Thursday, April 16, 2009


I shouldn't have to say this...after all, it's obvious...but cartoonists shouldn't dress like the rest of humanity. Let everybody else have their wrinkleless, tapered shirts; a cartoonist should wear one-size-fits-all, boxy shirts that have to be gathered up like a bed sheet and stuffed into pants that are too big or too small. That's the way the Deity intended cartoonist men to dress, and any other way is blasphemy.

Of course there's something to be said for undersized clothing like the kind Harold Lloyd wears wears in the picture above. The clodhopper shoes are a nice touch. Come to think of it, the old lady, the kid, and the bum are dressed pretty well, too. They all dress like the stereotype of the kind of person they are, which is what cartoonists should do. That's what we can do to make the world more interesting. 

It's not enough to have the nice threads (above). You have to learn how to strike the poses that set them off.

I suggest starting with a thrift store jacket like the one above.  

Don't avoid clothes that wrinkle. If the Duke of Windsor can wear them, so can you.

Naturally sneaky people (above) should wear the kind of clothes that look good on sneaky people. Dishonest people should always wear white gloves. 

Middle age paunch (above) is a gift, which cartoonists should exploit. Wear the pants high, with a tight shirt and loose collar. Cultivate the disdainfull, irritable look that goes with them.

Padded shoulders (above) of course.

Throw out your shampoo. Wash your hair with bar soap (above) and comb it down the middle.

If you're a fairly mild person (above), then flaunt it. Wear clothes that emphasize it. Study hen-pecked husbands in old films and dress the way they dress. 

If you're a big guy (above), then start dressing like a bully. Don't actually BE a bully...real bullies are evil...but there's nothing wrong with looking like one. People who look that way make the world more interesting.

I know what some of you are thinking: "I'm a big guy, but I don't have the personality required to look like I push people around." Well, you don't have to push anybody around. Here's (above) Eric Campbell, the guy who bullied Chaplin in so many of his best films. In real life Campbell was a nice guy who wouldn't think of hurting anyone. He simply geared up to look intimidating, and if you have the frame for it, that's what you should do. 

Every cartoonist should find a funny stereotype that suits them, and dress that way. 

Oh yes...comb your eyebrows up. It's required.

Monday, April 13, 2009

While I was searching for smoking pictures for a recent post I stumbled on these sleazy but hilarious "I'm-beautiful-send-me-your-money" videos. Haw! I can't believe people actually do stuff like this!

One of the video commenters talks about "the smoking community." Really? There's a smoking community!? Well, live and learn!

This lady hypnotizes the viewer then orders him to send her all his money. Youtube has a kazillion of these hypnosis videos. It's a whole genre! One of the hypnotists was so good that I had to turn the video off, for fear that a minute later I'd walk like a zombie into the living room, put everything I've got in an envelope, and send her my next month's rent!

Don't watch too carefully!

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Most of these pictures are of the battle of Trafalgar, of the Nile, and of the fight against the Spanish Armada. Click to enlarge.

I assume that most sea battles took place within several tens of miles from land. I dread to think of what happened to survivors (above) who had to navigate back to land from battles in the deep ocean. One of these days I'll have to read "Men Against the Sea," the story of Captain Bligh's thousand mile journey on a dingy after the Bounty mutiny.

A sea battle at night (above). It must have been quite a sight.

Here's a battle (above) in what might be the early morning. How strange to see savage killing at an hour of the day that we all associate with delicacy and quietude.

Was there ever a scene that was really like this (above), with sailors thick as ants clinging to the side of a ship? Cecil B. DeMille filmed scenes like this for "The Ten Commandments."

A scene from one of the Spanish Armada battles (above). This painting loses a lot by being seen small. Be sure to click to enlarge.

A modern painting (above) showing Nelson's ship "Victory" from a low angle.

It appears from paintings (above) that canon smoke often clung to the water. Was that because the guns were aimed low, at the waterline? 

It amazes me that anybody ever tried to take battle to the deep ocean. I mean wooden ships (above) were just corks on the waves.

A forest (above) of masts.

