Thursday, November 26, 2015


It's Thanksgiving again, that wonderful day of days when we put aside our differences and recall the blessings we've received all year.

It all starts with a reading from the Good Book. 

The local pastor solemnifies the occasion with a prayer of thanks, then the meal begins.

Good manners prevail.

All are welcome at the table. 

No arguments between brother and sister on this day.

Couples are reconciled.

Friendships are solidified.

We're given a glimpse into a better world...

...a world of friendship and co-operation, of love and harmony, of...


ALL: (COLLECTIVE GASP) "Black Friday!!!!??????"

FWOOOMP! SWOOOP!!!! THWOMP!!!!!!!!!!!!! The car fills up and peels out!

PASSENGERS: "I lost a tooth!" "My eye! My eye!" "Get a doctor!"

A mad rush to the mall!


Boy, Black Friday can get pretty intense!

Here's hoping that you get what you're looking for!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


'Only two drawings this time, but they're both heavy hitters.

How do you like this early one (above) by John K? It's so wonderfully ignorant, so delightfully, class clown. It reminds me of why I got into the cartoon industry in the first place. When you draw every day for a living it's so easy to get diverted into the refinement of technique. You need to see something like this to be reminded that what we do is all about getting a laugh.

This one (above) is by my daughter. Apologies if I posted it before. I can't remember. Anway, that's me sipping a soda at Carl Jr.'s. Boy, it's so streamlined, so stripped down to essentials. Here a man with weird hair and a massive bull moose of a face, puckers his lips to drink daintily from a needle-thin straw. How did she come up with that?

Monday, November 23, 2015


I found an old envelope of scraps in the garage and here's a few samples. The picture above is my kid when he was a baby, drawn by John K.

Haw! Another John baby picture of my kid. This was for his first birthday. 

I think this (above) is a John drawing too, but it's not done in one of his usual styles. Haw! I remember telling him that the colorful, plastic watches little girls were wearing looked better than the ones worn by most grown men, and this drawing was the result.

Here's (above, right) a really early caricature of me by my daughter. She hadn't discovered her own style yet but I see glimpses of it in the eyes, teeth, ear hair and beard stubble. I love the transparent pants. 

I think this (above) is me again. She often drew me with a cigarette, even though I didn't smoke. Haw! Little kids are fascinated by adult smoking.

These are fragments of doodles I did with a hard, HB pencil applied with a light touch. I held the pencil high, the way Chuck Jones said to do it, and it worked. I wish I'd done more HB sketches. I usually work with a 4B.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


It seems to me that psychology has long overlooked the "Gorilla in the Living Room," the fundamental mental disorder on which so many other disorders rest.

Haw! That's (above) a caricature Mike did of me, showing me in one of my cheery moods, oblivious to anything depressing. Haw! Maybe he's right. For all I know, I might have a mountain of psychological disorders, but I don't think Depression is one of them. Even so I can't help but feel sorry for the people who do have it, a sympathy made deeper by a reading of William Styron's book on the subject, "Darkness Visible."

I think the image most people have of a depressive is that of a lethargic person (above) who spends hours looking wistfully out the window at grey, overcast skies. I don't think that's always correct. My own belief is that depressives are sometimes the most active people you know, the people who are least likely to waste time staring out of windows.

It's true that they're all vulnerable to funks of frightening intensity, but it's also true that lots of them have developed strategies to deflect those funks....I mean, apart from the medication they take. Those strategies frequently include alcohol or drugs...

...but they also might include hypochondria, hoarding, workaholism, over-achievement or sex obsession.

Even crime, even philanthropy!  What all these strategies have in common is that they allow the sufferer to get out of his own problems and focus on something outside of himself.

I find this fascinating, especially the workaholic part (above). I used to regard workaholics as possible candidates for what's called "Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior Disorder, but now I'm not so sure. If a person deliberately cultivates compulsion just to deflect depression, is he really clinically compulsive? Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that he simply has a compulsive "problem?" Surely the stronger term "disorder" should be reserved for the the depression he's trying to avoid.

Okay, I've probably bored everybody to death with all this fuss about naming things. I'll end with this thought: if lesser disorders are dropped from the official list...if vulnerability to depression is recognized as being far and away the central problem...

...the "Gorilla in the Living Room"...

....then psychiatry and treatment is simplified. Whatever drug lessens the frequency of depression will lessen lots of other problems too. In fact, in a general way, I think that's already known to be the case.

My own guess is that if depression were easier to recognize, we'd discover that 1/2  or more of all people have it. Something that widespread might have come about because it's benign or useful in some way. Maybe the deflection strategies it engenders are an essential part of creative thinking or getting things done. Who knows?

