Patrick Alexander's Personal Internet

Christmas

(More) Tobias and Jube illustrations

*blows dust off website*

*cough cough*

I had an extremely busy 2016, and a quite productive one — just not obviously productive; a lot of it was taken up with a new Tobias and Jube comic that I can’t show you yet (among other projects). But I did manage to squeeze in these two lovely illustrations…

Print available. Tobias and Jube come across a garden of eyes whose attention seems to be anywhere else.

I used a pencil for ‘inking’, here, for the first time, which is something I’d wanted to try. It matches the watercolours and feels comfortable to me. (In fact, no actual pencils or paints were involved — both of these illustrations were done entirely on my ipad pro, in Procreate.)

Print available.

On the whole I take my Christmas thoroughly Anglo, with as many pre-Christian rituals and ornaments as possible bleeding through, but of course also with proper carols, joyful and mysterious, about magic baby God, born to be sacrificed to himself, or, alternatively and ideally, about Wenceslas, a nice king with hot feet. No Santy Claus, no holly jolly jingle dingle, no crooners, no divas. But these are mostly aesthetic preferences; religion and spirituality have something but not so very much to do with it — consequently I’m happy to incorportate whatever ideas and symbols and activities happen to catch my fancy into my personal concept and practice of Yuletide, which is really the only way to do it nowadays, isn’t it?

So what have we got here. We’ve got some carolers who are a bit Peanuts and a bit Dickens. We’ve got some Japanese-style winter illuminations. We’ve got some holly wrapped around an old-as-fuck stone monument of the kind that dot the landscape of Tobias and Jube’s little world. What does it mean? Does anyone remember? And perhaps candles always burn with blue flame at Christmas, which is why no-one’s FREAKED OUT about that. Perhaps it’s got something to do with the Ghost of Christmas Present, or Father Christmas, or whoever it is, lurking in the background there, inspecting the scene with what we should hope is an approving eye. (Or maybe Leroy, the wizard, did it.) The ginkgo tree, like the ones here in Tokyo, is nearly bare at just this time of year. And I wonder if El Bobba, down the front there, is on his way to plop that yuzu into a hot bath, in line with the Japanese winter solstice tradition.

The new Tobias and Jube comic I mentioned earlier? You can meet all the carolers pictured above in that comic. Stay tuned.

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas (2007)

DOWNLOAD (14 MB)

For a generation (and I’m talkin’ ‘bout my generation) raised on Bart Simpson and the Internet, the word ‘sentimental’ sounds like an insult. Sentiment is for Grandma and Grandpa – it’s an old-fashioned value, to be regarded with suspicion. Well I say, to hell with that.

What are we so afraid of, that we can’t share some warm, sentimental feelings, especially at this time of year? Sentiment doesn’t drop bombs on people or arrest negroes disproportionately. Sentiment is what makes us love our country; sentiment is why, no matter how old we get, no place will ever feel like home quite like Mom and Dad’s. And sentiment is how, for just one day of the year, everyone on Earth can join together and focus on what’s really important: Love, Joy and Family.

This is an album of original songs about just those things. I sang them with all my heart. I know that sounds ‘cheesy’ – and believe me, the music does too! But I hope you can put aside your ‘internet rage’ for a little while, and enjoy some good old-fashioned Holiday tunes. Who knows? You just might find yourself singing along.

You might even find yourself smiling. :)

All the best,

Patrick Alexander
Shizuoka, Japan
Christmas 2007