Sunday, October 21, 2007

December, 1997, pt. 1

Here's some images from one of my favorite old sketchbooks.

My first year of grad school, I filled a pocket-sized sketchbook during a ten day Christmas vacation.

I drew the first page while waiting to catch the bus to Virginia, and drew last on the bus ride back.

Not only can I chart where I was during the each section of the sketchbooks (bus station, bus, girlfriend's, Dad's, grandparents, bus), but what I was thinking about.

The preceding pages were from the Girlfriend stage of the tour. The psychologically astute among you may to pick up on a certain ambivalence I had regarding the relationship.

Now I'm at my Dad's place.

This sort of relentless resposnive doodling isn't easy. It precludes all sorts of other activities, like, say, socializing because you're always nose-deep in your sketchbook.

But dang, if it doesn't keep the artistic chops up.

This sketchbook represents me at my sketching peak, but I kept the habit up pretty well for years... until I moved to Memphis. I've tried, but there's something about Memphis that I just find singularly uninspiring.

More to come!


Shobo said...

Funny thing about sketches, they're like a signature for memories. In my experience you can always remember where you were and what you were thinking about when you did the best ones.

I quite like the lady with the fish on her head, it looks a lot like a scene you might find at the market here, but odd because the lady wouldn't have a load of fish on her head.

The Ichthyophile said...

Is that man about to perform hara-kiri with a sturgeon?

Evan said...

i feel the same way about L.A. as you feel about Memphis.

I've done little to nothing in the ways of art since i've moved here and it's even more difficult to WANT to make art than it was in Memphis.

L.A. kills your soul, even when you're not a big part of it..

Pulpatooner said...

The sketches of the man with the fish and the woman with many fish are from an issue of Saveur magazine ( that i was looking through while at my Dad's. I think the recipe was from that magaine, too. It's a nice magazine for the food-interested, although I'm more of a Cook's Illustrated man, myself.


Yeah, sketches seem much more effective for calling up memories than photos, because you have to invest so much more of yourself to create a sketch. This is a good thing for m to remember, now that i have a new arrival coming into the house, and will be wanting to keep lots and lots of memories for my dotage.

And how's Nigeria? What are you up to these days? Will you be rejoining us soon?


I prefer to think of them as dancing.


Sorry to hear that you're not loving LA. Maybe you're not doing enough cocaine? I'm pretty sure the street sign there are designed so that they're not even legible until you're on your fifth gram.

Shobo said...

Hi Joel,

Wait,wait, wait... a new arrival!? does this mean what I think it means? Are congratulations in order or is an old schoolmate moving in for a while?

At the moment I'm working on a comic with a friend of mine. I'm doing the colors, lettering and writing, he's doing the pencils. I'm look at trying to set up a mainstream publishing outfit here.

I'd love to come back, I'd mentioned grad school, and I'll probably email you for your sage-like advice when the time is right (assuming you'd be kind enough to part with such wisdom). I'd love to come back to Memphis eventually, especially to teach or something.

Hi EVAN! *waves*

april said...

ooh, i love these! especially the fish-head and the food.

i saw sarah last night at target and, without revealing too much, she told me you were making a really great halloween costume. which means that you will have to accompany us to one of the many halloween parties going on this weekend. i mean, a tidy cats bucket? i'm going to need to see this...

Pulpatooner said...


Yup, it means what you think it means. Unless you think it means that we're taking in foreign exchange students, or that we're building a wise-cracking robot to entertain us in our old age, or anything to do with gingerbread that run-run-runs as fast as it can, but we can't catch it. I refer you to the previously blogged Meeting Skeezix (


Thanks! I'm glad you like them. And I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about. Cat liter buckets? Bah! My costume is made out of nothing but 100% pure American AWESOME.

Shobo said...

Well gorsh! I feel silly now for feeling so excited TWO MONTHS after everyone else. As we say in Lagos, CONGRATULOBIA!!

chrishaley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chrishaley said...

I like the one with the recipe the best, but I think that's only because I was very hungry when I first saw it. Also, I'm still fully on board for you learning me on the cooking process via your previously disclosed idea.

Pulpatooner said...


Groovy. I like the egg drawing, too. That and the guy with the fish are two drawings where I felt really satisfied after I drew them, which, you know, is rare.

As far as the cooking project: sounds good. We'll have to figure out when we can get together for this.

Unknown said...

I was really excited about your offer in the previous post. I sent my reply to the pulpatoon email address. Is that where it should have gone? Just checking. Thanks.

I agree the that the egg is the best. I also like the doll.