Friday, December 28, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: You Idiot.

Today my three-and-a-half-year-old son came in and said to his sister, "You know what? We are imbeciles." I said, "Do you know what that means?" He replied, "It's another word for idiot." It's all about those cool new words when you are three I guess.
So in honor of the New Year, here's to all of us proud Idiots - Here's to those of you out there who just finished cutting the hair off the back of your kid's doll trying to get it out of the packaging after you gave it to her for Christmas, and everyone who found out the turkey does slide really easily off the counter, and everyone who discovered that their new Christmas lights only reach halfway across the front of the porch, and everyone who put their foot in their mouth at some holiday dinner or other, or got their spouse's boss' name wrong at the holiday party, or whatever other Idiot-type stuff you might have pulled off this year. Be proud. I know I am.
And, I'm going to try this funky mobile-posting thing while I'm out of town the next few days, so we'll see if that works -- otherwise, see you next week!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

moti ho keh sheesha, jaam keh dur
jo toot gaya, so toot gaya
kab ashko.n say jur sakta hai
jo toot gaya, so choot gaya

tum nahaq tukray chun chun kar
daman mai.n chupaye baithay ho
sheesho.n ka maseeha koi nahi
kiya aas lagaye baithay ho

shayad keh inhi.n tukro.n mai.n kahi.n
woh saghir-e-dil hai jis mai.n kabhi
sad naz say utara karti thi
sehbay-e-gham-e-jana.n ki pari

phir duniya walo.n nay tum say
yeh saghar lay kar phor diya
jo maiy thi, baha di mitti mai.n
mehma.n ka shehpar tor diya

yeh rangeen rezay hai.n shayad
un shokh bilori.n sapno.n kay
tum mast jawani mai.n jin say
khalwat ko sajya kartay thay

nadari, daftar bhook aur gham
in sapno.n say takratey rahey
be reham tha chomukh pathrao
yeh kaanch kay dhanchay kiya kartay

ya shayad in zarro.n mai.n kahi.n
moti hai tumhari izzat ka
woh jis say tumharay ijz par
shamshad qadro.n nay raksh kiya

is mal ki dhun mai.n phirtay thay
tajir bhi buhat, rehzun bhi kai
hai chor nagar, yaa.n muflis ki
gar jan bachi tou aan gai

yeh saghar sheeshay laal-o-guhr
salim hoo to qeemat patay hai.n
yu.n tukray tukray hoo to faqt
chubtay hai.n, lahoo rulwatay hai.n

tum nahaq tukray chun chun kar
daman mai.n chupaye baithay ho
sheesho.n ka maseeha koi nahi
kia aas lagaye baithay ho

yadoo.n kay garebano.n kay rafo
par dil ki guzr kab hoti hai
ik bakhia udhaira, aik siya
yu.n umr basr kab hoti hai

is kar geh hasti mai.n jaha.n
yeh saghar sheeshay dhaltay hai.n
har shay ka badal mil sakta hai
sub daman pur ho saktay hai.n

jo hath barhay yawar hai yeha.n
jo aankh uthay, wo bakhtawar
ya.n dhan dolat ka ant nahi
ho.n ghat mai.n lakh daku magar

kab loot jhapat say hasti ki
dukanai.n khali hoti hai.n
ya.n parbat parbat heeray hai.n
ya.n sagar sagar moti hai.n

kuch log hai.n jo is daulat par
parday lutkaye phirtay hai.n
har parbat ko, har sagar ko
neelam charhaye phirtay hai.n

kuch wo bhi hai.n jo lar bhar kar
yeh parday noch giratay hai.n
hasti ki uthai geero.n ki
har chal uljhaye jatey hai.n

in dono.n mai.n run parta hai
nit basti basti, nagar nagar
har basti ghar kay seenay mai.n
har chalti rah kay mathay par

yeh kalak bhartay phirtay hai.n
woh jot lagatay phirtay hai.n
yeh aag lagatay phirtay hai.n
woh aag bujhatay phirtay hai.n

sab saghar sheeshy, laal-o-guhr
is bazi mai.n bid jatay hai.n
utho sab khali hatho.n
us ran say bulawey atay hai.n


Initialization of Classes and Interfaces

Initialization of a class consists of executing its static initializers and the initializers for static fields (class variables) declared in the class. Initialization of an interface consists of executing the initializers for fields (constants) declared there.

