Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Thank You Note (Again)


Absorb Any Thankfulness Today?

My sons had a great summer at camp. One was a camper and was an "intern in training."

As always, it was, and is, difficult to come up with an appropriate way to thank the people who are generous enough to teach my kids. I have enormous admiration for people who work skillfully with children (and with my kids in particular!) since I am a pathetic amateur always in need of improvement in this area. 

And how can we express this enormous gratitude? With a briefly executed sketch on a non archival paper product of course.

Unfortunately, I did not get to spend much time on this one unfortunately. It suffers from a bit too much unintentional awkwardness...unlike the intentional awkwardness of the other napkins. Ha ha.

But the kids do look a little bit like our kids.

And they did not actually have to pose for the thank you note. While they may not have felt consciously appreciative of that, there was an absence of their usual complaints, so I was extra thankful about that also.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Justice League Members View the 2017 Eclipse


Be Sure to View the 2017 Eclipse Safely:
(Even if you are Batman)
(Unless, perhaps, your head is already on fire)

We are getting ready for the Great American (partial) Eclipse here in Brooklyn.

There's been a lot of discussion about how to view the eclipse in a safe manner. I am the proud owner of not one, but two, arc welding helmets, so we are pretty well outfitted. But the kids really wanted cool eclipse viewing glasses to be purchased expressly for the occasion. Not too much chance of that happening now at t minus one hour.

I am still thinking about a Fresh Direct box viewer though. Unfortunately, our latest delivery is not due until 3-5 pm today, so I will have to unpack our paper recycling pile.

The three superheroes Batman, Firestorm and Stargirl hail from the latest DC Cartoon Network show that my kids have been watching, "Justice League Action."  

Firestorm has a perpetual flame emanating from the top of his head so a eclipse box viewer will protect his vision, but not prevent all burning.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Napkin Portraits



We are still working on the napkin portrait thing.
I have to embrace a certain amount of failure on these, since I can't see very well to compose the shot and my collaborator is definitely not a perfectionist.


And sometimes, just plain absent:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Rainbow Six Siege's Sledge Makes a Partial Appearance


Who needs explosives?
Or napkins?

My older son asked for this character from Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. 

I hear his catchphrase is "Who needs explosives?" Apparently his "tactical breaching hammer" works better than incendiary devices. 

I was more interested in drawing his stylish gas mask, but quite frankly, did not have time to draw either very well. This napkin was produced in the morning, in the harried 15 minutes between serving a breakfast that the kids ignored, and hurrying them out the door to camp.

Thus it has the dreaded (and previously forbidden) white space.  In their younger youth, my kids decided that napkins with white areas were a sign that Mom was shirking. And God forbid that one brother got a fully colored napkin, and the other an example of maternal lack. I tried to explain the design appeal of properly used negative space, but no one was buying. 

Perhaps napkins are just not the medium to elicit discussions of design and negative space?

But by now, the kids are older and slightly more relaxed about how much time was spent on one napkin or another. This is good, as the whole activity is obviously beyond ridiculous. 

I do think, however, that Sledge looks kind of nice disappearing off to the side. And thousands of napkins later, I still appreciate the lovely patterns on fancy Vanity Fair dinner napkins.
My older son asked for this character from Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege. 

I hear his catchphrase is "Who needs explosives?" Apparently his "tactical breaching hammer" works better than incendiary devices. 

I was more interested in drawing his stylish gas mask, but quite frankly, did not have time to draw either very well. This napkin was produced in the morning, in the harried 15 minutes between serving a breakfast that the kids ignored, and hurrying them out the door to camp.

Thus it has the dreaded (and previously forbidden) white space.  In their younger youth, my kids decided that napkins with white areas were a sign that Mom was shirking and probably didn't care enough. God forbid that one brother got a fully colored napkin, and the other an example of maternal lack. I tried to explain the design appeal of properly used negative space, but no one was buying. 

Perhaps napkins are just not the medium to elicit discussions of design and negative space?

But by now, the kids are older and slightly more relaxed about how much time was spent on one napkin or another. This is good, as the whole activity is obviously beyond ridiculous. 

