Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Oh, what a crappy topic. I was tempted to use my anti-crappy-topic-protest-device, but the early daguerreotype-ists already did suggestive soft-core with round fruit.

How this illustration relates to 'citrus' has a bit of a story behind it (I'm not feeling particularly adept at writing, so bear with me). Pictured is a scene from my real life. Kodiak Island, Alaska c. 1990. I was a SAR helicopter crewman at the US Coast Guard Air Station and, as most young men will, bought a crappy beater truck to bomb around the island in. This was a 1970 Bronco and I named it 'Fear'; as in 'we rode in fear' and 'I drive in fear'. You see It had many frightening aspects:
> the original owner replaced the large truck steering wheel with much, much smaller one from an MG;
> the rubber bushings that supported the axle within the truss rods were rotten, so the axle would occasionally drift back and forth;
> at high speeds on washboard roads, it would drift sideways as though on ice;
> there were only lap belts until I installed an old set of helicopter seatbelt/shoulder harnesses (sans interia reel);
> a friend putting in a new floor for me punctured the auxilliary gas tank which would leak into the cabin when full.
> the three-speed on the column would suddenly pop out of gear, often at speed

But, what you see here was the truck early in my ownership. The original owner had, for some asinine reason, coated the entire back bed with roofing tar. Roofing tar! Since I lived in the barracks, an old USCG friend of mine was a petty officer on the CGC Storis and lived in town and had a driveway. He let me park in front of his crappy apartment and spend two days scraping out the bed. His roomate suggested gasoline. But, since I didn't feel like being flamable, we bought a few gallons of...
Wait for it:
Citrisolve to clean out the bed. Two days of hand-cracking orange-smelling liquid and backbreaking labor we found we no longer stuck to my truck's floor. For all its fear-inducing antics, we drove that thing all over the island. Hunting, fishing, camping, paintball, plinking, mountian biking. We used t he heck out of it. We didn't die, but we were often scared.

Here we are:

For the record, I payed $700. I sold it to a friend for $200 and didn't feel ripped off.

Oh, the dog? He lived nearby. His name was Bear and he was a huge Newfie, only with the extra drool package installed. He was super friendly, but when he shook his head, it was like a sitcom.

What I'm listening to as I post: "Style It Takes" by Lou Reed and John Cale from "Songs For Drella"


demosthenes said...

that's a great story and kudos on doing such a great illustration for a lousy topic.

i regret to inform you Ruby isn't Ms. Marvel. i'll reveal who she's based on this week.

the book sounds really cool also. though rather small...

TheTart said...

I really love your bloggy!

Please stop by my place so I can link you. This linkviewer on IF is making me crazy.

The Tart
; *

Swinebread said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Digital Scott's Illustrationblog said...

I enjoyed your story and your illustration! Great work!

Jim Pearson said...

Really nice, clean work, and I thoroughly enjoyed your story. Especially the part about the dog. Okay, especially the part about his drool package. That was genius.

Michelle Lana said...

i love it! your illos are always so cool!

Jim Pearson said...

Thanks for visiting jimmysnax and for your encouraging words. (Now when I look at the ship I can only see it as one of those little erasers - but I kinda like that = ) Perception of scale is a beeyotch!) Its a scanned prismacolor sketch, painted and (perhaps a bit over-) tweaked in Photoshop.

Swinebread said...

yeah loved the illustration. How long did it take and what program do you use?

mike r baker said...

Great story, perfect illo. I love how your friends are watching you work.

The Bronco sounds like a nightmare - also sounds like you miss that thing. :)

Arkonbey said...

Thanks for all the great comments (it's always great when people whose work I really like leave comments).

Mike: I did really like that scary, scary truck. I very nearly took it with me off of the island, but luckily, I didn't. It was an island truck (a lot like a farm truck, for those of you who know rural). It wouldn't have done well in the world as there are no vehicle inspections in AK.

Swinebread: It took about an hour overall to pencil on the back of a comp of a press release (I draw at work to help the creative juices flow). About 30 min to ink just the linework with a Pigma 01 (I skimped and didn't re-trace onto bristol as ususal). Scanning on an old Umax, then about 1.5 hrs of coloring in Photoshop 7 (OSX).

Jim: thanks for the media info!

Andre Messier said...

Great drawing!

I think you fixed the truck the hard way. Rather than remove the tar, you should have just added shingles!

Jada said...

You live in Underhill? I spent a lot of time there as a kid. Family friends, Dean and Judy Jones. Maybe you know them, anyway. Great work, and thanks for the comment.

Janice Ykema said...

eyes twinkling... I guess goo gone wouldnt work eh?