So to recap: during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing (for Attorney General) a woman in the gallery laughed. She was arrested and charged and the Department of Justice, now run by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, put her on trial. For laughing at Jeff Sessions. And they won. Then the judge threw out the verdict, because the jury convicted her based on a bad interpretation of the law argued by the DOJ lawyer (they told the jury that “laughter alone is enough to convict”). So then the DOJ offered her a plea deal, but she refused because it would have meant admitting guilt for something she does not believe is a crime (laughing).
So the Department of JUSTICE, under Jeff Sessions, is taking her to trial. AGAIN.
At Jeff Sessions.
The Attorney General of the United States.
Sometimes we get an Attorney General who doesn’t use their authority to settle petty personal grudges. Other times we get Jeff Sessions.
On Thursday, August 18 2017, President Trump tweeted: “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
The story he’s referring to involves General Pershing executing Muslim fighters by dipping bullets in pig’s blood, to “send a message” to the other fighters to knock that shit off. This single twit by Trump perfectly encapsulates everything wrong with the man and his Presidency.
1. The story isn’t true, it’s a myth. And worse, it’s a myth that’s only found on white supremacist sites.
2. They weren’t terrorists. The Muslims in this story were fighting invaders. The invaders were Pershing and the Americans.
3. What he’s describing is a war crime. He’s admiring summary executions of prisoners of war without trial, and executions that disrespects their religious beliefs.
So to sum up: it’s a lie, it’s racist, and it’s criminal.
Trump’s Presidency in a nutshell.
The worst day of Donald Trump’s life, though he may not know it yet, was November 8th, 2016.
That was the day the big orange fish hopped out of his small New York pond, and subjected himself and his decades of shady business deals to the whole wide ocean of global public scrutiny. A combination of ego and idiocy, and probably a significant amount of Russian guidance, convinced him no one would find out his entire business was just one money laundering scheme after another.
It won’t be quick. It won’t be easy. Remember O.J. Simpson; while he avoided a murder conviction in 1995, he blundered into a robbery conviction in 2008, thirteen years to the day of his dramatic murder acquittal. It was imperfect justice, but better than nothing. He basically got busted for stupidity.
I think the same will happen with Trump. In the end his downfall won’t be treason or espionage, it will be for ego and stupidity. And while it may not be a life sentence, be satisfied with the thought that after they take all of his money and seize all of his assets, he just might be incarcerated in a private prison he once owned.
Chief of Staff Priebus: “Ok people listen up. With all of the indictments coming down, we are in crisis mode. We have got to get people on the air to push back and defend this administration. Who do we have that isn’t compromised?”
Intern: “Well, sir, let me check. Uh, Sessions, no, Collusion with Russia. Ivanka? Money laundering. Don Jr or Eric? same. Chaffetz? Money laundering, foreign donations, obstructing congressional investigation, affair. Gorka? Nazi, money laundering. Page? Russian collusion, hacking, money laundering. Ephsteyn? Russian spy, money laundering. Manafort? Holy mother of god money laundering. And Russian collusion. Cohen? Russian collusion. Bannon? No he looks like the inside of a Greyhound bus smells. Giuliani? Leaking classified data, money laundering, Russian collusion. Flynn? Ha I know sir just trying to be thorough. Russian collusion, foreign agent, affair with Russian spy. Sorry sir, I can keep going but really there is absolutely no one else.”
Priebus: “Sigh. Fine, ok. Well Spicer, you’re.. all we got.”
It is hard to believe that my “Jesus Riding Raptor” sketch is TEN YEARS OLD. Where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday I was making fun of fringe creationists.
Now I’m paying them my taxes.
I was making a play for the Santa Monica Pier. The ocean was glassy smooth, tide was low, perfect conditions for my terrible and painfully slow swimming technique. Then I see this mylar balloon heading my way. Dammit, I thought to myself, out loud because no one could hear me. I can’t leave it, some sea turtle would try to eat it and choke on the thing. So the next set of waves sent it within meters of me, and next thing I knew I had a balloon.
I spent about five minutes (ok maybe ten) pretty perturbed I was going to have to detour the several hundred yards to shore to get rid of it, since it made swimming impossible. Halfway to shore it finally hit me: why don’t I just pop it and stuff the thing in my pocket?
I was basically Remedial MacGyver.
I really wanted to draw a highly detailed close-up portrait of Donald Trump, with a long wet log of shit coming out of his mouth, like those play-doh playsets where it slowly squeezes through the star-shaped hole with the crank. But I needed more time to put that together.
So anyway, here’s a sketch of a crow.
The rare vampire, known to only drink local wine.
I was on a hillside path in Paris and saw this tree growing among the crypts of Père Lachaise far below. What was the sort of soul to fertilize such a tree? This was no Gertrude Stein tree, nor did this come from one such as Balzac, or Wilde or Morrison.
No, this tree grows near the simple crypt of Elena Andreïanova, a Russian ballerina who lived a dramatic life in the mid 19th century. She was beautiful, strong, tragic, and stubborn.
Definitely her tree.
This was my favorite dark street to haunt in Bordeaux. Sections of this part of town dated back to medieval/English occupation. If ever there were a place to spawn old creatures of myth and legend, it was this neighborhood.
Also, excellent fondue.
This is my ship, in the videogame “No Man’s Sky.” It’s a good ship, and seems to know where it’s going, even when I do not.
