Really? (I mean…REALLY?)

So today I got a very nice e-mail from a librarian who has participated in the summer reading program, for which I did the big poster and art and whatnot. (Which, hey, I can post now!)

In addition to the main poster, I did a bunch of little spot art that went into various T-shirts and bookmarks and tote bags and stuff. They kept the aquatic theme, and the committee was very clear on what they wanted, so honestly, a lot of it looks like something that would go on a pair of board shorts, and at one point I found myself doing a shark covered in tribal tattoos, about which my feelings were…well, damnit, if anything in the fish world would get tribal tattoos, it would be a mako shark, and did I mention they were paying REALLY well?

The shark became a bookmark.  I thought no more about it. And then the very good-natured librarian wrote me, eyes rolling audibly–and I shall not mention name or location to protect the innocent–to say that one of her patrons had become concerned because those squiggles! They looked like Arabic! And the patron had used the bookmark in her Bible!

You know, not a single person has said “By the way, your poster is a GIANT GOAT GOD RISING FROM THE SEA! Repent, sinner!” and thrown holy water. I was kinda braced for that. I had a little speech prepared about the mythological representation of Capricorn as a sea-goat and the Tropic of Capricorn and so forth.  (Actually, a couple people wrote to ask what the inspiration was, but they were all very nice about it.)  I mean, heck, back in that regrettable period when Mom was married to a crazy evangelical, unicorns, rainbows and stars were secret Satanist signs,* along with the moon and the Beatles.   Had they had their way, goat-kind would have been exterminated, and the loss to our collective cheese culture the price we paid for virtue.

So I was ready for that. I didn’t agree with it, but I was ready for it.

Tribal shark tattoos resembling Arabic…that was not something I was expecting. (The librarian was very clear that she thought said patron needed to get real things to worry about, but wanted to give me a chance to address it.)

God, I love the world. It’s batshit crazy sometimes, but it’s never, ever dull.

Compositionally this one looks weird naked--the dead space at the top went to text, and a lot of the bleed got...well...bled, so he looks bigger and more imposing in the final. Still, for a piece with a lot of committee input, I feel it came out rather well.

*I have been picturing Satan carrying around a Lisa Frank Trapper-Keeper ever since, possibly doodling “Satan + Milton 4 EVAR” on it in gel pens.

  • reply kat ,

    I have been picturing Satan carrying around a Lisa Frank Trapper-Keeper ever since, possibly doodling “Satan + Milton 4 EVAR” on it in gel pens.

    Oh, yes, thank you. Because a sudden vision of Paradise Lost as an 80s-style high school sitcom was so what I needed in my head right now.

    (Seriously? Arabic was poisoning her Bible? Perhaps she could be convinced that it looked like Hebrew, instead….?)

    • reply helen ,

      • reply Ellis ,

        Long ago I gave up thinking people made sense and just roll with the flow and life got much easier. When you expect people to be crazy it’s much less stressful. My sister (who will remain nameless to protect family relationships) would not let her children read Harry Potter because it’s about socery (crazy southern evangalist, and they invented crazy) but she will let them play Grand Theft Auto on the playstation. Now just how exactly does that compute? Maybe killing off hookers has a certain old testament justice to it but stealing cars is definetly on the 10 commandment list. After all these years I think the bible is more than capable of defending itself from a little bit of arabic. But I’m not sure someone that neurotic should be allowed to have one!!!!

        • reply Korbl ,

          Where is this art being used? Any chance of someone probably no where near the library getting the bookmark?

          • reply Shavastak ,

            So of course at this point I’m sure you’re aware that there is, in fact, someone screaming Satanism about your Capricorn…


            And personally, I am very happy about the Capricorn symbolism, as I am myself a Capricorn.


            PS: Korbi: It’s a reading campaign for public libraries. So posters and stuff, apparently in New Jersey, although if the Christian complainers are to be believed, it’s nationwide.

            • reply Blancmange ,

              Your giant goat god is adorable! I’d do him if he was available!

              • reply Monstermom ,

                Goat guy ROCKS!!! My almost 6 year old absolutely loves him!!! (He’s got Orcas. On leashes. What’s not to love? And he’s the “right” shade of BLUE…) If he’s ever available commercially, we’d buy him.

                • reply Korbl ,

                  I’ll have to check out the local libraries then.

                  I love the poster too, but then… I have no problem with pagan gods, or satan for that matter…

                  • reply TanyaD ,

                    I want a print of that flyer, it is made of awesome, win and OMFG kick ass.

                    • reply TJGeezer ,

                      Wow – I just went to that Watchmanscry site and it is SCARY hostile with signs of aggression and zero chance of humor. Every once in awhile I forget how awful their behavior would look to anyone who has ever actually read what their hero Jesus said. Or the depth of their self-imposed ignorance.

                      A programmer of some repute uses this as his sig: “I don’t have a problem with God. It’s his fan clubs I can’t stand.”

                      Amen and halleluja to that. Shudder.

                      • reply Kittyd ,

                        Wow, wish you hadn’t linked to that watchtmanscry site, talk about scary!

                        • reply SonnyW ,

                          I worked in a NJ public library for a few summers and I’m glad your contribution is so awesome! Forget the nuts and keep enjoying what you do!

                          • reply Venila ,

                            I have to ask… how did the whale get into the bottle? I mean, it’s a pygmy Blue Whale, right? Because the Killer Whales sure don’t look like they’d fit, so the already pygmy Blue Whale would have had to have been a baby. Has it never known the freedom of the open ocean?

                            I am facepalming to even ask, but these things concern me, ok? I can’t help it!

                            • reply Threetails ,

                              This made my day!

                              And yeah, the fundies seem more worried about OMG TEH MOOZLUMZ! than about Satanists these days.

                              What can you do? These people make a lifestyle out of finding things to fault the world over (heh… I used to be one. Uptight and SO in the closet! No more, thanks).

                              • reply Goat obsession « My little nonsense ,

                                […] My craze for goats was significantly amplified when my favorite living artist made a poster advertising reading with a huge goat god, it is just lovely. Not everyone appreciated it, I mean […]

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