Before a class is initialized, its superclass must be initialized, but interfaces implemented by the class are not initialized. Similarly, the superinterfaces of an interface are not initialized before the interface is initialized.

When Initialization Occurs

Initialization of a class consists of executing its static initializers and the initializers for static fields declared in the class. Initialization of an interface consists of executing the initializers for fields declared in the interface.

Before a class is initialized, its direct superclass must be initialized, but interfaces implemented by the class need not be initialized. Similarly, the superinterfaces of an interface need not be initialized before the interface is initialized.

A class or interface type T will be initialized immediately before the first occurrence of any one of the following:

  • T is a class and an instance of T is created.
  • T is a class and a static method declared by T is invoked.
  • A static field declared by T is assigned.
  • A static field declared by T is used and the reference to the field is not a compile-time constant. References to compile-time constants must be resolved at compile time to a copy of the compile-time constant value, so uses of such a field never cause initialization.

Invocation of certain reflective methods in class Class and in package java.lang.reflect also causes class or interface initialization. A class or interface will not be initialized under any other circumstance.

The intent here is that a class or interface type has a set of initializers that put it in a consistent state, and that this state is the first state that is observed by other classes. The static initializers and class variable initializers are executed in textual order, and may not refer to class variables declared in the class whose declarations appear textually after the use, even though these class variables are in scope . This restriction is designed to detect, at compile time, most circular or otherwise malformed initializations.

As shown in an example in, the fact that initialization code is unrestricted allows examples to be constructed where the value of a class variable can be observed when it still has its initial default value, before its initializing expression is evaluated, but such examples are rare in practice. (Such examples can also be constructed for instance variable initialization. The full power of the language is available in these initializers; programmers must exercise some care. This power places an extra burden on code generators, but this burden would arise in any case because the language is concurrent

Before a class is initialized, its superclasses are initialized, if they have not previously been initialized.

Thus, the test program:

class Super {
        static { System.out.print("Super "); }
class One {
        static { System.out.print("One "); }
class Two extends Super {
        static { System.out.print("Two "); }
class Test {
        public static void main(String[] args) {
               One o = null;
               Two t = new Two();
               System.out.println((Object)o == (Object)t);


Super Two false

The class One is never initialized, because it not used actively and therefore is never linked to. The class Two is initialized only after its superclass Super has been initialized.

A reference to a class field causes initialization of only the class or interface that actually declares it, even though it might be referred to through the name of a subclass, a subinterface, or a class that implements an interface.

The test program:

class Super { static int taxi = 1729; }
class Sub extends Super {
        static { System.out.print("Sub "); }
class Test {
        public static void main(String[] args) {

prints only:


because the class Sub is never initialized; the reference to is a reference to a field actually declared in class Super and does not trigger initialization of the class Sub.

Initialization of an interface does not, of itself, cause initialization of any of its superinterfaces.

Thus, the test program:

interface I {
        int i = 1, ii = Test.out("ii", 2);
interface J extends I {
        int j = Test.out("j", 3), jj = Test.out("jj", 4);
interface K extends J {
        int k = Test.out("k", 5);
class Test {
        public static void main(String[] args) {
        static int out(String s, int i) {
               System.out.println(s + "=" + i);
               return i;

produces the output:


The reference to J.i is to a field that is a compile-time constant; therefore, it does not cause I to be initialized. The reference to K.j is a reference to a field actually declared in interface J that is not a compile-time constant; this causes initialization of the fields of interface J, but not those of its superinterface I, nor those of interface K. Despite the fact that the name K is used to refer to field j of interface J, interface K is not initialized.



17th December 2007
Outside Chief Justice House
Islamabad Pakistan


Bradman Batting Technique

Bradman’s early development was shaped by the high bounce of the ball on matting over concrete pitches. He favored "horizontal-bat" shots (such as the hook, pull and cut) to deal with the bounce and devised a unique grip on the bat handle that would accommodate these strokes without compromising his ability to defend. Employing a side-on stance at the wicket, Bradman kept perfectly still as the bowler ran in. His backswing had a "crooked" look that troubled his early critics, but he resisted entreaties to change.