“Hey Kid,” the unit leader called out. “Not so close to the edge. It’s ok kid, you’re doing fine,” the unit leader said as he approached. “Your patrol patterns are solid, your head’s on a swivel, I got no complaints. That was just some friendly advice, keep well clear of cliff edges or sheer drops.”
When the new guy asked why, the unit leader drew in close, and in almost a whisper replied, “In private security circles we call him “The Body Snatcher.” He hides in the tall grass, or hangs from above, or clings from below those ledges, and patiently waits for his victim to patrol near. One moment you’ve got a great job, good career path, loving family, and the next you’re falling to your death, some dumb quip like “Going down?” or “Seeya!” the last thing you ever hear.”
The unit leader left the new guy to his patrol, and walked over to the area commander. “You give the new kid “The Body Snatcher” story,” he asked, smiling. “Oh yeah, he’s good and spooked,” the unit leader replied, laughing.
They laughed so hard, they didn’t notice that the new guy was no longer there, or heard the faint words “Going down?” echo off the cliff walls.
Little gifts would be left on the back porch, or sometimes by the barn. Wildflowers planted in strange places. Stick figures hung from tree branches. They believed the.. creature.. was trying to be nice, in its own way. Perhaps it was saying “thank you” for not shooting at it, when the neighbors often would. Maybe it was just trying to give back a little something, in trade for what it took.
They appreciated its thoughtfulness, but still wished it would stop mauling their sheep at night.
“Of course it’s not fair. This is a street fight, kid. You’re trying to end the fight as fast as you can, and you’re trying to teach anyone that messes with you a lesson. There’s no cheating here. There’s just laying on the ground spitting out teeth, or walking away laughing. You want to put the guy down, and make it memorable, really fuck their shit- Ah, crap. Sorry about the language kid, I keep forgetting you’re.. how old are you again?”
“Geez yeah, twelve. Maybe I shouldn’t have showed you that stuff with the brick..”
“It’s fine sir, you have been very instructive. This was really great. My ride is here so I have to go, but I hope I can come back and learn more from you. will you be here next week?”
“Yeah, sure, I’m here most days, kid.” The boy paid the man triple what he asked for, thanked him again and walked to the waiting limousine.
“Did you learn anything valuable, Master Bruce?”
“I did, Alfred,” the boy replied, his eyes narrowing. “I learned there are no rules.”
“Hi I’m Twilight Sparkle! What’s your name?”
“I am The Death Dealer. My steed was killed in battle. I wish to ride you.”
“Yes. It will be glorious.”
“How about we go make friends instead? Would you like some friends? Here [Bamf!]! I just made your axe thingy magical. Now when you hit people with it you’ll make them happy. Some might even sing! It’s always better to make people happy than to hurt them. Right?”
“I.. yes? Wait what are… you’re doing something to.. my head.”
“I’m Twilight Sparkle. What’s your name?”
“I’m the Death Dealer.”
“No. I SAID, what’s your NAME?”
“I’m.. The Friend Maker.”
“Yay! Let’s ride!”
After the storms, and the pesky birds, and that very peculiar shark, Pooh was tuckered out. Tigger cavorted as ever, nevermind their predicament. Pooh wondered about Christopher Robin, whom he had not seen since the frightful waves took him away. But he did not worry, for deep down Pooh had a pretty fair inkling that he was Christopher Robin’s dream. So how could Pooh think the thought, Pooh thought to himself, if Christopher Robin wasn’t out there, safe and still able to dream his thoughts for him?
So Pooh lived his life as best he could, protected his hunny from those pesky birds, and secretly wished that peculiar shark would come back around. Because Tigger was very, very annoying.
I learned how to draw from comic books. I’d copy the shapes, make my own stories, and in the process learned a lot at an early age about composition and visual storytelling. Don’t get me wrong, I have a degree in classic studio art and art history too, and there’s no substitute for submersion in the classical arts. But I take the history of the comic book medium and how much it shaped my creative and professional life, very, very seriously.
The earliest drawing I remember, when I was six years old, was of The Hulk farting so hard he knocked down Manhattan.
Detail of a previous piece, with some slight re-coloring.
It is good that I have never thought of my artworks as children, because sometimes I come to like only small portions more than the full piece. If it were a child, how awkward to only really love the lower left arm, or just one side of the face.
Anyway, here’s the big left toe of an earlier work, which I liked very much.
I heard it from a key grip, who heard it from a set designer, who heard it from the 2nd unit director of “Cannonball Run”, who said it was told to him by Ricardo Montalban one night over dinner with friends.
This is a true story.
Actor Roddy McDowell, Montalban’s friend and sometimes co-worker, spent much of the 1960s and 1970s dressed up like a man-sized chimpanzee. First as Cornelius in the original “Planet of the Apes”, then in later sequels as other ape characters. Unfortunately the elaborate makeup took forever to remove, so Roddy was often last to the catering table, and forced to live with whatever he could cobble together. So he usually just took some romaine lettuce, and mixed it with lemon, olive oil, some egg, and worcestershire sauce. This light concoction had the added benefit of not staining his ape makeup, so he could eat without doffing the mask. He would later perfect his recipe with black pepper and croutons.
Over the course of his ape-career it became a regular staple. By the time filming began on “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes”, the catering crew made it special for him. When other actors asked what he was having, the caterers named it after his character’s name: “It’s Caesar’s Salad.” The rest is history.