Tag Archives: pen and ink

Pirates Sell Insurance as an Act of Evil

Raygun RonnyIt is now official.  I hate health insurance companies more than I hate the high cost of health care.  I appreciate the emergency room that saved my son’s life a year ago in February.  But I am still trying to pay for it.  I am practically bankrupted by five ER visits in the last four years.  Only one of those was mine.  Health insurance does not approve ER costs for a whole list of health problems.  And that was a better insurance than we have this school year.

In order to get my son out of the Health Facility that the ER sent him to, I had to arrange a doctor and a therapist before they would even discuss releasing him.  I did that.  My son reached a level of recovery that they could have authorized his release after one three-day weekend, but of course, the kept him for ten days… all of which I had to pay for out of pocket at hospital rates.  The doctor I arranged for saw my son every three months after that to maintain his recovery and prescribe the best possible medicine.  He was one of the best doctors in his field and he helped immensely.  The therapist was even more helpful, being able to teach my son how to handle the symptoms and complications of his condition.  He was also worth his weight in gold.

But then the State of Texas decided the health insurance that teachers got through their school districts on State funding’s dime was much too good.  The wise and noble Emperor Perry of Texas decided to hand State employee health care over to Faetna ( a fake name that rhymes precisely with the corporation’s real name if you just drop the letter F).  Wonderful doctor does not even deal with the pirates of Faetna.  They swing into any and all health care situations on boarding ropes and slash at anything that moves with their cutlasses of problem-making.  So I had to get a new doctor.  The doctors in this particular field of medicine are not abundant to begin with.  Aetna… er, I mean Faetna, decided that we could only use doctors that were associated with the same hospital where we visited the ER.  Well, I asked them to give me names of the doctors who qualified.  I got three names.  I made an appointment.  We were filling out the paperwork in the doctor’s office twenty minutes before seeing the doctor.  The receptionist interrupted after I had half-way finished the mountainous paperwork to tell me the insurance had rejected payment.  This doctor that THEY had recommended to me was not a part of the approved network.  They took Faetna insurance, but Faetna refused to pay.  The same day I called the other doctors on the list.  No doctor recommended to me by the insurance company was part of the required plan.  There were no doctors in the city who did qualify.

Okay.  It can’t get worse.  We still had the therapist who was working miracles for my son.  He took Faetna insurance.  There was no problem there, right?  But wait.  The pirate captains of Faetna took another look.  They started rejecting his claims too.  Soon there was a huge yellow envelope full of demands for clinical records to justify the need for the therapist.  I went to the ER, to the wonderful doctor, to the hospital in Denton where they were still taking my money away from me, and to the therapist himself.  We gathered documents.  The lovely hospital charged me $50 for paperwork and made me drive all the way there to Denton twice to accomplish it.  I got all the materials compiled, overnighted them to the insurance company’s disapproval department, and everything should’ve been fine.  But. of course, it wasn’t.   The claims for services were denied.  I am expected to pay out of pocket.  They found no clinical evidence that the services were essential and they insisted I pay the bills without help from them.

So, I am left marveling at the ingenuity of the insurance-pirate racket.  Every month we pay for all five us, hefty premiums because we have health issues that need to be prepared for, and when the problems arise, and we ask them to pay their promised share…  we have issues, and we get denied.  I have been shanghaied by the pirates of Aetna… er, I mean Faetna.

pirates of insurance

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Filed under angry rant, humor, pen and ink paffoonies

Them Bones

Harker Dawes asleep was certainly no prettier or better looking asleep than he was when he was awake.  You know how people will say about a demonically possessed child that causes chaos and havoc and dread in the lives of the people who gave life to him, “He looks like such an angel when he’s sleeping”?  Well, no one ever said that about Harker.  Even when he was a child, he looked more like a deformed potato with its eyes shut when he was sleeping.  His balding head had an odd dent in the crown that had been there since birth.  His kinky-curly red-brown hair was only a fringe around his ears and the back of his head that could accurately be described (and usually was by local Iowans) as Bozo-the-Clown-hair.  His eyes were somewhat bugged out of their sockets, giving him a look of being permanently surprised by life… or more accurately… permanently stupefied.  Mercifully those goofy-looking eyes were closed in slumber.Dem Bones

It was a benefit to Harker himself that his eyes were closed and he was sleeping.  And this was because he had accidentally fallen asleep on Poppy’s grave in the Norwall cemetery.  And also because he was currently surrounded by skeletons, members of the local un-quiet dead, standing in a semi-circle and ogling Harker with their eye-less eye sockets.

