I just realized I never posted the pictures of my project at the Watertown Free Public Library Children’s Room now that’s it’s completed. Here’s me with the big mural, the sign above the door to the room, and the 3 paintings I did for the wall opposite from the mural. Limited edition screen prints based on the paintings of the reading genie, space kids, and mermaid are now available in my Etsy Shop so you can have one for your own.
Silkscreen prints for sale
New prints just in time for the holidays! Original 3-color silkscreen prints based on paintings I did for the Watertown Free Public Library in Watertown, MA. Limited edition of 30 for each design. 8” x 12” image on 10” x 14” Stonehenge white archival paper. Signed and numbered. Check them out in my Etsy shop!
See the reading mermaid—one of 3 new prints for sale in my Etsy shop!
Watertown Library Mural, Day 18
FINISHED! Well, sort of. Still have to do a little bit of touching up but it’s basically done. All the pieces are there. Now it’s time to take a little break.
Watertown Library Mural, Day 15
It’s been one week since I last posted pictures of the mural. I’ve been working on lots of things that don’t really show up that well in photos so it might not have looked like I was making much progress. Sunday night I started adding some obvious details (like faces to some characters) so I thought this would be a good time to let you see how it’s going. Still hoping to finish on Friday but there’s still so much to do. We’ll see!
Watertown Library Mural, Day 8
After two weeks the mural is really starting to come together. On Friday, I tightened up the dark green and purple shapes and started adding black and white paint. I’ll need to add more coats of paint this week until everything is perfectly opaque and then I’ll add outlines and details to everything to finish up.
Watertown Library Mural, Day 7
A full day of painting. More blue! Orange! Various skin tones! And much more!
Watertown Library Mural, Day 6
It was a late night at the library last night and a long day today. Hopefully you can tell I’ve added some more color and tightened up most of the shapes. Lots of extra coats of paint too.
The patrons of the library seems very excited about the mural. Everyone has great things to say. One father was sure he had seem my work somewhere and told his wife I was a famous artist. One little boy said, “I think I love this”! The funniest thing today was when a little boy was more excited about what I was standing on than what I was painting—”Look! A ladder!”
Watertown Library Mural, Day 4
I forgot to take any pictures on my third day working on the mural so there’s been a bit of progress since the last post. Actually, if I were able to work 8 hour days this would only be about day 2.
I went in this morning when the library was open so I just worked on the big mural and not the sign over the door. I’ll get back to that tomorrow night.
At any rate, there’s lots more color on the wall now. A lot of time is taken up applying multiple coats of paint—especially for the red and light green. But it’s starting to look like something.
Watertown Library Mural, Day 2
Monday night I drew the mural on the wall in the children’s room at the Watertown Free Public Library. Last night, I finally got to start painting. I only worked for about three and a half hours so I didn’t make that much progress but there’s color on the walls now.
The library was still open when I began and it was nice to talk to the library employees, the children visiting the library, and their parents while I was painting.
After the library closed at 9, I focused on the sign over the children’s room entrance. Working on this forces me to block the only door into the room so I have to do it after hours. I’ll be back tonight adding more color!
Watertown Library Mural, Day 1
Last night I started on a mural and a sign for the Watertown Free Public Library in their children’s room. I had to go in after hours so I could dim the lights and project my drawings on the wall.
The sign for the Children’s Room is going over the entrance to the room. This is part of the sign projected on the wall for tracing.
I’m also working on a larger and more complicated piece that’s 5 feet by 14 feet. The designs are now traced onto the wall with pencil and I’ll start painting later this week.
Comic Cards Project: Day 50 • Ace the Bat-Hound
Krypto the super dog’s first appearance in March 1955 must have been a success, because just a few months later readers were introduced to Batman’s canine comrade, Ace the Bat-Hound. Robin made a mask for the dog to cover a distinguishing mark on his forehead—but should he have even bothered? If the citizens of Gotham City weren’t clever enough to realize Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, and Ace looked exactly like Batman, Robin, and Bat-Hound, would that little mark really have given him away?
