office. Right now, our living room doubles as my workspace, and that’s bad, because when I step into the room in the morning, I don’t know whether to write, or take a nap on the couch. It’s better today, because the radio’s on, and there’s actually SUNLIGHT coming in […]


  • WE ARE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN SERVING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

    WE ARE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN SERVING LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

    This sketchbook page is what happens when you put me in customer service training for 4 1/2 hours. The title of this post is the motto of the Ritz-Cartlon. Here is my own definition of customer service: tricking people into thinking they’re #1. Here is the secret to life: knowing that every person is the […]


  • THE GHOST OUTLINE OF A FACE

    THE GHOST OUTLINE OF A FACE

    Art by Alzheimer’s patients becomes “more abstract, the images are blurrier and vague, more surrealistic…sometimes there’s use of beautiful, subtle color.”


  • SHOWING PIGS, EATING PIGS, DRAWING PIGS

    SHOWING PIGS, EATING PIGS, DRAWING PIGS

    These are research sketches of pigs I did for a new comic called “Showmanship,” which is going to be about my experience raising 4-H hogs for the county fair. They were inspired by a lame-ass interview I saw of Jonathan Safran Foer describing why he’s a vegetarian that I came across while researching Everything Is […]


  • IT SOUNDS GREAT WITH THE VOLUME DOWN

    IT SOUNDS GREAT WITH THE VOLUME DOWN

    My friend Brandon (who keeps refusing to answer my e-mails now that he’s a fancypants graduate student — maybe he’ll read this and feel guilty) once told me that in the lazy afternoons, he’d been watching soap operas with sound off, writing his own dialogue for the characters on the screen. I thought that sounded […]


  • WHEN THE ONLY CURE IS A CHEESEBURGER AND A MILKSHAKE

    WHEN THE ONLY CURE IS A CHEESEBURGER AND A MILKSHAKE

    I thought it was unbearably depressing today. I spent a good part of the day surfing the internet, checking out Paul Hornschemeier and Married To The Sea (both boys from Ohio!) and drooling over the Tom Gauld comics I got by airmail yesterday. Now, Meg and I are going to Red Robin, and then we’re […]


  • THE GATES OF PARADISE AS A COMIC

    THE GATES OF PARADISE AS A COMIC

    A look at Ghiberti’s baptistery doors as a comic where each panel doesn’t represent a narrative moment, but a complete chapter in a larger story…


  • A MARRIAGE GUIDE FOR WRITERS

    A MARRIAGE GUIDE FOR WRITERS

    Meg and I have this Peanuts strip taped to the fridge: Relationships are hard enough, but it takes a real champion of a person to be married to an artist. Lots of times you have to be a maid/cook, motivational speaker, a mother, and an editor — all at once. Lucy would never cut it. […]



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