His backswing kept his hands in close to the body, leaving him perfectly balanced and able to change his stroke mid-swing, if need be. Another telling factor was the decisiveness of Bradman’s footwork. He “used the crease” by either coming metres down the wicket to drive, or playing so far back that his feet ended up level with the stumps when playing the cut, hook or pull.

Bradman’s game evolved with experience. He temporarily adapted his technique during the Bodyline series, deliberately moving around the crease in an attempt to score from the short-pitched deliveries. He had an ability to switch between a defensive or attacking innings as the occasion demanded, during the peak of his career in the mid-1930s. After the war, he readjusted to bat within the limitations set by his age, becoming a steady “accumulator” of runs.

However, Bradman never truly mastered batting on sticky wickets. Wisden commented, "if there really is a blemish on his amazing record it is... the absence of a significant innings on one of those 'sticky dogs' of old".

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: National Parking Day

I think December 26th should be National Parking Day, since the greatest thing you can accomplish on this day is to find a parking place at some mall or shopping center. Then you can go forth and buy lots of stuff that you don't need simply because it is on sale, and getting a discount is a way of winning some sort of shopper-versus-retailer power struggle.
I went forth today with the idea of buying a really cool new pan. I know, lots of people think household stuff makes a crappy Christmas gift, but I actually think that using something fabulous in your everyday life, and appreciating how fabulous it is, is totally worth it.
So, I went to Macys where you could get a fabulous pan, along with a ten-pan set with some things that I couldn't even identify, plus a bonus Dutch oven thing with an oven mitt and a spatula and a "double bonus" other pan thing that I couldn't really tell what it was. You basically had to be an idiot to buy an individual pan, since in the ten-pan set the items were less than half the price. Even though you were spending more money overall -- you'd look like you were throwing money away. Go figure.
I became overwhelmed by the giant pan displays and the bonus items and the double bonus items so we left and bought some socks. Oh, and pretzels for the kids.
But we did find a lovely parking spot. You know, within a couple blocks of where we were going, not being smooshed in from both sides by ginormous truck-like things, a good spot. So from that perspective I'd say our National Parking Day was indeed a success.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Urban Kid Myths

I always used to wonder as a kid: What would happen if I didn't step off the escalator? Could you really get sucked down in there? Or would it work like a big shredder?
It's sort of like wondering if you could go down the bathtub drain if you didn't get out. Or, fall into one of those storm drains in the street like that flat kid in the book.
It's as if when you're a kid, you and your imagination are pretty much the same thing. So if you can imagine falling into the heater vent, maybe you can really do it. Could I lay down between those train tracks and have the train go over me? Are those buildings close enough that you could jump from one to the other?
I wonder if it's partly because when you're a kid, your size is changing all the time. Where you fit is changing all the time. So, your idea of what size you are in relation to the world is a really elastic thing. So, you really do wonder where you can and can't go.
My daughter has a camera and I love looking at her pictures because they show the actual view of a 6-year-old. There are a lot of nostrils.
These days when I ride an escalator I still have that little moment before I get off where I imagine going right down into some upside down world or something. I bet I always will.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Displaying Images as a Thumbnails on wireless devices in J2ME

You can display your image as a thumbnail on your mobile device. The process is simple you just have to specify the width and height of your thumbnail and the code below will create a thumbnail of your image for you

public static Image getThumbnail (Image src, int dstW, int dstH)
int srcW = src.getWidth();
int srcH = src.getHeight();

Image tmp = Image.createImage(dstW, srcH);
Graphics g = tmp.getGraphics();

int delta = (srcW << pos =" delta/2;" x =" 0;">> 16), 0, Graphics.LEFT |
Graphics.TOP );
pos += delta;

Image dst = Image.createImage(dstW, dstH);
g = dst.getGraphics();

delta = (srcH << pos =" delta/2;" y =" 0;">> 16), Graphics.LEFT |
Graphics.TOP );
pos += delta;

return dst;

Anee queztyunzzz?

I went waaaaay back in the archives for this one (you can tell by the funky signature and lack of a border). I dedicate this to everyone out there who is trying to act normal while being really out of it, either because A. You took cold medicine or B. You didn't take cold medicine. Let's face it - modern life does not allow the common cold. There isn't time for it.
So here's to everybody out there who's just kind of making it through the day, doing whatever you're supposed to be doing, hearing the thud-thud of your feet hitting the ground from some echo chamber inside your head, ignoring the ringing in your ears, or hoping you brought enough tissue for the commute home. Hang in there.

