Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Forced Nostalgia

A strangely forced, obligatory portrayal of an American Grafitti-style Drive-in scene. Sometimes I would do drawings in which I felt in some way compelled to follow my impression of how things were supposed to be depicted, rather than really expressing myself, and this seems to be such a case. I also have several examples of the cliched squiggle-haired stick figure labeled "TEACHER" (occasionally misspelled intentionally) that are invariably seen on the blackboard in any cartoon set in a classroom.
A notable aspect of this drawing is that I did draw the sign of the now-defunct Pete's Drive-In No. 5, located near my grandparent's house on E.River St. in Anderson, SC, although I don't think there was a canopy out front. Also, I should point out that the convertible has to be at least 30 feet long.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Half-Freckled Cyclops

I think this fellows unusual markings may be attributed to laziness rather than intent, but who knows? Kids are nutty. I've always suffered from poor follow-through, though.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Star Trek

I'm trying to figure out what the thing at the bottom (apparently not part of the Star Trek bit, since it's separated by the line above it) is supposed to be. It reminds me of the crude, stylized race cars in Indy 500 (or Rally-X, but that's still several years in the future). It's possible that I drew a car, and then was idly doodling, connecting outer edges, then corners. Alternately, the car image I see might just be coincidental, and it's an attempt at a version of some Star Trek vehicle or prop that I just can't remember, as I really haven't seen a whole lot of episodes in the last 20 years or so.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Two Unfinished Gaikings

For the uninitiated, Gaiking was a Japanese robot featured in the Shogun Warriors toy line, but not in the comic book.Probably referenced from some imported "Presto-Magix"-style rub-down transfers I got at a toy store in Wilmington, NC that I always visited when in town to see my grandfather. I used most of them on some cheap styrene plastic shoe-boxes I bought to store small toy parts (missiles, guns, etc.). Regrettably, they broke almost immediately, but I kept the cracked, useless lids for several years thereafter, purely because of the chipped, flaking images of Dangard Ace and friends still clinging to them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Darth Vader's Head

I suspect that the stylized diamond-shaped "cheekbones" here are clumsily-referenced from Carmine Infantino's art in the Star Wars comic, but that's only conjecture.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Okay, so it's an octopus, obviously. but its bifurcated cranium seems to suggest that it's intended as a monster of some sort, and I believe that the squiggly lines in the middle are evidence that it's intended to be transparent, with the tangle of lines representing its internal organs. And, apparently, its name is "Opo" (possibly inspired by "Ocho", the pet octopus from the Hanna-Barbera Addams Family cartoon), unless those are supposed to be lumps or spots on its skin that were too sloppily drawn. I'm pretty sure that's his name, though.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Invasion of the Saucer Men

       The inspiration for a lot of these pieces is lost to me, but this one is easy. It's referenced from 2 or 3 different publicity stills from Invasion of the Saucer Men, but mainly this one: 

... which was one of the illustrations for the Famous Monsters of Filmland article on the film, as reprinted in 1979 in this Alien cash-in  special, which has one article on Alien, but is otherwise all early-'60s reprints (which was just fine by me):
I remember being very pleased with this drawing, particularly with the color modeling of his bulging head-veins.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Now, what else did you think I'd post today? It's a grand old American tradition. I wonder what children in turkeyless countries turn their hand-tracings into?

This is the drawing that's bleeding through from the reverse (or possibly obverse...I'm not sure which side was originally the front) side of the above piece. I don't know why the vulture perched on the sign has two different-colored wings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Eyes or Ears?

You tell me. Whatever they are, they're pretty ostentatious.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The UHF Spectrum

Today's episode is dedicated to Mr. Dave Merrill, America's Ambassador to Canadia.

