Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Portal Travel

Next up in the Love of Reading series: Portal Travel! This drawing was inspired by:

1. "I'm going to paint an eight," from Sesame Street. Eight is the only number I remember the Mad Painter ever having painted back in the 1970s, and only this very moment, through the magic of Google, do I now know that the Mad Painter painted all the numbers... not just eight. But his eight really stuck with me, clearly.

2. My friend Elena's sweet little Boston terrier, with whom I spent a very enjoyable Halloween evening last year.

3. My daughter's school colors, green and white, were the only possible choices for the t-shirt in this picture, of course.

4. All the hopes and dreams we had for outer space, when I was a kid, which for me led to a healthy appreciation for sci-fi and fantasy as well. I think I came along at just the right moment to catch what was then the peak of our society's fascination with the universe beyond our little blue planet. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center was not very far from my childhood home, and though they were never launched out of Goddard, Space Shuttle missions were a huge deal in my childhood. My brother and I were totally obsessed with Star Wars and the REALLY COOL Lego sets with the astronaut dudes and the grey base plates that had moon craters molded into them. And what's remarkable to me now is that those Legos were not co-branded at all, there were no Star Wars Legos -- we as a society were not yet neck deep in cross-marketing strategies. I think it made it easier for us to imagine ourselves in space. Pretty soon the Star Wars merchandise came along and changed all that -- so instead of imagining yourself in some awesome, far-out interplanetary situation, you would just make your plastic Han Solo action figure hop along and do Han Solo things in the appropriate Han Solo milieu. Personally, I was always into re-enacting the Luke-and-Leia-swing-across-the-Death-Star scene. We had the Death Star play set. I loved it so much. Anyway. Are there portals in outer space? Are there other civilizations we could visit? Farscape suggests these possibilities in all their wonder and danger. If you haven't watched Farscape yet, I highly recommend it, maybe for ages 10 and up.

5. Old paper -- very old paper. What may look a little bit like blonde wood in the tabletop and chairs started out as a digitized scan of very yellowed end paper from an old book. I'm drawn to its texture and wow, that pun was completely unintentional but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

6. It was my very dear friend Keri who suggested the book title pictured near the bottom left corner: A Beginner's Guide to Portal Travel. Keri is the gentlest, kindest, warmest, smartest, most unique soul, and in recent years she very often wore an X-wing pendant around her neck.

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