Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kentucky and Indiana

I think it's safe to assume that this had something to do with Abraham Lincoln.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Boba Fett

Firstly. let me pause to welcome a valuable new member of the Early Works team, the Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 scanner, who will be filling the position formerly occupied by Mr. AcerScan 620U. It is hoped that a scanner not bearing a sticker exhorting the user to "Get Ready For Win98" may be better equipped to serve this blog's needs.
Now, to the matter at hand: everyone's favorite bounty hunter, Mr. Fett. This drawing was drawn months in advance of his live-action debut (but over a year after his animated debut), and is referenced partly from a plastic cup available at theaters during that year's Star Wars re-release (mine is inaccessible, and I can't find it online, but here's another in the same set), but mostly from the ad on the back of the action figures for the mail-in offer that convinced a generation of the existence of the "missile-firing backpack" Fett figure. For those who haven't got the memo yet---that kid you knew who swore that he had one/ his cousin had one/ some kid at camp had one was lying. He didn't.
The detailed color work on this piece was done with the felt-tip markers discussed here, and the forest background was rendered either with Design Markers (R.I.P) or those Magic Marker-brand pens whose body is actually a stubby glass bottle with the label shrinkwrapped around it. Man, I loved those things! I suppose that it's been long enough that I can confess that the few of them that I ever had were in fact stolen from school. But if I'd ever known where to get them, I'd have gladly purchased them legitimately! Incidentally, I couldn't find any images of the particular model I'm discussing, but here's Sidney Rosenthal's original patent, and here's a really amazingly cool variation on the theme that I covet mightily.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Flying House

I'm a bit confused by the fact that the rockets attached to the house are firing, yet not producing enough lift to prevent the parachute from opening. And since the chute is fully open despite the counteracting thrust, one would assume that the house would be descending fairly rapidly... but the smoke from the chimney is drifting diagonally, rather than vertically as one might expect under the circumstances. But even if it's impossible to gauge the rate of descent, here's obviously a problem, since the occupant has bailed out using the attic-mounted ejector seat.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Unfinished Hawkman

I assume that the sudden realization that I'd left no room for his right arm was the reason I abandoned this one.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Centrifuge Incident

The device pictured is a hand-cranked centrifuge from a Gilbert chemistry set that I had mounted on racks on the wall over my desk. One raises and lowers the handle at the top to cause the test-tube holders to spin, in the manner of a mechanical top. It is the star of today's anecdote.
From the time I was 8 or 9 years old until we moved into town where we could get cable (circa 1987), the only television in the house was the one in my room, a big old color model that was primarily used as a monitor for the Atari and Commodore 64, as our reception was lousy. If something of interst to others came on, they'd come into my room to watch.
One night, when my cousin Susie was visiting us, there was something coming on that she and my parents wanted to watch but I didn't (possibly Saturday Night Live), so I bade them good night, crawled into bed and headed off to Slumberland as they watched their show nearby.
The next morning, when I got up and headed out into the living room to get breakfast, I found everyone staring quizzically at me as I entered, and Susie was having trouble maintaining a straight face. After a moment, they explained.
I had been asleep for something less than an hour when, without warning, my eyes snapped open and I sat up straight, announcing "I have just the thing! I have just the thing!" I then hopped out of bed, ran across the room to my desk, and snatched up the centrifuge. I pumped the handle several times, watching it spin, and, to the startled onlookers, announced "I'm not a weirdo...everyone's doing it!" Then, I quietly went back to bed and went to sleep. I can't recall if I took the centrifuge with me.
While I've done plenty of talking in my sleep this is the only incident of somnambulism on my resume that I'm aware of.

Thursday, February 14, 2008