In today's media-soaked world, it's easy to forget how limited and ephemeral one's entertainment options really were (I mean, if you weren't willing to settle for playing outdoors and interacting with other living humans and stuff, of course). Upstate South Carolina had many good points, but the availability of a wide selection of interesting syndicated reruns and cartoons on the local channels was not among them. Until 1980, if I wanted to see cable television, I had to ride on a different bus after school with my friend Richard Dubose to his grandparents' house in town, at which point we could then watch about 90 minutes of WTCG (Later WTBS, TBS, and now WPCH) out of Atlanta before we hitched a ride home with one of my parents at 6:00. Spectreman and Space Giants were rare, hard-won treats indeed. If I was staying downtown in the evening, I could go over to the bar adjacent to the bookstore my father managed and they'd let me watch KTVU out of Oakland, which was at that time a "superstation" on nationwide cable, like WOR, WGN, and the aforementioned WTBS. Not only did it have a thrilling (if crappy) array of shows I'd only read about previously, like The Marvel Superheroes, and Clutch Cargo, but due to the time difference, they just got going as the local channels went to the news hour. Plus, they featured TV Pow!, the world's most retarded game show!
Around this period, my friends and I generally rushed up the hill from the bus stop to the nearest friendly house to watch Star Blazers (and, most days, the second half of New Zoo Revue, which preceded it, even though we were a bit old for it) on the local Christian channel, WGGS. They mixed a bit of secular programming amongst the sacred, but outside of the aforementioned pair, there wasn't much to see. On the other hand, it was always exciting to tune in to channel 40, if they were on the air.
WAIM was a tiny, low-power station that showed both ABC and CBS programming in the evenings, but the afternoons were filled with a crazy party mix of kid-oriented programming. A typical afternoon would feature Felix the Cat, Mighty Mouse, Speed Racer, The Little Rascals, and other assorted cartoons...but in no fixed sequence.! In fact, on at least one occasion that I recall, they played a Speed Racer, followed it with 15 minutes of Mighty Mouse, and then repeated the same Speed episode. Also, at least once every couple of weeks, the transmitter would break down and they'd have to send over to Greenville for a repairman, so they'd be off the air for the night. Watching channel 40 was an adventure. It was probably on such an afternoon that I drew this page of mostly Speed-related doodles. I don't recall if the flying saucer car is from the show, or whether it was my own design. Again, like yesterday, we see the notes on homework interpolated with the drawings.

Monday, November 19, 2007

10 Homonyms

Regrettably, this was just a drawing and a hastily-scrawled homework assignment sharing a page, rather than an illustration of a fanged gentleman shouting his love for homonymy. Incidentally, spellcheck thinks that "homonymy" is not a real word, but it's a big stupid idiot in that regard.

With luck, my recent computer difficulties are behind me (though I'm still using a scanner bearing a sticker exhorting me to "Get Ready for Win98", so there are still opportunities aplenty for disaster), and, barring further mischance, (week)daily postings should now resume. Did you miss me?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cutaway View of a Cyborg

I've always had a real fondness for exposed internal organs.... the Visible Man, Pulsar, Gre-Gory, Mutagen Man, whatever. One of the things in life I still need to do is to see one of those cows with windows installed in their side so you can watch their innards.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Stylized Toddler

I believe this is my attempt at doing Munro Leaf.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Ice Cream Cone Man

Wearing an Indian headdress, perhaps? Or maybe he's a grossly-deformed porpoise, and that's his blowhole spouting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Frankenstein is a monster with Green skin,

There is really nothing more that needs to be said about this; it speaks for itself quite eloquently.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Determined X-Wing Pilot

This guy means business. Woe betide any TIE fighter pilots that get in his way.

Monday, October 29, 2007


This, to me, is perhaps the oddest thing I've posted here. The collaged mascot characters are from the cover of a sketchbook, but I can't remember which manufacturer's mascot he is...Speedball and Grumbacher are the two most likely suspects, but I can't find evidence of the source off hand. I have no idea what they're arguing about, either.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Smug Jerk

Don't you just want to smack him?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Oy! I get past "E" and "S" (the traditional problem letters for little kids-- at least according to Our Gang and any number of cartoonists throughout history), I power on through, narrowly averting the omission of "R", ignoring the fact that my Magic Marker is dying in my hand, showing unparallelled grit and determination, and...I stumble and fall flat on my face at the finish line! Humiliating.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mixed Media

I'm not sure whether this was my original intent, or whether I drew something and then opted to glue some stuff to it afterward. I don't believe I was in day care yet, so this would seem to have been my idea rather than an assigned task.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Cardboard Bunny

