I never really explained the picture I have been drawing since the election mess began. I’m not sure I could have before now. It was a place to escape to. I have been having health troubles that make me fear the end is near. Will it be a stroke? An infarction? But I am hoping for stroke, though only if it is a stroke of genius. Infarction is too silly a word for heart-goes-boom. Not that I am immune to silly. And what’s with the phrase, “Mickey Doo” in the titles?
The drawing started out with the character of the Telleron boy from the novel Stardusters and Space Lizards. The frog-like humanoid aliens in that story, the Tellerons, have been living in my imagination since I was a boy. Either that or they really did invade Iowa when I was a boy… my friend Robert testifies that he remembers the invasion… but he was kind of a gullible kid that believed anything I told him. Davalon the Telleron tadpole was a main character in the novel Catch a Falling Star. Once I drew him, I felt I had to add another novel character. Anneliese is a living gingerbread girl, brought to life by a fairy spell. So she is literally one tough cookie. “Literally” because she is a literary character in the novel I am currently working on, Recipes for Gingerbread Children. She was created by Grandma Gretel, a holocaust survivor with magical baking skills, for the express purpose of helping the good fairies that live in Iowa to defeat the evil ones, some of whom acquired their evil spirits from the Nazis in Germany. And finally I included Francois, the singing boy from the novel Sing Sad Songs. He is an orphan from France that comes to live with the dysfunctional family of his nearest relatives after losing his own family in a traffic accident. He manages to charm the whole Iowa town with his musical ability and put a serious dent in the loneliness and isolation that his family has fallen into. So, in a way, these three characters represent the eccentric way I go about fighting the war between good and evil. I depend on happy accidents, magic, and music… things that don’t exist without love. And it is all because I doodle when I’m hurting and things haven’t gone my way. Turning hurt into artwork is a strategy that has helped me for 60 years.