I do think, however, that Sledge looks kind of nice disappearing off to the side. And thousands of napkins later, I still appreciate the lovely patterns on fancy Vanity Fair dinner napkins.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Terraria's Moon Lord


The Moon Lord's Hand Sees All (...the Food You Are Not Eating at Lunch)

The Terraria game resurfaces as a favorite with our kids on a regular basis. Hanging out with a couple of friends at camp reinvigorated their interest recently.

I don't know much about the Moon Lord beyond the fact that his face resembles Cthulhu and he has a glowing eye in each palm.  For whatever it is worth, the eyes in his palms are oriented vertically and are not like the "Hamsa" hand common in eastern religious iconography. 

The Terraria wiki says: "Moon Lord is a Hardmode, post-Lunatic Cultistboss.  It is Terraria's final boss."

There's a lot more to this boss, thematically, and visually. I just went for the aspect that was easiest to draw on a napkin.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Subway Portrait Napkins






Public Degradation with Absorbent Paper Products:
(Perhaps not one of our more successful "napkins in the real world" photo sessions.)

I thought this year's napkin portraits should be staged in the subway since our rides back and forth to summer camp were a notable feature of the summer...for me anyway. I biked the boys back and forth to school for five years, so we did not see much of the trains on a daily basis then. And for the last two years, they have been at separate schools, and a three person train ride was relatively rare. Next year, perhaps they will be going to camp without me having to chaperone so consistently. 

So, I thought commemoration was in order.

Or, it is possible that I was just being a sadist.

The kids are always not up for having their picture taken with napkins (or without napkins, to be honest). And this time, I added the adolescent-mortifying twist of doing it in public with a selfie stick. My older son described our seven minutes on the subway platform as "just about the worst thing ever." He added, "Mom, this is why I resist leaving the house, because then stuff like this happens." 

Indeed. Leave your seat on the couch, and the next thing you know, your sadistic (and masochistic) mother might be forcing you to do dumb stuff on a subway platform. Well.... there was no actual forcing. I did bribe them with a somewhat indulgent lunch, so I don't think they suffered all that much. But I'm sure the psychological scars are deeper than I can imagine.

Nobody on the platform gave us a second look. It is New York. We have all seen so much worse in the subway.




Thursday, August 3, 2017

Goofy Self Portrait Napkin



Every summer I try to do a set of portraits of the kids and maybe myself. I am not always successful. Last summer, we never managed to get a good picture of the napkins. Even when there is bribery involved, the kids usually have about 90 seconds of patience for me and my dippy napkins, and that is not always enough to orchestrate the real world shot.

This year my plan involves a selfie stick and the G train platform. The kids are fairly horrified by the prospect, and I anticipate an even lower than previous level of cooperation. 

I've almost finished the napkins, but now have the much more challenging prospect of luring the kids back to the G platform.

My napkin face looks a bit startled here in a test shot, perhaps by the goofiness of the idea...or maybe just the goofiness of my hat.

(Go to "Napkins in the Real World" to see previous attempts)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Nightcore "Believer"



Feel the PAIN

My sons are not much concerned with the concept of originality or authorship when it comes to these napkins and have often instructed me to "just copy" an image that really interests them.

Courtesy of a mixture of my klutzy drawing and misplaced hubris, I usually manage to put my own spin on the drawings that are supposed to just be copies.

My younger son specifically told me to "just exactly copy the cover image from the Nightcore Believer video" but as usual I wasn't able to leave well enough alone...and, as he would be quick to tell you, I don't do anime style very well.

But before I could even try to draw, I first had to figure out what Nightcore is. My son made the request as if it were something familiar to everyone, so perhaps I was alone in my ignorance? On the off chance that others share my lack of exposure, I will now quote Wikipedia: "A nightcore edit is a remix track that speeds up its source material, increasing its pitch."

I have to add that my kids' understanding of Nightcore is a bit more specific: for them it is a popular song that is accelerated to near chipmunk pitch and then paired with a moody anime style, minimally animated, drawing.

