Hot off the presses, Mini-Mouths #3 made the rounds at S.P.A.C.E. in Columbus, OH, last weekend (April 13-14, 2013). My OK, Panic! pal, Jason Young (pictured above), publishes this zine through his Buyer Beware imprint. Wheeler guest edited this issue. He and I also collaborated on a 4-page comic (coming soon in color to this very Web address) for this issue called “A Better Comics Shopper.” The cover (pictured below) was done by an East Coast artist named Jacob Warrenfeltz. Congratulations, fellas!
There’s not much to this drawing. I did it in the morning while waiting for the rest of my family to stir from their caskets. If there is any “inspiration” behind it, I guess it would be the following:
Eric Shonborn, my fellow OK, Panicker, is accepting commissions at his website. On those rare occasions when I’m not flat broke, I invariably have him draw an Uncle Creepy or Cousin Eerie for me. I always wanted to try my own monstrous hand rendering those two, and today I had the time.
Sarah recently checked out a library book detailing the history of “Mad” magazine. It’s unarguable that Jack Davis is a genius, but I had forgotten just how astounding he is until I saw his rendition of Ernie Kovac’s Percy Dovetonsils. Amazing! And, as all good little ghoulies know, Jack Davis created the images of both our avuncularly jolly Uncle Creepy and our charming Cousin Eerie for the dearly departed Warren Publishing.
Finally, my father was a strikingly handsome man for all his ninety-plus years and I always assumed I’d look just like him when I grew up. Alas, the mirror shows instead I look more and more like Uncle Creepy with each passing day. Maybe that’s why Kathy wakes up shrieking every morning. What a sore loser.
If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, you know that characters (especially beloved ones) don’t last long. You also know that it airs on PBS. Public radio and public television stations, such as those affiliated with National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), produce annual pledge drives that use brief breaks between regular programs to appeal for donations. Of course, National Lampoon appealed to magazine readers to part with their hard-earned funds and buy the January 1973 issue. The humorous cover conceived by Ed Bluestone and photographer Ronald G. Harris would go down in history. (See the original below).
Thus, with all the characters on Downton meeting an early demise and that brilliant cover out there just waiting to be parodied, an idea was born in Wheeler’s head. Mash-up National Lampoon and the PBS pledge drive with a Downton Abbey homage to that most famous of all Lampoon cover gags. He asked me to draw it. I agreed, he colored it, and Violet Crawley would never be viewed the same way again.
I was inspired to color two versions of Jeff’s piece. I told Jeff that whichever one he liked best I would post on Panic, and the other one would find a home here on Sketchbook. The one you’ll find on Panic, I tried to make look like a black and white movie still.
While Jeff thought both were “monstrously great,” the “black and white version brings back such sweet childhood memories” that he decided to go with that one for Panic. Now, the alternate version you see here was liked more by Kathy and Sarah Potter, the women who make Jeff howl at the moon when it’s full. While they outvoted him, I decided to vote with him, thus creating a tie. Naturally, I make the posts to Panic, so I called the tie-breaker.
Sarah has always been interested in cryptozoology and now, thanks to the
pen of J.R.R. Tolkien, dragons have taken a momentary ascendency. This
picture is in response to that. Since I can’t draw the creatures I
allowed the pencil to go where it pleased, which is one reason the
picture turned out this way. I don’t think the image looks terribly
dragon-like. I guess, if it’s anything, it’s Tolkien’s Smaug’s more
socially well-adjusted sibling. But only the pencil knows for sure.
This is an older painting. I dimly remember someone, I want to say
Maxfield Parrish, jokingly expressing amazement that his paintings never
exploded. I can say the same about this piece. It’s an experiment of
random glazes, arbitrary scumbles and meaningless mixtures that a
rational soul would know better than to employ. It may not be much to
look at, but I am proud that it has survived all these years without
As a proud brother-in-law, I’m pleased to announce Barb Stork has a painting on display at the Columbus Library! All lovers of great art should stop by to see it. If I’m not mistaken, the library is located at 96 South Grant Avenue (in beautiful Columbus, Ohio, of course) and the hours are 9 AM – 9 PM Monday through Thursday, 9 AM – 6 PM Friday and Saturday and 1 PM – 5 PM on Sunday. The telephone number is 614-645-2275.