Dear God in Heaven, deliver us from Christmas Shopping...except when we're getting something really cool for someone we care about!
I was living in Vancouver BC when this one was done. And I was having to shop in the fall in time to get gifts in the mail to Newfoundland...whew. This series of panels was real. I liked the way the diagonal line is established in panel 3 and I really have felt like the poor guy giving away money below! Panel 5 is as accurate as I can muster. I still get the shivvers.
Ha. I see from this one that I have not strayed far from the tried and true topics of food and weather when discussing our culture and ways. Those and religion...I love drawing the irreverent Reverend. Toast on the Devil's table indeed! I also like to draw bowls and the back of cat's heads.
This summer as I type this it's the last day of July and we have broken all the records for the most miserable July in recorded history! I hope we do get an Indian Summer this year...starting now.
This strip is probably the only time I have ever attempted to draw a drill of potatoes! The thrills of life!!
Every now and then I like to do a little research into some of the things we take for granted. In this cast t'was the 'Ode to Newfoundland'! I love that all official functions in this province end with this song...I hate that most of these functions only sing the the first and fourth verse! I like to do all four. Winter! Tempests!! Our dear old rock in the sea.
Every word of this strip is true. I have had the entire content of this one happen to me at one time or another (not all on the same trip, but close). My dear ol' brother Gnat is the guy who laughs at campers...and hates camping...Dad really did bawl out at times regarding the trout...everybody I've ever known can't wait to shower after a few days sleeping on the ground and eating charred meat, and finally, yes, I really did come home one time to find the cat comfortable on the air mattresses. Hungry. Some strips write themselves.
Now days I go to a cabin.
So I figured that I should have some sort of 'redeeming value' if I was going to do a strip about our fair land. Hence, my bend towards history (so that the unlucky souls who do not know our culture could have some awakening). I did some research, bought some books, and gave our past some thought. Note in panel 5 that there's a whale carving...I actually sketched this from a photograph of an artifact dug up over around Port Au Choix. For those who have never been to Port Au Choix, you owe it to yourselves to visit. It's a fascinating place! As many as five distinct cultures have lived there over the years...and there's some lovely spots on the rocks for a picnic!
Recognizing the fact that a monthly strip can't carry a story very well I decided to do a little research into our very own favourite fish, the Cod. I believe this is the first time I actually set out to draw a codfish 'correctly'. and then hot on the heels of that success, I ventured bravely onto drawing a haddock! This is a nice 'lead up' to a real life true story (honest)!
When I was about 14 years old my cousins and I with our parents went across the arm to do some trouting and camping. I very quickly fell in the river, filling my thigh rubbers and thoroughly drenching myself and so decided to forgo the day of rambling through the woods and instead, stay on the coast and laze around, drying out. One of the cousins stayed with me, most likely because it sounded like more fun than being eaten alive by flies up the river. At some point we wandered down the beach checking out the surprises left by the tide. We came upon a haddock in a tidal pool that was trapped! Positioning ourselves above the critter on the rocks we reached into the pool and grabbed the unlucky fishie in our bare hands, hanging on until we had the haddock (and our supper) well under control...so, the part about the devil, or devils (may have some credence). Incidentally, we had the best catch of that day...without baiting a hook!
This one I remember as being fun to draw. The aliens look very much like a character I developed one time when I was playing with the idea of a sort of gypsy rover type alien cavorting through the universe, partying and generally having an irresponsible good time. That fellow had a best friend; his flying machine, Simon. He also liked beer. These aliens however, are not as laid back as my original guy! As well, my original guy spoke in normal english...for whatever reason. Here I had to invent a language!
So, now I'm getting around to having some fun. The drawings are stronger and I am trying to come up with something new and original...How much more original could I have hoped for? I've taken a caribou, entered her into a woodlands sports competition, knocked her unconscious then proceeded to psychoanalyze her thoughts and dreams then introduced aliens...again! (remember Naggie Burt?).
This one was a lot of fun. I had to decide how to rationalize the development of the o'leapics. This gave me a chance to draw my 'politician blathering' pose, one that pops up in my drawings even today! (Hint: he's the fellow wanting a more in-depth study) Panel 7 is my pick of the litter this month...just the thought is funny in a slapstick way.
On another note, that 'ooof' was drawn years before I visited the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and saw and actual large format painting of the word 'oof'. I was impressed.
With remorse and guilt washing over me since the month previous, I made the conscious effort to ensure that the drawing quality of the drawing in this month's strip offset the rushed nature of the last. This one has carefully considered characters, interesting drawing (note the student's knees and desk legs...or the snowbank into the cabin) and some 'February Specific' research! To top it all off, another first...THE O'LEAPICS! Not only am I now inventing words in this world, I'm inventing competitive contests!
And, did you notice the cute little hearts numbering the panels?!