I saw Black Panther.

My wife and I were going to view some black superheroes this weekend, but the lines for the Michelle and Barack Obama portraits at the National Portrait Gallery were too long.  So we saw Black Panther instead.

Spoiler-y review of Balck Panther:

I thought it was pretty good. The story involves the fictional African land of Star Wars, which is in Africa, and hidden away by Star Wars means. It starts out with the Challah, son of Chanukkah (played by Chapstick Boatman), being crowned King of Star Wars by way of fight scene. You get to meet a bunch of his support staff, including his funny genius sister Surely, his soon-to-be wife Nokia, and his bodyguard Ukulele. They're all pretty awesome. Gollum and Bilbo Baggins appear, and are both blown up by Killy McKillface (played by Michael Jordon, really), who has lopsided hair and wants to be king. Everyone gets a Batman suit, and then Killface and Challah have another fight scene with Star Wars space ships and orange and blue ninjas and rhinosauruses. There's a happy ending where everyone goes to Oakland, California to build hospitals for the poor, disenfranchised Americans, and Surely goes to Coachella, which is not in Africa.

The design was pretty great, even if Bilbo and all the space ships were kind of shoehorned in. It stands out from normal Star Wars fare by virtue of actually talking about current issues and racial disenfranchisementationalization in ways more nuanced, and from different points of view, than the average film-goer usually gets. All of Michael Jordan (really)'s dialogue could have come from the angry parts of Twitter, but I suppose that's why they gave it to a character called McKillface.

I rate it forty billion out of a possible wrong phone who dis

Blitt by Blitt by Me


Yesterday (Sunday, October 29, 2017, for the historical record) I went to a talk and book signing at Politics and Prose for Barry Blitt's new book "Blitt," available in hardcover at fine retailers everywhere. 

Blitt is one of those illustration rock stars, kin to Steve Brodner and Edward Sorel, who have made their name mostly through caricature.  Blitt is personally infamous for his topical New Yorker covers, sometimes dashed off in a few hours in the middle of the night against hard deadlines, his most notable being the Obamas giving a "terrorist fist bump" in the Oval Office.  In the movie of his life, he's played by Martin Mull or Bob Balaban.

I dig him because he draws the old-fashioned way, with a crowquill pen and watercolor on paper with little underdrawing, sometimes drawing the same piece over and over to get it right, if deadlines allow.  There's a freshness to the best illustration (I think) that turns it from a mere drawing into an idea that just happens to also be in drawing form.

This is the long way of saying I didn't buy his book, because it cost $40.  But I did do a drawing of him from the front row while he was answering audience questions, which he seemed to approve of and signed for me.  My left eye was acting up, hence my funky expression in the above photo, but all in all, not a bad night. 



New Ilustrations: Part 1 of 746

I just realized how long it's been since I'd paraded my published work online.  As a professional illustration, that is bad of me, and I ought to be punished, preferably by leggy women wearing black leather and stiletto heels.

Well, Experience Life continues handing me awesome work, including this piece about the multifarious joys of Farmers' Markets, including balloons, fried dough, and, if you're truly desperate, fresh produce, dairy, and meat.

Most recent is my illustration about the hourly activities of a health food blogger, as told by a real-life health food blogger.  I tried a different medium with this one, shading with pencil, just to see if that would work.

I also have an upcoming piece for In These Times, whom I've never worked for before, that was fun because they specifically insisted that I use watercolors.  "Well, okay, if that's what you want, I told them, bouncing up and down giddily in my seat."  It should be available online and in stores in a few days.

That is all for now.