Monday, February 25, 2008

A review: Blankets by Craig Thompson

You can make your superhero a psychopath, you can draw gut-splattering violence, and you can call it a "graphic novel," but comic books are still incredibly stupid.
- Bill Watterson, The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book

Reading that quote, an ardent comic book fan would probably accuse Watterson of being just an angry traditionalist, kicking out against the emergence of a new form within his chosen medium. Yet walking into a comic book store, even the nerd in me has to agree with him to a certain degree. Spandex-clad muscle men and anorexic women pose, snarl and pout from the end caps of every aisle. Violence without context or meaning fills the covers of these books, displaying the kind of floundering, misguided attempts at maturity that define adolescence.

So why do I waste my time reading these things? Certainly, there is some element of the child in me that just likes to see things get blowed up real good, but mainly, I read comic books for those few times when I get surprised by something really, really amazing. There are of course a few high-profile comics that are recognized by society at large as worthwhile, such as Daniel Clowes' brilliant Ghost World, or Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – both championed by Oscar-nominated movie adaptations. Beyond that, though, are the books that sit unassumingly on the shelf and grab you unexpectedly, as I was grabbed last week by Blankets.

Blankets is a memoir, chronicling the author’s childhood in a small farmhouse in the Midwest. It takes place almost entirely in winter, filling every panel with snow-covered landscapes that are drawn beautifully and poetically. The story could not be told in this way in any other medium – the images weave in and out of the panels, connecting and flowing and creating an effect that film could never achieve.

In this book, Thompson recounts with painful honesty the story of his dual teenage obsessions with his Christian faith and his first love, and the eventual loss of both. It is at times overly indulgent to the drama of his teenage years, but as the story continues and the character grows older, the tone matures to a more thoughtful meditation on the author’s memories of childhood and how he feels about adult life. This is a haunting book, and one of the best “graphic novels” that I have ever read.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


This frog is cooler than all other frogs combined. He ate dinosaurs.

CNN Story

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Some art work a mine

Here's some of my newer art projects, for those of you who don't look on face book; the only other public display of my stuff on the web. hm...

this was for my drawing class, we had a model for 6 hours, and she would rotate every half an hour, so if you wanted to work on her left knee cap for longer than that, you'd have to move everything. But it was fun and fun.

This is from drawing too, yeah, pretty obvious. I took 2 big pieces of paper, taped together, and covered them in charcoal, then made the picture with an eraser.
This is for 3D class. The project was to make shape, like an octohedron, tetrahedron, or icosahedron, all these cool shapes I had never known the names for. Anyway, when I started the project Mr. Brown, my very cool teacher, told me to "jump off the dock" and not just make the shape obvious. So I looked around in the collection of junk I have for 3D class, and I found out that an umbrella skeleton makes a good octohedron(at least the one I had), so I made this statue kid with an umbrella for a chest!
Oh yeah, and when the red ribbon is pulled you can make him breathe!

This is also for 3D class. the assignment was 10 feet. That was it. it's mainly made of brown paper (free), wire, and some duct tape(it such an easy sculpting tool!).
Those are arms above it's head, I was a little hurried in finishing the project, so its still rough, but I wanted that to an extent, and I wanted it to be in two different mediums(brown body--duct tape head).
Its not dead by the way, or at the gallows, at least that wasn't my does sorta look like it though...

And this is LCD(light, color, and design class)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

There is a boat at the bottom of the stairwell at my new job's office building

Don't tell anyone, but I think my boss may be a pirate.

Valentines to all


it's a heart...see? Aren't I clever? and a red shiny jacket for good measure.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Martin Luther King Jr quote

from "Letter from the Birmingham Jail," 1963.

Actually time is neutral. It can be used either destructively or constructively. I am coming to feel that the people of ill-will have used time much more effectively than the people of good will.... We must come to see that human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability. It comes through the tireless effors and persistent work of men willing to be co-workers with God, and without this hard work time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy, and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.


Don't tell Jenny, but I had to post this.

Friday, February 08, 2008


Scorpian vs Dragon!

Who will take the day?

By Ben and Sam

(artwork by Callie)

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Mark, Ben and Sam and I had the pleasure of watching the movie Stardust last night.
What fun! Witches, pirates, forbidden lands, outer space, peeved royalty and true love, it was all there! We laughed out loud a lot, which in this tame group is saying something. Robert Deniro (sp?)was wonderful as an effeminate version of the Pirate Dow-Diccum Dow-De. Great fun.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Gwen hits a home run

Congratulations, Gwen!

Iowa City, here we come.

<-- Gwen victorious in cutthroat competition.