Category Archives: illustrations

Pictures In My Head

I do draw some pictures from models, photos, or other illustrations… but fantastical things that you can’t find a model for are what occur most often in my stupid head.

I was back in a classroom yesterday as a sub. 6th graders. It did look an awful lot like this, but I was holding another teacher’s giant pencil.
This is the ski-jump on Valwood Parkway in Farmer’s Branch. I merely changed the railroad tracks into a stream.
I taught all three of these kids when they were thirteen, but one in ’81, one in ’92, and one in ’94. Oh, and not on Mars.
No models were used in this picture, though I did know several blue children.
Done without a model, unless you believe 3″ tall fairies are a real thing.
No werewolf girls posed topless for this picture.
This classroom photo was entirely in my stupid old head, not in a school gymnasium full of snow.
Even the mountains in the background were drawn directly from my mind’s eye.
A lot of what I draw is merely emotional flim-floogery and provides a look inside of me that makes a portrait of me drawn even more naked and vulnerable than if I drew myself nude.

Leave a comment

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

Illustrating AeroQuest

As I am editing and rewriting my first published novel to turn it into a novel series of at least four books, I have been enjoying rounding up and editing old artwork to illustrate it. I have been taking advantage of the fact that you can, after a fashion, plug illustrations into the manuscript and have it come through as acceptably good in the final Amazon publication.

The story comes from adventure logs of a space-fantasy role-playing game called Traveller. I played the game with small handfuls of high school kids whose player characters are now the main characters of the story (after modifications and considerable censorship.

The illustrations, a lot of them, are drawings of the characters that I did in pen and ink back in the 1980’s.

We went through multiple generations of player characters, some of whom were practically immortal, and others that died horrible deaths after a few episodes.

Most of the acting in the RPG was done for humor’s sake, and so my Sci-Fi tale turns out to be more of comedy than anything else.

Amanda is Ged’s daughter, though the player was not related to Ged’s player.

Rescuing the novel from the sorry state it was in from being an awkward first attempt at publishing done with a publisher that later had to be sued and put on trial for fraud has been an interesting and rewarding experience. These stories will never be among my best works, but they were definitely a learning experience. And rewriting them is a learning experience itself, living the story all over again with significant changes.

The places are the same, but as a satire, they had to be re-named in many instances as the planet’s names and their make-up were copied from other books and movies. But they were rewritten by the players themselves as everything was turned into comedy and farce. Hence, the planet Mongo ruled by Emperor Ming, became the planet Mingo ruled by Emperor Mong. These are obvious references that are re-named in ways that give us a laugh or a wince.


I doubt it is obvious by just looking at these drawings, but by reducing their size, the line drawings are improved to a high degree.

Illustrating AeroQuest has been fun. Maybe, at some point, it will even prove profitable. But ultimately, it is definitely a thing worth doing.

Leave a comment

Filed under comic book heroes, heroes, humor, illustrations, novel writing, Paffooney

Illustrating Your Own Writing

Don’t make the mistake of thinking I have any advice to offer about how to do what I am doing. First of all, I can’t claim to be successful at it. Also, I am doing it all by instinct, not by study and planning. All I am really doing this for is to show you my favorite pictures.

for The Boy… Forever

I basically draw the pictures before I write the story down in paragraphs. The story exists already in my head, and the pictures help it gel in my mind before it comes out in fiction form.

An illustration for AeroQuest 2; Planet of the White Spider
The Baby Werewolf

I particularly enjoy drawing the characters, giving them actual, physical substance so that they exist not only in my stupid old head, but also on the page or on the screen to allow them to be in front of my eyes.

Snow Babies
from Superchicken
From Sing Sad Songs
The Book Cover itself

Being able to illustrate can be a way into producing covers for myself that have as much chance at catching the reader’s eye as anything else that I do.

People tell me that my artwork is enchanting and that they like it.

They are, hopefully, not all lying when they say that.

Magical Miss Morgan
Recipes for Gingerbread Children
The Bicycle-Wheel Genius

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, humor, illustrations, Paffooney

Illustration Exaggerations

This will be used for several things. Most importantly it will become a part of the cover I make for my Work In Progress, The Boy… Forever.

The villain of this story claims to be an undead Chinese wizard. It is a claim that may be totally bogus, but it is a part of the idea of his villainy that needs to be illustrated to help me get to the roots of my theme; “No man lives forever. But if they accidentally do, it helps to be secretly a dragon in human form.”

Leave a comment

Filed under humor, illustrations, Paffooney, pen and ink, pen and ink paffoonies, Uncategorized

Surviving Good Luck

Good things are happening right along. I got the job as a substitute teacher. The IRS investigation turned in my favor. I got money back from them because they charged me penalties I didn’t actually owe. It was THEIR fault that they didn’t register my previous $400.00 check. I dutifully made demanded payments during the 90-day investigation. Even though it hurt economically. And, miraculously, they admitted the mistake was theirs. I have been able to write more fluidly and well than I have in a long time.

You can see that I have had some success making illustrations for the next AeroQuest re-write book in spite of arthritis in my hands.

But everything has a price. I have had to scramble to do the online testing for qualifying to be a substitute teacher while the internet access in our house has been going in and out of order. I called the provider and scheduled a technician’s visit. But the thing fixed itself mysteriously before the date of the work arrived. I finished my testing even before I called Spectrum to cancel my appointment.

I ended up having to split the refund check with my wife. The bank would not let me put the check entirely in my personal account unless she was there in person to okay it. So, even though the penalty payment came 100% from my account, I had to give her 40% of the money because her bank will let her do what my bank would not. It’s not like that was a major fight between us, or anything. But she had originally agreed to sign the check over to me 100%, and then bank rules fudged up that agreement for me.

And this morning, the Princess had a nosebleed on the way to school. I was picturing a major emergency-room expense wiping out everything. There were, after all gushers of blood enough to soak five paper towels before the bleeding stopped. She made it to school on time in spite of the necessary clean-up-and-stop-bleeding time we had to put in.

So, I am not cursed with only the blackest of bad luck. But I am not blessed with purest white of the good luck either. And for those of you who will remind me, “Mickey, you don’t believe in luck!” I will remind you that, “Yes, I don’t, but you have to explain these bizarre random rewards and punishments somehow.”


Filed under Celebration, feeling sorry for myself, humor, illustrations, Paffooney, pen and ink paffoonies

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

A Peek Inside the Portfolio

Here’s a bit of the file called Novel Pix (illustrations for my novels);

from Stardusters and Space Lizards
from AeroQuest
from Sing Sad Songs
from Snow Babies
from Fools and Their Toys
from When the Captain Came Calling
from Superchicken
from Catch a Falling Star
When the Captain Came Calling
from Snow Babies
from The Baby Werewolf
from Recipes for Gingerbread Children

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, illustrations, Paffooney