“Do we have to eat him?” asked the tall male skeleton with the seed-corn company baseball cap on his head.  “I mean, if it’s all the same, I’d really rather not.”

“I think you only have to eat his brain,” said the little boy skeleton.  “I don’t know for sure because that Night of the Living Dead movie didn’t become popular around here until years after I died and video tapes became popular.”

“How do you know about that then?” asked the church lady skeleton.  It was obvious that she was the remains of a church lady because she still had quite a bit of long white hair on her skull, along with a pillbox hat, and she was dressed in a tattered church-lady-type dress of green rayon with a printed pattern of red roses turned brownish gray by years under the mud.

“When I wandered into town one Halloween night in the 80’s, I looked in the living room window of the Martin family, and the two boys were watching that movie on what they call a VCR.”

“Was the movie any good?” asked the skeleton in the cap.  “I heard of it in life, but never watched it.  It would’ve been too scary for my daughter, the Princess.”

“The zombies were all fake.  And when they ate human flesh, you could tell it was all special effects.  They should’ve asked me.  I could have shown them how it really looks.”

“Heavens!” said the church lady, “They don’t actually kill people when they make a movie, do they?”

“I don’t think so,” said the boy.  “That may have changed since I passed away in the 60’s.”

“I still don’t think I really want to eat him,” said the skeleton in the cap, “even if it’s just the brain.”

“We can’t start the Zombie Apocalypse without eating brains and making new walking dead,” said the boy.

The other two skeletons turned and looked at the little boy skeleton.  Both of them let their bottom jaws drop open, but without flesh, it was impossible to tell if that was an expression of surprise, disgust, or… hunger.

“Do we really need to end the world with a Zombie Apocalypse?” asked the church lady.  “I’m not sure eating living people’s brains is a very Christian thing to do.”

“Aren’t there supposed to be bad consequences for falling asleep in a graveyard?” asked the skeleton in the cap.

It was then that they noticed a fourth skeleton had joined the group.

“Why, Bill Styvessant,” greeted the church lady, “I haven’t seen you in half a century!”

“True.  You were but a girl in the late 40’s when I passed on from a broken heart.”

“You remember me in life?” asked the church lady.

“Of course I do.  You are Ona White.  I sat with you the night you died, under the street light on Pesch Street.  You were mauled by those two dogs that shouldn’t have been loose.  I tried to comfort you as you passed away from shock and blood loss.”

“I thought you were an angel, Bill.”

“I was.  Angels take many forms.  An angel is merely a message from God.”

“Wait a minute!  How can a skeleton know who another skeleton was in life?” asked the skeleton in the cap.  “Especially if you died many years before she did?”

“It’s in the nature of angels, Kyle.  I know you too.  I watched over your family several times when evil lurked near… for a couple years after your suicide.  You are ready to take over that job now.”

“Kyle Clarke?” asked the church lady.  “You’re Kyle Clarke?  What’s this about a suicide?”

“You died before me,” said Kyle, “so you wouldn’t have heard.  I lost a third of the family farm to the bank in the early 80’s.  The shame and despair was so overwhelming that I shot myself to death in the barn.  It was the stupidest act of my entire life.”

“Well, I should think so,” said Ona White.

“Is that why we walk the Earth?” the child skeleton asked Bill.  “We all had a tragic death and were doomed to walk for all eternity?  How did you die, Bill?”

“Of a broken heart,” the old skeleton said.  “My wife died while mourning our son Christian who died in Germany during World War Two.  I lived alone for a short while and then simply expired from the weight of my sadness.”

“You didn’t join your loved ones?” asked Ona.

“Of course I did.  The same way you joined your father and mother, Ona.  Also the way little Bobby Zeffer here was joined by his father a couple of years ago.”

“You are Bobby Zeffer?” asked Ona, surprised.  “The little boy who died of Hemophilia?”

“Of course.  Who’d ya think I was?”

“But I don’t understand,” moaned Ona, “how did we get to be walking dead when we already have one foot in Heaven?”

“People die, Ona, but the memory of them lives on, and they continue to impact people’s lives in many ways.  We walk not as ghosts, but as metaphorical spirits of the past.  No man could live in the present if there had not been those who walked the Earth before him.  A life doesn’t end with death.  And the word angel has many meanings.”

“So we don’t have to eat this man who is sleeping on the grave of his father?” asked Kyle.

