Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Esu From Rumble

The kids really loved reading  "Rumble" written by John Arcudi, illustrated by James Harren. 

The main character is an ancient demigod charged with the killing of monsters who has been unfortunately embodied in a large scarecrow.  The world is populated with a wide and creative assortment of monsters known as "Esu."  Some Esu are small and cute.  My younger son particularly liked this one, but requested that I give him less disgusting teeth.

I gave him my son's snaggled teeth.  He recently had 4 teeth pulled in anticipation of braces.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Chewie Rudy

In honor of Black Friday and the beginning of the holiday season:

Chewie Rudy cleans some thanksgiving gristle out of his teeth.

I'm not sure there is really an explanation for this one. My younger son combined a Chewbacca mask with reindeer and wolf ears headbands and his own stylish fedora.

I thought it was an inspired combination and somehow appropriately seasonal.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Kaiju's Revenge

Happy Turkey Day?

No turkey at our house today, much to our kids' disappointment. 

Their father, as he would say, "has not intentionally consumed poultry" in decades. Usually my mother is in charge of providing the turkey, my father in charge of carving.  They are not with us his week, although my mother thoughtfully served a bird at their last visit.

Three years ago, my parents stayed away during thanksgiving because the kids had the flu. My mom had ordered a smoked turkey which arrived despite her absence. By the time the actual turkey day arrived, the kids were better but had passed the flu to their father and he was too sick to venture out of the bedroom. 

I did my best to carve the smoked turkey for the kids, discovering that it was a lot more challenging than I had ever imagined. After they had watched me crack open the vacuum packed bird and incompetently chase the slippery carcass around on the kitchen counter, hacking at it, they announced that they would not be eating any turkey.

The point of the story, I suppose, is that I did not cook a turkey for my sons this year. They did recover fairly quickly from their horror at the incompetent smoked turkey carving experience, and are now happy to eat turkey. I'm just not up to it. 

But I do enjoy drawing turkeys.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Battlepug Rides the L Train

Don't step in the drool.

We are quite honored to be included in the fan art section in the back of Mike Norton's Battlepug Volume 5: The Paws of War
Battlepug has long been one of the kids' favorites: a cute dog that is enormous and able to eat enemies, other ridiculous animals, a little girl who swears, violence and tasteful nudity, what more could lower and middle school boys wish for?

Thanks Mike!

You can see our other Battlepug or Pug napkins at those links.

Monday, November 21, 2016

RaptorPool for Dinovember 2016

Or perhaps it is VelociPool?
 (Just not DinoPool, my sons say, as that has already been done.*)

In honor of #Dinovember: A Merc with an extra toothy mouth. (I debated about covering up his mouth, and teeth, with a more accurate mask, but in the end, I just couldn't do it.)

A couple of days ago, I was picking out some images from the last year, and I noticed the overwhelming prevalence of Deadpool napkins. So here is yet another.

A classmate of my older son was over for a visit recently, and I overheard him declaring that Deadpool was the only superhero that still interested him at his advanced age of 14.  While my sons are still compelled by other supers, Deadpool definitely stands out for them also.

Wade is the only superhero with a R rated movie... Could there be a connection?

*The T-Rex DinoPool in "Deadpool Kills Deadpool" from 2013, which also featured the much-beloved-at-our-house PandaPool.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dinovember Foot Rub

Are you my mother?

Dinovember is an idea created and promoted by two plastic dinosaur toy owning parents, Refe and Susan Tuma. They supposedly convinced their young children that their dinosaur toys came to life during the night by posing the toys in various scenarios around the house so they would be discovered when the kids got up in the morning. Every day of the month it would be as if the kids' dino figurines have been up to something: eating cereal in the kitchen, congregating around the pieces of a vase they broke, or more improbably, cleaning the bathroom. Since the Tumas have spun their Dinovember Facebook page pictures  into a successful picture book, the dinosaurs have become more adventurous, breaking eggs, practicing dentistry, and even running for president.

Alas, we are much less ambitious (and successful) at our house. 

While I was all in for Inktober, making a creepy drawing everyday in ink for the entire month of October (managed to convince at least 300 followers to depart our Instagram account during the one month!) I didn't think I could manage a whole month of dinosaur related posts.

But here's one at least.

Our kids' favorite spot after a hard day at school is our disintegrating Costco couch. They often ask me to "snuggle" on said couch with them. What the younger on really wants is for me to rub his feet while he watches YouTube videos. 

After reading Marvel's "Moongirl and Devil Dinosaur," the kids agreed that it would be good to have one's own dinosaur.

Particularly if you have one that will rub your feet....

My younger son looked at this napkin and asked, "Mom, are you a dinosaur?"

