Sunday, December 28, 2008

Doodle Penance: "the kiss painting"

This week's Doodle Penance comes from someone who found our site after searching for "the kiss painting."

Probably this poor searcher found him- or herself visiting one of Mike's old swipe file posts. (Incidentally, this is by far our most-visited page on the site. Could that have something to do with Uma in the altogether? Personally, I prefer to imagine that it's just general affection for the details of our second issue. Order it now and have it in plenty of time for Valentine's Day!)

But here's what the poor Googler probably wanted to find on our site:

Many people do not realize that Chaim Witz, otherwise known as Gene Simmons, based his "Demon" persona on an early version of Picasso's 1903 The Old Guitarist. Recent technological inspection has revealed a preoccupied woman, apparently nude, under the famous painting, but the earlier and more awesome version of the painting has been lost to the vagaries of time... until now!

(You may click to enlarge somewhat.)

It's worth noting that Simmons is unlike Picasso, in that there are some things that Pablo Picasso was never called.

"Things as they are / Are changed upon the blue guitar," indeed.

Mike, I hope you'll paste your penance below...

...uh, okay, Isaac, hyar 'tis:
Clearly this is based not on Klimt's famous painting "The Kiss" (as seen, sort of, in SatCom #2, as noted above), but on Edvard Munch's less famous painting "The Kiss," which you can see here in its oil-paint version and here in its woodcut version. I have altered the image ever-so-slightly to suggest that it depicts a scene of osculation between Prince, original performer of the song "Kiss," and Tom Jones, who covered it with the Art of Noise. Munch's original design didn't leave a lot of room to suggest who's who in my version. I leave it to the viewer to decide if TAFKAP is wearing his own apparel or if the Performer from Pontypridd is sporting the Purple One's coat as the fan he must be.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Doodle Penance: "superboy jamie muscles"

There are more than fourteen inches of snow on the ground here as I write this, and yet I'm still planning to fly home tomorrow morning. It seems pretty implausible, but that won't stop me from getting up crazy early to head for the airport.

But before I go, I think there's some penance to take care of.

Some hapless soul was directed to our website when he or she asked the internet for "superboy jamie muscles" this week.

Probably this fan of Silver-Age silliness was looking for that issue where a thinly-veiled Charles Atlas made a cameo appearance to thump the twerp on the chest, kick sand in his face, and steal the affections of Lana Lang.

Superboy never was much of a "Hero of the Beach."

Happy Hannukah, Mike. Drop your doodle in here when it's done, okay?

—Sure thing, Isaac! Here's my vision of Superboy Jamie Muscles:

Here's my Sharpie-direct-to-paper doodle, executed so swiftly that I screwed up the socks. Whatever: it's a DOODLE, not a proper drawing. And I think I have captured sufficiently my vision of a pint-sized Highlander heavyweight, though his sideburns make him look older than his age (he's a wee lad of some six summers, he is). Jamie Muscles. Respect him!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Doodle Penance: "wobbly space craft comics"

Oh, right: we have a blog!

Isaac has already explained the idea behind our "Doodle Penance" series. Our latest search term/drawing prompt: "wobbly space craft comics"—which term, Isaac informs me, led an internet seeker to spend a whopping eleven seconds on our site. Perhaps one of these images would have held the seeker for longer:

I like the way Isaac has turned to old-fashioned romance-comics tropes here, though I am a bit dismayed to note that this is our second science-fiction joke involving bad driving by a woman at the wheel (or should that be the helm?). The first such joke, a cheap shot fired obliquely at my beloved spouse's inexperience with manual transmissions, appeared way back in Satisfactory Comics #1, whose heroine's costume and overall anatomy also earned us some dressing-down by readers unhappy with our resort to design conventions of dubious propriety.

What this evidence suggests about my unintentional but unreconstructed sexism is a bit depressing. But I shouldn't hijack Isaac's doodle for my own public second-guessing. Here's my doodle for "wobbly space craft comics":

I had already seen Isaac's doodle when I started mine, hence the predictable "variation on a theme" rather than, say, a four-panel comic strip about wobbly space craft (which thought did occur to me, briefly). Note how I (accidentally) omitted the word "craft" in my title—not the first time I've botched a title that's been handed to me (see my first Mapjam entry, and compare it against the map itself). However, I think the omission is appropriate inasmuch as my design riffs on the logo of the Industrial Workers of the World, who promoted not craft unionism but industrial unionism—in this case, no doubt, that of the aeronautics & space industry. There are a couple more references to the Wobblies, just in case that's what our errant seeker was searching for. Though if it's Wobbly comics that s/he seeks, this would be the place to look.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Doodle Penance: "fun things to draw comics on"

... And we're back. It has been a long and difficult month. I think this is the first time I've felt like I've had time to put anything up on the blog, and even this is going to be pretty minimal. But we have a new comics game to play. I'm thinking of it as a way to get us started again, posting things weekly, with the goal of keeping the blog alive until we have real time to draw or write about comics.

I've been feeling guilty about not posting, which is pretty ridiculous, but if eight years of grad school couldn't train me to feel guilty for not writing, I'd probably have absolutely no sense of shame. Since I've been feeling guilty, I've been thinking about the way that our former colleague Carl Pyrdum will occasionally do what he calls "Google Penance," in which he takes a search term that led someone to his blog and then writes about it, essentially adding the entry that the errant Googler seems to have wanted his site to have.

Mike and I have decided to undertake a variant on this challenge, which we'll call "Doodle Penance." We'll try to do this once a week. We'll dip into our website analytics at the beginning of the weekend and produce some doodles based on one of the searches that led someone to our site in the previous week.

This week, the "lucky" search term is: fun things to draw comics on.

(cleeck to eenlarge)

(Probably this person found the back-issue listing for our sketchbook project, "________ Are Always Fun to Draw," which is still available for you to order.)