new love

push pin earrings

 turn these beauts into earrings, a pair for me and a pair for bestie!

enough said

oh p.s. I miss the hubs. 
Where is he?
Oh just work...
I know, pathetic.

Nova 2012 promo campaing

This one of many mini clips for the next Nova Cultura contemporanea festival in Sao Paulo & Rio de Janeiro.

Nova 2012

special news! scouts, giggles, "run down" little one

This kid is going to Fort Lauderdale, FL, 
where he will serve a 2 yr LDS mission.
We will miss him more than he can know.
We are very proud of him.

Two things I will be bringing to The Blue and Gold Banquet.
Besides the main dish.
 These two beauts...................
 Snickers salad.
What? They're scouts!
Sheet Cakes

Silly commercials that make me laugh
when they should just be


buck meow buck meow.
me and one of my favorite little
girls rewound this at 
least a dozen times last year.

Isaac pointed this commercial to me, explaining how dumb it is.

p.s. sick babes

Alphabeasts: T is for Tove

I'm writing this in the wee hours of the morning, as usual, and this time I'm a little tired, so maybe I'll keep it brief.

For this week's Alphabeasts entry, T is for tove. You know, from "Jabberwocky," in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass.

What do we know about toves, aside from the fact that they gimble and gyre, that they're typically slithy, that they make their nests at the base of sundials, and that they subsist on cheese? Well, Humpty Dumpty tells us that they're something like badgers, something like lizards, and something like corkscrews.

There's one canonical illustration of the toves (along with the raths and the borogoves, which I've clipped out for the sake of clarity), and there's no way I could improve on it (though I have been happy to swipe it already). I tip my hat in sincere respect to John Tenniel.

Given that I knew I couldn't outdo Tenniel, I started trying to think about ways that Humpty Dumpty's description could fit a different-looking creature. That led to some false starts: what if it were a squat little chameleon with a curly horn? What about a little horned-toad sort of thing? How can something be like a badger and a lizard at the same time? And so forth.

I even tried a pose that involve a little more gyring (whirling in circles) along with the gimbling (drilling holes as with a gimlet), but I couldn't bring myself to ink it because it looked so awkward and wrong.

Anyway, there you have it.

Next week, a sea monster from the Earth Nation.

Comics Pedagogy: Symbolism

Sometimes the obvious and direct meaning of a text goes right over my students' heads.

It can be frustrating.

(Actually, the problem is usually the opposite of what Bechdel is displaying here. My students are pretty good at hallucinating a symbolic reading of a text and, at times, pretty bad at picking up the literal claims the sentences in front of them are making.)

recipe for a good day

begin with an outfit that made me smile

 add a cup or so of
birthday girl...20?
(I am lame-o and completely to document her birthday lunch!
so this is what you get)

-zest for family
-ability to retain knowledge, (forgot to leave me some of this!)
-fun loving
-just about any book -aholic
-movie LOVER
-friend to all
-duplicate of her momma with large punches of her own flare!
-a testimony I admire

we paired this lunch with
a good all around
Target run.
which puts just about any lady in fine spirits.
Lucy (birthday girl) purchased a number of tops 
that were STUNNING on her.

threw in a pinch of organization
to the clutter.
sigh of relief

along with sprucing to spring!

tossed with my pretty baby girl

 Eddy love
 8 months

 slightly blurry, but I think in this specific one she finally looks
slightly like me, when I was a babe

 "You mean I get to hold the apple slices and do what I please?"
I quickly learned my lesson as I discovered
she thought it was fun to gnaw off decent sized chunks, 
 blowing drying her hair made me 
laugh like a small child
"you see this cute baby mom?" 

top with  the fact that as we speak my man is giving his speech that
the kid worked hard on.
when he gets home it is like a Friday night because tomorrow is
his DAY OFF.

for a little sweetness
I think I will end the night with some serious felt flower making!

In the words of Ellen... "Be good to one another!"
loves and hugs

Moving on...

I've found someone else.

Her name is Tumblr.

Lately I've been using this blog almost entirely for Important Updates about books and projects and such, because the way Blogger is designed makes it unsatisfying to post richer content like photos, personal stories, observations, and travelogues.

Tumblr makes it vastly easier and more aesthetically pleasing to post this kind of stuff, so I'm essentially moving all personal operations there. I'll still be posting Important Updates, new short stories, books, etc, on this site, but all the softer, more intangible stuff will be here:

I'm currently on an epic interstate road trip in my RV, so there will be an ongoing log of those travels, with lots of pretty pictures. Come explore with me! We'll dig up all the wonder and weirdness in the world.

