Rob's Blog

#Inktober #22 – I’ve been Drawing Scary Fish!

by on Oct.22, 2017, under Cartooning

#Inktober #22
 
@Mike Wilke requested: ‘How about an underwater scene , fish etc. But with a Halloween twist?”
 
Thus a fish suited to terrify a creature from the Black Lagoon!
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Book: ‘Mrs. Pargeter’s Package’ by Simon Brett – October 22nd, 2017

by on Oct.22, 2017, under Books

Mrs. Pargeter's Package (Mrs Pargeter Mystery, #3)Mrs. Pargeter’s Package by Simon Brett
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I found this book not written well but with a very good mystery. This is another Simon Brett I haven’t cared for. Judging by the reviews, I’m missing something. I find the main character uneven. Inconsistent dialogue, internal and external. It’s rare for me to read a book and find the main character hard to understand.

Not connecting to the main character had the rest of the book hard to connect to. I wasn’t nutty about any of the characters. I found all of them to be very loose or stereotyped. This made the rest of the book tough to get through. Brett certainly wrote a lot about the main, supporting and minor characters, but I found all of that writing to be empty.

The plotting is well done and, as written above, a very good mystery included. The writing putting it all together is just not strong enough to me to make the whole work.

This would have been an outstanding book in different hands. Though, in view of other reviewers, I am in a minority.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 4 out of 10 points.

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#Inktober #21 – I’ve been drawing wedding guests! – October 21st, 2017

by on Oct.22, 2017, under Caricatures, What's New?

  

#Inktober #21

Sharing a few of the many drawings I drew tonight at a wedding in the very tucked away community of Glen Saint Mary, Florida. Was the end of the night, most had left, so I cut loose scribbling critters for this critter lover. The one critter she adamantly does not love is the palmetto bug. So out he goes! 🙂

Have found myself reconnecting with my old City of Orlando planning and engineering days this past week. Here it continues with a couple who own a surveying firm in South Georgia. We had a great exchange of surveying and engineering stories.

The last illustration is of a lady who is a dental hygienist who takes whatever free time she has to hunt deer. Inverting the whole thing was fun! 🙂

A really great part of the event was to discover it all took place in an historic citrus and plant nursery with structures from the 1880s to 1915. As you can imagine, I was in Florida history heaven. The owners gave me a ton of history of the property and so much more. I have to get back and really see the property.

Parked at the moment to post this and plan the coming week at a spot I love and haven’t been able to get to lately, Lollicup. Despite the two months since here, they still remember my order! Nam Diep, you have a Terrific staff!

 

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#Inktober #20 – I’ve been Drawing Mice!

by on Oct.20, 2017, under Cartooning

Here’s the inked version for my Swampy’s Florida celebration cartoon for Friday. The colored version will appear on the Swampy page at 8:30am.
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Book: ‘Specialists’ by Lawrence Block – October 19th, 2017

by on Oct.19, 2017, under Books

SpecialistsSpecialists by Lawrence Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The characters are initially well handled and then given short shrift at the end. Scantily drawn. This is especially bad at the end when structures become important.series tales, but the plotting stinks. Seems to me Block had a much larger vision, maybe even starting his own series, and as he got near the end, he sliced his efforts to minimum, finished off the book and went on the to the next.

After a build up of a collection of new characters and their various abilities, they are collected to complete a mission that is then written off quickly to the point I wasn’t really sure if they actually met whatever goal they were trying to make.

The story is an odd case of vengeance involving important a treatment of a woman that ends up an effort to destroy the person involved but really ends with something different. I found the ending very unsatisfying.

The characters are initially well handled and then given short shrift at the end. Scantily drawn. This is especially bad at the end when structures become important.

Bottom line: i don’t recommend this book. 4 out of 10 points.

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#Inktober #17 – I’ve been Drawing Cooking Ladybugs!

by on Oct.17, 2017, under Cartooning

Stefanie Hamblen requested
‘a ladybug in a kitchen cooking’
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Book: ‘The Loved One’ by Evelyn Waugh – October 17th, 2017

by on Oct.17, 2017, under Books

The Loved OneThe Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is hilarious!!! I’ve read many, many humorous writings of the Hollywood set, love and mortuary humor…but not in one volume. Individually each is covered brilliantly. Waugh seems to have effortlessly assembled this seemingly simple volume. But it is power packed of humor and bright insight.

What is amazing is that this 1948 satire reads as fresh in 2017! The loony side of California has seemingly gotten loonier, or, with this book’s view in mind, has it?

I love the soliloquies by a character that underlines the ridiculous nature of various situations, the pre-Valley Girl incapable to grasp the world around her and the view of pet mortuaries.
This is a rare story of humor with an actual story included, no easy feat. It’s a good story with an ending that is likely not expected.

Bottom line I recommend this book! 10 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Action at the Bitterroot’ by Paul Evan Lehman – October 16th, 2017

by on Oct.16, 2017, under Books

Action at the BitterrootAction at the Bitterroot by Paul Evan Lehman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

VERY standard western story better written than most. All characters are the stereotypical types, with stereotypical dialogue and stereotypical actions.

This book is well written and the plotting I liked. I just wish there had been more to the whole thing.

Bottom line: I don’t recommend this book. 5 out of ten points.

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Book: ‘Fer-de-Lance’ by Rex Stout – October 15th, 2017

by on Oct.15, 2017, under Books

Fer-de-LanceFer-de-Lance by Rex Stout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This first-in-the-series novel is written, wisely, as if there may not be a series. Maybe Stout had no idea he was to be as married to Nero Wolfe as singer Tom Jones is married to ‘It’s Not Unusual’. Except Jones has only one song over 40+ years and Wolfe was about to spend the same time crafting his character’s adventures.

This mystery was disappointing to me in that I had figured those responsible very quickly. I did have a few other theories as to who-done-it, but this popped out at me as obvious, as was the reason why. But that is my personal issue and seems not a trouble for a book still being published over 80 years later. I had issue with something else a bit contrived, but don’t want to reveal it here and really does add to the book.

The mystery is a good one, but it’s the fun of the character study that makes this most worthwhile. Wolfe is so clearly defined that I could easily imagine him (As Sydney Greenstreet, of course). Wolfe’s manager, investigator and milk drinker, Archie Goodwin is perfect as the contrast to Wolfe. I love the way Stout portrays Goodwin’s dedication to Wolfe. Dedication like that is nearly impossible to find these days.

The settings are written loosely, which likely helps Stout redesign as the series bounds on. This is a bit of trouble considering that location is essential to the crime to be solved and Stout must have assumed all would know about such a location.

Bottom line: I recommend the book. 8 out of 10 points.

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#Inktober #12 – I’ve been drawing get well soon artwork!

by on Oct.14, 2017, under What's New?


A get-well-soon illustration I did for a client who had to have surgery before I performed at the event she arranged Friday night. Set up the art so her employees could sign it.

Inktober hasn’t been hard to keep up with inking-wise. It’s posting here that has been tough. I’m bounding through time doing a lousy job keeping up with so much still to catch up with over the past two months. 

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