Category Archives: illustrations

Story Illustrations on Art Day

One of the things I am increasingly doing is illustrating my novels and essays in the pages of books published on Amazon.

As you can see, Amazon allows me to use my own artwork on the covers as well as illustrations inside. I-Universe would allow neither.
This is the most recent illustration from my as-yet unpublished novel, The Necromancer’s Apprentice.

More from the work-in-progress, The Necromancers Apprentice;

Yes, they’re naked, but that’s because they are Sylphs (3-inch-tall fairies,) not human beings.

What follows are published illustrations;

Recipes for Gingerbread Children

Horatio T. Dogg
Horatio T. Dogg
Cissy Moonskipper’s Travels

One of the glorious things about ebooks is the fact that they allow colored illustrations which will print as black and white in the paperback version.

Cissy Moonskipper’s Travels
The Wizard in his Keep
A Field Guide to Fauns

These, of course, are only a small sampling of the many illustrations in my books, especially the more recent books.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, humor, illustrations, Paffooney

Portraits of Norwall Kids

An illustration for the WIP,The Boy… Forever

Today’s Art-Day Saturday post is about the pictures I have drawn to establish in my mind the characters that make up the fictional world of Norwall, Iowa. Specifically, the kids in my YA novels.

Milt Morgan, wizard of the Norwall Pirates

I do manage character development and detailed descriptions by creating early on a picture of what the character looks like for me.

Sherry Cobble, nudist, twin sister of Shelly, also a nudist
Mike Murphy and his girlfriend, Blueberry Bates
Edward-Andrew Campbell
Brent Clarke, first leader of the Norwall Pirates
Dilsey Murphy, everybody’s big sister
Torrie Brownfield, the Baby Werewolf
Grandma Gretel Stein, Todd Niland, Sherry Cobble, Sandy Wickham
Francois Martin, the Sad Clown who Sings
Anita Jones, the girlfriend of Superchicken
Valerie Clarke, the most beautiful girl ever born in Norwall

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, characters, humor, illustrations, kids, novel writing, Paffooney, Pirates

The Latest Character Portrait

Yes, I drew Blueberry Bates one more time.

I drew her as an illustration for the novella I am currently working on, Horatio T. Dogg, Super Sleuth.

The original is in pen and ink, shaded on the Microsoft paint program that came with the computer.

She is not a main character in this story. But she is a key character in the plot.

The essential details about the character Blueberry Bates include the fact that she was named by her older sisters. She was born a blue baby, her Infant Methemoglobinemia (Blue Baby Syndrome) was caused by too little oxygen in her blood. Her mother died during childbirth. Her father never quite recovered from the loss, leading her sisters and her aunt to raise her as a girl even though she was born with a penis. When x-rayed as a young child, she was found to have internal female organs, including ovaries and uterus. Blueberry is highly imaginative, loves to draw with colored pencils, and pursued Mike Murphy to be her boyfriend until he finally gave in and fell hopelessly in love with her at the edge of ten and a half. She is based on two different real transgender students I encountered as a teacher.

Here is the final, color version of the new portrait.

Leave a comment

Filed under characters, illustrations, Paffooney, pen and ink

Living in the World I Once Drew

The Grain Mill

It is normal for the world we live in to inspire us to draw pictures of it. But architects do the opposite. They imagine a world we could live in, and then build it.

David and Me in Cotulla

Sometimes, like in the picture above, I draw real people in imaginary places. Other times I draw imaginary people and put them in real places.

Gyro and Billy on the planet Pan Galactica A

Sometimes I put imaginary people in imaginary places. (I photo-shopped this planet myself.)

Superchicken and Sherry before school

In fiction, I am re-casting my real past as something fictional, so the places I draw with words in descriptions need to be as real as my amber-colored memory can manage.

Valerie and her skateboard in front of the Congregational Church

When I use photos, though, I have to deal with the fact that over time, places change. The church does not look exactly like it did in the 1980s when this drawing is set.

