President and First Tiger

A dear friend recently started grad school in Southern California which is too far away from me. This friend happens to be a Calvin and Hobbes fanatic, so I made him his own tiger to go on philosophical adventures with.

I kind of heart it.

It was hard to pack up and give away. It's made out of t-shirt scraps mostly, with glove fingertips as ears. It's not totally accurate in terms of facial details, but it's cute.

I drew on the stripes with a sharpie.

I am not a very neat stripe draw-er.

Oh well.

He was sent on his way wearing his President and First Tiger paper hat for Get Rid of Slimy girlS. Although, as a Slimy girl(S), I am not 100% behind the mission of that particular organization.

One of the best parts of working on this has been going back through the comic strips online. The friend receiving his own Hobbes has the Complete Calvin and Hobbes leatherbound set. It's immensely bad ass. There's a dogeared copy of "Scientific Progress Goes Boink" on the shelf in my childhood bedroom.

I may steal it back.

I've been thinking about comics lately. I've always been a doodler, and I found myself drawing pictures in the middle of a monologue I was writing the other day. It's something to play with. I just wish I could draw well.

There are some fascinating storytelling opportunities in mixing image and text. Like the insanely nuanced panels of Alan Moore - the Mobius strip in Promethea? Dude! - or the comic timing of Jeff Smith's panels in Bone - and if you don't know how drawings can have timing, go pick that book up now - or the heartbreak of Maus or the epic of Sandman.

I had a comic book renaissance in college, or as I once said "graphic novel", although the distinction is less important to me now than when I was trying to be pretentious. I spent several weeks over Christmas break freshman year reading Sandman in a friend's basement and looking up the obscure mythology. I was shocked by how adult it all seemed - the darkness, the sophistication, Death's bad ass eye makeup. and it opened a whole new world of literature. I used my newfound comic book cred as a way to woo and win my dorky friends. So when we saw Ironman a few years back and Samuel L Jackson popped up as Nick Fury, I could say "OOH! Just like in Ultimate Avengers!!"

I thought this was a whole new part of myself at the time, but really it's always been a part of my life. I taught myself to read with Peanuts strips, I followed Foxtrot, Rhymes with Orange, Mother Goose and Grimm, and Robotman devoutly, I devoured the decaying stack of Classics Illustrated in the garage - looking at those pulpy covers still fills me with waves of nostalgia. (Thanks Comic Book Database for reawakening long forgotten memories, by the way.)

Well, nostalgia is a symptom of adulthood, which I guess I'm hovering near, despite what the New York Times may say to the contrary. Maybe I'll go read some more comics to compensate.


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