In this case, it is Imagine Dragons' song "Believer" which, due to my cohabitation with preadolescents, I had already heard a few more times than is healthy for my middle aged brain. But with this video, one can hear it faster, and with the benefit of the lyrics helpfully printed on screen. I had not previously realized the frequent and emphatic use of the word "pain."

I have included the original image with a bit of inspired lyrics superimposed... and a screenshot of "pain" which is thoughtfully isolated on screen when it appears, just so one should not miss it.

Click on the images if you wish to experience adolescent pain yourself.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chthulu and Godzilla


I Welcome Our Alien Overlord Cthulhu 

In any substantial conversation about giant monsters (that one has with adolescent boys) there is always the consideration of size. 

Whose monster is bigger?

A while back, (I am far behind in my napkin posts) our older son was on a bit of a Cthulhu kick. Now, I cannot recall what prompted it. Unfortunately, by the time I had drawn the napkin, he was mostly over it.

But, Cthulhu is claimed to be a whole lot larger than King Kong or assorted Kaiju- even the greatly enlarged Godzilla from the 2014 film.

Perhaps Godzilla will be like a mere action figure in comparison to our alien overlord.

Not that there is anything "mere" about Godzilla action figures.

Child Constantine With Flaming Demon Lollipop


Underage Constantine with Appropriate Oral Gratification Object:

My younger son has been watching "Justice League Action" lately, including the episode "Trick or Threat" where Batman, Zatanna, Constantine, and Doctor Fate are turned into 10 year olds by Klarion the witch boy and then visit the House of Mystery.

Being ten himself, the idea of a similarly aged Constantine was pretty compelling for my son. (Halloween costume?) He was quick to note that the kid version of John has a sucker perpetually in his mouth rather than a cigarette. 

I guess the need for oral gratification starts early. 

I did upgrade Constantine's lollipop to a flaming devil head gummy, since the images for the live action tv show favor flames....and because that was more fun to draw.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Just Do It


Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf Says "JUST DO  YOUR HOMEWORK!!!"

Our younger son attends an excellent school, which makes us all very happy most of the time. But there is the matter of the phone book sized stack of homework pages assigned for the summer.  Our son is a relatively responsible student when it comes to this sort of thing....but he is still a ten year old on summer vacation, so, to put it mildly, there is some resistance. And as is the case in all things, I am in charge of nagging.

If only I could enlist Mr. LaBeouf's motivational assistance. 

It might be impossible to completely miss Shia LaBoeuf's meme-worthy real life antics, but perhaps you don't have YouTube watching children and have remained blissfully ignorant of the "JUST DO IT!!!" or "Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf" memes. 

I cannot claim any expertise here, but I did scan the "know your meme" pages on these topics...and might have watched the videos in their entirety.

It seems that a few years ago, Mr LaBeouf performed a histrionic motivational speech against a green screen background which was then posted to YouTube. The video, while mostly grating to watch, spawned a thousand memes- or at least a good many...to the point that, my sons, who were not really sure who Shia LaBeouf was at the time, were quite aware of it.


In a unrelated development, composer/songwriter Rob Cantor posted a humorous song about Mr. LaBeouf being a cannabalistic killer on SoundCloud in 2012. Mr. Cantor explained the origin of the song at some point as being just that he found whispering the name Shia LaBeouf to be funny. This song, again, begat many renditions and memes, and was later produced by Mr. Cantor into a rather lavishly staged performance featuring interpretive dancers wearing giant Shia heads, two choirs, a string quartet, and the perhaps supportive participation of Shia LaBeouf himself.


Or watch the Actual Cannibal song by Rob Cantor video performance
Worth a view if you haven't seen it. Unless you have better things to do?

I combined various instances of LaBeoufery along with a poorly drawn likeness of the man here on the napkin. His pose and outfit is from the motivational video, the oversized head (I added large hands, just for good measure) and dancers hail from Rob Cantor's production. His hairstyle comes from another notable public appearance...perhaps when he was discussing his plagiarism. I can't remember.

My apologies to Mr. LaBeouf, meme makers, and actual cannibals everywhere.
And we still have homework to do.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Illegal Pets



The Not Fast and the Furrious:

I don't really have a good rationale behind this one, but I will take a swing at explaining it....

