Point of Exquisite Suspension

Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

09 August 2018

Der Löwenbändiger

I'm often surprised by how ideas develop and take shape to have a life of their own. While listening to a book review of C.S. Lewis' apocalyptic sci-fi novel 'That Hideous Strength', I began to create a doodle/drawing on a post-it note.

I had an image in my mind of a a powerful figure with his hand resting on some object... One thing let to another and -perhaps I was thinking of Lewis' Narnia books as well -- the object became a lion. And then the details of the figure took shape with his heavy boots and commando pockets, etc.

The title 'Lion Tamer' came to mind but, after searching various translations of that title on Google Translate, I rather fancied the German phrase. So there you have it. Just a bit of fun while listening to a review that is transcribed here.

The observations of that review are meaningful. And worthy of a separate post.

30 July 2018

Forget Impeachment....


I agree that impeaching Trump would be a satisfying outcome in many ways. But that would leave Vice President Mike Pence to assume the reigns of power in the Oval Office. To say Pence is a white-washed version of Trump is an understatement.

So it would seem that the best strategy for removing Trump is at the ballot box... in both 2018 and 2020. In 2018 the goal is to break the GOP strangle hold on Congress. In 2020, of course, it is to deprive Trump of a second term. I consider both of these actions to be parts 1 and 2 of making sure Trump is a "Lame Duck" President by the time he leaves office.

Of course Pence will run in 2024, but I'm betting the contamination he's acquired from serving as one of Trump's foremost enablers will be his downfall.

#MakeTRUMPaLameDuck2018    #LameDuckDonald2018

05 July 2018

I've been on a Watchmen Jag...

I've been on a Watchmen kick and enjoying two fascinating books from my local library:

Watchmen : the annotated edition:

'This book examines each of the series' twelve issues in unprecedented detail, moving page by page and panel by panel to reveal the hidden foundations of this milestone in modern storytelling. 

Edited with notes by Leslie S Klinger, this 2017 edition draws upon critical and scholastic commentary, in-depth interviews with Dave Gibbons, and previously unseen original source material Klinger provides the reader with a unique and comprehensive view of Watchmen as both a singular artistic achievement and a transformative event in the history of comics as a medium.

Set in a world in which history has been forever altered by the existence of superheroes, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' monumental graphic novel Watchmen is one of the most influential comic book series of all time. Following two generations of masked crime-fighters from the end of World War II to the height of the Cold War, this compelling tale unfolds from a simple murder mystery into an epic saga of power, corruption and the ultimate meaning of humanity. More than 30 years after it was first published, Moore and Gibbons' masterpiece continues to inspire and entertain readers around the world. Named one of Time magazine's 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century, Watchmen has won countless critical accolades and honors, including the Eisner Award and the Hugo Award"-- Description Provided by publisher.


Watching the Watchmen:

The essential companion to the original graphic novel Watchmen; filled with archival materials and eye-popping images. 

By Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons, this 2008 volume includes remarkable preliminary sketches, photos and detailed behind-the-scenes stories of how the Graphic Novel came to be written and the collaboration between writer Alan Moore, artist Gibbons and colorist John Higgins.

The Watchmen graphic novel has spawned an entire industry of films, commentaries and coffee table books -- many of which I have enjoyed from my library and I recommend.

02 July 2018

Emoji Career...

Ok. So maybe the Emoji Movie bombed at the Box Office —or at least on Rotten Tomatoes. I confess I couldn't bring my self to see that movie. But sometimes I still wonder if there could be a future in "Emoji Technology". Would it be a stretch to imagine that someday there might be good money in being an Emojitician?

Screen capture from getemoji.com
After all, as I explore in my previous blog post about the First Graphic Artists, symbolic, iconic imagery has a long, LONG tradition in anthropology and human history. The "Have a Good Day!" Smiley Face was the precursor to our love-affair with today's emojis. I'd love to have a glimpse into the future to see the next generation of the friendly little symbols.

Who knows. Someday we might all communicate primarily in emojis and there might be advanced degrees in "Emoji Studies". "O Brave New World!"

