Saturday, December 19, 2009

Warp and Woof.

Greetings from American Dogthic. These two got lost in bucolia on the way to the poolhall, but if the cat's away and the calico fits, set up residence.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Chemistry 101.

And it was done. He broke her from the earth, and breathed warmth onto her tiny leaves, and he swore a brahmin's promise under an immediate sky. Under the watchful eyes of her netherworld nannies.
But they swore promises too. To take her back when the need arose. And it would. Because the evil wives of lovelorn kings tend to be women of science, and flowers tend to wilt in the lab.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Go figure.

A sketchling.
I've only seen a mouse in a house once, but I can seriously say that the voices of a screaming female and a squeaking rodent will combine to achieve a certain gestalt that can turn reality on its head. We're talking about the ability to twist time and send planets careening into each other at the slightest change in pitch.
That being said, the small brownish pellets I found on the counter this morning were only burnt pizza crumbs.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Suit up.

Grappling with the eternal question:

If you put pants on one anthropomorphized character, must you put them on all?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I have a crush on every (hoplite) boy.

Now when radiant Dawn with bright eyes looked forth upon the high mountain-tops of Pelias, and the headlands of the tossing main were swept into clear view before the breeze; in that hour uprose Tiphys, and at once he bade his comrades go aboard and make ready the oars. And strangely did the harbour of Pagasae, yea, and Pelian Argo herself cry alound, urging them to set forth.

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A sight to behold.

If you're having trouble with the main course, just remember that eggplant is subject to flattery.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where the story ends.

Book elves are merciless and macabre. Last night, this particular fellow descended on the small hamlet of Right Bottom Drawer. He toyed with them for a few hours, racked 'em and cracked 'em, then strung the inhabitants' pale, dry viscera across our bedroom wall. Pins and clothesline have never been used with such grisly efficiency.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


By all accounts, she was pretty. Pretty as a little eggplant could be. But sometimes they'd catch her with mouthfuls of clay--cheeks bursting, eyes streaming from pain. Or mistressing tiny classes of ants and grubs and drooping swampflies up her arms, around her wrists in inky patterns. Or on rainy days with her feet inches in the mud, lips and fingers angled skywards. So they said their prayers, fashioned a wardrobe of waterlogged skirts and earthen slippers, leaked news of her beauty in the direction of the nearest palace, and waited for the story to run its course.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Lost to sight in the Danube."

They've turned U/Ondine into a movie. Thank god for the barnacled sea hags that grant little wishes.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Summer fun's nearly done and now the first dilemma of homeownership hits us squarely:


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Dainty dish.

"The king is in his counting house, counting house, counting out. Counting."
Now inextricably linked to King Haggard. But a thousand and a half unicorns breaking themselves against the shore was a little much for one lone sharpee. I couldn't even capture four and twenty.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Give pause.

A background nymph that survived the Great Purge of August '09.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The old heave-ho.

One of the most lasting, but also one of the few that doesn't end with the phrase "happily ever after". They simply ride off in a carriage and the prince is reunited with an adoring servant--with whom he has a warmer exchange than anything said to his new wife. Though, with a backside still aching from cruel mishandling, he can hardly be blamed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Complete Blank.

More King Cole. And, yes, those fiddles are lacking parts. One could call it laziness, but I prefer to think of it as an inspired omission--in the vein of "Sir Orfeo". The fey aren't known for their inventiveness, so a row of fairy fiddlers aping their human counterparts on rough toy instruments seems to ring true. "There's none so (bare) as can compare with King Cole and his fiddlers three."
Along those lines, been watching a lot of Folklore gameplay lately and the amount of musical pilfering is pretty shocking. The train music from Spirited Away. The Going to Berlin ("there's more to the diary than just the map") music from Last Crusade. Always in Fairy, always on a very tiny loop. So, again the question arises--clever intent or just plain sloth?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Drink up.

