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I had originally drawn the guy with the rocket in his eye about ten years ago. I was living in Colorado and my living room looked over a vast field that was attached to the local high school. One day in the middle of winter, with a blanket of snow covering the field, a class of students went out into the field to try out their home-made rockets. The rocket to the eye was my interpretation of what happened after they set the rockets off. In this drawing though, there are little aliens with a slingshot shooting rockets all over the place. The other rocket that has crashed into the planet on stilts was another collaborator's vision. We have a guy who works at the Loup named Javier. I don't know his last name. He started as a dish washer but has also cooked and been a busboy at the restaurant. He's a pretty jovial fellow, albeit a bit strange. He also draws pictures, sometimes in the bathroom, sometimes on the board, but he hadn't collaborated with us until this little rocket. When he first drew it, I was a little upset because I thought it was ruining the composition. However, the greatest part about these drawings is how they evolve with all sorts of outside distractions. Someone will spill wine all over them, wolf drool will end up on them, other people will draw stuff on them, basically they are at the disposal of the restaurant until I take them home. As I was first upset by the collaboration, now I feel like it adds to the dialog of the overall piece. Instead of one rocket, getting a direct hit into this guys eye, they have been trying for at least two minutes to hit their target. I like it. Maybe you noticed that this one is primarily orange and blue. Maybe not. One of the reasons for this could be that I was listening to the Syracuse basketball team take on the South Florida Bulls while coloring this one in. When I say listening, it's because I was actually listening to the game on streaming radio live from South Florida. I can usually find the games streaming on video, so I watch them in the corner while I do other things, but for some reason, on this day, I couldn't find the game. So I tried to find it on the streaming radio. It was impossible! I couldn't believe how hard it was to find a nationally ranked team, playing a division rival, in a game that counts, on the radio. I finally tracked it down through the South Florida's campus radio station. It was fun to listen to it that way for me, as the commentators are obviously routing for South Florida, and don't care when the 'Cuse is dunking all over the place. We won the game handily, and for the last 10 minutes of the game, the guys talked about how they are going to be better next year. It was a sad day for them, but a happy time for me. It's rare that I remember what I am listening to while drawing and then coloring these things in, since I am always listening to something. But this one now reminds me of Syracuse basketball, which is perfect timing for me to be posting this. No, not because of the whole scandal, that was so last month. I am talking about Syracuse being number 1 in the country as of right this second. I don't know how long that will last, but for the moment, all of us 'Cuse fans are pretty happy. Go 'Cuse!!!
I am going to attach an amazing picture taken by Tim a couple months ago. In it, Segundo looks perplexed. However, I am posting it so you all can see Javier in all his weird glory. He is the guy in the background who looks not unlike some of the monsters you have seen in these drawings all these years. Check it out!
Photo credit: Tim Farnham 2011