Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I drew RATMAN number one when I was twelve or so, rendered with a trusty ballpoint pen.  I loved the outrageous,absurdist idea that Commissioner Gordon would replace Batman with the super-powerless, inept Ratman and considered the comic book to be my finest work -- a project I began that I actually finished.

Years and years later, Tom Spezialy gave me The R. Crumb Coffee Table Book wherein Crumb reprinted a comic he'd done when he was a kid -- and the version he re-drew as an adult.  So I did the same thing.  When I was living in Manhattan working on a Glen Gordon Caron show, I spent my evenings redrawing RATMAN number one, replete with the exact dialogue, sound effects and exclamations  ("Yeeooo!") and, for the most part, the same panel composition.
Two comparative pages are posted above (guess which were the originals...) 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Some years ago, Kathy and I were in Tucson visiting my late grandma.  My mom was there too, from Minnesota and she was going through her parents' old photos when she came across this picture.  Not a photo of an old family member but one of my great-GREAT grandfather's classmates from Cornell University.  Like when I was in high school, evidently at Cornell in 1881 students swapped senior pictures for posterity's sake. 

That's right.  1881. 

Which is what makes this photographic remembrance -- and Frank Ramsey Luckey who conceived and "starred" in it -- all the more remarkable.  The Lumiere brothers and Thomas Edison didn't introduce the world to motion pictures for another fourteen years, yet this guy, in a jokey keepsake for his buddies, created this -- twenty three different pictures of himself (the "serious" acceptable, portrait hovering in the center)via a visual, flip-book kind of sequence.  But unlike a flip-book which conveys a single action, here Luckey shows all moods and expressions and even cross dresses (which seems to never go out of style).

Certain that Luckey was a drama student with ambitions exceeding the mere theatrical stage, I did a web search to see what noteworthy and creative heights he achieved... only to learn that he went on to become a Congregational minister in New England.  I was disappointed at first -- I had expected more -- but Kathy reminded me that a clergyman (particularly of the non-dogmatic, open-minded Congregational stripe) is at once a writer, an actor and a source of inspiration. 

Still if the guy had only hooked up with an inventor and a late-nineteenth century venture capitalist, who knows... maybe FDR and Churchill would've been Tweeting each other...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BIG BUNNY... one for the kids

One day, while working at the show WEIRD SCIENCE I decided to take a break from the complicated , soul-searching tales of two teenage boys and their adventures with a computer genie and decided to take a shot at a children's picture book. 

I wrote the simple tale and roughed out the art more as placeholders than anything.... but ended up liking it enough to color 'em in.  The basic story:  Big Bunny wakes up to find a rockset ship parked outside his kitchen window.  He and his neighbor friends (second page) postulate what the traveler inside might be like, B.B. has a dream that it's a green bunny like him with shared interests.  In the morning, the ship is gone.  A nod to the old adage: "If you find a spacecraft in your yard and you let it go..."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


One of the monsters-in-cars series of acrylics I did, inspired by Big Daddy Ross's Rat-Fink and the Odd Rod bubble-gum cards.  Driving top-down is the only ride for a gargoyle.