Elliot drew the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Can you tell which is which?
Last year, we had a lot of fun making up our own Christmas cards for the family based on the movie A Christmas Story. We decided to do the same thing this year, but with different yuletide inspiration. I had “After Schulz” written at the bottom of the drawing but it was scissored off during the edit process. I hope the inspiration is plain to see.
If you follow me on the various social networks I take part in you know this already but… I had my final two wisdom teeth removed this pat Tuesday. I’ve been putting this off for (no kidding I’m ashamed to say) YEARS now so when I was up all night Saturday racked with pain, I had no one but myself to blame. Ideally, having a procedure like this done would be something a teacher would try and schedule for a spring break or a summer vacation. I was betting I’d be able to make it to our school’s winter break and I lost.
It seems small potatoes when compared to what my many teacher friends in New York and New Jersey are contending with right now but I hate missing a big chunk of school like this. One day here or there is fine, but anything more than that and it’s bad news all around. Bad for students… bad for the school… and bad for me. I’ve been feeling nothing but down in the dumps about this since Monday afternoon when I realized I’d be out for at least a day, probably two.
The procedure went without a hitch but I spent much of Wednesday in a gross amount of pain. Seriously, you wouldn’t BELIEVE what my pillow looked like when I woke up from my post-operation nap; it was like something out of one of those torture porn movies. Since then, I’ve been getting by on a steady diet of painkillers and soft foods. Tonight I successfully chowed down on boxed macaroni and cheese and considered it a success.
The funny thing is, this same thing happened to me around this time last year and I did a week-long series of comics about that experience, which you can read if you click here. The only difference between last year and this year is I smartened up enough to take time off from work. Last year, I went into school and tried to “be a hero” as it were. My reward was a surprise walk-though inspection from the assistant principal; he was disappointed I was sitting at my desk, less active than a teacher should be during a sustained silent reading period. I had forgotten all about that incident until this morning but it made me GLAD I took today off. The last thing I needed is to be judged on my teaching today by someone who wouldn’t take the “whole picture” into consideration.
I go back tomorrow. Half of my mouth will be wadded up with cotton. I have a low impact agenda for tomorrow, including administering a “common assessment” for the 9th grade students and a lesson I hope to pull together for my 12th grade class by waking up early tomorrow and hitting the 24 hour Meijer for supplies.
Although I was in pain, I would have disappointed my boys greatly if I hadn’t sucked it up and squeezed into my Halloween costume this year.
…besides, it wouldn’t have been very “Batman” of me to wuss out, right? Rest assured, the costume was peeled off and I was back on the couch recuperating about two minutes after this snapshot was taken.
For the past few years, I’ve taken some time out of my comic schedule to celebrate Halloween by drawing a picture of Ellen and I with the kids in some kind of Halloween motif. I also color the thing, something that’s not entirely my forte, but I give it a shot.
Two years ago, I drew us as Ghostbusters. Last year, I went the Universal movie monster route. This year, I decided to stick with the monsters but go a little modern.
Ellen is Freddy Krueger, I’m Jason Voorhees, Elliot is Chuckie from Child’s Play, and Henry is Jigsaw from the Saw series of films.
There are things I really like about this drawing, I guess. Ellen’s in a fun, dynamic pose. I always feel like she gets the short end of the stick in these holiday drawings, so that’s a nice thing. Beyond that however… I don’t know. I’m not as happy with this years’ drawing as I have been for past Halloweens. I guess the “monsters” the kids are just don’t pop the same way they have in the last two drawings.
Of course, I’m over thinking this a whole lot. I’m aware.
Check out this cool drawing Elliot did for me a few days ago:
It’s Batman! I love that Elliot’s getting to the point where his drawings are starting to look like stuff and make sense. I’m likely going to be scanning some more of his work over the next few weeks and months. He’ll be the Billy to my Bil “Daddy” Keane, if you will.
Classic, right? I believe Elliot picked this joke up from Arthur’s Halloween. Henry obviously picked it up from Elliot.
As you read these words, I am back in school. We have two days of training/classroom prep both today and Monday… and then it begins again! I’ve never had a problem getting excited for a new school year, although I will freely admit that this summer seemed to go by a lot more quickly than others. I guess I’m just getting older.
I was excited to find out yet again that my high school’s English department has met all the requirements for the Ohio Graduation Test in the 2011-2012 school year. That’s some nice news to come back to. I’m proud of my department’s performance over the past four years and I only see us continuing to provide well for our students in the upcoming months.
For newer readers, I suppose I should mention: Although my classroom will be in full swing by this time next week, I hold off on posting teaching comics until after Labor Day. I like to give myself a couple of weeks to get to know my students and get a feel for the group dynamics before I get started. I’m also going to pull back on Thrift Store Finds and these Odds and Ends posts until that point.
That being said, I may just pop up with a comic strip or two between then and now. I have several “summer journal comics” on the drawing board and I reserve the right to be inspired.
My sons are now Studio Ghibli obsessed! Earlier in the summer, I rented The Secret World of Arrietty for Elliot but I found myself surprised to find both he and Henry enraptured by the flick. Ditto Kiki’s Delivery Service… but man oh man, my kids reserve the majority of their love for My Neighbor Totoro.
I had never seen My Neighbor Totoro until we started working our way through director Hayao Miyazaki’s library of films, but I was familiar with the character. Sort of a giant, rotund bunny rabbit, Totoro graced a lot of tee shirts and dorm room walls when I was in college. I’ve never been a great study of anime so the flick was easy to skip… but I wish I had seen this movie when it came out in 1988. I would have been as obsessed as Elliot and Henry are now.
One of the things I love about the majority of the Miyazaki films I’ve seen is they lack antagonists. There’s no big bad villain in My Neighbor Totoro… it’s almost just a series of imaginative, whimsical vignettes connected by a small narrative. Plot heavy, this film is not.
Another thing that’s fantastic about the movie is Totoro himself. I just mentioned I wished I had seen this movie when it came out in ’88, because when I watch it now and I look at Totoro objectively… he’s kind of frightening looking! He’s gigantic, he’s got claws for hands, and that gigantic smile! At the same time, I’m projecting an adult’s POV on the character; my children LOVE him, as evidenced by this picture Elliot drew.
Last thing: After something like two months, I FINALLY FINISHED READING DUNE LAST NIGHT! I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a book that so stymied me in finishing. I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but usually enjoyment like that is carried over into being able to complete said book in a short amount of time. Not so with Dune; I know I started it at the end of June and here we are, mid-August.
I will not be reading Dune Messiah… at least, not for awhile.
Some longtime readers might remember Melissa. Melissa used to pop up in the comic all the time when we were living together in Boston… and then when we were both living in Brooklyn. Miss also used to be kind enough to draw guest strips for me, whenever I’d be out of town or on an extended break from scratching out comics.
By a wide margin, Melissa’s comics were always FAR better than mine. You can check some of them out here.
Well, Melissa and my friend Mary came for a visit this past week and Miss took a couple of minutes to doodle these on a napkin. This is the first napkin, with the boys, Ellen and myself.
…and this is the second napkin, drawn for Mary to commemorate the visit. Melissa’s been my best friend for almost fifteen years and I wouldn’t be married to Ellen if it wasn’t for Mary… so these are very special to me.