First picture: T-shirts that have shown up on Zazzle in the wake of the Ferguson shooting of unarmed resident Mike Brown by police officer Darren Wilson.
Second picture: Zazzle’s base prices for those same products. The difference is the shirt creator’s intended profit.
The first three shirts are by someone who set up a Zazzle store to sell these products only. The second three are by some bot or bored person who has a million shirts of every conceivable design, all ripped from Google image searches.
If you see anyone wearing one of these shirts — or one of these — you should consider it a Terrible Person Uniform, and you have my permission to not save that person from an oncoming train.
My pals over at 826LA are putting together a coloring book featuring some of the stories written by elementary-school kids in their Storytelling & Bookmaking field trips! I’ve illustrated a couple of those books, and I was pleased to learn that one of the stories I worked on was going to be included in the coloring book specifically.
During Storytelling & Bookmaking, a leader guides a visiting class through the process of coming up with a story collectively, calling on kids to supply plot points and asking questions to fill out the story. Another person sits nearby typing out the story in progress, so the kids can read it on a projected screen. An illustrator works to draw pictures that will accompany the finished story. This is all done to try and please the cranky old publisher, Mr. or Mrs. Barnacle (depending on who’s doing the voice), the crotchety attic-dwelling centenarian who’s demanding the production of a new best-seller. It’s a fun experience for both the kids and the volunteers, I participate whenever I have the time!
This story was about an artist king and his buck-toothed best friend, who face off against a wizard armed with an army of orange-slingshotting goats. Pictured are the drawings I did on the day, and my reinterpretations of them for the coloring book.
People roll dice to choose from a list of words! Then I draw the combined result!
While I’ve got your attention, lemme direct you to one of the biggest inspirations for Offbeat Classes: ROLL-A-SKETCH, by David Malki !
Malki ! is the artist and writer behind the webcomic Wondermark, one half of the duo behind Tweet Me Harder, and one third of the team behind Machine of Death. After backing the Machine of Death Game of Creative Assassination Kickstarter, I got a chance to meet him at Phoenix Comicon. At his booth was the ROLL-A-SKETCH board. You rolled dice (already I’m sold) to pick things from lists (please take my money) and get a one-of-a-kind drawing based on what you roll.
My girlfriend got this charming specimen:
And I got the CLOWN + CACTUS + PIRANHA + TANK featured on this limited run calendar:
So yeah, I guess you could say we’re tight. (I mean, you could. You’d be wrong.)
What you can really get out of this is that David Malki !’s mash-up work like this did a huge part to inspire Offbeat Classes, and ROLL-A-SKETCH in particular was the major inspiration for this blog. If you ever go to a convention where the Topatoco booth is featured prominently, do yourself a favor and see if Malki ! is gonna be there. If so, throw money at him until you have some manner of Batman-Sheep hybrid. (Not an exaggeration.)
Sometimes you have an idea in the shower, and you are willing to sacrifice everything else you have planned for the day because you know otherwise, it will never get done. This is what I call ‘Chasing your enthusiasm’ and I have rarely regretted it.
It’s been a while since I came across one of David’s books, but I’ve been busy! So busy, in fact, that I thought a nice break would be to sit down at my local library and read some jokes, But look what I found, (ironically??) placed in the humour section!!
Just a couple of things:
It’s cool how you call out your competition, but calling people who use Rosetta Stone “Rosetta Stoners” was actually kinda mean
I thought “laff” was just a “funny spelling”, but inside “laugh” is spelled variously as “laff”, “lauff”, “laaf”, “laaaf”, and “läf”
Cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs evolved in different areas of the earth, at different times, and most likely evolved independently, so all that Egypt stuff on your cover is, like, wrong
holy crap, David, this is the fourth time you’ve done this??
finally, and perhaps most importantly, WRITING ENGLISH IN A CUNEIFORM FONT ON YOUR COMPUTER IS NOT WRITING IN CUNEIFORM.
Also, all these jokes seem to be plagiarized from old Reader’s Digest “Humor in Uniform” sections and OH WAIT NEVERMIND I GET IT
This book is an OBVIOUS FALSEHOOD by RYAN NORTH and I can tell because:
The title’s foward-facing drop shadow doesn’t respect the light being cast by the Outer Glow of the first line OR the numeral. There are a lot of terrible things that I might do in life, but mix up drop shadow directions is NOT one of them;
Actually that’s all I have.
Ryan, in times like these, I’m reminded of the ancient Mesopotamian proverb:
When I enlisted in my teens, I took up smoking cigars to make myself look more mature.
Did it work? Well, one time, as I proudly puffed away at our NCO club, an older sergeant growled, “Hey, kid, your candy bar’s on fire.”
- James Bushart, Cassville, Missouri
Well, Ryan, TODAY I must assert that it is YOUR candy bar that’s on fire. For shame.