I really like this lady from today’s comic. I hope we get to see her again.
She stood watching, thinking, rehearsing. She mulled the riddles in her mind, swapping their order, teasing the wording until each word landed just so. Once the travelers arrived, she would boldly deliver her challenge.
She spent this day, like the others, searching the horizon. First in one direction, then the other. The road leading here was overgrown, and the season nearly over, but still. Someone would arrive soon. They would have to. They would have to hear her riddles.
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.