Pen and ink, black and white drawings are the place where my art career started. Line drawings like the ones in the newspaper cartoon pages. I collected newspaper comics. I copied them. I drew Blondie Bumstead and Moonshine McSwine naked. I drew Pogo Possum, Popeye, and Hagar the Horrible. I also drew Steve Canyon and Buzz Sawyer. I still draw Mickey Mouse. I learned cartoonist skills from the best in comic strips and comic books.
Category Archives: cartoons
As a comic cartoonist sort of artist named Mickey, I was as a teenager obsessed with making artsy goofy books. One of those was unaccountably called Dreams of the Mastiff. These surrealistic picturations are examples from that silly Donald-Duck thing.
This page is supposed to explain the title. So I guess all of the following pages are somehow supposed to be from the nighttime brain of the dog in the nursery.
And what is this supposed to be about? My old-man memory has not a single clue.
It occurred to me long ago that both Fantasy and Science Fiction were surreal by nature. What is the story behind Black Peter? Ich weiss nicht! I do not know! Old-man memory again.
Inexplicable Sci-Fi from this little surrealist art-book-thing.
And more of the same…
Now back to cockroaches from doggy dreams…
…And mice, monkeys, and tea-drinking ladybird beetles…
…And what…? The whole world in a nutshell?
To a thing I used in two novels, Catch a Falling Star and The Baby Werewolf.
I offer no explanations or excuses for these nonsensical and unaccountable things. I am not sorry I once did them, if you want to know the truth… but I probably should be.
I like to dig through old piles of artwork I have done to re-purpose things and mash things together to make weird art salad.
I used to play a Dungeons-and-Dragons-like game called Talislanta with groups of adolescent boys, most of whom had previously been my students in middle school. It was a weird world where weird things made artistical challenges for me that taught me to be a better and more imaginative artist.
Xeribeth was a member of an almost-human race that had yellow skin and wore colorful face tattoos. She also had to be somewhat alluring to trick adolescent boys into undertaking dangerous and possibly suicidal adventures (meaning characters who only lived on paper might die and have to be re-rolled with dungeon dice.)
Zoric, being a green Cymrillian wizard, gave me numerous opportunities to creative Kermit-the-frog-colored portraits. And he was a player character, so his greed and penchant for unwise actions decided on in the heat of battle (like turning himself into a fish-man while adventuring in the waterless desert) didn’t come from me.
Playing those games gave me training as a story-teller as well.
My efforts to see color with gradually worsening color-blindness led me to create eye-bashing color compositions that attempt to portray realistically things and feelings that can’t possibly be physically real. Thus I gradually became, over time, a surrealist (a juxtaposer of unlike and jarring things to deliver a visionary picture of reality) (How’s that for surrealistic gobbeldegook in definition form.)
I often solve the problems of my life by drawing something and making cartoonish comments with serious consequences.
Ultimately, it boils down to the fact that the world on the inside of me is decidedly different than the world on the outside of me. But I have to live in both. And I can do that by drawing my colored-pencil Paffooney stuff, and posting it, and writing about it on a silly Sunday.
The biggest problem with Republicans is that really they’re Trumplickans.
They want to take us back in time to the “Good ol’ days” when men were men and women knew their place and minorities didn’t have a place… Yeah, um, the Southern United States of the ’30’s and the ’40’s. Jim Crow days. The “Man is the king of his castle” days. The days when no matter what crime or evil things they had done during the week, one hour sitting (and possibly sleeping) in a church pew on Sunday made it all better.
The second biggest problem is that, one way or another, all the positive points of the GOP have left the party one way or another. Eisenhower Republicans are no more. John McCain is no more. Most of the Republicans with any integrity left have simply picked up their toys and gone home to let the rest of us play rigged games with the Trumplickans.
They do whatever Trumpy tells ’em, no matter how bad it is for most of us and most of our families. Healthcare? Education? Infrastructure? Can’t afford those. They have other priorities for taxpayer money.
And it really is, “All about the money”.
And their only concern with law is when we break a law that gives them profits. No oversight, except over Democrats. No investigation, except into Democrats. Nobody is guilty of anything, except for Hillary… and maybe Obama.
And if anybody finds out the truth, well, they simply Barr the door.
“My name is Michael Beyer, and I am an amateur cartoonist.”
“Hi, Michael!” says the entire group of CA group-therapy participants.
(CA stands for Cartoonists Anonymous.)
“I have to admit, I am guilty of giving in to the urge to draw cartoons. I know how it can fill lives with slapstick pain and derisive laughter, and I give in to the urge anyway.”
“So, what did you draw that you have to be ashamed of now?” asked one mad-eyed cartoonist with a pencil lodged behind each of his large ears.
“I made a very unfortunate video to post on YouTube that was supposed to be How-to-draw Cartooning. But everything went wrong. You couldn’t see my drawings in the video. It was not adequately lit. I look like a doofus (which probably can’t be cured) in the video. And instead of thinking twice or editing it, I posted it anyway.”
“Wow!” said a rather ugly cartoonist lady, “that is really bad. You have a seriously bad case of cartoonity.”
“Cartoonity?” I responded stupidly.
“The condition of needing love for your cartoons so bad that you will risk anything to make people look at them and like them,” said the wise group therapist (who looked an awful lot like Chuck Jones, though I am fairly sure Chuck Jones is now dead).
“Yes, I suppose that’s about the size of the problem,” I said. “I have been posting pages from my graphic novel, Hidden Kingdom, and I really haven’t seen more than one comment about it. Do people actually read cartoons and comics nowadays? Or is it just me that gets ignored?”
“You have to focus on how much you love drawing and doing it just for that reason, and nothing beyond that,” said the wise therapist. “Cartooning should be done for its own sake, and nothing more than that. Craving attention and approval for it can get seriously infected and become a bad case of cartoonititis. How do you think I dealt with it when I was still alive?”
At that point, my eyes popped out of my head in disbelief and my lower jaw fell all the way to the floor. Could he really be…?
And so I must end today’s blog post since it is hard to keep typing when your eyeballs are rolling around on the floor.