Friday, December 14, 2007

One-Frame Movies

One of the things that makes single panel cartoons interesting is, even though it looks like only one drawing, a single-panel cartoon has a past, present and future. The cool part is where you choose to drop into the story. Take this one for example:

Okay, it's a dog. And he's not wanting his person to leave. But the fun part is what you think is going to happen after this panel, like the guy attempting to walk out the door while shuffling his foot with a dog sitting on it. Kind of like the scene in "The Jerk" where Steve Martin drags his dog down the street.
So, I kind of think of myself as a maker of one-frame movies. They've got a plot, they've got characters, they've even got dialogue. They're just really, really short. Like my thought processes.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Regular Price

Long ago I worked at an art supply store where everything was on sale, all the time. Every time we put any new merchandise out, we stuck 10% off stickers on everything. We did this every month of the year, every day of the week. There were no "sales."
The idea was to convince people that the picture frames and photo albums and stuff were discounted from some mythical, lurking, terrible "regular" price.
I think it worked pretty well. They sold a lot of picture frames and photo albums and stuff.
Anyway, good luck with your shopping this holiday season. And remember, something is a good price if it means that you'll have money left over after you buy it. Or, after you get up at 4 am and stand in line to buy it. Or whatever crazy stuff you're planning to do.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Brainwaves Goes To The Movies... Sort Of

Alright, people. It's a brave new world for these little one-panel stories - okay, maybe I'm being dramatic - but I think these little drawings have been wanting to come to life for some time -- the key is keeping them as dumb as they are in print. That shouldn't be too hard.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Peace: Take Some, Pass It On.

Here's my holiday image for this year -- and I'd love for you to share it with your friends and family.
Feel free to copy/paste it, or email this posting to people. I'd love to send as much Peace around as possible. I'm hoping that each time this illustration goes to somebody, it'll carry a little bit of good karma with it.
So, have at it! And enjoy. And, peace.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Put Your Arm Down.

I've noticed something weird: Whenever I'm walking down the street in some busy urban setting, there are tons of people walking around with phones up to their ears.
That's not weird.
What's weird is, the vast majority of the time, none of them seem to be saying anything. Now, either we're a nation of just amazing listeners (not), or there's something else going on.
Seriously. Even when I walk past a person who I've been observing for, say, the better part of a block, often I will not hear that person utter a single word into their phone.
Which makes me think, are we all just walking around holding up our phones because it makes us feel secure? Or keeps derelicts from coming up and accosting us on the street? Let's face it: holding up your phone sends the message, "I'm not really here and I'm not paying attention to you. I've got something better to pay attention to."
But next time you're out, watch the Phone People. Lots of them aren't saying anything.
Maybe soon I'll get up the gumption to start asking people what they're doing. Listening to immensely long voicemails? Being controlled by alien voice commands? Unable to lower their arms? Hoping someone will call? Who knows.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Poll THIS.