This is pretty self-explanatory, I suppose. In retrospect, I'm not sure why I didn't find a white or colored piece of cardboard, but its drabness has an certain low-key appeal. It would be another two or three years before I'd start using an X-acto knife with any regularity (and even then, I usually favored big scary box-cutters instead), so this was cut with poked-through scissors, hence the ragged edges.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Violent Napkin with Sharks

Here we see me taking the theme of "guy being punched in the jaw" and exploring all the ways I'd ever seen it portrayed in cartoons. Then, as a palate cleanser, I throw in a turkey with the head of a man, cat's eyes, and the massive protruding fangs of a saber-toothed tiger. My father drew the shark and shrimp boat and it's possible that the mermaid/manatee thing is a collaboration. The shrimp boat is the Osibisa, a leaky old hulk that my father worked on through most of 1975 (it sank within a year or so after his departure). It sailed out of Bowen's Island, SC, where my mother and I joined him through the summer months. I went out with them several times and had exciting maritime adventures, one of which will be recounted in this spot at a later date.
The flip side is all my father's work, continuing the shark theme, plus a bonus werewolf for good measure.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Skyway Inn

I thought this might have been the name of an actual motel we stayed at when I was small (Gatlinburg, 1972 was the likely setting in my mind), but I can find no evidence to support this. It's possible that this is floating in the sky, Jetsons-style, but I may have just neglected to draw other hills and mountains to ground it in its setting. The apparent face formed by the balconies and window at the right may or may not be intentional. Frankly, I can't make head or tail of this, but here it is anyway.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

High Heels and Spear

The hot new look for fall, I predict. With what seems to be a tutu and opera gloves, no less. I don't know why I didn't pursue a career in fashion (other than my profound contempt for the whole industry and its hangers-on, of course).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rain Dance

This may be a shaman doing a rain dance (the thing over his right hand looks like a storm cloud sending down a bolt of lightning), or it might be an African witch doctor (if the things on the left are in fact skulls on poles). Whatever he is, he sure is shaking those tambourines!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ROM, Spaceknight

Based more on the comic than the actual appearance of the toy itself. I was so pleased with this colored pencil rendering that it's one of a handful of drawings that I bound together in a screw-fastened binder (originally a military operational manual) that of looted from a storage closet aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown on a class field trip (Please don't tell the authorities-- I'm not sure what the statute of limitations is for that sort of thing.). I'll be posting more of the stuff from that binder in the near future during Shogun Warriors Week, coming soon to this website!

Monday, September 24, 2007

War of the Satellites: the Prequel looks like I have to slightly revise my understanding of last Wednesday's entry, which it now appears was the second panel of a narrative sequence. It seems that the space pirate's satellite-thingy was engaged in a dogfight with some sort of composite of an X-wing fighter and a Colonial Viper (suggesting that this was drawn slightly later than I'd imagined), as seen here, before defeating it in the previously-shown piece. It is likely that the off-panel assailants of the pirate craft in the other piece would be found to resemble the ship shown here. Aren't you glad we cleared that up?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Seussian Band

My inspiration for this musical menage isn't hard to trace... to a point. It's obviously Dr. Seuss, but which book? A hastily-assembled brain-trust spanning the continental United States has failed to produce an answer to that question, and my books are inaccessible at the moment. The first comment with the correct answer will win a major award !

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Splnt! Clang!

Alright, so it actually was intended to say "splat", but I think that I like "splnt" better, anyway. I have no idea what's happening here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

War of the Satellites

I find it interesting that the ship in the foreground that I actually put most of my effort into is in fact a mere observer of the action, with the actual assault on the space pirates' ship coming from off-panel.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Questionable Perspective

...unless we assume that this is in fact a special covered wagon shaped like a piece of elbow macaroni, so as to make it easier to circle the wagons at night. Of course, during the day, you'd just be riding in circles, so maybe this would be best suited for chickens who want the pioneer lifestyle without the risk of actually leaving town and heading out to the territories.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Werewolf With Mange

It's possible that this is actually just a shaved werewolf...or that he's actually some sort of (formerly) furry alien. That scraggly tail suggests mange to me, though. I assume that I abandoned the drawing of his associate out of dissatisfaction with his short arms. He clearly wouldn't pass a short arm inspection.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Criminal Escape!