Drawing things I once saw, and by “drawing” I mean “making pictures,” is how I recreate myself to give my own life meaning.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, autobiography, collage, commentary, humor, illustrations, imagination, Paffooney, photo paffoonies

Portraying Key Characters

Since I have written my Hometown Novels as a series with certain recurring characters, it becomes important that I know what they look like in my own stupid head. So, I draw them. Mike Murphy and his girlfriend Blueberry Bates are good examples. They appear in The Bicycle-Wheel Genius, Magical Miss Morgan, and Catch a Falling Star.

Valerie Clarke is a main character in When the Captain Came Calling, Snow Babies, Sing Sad Songs, and He Rose on a Golden Wing.

Farbick the pilot and Davalon the tadpole are main characters in Catch a Falling Star, Stardusters and Space Lizards, and both appear in The Bicycle-Wheel Genius.

Sherry Cobble and her twin sister Shelly, both dedicated nudists, appear in Superchicken, Recipes for Gingerbread Children, The Baby Werewolf, The Boy… Forever, and Sherry by herself appears in A Field Guide to Fauns with her own twin daughters, Mandy and Tandy Clarke.

Brent Clarke is the leader of the Norwall Pirates in Superchicken, The Baby Werewolf, The Boy… Forever, and he appears as an adult in A Field Guide to Fauns, and The Wizard in his Keep.

Milt Morgan, from boyhood onward, is a wizard. He appears in Superchicken, The Baby Werewolf, The Boy… Forever, and he is an adult character in The Wizard in his Keep.

Tim Kellogg is the leader of the Pirates in the 1990’s. He appears in Catch a Falling Star, The Bicycle-Wheel Genius, and Magical Miss Morgan, as well as brief appearances in When the Captain Came Calling, Sing Sad Songs, and He Rose on a Golden Wing.

Torrie Brownfield is not actually a werewolf. He suffers from a genetic hair disorder called hypertrichosis. He appears in Recipes for Gingerbread Children and The Baby Werewolf.

Some characters have a single starring role, as Francois Martin does in Sing Sad Songs.

And Devon Martinez does in A Field Guide to Fauns.

I can always tell a better story when I know exactly what a character looks like. And I do that by drawing a picture.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, characters, illustrations, Paffooney

The Ultra-Mad Madness of Don Martin

1629093

Born in 1931 and lasting in this crazy, mixed-up world until the year 2000, Don Martin was a mixy, crazed-up cartoonist for Mad Magazine who would come to be billed as “Mad Magazine’s Maddest Artist.”    His greatest work was done during his Mad years, from 1956 (the year I was born… not a coincidence, I firmly believe) until his retirement in 1988.  And I learned a lot from him by reading his trippy toons in Mad from my childhood until my early teacher-hood.

51205-8482-67413-1-don-martin

 

 

 

His style is uniquely recognizable and easily identifiable.  Nobody cartoons a Foon-man like Don Martin.

The googly eyes are always popped in surprise.  The tongue is often out and twirling.  Knees and elbows always have amazingly knobbly knobs.  Feet have an extra hinge in them that God never thought of when he had Adam on the drawing board.

And then there is the way that Martin uses sound effects.  Yes, cartoons in print don’t make literal sounds, but the incredible series of squeedonks and doinks that Martin uses create a cacophony of craziness in the mind’s ear.

don-martin-mad-magazine-june-1969

And there is a certain musicality in the rhyming of the character names he uses.  Fester Bestertester was a common foil for slapstick mayhem, and Fonebone would later stand revealed by his full name, Freenbeen I. Fonebone.

116

And, of course, one of his most amazingly adventurous ne’er-do-well slapstick characters was the immeasurable Captain Klutz!

Here, there, and everywhere… on the outside he wears his underwear… it’s the incredible, insteadable, and completely not edible… Captain Klutz!

cap_klutz1_bc

If you cannot tell it from this tribute, I deeply love the comic genius who was Don Martin, Mad Magazine’s Maddest Artist.  Like me he was obsessed with nudists and drawing anatomy.  Like me he was not above making up words with ridiculous-sounding syllables.  And like me he was also a purple-furred gorilla in a human suit… wait!  No, he wasn’t, but he did invent Gorilla-Suit Day, where people in gorilla suits might randomly attack you as you go about your daily life, or gorillas in people suits, or… keep your eye on the banana in the following cartoon.

