Flashback Friday! Merman

Welcome back to Flashback Friday! I dug this out of the same sketchbook as the previous two Flashback entries. This is some sore of mer-creature. I’m trying to decide why I thought a mer-creature needed both a blow hole and eyebrows, and why the eyebrows needed to be dark blue. I don’t know. It has sort of a “Land of the Lost” feel to me, and I think that was probably part of the inspiration. I loved the alien creatures in “Land of the Lost,” just as much as I despised the human characters. To this day, Holly and Will just grate on my nerves. But the Sleestak and Altrusians were very cool, in my opinion.

Freaky Friday! The Flashback Edition

I haven’t done a Freaky Friday post in a while, mainly because I haven’t had anything truly freaky to post about that wasn’t already showing up in WIP Wednesday or the Cynical Woman webcomics. However, I think I have finally found a topic freaky enough for all of us to enjoy. Enter…

Freaky Friday Flashbacks!!!!!

Okay, enough with the dramatics. While digging around for some drafting supplies in my art bins, I came across several old sketchbooks, some from waaaaaaaaaaaay back in the day. I thought it might be fun to show my really, really old artwork here. And you know, I don’t do nearly enough scanning in of stuff during the week, so why not scan in my old scribbles and doodles? Anyway, here’s the first drawing in one of my oldest sketchbooks.

Freaky, huh? I think I was about twelve when I drew this. Possibly younger, I can’t really say. Obviously I had access to colored pencils and books on druids, because I drew this very colorful shielf with a sickle wrapped in what I think was supposed to be mistle toe, and a bloody sword beneath that. This was pre-Princess Bride, so no, that is not Inago Montoya’s sword. I just came up with something fancy on my own. Or maybe I cribbed this from an old D&D manual. I don’t really know.

I do know I used to want to be a druid because I thought it would be cool to have magic powers. Then as I got older, my philosophy on that changed. First, I came to realize that wishing and casting spells did not make things happen, no matter how badly I wanted them to. Second, I also began to think that magic was cheating in a way. I have talents and abilities that I can use, but I have to work to be good at any of them. But doing that work leads to wonderful things. So why not sweat a little over a drawing or a writing project and earn money by the end results? Because honestly, all waving a magic wand ever got me was in trouble (mainly because I accidentally poked someone in the eye when I did it).

What other horror lie in the pages of my old sketchbooks? You’ll find out next week!

And don’t forget, the Cynical Woman Zazzle store has much more recent art that I worked very hard on, so go visit and see if there’s something there you like!

Rats! Episode 74 – Those Darn Uniforms

Click on the thumbnail above to view the full-sized cartoon!

If there was one thing I hated wearing as a cadet, it was cross belts and overcoat. Especially if it was overtop the wool blouse (did we wear the overcoat overtop the wool blouse? Or am I just mis-remembering how tortured I was by the VTCC uniform?). It was like being in Storm Trooper armor, only not nearly as cool. In other words, I couldn’t lift my arms above my shoulders because I was so restricted by the uniform.

I still have the brass breastplate for the cross belts though, and probably a brass rat buckle too. I spent many an hour polishing those things, and I can assure you, wherever they are hidden in my closet now, they look like crap! That’s what happens when you don’t polish your brass over the course of twenty plus years ;D

Don’t forget to visit the Zazzle shop! I’m selling weird stuff!

Rats! Episode 72 – One Thing I Am Thankful For

Click on the thumbnail above to see the full-sized cartoon.

One thing I am very thankful for – I no longer have to wear that stupid tie. I hated wearing the tie with the winter uniform. I tied it once, when I first had to wear it, and then for the next four years would just loosen and tighten it to get it on and off. I think I even turned it into the uniform shop still tied after I graduated. I really, seriously hated that thing.

Not that the ties that usually come with women’s military are any better. But at least those dumb little neck tabs never choked anyone to death.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving today! I am still in DC, but will be back with the PerCaDraMo cartoons I’ve been doing sometime on Sunday. See you then.

