Rob's Blog

Archive for November, 2017

I’ve been coloring Santa Claus! – November 18th, 2017

by on Nov.18, 2017, under Cartooning

Here’s a colored version of the inked version I posted last week! This is only part of a larger illustration for a client to use to advertise their Christmas party.

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Book: ‘Cats Prowl at Night’ by A.A. Fair – November 13th, 2017

by on Nov.15, 2017, under Books

Cats Prowl at NightCats Prowl at Night by A.A. Fair
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So far, my favorite entry in the Cool and Lam series. Bertha is on her own here and the bad guys better watch out!

Gardner is obviously having a good time playing with the Bertha cool character in this book. Seeing how far to take her and maintain a good story. He pushs the characters in all sorts of areas and it really makes the story come alive. I would have liked this to have continued into other volumes and drop the mystery thing and see what other trouble Gardner might have stuck her in.

The plotting is typical Gardner: Somewhat convoluted and overly complicated. It’s the writing that makes this a page turner, even if, at times, you weren’t sure what you were turning for. I’d mostly figured key elements early on and really didn’t care to see what happened to Bertha next.

Bottom line: i recommend this book. 7 out of ten points.

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Book: ‘Winter Range’ by Alan LeMay – November 14th, 2017

by on Nov.14, 2017, under Books

Winter RangeWinter Range by Alan LeMay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

LeMay’s writing within this modern day (written in ’30s) western story is far above what most all accomplish. The trouble is LeMay writes like a current contemporary novelist with 3/4 of the book easy to excise. Was LeMay’s work kept away from editors?

It’s established early on that this is part of a series. There are parts where I wished I’d read the earlier books. However, maybe the series should be called “A – Detective – Kentucky Jones Western”. Through the book, Jones is investigating bad guy stuff, despite his claiming over and over he brokers cows. Why didn’t LeMay just make Jones a detective? Not doing that, makes the character uneven and the story hard to place in reality.

The characters are good and also over written. Settings are the same.

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

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At the 5th Annual Frank Thomas Florida Music and Heritage Festival! – November 12th, 2017

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

Me, Frank Thomas and, his wife, Irene.

After a rough few weeks, I wandered far afield of art and hit the road to the Dade battlefield in Bushnell, Florida, to attend the 5th Annual Frank Thomas Florida Music and Heritage Festival. Years ago I was very involved in Florida folk music. Along the way I started investing more into Florida history organizations. It was about five years ago I last saw Frank Thomas from a distance at the Florida Folk Festival. But it’s been around 25 years since I got to really hear and speak to him. And, back then, I got to see him quite a bit back into the ’80s as I traveled to most all of the music festival or helped put them on.

The legion of tunes Frank Thomas and his, now-gone, dear wife, Ann are a monument of Florida music and history. So much Frank and Ann wrote are songs of our great state’s history.

Frank has now remarried and singing as great as ever. Below is a photo of his new wife, Irene, and an incredible book produced by the Florida Historical Society, ‘Frank Thomas – Florida Songbook’. It’s full of the Thomas songbook, stories, photos and more! A fantastic book that is a must for any Florida library!

You can order the book from the Florida Historical Society here:
https://myfloridahistory.org/fhspress

When I arrived I knew I was getting there just in time for Rick Smith’s presentation, ‘A Land Remembered’. Rick’s multimedia, migh-tech, very cool presentation is of a further look into his father, Patrick, book, thee book of fiction of Florida, ‘A Land Remembered’. I never made it. Three booths in front nailed me to a stop. First was the Dade Battlefield Society which helps maintain the Dade Battlefield park, the annual Dade Massacre re-enactment and other duties. I had dues to paid and did that. Manning the table was a VERY enthusiastic young lady, which is nearly impossible to find involving ANY historical group. She trumped even me. The young part helped. Our state’s history needs her times a thousand.

Next was the Florida Historical Society book booth. Ben

   

 

 

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Book: ‘The Girl with the Long Green Heart’ by Lawrence Block – November 12th, 2017

by on Nov.12, 2017, under Books

The Girl with the Long Green Heart (Hard Case Crime #14)The Girl with the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block

Written to a boiling level to send the reader into the stew only to find it’s a stew tough to figure. Block writes it even. Seems little to figure beyond. Then it hits. Bad for me I figured it early and wish the hits had bigger punches.

The characters are typical Block slick. Regular Joes are not to be found. Lots of depth and purpose with a dark edge.

The tale is rather dark, too. Well plotted, despite a rocky start. After the page count, there was a feeling of abandonment as the story seemed incomplete. Still another well written Block tale, though not one of his better efforts, still better than most.

Bottom line, I recommend this book. 6 out of 10 points.

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Book: ‘Kill Fee’ by Owen Laukkanen – November 10th, 2017

by on Nov.10, 2017, under Books

Kill FeeKill Fee by Owen Laukkanen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A different tale for those who haven’t read Laukkanen. A too familiar tale for those that have. Besides continuing with the characters, Laukkanen likes to continues with various elements of plot. This book seemed to me too similar to the first two. I’m sure the publisher demanded some likeness, but I think this went too far.

This was another 500 pages of an unrequited love story getting in the way of telling a somewhat interesting tale of still another of the work force out to make money despite circumstances and near the end of the book sanity breaks. Some of the locations change, and the methods of the bad guy(s) is different but the rest of the book is pretty much the same.

That sameness just further adds to the excess this book has more than the two previous books. I believe a third of this book could be cut for a better, tighter story.

There are a lot of short cuts taken. Many pointed out by, Goodreads reviewer, Michael Martz.
I’ll add the quickie brain washing, there apparently being no other regional FBI office to take the case from state to state, a one man office to make a successful hit squad, how local law enforcement handles budgeting employee off with FBI traveling country, etc., etc. To much of this story does not meet reality.

Florida setting: Laukkanen does a very good job with the Florida setting. Very accurate. Am surprised at the choice of Palatka as part of an escape route considering the vast distance from Miami. I believe Laukkanen chose Palatka due to it being the most remote of the Amtrak depots.

Despuite all of the above, i thought the actual plot was very good. The dialogue is better than most written today. But it’s the entire assemblage that doesn’t work for me. I was OK with the flighty way the first time. I wasn’t OK the second. Third time and I was hoping for more.

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

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I’ve been Guest Speaker/Drawer at, my friend, George Pieper’s class. – November 9th, 2017

by on Nov.10, 2017, under Cartooning

Posted here also is the drawing from the collection of answers I got. I forgot to get the photo while the whole class was there, but nabbed a few before they left.

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I’ve been Drawing Santa! – November 9th, 2017

by on Nov.09, 2017, under Cartooning

Here is part of a larger illustration for a client that involves a shocked Santa!

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I’ve been Drawing Little Children!

by on Nov.06, 2017, under Cartooning

|This is part of a larger illustration for a client. It’s an example of rushing through coloring with Photoshop. 🙂 Off towards Jacksonville Tuesday morning!

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I’ve been Painting Trumpet Players! – November 5th, 2017

by on Nov.06, 2017, under Caricatures

Performed for a private birthday party in The Villages, Florida, Sunday night. Great group. I did this for the birthday boy, who has the same taste in music as me. I’m at few events these days where Red Nichols, Matt Munro and Lerner and Lowe come up.

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I’ve been Painting Trumpet Players! – November 5th, 2017

by on Nov.05, 2017, under Caricatures, What's New?

Performed for a private birthday party in The Villages, Florida, Sunday night. Great group. I did this for the birthday boy, who has the same taste in music as me. I’m at few events these days where Red Nichols, Matt Munro and Lerner and Lowe come up.

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