Pets, our lack of one and apparent inability to get one, is a constant topic of conversation between myself and my younger son. We keep trying to come up with some sort of engaging animal that he would enjoy caring for that wouldn't  cause an anaphylactic allergic reaction in his dad.

At some point, we discussed the possibility of a ferret, and even visited a pet shop that featured them while we were out of town. Because of course, they are still notoriously illegal as pets in NYC.  A quote from the press release from the NYC health department regarding ferret illegality:

"Ferrets are known for their unpredictable behavior, and they are prone to vicious, unprovoked attacks on humans....In New York... a ferret could crawl through holes in walls or travel along risers or ducts to other apartments, with potentially tragic consequences for the neighbor of a ferret owner."

Sounds bad, doesn't it? And kind of funny. I suspect dogs present a much bigger threat to city dwelling humans. Although the concept of roving packs of malicious ferrets creeping through the ductwork of large apartment building to attack unsuspecting neighbors makes a fine horror film plot.

Not that I am campaigning for ferrets in the city in general or in our home....

I just needed something to pair with the Giant African Land Snail to provide a sense of scale. Alas, enormous snails are not legal as pets in the entire United States. There is apparently some risk that they could become a dangerous agricultural pest...and that they can also damage buildings. (But can they go through ducts to attack neighbors?)

So, while I find the idea of a huge pet snail very entertaining to contemplate, it seems I will not be able to get a 10" tall snail for my son to snuggle.

He is not sad about that.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Pomeranians Celebrate the End of Shark Week 2017


My younger son thinks that a Pomeranian would be the best breed of dog for us to have...if we were able to have a dog. 

He has very defined opinions on what sort of haircut this hypothetical dog should have. 

He has not offered an opinion on what sort of shark costume would be preferable, so I am offering a few options here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sharks in Rainbow Six Siege


For Shark Week 2017

My older son has been playing a lot of "Tom Clancy's Rainbow Siege" with friends from school.

The game's website explains that "Siege is a brand-new style of gameplay embracing the reality of counter-terrorist operatives across the world: intense and asymmetrical close-quarters combat between attackers and defenders."

Sounds compelling, but maybe what it really needs is playable sharks.

Shark Week Pizza Party


(But don't hang around to find out who doesn't get a second slice)

There was pizza in the lunch boxes. That's my excuse.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Red Hood and Deadpool


The Red Hood and Deadpool Point Some Fingers Nonviolently:

One cannot help but notice the similar appeal of these two red masked individuals. 
And their visual appeal is intensified when they are holding and pointing their guns. 

I was trying to find a less weaponized arrangement for the two that also explained why they are so close to one another....other than to fit on the napkin...

I thought perhaps the finger trap allowed for some gratifying finger pointing posing without the actual guns.

Maybe.

Unfortunately, it meant I had to draw both of their overly detailed gloves.

Uncle Feather from Judy Blume's "Superfudge"


The Mynah Bird from "Superfudge" shows how cosmopolitan he is.

Our younger son is supposed to read 2-6 chapter books out loud to an adult over the summer. 

We've been working our way through Judy Blume's "Superfudge" the sequel to "Tales of  a Fourth Grade Nothing"  reading on the subway train every morning on the way to camp.

Both books have quite a bit about pets, which as I may have mentioned, is a contentious topic around here.

In "Superfudge," the annoying younger brother, who previously distinguished himself by eating his older brother's pet turtle, gets a pet of his own, a talking Mynah bird. Uncle Feather has a sarcastic flair for word repetition and says hello in French. 

Sadly, Mynah birds are very hard to come by these days. I don't think they reproduce well in captivity. 

I'm not sure that a talking bird would fill the puppy shaped hole at our house anyway. 

Even if it spoke French.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dragon Claws


No One Notices Your Dragon Claws on the New York City Subway:

(Adolescence can be rough, with ones body changing all the time.)

This image was based on some origami "dragon claws" (google it- they are a thing) that my older son wore all the way home from camp on the subway. 