Also...I'm on Instagram.


Another Day, Another Funeral

So, this was a good week on the writing front. I set aside more time to get through some of the hard things to write and I feel like I made some progress. It is so hard to spend hours on one paragraph and then end up scrapping it because it doesn't end up working for where it is supposed to go. There have been many times in the past months that I feel like I am wasting time, spinning my wheels and not making any progress, but I feel like I have been given this story and though it would be far easier to give up and just make pottery, I know I am not supposed to. I know I couldn't be happy if I did.
I had a couple of random visitors this week who just dropped by while I was writing. I feel like the universe sent them to help me realize I need to write this book, that people need it. It was a humbling experience to see that the very thing we were talking about was the thing I had been writing about. I am convinced that we are all connected. We are all trying the best we can to make it through this life, bumping along the road, trying to make sense of it all. I am glad to be a writer and in the coming weeks, hope to make much more progress. Thanks for your encouraging words. They keep me going when I don't feel like it. They give me perspective. Thank you.

Alphabeasts: S is for Sand Bug

This week's Alphabeasts drawing is from maybe the second most obscure source I'm going to tap for this project, but it's also one of my real favorites. I figure there are really only two possible relations a comics reader can have to Kazimir Strzepek's The Mourning Star: fandom or ignorance. In other words, if you've heard of it, you probably love it.

The reason it's so appealing, at least to me, is the pervasive sense of a completely imagined world, with its own cultures and problems, its own languages and sports, and of course its own fauna. From out of that fauna comes the sand bug, the eggs of which infest the water in the desert wastes then (if you make the mistake of drinking them) consume you from inside while the desert sun withers you.

Watch out, because S is for sand bug.

(Yeah, I drew it busting out of that particular spot on the skull in a tribute to my recent sinus surgery. My recovery is going fine.)

The vibe in The Mourning Star is somewhere between D&D, skate punk rock, Kung Fu, and Mad Max: a civilization in ruins, populated by characters with cute faces and hard attitudes; everyone struggling to survive, often in awesome action setpieces with brutal martial arts involving knives and scissors. And you definitely get the sense that there's more to the world than what you're seeing, which is the best test of worldbuilding.

If you've got the dough to spare, I suggest picking up the first volume of The Mourning Star somewhere other than Amazon, where (as of this writing) the cheapest copy is going for more than $260. I'm a big enough fan of Strzepek's work that I've even swiped it wholesale in the past, for the last page of our "Stepan Crick" story, but even I would balk at a figure like that. (Plus, there are copies for sale in other places. There's a tip for some "inve$ticomics" that might actually pay off.)

Anyway, there's only one scene (so far) that features a sand bug, and at the time we don't really get a clear look at it. We don't even learn the name of the creature until the second volume. Early in volume 1, though, the amnesiac snipper sniper fights one:

Right before this fight, he drinks from the canteen of the dead man the sand bug is growing from. (He doesn't know the creature's ecology until later, when he remarks that it sounds "familiarly terrible.") Should we be expecting the snipper sniper to explode with a sand bug in a few more volumes? It's only one of a bunch of loose threads and cliffhangers that have me on tenterhooks waiting for the next volume. One of the latest posts on Kaz Strzepek's blog hints that Volume 3 is close to finished. I am super psyched about that. There really aren't many comics I anticipate more eagerly.

Next week: creatures I swiped a drawing of back when I was doing the Animal Alphabet.

Shipping Updates

All orders of The Hungry Mouth placed after February 8th have been shipped as of yesterday, February 18th.

If you ordered before February 8th and still haven't received your books, please email me at the address listed in the tab on the right, and put "DEPRIVATIONS" in the subject line. Include your address. I will get a copy out to you as soon as possible. I apologize for the error, which may have been committed by me, the US Postal Service, or book eating gremlins thriving somewhere in the chain of mail delivery. It's a strange world out there. Our greatest scientific minds have only scratched the surface.

With passionate, non-platonic, deeply sexual love,


i have a problem

I have an ugly secret that keeps me up at night
on a usual basis.

 I have 3 major things
that are always on my mind.

1. being more healthy/working out ect.
b. daily, weekly, yearly goals

lastly and more embarrassingly, 
I am mourning lost time with my baby, while she is
still a baby!

the worst part is that I realize this is a problem
and it still continues.

without exaggeration, not even a little bit, this is what my day is like..

I lay on the floor next to baby girl and play with her 
for a while, 
then I tell myself to leave her alone for a bit
because little ones need to be okay being on their own
and to learn
to be content playing all by their little self.
while I let her do this, it eats me up!
"I'm loosing time with my little 8 month baby
that will be 9 one month."
Go to bed at night and think to myself. WELL, there goes
anooother day of my baby's babyhood.