“Of course not.  I think that might have a very negative effect on the poor man’s dreams.”

“I don’t think he would taste good anyway,” said Bobby.  “He looks like a deformed potato, and I hate potatoes.”

“You can all go back to your rest,” said Bill.  “I’ll watch over this one and protect him.”

The skeletons all faded gratefully from view.

Harker Dawes woke up, stretched his arms and yawned.  He looked around at the graveyard and the dark of the night.  He smiled to himself.  He only ever seemed to remember the good dreams.

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Pirate Novels

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My first novel-length piece of writing was attempted in college.  I finished it in four years.  It was a pirate tale about a young man, a pirate named Graff the Changeling.  You see him in this illustration I created in 1980 with his two young sons, Rene and Emery.  Because their mother was a fairy, the boys have pointed ears and horns.    It was an attempt at serious fantasy adventure fiction that was so awful, it became a comedy before it was through.  I called it The Graff Tales, and I still have it.  But I promise you, I will never, ever try to publish the horrible thing.  My sisters served as my beta readers for this story.  They both liked the oral stories I told, and they eagerly awaited something like they remembered from our shared childhood.  They both were a bit disappointed by my first prose attempt.  There was a knight called Sir Rosewall in the story.  He was a hapless knighted fool who lived in poverty and swore to reclaim his honor with great deeds, but as he goes to sea as a kidnapped sailor, all he manages to do is fall down a lot and bump his large head frequently.  In the first scene when he enters the story, long about chapter four, he exits a cottage and has to punt a piglet to get out without falling down.  This pig-punting thing was repeated more than once with this character.  My sisters joked that the “pig-in-the-doorway” motif would be my lasting contribution to literature.  Fortunately for me, it was not.  I am probably the only one who even remembers there was such a novel.

But my biggest failing with writing and storytelling was always that I could be too creative.  The story featured a flying pirate ship that was raised from the bottom of the ocean by fairy magic.  The crew were re-animated skeletons.  The gorilla who lived on the island where the ship’s survivors had been marooned would also join the crew.  His name was Hairy Arnold.  One villain was the pirate captain Horner, a man with a silver nose-piece because he had lost his real nose to a cannon shot.  Another was a red-bearded dandy named Captain Dangerous.  But the biggest villain of all was the Heretic, who turned out to be a demon in human guise.  It was all about escaping from pirates who wanted to kill you and hitting soldiers with fish in the fish market.  There were crocodile-headed men and little child-like fairies called Peris that lived in the city where Graff was trapped and transformed into a monster by the Heretic.

My plot was too convoluted and my characters too wildly diverse and unlikely.  The result was something far too bizarre to be serious fiction.  The only way it could actually be interpreted was as a piece of comedy.  There-in lay the solution to my identity problem as a writer.  I had to stop trying to be serious.  My imagination too often bent the rules of physics and reality.  So I had to stop trying for realism and believability.

 

In the end all the main characters die.  All except for young Rene who becomes a pirate hunter.  Of course, I follow Graff and Emery through to heaven because, well, it was a first person narrative and the narrator died.  So, I vowed to myself that I would never let this horrible piece of nonsense see the light of day.  I would never try to publish it, rewrite it, or even tell anyone about it.  And so to this very day I… oopsie.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, illustrations, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, Uncategorized

On a Frosty Morning

Frosty Morn

Yes, there was frost on the ground in the Dallas suburbs today.  A bit of fog too.  And I mean that both literally and figuratively, in a very Robert Frost-ian sort of way.  The air was clean and cold and crisp for a change.  I could see, hear, breathe, and think well for a change in this gawd-awful city of death and decay.  It was poetically, virtually, and monumentally a moment of clarity… such clarity that only three adjectives could possibly be enough to provide the complex understanding of my Robert Frost moment.

My typical apology for living, and for writing this, and for making you read it comes in the second paragraph today.  You have to forgive me for being so much of an English teacher.  Do you know who Robert Frost is?  Frost is a great american poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry four times in the 20th Century.  Does that really tell you who Frost is?  Of course not.  Only this does;

The Road Not Taken

a poem by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,,
And that has made all the difference.

