Archives for the month of: February, 2010

Trees. Aren’t they amazing things? I know it sounds like the most idiotic or banal statement, but if you think about it, they are absolutely wonderful living creatures.
And many of them have the most fantastic shapes. Like, for instance, a beautiful horse-chestnut tree I see in the park on my way to work. More than its branches, what fascinates me the most is its trunk and short roots. Here it is:

To me it clearly looks like a forearm with a hand and 5 fingers. It could be my right hand with its fingers digging into a pizza dough while I’m kneading it.
Mhhh, but my arm isn’t green (fortunately). So it could be the short-fingered hand of a green, spotty monster, ready to jump at you and swallow you whole, like this:

I will look out for it on my way home tonight…

Today our little “book club” goes fishy…

Today I’ve seen the fattest robin I’ve ever come across in my life. He looked like a ball of fluff, out of which two tiny eyes, a small beak and thin long legs were sticking out.
He wasn’t just fat but also incredibly cheerful. Well, at least until I went near him. He was singing like there is no tomorrow, it was actually amazing to see how such a small creature could emit such a powerful, loud sound. I wish I could understand what he was saying, for I’m positive that he must have been saying something. Somebody putting such an effort into singing, can’t be doing it just because there’s nothing else to do.
Fat and chirpy. Even though I was never a big fan of Pavarotti, he looked pretty much like the bird version of him.
He was standing on the railing of a house, so to me it looked like he was actually looking for an audience. But when I approached him, he stopped. And his face looked somehow disgruntled, like this:

So I thought that maybe he didn’t want an audience after all. So, reluctantly, I walked away.
But gosh I could hear him until two streets later…

At the end of the week, a little treat for a little giggle. Sorry to all the squeamish ones among you out there…

Another day, another spoof book. This time it’s the reinterpretation of one of my favourite classics…
On my way to my studio every morning I walk through the park. Very often I meet a beautiful blackbird. I know it’s always him because he has a very distinctive mark that makes him stand out: he has two big white spots on his cheeks. Quite fetching, I must say.
And yes, it’s definitely a “he”: as some of you might know, only the male blackbird is actually black. The female is in fact dark brown.
Now, I like giving names to what or who I see on a regular basis during my morning walk (all the people I regularly meet have nicknames in my head) and starting from the word ‘cheek’, I naturally thought I should name him Cheeko. This is because the nickname my parents and sister have used for me since I was a child is Cico, which -despite the different spelling- in Italian pronounces exactly like that: ‘chee-koh’, like the Spanish word ‘chico’. My sister once tried to call me Massimo and I asked her if she’d gone stupid. That’s how used I am to that.
So, this adorable blackbird has automatically become a sort of alter ego of mine. Even his white cheeks are a “parallel” of the white hair that’s staring to grow on my sides, over the ears (alas, ageing!…). So whenever I don’t spot him around his favourite places in the park for too long, I start fearing he might have been eaten by a cat or something and that this might also be a bad sign for me… I know, it’s a bit bonkers, but hey-ho, these are the tricks your mind plays to you when you want to be a “creative”…
Anyway, I saw him this morning, so he’s alive and well. Plenty of times I tried to take a picture of him, but he’s clearly very camera-shy, and flies away as soon as I stop and start fiddling with my mobile phone to take a shot of him. So instead, here is a drawing of what he looks like (apologies to Cheeko if my memory isn’t perfectly adherent to reality, but it’s pretty close anyway):

He’s quite plump (half of the times I see him, he’s slurping down some fat earthworm he’s just dug out from the soil), cheerful (and blackbirds’ singing is one of the nicest among all birds’) and bouncy. Sometimes I wonder if his white cheeks are a problem for him. Maybe his fellow birds bully him or mock him because of those (“Hey, whitey!”, or “Ooh, have you fallen into a bottle of bleach?” and stuff like that). Or in fact maybe they think he’s more special than others and look up to him. Hard to say. But somehow he strikes me as being quite lonely, sort of an underdog of blackbirds. An under-bird.
But there you go, he’s got at least one big fan in me. Even Cheeko is having his 15 minutes of fame now. If he only knew…
I thought the first real post of this blog could be from a new series of cartoons I’ve recently come up with. I titled it “Literary Bestiary” as it’s a series of spoof book titles, with an animal angle. Today I’m starting with a “double bill”: a cook book and a chick lit.
Welcome to my new enterprise: a blog where I’ll dump all the ideas, doodles and sketches I normally come up with. Some stuff will be directly inspired or based on my own life, some will be more random things. But I’ve been asked a few times by Gus & Waldo readers or other people where they could see more work of mine, so there you go. If you have the patience to sift through my ramblings, I hope you’ll enjoy my cartoons. 
So: ready, steady… draw!