I am not, I repeat, not a political cartoonist. But sometimes the line between politics and satire get pretty darn blurred. Like, when there's a really major election coming up...
As far as I can tell, our political process in the US now consists of people who have various levels of skill in manipulating their public personas, and in destroying the public personas of others. This is done using this thing called media, which is a bunch of people who want to sell advertising by getting lots of attention.
So here's how you play: You position yourself as an Interesting Public Person, otherwise known as Someone Who Can Attract A Lot Of Attention, then the media follow you around. Then you make people you don't like Interesting by saying Interesting Bad Things about them. Then the media follow that around too. Whoever does this the best and at the right times wins something called an Election. But before that, there are the Polls.
Polls are where the media attract Attention by counting things about Interesting Public People. They are supposed to be newsworthy because they tell us how the Voters are Feeling. About something or someone. But actually, they are just another way to keep the Interesting Stories going that attract that Attention the media need to make money.
I am fascinated by how newspapers and TV news and other news outlets subtly tell a "story" through their use of headlines, photos and video. Got something unflattering to say about a candidate? Show an unflattering photo. Maybe a sneer or a funky chin angle. Trying to show Controversy (since that's always Interesting?) Juxtapose two stills of the two supposedly warring parties facing toward one another, with angry looks on their faces. Never mind that the pictures were taken on different days, for different reasons, of different people. Tell the Story! Play into the Script! Because that's how you get Attention and Money.
This is big big business for the media, who need the Attention/Advertising, and the Personas, who need to raise money and win and run the world. Or their corner of it.
And frankly, it looks like that's about all that's left of the political process. The only time an issue is brought up is as fodder for The Story, for the Interesting People to play out their Narrative in the media.
And don't even get me started on voting blocs. You know, the Soccer Moms, the Unmarried Women, the Boomers, the Gen X- or Y- or whatevers, all that. People have universal needs. They need food, shelter, love. They are not voting blocs. They do not swing elections en masse. This is just another way to tell an Interesting Story and attract Attention. And make Money.
Until us dumb ol' people out there slogging through our workdays and stuff begin to insist that we have more in common with our fellow voters than not (boring, no conflict there, not gonna play in the media) and that we'd like some Real Problems Solved, please, and no, I don't want to submit some stupid question on YouTube so the media can go off on how the Internets are affecting politics or whatever Narrative, I'd just like people to be able to get healthcare, thanks, we're gonna be stuck with this Attention Economy.
And it has nothing to do with solving problems. It's an Attention Economy, not a government. It's about Winning, not about solving problems. Solving things is boring. Controversy is interesting. It sells media.
So next time you're wondering what the hell happened to our electoral process and why it has nothing to do with anything relevant, just follow the money. 'Cause if it sells advertising, it'll be part of the Big Story. If not, it won't.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Share! Share! Share!

Hey, see that little envelope icon at the bottom of each post?
That lets you email an entry to someone.
So if you see a cartooon you like, send it to someone you like.
Maybe somebody is having a rough day and you'd like to lighten the load a little.
Anyway, feel free to send and send!
It is excellent karma to do so.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Rock On.

Every piece of music, or art, or writing that you see in your daily travels originated somewhere, probably as an idea in someone's head or a doodle or a snippet of music or a lyric. It's really a very personal process, most of the time. Putting your creative self out there is taking a risk.
One of those risks is having your really successful song turned into background music for when people are picking out shredded mozzarella cheese or frozen pizza.
I think about this every time I go to the grocery store. On the one hand, shoot, your song is so well-known that it's literally everywhere. On the other hand, it's gotta be painful to hear your ballad done in one of those soft grocery-store-music flute arrangements. Ouch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Ha Ha Haaa!!

Recently a company notified me that there had been a security breach and names and passwords had been stolen for all of their customers. So they suggested that we all go out and change our passwords on everything we've ever done on the Internet in our whole life. Neat.
So I went out and mucked around with all my passwords - the ones that I know I have, anyway, and now I'm pretty confused. Confused, but secure, darnit! Even from myself.
A while back, I had a credit card number get stolen. I knew this because all of a sudden my statement showed up with charges for all these toll roads. In Spain.
My first thought was, I'd kinda like to be driving on a toll road in Spain. I've gotta do that sometime. I was kind of envious of whoever this person was, flitting about Spain doing crimes with people's credit card numbers.
Anyway, on another random note, watch this video if you've ever sat through a PowerPoint presentation. It's worth it. The question/answer part at the end is the best.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Get a Bag. Get a Bunch!

Okay, I got my grocery bags today. They are bigger than I expected, yay! And they are machine washable which is very cool when you're getting groceries 'cause we all know that insides of grocery bags get a little icky with yogurt and raspberry juice and whatnot.

And I of course can't help pointing out what a great gift these are, especially if you're trying to convince some relative of yours to please just change this one habit 'cause it's really not that hard, especially since they've now got this handy bag which you just so thoughtfully gave them. See?

So, have at it! And while you're at it, let me know if you think of any other products that would look fabulous festooned with Brainwaves stuff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Stop It!

