Sunday, August 24, 2008

to jill

to my wife on our 4th anniversary...

What can I say to this friend of mine?
I married her. We’re intertwined.
Like the sky is fixed with the color blue,
no force can cleave this love in two.

When girl and boy, of lonely frown,
while seeking proof of love’s renown,
stumble twixt the throng and meet,
are sure to make their lives complete.

I love the woman, soft and warm,
her honesty and thoughtful charm.
I love the little girl inside
whose hurts and joys she cannot hide.

Two sons we have, forged by love’s spell,
our love for them an endless well.
Tho' baby Andrew's gone from us,
for Noah, carry on we must.

Love and pain in equal parts
has drawn us closer in our hearts.
A bond for life no harm can sever.
I’ll hold you in my arms forever.


Ok, let's get that out of the way. Yes, I watch Project Runway with my wife, and not because she cajoles me or anything. It's a good show, even if your a straight man (p.s., I also like Kathy Griffin). An added bonus for watching this season is that one of the contestants, Kenley Collins, reminds me so much of '50s pin-up sensation Bettie Page. In Collins' audition video for 'Project Runway', she mentions that she's the granddaughter of a '40s calendar girl and we see a picture in the background, but it doesn't look like Page and I don't think Page had any children. The resemblance just knocks me out, aided by Collins' affinity for post-WWII era fashion accoutrements (click the arrow thingy in the upper-right hand corner of the Acrobat box to enlarge).

Readers may recall that I named Bettie Page Rules by Jim Silke one of my top 10 books of 2007. Now I see that Dark Horse has released a Bettie Page art portfolio by Silke. As an added bonus for Milton Caniff fans, Silke draws Page as two of Caniff's most famous characters - Miss Lace and the Dragon Lady (note the Caniff backgrounds!).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Artist/writer Dave Sim pays homage to Milton Caniff in the latest issue of his oddest comic work yet!

Dave Sim is the creator of Cerebus, a 300 issue comic book epic that he published himself over a 28-year period. While monthly sales figures only numbered a few thousand, it’s a legendary feat in the world of comics, one that has never been done before nor doubtfully ever again (the issues have long been available in collection form, available here) Cerebus was a drama, hilarious at times (like all good dramas), but on the whole a serious work (taken too seriously by some, witnessed by the impassioned letters that filled the back of each issue, many replete with intellectual folderol). So it was with bemusement and skepticism that the public met Sim’s announcement late last year that his next project would be called ‘Glamourpuss’.

Beyond the the title, readers were further confused by the official website, which makes you think ‘Glamourpuss’ is a comic about women’s fashion, a non-existent comics market. Information soon dribbled out that the comic was to be the strangest hybrid since Tina Turner and Kate Smith joined Cher for a Beatles medley. The theme of ‘Glamourpuss’ combines Sim’s photo-realistic fashion drawings with his examination of photo-realism in comics, typified by Alex Raymond’s art on the Rip Kirby comic strip. Sim, a devoted artist who has written treatises on pen nibs, painstakingly recreates fashion photos as well as comic strip panels. Along the way, he infuses the model drawings with fumetti-esque humor and the comic panels with artistic insight.

Milton Caniff, my favorite blogging topic, figures heavily in issue #2. Sim explores the influence of the “big three” comic strip artists: Raymond, Caniff and Hal Foster. These are the names most cited as influences by any artist who lived during the 1930s. Sim describes Caniff’s style as “cartoon realism”, placing stylized figures against photo-realistic backgrounds. Sim also recreates three ‘Terry & the Pirates’ panels and draws three pictures of Caniff, like the reproduction of this famous AP photo [click on it for larger view] -

Sim made a short video explaining his process for reproducing a photo of a fashion model. We get a look inside Sim's studio and his dry delivery cracks me up.

GLAMOURPUSS is on sale at your local comics shop. It’s not the kind of comic that stores order a lot of, so if you don’t see it, just ask!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's time for the Democrat National Convention next week, so I thought it apropos to reprint a convention-related cartoon by Bill Watterson from July 31st, 1980. Ohio State Representative William L. Mallory, Sr. was in a small controversy over fundraising. He was trying to raise money for his trip to the convention in New York City, so he sold mock 'stock certificates' to lobbyists. His opponent filed a complaint, and an ethics panel determined that while no rules had been violated, they recommended that the rules be changed. Mallory raised a total of $270.

Mallory, now retired, sired an Ohio political dynasty. Of his four sons, two are judges, one is a state representative, and one is the mayor of Cincinnati.

note: Watterson couldn't have done this cartoon the next year, when Reagan took office and the media discovered the homeless.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


My local weekly community newspaper, the Western Hills Press, has a regular feature called 'Readers on Vacation'. To get in, you have to get a picture on vacation holding a Western Hills Press. Here's me from my recent trip to New York, which I wrote about here. It's extra cool because I'm wearing a t-shirt from an historic local restaurant. Even better, I've once again proved to my wife that I'm a total dork.

But, in my defense, this is similar to when the gossip mags print pictures of celebrities reading their magazine, and at least I look better than John Mayer reading US Weekly...