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The Mouse and His Child

I definitely love discovering treasures I once had in the past. The memories this movie incites are definitely treasures for me. Mickey plus movie equals love….

Catch a Falling Star

Today’s animated cartoons are very sophisticated and technically superior to older fair like you might find on YouTube from… let’s say… 1977.  As an artist and writer dedicated to didactic surrealism (yes, I know you probably have no earthly idea what those two words even mean, but that’s a review post for another day), I should probably look down my long critic’s nose at the story of A Mouse and His Child, from Sanrio Studios.   I saw this bit of artwork in motion at the College-Town Theater in Ames, Iowa while attending Iowa State University.  It is a dopey pre-Toy-Story story about a pair of wind-up toy mice who are designed to dance in circle and can do nothing more than that at the beginning of the movie.  They are told at the outset that they can only do in life what they were designed to do… and nothing…

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This has been, over time, a very popular post. Mangaphiles all love her artwork. I love her artwork. So let me share once again about Rumiko Takahashi.

Catch a Falling Star

Yesterday I used a Paffooney I had stolen to illustrate my gymnasium adventures, and in the caption I gave credit to the wonderful comic artist I shamelessly copied it from.  The second imitation Takahashi that I did yesterday is now displayed next to it above.  I am now compelled to explain about my goofy, sideways obsession with Anime and Manga, the cartoons from Japan.  I love the art style.  I have since I fell in love with Astroboy Anime as a child in Iowa.  Rumiko Takahashi is almost exactly one year younger than me.  As a cartoonist she is light years more successful than me.  She has been crafting pen and ink masterpieces of goofy story-telling longer than I have been a teacher.


Her artwork is a primary reason I have been so overly-enamored of the Japanese Manga-cartoon style.  I love the big eyes, the child-like features of even adult…

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June 21, 2018 · 11:26 am

A Little Bit Here, A Little More There


How do you build something big and complex that would seem to be beyond the power of ordinary men to do by themselves?

20180620_093511  The pen-and-ink Paffoonies I have placed in this post are both examples of the answer to the question.  I spent numerous days penciling and inking separate pieces of each picture in small chunks of time, fifteen minutes here, twenty minutes there, bits and pieces of time.

The Downtown Animaltown picture shows at least one consequence of the process.  The forced perspective, especially in the roofing area looks wrong because it wasn’t precisely rulered.  That was, of course, intentional.  It was a happy accident, but goofy perspectives are a feature of cartoon worlds.

The gnarly old tree in the Buffalo Castle Paffooney was created in at least five separated pieces.  Inking the leaves actually fractured the time spent inking by twenty or thirty more.

So big things are created by a compounding of little things.  This is also how novels occur.  The bricks of character, scenes, plot twists, and themes are baked one at a time over a space of years, and then assembled into the castle of the whole story.

Little things that fit together can definitely make bigger things.

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Why I Must Write

Here’s a good post full of bad poetry that needs to see the light once again.

Catch a Falling Star

Blue in the back yard

Why I Must Write

Life is simply poetry,

And I must write it down.

Without the rhyme and beat of words,

I am a hopeless clown.

But if I can but set the theme,

And manipulate the sound,

The music of the world is mine,

And Meaning is unbound.

Here is a simple truth about why I write.  I believe I have the power to define myself, a power that not even God can take away.  I hope to leave words and stories and poems and drawings behind to speak to others, especially my children, after I am dead and gone.  That is a writer’s immortality.  And you should probably know that as a retired school teacher, I have over 2,500 children.  But even if none of them ever reads a word of it, or looks at one of my Paffooney pictures, I will have made poetry enough to be…

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Aeroquest… Canto 28

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Canto 28 – Rock and Roll Starship

      The Megadeath was the only available starship left in four Parsecs of space in any direction from Don’t Go Here.  Ged didn’t want to travel in a Trav Dalgoda concept, but left with no choice, he trusted Frieda’s demonstrated skills as a shipwright and spacecraft designer.  He could use it to travel if only he could recruit a space crew.  He needed a pilot, an engineer, and a navigator who knew how to figure coordinates from Xavier Tkriashav’s memories of nearby systems in unknown space.

The finding of a crew proved quite difficult.  All they had was a pool of marooned talent left by Lupin corsairs, mostly the dregs of the spaceways.  Tkriashav had a telepathic network set up on the planet, and there were some primitive crystal radios.  Otherwise, the planet was bound together by a word-of-mouth commo system.

