May 5 - Ugh. I'm back from the last of my annual Post-Prom caricature drawing gigs, and I have just enough energy left to post a little entry. It's 4:02AM as I type this, and I am already beginning to black out from exhaustion and shoulder pain. Maybe I'll have the "oomph" tomorrow to give you a report on some of today's events, but now I'll just bow out gracefully, leaving you with your Star Wars Comic Book Character of The Day - Han Solo!
May 4 - Yesterday, Thursday, I had quite a long day, which prevented me from having the energy and time to post much about it until now. The WOMP Staff took the day off from work so that we could take a trip to nearby Platteville, Wisconsin, to visit the combined Rollo Jamison and Mining Museums. That was a lot of fun, and very inspiring! How so? Well, The Jamison Museum is the preserved collection of a local eccentric who had the foresight to begin saving odds and ends of local history from an early age. Sound familiar? Of course, when he started (1907 or so), it was easier to find some really nifty stuff, yet probably more difficult to avoid being perceived as a nut. Now, thanks to eBay, every screwball who hoards old junk looks like a computer-literate, antiques-savvy entrepreneur. I took lots and lots of digital photos of the collection, which runs the gamut from uniforms and artifacts from every American war, to about a dozen industry-specific horse carriages, to general store items, to ancient flints and arrowheads (young Jamison's first collecting passion, developed while following his father's plow). There was a lot of amazing stuff, but what most impressed me was Jamison's collection of autographed Civil War carte-de-visit photographs! With exceptions of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, virtually every major figure is represented, including Grant, Custer, Jackson, and Lee! All in all, I got a lot of good photo reference for both drawing and collecting purposes...then we were off to the Mining Museum section. More than just a display of old picks and shovels, the museum includes an actual abandoned mine! Down a 1970's stairwell shaft, the museum preserves a lead and zinc mine first opened in 1845. That, too, was very inspirational. It's one thing to imagine an underground cavern or tunnel (as I did for The Adventures of Monkey #3...fairly well, as it turns out), but it is another thing entirely to experience it for yourself first hand. Little features and obscure elements popped out to me which I would never have imagined, and the detail captured by my mind's eye surpasses any video I've ever seen. Fantastic! Of course, the tour is designed primarily for school kids, so we were a bit embarrassed to be seen by locals as we rode a fun yet humiliating mine-car railroad around a tiny track around a small park on the museum grounds. I suppose we didn't get a very in-depth tour, as our guide stuck to her time-tested, kid-friendly script for the most part. Even so, we enjoyed it, coming away from the experience with a newfound enthusiasm for the area's mining history. Platteville, for example, is honeycombed with subterranean mine tunnels and chambers, and the surrounding hills are pocked with smaller digs (shallow, six foot deep test mines, the cantankerous miners of which inspired Wisconsin's nickname as the Badger State) and sudden rocky hills of mine spoil (which are less prevalent, thanks to the mid-twentieth century need for road construction material). It just goes to show that history is all around if you know where to look. Speaking of which, in honor of the historic thirtieth anniversary of the film (and a suggestion from me), The WOMP Staff convinced the folks at her job to make today, Friday, "Star Wars Day" at work! Everyone was encouraged to dress as a Star Wars character. The Staff was, of course, Darth Vader...convincingly so, too! Even though I helped with her costume, including a full Vader helmet and respirator-sound-emanating breathing-box, I was still honestly taken aback when I came across her standing in a dark dining room as I happened to look in! Yikes! Anyhoo, she reported that a fun time was had by all. They had an R2-D2 cake, "Yoda feet" gummies, and drinks served in Star Wars glasses. The Vader/Staff even posed with the other two Darth Vaders in attendance! It went so well that I am going to send photos from the event to the official Star Wars site in hopes that they will put them on their web-page(s). Who knows? Maybe The Force will be with us. Well, I suppose that I should wrap this up for now with some more of your Star Wars Comic Book Characters of The Day - Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes!
May 3 - Ugh! More cartooning work! I should be pleased to be so swamped, but I never seem to be, do I? I think that I'd complain even if I won the lottery ("Where am I supposed to put all of these thousand-dollar bills?"). Anyhoo, I am still working on everything, which is sucking the time and energy out of me, so I won't be posting a "real" entry, I'm afraid. In fact, I think I'll just wrap this up for now with your Star Wars Comic Book Characters of The Day - Tag and Bink!