Archive for ‘Childhood’

Another One from the Vaults

Drawn when I was 15 years-old [larger version] with an obvious Neal Adams influence (though the borderline disco pose was my unfortunate invention).

Kurt and I made these comic book character drawings in high-school for a role-playing game we never really finished.

I’d been drawing these things for exactly three months (Feb 16, 1976; yes I dated them) but wouldn’t do any actual comics pages until that summer.

How I Spent My Summer Vacations

Here’s some more very old art from the vaults, probably from elementary school. Click on the either of the small images here to see a bunch of my crazy kid drawings.

When I was about 8 years old, my friend Karl Zimmerman showed me how he made cool spaceship designs using an old chemistry template (looked a bit like this) and similar tools. I starting doing the same, gradually settling on the mighty eraser shield as my tool of choice.

Later on, I started making 3D drawings on graph paper (probably also Karl’s idea) that could be viewed by crossing your eyes until the two middle images merge. Here are some examples of some simple 3D doodles. It’s the same basic process used in these recent experiments.

Pretty much all my friends’ parents were scientists of one sort or another, so it was a kind of nerd utopia. The West Boston suburbs of the ’60s and ’70s were a lot like Silicon Valley is now.

I often wonder what the kids of Silicon Valley who’ve grown up in the ’90s and ’00s have been dreaming up lately. Are any of you out there? What was your childhood like?

Another from the Vaults: A “Schedule Creature”

Here’s another piece of reeeeeeeally old art.

When I was in high school, we had a standard schedule grid which students filled in by hand with their classes for each semester. One year, I decided to Illustrate mine with an elaborate creature which I wound up printing out and selling to students for a dime each (copies were five cents IIRC, so hey, profits galore!). The tradition persisted even into my first year in college as I created new Schedule Creatures for my friends still in high school.

The Schedule Creatures were probably the reason I was nominated in our Senior Superlatives contest for “Most Artistic” while my pal Kurt Busiek’s shenanigans got him nominated for “Most Creative.”

Both of us, it must be gravely noted, were soundly defeated by fellow senior Brian Collins.

Curse you, Brian Collins!

Hey, it’s Brad!

We finally saw the “Mattress” episode of Glee on TiVo last night and Ivy and I were happy to see the silent pianist “Brad” get more face time.

Brad Ellis is actually part of the musical production team for the show, but I remember him from my own High School back in Lexington, MA, and before that, in Sunday School, where he had a habit of bopping me on the head with Hymnals while Bill McKibben and I argued politics.

Lexington… I’m telling you…

Anyway, someone should make a Glee T-Shirt with the face above and the slogan “It’s All About Brad!” It would totally sell. (Well, to us at least).

The Space Angel Question

Just to answer another frequently asked question: Yes, I am aware of Scott McCloud Space Angel, the primitive kids’ cartoon that ran for two years in the early ’60s, ending when I was only 4 years old. I distinctly remember thinking, “Hey! He has the same name as me!” (sort of — my legal name is spelled a bit differently) and “Wow this animation is terrible” but it’s been a long time, so who knows?

And yes, the great Alex Toth worked on the show, so the drawings aren’t bad, though the creepy mouths still look wrong, wrong, wrong (Space Angel used the same “Synchro-Vox” technique as on the equally terrible Clutch Cargo).

That these things are still out there on the Web, and might be forever, is both wonderful and terrifying. Click if you dare.

Having a Wonderful Time…

Ah! So THIS is what a vacation feels like.

I’ll have a long plane ride Sunday to organize my pictures and thoughts on our enchanted visit to A Coruna, but right now I’m afraid we’re having too much fun with good friends and amazing food to blog much.

Here’s a blog-worthy item though while you’re waiting. Kurt has been posting some crazy-old art on his news page including several pages of “Once More With Feeling” a short subject he wrote and I drew in the summer between high school and college. It’s kind of wonderful and kind of terrible. Enjoy.



Pronounced “BYOO-sik” by the way.

The man who got me into comics in middle school finally has a self-titled domain and a great new website to go with it.

Welcome to the club, Kurt!

Drawn when I was 15

Bigger version here. Mostly I was just copying Dave Cockrum’s style.

This was done for a role-playing game Kurt Busiek and I were working on in middle school.

Kurt and I played D&D, read comic books, and quoted Monty Python routines a lot. We were involved in comics fandom partially as a way to hone our skills for our eventual careers in comics. Mostly, of course, we were in it for the ladies.