May 8, 2017

Photos from Local Arts Festival

I recently had the pleasure to take part in an arts festival that spotlighted the work of Alabama cartoonists, including my work. I don't know who reads this blog if anyone, but you may be interested to see how the show went down:

(Note the page is public, you just have to click "No Thanks" if you don't want to log in to Facebook.)

Here we are during the panel discussion. That's me on the far right at the end of the table. The event was hosted by the University of Montevallo, a small liberal arts college a short drive south of Birmingham.

Apr 4, 2017

To Spew or Not to Spew: Let's Take the Climate Scientists at Their Word

Scientists claim ice cores have revealed rapid, drastic temperature fluctuations in the distant past. (Ice cores, to refresh your memory, are those long tubes of ice drilled up from deep in the Artic tundra, in Greenland and such like places.) Now, I take them at their word. Through natural causes, the climate could suddenly drop sharply, or rise perilously, in the space of a century. Civilization could be devastated! Oh noooooo!

Note that they admit their models can't account for everything, and such erratic changes in Earth's climate are officially possible. Their prediction of a 3 degree rise is just a "best guess," not the only possible eventuality. Suppose there were unexpected volcanic eruptions, strange astronomical events, wildly unheard of sunspot activity, etc., etc.? Their models would be screwed! So, shouldn't we be prepared for THAT, as much as anything?

Yes, that's what I'm saying: We should be prepared to "adjust the Earth's thermostat" either UP OR DOWN, depending on what we confront! And, since the current temperature is ideal (apparently, since everyone is so dripping with anxiety over the possibility of even a 1.5 degree C rise), we should ready ourselves to spew MORE CO2, if need be (to warm things up to "normal," if we enter a mini- Ice Age, and get tired of the newly abundant sno-cone operations.)

OR, if the models UNDERESTIMATE warming --- as scientists admit could be the case --- and we have a drastic 17 degree C RISE in global temps, we should be ready not just to cut CO2 (which has only a long-term impact, not good enough for emergencies), but also ready to spew MORE sulfates and aerosols (since scientists say they have a rapid cooling effect. See: the eruption of Pinatuba during the 90s, which cooled things off real good, conveniently helping to "explain" the error in their models at the time.)

Still from "Adventures of Drunky" cartoon
So, yes, I say, let's take the sci-guys at their word. Drastic climate swings could befall us at any moment, and we humans must learn to play with the Earth's thermostat to balance things out. Why ONLY prepare for the 3 degree rise their models show as most likely? They admit they can't account for unknown factors, or the subtle complexity of climate, with any real certainty. And why ONLY consider cutting emissions as our only poosh option on the climate poosh bar? Some emissions have a COOLING effect (they say), so we should spew MORE of those even if their models are RIGHT. Let's get those chim-chim-chim-a-neys cooking!

But suppose a weird confluence of cosmic rays or some shize-nit like that happens, and COOLS the earth by 33 degrees C, or some other occultic number? Then, I say, we should quickly begin spewing CO2 into the atmosphere, to get things back up to warm and toasty 20th century levels. Ahhh, interglacial period bliss! Ain't she grand...

Yes, why all the obsession with just CUTTING emissions. Emissions can be good or bad, dependin'! If our bad old human emissions are the key temperature regulators, we should be prepared to overcome our natural disdain of sooty skies, and crank it up to 11 if need be! Get those smoke-stacks fired up! I mean, the current plan is so SHORT-SIGHTED. Your own fershlugginer ice cores are sayin' that climate has made rapid, drastic swings in the ancient past --- through NATURAL causes alone. So, let's "model" that.... Stick that in your GCM and release its carbon via burning....

Let's think LONG-TERM! Who KNOWS what could happen --- cold, hot; or maybe hot, hotter, chilly-willy, mm-so-so, shit! boiling again! We gotta be prepared, ba-by! Stand by with the CO2, get those sulfates on tap, and hey, how about a few more billion dollars for some waste of space climate research studies...

Apr 3, 2017

W.W.Wolf - p.1

Starting a  new comic (Open image in new tab to view at full size.)

Here's a version with more saturated colors:

Feb 17, 2017

I Get Frustrated, Lemme Tell Ya --- Trying to Discuss Global Warming with Those who Buy the Mythology of Science

Images (mostly) by Basil Wolverton

Here's an argument I get from one particularly rabid Science True Believer (specifically about man-made global warming, but it could apply to any controversy):

"Oh, are you kidding me! If somebody could disprove global warming (evolution, vaccines, etc.) do you know how famous they'd be? Scientists would LOVE to make a discovery like that. They can't do it though!

But yeah, scientists love to pick apart each other's ideas... they're always sniping at each other, trying to find the flaws in each others' research... If anybody could disprove global warming, they'd ABSOLUTELY do so, because it would make their career!"

Et cetera, and so on. I think I have given the gist of the argument, and the tone, if not the exact words used.

There are two things that make this difficult to refute, in the midst of a lively conversation with multiple parties jumping in and diverting:

1) The total incredulity at any challenges to their idea (note exclamation points, and emphatic all-caps words.) They basically don't want to hear another point of view, and barely listen to anything you say.