But only on one hand. He needed the other hand to use his phone.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sub Zero Serves Some Soft Serve


Injustice 2's Sub Zero Holds Cold Cones for the Belated Observance of National Ice Cream Day.

Sub Zero seems to be able to create frozen "clones" of himself and then use them as projectile weapons. Sadly, he does not extrude or throw frozen desserts. 

Our sons are always big fans of soft serve ice cream, particularly when it comes out of a Mr. Softee Truck. 

I did buy them each a soft serve cone from a truck on the actual day of National Ice Cream Day (July 16th) even though this napkin did not appear at a camp lunch until today (July 18th, National Caviar Day, unfortunately)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Demon of Song


The Demon of Song from Dark Souls 2 Reads the Label, Wondering Whether an Honest Kids Lemonade Packet Contains Too Much Sugar.


There are an endless number of creepy, gross bosses in the Dark Souls franchise.
This one is a giant nasty frog with a skull and spindly arms protruding from the mouth...or maybe it is some sort of skeleton wearing a frog? 

But even monsters need to consider excess carbohydrates and tooth decay. Right?

And this one has a lot of teeth to worry about.
(This Honest Kids Lemonade packet is in my kids' lunch boxes because, presumably, it has less sugar than some other things...)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Silk Impresses the Avengers With Her Spidey Skills


There is always a bedtime crisis at our house: Usually there is some crucial piece of unknown pop culture information that can only be acquired online. This happens in the time period after all electronic devices have been forcibly removed from circulation in preparation for bed.

The information crisis from a few nights ago was, "What is the name of the female hero in the Spiderverse who wears a grey outfit and a red scarf?"  My younger son swore that remaining ignorant of the answer was going to make it impossible for him to go to sleep that night.

I know very little now beyond the fact that her name is Silk and that supposedly she was bitten by the same radioactive spider as Peter Parker and has more or less the same powers.

Except her web shooting ability is "organic." She shoots web out of her fingers, I guess. And wears a bandana. Because no one can recognize you if half of your face is covered. Just ask Batman.

There also seems to be some romantic issues going on between her and Mr. Parker in the comics. I observe this only based on my 90 seconds of searching on Google.

Given the limited female superhero representation in the Marvel cinematic universe, it seemed only fair to sub her in as a shield snatching spider-person in "Civil War" ....or "Homecoming" for that matter.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dark Souls Covetous Demon Covets Pizza


Because who doesn't?....

I've more or less given up on the concept of packing my kids super nutritious lunches. They are masters of intermittent fasting when sent to camp with a sack full of healthy vegetables and virtuous protein.

So far their pizza diet is not making them resemble this demon. 

So at least there's that. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Red Hood and Red Riding Hood's Wolf


This particular image of the Red Hood was a specific request from my son and is closely based on a drawing he found on Instagram. 

Normally, I would credit the artist, and post a link to the source, but my ten year old son can't remember where he got his screen shot from, and I haven't had any success finding it myself.  Perhaps we can turn it up eventually after camp is over and I am not trying to come up with two napkins every 24 hours....

I added the wolf, because wolves are always cool, and you know....the Red Hood thing. 

Garmr with Icee Pop


Dark Souls Undead Dog with Pink Ice:

A Dark Souls wiki explains: "Garmr is the truck-sized great guard dog of Niflheim, and together with Níðhöggr, one of Hel's loyal pets. Garmr also manages the souls of the dead like a sheepdog." 

So now you know.

At my kids' summer camp, each camper gets one icee pop at the end of every day.  These are the plastic tubes with frozen, fluorescent, artificially flavored, high fructose corn syrup laden liquids sometimes known as the brand "Fla-Vor-Ice.

I am told these ices are an absolutely essential component of the camp experience.

I thought that Garmr should not be denied this pleasure, despite being an undead hell hound. But it does seem like his teeth might get in the way.

Tigger in Fallout Power Armor


Continuing in the "Aunt & Uncle's pet cosplay" theme: here we have their cat Tigger sporting a suit of Fallout 4 power armor. That's some sort of bomb launcher on his right shoulder.