Some years ago I was in this meeting with this perfectly nice lady, and about halfway through she took off her glasses and proceeded to lick them clean.
Someone I know just had the exact same experience in a meeting this week.
So I've got to do this for public service purposes... if you are one of those people who licks your glasses clean in meetings, stop. Cease. Put your tongue away. Put your glasses away. Keep those things apart. Please.
This is one of the major reasons I continued cartooning through all my years in corporate crazy-land: moments like this. I mean, you can at least hope that one of those lens-lickers out there will see the cartoon and maybe think, "Hey, that's gross. I think I won't do that any more." If I can reform just one of these people, I will have done my job.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Angry Legos

This cartoon warms my heart - first, because we are a total Lego household. We just got the big castle with the attacking skeleton-guys and the really cool dragon.
Secondly, this was my 1,000th cartoon. That was a while ago, since by now I've inked over 1,500, but that was a pretty cool milestone.
I'm kind of superstitious about what cartoons or what topics end up as what number of cartoon. Well, maybe not superstitious, but I do kind of make note and think about it. So I thought it was kind of nice that number 1,000 was about Legos. Angry Legos, Legos without beer, but Legos nonetheless.
We're off to run around in the redwoods for a couple of days... see you after Veterans Day!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Take a Pill

Doesn't it seem that someone should market an all-purpose sugar pill?
Or maybe they do already, and we just don't know if it's the one that supposedly causes dry mouth or nausea or um... embarrassing sexual side effects...
Maybe they could call it the "Take a Pill Pill," and the tagline could be "For when you just feel like you ought to be taking something."
I also find it interesting that in those drug ads on TV, they always juxtapose the disturbing list of side effects with shots of happy people running in a field, or holding hands on the beach, or whatever. They know the images will supercede the words in your TV-viewing brain. But if you sit back and watch, it's pretty funny - like they're happy about bowel dysfunction or erections that last more than 4 hours.
La la la! Come run in the field anyway! Cue music.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Me on Tee Vee: Whee!

Well that was fun! The segment came out really well and the kids did great. Those Channel 7 people sure know what they are doing. Anyway, I'll post a link to the video clip when they put it up on the website... fun!

Here's the page about the segment where I think the video will live once they load it:


Monday, November 5, 2007

Me on Tee Vee! November 6th!

If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm going to be on a show called "The View From The Bay" on Channel 7 on Tuesday November 6th - it's at 3pm...

I talk about cartooning, and teaching kids, and stuff -- I haven't seen the segment, but hopefully it'll be pretty fun. The kids were pretty funny. They enjoyed yelling into the microphone attached to my shirt.

So, check it out!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Hipness

Whenever I'm out and about, I can't help but wonder about every person I see - where are they going? What are they thinking about? And, how did they end up wearing that particular outfit? Was it an accident, or maybe a quirk of the laundry, or perhaps a very carefully considered statement?
What I have noticed is, actual coolness and the ability to dress yourself are not directly related. I have met more unassuming-looking (or even nerdy) people who have done more fabulous stuff with their lives to make this point a hundred times over.
So, here's to all those fashion-challenged peoople out there who are saving the world without looking good doing it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Super Secret Unpublished Cartoon!

Okay, I think it's pretty apparent what this cartoon is about - being raised as something you're not, parents not being willing to see what's in front of them, and all that -- I thought of it after the one I posted earlier in the week about departing from the family banjo tradition.
I never published this one, I think because it didn't seem in keeping with the absurdity standards of Brainwaves - kind of more of a pensive thing, but worth drawing nonetheless. So I just put it aside and now, here it is. Seems this blog is a good place to put it, and in my mind I do relate it closely to the banjo one. So there.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Mom? Dad?

Not long ago, I was the Cartoonist-in-Residence at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. This was great fun, and one of the unexpected perks was that there was a ukelele concert going on down the street. So before I headed to the museum, I got to sit outside and listen to some quality ukelele.

I also got to thinking about this very strong culture that surrounds the ukelele, and many other things - Dungeons and Dragons, Civil War reenactments, Scrabble, quilting, gosh it just goes on and on. What fun that is.

And from there, I got to thinking about how within families, sometimes these cultures can dominate the expectations for the kids -- sometimes you're expected to go into academia, or be a doctor, or at least partake of the family fruitcake every year (I am the mutant in my family who does not eat pumpkin pie -- although instead of scorn, I just get kind of gratitude for leaving more for other people to eat).

So, that's how I came up with the family with the banjo tradition, and the terrible tension that might arise if one of the kids were to disregard tradition by taking up the ukelele instead. Plus, of course, I got to include the phrase "Family Banjo Tradition." That was worth it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Pledge!

