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Beauty Is Where You Find It



Looks nice, doesn’t it?  This long exposure photo was taken by Cui Yongjiang in rural Yunnan Province in southwest China.  Look at the soft glow of the village lights…the way the stars reflect off the terraces of water…

Wanna see what the area looks like in daylight?


Quite a difference, huh?

So, is beauty an illusion,
an artificial construct of the mind?

Or is it always there, and
we just have to have the wisdom
to know where to look for it and
the patience for it to present itself…

found via Astronomy Picture Of The Day

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“The Most Sublime Fool That God Ever Turned Out”


RB quote Cooly-vespa-Haruhara-Haruko-Nandaba-1515078-1360x768 cap

“If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling.  You must write every single day of your life.  You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next.  You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.  I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime.  I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you.  May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories — science fiction or otherwise.  Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days.  And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury

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Where Dr. Seuss Got His Ideas


Dr Seuss

“I get all my ideas in Switzerland near the Forka Pass. There is a little town called Gletch, and two thousand feet up above Gletch there is a smaller hamlet called Über Gletch. I go there on the fourth of August every summer to get my cuckoo clock fixed. While the cuckoo is in the hospital, I wander around and talk to the people in the streets. They are very strange people, and I get my ideas from them.”

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“Don’t Think!” by Ray Bradbury


Ray Bradbury w glasses cap

I never went to college — I don’t believe in college for writers.  The thing is very dangerous. I believe too many professors are too opinionated and too snobbish and too intellectual, and the intellect is a great danger to creativity … because you begin to rationalize and make up reasons for things, instead of staying with your own basic truth — who you are, what you are, what you want to be.  I’ve had a sign over my typewriter for over 25 years now, which reads “Don’t think!” You must never think at the typewriter — you must feel.  Your intellect is always buried in that feeling anyway. — Ray Bradbury

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The Best 2-Panel Horror Comic EVER



“Nobody…” by Clifton Meek

Nobody is a real d!ck

(Thanx to Barnacle  Press
for all the cool linkage.)

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Rules for Editing Comics by Larry Hama


Larry Hama AiR01

These are my ten rules for drawing a comic book page, that sums up what I have learned in forty odd years in the biz. They are not universal, they are my own personal guidelines, so there is nothing to disagree about.

1. Don’t have people just standing there.

2. ANY expression is better than a blank stare.

3. Avoid tangents, and any straight line that divides the panel.

4. If you use an odd angle in the shot, there has to be a reason for it.

5. If you don’t have at least one panel on each page with a full figure, your “camera” is too close.

6. Plan out your shots in “Lawrence of Arabia” mode rather than in “General Hospital” mode.

7. Don’t think of backgrounds as “things to fill up the space after the figures are drawn.”

8. If you know what something is called, and you have an Internet connection, there is no reason to draw it inaccurately.

9. If the colorist has to ask if a scene takes place at night, you haven’t done your job.

10. If you can’t extend the drawing beyond the panel borders and still have it make visual sense, you’ve cheated on the perspective.

(c) 2013 Larry Hama

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I Luvz Me Some James Tissot


As classy French painters go, James Tissot was a solid second stringer.  A good eye for detail and a sure hand at technique, he supported himself painting charming pictures of French scenes for the bourgeois.  Had the obligatory scandalous artist life.  Turned to religion in his later years.

James Tissot - Portrait-Of-The-Pilgrim-large

Like I said, nothing too special about him…until he started painting pictures of Jesus.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide what happened, but the ol’ boy went bonkers and began whipping out a series of water colors that — while historically accurate and in the artistic style of the day — would freak out the average Sunday school teacher.

James Tissot - jesus-ministered-to-by-angels-1894

James Tissot - The Grotto of the Agony

Satan Tried to Tempt Jesus James Tissot, 1895

James Tissot - jesus-goes-up-alone-onto-a-mountain-to-pray-1894James Tissot - simon-the-cyrenian-compelled-to-carry-the-cross-with-jesus-724x490James_Tissot - What_Our_Lord_Saw_from_the_Cross_Ce_que_voyait_Notre-Seigneur_sur_la_CroixJames Tissot - the-descent-from-the-cross-illustration-for-the-life-of-christJames Tissot - The ResurrectionThere’s nothing incorrect with any of these paintings, but man, are they ever approaching the material from a wholly unexpected direction…

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Nik Poliwko Speaks The Truth



More Nik Poliwko goodness
here and here and here

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The Mystery Of The New York Look by Boulet




If you’re not reading Boulet, why the #$%& not?!?!?
Especially since you can do it in English, French, or Korean!

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Let Me Recommend 6 Strips I Won’t Be Reading Anymore


Since Soon-ok’s retirement, there have been a lot of changes in our lives, almost all for the good.

First off, she’s happier, more relaxed, and more energized than I’ve seen her in ages.  She never wanted a job, much less a career, but took one to keep the family stabilized as my own career started careening wildly.  Without her we would not have squeezed by; without her my own career would have floundered completely.

So we owe her a big one, and she is more than entitled to her retirement.

Second, as she rightly deserves, she’s getting to do a lot of things she wanted to do, such as travel and renovate the house.  I’m glad for this, and more than happy to go with her and help her in the various projects.

But it plays havoc with my own productive schedule, and I find myself falling further and further behind.

To get caught up, I’m jettisoning a lot of things I used to do.  One of those things was keeping up with numerous comic strips.  I’ve been a fan of the art form since I was a little kid and first entranced with Dick Tracey and Little Orphan Annie and Buck Rogers and Pogo and Li’l Abner and Mr. Mum.  Each December I post my list of the ten funniest strips of the year; I want to keep doing that, but in recent years I’ve had to forgo the yearly overview of all the strips I track.

I’ve already dropped several strips that I felt had exhausted themselves and become repetitive.  Here are six I’m dropping simply because of time constraints; they’re still good and I still enjoy them but I have to jump through too many hoops make too many clicks to read them.

That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but every productive minute is precious now, and I’ve got to ration them like a stranded traveler in the desert rations his water.  If you read my previous post on the topic, you know what it feels like when I can’t write, so to squeeze out a few extra minutes, I’m giving up a lot of things I used to enjoy.

Feh, enough mawkish self-pity.  If you like comic strips / web comics and haven’t tried the following, give ‘em a look.  They’re all good.  (Descriptions courtesy JSOline)

Farewell Baby Blues

Baby Blues by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott is an entertaining and poignant view of parenthood and childhood. Wanda and Darryl MacPherson spend the majority of their time chasing, refereeing and pleading with their three children.

Farewell Edge City

Edge City by Terry & Patty Laban is a groundbreaking comic strip about a hip, Jewish-American family juggling relationships, careers, and tradition at the fast pace of modern life.

Farewell Mutts

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell explores the special bond between animals and their guardians, and the endearing friendship of Earl, the dog, and Mooch the cat.

Farewell Safe Havens

Safe Havens by Bill Holbrook is a comic strip that focuses mainly on Samantha and her group of friends, who met as toddlers at Safe Havens Day Care and are now young adults enrolled at Havens University.

Farewell Sally Forth

Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano, Jim Keefe is a timely comic strip about a working mother, who juggles her mid-management job and finding enough quality time for her husband and daughter. Somehow, Sally manages to keep her sanity and sense of humor.

Farewell Zippy

Zippy the Pinhead by Bill Griffith creates a reality all on its own with a unique cast of characters, including Griffy, Zippy’s foil; Zerbina, Zippy’s wife and their children, Fuelrod and Meltdown.

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