Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mooning the Comics

I'm always interested in how different cartoonists deliver the same concept. In this case, the gags turn on the reinterpretation of an image. Is that crescent shape depicting the moon, or is it outlining a mouth?

The first example comes from Jim Davis' Garfield Sunday sequence of 7/23/17.

The second is much older. It's from Mark Tatulli's Lio, 11/15/16.

Of the two, I think I prefer Tatulli's take. First, it's shorter. I feel that Davis is almost mansplaining the joke. Do we really need all that setup? How about this:

Plus, I like Tatulli's tone better. Lio gets the raspberry from the moon behind his back. The joke turns on the transformation from moon to mouth to moon again, with Lio at the receiving end of the moon's derision.

Odie not only gets the moon to smile back, but he turns and mugs to the reader. Look! We changed your point of reference! Just like we carefully explained we were going to do! Ta-da!

Two different treatments for two different audiences.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Diabelli Project 157 - Piano Piece

The Diabelli Project is about offering my weekly flash-composition sketches freely to all. Like Antonio Diabelli's theme, these sketches aren't great music. But perhaps (as in Diabelli's case) there's a Beethoven out there who can do great things with them.

This week's sketch started with the bass. Once the dotted eighth-sixteen/eighth-eighth pattern popped into my head, I was ready to go. If I were to work on this further, I would probably change the interval leaps in the left hand.

All of these flash compositions are done with just pen and paper -- no piano or other musical instrument allowed to check pitches or harmonies. Part of the challenge is to accurately write down what I hear in my head unfiltered.

In this case, what I heard wasn't quite as it turned out when I checked it at the piano later. The bass seems a little too close to movie cowboy music for my taste.

As always, you can use any or all of the posted Diabelli Project sketches as you wish for free. Just be sure to share the results. I'm always curious to see what direction someone else can take this material.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Line Mar Match Box Construction 059 - Timber Swing

I found a Line Mar Match Box Construction Set from the 1930s, complete and with instructions. The box claimed the set made 100 different toys. I decided to test that claim -- one toy at a time. You can read all the posts for the Line Mar construction project at 100 Toys.

059. Timber Swing

I today we might call this a see-saw. In any event, the illustrator took a lot of artistic license with this instruction drawing -- and it should have been revoked.

The biggest problem was with the dowel rods. The building kit has two lengths of dowels. Neither length matched those depicted for the pillars. The shorter rods didn't even touch the bottom of the open compartment. The longer ones did secure the pillars to the base, but were anything but flush with the top.

The other problem was in the fulcrum. I couldn't use a long dowel -- the two dowels in the pillars didn't allow enough room. The short dowel worked, but just barely. There was at most only 1/16" of the dowel inside each pillar to support the assembly.

And inside the fulcrum was another issue. The fiberboard collars were too weak to fully support the dowels with the (relatively) heavy seats at the ends. If I could have joined them inside the fulcrum with a wooden collar, they might have been more stable. But I couldn't do that and have a dowel for the fulcrum to pivot on -- they both occupied the same space.

So below is as close as I could get to the original instruction illustration.