Kg2GZRM

So, even though I told you about Bruce Timm and Wally Wood and other toon artists long before I got around to telling you about Don Martin, that doesn’t mean I love them more.  Don Martin is wacky after my own heart, and the reason I spent so much time immersed in Mad Magazine back in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

9ce65a0ded2754c6d00079b1eb772179

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under artists I admire, artwork, cartoon review, cartoons, comic book heroes, goofiness, humor, illustrations

The Art of the Faery Tale

Definition of Faery. 1. Noun. A small being, human in form, playful and having magical powers.
Faery Tales are a thing for me because I have lived so much more of my life inside my own imagination than I have ever even tried to do outside of it.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, fairies, gingerbread, Hidden Kingdom, humor, illustrations, Paffooney

Story-Telling for Art Day

One never knows what mysteries can be uncovered inside the bird house.
The plot of the story depends on what happens next in the picture.
Details make the real story clear.
Pictures tell a story even if the story-teller falls asleep in the process.
A picture can spin a fairy-tale even if it doesn’t show a plot.
Pictures easily establish a setting.
Pictures can allude to many, many other things.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, drawing, humor, illustrations, imagination, Paffooney

Pen and Ink Storytelling

Today’s Art Day post is about using pen and ink to tell at least a part of a story. Narrative can indeed occur in black and white images.
After a lifetime of studying the works of other pen and ink masters, I can copy many styles and I make as much of it a part of my own style as possible.
I know I probably draw nude figures too often. I get unfollowed by prudes and pious people on Twitter practically every day.
And nudes can attract the wrong sorts of followers too. But they usually don’t follow very long when they begin to notice my drawings never contain what they are actually looking for.
I am not a racist. I do identify with rabbit people, but I recognize that wolves are people too. And you have to appreciate diversity as a strength of humanity. Otherwise rabbit people would be persecuted too.
Some of my art contains portraits of people I have known.
And sometimes it is the illustration of characters in one of my books that help me recognize who those characters really are based on. “Hello, Sofie.”
And sometimes the story the picture tells is funny.
And sometimes it is simply silly.
Sometimes it is a story we all know already.
And sometimes the story is entirely original and new.

But however you look at it, pen and ink is fun.

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, autobiography, characters, humor, illustrations, Paffooney, pen and ink

The Making of a Paffooney

There is a certain amount of worry now in Mickeytown. My hands have begun to tremble. I see things that aren’t there. I have become excessively forgetful. Possibly Parkinson’s… but not diagnosed by a doctor yet.

Maybe it’s only paranoia… but that’s a Parkinson’s symptom too.

And it worries me because I need to be able to draw new Paffoonies. But it is definitely becoming harder.

Yesterday, when my computer was breaking down again, the scanner miraculously reconnected itself and began to work.

I scanned this old pen-and-ink drawing.

Do I know why I drew it, or what it is supposed to be about?

I do not.

But I can still swirl colored pencils and color within the lines, at least as well as I did when I was nine.

You may remember this one from yesterday,

Of course, forgetful me, I couldn’t remember where I had stored my best art pencils. I had to crack open the bag of old school pencils that I still have from my last hurrah as a Texas pedagogue (a word that means a teacher of children, not that other thing that the evil-minded ones among you were probably thinking.)

So, now I have a colored picture of a young-girl space traveler. What to do with it?

Like any old mad god who makes a girl come to life like this (old mad god of colored pencils, a little “g” god, not a blasphemous big “G” one,) I needed to name her and give her a story, a purpose in life.

So, I called her Cissy Moonskipper (a suitably satirical and comic sort of name playing off of Luke Skywalker.)

And I stranded her on a family-owned free-trader starship, alone in deep space. Her family is gone permanently. The ship has everything she needs to survive. She is a sole-survivor on a deserted island in deep space in an unexplored star system. And all she has is a starship owner’s manual and a copy of the novel Robinson Crusoe.

So, I added a background and now I have started a new book idea. That is essentially what a Paffooney is. Words and pictures by little ol’ me.

Leave a comment

Filed under aliens, characters, humor, illustrations, new projects, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, satire, science fiction