A.V. Club’s Books of 2014 Banner Illustration


Here’s a banner illustration I did for the A.V. Club’s feature on their favorite books of 2014. I think my favorite is the potato.


Level 1


Like the laziest of O. Henry-scribed ironies, it turns out the only thing worse than losing the Street Fighter competition is winning.

After dispatching a feared warlord and being reunited with a long-lost mother, what could possible follow but fortune?

As it turns out, being a savage jungle man with no marketable skills other than mastery of a school of self-taught swamp Capoeira places one pretty low on the hireability index.

Endorsement deals are surprisingly difficult to land. I mean, it’s not like they put the champions of brutal, amoral fighting tournaments on the front of the Wheaties box. I know this because I called and asked. That’s specifically what they told me.

So what, then? Move to the US, try and break into film. Get a decent role as Moss Man in the big-budget Masters of the Universe movie. Land the lead in the gritty, urban How The Grinch Stole Christmas reboot. Watch it go down at the box office as ignobly as if it were pile-driven between Zangief’s meaty thighs.

The drinking, already…excessive… gets worse. I’m no longer capable of controlling the electrical powers I learned from the eels. No, I’m still not explaining how I learned it. Yes, I know how ridiculous it sounds. I am a pariah, shunned both socially and physically.  Since I exude a dangerous electrical halo and because I’m a belligerent drunk.

But then Allan finds me. We worked together on my cancelled project, Gumby Unleashed. He says he’s no stranger to the drink, and maybe, if I’d like, there’s a place I could go with him where I can begin putting my life back together.

It’s a little strange here. I don’t like these low, church basement ceilings. They make me claustrophobic. But Allan is being very kind and everyone here is being very kind and there are cookies.

If this doesn’t work out, Dhalsim has told me I could join him for a cleansing Yoga retreat at any time I feel ready. It’s a kind offer, but I’d rather not. Ugh. That guy…

From Ryan’s post: Blanka from Streetfighter at his first AA meeting.



Friend may be the closest descriptor, lacking an etymology for their actual relationship; which is really just two species who have neither the need nor want to eat each other.

Talk is chatty, furtive; as both are inclined to leave off without word.

They talk about finding food and mates. Maximizing conquests and minimizing defeats.

They talk about eggs and how they both enjoy seeing them vibrate excitedly before some new life breaks forth.

They talk about the ubiquitous green algae like a curdled skin over the lake. How it eats up all the sunlight and returns nothing but a simmering, rank august stink.

They talk about mollusks. Mollusks, right? Oh, I know it. Mollusks, heh…

They talk about the alto whine of the wind when dipping through the sky and compare it to the echoing, bass thrum of every movement made when sheathed in such a great pool of water. And how the two would sound good together.

They talk about circles, and how they move in circles, and think in circles, and live in circles and maybe all these concentric circles spiral down into a point, but they’ll be damned if they know what that point is.


From Lois’ post:  A loon and a walleye at night in a lake

Sister Emilia-Romagna Sophonsify delivers the Bolognese Catechism


Why lasagna?

Lasagna is nobody’s first choice, but also no one’s last. While never transcendent, it is also never bad.  It is the meridian, the middle path we must all walk in life to attain balance.

It is built as a home, layered and structured. It is the modest split-level for our souls.

I am certain I have tasted of bad lasagna.

Then you’ve tasted a heretic’s lasagna. One who’s fascination and hubris of their own craft superseded the purity of God’s trinity- Sauce. Cheese. Noodle. I’ll bet it had carrot in it, didn’t it? Some people have the devil’s breath humming in their ear, sibilantly insisting carrot is good in lasagna. Shut out the deceiver’s voice and all his putrid talk of root vegetables.

I dunno. Lasagna, really?

Here. Come over here. Taste this. Good, right? There you go. Take a big slice. And I’m going to go ahead and wrap the rest of this up for you to take home. It’s even better the next day.

From Cameron’s post: “On a coworker’s recent fb post, somebody commented that they misread something as saying “lasagna priestess” — I was trying to imaging such a thing, but I bet your take would be much better.”