Nelson (above) painted by the lumpy artist who did the picture of the Victory broadside.

Apparently the trick in old naval battles (above) was to maneuver into a position where all your firepower was brought to bear on an enemy who was at a disadvantageous angle, and could only aim a few of his guns at you.

Here's a picture of Nelson's ship painted by Turner. Sometimes I prefer his earlier, more realistic pictures to the vague, soupy mist that he painted later in life.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Be sure to click to enlarge! No wait a minute, strike that! These pictures make me look 105 years old. Come to think of it, you should read this very small, and in dim light. Maybe upside-down, too.

BTW, I know I spelled "comics" wrong in the title. I'm too tired to fix it!

Also BTW, Kali Fontechio just put up a definitely nifty video she and Nico made. Check it out!


Wow! Isn't this great!? I can't believe very own comics page!!! I cheated by using old pictures here, but I'll generate some new ones in the weeks ahead. I'm deleriously happy! sure to click to enlarge.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Here's a few forest drawings by Robert Crumb. The thing that catches your eye about them is the detail. Most artists simplify forest scenes, but not Crumb. He loves the busy, mysterious tangle of it all, and crams as much of it in as he can.

That's a good way to go. Our whole delight in seeing forests is that they're so wonderfully different than how we'd organize the world.  They're the mysterious "other." They're packed with dimly understood life and a hint of some grand message that's just beyond our reach.

Here's (above) what looks like the dried up bed of a stream. You have to wonder where those rocks came from.  How do little creeks manage to pile up heavy rocks like that? Flash floods could do it. Maybe the whole area is as rocky as the stream bed but the other stones were covered up with soil and plants.

Here's (above) a mysterious path through the boulders which leads to a dark, leafy tunnel and a bright, sunlit area beyond. What a delight!

Here (above) a space in the rocks reveals a magic carpet full of fascinating detail way, way down low at the ground level.  It's as if nature had set aside an exhibition of  treasure, but put it on the damp and shadowy ground rather than on a rock or a table.  It's hard to resist the idea that we've stumbled into an area that was meant to be enjoyed by small creatures, and not giants like ourselves.

It's odd how forests just abruptly stop and make way for clearings of grass. The stump looks cut and there's no fallen tree, so the pesky interference of man is evident here.

Isn't it amazing that a guy who's famous for his big city drawings would be so good at sketching nature?


Thursday, April 02, 2009


I've just seen "Twilight" and I can't find the words to describe it. This isn't just a chick flick, it's the ultimate chick flick, the one that all other chick flicks will be compared to down the endless corridors of girly time. This is the film that proves beyond challenge that women really are a different species than men.

The whole film is Robert Pattinson giving Kristen Stewart "THE LOOK." Whenever Pattinson isn't staring at Stewart, he's staring into the camera, giving us THE LOOK too. The film is relentlessly hard selling Pattinson. The most egotistical actor in the world couldn't wish for more close-ups.

Men, you have to see this film. If you don't you'll never understand women. This is the full-strength version of what films like 'The Piano" only hinted at. THIS is what women want: red-lipped, gay-looking, emo-handsome men who are intensely...I mean intensely, I mean intensely to the exclusion of all else...intensely interested in their chosen woman. Women want the right man to give them THE LOOK! If you give them THE LOOK they'll murder their husbands for you and sell their children into slavery. They're junkies...they simply must have THE LOOK, regardless of the consequences!

If you're a guy don't expect to understand what women see in Pattinson. Only women understand it. If you don't look like this (above) then you're simply the flesh and bones your woman was forced to settle for because God didn't make enough Pattinsons.

About the best the rest of us men can do is to see the film, practice THE LOOK, then wait for a stormy night when, silhoutted by lightning, you can kick open your girl's bedroom door, with excrutiating slowness walk toward the bed where the girl is emitting little squeals of frightened passion to the tune of imagined jungle drums...ratchet down and press your forehead to hers...look deep into her eyes...and deliver...and deliver...and...and...well... you know what.

Here's the way Pattinson looks in real life. He's just a guy.