(The dinosaur was based on one entered in a Stan Winston dinosaur competition by Tom Rush. I did not come up with the turquoise coloring on the Velociraptor's face, but it paired nicely with my sons' shirt and socks)

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election Night Monsters

Mouths and Hair:
Just the important parts.

The kids really enjoyed reading Max Brallier's "The Last Kids on Earth" books recently.

The story follows a group of kids who have survived some sort of apocalyptic event where nearly every human has been turned into a zombie and a wide range of bizarre monsters have suddenly appeared in town.

I don't remember these fanged furballs having a particular name or classification. They were just part of a wide variety within the monster population- and were drawn much more humorously and successfully by the book's illustrator Douglas Holgate.

I know it's a bit of a reach, but somehow these creatures composed only of mouths and hair seemed appropriate to me last night as we watched the 2016 election take a turn for the worse.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Basket of Adorable Depolorables

"Trump Your Cat" is a meme.
A highlight of the election.

We are anxious about next Tuesday around here.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Monster Self

Spontaneous Remission and Adaptation:

Sometimes challenge leads to improvement and adaptation.
And sometimes not.


This is it, I promise.  This is drawing #31 for inktober 2016, started on October 31st, and full disclosure, finished on November 1st.  Halloween and the days before were rather busy, with costumes to be assembled and trick or treating and such, so I fell behind on posting. I can no longer stay up late at night to finish anything, so here it is November 4th, and I am still finishing up on October.

Just to recap for those of you who have not suffered through the whole month's worth of drawings...
Inktober is a yearly drawing challenge originated by artist and author Jake Parker. The premise is that one tries to complete at least one drawing in ink per day for the entire month of October. Mr. Parker also provided various thematic prompts for each day which I completely ignored.

It seemed like a good excuse to make a bunch of drawings with low expectations. Low expectations are always good.

I did not start out necessarily thinking that I was going to wallow around in my recent personal experiences in health problems and alternative medicine, I planned to make some humorous images of heads based on silly pseudoscientific medical terminology. But pretty quickly it became clear that I could not put rat feet on anyone else's head. And since it was me, it became about me as well.

My apologies to everyone who is here for the napkins. This series is officially over.

Back to regularly scheduled programming.

"Health Journey"

It's not over really until it's really over.


Many of the people in the "alternative" health and wellness community use the phrase "health journey" when they discuss a story of illness and recovery.  Ideally, this is an empowering narrative, where acquired knowledge leads to a cure, or at least some sort of mastery of the situation.

You want the story to have an ending, and a happy one at that.

I am still relatively new to all of this. I officially became a person with psoriasis at the beginning of the summer. The situation had no doubt been brewing for months, if not years beforehand, but I did not have a nationally recognized specialist examine me and then tell me that I would have psoriasis for the rest of my life until June of this year.

And then while I was still working through accepting my new lifelong need for long sleeves, sunglasses and a tasteful scarf, all the symptoms disappeared. At this point, I don't think my kids even remember that I had the problem. I still have a drawer full of arm sleeves and scarves to remind me, but even so, the visceral memory is fading quickly.

It might seem that I managed to fight off this supposedly incurable disease through a rather extreme regimen of fasting and dietary restriction (and by getting more sleep? and by trying to meditate? etc, etc)....

But who really knows?  That is the story I would like to tell- that through force of will, and against the express advice of medical authorities- although with the kind assistance of several alternative health practicioners- I managed to fix myself.

The last dermatologist I saw told me with absolute certainty that if I did not immediately start taking a potent chemotherapy drug and a heavy dose of topical steroids that the psoriasis was going to spread all over my body and I was going to get a MRSA infection in my eyes. I did fill the prescriptions he gave me, but instead of taking the pills, I went home and didn't eat for a few days. This made no one happy at the time, but after the fast was over, my symptoms were half gone. After a second fast five weeks later, they were almost completely gone.

It could all be a coincidence.
...And my symptoms could come back.

I have spent enough time on the disease specific message boards- the one for the National Psoriasis Foundation emails me a link every day delightfully titled "Team Inspire"- to know that many cure stories have an unfortunate epilogue. A parent dies or another illness appears or some other sort of horribly stressful situation develops and the psoriasis finds a weak spot and returns in full flare.

So, I am not congratulating myself too much.
But it is nice to have a mostly happy ending for the moment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Catabolism with Debatable Adrenal Fatigue

Sick and tired of being sick and tired?
Or merely just sick and tired?


My apologies- I am belatedly finishing up my Inktober posts a day late because I am no longer allowed to stay up late to catch up on anything....And yesterday was Halloween, so there were costumes to assemble, and trick or treating supervision, etc.

But the drawings were all completed in October...well, except the 31st which I finished today.

This is drawing number 29.

I had lots of boring, whiney things to say about it, but I think I am going to skip that for tonight.