Rats! Episode 70 – Turn About Is Fair Play

Click on the image above to see the full-size version.

Do cadets at Virginia Tech still do Turn-About Day? I remember it fairly well. The upper classmen always did their damnedest to make the new cadets miserable all day long, because hey, turn-about is fair play, right? Only I can honestly never recall any new cadet who went out of their way to make an upper classman miserable. Yeah, I can recall some new cadets who did some really dumb stuff (I’m looking at you, freshman who insisted on drinking so much that you ended up puking your feet out your mouth and into the toilet on the very first night you got pass). And I can remember some new cadets who did some stuff accidentally or out of ignorance that didn’t make a lot of people happy (I fell into that category more than once). But I cannot recall a freshman cadet who went out of their way to upset or make miserable an upper classman. That would have been beyond stupid.

So turn-about really wasn’t fair play, and it was never going to be fair play, so whatever.

But I would like to know if the VTCC still does Turn-About Day, and if any rats out there think it’s fun.

Rats! Episode 67 – When History Repeats Itself

Click on the cartoon above to see the full-size version.

Oh, Irwin! You just know you made the exact same bone-headed mistake last year. Admit it and have mercy on those poor rats. It wasn’t that long ago that you were one of them…

I used to get in trouble all the time for failing to hand in stuff in the correct format. Stick cards were a particular problem for me. I’d spend hours on them, trying to write them just right, only to have my squad leader hand them back to me, all marked up in red ink. I guess you could say he was my first real editor. And a real jerk.

Nah, not really. Stick cards were a pretty pointless exercise, but they didn’t kill me, and I think I still have some floating around. I’ll have to see if I can dig them up to show here on the website. That would be pretty funny to see, wouldn’t it? By the way, did you notice the original date written in the last panel? October 30th, 1990? I’m almost on track with the cartoons at the moment. Kind of neat! But probably only to me…

By the way, it has come to my attention that some folks over at the VTCC are looking for information on the Conrad Cavalary during the late 1980s to early 1990s. If you know anything about the ol’ CC, were a member, or know someone who was a member around then, let me know. I’ll forward your contact info to the people concerned.

And that’s all I got for this week’s episode, folks! Have fun.

Rats! Episode 64 – Look! It’s Super Rat!

I swear, I cannot recall where the idea for Super Rat came from. He just suddenly showed up in the strip one day, and made a few more appearances after that.

This was drawn in October of my senior year at Virginia Tech, so our rats that year were probably still dragging through the hallways, though I’m sure they had some privileges by that point. During my senior year, I was the Academics Officer for Hotel Company. I swear, I saw more freshman engineering students change their majors to history that year and in more than a few cases it was because the students flat out weren’t studying. Yes, they had a lot to deal with – the Corps, ROTC, adjusting to college life, etc. However, if some of those freshman had just spent a few more hours at their desks, noses in their books, they might have remained engineering majors.

Anyway, here’s Super Rat. He won’t save your failing grades, but he might help you out in the hallway when you get cornered by a senior cadet. Just as soon as he fixes his rat belt.

Rats! Episode 57 – All’s Quiet on the Western Front

I vaguely remember having to be Officer of the Day once or twice for my battalion. Vaguely. I think I was up most of the night waiting for something to happen but nothing ever did. I have a clearer recollection of being Staff Duty Officer while attending OBC at Fort Eustis, and that was another all-nighter where once again, nothing ever happened. Thank goodness for quiet nights.

Claw would probably quite happily squash a dozen underclassmen and find it relaxing. He’s that kind of guy. Irwin (and later Ivan) would probably be much more hyper about it, both relishing in the power to punish others and fearing having to do so. I was always more like Irwin and Ivan, never like Claw. The military was never an easy fit for me, and to this day I’m surprised I got through 11 years in the Army Reserves.

I believe the school year is winding down at Virginia Tech. All the cadets must be getting ready for exams by this point. Good luck to all you guys, and to those of you getting ready to graduate and be commissioned into the military. Enjoy your last days of college while you can. It all changes drastically after that.