Old King Cole was a thirsty old soul, touched him with some water and he puckered up for more. No wringing or squeezing was going to drain those greedy cheeks, so I stretched him on the rack instead and bled him dry of color. Cole, he was an abiding old soul--his tune's a little paler now, but still ripples round with laughter.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grandma would be proud.

Burn of the week:

In the midst of drawing a "smoke dragon" for ten year-old Matthew--"Now I see why you have such a big eraser".

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lost Bots.

The Armored Hound, aka The Red Steed.
Terror of the Lakes
Scourge of all Warrens.
Herald of Sailing Vessels.
Seeker of the Far-flung Wilson.
He Who Sits for None.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The canvas can do miracles.

Trying out some new paper. Looser weave, lighter weight. Prone to warping, but the darker tint saved me a good half day of laying down multiple sienna washes. We'll see how we go. Either way, I'm fine traveling the crooked miles.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Go away.

It's raining, it's pouring.
The old man is snoring.
Bumped his head,
And he went to bed.
And he couldn't get up in the morning.
In honor of our fitful summer. And an entreaty to old sluggard Helios to take two aspirin, shake off the hangover, and harness the team.

Friday, July 24, 2009


She made us lasagna. Then she sat on the couch, propped up her nyloned feet, and set to the business of filling every last nook and cranny with conversation.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Food for thought.

If all the world were apple pie,
And all the seas were ink,
And all the trees were bread and cheese,
What would we have to drink?
Old Mother Goose
Stained toes and strained bows. And sticky fingers, too. And gods that would rather consume than compose.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Bringing mayhem, carnage, curses of the undead, and birthday wishes.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I'm going to be a guest illustrator on a ten-year old's monster blog. And if you've got anything to say about, you can direct all criticism to the blade wielding wildebeest up yon.

Monday, July 06, 2009


Technically, we live in what used to be an Old Wood. Though I suppose, technically, everyone does. But the reminders are of the more immediate sort. We have some bold bunnies and one shy skunk. There's a tut-tutting groundhog that's currently suing for his hours in the backyard. I saw a small rabbit get hoisted by a crow into the tops of the trees, wailing all the way. All in broad daylight.
And the Little Folk are more than just fringe folk here. They're vague approximations, to be sure; come tumbling out of memory in a mess of cobbled features, ragdoll limbs, and tiny pedestrian tricks. But they've a knack for the oldest and best, and every morning my hair tangles a bit more, and every night they have their way with the attic door.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All in a row.

Anyone know how to transplant a tomato?

That doesn't require answering.

Dug a few shallow holes in our barrels, plunged the weedy things in, arranged them into arthritic positions, watered them for the first--and what I assumed to be the last--time, and decided that fortyfive minutes at the garden was more than deserving of a nap on a huge pile of clean laundry.

Went back out to check them and they've crisped up nice, with beautiful golden brown edges like a pretty pie. Which I assume means they're done and ready for serving.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Six months and three days in the new place and I received our first official introduction. No brownies, but an honest offering of secondhand sunflowers and cherry tomato plants from the guy across the street. He's a former Westsider, works T.A.T.S., dropped one "goddammit" and a few "fucks", and smelled like a four o'clock buzz. I decided we could parley.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Once through the garden you will be in the


The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-


Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She

may ask for something;

give it to her.

From "Instructions" by Neil Gaiman

That something may or may not have to do with the Vlasic Stork. (See bottom right.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wall of Fame.

Grab your most distinctive hats, most silhou-worthy collars, your boathouse coats, your pipes and pens, your 19th century glowers.
It's sittin' time.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Experiencing Nim-pah.

Had a mighty bout of deja vu while sketching this. Turns out I was tracing, from memory, every line of a favorite comic character of mine. He'd appeared in one panel. Of a Tom and Jerry insert. In 1983. He was the most minor of throwaways. A tough bird in a straw hat. But the lines were so graceful that he stuck--and it now occurs to me that he's become the template for every goose-necked, hawk-billed figure I attempt.

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Two more. A little more Branwen than Ballerina. I prefer the one on the left. Eyes to the distance, shoelaces trailing.

