Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Schmicarus, Schmicarus, Where Are You?

Remember the story about Icarus? His dad crafted some strap-on wings. When Icarus took them for a spin, Dad warned him to stay away from the sun. Icarus ignored the warning and flew too high. The sun's heat melted the wax that held the wings together. They fell apart. Icarus fell to his death.
Everyone said Icarus was a dumbass who ignored danger and got what he deserved.
I'll add a detail to the myth. Icarus had a twin brother named Schmicarus. Shimicarus was a responsible fellow who passed on the chance to try the wings because it looked risky. Besides, he had to weed his potato* patch that day. While he was working in the field, his brother fell from the sky, crash landing on him at terminal velocity.
Everyone said Schmicarus was dumbass who ignored danger and got what he deserved. "Why didn't he get out of the way?" they said. "He knew his family was flying around in the first place. Duh!"
Why were they so hard on him? Because it's easier to twist someone's misfortune into a morality play than accept the fact that horrific things can happen to anyone.
Here's a chart with some examples. Heard any of this before?
Why victim "deserved it":
Home destroyed by natural disaster
"Everyone knows that area has floods( or fires, or tornadoes, or hurricanes, or earthquakes, or tsunamis, or landslides) What idiot builds a house there?"

"What was she doing in that neighborhood?"


"Why was he walking alone at that time of night"

on the sidewalk, sprained ankle

"Why didn't he watch where he was going?"

"That's what you get for eating meat (or processed foods, or non-organic, or dairy, or not taking vitamins)


"She must have done something wrong."


"He didn't think positive thoughts."

For more examples, check the comment section of any online news story about disaster and misfortune. Be it an accident, a disease, assault or a swarm of killer bees, there's always some jerk who claims the victim brought it on himself. I guess the world seems safer that way.


Within ten minutes of contemplating this irony and how it can lead to obnoxious statements, I read about a rock climbing accident in the paper and...

Maybe I should draw myself as the back end of a horse.

*potatoes are from South America and were thus unknown to Ancient Greece, but I'm the story teller here. The original Icarus story has him doing his splashdown in the Icarian sea, by the way.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Martians VI

Click cartoon for larger image.

For this one the catch was to use strict black and white, with no gray scale.
Click it for a larger version.
Looks a bit derivative of Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes, but I wasn't trying to rip him off.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Not Again!

My mom's back in the hospital. She and my dad were on vacation in Las Vegas when she had strokelike symptoms again. The last time this happened it turned out to be "only" a seizure and she was discharged the next day. She'd recently stopped taking her seizure meds because she didn't like the side effects. Whoops. My brother and dad and I talked and the plan is for me to wait until they know for sure what's going on.
I hate waiting.
The whole stroke ordeal was like a bomb going off. She was in remarkable good health last November until the stroke struck. Like a rug being pulled. Ever since I've been nervous about what the future holds. Even the calendar displays at the book store make me nervous. It reminds me that the future is coming. Who knows what it holds?

24 hours later update:
Yep, it seems to have been another seizure. The good news is she should recover within weeks, being much better within days (a stroke takes much longer and damage can be permanant.) The hospital sprung her and she's on her way back to Los Angeles.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Martians V

Click image for larger view.

I find it trickier to work in gray scale than in color- I often use gaudy colors as a crutch to make a mediocre drawing more eye friendly. So I did this as a challenge. When I was done I discovered this probably should have been done in greens instead of gray. Oh well. Check back for a photoshopped version.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Fountian Crashers

I sunk fifty bucks into a fountain for my birdbath.

Splashing water attracts birds. Would this bring more visitors?

I installed it early one morning, before work. I returned home anxious to see what, if anything, had been enticed to the fountain. Would the bath be full of birds? Perhaps new species which had never swung by before? What awaited?

Here's what awaited.

It had been such a hit that the birds had splashed most of the water out. They knocked the fountain over, causing it to run dry. Running dry killed the motor.
They broke it.
Who knew something could work so well and so badly at the same time?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Martians III

Click for a larger, easier to read version.
The opening panel is a homage to Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny,
a lesser known opera I like. It begins with troublemakers (on the run from the cops) finding themselves stranded in the desert when their truck breaks down.
That reminds me- ever notice how the difference between "homage" or "tribute" and "blatant rip off" is based on how much your critics like or dislike your material?