Unlike the samurai armor, I don't believe that Fallout mech suits for house cats are available for sale online.

But they should be, definitely

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Samurai Millie


Samurai Millie

Various social media outlets recently alerted me to the fact that I can now purchase samurai armor suitable for pets....if we had any pets that were willing to wear such outfits.

An avid knitter during my childhood, I made more that one cat sweater for my disgruntled, curmudgeonly cat, Muffin. If I could manage to actually get the sweater on, she would promote collapse on the floor as if mortally wounded and refuse to move until the wretched abomination was removed. I can only imagine the enthusiasm with which she would have greeted a suit of cat sized samurai armor.

Perhaps my sons' uncle and aunt's good natured dog Millie would be more amenable.

But luckily for her, I only imagined her wearing the armor.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Deadpool in Fallout Land


I keep hoping that the pressure to have two napkins ready to go every camp day will lead to some sort of increase in drawing skill if I don't have time to fuss over the individual napkins.

Not so much so far. 

We do have results like this one. It might be a image of what the Deadpool mod looks like in Fallout 4. I did not have time to confirm the details. 

I liked the idea of the giant hammer. And the decomposing Starlight motel sign is always fun. 

My son said it was......ok.

Bear with Incorrect Horn


(Follow-up to Bear with Incorrect Wings on July 2nd)

My younger son was still working on his winged bear gargoyle sculpture at summer camp last week.

Apparently he told some of his fellow campers that he was going to put a unicorn horn on it, and one of them informed him that unicorns and unicorn parts were too girly. Just like the color pink. My son was happy to tell me how ridiculous he thought all this was...about the unicorns. 
But he does have some concerns about the color pink. 
Not too reveal too much, but in toddlerhood, both of my male children had a serious affection for pink objects...and particularly pink shoes. There might have been some plastic, heeled, open-toe dress up shoes in circulation at our house. And there might have been some pink Mary Jane style shoes that may even have been worn to preschool until the class bully nastily expressed his opinion about the the girliness of the shoes and their wearer. Maybe this happened. I cannot confirm the details.

Maintaining the appropriate level of manliness in preschool and lower school can be a strain on a boy. 

Sometimes they need access to unicorn horns and pink stuff too.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Deadpool Celebrates the 4th of July


Deadpool Celebrates the Fourth of July:

Bomb Pops are definitely more my fixation than that of my sons.  I remember many red, white and blue popsicles from my own childhood. I might have liked them almost as much as fudgsicles. My kids, however, certainly wouldn't say no to one.

They are happy about pretty much anything that comes out of an ice cream truck.  Apparently the truck makes whatever it is taste it so much better. They are totally unmoved by the prospect of fancy gelatos or homemade organic freezer pops or ice creams in interesting flavors. 

Perhaps Deadpool might feel the same.

(Yes, he's sucking it right through his mask. Why not?)

Minions Offer Thanos a Bomb Pop


Happy 4th from the Minions and Despicable Thanos:

We saw the new Despicable Me movie yesterday.
And my younger son says he can't wait for "Avengers: Infinity War"

Of course, this image is a retread...or part of a series...
From 2015

From 2013

Monday, July 3, 2017

Spellcasting in Skyrim


My older son has been doing a lot of this lately.
The hands are much farther apart on the screen, of course.

Drawing two napkins per day is proving to be a challenge, so I've had to chose some more simple images than usual.

Can you tell?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Bear with Incorrect Wings


Our younger son is working on a "gargoyle sculpture" at summer camp this week. His plan was to make a bear with wings. After I drew this napkin, he informed me that it is a bear with "devil wings!" 

Of course it is. 
What was I thinking?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

If John Constantine Were a Pug


Our younger son is still interested in the Marvel's Constantine character. He appreciates John's seedy, morally questionable nature...and his trench coat. 

We've read a couple comic series and watched the Keanu Reeves movie, but for some reason haven't dipped into the recent TV show yet.

I couldn't decide whether I should draw him in his comic, Keanu or Matt Ryan form.

The obvious solution was to draw him as a pug.