Yes, like Robert Frost, I took the road less traveled by in life.  Having a gift for creative writing, drawing cartoons, and generally being seriously silly and obtuse (and claiming that meant I was funny), I chose to not  be a novelist and cartoonist when I was young.  I chose to be a school teacher.  Of course, if you pin me down and ask me, requiring me to answer before you let me up, and threatening to spit on my nose if I don’t answer, I will tell you that God really decided I needed to be a teacher.  After all, I developed arthritis that effected how often and how long I could spend drawing.  I had the usual novelist’s problem of a keen awareness of how to write, and no real life experiences to write about.  But even though it was a holy mission from God, it was my own decision to become a teacher.

And look what I got from it.20150216_152544  This is a picture of Freddy.  I started this picture in 1986, drawing the portrait from a photo and from real life.  Freddy was a vato loco from Cotulla.  He is the sort of kid that teachers dread.  He is the kind that if you let him sit in the back of the room, he will shoot spit-wads into the girls’ hair… but if you put him up front, he is constantly putting on a show, a stand-up-sit-down-again comedy routine for the entire classroom.  And I had the honor of being his favorite teacher both in his seventh and eighth grade years.  He made me laugh almost as much as he was laughing at me.  He claimed he was a Mexican even though he was born in the U.S. and has always lived in the U.S. and if he goes to Mexico, they won’t understand his Texican version of Spanish without an interpreter.  (Now, you probably already know that I never use real names of people I write about in order to protect the innocent… or in Freddy’s case the only-mildly-guilty.  But I haven’t actually revealed his name in this post.  Alfredo Giovanni is such a common name in Texas that you will never be able to find him through research.  And Alfredo Giovanni is a name I made up anyway.)  By the time I actually put the color on this picture, Freddy will no longer look even remotely like this.  He’s in his late forties and Hispanic.  He probably weighs at least ten times what his tiny self did back in 1986.  But I was honored to know him and teach him, even though I have more than a few gray hairs on my head that he specifically caused.

And that brings me to my final movement in this classical opus.  Here is the difference I have made by choosing the path I chose.  Now that poor health has forced me to retire from teaching, and I have a limited time left to me to pick up the novelist/cartoonist thing again, I have done so with passion and insight that I would not otherwise have had.  I have crafted a novel in The Magical Miss Morgan based entirely on my experiences as a classroom teacher.  It is the best thing I have ever written in my life.  And one of the main characters, the rapscallion leader of the Pirates’ Club, Timothy Kellogg… is Freddy in fictional form.556836_458567807502181_392894593_n  Oh, it is true that the character is the son of a high school English teacher in my story, and he does have a lot in common with my own oldest son… but he is actually Freddy.  The things he does and says (translated from Texican into Iowegian) and thinks and feels, are all Freddy.  And how do I know what Freddy thinks and feels?  Come on!  I was Freddy’s favorite teacher.  There is no way I would still be alive and sane unless I could read minds.

Two roads diverge on a frosty morning pathway in the park… One over the bridge into an entirely different life that I didn’t choose… and one that leads straight on into the new dawn… whatever the consequences of following it.

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, philosophy, teaching

Top This!

“Dad?” asked the Princess, “I heard a funny word in school today.  What does Fuddy-Duddy mean?”

“Oh, that’s a good word,” I said.  “It means an old fogey… a stick-in-the-mud.”

“A what?”

“A fussy old guy who likes to have everything his way.  Like, if you accuse your father of being one… which you often do… he’s a fuddy-duddy daddy.”

“Ooh!  I get it!” said Henry, chiming in.  “And if your father is evil, then he’s a fuddy-duddy baddie daddy!

“Yes,” I said, “and if it makes him sad to be evil, he’s a fuddy-duddy saddie baddie daddy!

“If you are not sure he’s really your father,” said the Princess adding a one-up, “he’s a fuddy-duddy saddie baddie maybe daddy!

“Yeah!” said Henry.  “And if you suspect he may have fallen into a time machine and been turned back into an infant, he’s a fuddy-duddy saddie baddie maybe baby daddy!

“Now that he’s a baby again he will surely want to watch his favorite TV show again,” I said with a tear of nostalgia in my eye, “he’ll be a fuddy-duddy saddie baddie maybe baby Howdy Doody daddy!

“What’s Howdy Doody, Daddy?” asked the Princess.

“No,” said Henry, “now you’ve spoiled it.  It just ain’t funny any more.”

“Yes it is!  He’s become a funny bunny fuddy-duddy hoo-dad doo-dad saddie baddie maybe rabies hoo-dah doo-dah…”

“Just stop,” said Henry.  “You always carry things too far.”

“Right you are!” I said.  “See this grin?  It means I win!”

