The Report on Life

Here’s an image appropriate to the amount of drinking I did on Saturday night. The binge I’m susceptible to after a couple stressful weeks of being back in the thick of graduate work. A solid hangover and a few (many fewer) brain cells later I’m preparing again for the week. Oh, how will I find the middle road…

Above, the underdrawing is scanned from my sketchbook a piece done at Smith Bar in Seattle in graphite technical pencil, but I also included an image from a strange 1960’s book called The Report on Life that I found in a bookstore recently. The book seems to dissect the human experience into conservative and somewhat simplistic (surprise) value systems in a way that terrifies me. Over the top of that I worked with vector line and color to create this multilayered piece. It’s interesting on the screen, but I’m trying to imagine it’s possibilites in print. It probably would only work as a book or magazine illustration, but there’s nothing wrong with that…

Moving into the week ahead, I’m really enjoying ready Krazy Kat comic strips from 1918. If you can find the series put out by Fantagraphics in Seattle, the covers are beautifully designed by Chris Ware (maker of Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth). The comic strips are otherworldly in their landscapes and odd colloquial language. There are definitely racist undertones as well as other bigotries that throw an unfortunate din of ignorance into the work, but I’m finding it a fascinating way to access a sense of the time my grandfather would have been 8. Check it out.

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