Monthly Archives: June 2017


Wkipedia tells us that David Jude Heyworth Law, born in 1972, was first-middle-named after both the Jude of the “Hey Jude” of the Beatles and the Jude of the JUDE THE OBSCURE of Thomas Hardy. Jude Law, as we have come to know him, makes a good match for this mixture.

And he has been paired with some fine actors, among them Matt Damon, Haley Joel Osment, the junior Robert Downey, and, as illustrated above, Tom Hanks, who is at once off-camera and camera-captured in this endgame scene from ROAD TO PERDITION. (I added the “smile” word balloon to resonate with the cover of the classic BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE graphic novel.) Law plays an evil hit man who double-dips by sellimg photos of his victims to the press. He is chillingly mundane, and great, in this role, one of many weird roles he has had for which he was a perfect match.



My friend Clottee Hammons has been fearlessly battling racism forever. This June 24 she will host the 20th annual Emancipation Marathon, wherein “volunteers read out loud from historic and contemporary literature about American Chattel Slavery.” She has also posted extensive historical accounts on her Facebook page.

She is a modern Daniel, surrounded by carnivorous lions, interacting with steadfastness and enormous courage. Just recently she faced down a woman about leaving children alone in a car. Here in the Valley of the Sun, that is downright criminal. Neglected children have died from such heat. Clottee is the champion and protector of such children. She hashtagged her post of the incident “DontLetTheGreyHairFoolYou.” Damn good advice!!

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I have just returned from Manuel’s, a restaurant and cantina in easy walking distance, after a hugely entertaining discussion with a man who hired me to illustrate his poetry, and was magnaminous enough to permit me to use the images he got from me though he owns them outright.

His name is Bernard Schober. The Valley poetry scene knows him as The Klute. He is so interested in sharks and┬átheir place in the Universe that he goes to see them in Fiji and other habitats, caging himself when necessary. His enthusiasm about these unique creatures lights him up–when the talk turned to Guitar Sharks and the way their teeth form an amazing pattern, he almost fell over himself getting an image on his smartphone and showing me.

Good for him. He is spreading truth about these much-maligned creatures in his poetry. The illustration that heads this post concerns an Israeli shark whose white-topped dorsal fin is remindful of a yarmulke. His poem put to rest the vile canard that the shark was deliberately placed in Egyptian waters by Israel to wreak havoc. The illustration makes a lot more sense with the poem than without it. That’s the delight of collaboration.

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In his poem “The Hunt” he compares the hunt for prey with the hunt for a mate among the black tip sharks.

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Another poem explores Commensalism, the biological arrangement between creatures of different species for mutual benefit. Great Whites get along win-winningly with three such creatures.

Bernard and I talked also about more poems to illustrate up the road. He’s also thinking of a children’s book. I hope we do more of this stuff, and soon!



SHARKS: Poet and shark enthusiast Bernard Schober, whose nom de guerre is The Klute, has in the last five weeks commissioned me to illustrate four poems of his. I put the finishing touches on the last of them yesterday, and tomorrow I’ll hand over the originals and be handed payment of two kinds. I’m quite grateful for the work, and tickled that I got to be Ralph Steadman to his Hunter S. Thompson. (Not that I have exclusive Steadmanship; he has other Steadmans on call, including our superhero friend Russ “Speed Cameron” Kazmierczak.) I worked really hard on these drawings, and a big motivator was a wish to match the quality of the poetry.

SHANKS: “Shank’s Mare” is another way of saying “on foot.” I now own a Fitbit, a device that records and stores my steps per day along with other biometrics.

THANKS: My daughter Kate gave me an early Father’s Day gift in the form of an all-day pass to ComiCon Phoenix on Sunday, the 30th of May. The cake for that icing was that she and I got a lot of quality time together, including eats and a DVD afterward. She is great comic-convention, meal and movie company, and my gratitude to her for that special day continues.


HANKS: I now own the DVD of ROAD TO PERDITION, and this morning watched it, freezing the frame now and then to sketch the principals, including Tom Hanks, who got first billing. I am warming up for my next post. Please stay tuned!