I suppose this is a (possibly unfinished) drawing of a prison guard tower, but I'm open to other theories. If so, it might have been inspired by my reading of "The Super-Stalag of Space", a Legion of Super-Heroes story from Adventure Comics #344 & 345 (May/June 1966), that I read when it was reprinted in Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #202 (June 1974).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Superman and Superboy-- Together Again!

This may have been inspired by a story published around that period wherein Old and Young Supie get stuck in the same period and resolve their dilemma by having one stand still and the other fly at him with all his might (accompanied by some narration concerning the whole "irresistible force/immovable object" conundrum), the result being that this causes him to be bashed through the time barrier to his own home time zone. It seemed like specious reasoning even then, but I accepted it. Alternately, this may be Superman with his son Superman, Jr., from the "Super-Sons" stories that ran periodically in World's Finest in those days. Either seems plausible to me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Dog-Head Monster From Outer Space!

This one required a fair amount of retouching to be readable, since it was apparently drawn with a fairly hard pencil lead on cheap gray newsprint-- specifically, on page 12 of My Own Book for Listening and Reading (Student Record Book for Reading Laboratory® 1b, 1973 Edition). Still, I felt like it was absolutely worth it to share that crazy dog-monster with you, my loyal viewing public.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Still Life With Moo-Cow Creamer

A product of art class at school, this technically falls slightly outside the time frame of this project, but it's got the Moo-Cow, so I'll let it slide.

Friday, September 7, 2007

S.S. Minow

I don't know if this is a portrayal of Gilligan and the Skipper in happier times before their tragic accident, or instead an artist's rendering of Former FCC chairman Newton Minow's personal yacht.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Well, my father wrote that this was Saruman, so I suppose that it must be. It's been about 30 years since I read any of Tolkien's work, and close to that long since the ill-fated film, so I frankly can't remember who he is, though hasty research reveals that you folks out there in Computerland think he looks like Christopher Lee, and there is in fact no scriptural basis for my skull-faced rendering. Nevertheless, I stand by my unique artistic vision.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Three Comic Strips

What Grandfather could ask for a finer birthday gift than a trio of pantomime gag strips? In March of 1977, my own grandfather, John T. Thompson, Sr. was obliged to consider that very question on the occasion of his 65th birthday. If dissatisfied, he never mentioned it.
Said comics seem likely inspired by the Gold Key Club comics pages then used as filler in comics from that publisher. Sometimes they would just be wordless gags by staff artists, and other times there would be setups provided by the company and finished by readers. (Most if not all of these were 10-year old reprints-or just old used comics-at the time I was reading them, but it was all new to me). In this instance, though, I had to start from scratch. Taken in order:

• Icarus: In my retelling, Daedalus isn't involved. Icarus does it all himself. Of course, this may just be some other dude making himself a set of wings, but the mythological angle adds a touch of class. I thought the first panel was worthy of Saul Steinberg.

• Star Trek: A rather slight gag, but surprisingly post-modern and sophisticated for an 8-year old, if I might pat myself on the back.

• Superman: The least successful, mostly because the third panel is incomprehensible. I think it might involve Superman's construction of a jail cell, but I don't get it. The readers' interpretations are hereby solicited.

In retrospect, I wish I'd structured the third one to end with an explosion, so as to maintain the narrative symmetry, but I apparently wasn't all that concerned with it at the time.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Exoskeleton for a Disembodied Brain

Almost certainly torn from the same notebook as this piece, we see before us my concept for a suit to help disembodied living brains live a more normal , active life... kinda like a Rascal, but more so.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hang In There: a Story Treatment

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I never actually submitted this to 20th Century Fox. I mean, there's no romantic interest, little opportunity for product placement, and the third act just fizzles out. But maybe if I were to rework it with an eye toward the Sundance market...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The tiny, awkward X-wing seems very much an afterthought, added to lend some sort of drama to the static frontal view of Lord Vader's souped-up TIE fighter. I don't think it succeeds.