Look, I'm not an expert on public TV fundraising or anything. I interned at a public TV station once. That's the extent of my knowledge.
But, for gosh sakes, there's GOT to be a better way to do pledge breaks. They are painful. They are awful. And they are sad, because you can tell these people really, really need your money.
But why aren't pledge breaks like the Jerry Lewis Telethon? Why aren't they entertaining? Why don't they bring in local bands who need a break or have karaoke or throw Jell-o at people or something? Wouldn't you pledge a few bucks to your public station if it meant they'd dump guacamole on someone in your name? Wouldn't you even send money if they put on some high school garage bands that were so bad they were good? It could be like Pledge Idol - they've got the airtime, they need to attract attention, and shoot, isn't all of network TV at this point shows about people willing to humiliate themselves in public? PBS needs to tap into this goldmine and quick. Maybe I'll call em up and tell em about it. Then again, maybe you can, next time you're calling in your pledge.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Duck!

I've been thinking about this cartoon a lot lately. It's one of those multilayered ones.
The top layer is: ducks. Ducks are funny. It's fun to say "Duck." It's fun to draw ducks.
The next layer is: Ducks don't have a lot of ambition. As far as we know. Except for Donald and maybe Scrooge McDuck.
The next layer is where it gets interesting. This cartoon actually grew out of my thoughts about how we are supposed to tell our children they can do and be anything they want - the sky is the limit (duck humor again), we believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, quack quack quack.
But really -- each person is good at some things, and not so good at others. It's a fact. So I'd rather tell my kids,
Play to your strengths.
Take the time to find out what you're good at, what you love, and go do it. You'll be happier than if you're trying to fulfill something because someone said it was cool or your parents expect it or paid for lessons or something like that. Make some messes. Do some stuff badly. Really badly. Go ahead!!
Then, you'll know how to play to your strengths. If you're a duck, those strengths are probably pretty obvious. People, not so much. For the vast majority of us, it takes awhile.
So no, you're not going to do everything, and you're not going to be good at everything. But if you take the time, you can find out what makes you rock out and that is totally worth it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Take Me Out to the Grocery Store!

Thank you Joyce Doyle, who reads Brainwaves in the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia. She had the fabulous idea of putting this cartoon with the caption "Grocery Bag Rage" onto -- a grocery bag!

So now, YOU can take these bags to your own favorite store, and when they ask you "paper or plastic," you can hand over one of these instead!

They're even machine washable so even if you take em to the farmer's market and something gets squished in there, it's no big deal. Hooray! I'm gonna get some, too. Thanks Joyce!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Og Meat!!

I often wonder what goes on just outside of what you see - under the surface, before the cameras roll, after everybody leaves...

First, of all, let me make clear that I love the fact that people go to sporting events covered in paint and wigs and stuff. Love it.

But it does make me wonder - do these outfits hang quietly in the closet all week, kind of like the suit in the Bat Cave? Waiting for the right moment on Saturday when it's time to put on the clown nose and the wig and write all over your torso?

And, do these people take on different personas when they don the colors of their team? Like, does the mild-mannered accountant turn into a crazed yelling arm waving maniac, only to put his alter ego back on the hanger behind the door after the game?

And, do you have to stay in character all the way out to your car after the game is over?

Anyway, I just love the whole process. If you know somebody who faithfully paints their face very weekend, tell me about em. It's a great thing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: You Know You Want To.

This one is about one of those things we all wish we could do, but if we did the consequences just wouldn't quiiiite be worth it.
Kind of like all those things you wish you'd said to the rude person on the train or your pushy relative...
In this case, you'd probably be faced with some really irritated waitstaff and a nice cleaning bill.
But, when you're at a restaurant with a lazy Susan, isn't it tempting to just spin the thing a little faster -- and a little faster -- to see when stuff starts to slide off?
That said, a lazy Susan is also a great thing to use when you want to make a zoetrope. A zoetrope is a tool for viewing simple movies or animations. It's a cylinder with slits in it - you put a strip with a series of pictures inside it, and then spin it while looking through the slits. I made a zoetrope for the kids I teach last week and we've been animating all sorts of stuff - blobs, robots, butterflies -- and yes, they like to see just how fast they can spin the thing.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What the....?