2) My response is sort of complex, difficult to put in a sound-bite or short phrase. It strains the amount of attention-span they are willing to give me. I have, like, 5 seconds to make my case, and then they may interrupt, go off on something else, make a joke, get distracted, etc.


Feb 15, 2017

The Polanski-Allen Blackwash Double-Whammy Two-Step

From time to time I think about the glut of "content" we suffer from --- the neverending flood of Seemingly Valid Shit (SVS) --- and I was doing that this morning, my mind wandering idly.

Then I had to play devil's advocate: "There is SOME stuff I like... some movies, some directors... Woody Allen, Roman Polanski. Guys like that. That stuff's okay... "

What struck though me is that both make movies "for adults" --- that is, mature, thoughtful, meaningful films, with artistic and aesthetic merit --- in fact Polanski jokingly said this in one interview I watched, in his funny broken English (paraphrasing):

Feb 11, 2017

"Old Stuff" volumes 1 &2 --- Info and cover designs

Some have accused me of "hoarding away" artwork... keeping it all "to myself."

My response?

I scoffed. As if any fool would slave away for hours and hours, writing, penciling, inking, and cross-hatching page after page of comics (my god the cross-hatching!) only to keep it all to themselves.

Fah. Thus I scoffed.

Then, it dawned on me... slowly at first, but with quickening speed as I thumbed through the tattered old boxes that constitute my archives. I HAVE been hoarding comics away!!!!

Ever since the 90s I've been plying the old crowquill pen, trying to get a hearing for my pathetic little doodles. I've got TONS of old stuff that's never seen the light of day (well, of this blog. Or a print-on-demand publishing service.)

So. It begins. I'm going to scan this old blarney and try to get 'er up on the Create 'em Space.

The plan is to divide the material into two books, one more family friendly, and the other representing my embarrassing attempts at "edgy" material. Sigh.

Here's the "edgy" cover for that material (click on "Read More):

Feb 3, 2017

Bringing it all Together: Lysenko, Lamarckism, and the Midwife Toad

Three concepts. Three terms I was KIND OF, vaguely, familiar with. But, until today, did not realize connected up in a neat package with a bow on top.

It was today, you see, that I read Chapter 10 of Betrayers of the Truth. Betrayers is an early 80s expose' of Science as actually practiced. Science, in all its human ambition, hubris, fraud and deceit. It's a curious book, written by some mainstream science writers, but attacking the sacred myths of mainstream science: objectivity, professional integrity, peer review, the scientific method, and all the rest. They tear Science a new one, basically.

One might ask, What's their game, exactly, here? Biting the hand that feeds them, it would seem. Are they a limited hangout of some sort, or propping up some other myths? Perhaps so, but they raise

Jan 24, 2017

"Sheen of the Bug" available to buy

Buy on CreateSpace (where I make lots of money, wee!):

Or buy on Amazon (where I make a piddling fraction of the total):

Sorry for the long link... I guess they have a lot of "merch" they need to unload.

Here's the high-powered sales pitch; see if you can resist my powers to craft compelling catalog copy:

Don't "bug out," but it's GoldBug time --- time, that is, for 3 CLASSIC tales of the world's least favorite parody superhero!

These short stories, created from 2013-2016, feature the ever optimistic and naive gold/ insect-themed hero GoldBug; his side-kick Ingot Lad; their arch nemeses Dr. Dollar Dump and Peppa Money; and a motley crew of assorted hangers-on.

Despite the absurdity, a few serious themes creep in here and there --- so rationalize it to yourself that way, if you decide to shell out cash for this decidedly low-end cruise through the swamps of contemporary culture.

Jan 22, 2017

Bronco-busting Codger Captures Cutie

Another somewhat H.J.Ward-inspired piece penciled by me (very roughly), then cleaned up and inked by my anonymous colleague.

(Note: there has been some debate over the propriety of a BBCCC alliteration scheme, with various alternatives proposed, such as "Bronco-busting Baddie Body-snatches Bimbo." Try it yourself at home and let me know if you come up with anything. A top priority is to maintain the "geezer" associations of "codger" with a B-word though. Also "bronco-busting" would be nice to retain.)

Jan 21, 2017

"The Sheen of the Bug" - cover design

I'm putting together a collection of 3 GoldBug stories to be printed through CreateSpace. (GoldBug is "the world's least favorite parody superhero," in case you were not aware.)

These are "classic" (i.e. old) stories I've posted here to this blog, but now will be available for $5.99 in physical form (or on Kindle as well, also for $5.99.)

It will be black and white, 41 story pages plus one "pin-up" page.

Here is the cover (front and back):

Jan 14, 2017

My old "Gross-out Jokes" Book now sells for $44.99 on Amazon..?!

I don't know what the story is, but this cheapo book I drew 10 years back or so is being listed for boocoo bucks (beaucoup?) by someone on Amazon..

Jan 3, 2017

H.J. Ward tribute sketch

H.J. Ward was a pulp artist who painted a lot of spicy magazine covers back in the 30s and 40s. After viewing his work in a coffee table book, his imagery seeped into my brain, apparently, and when my friend asked me to draw a sketch for him to ink, this was the result.

The pencils took about 10 minutes; my colleague's inks took about 20 or so.