And on a side note, summer camp has started and both kids are taking a packed lunch. This means that theoretically I am on the hook for two napkins a night. We have some napkins left over from the proceeding school year, but they are proving to be strangely unsatisfying to the napkin recipients. So far I have kept up with the demand, despite the fact that I can no longer stay up late to do anything, much less draw on napkins.

But I have fallen far behind on the posting of the napkins.

And, as my sons can tell you, the quality of the output is really suffering.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day


Straight Man with distorted offspring)

We attended two graduations last week, one marking the transition from lower to middle school and one from eighth grade to high school. There were opportunities to wear white dress shirts and pose awkwardly with a parent for a photo to mark the occasion. 

Due to competing schedules, there was no opportunity to photograph all three males together in their white shirts, so I had to imagine one for the purpose of napkin commemoration.

I was pretty careful while drawing my spouse, but let the kids' faces slide a bit out of control into strange distorted territory. Perhaps this was somehow appropriate...

I think we can say that we have now crossed the Rubicon to full blown adolescence...(and to full blown sympathetic adolescence in the case of the younger child.) Our kids were never compliant, amenable, or slightly impressed by adult authority even when they were tiny...But now what?

Sometimes I can put a positive spin on this situation: Look what remarkably independent and tenacious people they are! Other times, I am exhausted by struggling over every transaction, and am reduced to shouting, "Because I said so!" This approach was not particularly effective when they were wearing diapers and is of course no better parenting now.

I've never felt like I was very good at the whole parenting endeavor. I was introduced to abject failure early and often: We were unable to master basic feeding, sleeping, and elimination right out of the gate. Other new parents commiserated about a baby crying for 40 minutes, but we could bring the conversation to a stunned halt with our personal best of 10 1/2 hours...for many days in a row.

But we have all survived, and as previously mentioned, our kids are not only still alive, but are very sturdy and determined people. This will no doubt pay off in the end, right?

So, to my partner in parenting: Happy Father's Day! 

Because I said so! 
Love you!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Bloody Screecher from the Ether Comic


Our younger son really enjoyed Matt Kindt and David Rubín’s Ether comic. 

He particularly liked the Bloody Screecher, a toothy tiny bird capable of making mind bogglingly horrible sounds. 

In the Ether, the Screecher sits on the finger of a bird like person named Tipo, but when I started to draw it on the napkin, a strange political subtext started to develop.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Titan Lunch


Balanced Lunch for Titans:
A well fed American child with a side of broccoli.

Our younger son would very much like to go to the Universal Studios park in Osaka and feed himself to a Titan.

Sadly, there is no "Attack on Titan" area in the Universal Park here in the US.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Kong and Logan Paul


‪Dog eat Dawg? ‬
‪Continuing our YouTuber/internet famous dog series. My son watches vlogger Logan Paul and his new puppy Kong (named for his size of course)‬

Kong (@kongdasavage) only has 712,000 followers on Instagram. He has a bit of work ahead of him to catch up to fellow Pomeranian JiffPom (@jiffpom) who has 5.1 million.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

John Constantine and Doctor Fate


John Constantine Warms up his Lunch:
(Presumably there's a cold pack in his Doctor Fate Helmet lunchbox)


We watched the DC animated movie "Justice League Dark" and now our younger son is very interested in the John Constantine character.  He has not seen the recent TV show, nor the previous Keanu Reeves movie, but I fear it will be hard to avoid both.

Doctor Fate is also cool at our house lately, probably courtesy of the impending release of Injustice 2. 

When I Google "Constantine and Doctor Fate" I get results that suggest some sort of appearance of Doctor Fate's helmet on the Constantine show.  I did not pursue the specifics.

Googling does not reveal the existence of a lunchbox in the shape of Doctor Fate's Helmet, however.

Surely this must be a temporary oversight. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day Grandma


As usual, my rather pathetic offering for a significant day is a napkin for my mother.

My kids gave me the gift of letting me sleep in today...
They slept in later than I did, so it was not a high effort gift.
But once awake and reminded that today was Mother's Day, they were quick to assert that it still counts as a gift that no one woke me up early.

I did not wake my mother up early this morning either.
No doubt she was grateful.