Friday, November 13, 2015


I'll be moving in a few months and I won't be able to take half my heavy furniture. That means I'll have to buy a few new things when I get where I'm going and that's exciting. 

I plan to go for an eclectic blend of Charles Eames knock-offs (that's his work, above), Wright, Indiana Jones, Cliff May, Craftsman, Wally Wood, Mad Scientist, Calder and Carl Larsson. At one time or another I've blogged about all these influences on Uncle Eddie's Theory Corner, and now I get to try out some of these ideas in my own house.   

Lately I've taken a close look at modern furniture. Some ideas stand up to scrutiny and some don't. Like Mies van der Rohe's famous "Barcelona Chair" (above): I have to admit, it looks great, but...wait a minute... there are no arms! I like to rest my forearm on something when I sit, don't you?

I might give in and get just one Barcelona chair as an accent, but then I'll be sorely tempted to get an armless sofa to go with it. I'll need to steel myself to avoid that lest my living room look like a reception area.

Besides, I like to lie down and read on the sofa or even take a short nap there once in a while, and you need an arm for that. Why would anyone design a sofa without arms?

Then there's the Noguchi CoffeeTable. It's a beautiful work of art, no doubt, but is it functional?

 In the picture above, the table top is triangular and only the tip containing the green ashtray faces the sofa. That can't be right. What if someone on the far end of the sofa (off screen) wants to use the table? They can't.

If you turn the table around then the people sitting opposite get the awkward tip. Yikes! And look at the awkward dead space that surrounds the table!

Compare the triangular Noguchi Table just discussed to the rectangular, red marble coffee table above. I like this thing. The broad surface is available to everyone on the sofa, and there's plenty of room to stack the books I always have going. Marble adds psychological weight to counter the fear that the modern supports are too thin and flimsy.

 By the way, what do you think of the Windsor chairs surrounding the dining table in this picture? My current table uses chairs like that, and they've given me years of pleasure. It's a centuries-old design that still works. My only criticism is that the ones shown here all have arms which would be hard to slide under the table without pinching fingers.

Maybe I'll get lucky and find a new home with built-in bookshelves. If I can't then I'll rely mostly on a combination of George Nelson-type shelves (above), Ikea's "Billy" shelves, and some custom shelves that I'll tinker together myself. Eames made some good shelves which Nelson tweaked and improved.

George Nelson was a prolific artist. You might already own something he designed without knowing his sunburst clock or this asterisk clock (above).

Nelson's designs have a light and airy modern feel and they blend well with other styles, like the fabric pattern above.

Well, there's more I could say but I'll have to save it for another post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I looked up "architectural toys" on the net and was surprised at how many I found. Christmas is coming and if you know someone who's interested in architecture then maybe one of the items in this post would make a good present.

Hmmmm, come to think of it....this Robie House toy wouldn't work because you can only see the whole layout when it's down at waist level. If you put it out of the way up on top of a book shelf, which is what I'd do with it, then you wouldn't be able to see it. 

This "Wright Blocks" kit was actually sold for a while. It was conceived and designed by Frank Lloyd Wright's son, who was also the inventor of Lincoln Logs. He only got a measly $800 for the Log idea so he figured he'd try again with a new set based on his and his dad's ideas, and this (above) is it.

It looks like an interesting toy that would have good top shelf visibility. It didn't sell well, though. 

I bought my kid an old-time erector set (above) and he never used it. He's an adult now so maybe the set has reverted to me. I'm tempted to build it myself, but where would I put it? 
I also got my daughter a nice Lego Victorian dollhouse and she never used it. Maybe it looked too old-fashioned. Probably she would have liked it better if the design had been more modern, like the one above. 

It would have been an ideal house for a new, updated cubist Barbie (above). I can imagine a situation where she's on the other side of town when Ken calls and invites her to the beach.

She gets in her cubist car and drives to her new cubist house to meet him.

And there's (above) Kubist Ken now, looking dapper as usual!

Apparently there's a whole subculture of adult block enthusiasts who build modern architectural toys. This guy (above) displays his blocks on shelves. He doesn't even have to build anything. The parts look good all by themselves!

While I'm on the topic of architecture I think I'll change the subject a little and hazard a guess about what houses will look like in the near future. My guess is that homes are heading for a new look something like the one in the picture above. Yep, that's what we'll all live in 20 years from now. You can take that to the bank!

What will the interiors look like? Mmmmmm....maybe something like this (above).