All the while she is loving the space I give her. She soaks in EVVVVERY minute.
she is the most independent child I have meet in my LIFE.
 she whacked herself on the head and it hurt
her little feelings.   Naturally I pick her up and, trying not to smother, I give her loves.
she was not a fan. 

My sis-in-law told me a sweet story about
how her little boy went and stayed at a neighbors for a bit
and she walked in and he was playing happily 
with toys and then when he looked up and saw her, he
buried his head in the carpet and sobbed
like he had had the worst time of his little existence
and was relieved to be reunited with his mom.
(he and Reags are very close in age)

does Reagan react similarity?
not even slightly. 
She is a loving baby. truly!
generally to babies.

gives lots of loves to one of her best friends and cousin, Cade!

lately, she has given her dad and I kisses
without being asked.
we'll take them :)

p.s. I am glad she is who she is. 
all whining aside.
she has the best little personality.

"You Kill Her You Kill Me!"

the mr...

the mrs....

my sweetie!

this girl is too good to me!

 tax return
 I think it was an unfair ratio if you ask me!

the babes...
why is the girl looking up?

 because our thoughtful waitress offered her one of THESE...
she asked if she was old enough...
Well yes, I guess she is.
Grown up baby girl!
She was thrilled, needless to say.

 p.s. this was her vday present. 
Yes we do presents. 
just a fun tradition.
I set out to buy Lady and the Tramp. Well I could only find it with the
price tag of $30 dollars. So she came home with 
Beauty and the Beast, with half the price tag
which come to find out we already own. 
So it will be returned and
I will buy Lady and the Tramp at better price.

Drawing Works

Isaac McCaslin exhibited 5 drawings in a Juried Group Exhibition "Drawing Works"  where Nova Benway, from the Drawing Center in New York, juried the show and gave a lecture in Alexander Hall Auditorium.  Isaac McCaslin received the Best in Show award for the Expression category.

The Drawing Works exhibit was March 2 - 22 in Alexander Hall Gallery. 

Metamorphosis Series, Charcoal and conte on paper, 12 x 9 in, 2011

Alphabeasts: R is for Rust Monster

If you know that from the entire Star Trek universe I chose the mugato for my Alphabeasts alphabet, then you might be able to predict what critter I would choose from the superpopulated realms of Dungeons & Dragons. Evidently I have a fondness for an awkward chimerical hodgepodge whatsis, so I had to draw the Rust Monster.

Yes, that's what R is for.

Like the piercer, the mimic, and the lurker above, the rust monster is one of those D&D creatures that only makes sense as a tactical obstacle in a dungeon-crawling game. If it attacks you in combat, it won't hurt you, but it very well might disintegrate your cherished +4 plate mail and enchanted longsword. It's kind of a jackass thing to for a DM to bring out, in most circumstances, though while doing my research this week I found a smart little blog entry that makes a case for the sort of game where the rust monster is not just appropriate but a sort of suitably frightening challenge.

But why does it look so dorky? Why the wingnut propeller on the tail, the Ben-Grimm hide, and the mishmash of different body parts?

Well, like the bulette and the owlbear, the rust monster was originally based on a crappy plastic toy from a bag of "Prehistoric" monsters you could buy in convenience stores when I was a kid. Here's a picture of the original toy, pulled from a cool photoseries that any D&D-philes ought to click over to look at.

Since the first edition, D&D has apparently tried to de-dorkify the rust monster, but to me those revisions just don't ring true. The fantasy world of D&D is supposed to be a gawky, clumsy reworking of Tolkien and assorted folklore; the awkward ugly cartooning of David C. Sutherland III and the weirdo heavy-metal Aztec foofaraw of Erol Otus are the way adolescence is supposed to feel. Give me, instead, a lengthy pseudo-scientific explanation of its gimcrack ecology (search this PDF, and ye shall find) and the threat that my mithril shield or gauntlets of ogre strength may not survive the encounter.

Anyway, given the rust monster's origins as a stiff plastic toy, it turns out to be pretty hard to "animate" into a different pose: those legs are too short to do more than waddle, and there's not one joint in the critter's body from its nose to the base of its tail.

So I did a little doodling. This week, it struck me that I could put my doodles on the postcards I was about to send, up in the area where the cancelation mark will go.

I hope you have enjoyed this little jaunt down Curdled Nostalgia Lane.

Next week, a tribute to a small-press comic that you should all be reading.