Monday, June 01, 2009


I call this one "Bridget". For she who commissioned, for she who will receive, and in memory of a well-timed bottle of Sour Apple Pucker.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cedar chest.

Wound about in silver hair.
Arranged in unlikely angles.
Joints creaking, fingers snapping, elbows popping.
Smelling of sawdust and last breath.
More dead pixies.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One eighty.

Bit of a turnaround. Really it's just inspired by the last trip up to the attic. The grooves in the upstairs windows are filled with the tiny sunbleached corpses of a thousand ladybugs and their housefly nannies. Regina's lost brood. I'd long suspected her to be something of an absentee dam, but being sole witness to the slide of a generation into its own golden dust demands documentation.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm. In. Heaven.

There was a magical moment last night at Wegman's when every woman (and one stoned guy) was singing along with Mariah Carey's "Fantasy". The frozen foods section burst into dance.

No exaggeration.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Te llamo? Mallo?

Last of the bunch.

Terseness at its cryptic worst. Thank goodness for the eloquent image.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Opted out of wings and tights for the series. Really wasn't my decision. If left to myself, I suspect I'd have had them all dancing with bees or curled up in flowers. Fireflowers.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Sketching out some bookmarks for a fave's fourth grade theater students. Could do this forever.

The devil's in the details in these kids' drawings, though. Been agonizing over the barest hints. Those three lines at the back of the head, for example? Are they the suggestion of speed? Heat? Impressionist dreads? Check out those arms--both clearly behind the back. Is that part of the process of fire-sculpting? Will they notice that I quite literally put his wrong foot forward?

When all's done, I'm putting faith in the ability of dragons and firefoxes to distract your above-average ten year old male.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I even seen a barn dance.

Miss Mary Mack.

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back.
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For 50 cents, cents, cents
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
Jump over the fence, fence, fence.
They jumped so high, high, high
They reached the sky, sky, sky
And they didn't come back, back, back
'Til the 4th of July, ly, ly!
I'm going to pretend I knew all along that was a naval reference. Or that I knew of the poem's existence at all, for that matter. Though I'd always felt a prickling annoyance at the absence of ironclad lore. Yeah.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

J&H: Part Deux

Dear Caller,
Only interested in things that have existed, might exist, will exist, never existed. Nothing that actually does exist.
Out of Touch

Monday, May 04, 2009

Stirred, never shaken.

Not quite sure, but I may have printed Stoli on one of those beakers. Nestle Strawberry Quik on another. Either one is quite a high. Just watch for those mid-leap transformations--it's a long way down between buildings.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The play's the thing.

"As full of spirit as the month of May
and gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls."
William Shakespeare, King Henry the Fourth, part I

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The chair has finally arrived. A little marmalade dollop on my vanilla cream room.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Prove it.

Semele. Really the Doubting Thomas of pre-Christianity. Just another someone for whom the divine "cuz I said so" didn't quite cut it. And why would it? What percentage of Bronze Age maids came wandering out of those sacred groves actually filled with Olympian seed--and what percentage found an easy excuse embedded in their nurses' stories? For that matter, how many farmlads, old perverts, wily centaurs, rootless veterans donned the mask of a lusty Hermes or Apollo to satisfy their own needs? Clay and paste have about as much legitimacy in a darkened grott as gold leaf.

So she asked. For certainty's sake. For pride's too. To silence her whispering sisters. "Show me your true face." If he was a fraud, she'd endure the burden of shame, but also the satisfaction of watching a local lech ripped apart by horses. Or whatever. If he was the god, she'd be vindicated, and perhaps emblazoned with some unearthly signature.

So Zeus emerged unwillingly. The touch was given. The mark made. Unfortunately, it happened to be a sootspot on the palace flagstones in the vague shape of a girl. Bright reward for a skeptic's narrowed eye.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

See how they run.

So our wandering story comes to a sharp end. And is consigned to a fate of spinning tall tales and refusing medication in the amputee ward.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009