“AW, Daaad!” they both said at the same time.

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, pen and ink, Uncategorized, word games

Fairy Tales and Dragons (with pointillism)

Going through my old drawing portfolio, I found my children’s book project from my undergrad college years.  I have no idea now looking at the illustrations what the story was even about.  I lost the actual story, and I never made a cover for it.  But here is a look at old hopes and dreams and a way of seeing the world that begins; Once Upon a Time…

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I have no earthly idea what the heck this story is even about, but I do like the pen and ink work, and probably couldn’t repeat it if I had to.

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Doodle-Bop!

Sometimes the only thing you really want out of life is just to get by. You get tired of always having to climb the danged highest mountain.  You get tired of trying to swim the danged deepest sea.

16750_102844509741181_100000468961606_71393_6278100_nSometimes all you want to do is doodle-bop!…  To draw in pen and ink and post your derfiest doofenwacky doodles so you can just make your way through another danged day.

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You aim a lot for different, and undeniably original… because no one thinks like you… certainly no one who is real and has a real brain.  You are gifted with an “other-ness”, a sing-songy simpering something that makes you want to doodle and do what no man has done before.  (Does that sentence exist anywhere else in all of literature?  Even if there is some alternate dimension with infinite monkeys typing on infinite typewriters?  What’s a typewriter, you say?  Danged millennials!)

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I really can’t help it, you know.  I was a middle school teacher for 24 years.  That sort of thing has mental health consequences.  And if you wring the sponges in your stupid old brain hard enough and long enough… doodle-bop! comes out.

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Turtle boy’s magic iron of irony!!!

And you have to wonder why some of the stuff that is in your stupid old head is even in there.  Why is it that sometimes the words “Argyle socks are filled with rocks” are drifting through the vast empty spaces in the logic centers of your brain?  There has to be a reason for everything, doesn’t there?

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I do believe I have made myself chuckle at least a dozen chuck-tacular times in the chuck-a-tational crafting of this cheddar-cheesy post.  But it only really counts if I can make you girlishly giggle or guy-like guffaw with my word-munching and cartoony paffoonies.

Wild Ride

The terror-filled cartoon car chase that is life as usual.

You may have noticed that everything is black and white, even though it doesn’t have to be.  Good versus evil, hot versus cold, everything can be divided up simplistically… but the really profound part of simplicity is vibrating reverberations of complexity that lie just underneath.  Words have meaning, even though they are just a bunch of crooked squiggles marked on a page.  (Yes, I know… “or typed on a computer screen”.  Danged millennials!)

4th Dimension

And so, this is my doodle-bop!  Probably not the doodliest or the boppiest doodle-bop! I could have bopped… but there it is.  I have made it through another sorta creative post without losing my mind…  Honest!  I did not lose it.  It is merely temporarily misplaced for a moment.  It will be back in its proper place tomorrow… probably.

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Filed under blog posting, cartoony Paffooney, goofy thoughts, humor, imagination, irony, mental health, metaphor, Paffooney cartoony, pen and ink, pen and ink paffoonies, strange and wonderful ideas about life, wordplay

Magnificent Maisey on the Mound

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Okay, I am taking over this danged silly old blog today to talk about something important!  Baseball!!!  Yeah, and even more important, I wanna talk about how girls can be good at baseball.

My name is Maisey Moira Morgan.  I am a left-handed pitcher for the Carrollton Cardinals.  That’s a boys’ Little League team, in case ya didn’t know.  I ain’t the only girl in boys’ Little League, but I am the only girl on the Cardinals’ team.  The only girl pitcher.  The only WINNING girl pitcher.  I woulda been an undefeated winning girl pitcher if Tyree Suggs hadn’t dropped that fly ball in the bottom of the ninth inning out in right field two weeks ago.  I ended my season at 3 wins and 1 loss.

You see, the thing is, I know the secret to striking out boys at the plate.  First of all, I am a left-handed pitcher.  Those danged boys are all used to seeing the ball flung at ’em from the right side.  Ninety-nine and two-tenths per cent of all pitchers in our league are right-handed.  So are most of the batters.  So that futzes them up right there.  And on top of that, Uncle Milt taught me to throw a knuckle-ball two years ago.  That is one amazingly hard pitch to hit square if you do it right.  You curl your fingers on the ball and give a little sorta push-out with your fingertips as you let it go.  And you try really hard to make the ball not spin as you push it towards the batter.  It can do amazing things after it leaves my hand.  Uncle Milt swears that he saw one of my pitches double-dip and then corkscrew as it went across the plate low in the strike zone.  A mere boy can’t really get a good swing at a pitch if it flutters around like a crazy bug with butterfly wings.