Bat-Hound was nowhere near as popular as Superman’s pet pooch though, and was prominently featured in only a handful of stories. It could have been that readers weren’t as interested in Batman’s dog because he lacked super powers. More likely, it stemmed from the fact that Krypto’s thought balloons revealed him to be a rational being with a personality, while nobody ever knew what regular dog Bat-Hound was thinking.
Ace popped up occasionally for almost 10 years but when a new editor took over in 1964, Batman’s supporting cast took a hit. Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Robin made the cut but Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite, and Bat-Hound were all shown the door.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Next: Robin, the Boy Wonder!
Comic Cards Project: Day 49 • Krypto
When Superman was still a baby on the doomed planet Krypton, his father Jor-El built a rocket to safely transport the infant to Earth. While testing a prototype, Jor-El sent Krypto, the family’s puppy, into space. Unfortunately, the spaceship was knocked off course and it drifted aimlessly for years. When it finally reached Earth, Krypto was reunited with Superboy, the last surviving member of his family.
Krypto was a popular addition to Superman’s childhood adventures, although in their initial encounters the playful pet with superpowers ended up being more trouble than anything else. Fortunately for Superboy, his dog liked to romp around the universe far from home, keeping him from being a nuisance on Earth for long stretches of time.
He eventually became a reliable ally for the Boy of Steel and although he couldn’t talk, thought balloons revealed that he could think as clearly as any human. In addition to frequent appearances as a supporting character in tales about Superboy, Krypto regularly headlined his own adventures and occasionally turned up in stories after Superman had grown up. He was even featured on the Saturday morning Superboy cartoon from 1966-1969. All this notoriety for a superhero’s super pet was not that surprising given the kitschy comics environment of the 60s.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Tomorrow: Ace, The Bat-Hound!
Comic Cards Project: Day 48 • Robotman
An accident on a European racetrack left wealthy international daredevil Cliff Steele with a body damaged beyond repair. His brain escaped injury, though, and a surgical genius transplanted it into a scientifically-advanced metallic body. It wasn’t until Cliff was recruited for the Doom Patrol that he learned that their leader, The Chief, had been the surgeon who turned him into Robot Man.
Elasti-Girl and Negative Man rounded out the members of the Doom Patrol, a group of outsiders who banded together to use their unusual abilities for good. Wisecracking, hot tempered Cliff was the most cynical of the bunch, at least on the surface, but he sometimes let his soft side show—especially when it came to his feelings for Elasti-Girl.
The Doom Patrol came along in 1963—about a year after the debut of The Metal Men—but Robot Man’s design seemed primitive compared to that band of artificially intelligent robots. Perhaps The Chief should have consulted with Doc Magus, the Metal Men’s creator, for a little help in crafting Mr. Steele’s body. Maybe with a sleeker physique Robot Man would have been a little less discontent with his situation.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Tomorrow: Superman’s dog, Krypto!
Comic Cards Project: Day 47 • Batgirl
The Batman TV series that debuted in 1966 was a huge success, but by the second season the ratings had started to slip. The producers wanted to introduce a female character for the third season, so DC Comics created Batgirl as a new character for both the comics and the small screen.
Batgirl was really Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Police Commissioner Gordon. Having received her Ph.D. in library science form Gotham State University, she was the head of the Gotham Public Library. Like Supergirl, she was older than conventional sidekicks but still younger than typical suprerheroes.
While this new character was more popular than Betty Kane, the original Bat-Girl who appeared in comics from 1961-1964, she was unable to save the television series. And though it seemed that things had improved somewhat for female heroes since the day of the hyphenated Bat-Girl, Barbara still had to deal with the misogyny of Batman and Robin—and the writers.
One entire story revolved around the fact that Batgirl, as a woman, was inherently and irrevocably vain. This weakness impaired her crime fighting, and the only way to make up for it was to use her feminine sex appeal to distract her enemies long enough to get the upper hand. The mind reels!
Chauvinism was commonplace in comics of the 50s and early 60s, but it surprised me to see an entire plot based around it in 1968. Considering that the struggle for women’s rights continues over 40 years later, I probably shouldn’t find it so astounding.
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Tomorrow: Robot Man of the Doom Patrol!