Monday, December 3, 2007


I've been keeping these little red moleskin datebooks as sketchbooks for the last several months, after getting one for Christmas last year. They're nice because they fit in my back pocket. Easy and unobtrusive. I've posted drawings and strips from them at the Holy Consumption for several of my most recent installments of Sunday Services, including the upcoming one. I recently did a mini interview about my sketchbooks and my work generally with Julia Rothman for her blog Book By Its Cover...which is worth a spot on pretty much anyone's bookmark list. You can see the interview and some other images here. The image above is a drawing I did of a nice girl I know named Heather. The one below is an audience member at a panel on comics criticism at SPX in Bethesda last October.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The USA: A History in Art

Following are images from another book I came across while I was looking for material for the Button Installation (See post October 19). These are from a book called The USA: A History in Art, which I found at a thrift store. In a few days I'll post a few images from another book: The Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beauty contest entry

This is me soon after a fall I took while skateboarding recently. I bashed in two of my front teeth pretty good. As luck would have it there happened to be an oral surgeon at the park with his son who was kind enough to take a look and pull my teeth back into place for me on the spot. Below is a picture of me about to land the same trick a couple of years ago.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Button Installation

Following are some pictures of an installation I recently did in the bedroom of an eight year old kid. The work is of a sort I started doing when I was in art school in New Mexico in the nineties and have continued doing whenever I've had the space on offer. It was in looking for appropriate imagery for an eight year old that I came across the World Book images put up in an earlier post. I also used images from a book of American history told through period painting, an old Hulk comic book and a book about John Muir with a bunch of landscape and wildlife pictures.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Toward the end of September I was in Denmark for several days for the opening of a show at Kunsthallen Brandts, a museum/cultural center in the small city of Odense. I had some drawings in the show--originals from Big Questions #9. The show was about one third cartooning (including David B., Anke Feuchtenberger (work from both below), R. Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner and Killofer) and about two thirds other media: sculpture, painting, video etc. A highlight was an animation by David Shrigley called Who I Am and What I Want. Shrigley is great. His work is both brilliant and hilarious and his sense of play and fun is contagious. Some other stuff that's worth a look is Fredrik Raddum (the guy on the tree), Soren Behncke, and Jesper Dalgaard (colored drawing below). But that's an incomplete list. There was a lot of good stuff in the show.

The point of the exhibition was to locate comics within the general purview of contemporary art and show the increasing cross pollination of what are less and less separate fields. It did so without apology or qualification which seems to me pretty unusual and quite welcome. They did a really nice catalog as well. Matthias Wivel, in particular, wrote a great essay on the place of comics within (and outside) high culture which is very much worth reading. He doesn't have it up on his website yet, but you should go there and bug him because it really deserves an audience wider than the people who can go to Denmark and get the catalog. So bug him. He also recently posted a four part interview he did with me on the site.

Some other things I did on the trip include pay an obscene amount of money for everything (fifty dollar breakfast pictured below). The dollar is sucking pretty hard at the moment.
One day we stumbled on several amazing flea markets in both Odense and Copenhagen. We got engrossed and managed to miss the other official touristy type stuff we'd wanted to see. I got a few things including one of these little plates and a number of old postcards, also pictured below.

Another day we took the train an hour or so south to Egeskov Slot, A 16th century castle, which is still inhabited ( we actually got a glimpse of the owner a late thirties-ish guy in a leather motorcycle jacket and sunglasses coming out a door with two blond kids who might have been his sons). It's built in the middle of an actual moat, on a foundation of upright tree trunks embedded in the earth. It was filled with all sorts of amazing artifacts including several hundred animal skulls, heads and skins, daggers and shields, suits of armor (exhibited, surreally, along with the original superman costume Christopher Reeves wore in Superman), there were paintings, drawings and prints that spanned the life of the place, depicting most of the inhabitants and their entire family tree. As if that wasn't enough, also on the grounds was a huge museum crammed to bursting with antique cars and aircraft.

On the morning before we flew out we went to the Bibliotek National and saw a show of 16th and 17th century illustrated books, which were beautiful. They included a pop-up book of anatomy and fantastical illustrated first hand accounts of the recently discovered New World, among other things.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

World Book 1952

Late last month I was at my grandparents cabin in Western Minnesota. People were going through some old books that no one looked at anymore and throwing out things that were mildewy. Among these were a set of World Books that had belonged to my mother and her siblings, purchased, probably, from a traveling salesman in 1952. I spent an hour or two on the deck with a utility knife slicing out pages with interesting images. The images are great. For one thing they are all drawn and painted images, when the equivalents these days would be photographs or computer aided renderings. It also seems to me that technical drawing and illustration was a more highly valued skill in the past and that fact is reflected in the relatively richly rendered images in varied styles and gorgeous colors and compositions. The attraction here is partly nostalgia, too, I'm sure, but I think they are worth a look. Here is a very small selection. Note in particular the "Cossack" sword swallower.