Junior Mad Scientist – Lab Notes

My Dead Grandmother Keeps Getting Mail

May 31st, 2007 by Weber


My Dead Grandmother Keeps Getting Mail
(click above to open the PDF) (1.5M)

(Best viewed at 85% zoom or higher. Scroll slowly when reading.)

Here it is! The long-awaited, much-touted mystery comic. It took nine months to do, but the finished story came out much better than expected thanks to two key people:

The wife, who aided with various visual elements and let me tie up her iMac for a whole day.

My wonderful and tolerant mother, who provided old snapshots and acted as a photo reference without asking too many questions. (And to think she was worried I was going to do something weird with those pictures.)

This comic is dedicated with a great deal of love to the memory of my grandmother — who really did die 14 years ago and whose mail still gets delivered to my house.

I miss you, Charlie. Now more than ever.

Posted in Art, Comics, Stories, Writing | 2 Comments »

Noble Failure #5 (Another 24-Hour Comic)

May 24th, 2007 by Weber

NOBLE FAILURE #5 (May 2007)



At last, a full 24-page comic. It took 32 hours to complete. The extra time included a much needed nap and two — yes, TWO — trips to the orthodontist. Without the various interruptions, the book would have clocked-in at 26 hours, so it was going to be noble failure either way. Still, I’m fairly pleased with this effort.

Scanning/rescanning, sizing, and uploading all these pages has eaten-up all this week’s hours allocated for blogging. Rest assured, though: there will be more details soon on the overall process, this particular issue, and what was done differently to help me finally hit the standard page count.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

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Posted in 24-Hour Comics, Comics, Stories, Writing | 3 Comments »

Happy Anniversary to my (much) better half

May 17th, 2007 by Weber


The photo was taken eleven years ago. The card was painted this morning.


I’m still crazy about you.

Love always,

The Guy In The Monkey Suit

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Parnassius Autocrator (1995)

May 17th, 2007 by Weber


(click here for more detail)

There was no plan for this piece. I made a frame, stretched some canvas and started gelling on pieces from a discard copy of J. D. Salinger’s RAISE THE ROOF BEAM HIGH, CARPENTERS. When it became clear that was going nowhere, on went some paint.

It almost stopped with the lightbulb, but something was missing. Why would all eyes in this painting be staring at lightbulb? (And what is it with me and monsters, anyway? Sheesh.)

Bruce mentioned a trick he learned at college: if a painting is giving you trouble, look at it in a mirror. Seeing the work in a different way might make the problem clear.

And damnit if that didn’t work.
Read the rest of this entry »

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The Scrimshaw Skeleton

May 10th, 2007 by Weber


When Webmaster MIKE created this site, he added the subhead, ‘Startling Stories For All Ages.’

“So,” you’re asking, “where are the stories?”

From all the art and book reviews I’ve posted over the last six weeks, it’d be fair to suppose there aren’t any stories — startling or otherwise. Maybe it’s propaganda or wishful thinking.

Ah, but there are stories. Many. And plenty of other writings.

Several aren’t up here yet due to logistics: I’m still figuring out the best way to present those online. Some things are in the process of being written. Others are just too painful to share. Not because they’re personal or tragic, but because the writing is terrible.

I’m working on it, though.

One story, I can share from the still-being-worked-on file, is my prologue to THE SCRIMSHAW SKELETON.

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Posted in Stories, Writing | Comments Off on The Scrimshaw Skeleton

Bathroom Ads Go Digital

May 10th, 2007 by Weber

A couple of weeks ago the wife, then kid, and I went to Chicago’s very own John G. Shedd Aquarium. If you haven’t been there in a while, you owe yourself a trip. If you’re an out-of-town reader and you come to the Windy City, an afternoon at the Shedd needs to be on your itinerary.

While there, if you find it necessary to heed nature’s call, you’ll find these in the bathrooms: The Digital Washroom Advertising System by Impressionaire.


“ImpressionAire places digitally-equipped warm air hand dryers in high profile, high traffic public washrooms. Your ad message is displayed every 30 seconds around the clock on a high-tech flat panel computer screen.

The viewer looks at your ad while drying hands in a venue that is free of traditional advertising.

Target male or female washrooms, change your message overnight and reinforce your total media campaign with this unique new advertising venue.”

I have to admit, it’s a clever and well-executed idea. But, while curiosity makes me wonder about advertising costs and administration, I can’t help but be annoyed that I’m forced to endure commercials in the bathroom. Is there no escape?

Has anybody run into these hand dryers elsewhere — in the US or the world?

Posted in Weridness | 2 Comments »

Still Life With Monster, VII

May 10th, 2007 by Weber


Posted in Art | Comments Off on Still Life With Monster, VII

Making Me Look Good

May 10th, 2007 by Weber

Thanks to my pal Bruce Bachelder for framing the third-to-latest Still Life With Monster painting. (see the full-size original here, then go check out Bruce’s gallery over at the Fine Arts Guild site.)

I gave the framed piece to our friend Holly who liked it so much she hung it in her Hall Of Art.

Thanks for putting Monster in with such august company, Holly.


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Casey At The Bat (book review)

May 3rd, 2007 by Weber


CASEY AT THE BAT, Earnest Thayer’s minor epic poem about baseball, gets a wholly fresh and nostalgia-free update by artist Joe Morse. Morse abandons the handlebar moustaches and turn-of-the-century trappings of previous editions. Instead, he brings the 1888 poem into the modern inner city.

To do that, the book’s design sets-up a slick transition from the Victorian Era to current time by placing over the first page a sheet of vellum watermarked with an old-timey logo for the Mudville Nine. The vellum overlays a heavily graffitied brick wall above which floats a word balloon filled with the poem’s title.

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Posted in Book Reviews | 1 Comment »

“Monster” T-shirts?

May 3rd, 2007 by Weber

Got an email last week from Fine Arts Guild member Holly Miller. She says she loves the STILL LIFE WITH MONSTER series enough that she wants “to print them out and make wallpaper.” She also thinks they’d make great t-shirts and sent along this mock-up to prove it.


My first official piece of fan art. Very, very cool. Thanks, Holly!

Makes me think I should get something going with CafĂ© Press. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Meanwhile, keep those cards and letters coming! And don’t forget to check out Holly’s art work here.

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