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October 30, 2006


This week's Illustration Friday topic is "Wind". The question was, do I illustrate wind: the perceptible natural movement of the air, or wind: move in or take a twisting or spiral course ? Well, I can't look at the word "wind" all by itself and read it as a verb. Sorry. So wind (noun) it was.

I was not inspired to do something clever. I am working out of desperation to update this blog in a somewhat reasonable fashion. When I look at many of the illustration friday links, I find many people like myself making like excuses. We are a sorry lot.

Anyway. I would have drawn Al Roker, but his hair doesn't do quite as amazing things:

In other news, our life update is such:
we have just sent out our first volume of Idiots'Books to our elite-list readership (read: everyone we know). This has been consuming lots of time and staples and paper, but is now on hold until, well, now, when I'm supposed to be working on Volume 2. This is the explanation for all those folks who are disgusted with my lack of updates. I really do have an excuse.

Now that the cat is out of the proverbial bag, I will be posting work-in-progress type stuff here, or at least I won't be totally mum about the projects as they are happening. I like being mum, though, because, you see, I'm not really one.

Posted by ribbu at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2006

Beckett Bonanza

Yesterday evening we took full advantage of our status as college-town residents, and went to a much-anticipated reading of Beckett by Barry McGovern. (Had I known McGovern was in Joe vs. the Volcano, I might have thought twice.) Going to Beckett readings might make it sound like I'm a bit of an intellectual, but there's nothing like going to a Beckett reading to make you really feel like you're not. McGovern had a beautiful voice and did a fantastic performance, but after about ten minutes I noticed I was fiercely frowning and after thirty that my head had turned into a big knot.

It took so much concentration for me to get it that I couldn't just sit back and take it all in, and after 45 minutes was totally exhausted. It didn't help that for the last week and a half I've gotten like 5 hours of sleep every night (this might not be impressive to some of you, but I needs my sleeps!), and there were moments when my eyes fluttered and rolled back into my head, which has GOT to be distracting if you're trying to read Beckett and it's happening 4 rows from front and center in a wee small theater, so I have to apologize to Mr. McGovern for that. If only I were smarter, or better-rested.

But isn't that what they all say?

Posted by ribbu at 09:49 AM

October 15, 2006


I would like to take this moment to talk about my favorite nib. Because, right now, I'm jonesing for my nib. For those of you corporate-types, lawyers and lawyers and whatnot (you know who you are) who don't know what nibs are (or, does everyone know what a nib is? Lawyers have to sign all those important documents all the time, like the writ of Habeas Corpus and the Magna Carta and the Rosetta Stone and stuff, don't they? They don't just do that shit with a regular bic, do they? DO THEY...? - Sheesh!) - the definition of nib found in dictionary.com is as follows:
1. the point of a pen, or either of its divisions.
2. a penpoint for insertion into a penholder.
3. a point of anything: a cutting tool with a diamond nib.
4. a bill or beak, as of a bird; neb.
5. any pointed extremity.
6. Metallurgy.
a. a piece of sintered tungsten carbide used as a die for drawing wire or the like.
b. (in powder metallurgy) a compact at any stage of its manufacture.
[Origin: 1575–85; perh. var. of neb; cf. D nib, MLG nibbe (var. of nebbe) beak, ON nibba sharp point. See nibble] (see here for proper citation) I like that it has the same root as "nibble".

Anyway. I'm talking about definition #2. The tip of the pen that you put into the penholder that you then dip into the ink and that then draws the line. It's a thing of beauty. My favorite nib is the Speedball Imperial

probably partly because it has that wicked-cool fleur-de-lis-type cutout and all the others just have lame little ovals or rectangles. I'm a sucker for the details. Plus, it's all coppery (or brassy?) too, instead of silvery. If they really wanted to sell me some, they should make them red, with a ninja-shaped cutout.

So, after unpacking everything, I must've put my new nibs in some sort of special secret hiding place, because I remember unpacking them but cannot find them anywhere. So replacements are currently on order from dickblick where I spent hours browsing through thousands of other things that I don't need. But I am antsy for my Imperial nibs, so instead of getting to use them, I am waxing poetic (or not) about them.

Anyway. I thought I was a bit of a nib nerd (just because, um, nobody else I know cares what kind of nib they don't use) until I did a search for nibs, and came up with this. I was sorely tempted by the William S. Hicks NY #3 w/Star vent hole (it's the "Star vent hole" that lured me in, not, say, the William S. Hicks, or the NY, or the #3) but am not sure that $70 for a star really outdoes 88 cents for a fleur-de-lis. Now, probably, if it were the other way around, I would have paid $70 for the fleur-de-lis. Just a note to you nib manufacturers out there. At any rate, I feel perfectly satisfied to be a nib dilettante if being a nib nerd means spending $200 on a frickin weensy piece of metal.

Ok. I'm going now. Matthew has started practicing his harmonica, and this means that keeping myself from strangling him is going to take all my concentration.

oh, ps, the best definition of nib I found was from Wordnet
which was:
2: horny projecting mouth of a bird [syn: beak, bill, neb, pecker]
I just love that the best way to describe something we all know as a beak is "horny projecting mouth". Really, it just sounds a lot more distressing than just a beak, doesn't it?

Posted by ribbu at 08:12 PM | Comments (5)

October 07, 2006

Le Nez Colossal

So, matthew and I are working on this little book about french explorers. I finally had some time today to sit down and try to sketch some things out. It's a series of portraits, so I was having a hard time not making them all look like balding, bulb-nosed, baggy-eyed, hairy-knuckled men from the Bronx. I worked on it, and this (a reject) turned up out of the blue (no pun intended) - his hand is going the wrong direction, but I love the way his hair turned out. The point was supposed to be that he had a big nose, but I think that got lost in all those pretty wavy locks (and behind the backwards hand). But, I thought I'd post anyway. Maybe coloring in will help...?

oh -
I just fixed it.
I'll color it in tomorrow and see if it makes any difference. At any rate, the backwards hand has been (not entirely successfully) taken care of. It's drying now, under the flanks of a big fat black cat. She just can't wait to go sit on wet ink. She probably does it so that all of the bits of cat litter that are stuck in her butt-fur get colored in to match.

Posted by ribbu at 10:55 PM