But that ain’t even the real secret to my baseball success.  You see, them danged boys all think they can step up to the plate and put their bat on any ball thrown at ’em by a mere girl.  They are not afraid of me, even the third time they get up to bat after striking out twice before.  My uniform is not exactly sexy, but all I really have to do is wiggle my behind a little and smile at them, and they don’t even seem to be thinking about hitting the ball any more.  I get an even bigger smile on my sweet little face when strike three flutters past ’em.  I always take ’em by surprise.

I expect to be the first woman pitcher in the major leagues one day.  Remember my name.  Maisey Moira Morgan.  Future Hall of Famer.

(Disclaimer; Maisey might actually have a hard time claiming her place in the Baseball Hall of Fame, not because the major leagues don’t have any women in them, but because she is an entirely fictional human being, only existing in Mickey’s stupid little head.)

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Filed under baseball, baseball fan, characters, humor, kids, Paffooney, pen and ink

Granny-Quest 2016

 

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I have developed a need to create a portrait of a grandmotherly woman whom everybody loves and who exudes “Have-a-cookie”-ness.  You see, my newest novel project, Recipes for Gingerbread Children, has as a main character a lovely old Holocaust survivor named Gretel Stein.  And she is a talented baker of gingerbread cookies.  She has, in fact, a magical ability to create symphonies of joyous triumph over evil in her little oven in her very small house.  So I need to do a portrait of that very same old woman.  I have to have a picture in my head of the person the story is about, and I have to translate that picture down onto the page by drawing it first.

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So I began that process by trying to find the right combination of wrinkle patterns and granny smiles on the internet.  I tried a Google image search for “cute German grandmother” which inexplicably yielded numerous photos of internment camp war criminals, who were also old ladies, and cartoons of Adolf Hitler.  Talk about the proper context for “What the French-fried Fricka-see-see!”  So, I took the word “cute” off the search.  I found a wealth of German grandma pictures that ought to fit the bill if I can just tweak the portrait in the right ways to bring to life Grandma Gretel.

Grandma's School pic from 70's

Grandma’s School pic from 70’s

I then selected a picture of a German grandma taken in the 70’s because my story is set in the 70’s and the glasses appealed to me as German-grandma appropriate.  So, I started drawing.

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And, of course, it turned out completely wrong.  This granny picture will probably remain forever slightly unfinished, because as I drew it, I found I was transforming the portrait into a picture that was not Gretel Stein.  Instead, it was my own Grandma Beyer that it was beginning to look like.  Don’t get me wrong.  I loved my Grandma B deeply, vastly, eternally… but she is not the same as the grandma in my story.  Well, not completely.  Therefore I must try and try again until I find the old woman I really want to portray.

 

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Filed under artwork, characters, doodle, humor, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, pen and ink paffoonies, photos, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Portraits in Pen and Ink

Simple, clean lines and basic, well-defined shapes go together in black and white.  They are in the basic nature of being a cartoonist.  You translate what you see into line drawings where a few simple lines become a complex and meaningful image.

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My one-legged Batman is an exercise in  foreshortening and trying to burst through the two-dimensional confines of the page to grab the viewer.  I learned this trick from comic book artist Jim Lee.

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His sidekick is rendered as a static portrait where the computer monitor in front of him lights up Robin’s intense and thoughtful face.

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She was an excellent teacher and former nun… she was a mentor to me, taught me a lot about life and love and great beauty.  How do you adequately portray the wisdom and the patience in those highly magnified eyes?  I drew from memory only.  She never considered herself beautiful.  But she was.  And it hurts not to be able to capture it correctly.

Not every portrait is literal.  Sometimes you exaggerate facial characteristics and behavioral quirks are emphasized to create humor in the portrait.

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When I was first married I did a double portrait of us as a knight and his lady fair.  I know, I know… it is so sickeningly sweet that it punches me right in the diabetes.  But, hey, it doesn’t really look like me anyway.   It is more of a portrait of Porky Pig in glasses and hair.

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There is an art to pen and ink that cuts right to the heart of who you are and who you want to be.  Simple lines in black and white… there is no more incisive tool for putting my goofy old mind down on paper.

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Filed under artwork, cartoons, goofy thoughts, humor, pen and ink