*blows dust off website*
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.)
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.