All they could find was a rather motley crew.  Vince Niell was the only pilot to apply for the job.  He was a merchant pilot who’d lost his final ship to Lupins in the Mingo star system.  He wore mirrored sunglasses even in the dark.  He had a leather flight jacket which he wore over his Fredsuit.  He signed on for a pair of pants, some underwear, and a baseball cap from Ged’s own wardrobe.  He wanted Ged’s brown fedora, but that hat was non-negotiable, being needed always on Ged’s own head.

Nikki Sixx was a guitar-playing engineer with bright red hair that he wore long down to his waist.  He had his own hand-made electric guitar and broadcast speakers even though he had no generator to make electricity for them.  He had blue ovals tattooed around each eye, and he had skulls tattooed on his bare chest.  He wore Bam-Bam shorts and also carried a medium-sized stone-caster.  He signed on to keep the engines purring on the promise that he would be allowed to play guitar whenever he had free time.

The third crewman was the hardest to find, and easily the one Ged would’ve most preferred to replace.  He gave his name as Cold Death.  He was a white-skinned near-human with skin that looked like snow and was surprisingly chilly to the touch.  It was like shaking hands with a snowman.  He had strange black triangles tattooed around his eyes and wore a neon green Mohawk for a hairstyle.  He also had two ivory fangs like Dracula in his mouth.  He, too, was unnaturally attached to a guitar.  He, too, was willing to sign on for a chance to play Heavy-Metal Rock-and-Roll.

Ged’s only comfort with this crew was the fact that they came cheap.  He didn’t have any Imperial coins or electronic credit-exchangers to pay them with anyway.  But the music gave him headaches.

Before leaving, Ged helped Tara use the Hammer of God to build a downport on the surface of the planet.  All Tara had to do was take Ged’s blueprints and descriptions, picture them in her imagination, and then telepathically download them into the Hammer.  The device shot a stream of purple energy into the dirt at the construction site, turning the silica and clay into a pool of microscopic nanobots that made her mental image grow into reality before the startled eyes of the cave men of Don’t Go Here.

Plans were made for housing and high-rises to enhance the economy of Bedrock and the planet Don’t Go Here.  A shuttle system was built to help Tara get starship building supplies up to Frieda and farmers up to the grange station.  Ged promised many that he would come back soon to begin training spacers to man the space ships they would build.  The Hammer of God allowed them to boost the planet from a quasi-stone-age to the space age in next to no time, Flintstones into Jetsons, so to speak.  Of course, Ged had promised a lot of commitment on the part of both his brother and himself.

Finally they were prepared to leave Don’t Go Here in the hands of Tara and her father, Bam-Bam.  Ged, Tkriashav, and little Junior Aero would head out with the crew of the Megadeath to visit Tkriashav’s world and the system of prophecy.  As Ged said a final, difficult goodbye to the beautiful teenager, Tara Salongi, he never imagined that he wouldn’t be back to see her again within the year.  He never imagined a lot of things that would make the memory of that one goodbye one of his greatest regrets.


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Homely Art – Part Two – Paul Detlefsen

One of my most popular posts over time has been this one. Paul Detlefsen has a real grip on the nostalgia glands of American brains. And I think he has earned this re-post of my plug for his art.

Catch a Falling Star


Back in about 1968 my Grandma Beyer was seriously scandalized by an artist named Paul Detlefsen.  Detlefsen did a lot of covers for the “Ideals Magazine” that Grandma always had on her coffee tables.  He scandalized her by putting a painting on the cover that showed a young boy taking his pants off, the rear view only, so he could go skinny dipping with a group of naked boys.  Truthfully the picture shown above is by Detelfsen, but it is not the one that offended her.  I have discovered that this painter of old-timey things like blacksmith shops and one-room school houses has painted at least four different versions of “the Old Swimmin’ Hole”.  And Grandma was easily scandalized when we were kids.  She was a very conservative woman who loved Ronald Reagan and his politics most severely and thought that Richard Nixon was a leftist radical.  She didn’t like…

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Making Fun

In honor of the racist Keebler elf. I re-post this statement of my proper place in responding to cartoon villainhood.

Catch a Falling Star


So I made a funny picture of the Keebler elf we put in charge of the Attorney General’s Office of the United States.  This is my homage to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the elf who invented the best-selling cookie in the South, the Keebler Kluxie Cookie.  But, of course, if I call the man a racist, angry Trumpkins are going to immediately tell me that I am the real racist.  I admit it, though, I am prejudiced against people who hate others based on skin color, religion, or other factors that allow them to feel they are inherently better than the group that they hate.  And I don’t apologize for making fun of the people I am prejudiced against.  I have, after all, a good reason for making fun.  I am a cartoonist at heart, if not a professional.  And making fun of the things that I hate and fear makes…

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