A week of Brainwaves went missing on GoComics! Not sure why, but the files aren't up on the server. So I just uploaded them again -- think of it as a bonus week all at once! Sheesh.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Art

A few years ago I went to an exhibit of Keith Haring's work. They had lots of his sketchbooks under glass for you to look at. As I looked at them I couldn't help thinking, this is not how he envisioned these things ending up. I mean, as an artist you generate a lot of random, smudgy, incoherent doodles. I still remember when my parents made it clear that I was to remove my piles (and piles) of paper from my childhood closet. A lot of it was actually rolled up inside a laundry hamper.
Anyway, even when I'm looking at the work of someone fabulous like Marc Chagall or Keith Haring or Vincent Van Gogh, I can't help cringing a little bit - this is their stuff, all stuck out there for us to gawk at. Surely the artist would be a bit embarrassed to see the equivalent of doodles on a Trapper Keeper folder under glass and protected from UV light.
So if you are planning to be one of those people who get studied and biographied and museum-ied after you're gone, maybe you should go in and tidy things up a bit - just so your random doodlings will at least look cool when they get mounted on a board and put in the middle of a big room. Maybe cut those sketches off the Trapper Keeper folder and glue them instead into one of those hip Moleskine books. They'll still be that manila-yellow color, but you'll seem so very hip to all those future generations.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Real Prehistory

I spend a fair amount of time considering whether people in times past had a lot of the same mundane, humdrum issues that we have today.
For example, you can't tell me that prehistoric people didn't occasionally get on each other's nerves.
Let's face it, major decisions get made these days based on this problem -- getting rid of a roommate, finding another job, and yes, maybe moving to another continent.
We marvel at how ancient civilizations traveled across oceans, over mountains, into the unknown -- but you know, maybe they just needed to get away from somebody who beat them up or talked too loud or stole their girlfriend.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Ew.

So, long ago there was a whole lot more oxygen in the atmosphere, and this enabled the Earth to support Very Very Large Bugs.
We had not come along and invented windshields yet, but wow, just imagine if we had.
Bug guts are nasty enough in the little tiny quantities that we have currently. But back then, a bug mishap would have required a cleanup crew.
And, I imagine that Pterodactyls learned really quickly not to fly with their mouths open. Unless they were really hungry. But even then colliding with a several-foot-wingspan dragonfly would be sort of like being whacked in the face with a London Broil.
So, I did this one while considering how those on the ground might cope with so many bug guts in the air over their heads.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings 1

Note: I'm going to use this blog to go into more detail about how my cartoons came to be... and how much goes into one little panel. Single panels are challenging because they are essentially a one-frame movie; they have to have a setup, a payoff, a main character, and sometimes a villain.

This cartoon is about scanning the newspaper before we pick it up - a trick I think we use in a lot of situations, not necessarily just with the news -- like, how often do you turn on a sporting event and figure out what is going on just by the crowd noise? I bet you can tell who's winning and losing without seeing the score.

With this one I needed to show how this harmless little thing lying on the ground can have such a huge effect on us. So she's sneaking up on it like it's got teeth or something.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Howdy! Arrrrgh!

Hi there, and welcome!
If you used to be on the mailing list for The Weekly Brainwave, double welcome!
See, I kind of killed off that mailing list. I didn't do it on purpose (involuntary manslaughter). But I deleted things that I shouldn't have and, well, the mailing list went with it.
Which meant one thing: it was time to start this blog.
See? It worked out.

This will be the new home of my random comments and links to new (and not-so-new) cartoons.

PS The Arrrgh is in honor of today being "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Scurvy Dog!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Joel Adams

Joel Adams - sketches of pinup art
pin up drawings
Joel Adams pin up drawings Joel Adams pin up drawings
pin up drawings pin up drawings
Joel Adams

More info and pics:

Friday, April 13, 2007

Echo Chernik

Echo Chernik - award winning art nouveau illustrator and digital art instructor.
Echo specializes in advertising, magazine, bookcover, package design and digital illustration. The style is sensual, realistic, and decorative, whether vector or raster.
pin up cartoon
Echo Chernik Echo Chernik
Echo Chernik Echo Chernik
Echo Chernik art

More info and pics:

Carlos De Anda

Carlos De Anda - comics illustrator
Carlos De Anda

Carlos De Anda Carlos De Anda
Carlos De Anda Carlos De Anda

More info and pics:

Thursday, April 12, 2007


jab comix
JABComix - official site of cartoon artist Jab.
Cartoon parodies, comics, toon pics, sketches, animations, games, and much more.
JABComix JABComix

Blog Archive