UPDATE 7/5/18: After I posted this blog, I found out about the "Emojicon" in NYC this Summer!
AND the article in Fast Company Magazine had a similar illustration concept as I had! ^_^

20 June 2018

Worse Than That Other Racist POTUS

The Ghost of Andrew Jackson - © by O. Douglas Jennings
I've often thought that POTUS 45 is a lot like POTUS 7, Andrew Jackson. Primarily because both were populists and racist. Jackson is most infamous for the "Trail of Tears" -- forced relocation of Cherokee Native American Tribes from the Southeast United States to much further West to so-called "Indian Territories".

A cantankerous, slave-owning racist, Jackson despised Native Americans and was callous to the suffering he caused them. But at least he didn't stoop so low as to take their children away from their parents.

28 May 2018

Tigrikorn Website Fun Facts

Fully Clickable Links! Notice the icons in the upper left corner! Have fun! © & TM O. Douglas Jennings
I haven't plug my Tigrikorn Website for a while. It's actually in need of some updating, but I'm still happy with how it serves as an info source for all things Tigrikorn.

Once you arrive at the site, discover, in the Gallery, the original drawing of the "Tiger Unicorn" that I made in the late 1970s on a spread of my pocket sketchbook.

Check out the "hidden" links to the cast of characters in the Tigrikorn Universe!

The archives have links to online versions of the Tigrikorn Comic Fanzine that I began in 1995 to showcase the work of my students at Kaleidoscope School of Fine Art.

And, please check out the Official Store of Tigrikorn at Cafe Press. A sample of one of the many products is below:

05 May 2018

Joking Our Way Into The Abyss

It's always fun until someone get's snapped out of existence. Thanos with his social engineering tool.
Marvel/Disney Studios' Avengers: Infinity War has been long anticipated by Comics Fans and even Pop-Culture Cinema aficionados of all ages. I'm sad that I was not able to view the film on its opening debut at my local theater. Scheduling difficulties forced me to see it an excruciating two-weeks later than most of my friends and, of course, my social media cohorts. I gave up on trying to avoid spoilers so I went in to see the movie knowing most of the important surprise twists and turns.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the story and the experience of seeing it play out first-hand. I found that the movie is actually a strange mix of cheesy jokes, warmed-over economic theory and philosophical/apocalyptic allusions.

Thanos in the comic version of the Infinity War Story is depicted as a "Mad Titan" who has deranged (nearly fetishistic/romantic) obsession with death. The movie Thanos, however, has a more pedestrian and pedantic motive of wanting to achieve "balance" in the universe: by "mercifully" eliminating half of the population of all people in the cosmos randomly through the use of the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet (basically to provide more "elbow room"). He's like an "ivory-tower", know-it-all, bureaucrat who insists on foisting his pet theory or ideology on the public-at-large the moment he gets access to the levers of power.

History is full of such characters. Sure, the movie Thanos is crafted to be "complicated" with glimpses of back story full of loss and expressions of his love and sacrifice to achieve his "lofty" goals. But he IS the bad guy and his badness is actually made worse by his clueless self-righteousness and tinge of self-pity.

I felt somewhat of a serene detachment to the drama as the "worst-case-scenario" events made their fatalistic grinding way through the plot. In the meantime, as a fanboy, I enjoyed each of the super hero characters play out their roles together in a consummate team collaboration.

It also reminded me of the religious End-of-Days, Apocalyptic prophetic scenarios that are explored in the "Left Behind" books and films. Even Bucky (Winter Soldier) alludes to that sentiment when he tells Captain America, "I'm doing all right for the End of The World".

Avengers: Infinity War invites us to stare into the Abyss and consider the end... even though it's just a cliff-hanger at the end of the first installment of the two-movie story arc.

I couldn't resist making art of Trump as Thanos and the powers of the U.S. President as the Infinity Gauntlet.
Oddly, I found the movie Thanos to be a more sympathetic character than Trump.
  Art by © O. Douglas Jennings