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Tag: Taylor Smith

George Washington & elephants! – My new painting – August 16th, 2016

by on Aug.16, 2016, under Cartooning

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Here’s a snippet of a much larger painting I did in the past few days involving George Washington and circus animals. But, don’t all paintings?

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Book: ‘The Scarlet Letters’ by Ellery Queen – June 26tyh, 2016

by on Jun.26, 2016, under What's New?

The Scarlet LettersThe Scarlet Letters by Ellery Queen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I love the Queen series. i just picked up another clump of them. This is one of them. However, this is not an example of the reason i picked up so many.

This Queen tale is waaaaaaay too prolonged with an involved MaGuffin that seems orderly enough, but gets monotonous quickly as little else happens involving, what appears to be, a domestic dispute. The story doesn’t make sense unless Queen jumps to too many assumptions. which is something he warns not to do in many of the Queen novels. This is a repeated inconsistency that is the only way the writers could link events, but a flimsy one and one that had me find the entire tale ridiculous.

Due to the prolonged trip through the alphabet, the few characters are very well identified. Odd that the few settings, that are repeated many times, did not have the detail they could have.

The ending is very unsatisfying considering all it took to get to the point. All proving this would have been a far better short story.

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

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Book:’Matt Jensen: The Last Mountain Man: Massacre at Powder ‘by William W. Johnstone – June 24th, 2016

by on Jun.24, 2016, under Books

Massacre at Powder River (Matt Jensen: The Last Mountain Man, #7)Massacre at Powder River by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Now than I’m well into multi-dozens of Johnstone Clan read, i again come across the British ex-pat wanting to make it big in US story. This one, though, is a switch in which there are 2! A variation of other Johnstone Clan books. This book is very similar with very similar encounters, characters and outcome. A bit of a disappointment to feel like I’m re-reading a Johnstone Clan book.

The characters, as always are interesting, if not too similar to others in Johnstone Clan books. The inclusion of a historic figure is interesting but more as a plot device than to tell a story. This is basically an older Johnstone Clan book that includes Winston Churchill.

The setting is not as well told as in other books.

Still, this is a well written book and fun to read…and if you aren’t scarfing up all of the Johnstone books like me… so…

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

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Me #Cartoon ing a yellow-bellied slider! – April 29th, 2016

by on Apr.29, 2016, under Cartooning

Today been working on a new character for the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute. Bouncing back and forth we got the yellow-bellied slider just where we want him! Now to create the book that he’s in!
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Book: ‘Flintlock: Kill or Die’ by William W. Johnstone – April 29th, 2016

by on Apr.29, 2016, under Books

Kill or Die (Flintlock, #3)Kill or Die by William W. Johnstone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Number 3 in the series of ‘Flintlock’ and either the writer changed or somebody got in a big hurry to hit a deadline. One things for sure – The writer does not know swamps!

The over all story is good, but far simpler in telling than the previous two. Not helping is my reading great authors since reading the two. Folks like Walter Lippmann, Mark Greaney and John D. MacDonald.

I am so glad I read John D.’s ‘Condominium’ before reading this book. Odds of someone doing that is extremely low. The odd thing is that ‘Kill or Die’ is basically ‘Condominium’. Just that all of the characters have guns. There is the community living in the swamp, a ruthless developer out to wipe out the cypress swamp and the oncoming hurricane. The story was eerily similar.

The writing of the cypress swamp really bugged me. Obviously the writer has never stepped foot in one. I don’t know much about west of the Mississippi and all of the rocks and dirt in the west. Not my thing. But, here in Florida, I know swamps and like them a lot.

It’s supposedly late Summer in a Southern swamp. All of the characters acted comfortable. Even the most die hard Southerner sweats like crazy in late August. But most especially someone like Flintlock, used to the dry western air, would be having a hell of a time adjusting to the thick humidity.

Also, where are the bugs??? Now, most healthy swamps actually have few bugs. But this is described as home to many people. Thus, the swamp should be filled with all kinds of bugs. Few appear throughout the swamp scenes.

The BIGGEST omission, and a huge strike in my book, are the cypress knees. No one is just going to go trotting out into a swamp they don’t know and not, either, navigate around the knees or trip over them. NOT ONCE are knees mentioned. That’s impossible, for a cypress can not survive without the attached knees jutting out for air.

This is the least clever of the three Flintlocks. Rather a standard story with some excellent enhancing elements like the balloon, the odd mid-eastern valet and the description of Evangeline. The odd mysticism continues in this book, but not with the magical flair of the first two. The characters are very well done and typical of a Johnstone Clan book. The settings are lacking this time around, especially with the noted above. The ending appears to be multiple chapters tacked on, I guess, to increase page count. This is the shortest of the Flintlock series by 100 pages.

Proof to me that this is surely a different writer is that Flintlock is not described as in the other two books. The tattoo is only described on his neck and not running from the side of his face to his chest. Also, Flintlock is not described by his shorter stature or mustache. Also, O’Hara’s character has greatly altered to being more of a side kick than the drifter described in the first two.

This third book continues the trend of having a horrible cover. Still not Flintlock on the cover. Also, the background in know way looks like a Louisiana swamp.

Can’t believe I’ve caught up with a Johnstone Clan title! First series I’ve read all that are available.

Bottom l;ine: i recommend this book. 6 out of ten points.

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#Cartoon ing with NCS Cartoonists Pals for Children! – April 28th, 2016

by on Apr.28, 2016, under Cartooning

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A bunch of old cartoonist pals, and a bunch of other cartoonists, got together today to draw for children at Florida Hospital Orlando. Here’s Noreen & George Pieper, me, Dana Summers and Mark Simon.

Thanks to Mark Simon and Heather Worley (Thank you, Heather, for this photo!) for putting this together as part of the Florida Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society. Also, thanks, Mark, for getting the chapter restarted again!

2016-0428-HospitalNCS-Art 2016-0428-HospitalNCS-Art-2

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A Trail of Two Churches! – April 24th, 2016

by on Apr.24, 2016, under Sketchbook, Swampy's Florida

2016-0424-HeritageMethodist-Clearwater

Before and after the bit o’ hiking I did at Upper Tampa Bay Park I was doing some Swampy’s Florida ‪#‎Sunday‬ Service visits.

The first was a visit with the friends I was staying with this past weekend. Sandy Rhodes Huff & her husband Bill attend Heritage United Methodist Church in Clearwater. Bill was singing with the church quartet. Thanks to them for their hospitality again and cheers to Bill for a great performance. The first sketch is of the pastor done from the back of the room, as usual.

After the hike a run to Ocala for the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Mt. Zion AME Church. Got a lot more sketching done and learned lots about the church. More over at Swampy’s Florida. The rest of the sketches are from that visit. Bit of a handicap here as I left my glasses in the automobile and I was in back of the room.

A more than full day and I’m fully pooped!

2016-0424-MtZion-01 2016-0424-MtZion-02 2016-0424-MtZion-03

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Live at Torreya State Park along the trail during the War Between the States! – April 13th, 2016

by on Apr.11, 2016, under Florida History!, Florida Outdoors!

From Chattahoochee, I quickly made my way to Torreya State Park, near Bristol, to get travel and hiking information and to add a second live video using the new Facebook option. Here, I take the north trail from the Gregory House where the six cannon encampment had been for the confederacy during the Civil War.

You can plan a trip to Torreya State Park here: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Torreya

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Cartooning People’s Lives in Tallahassee – April 10th, 2016

by on Apr.10, 2016, under Caricatures

Day 3 cartooning people’s lives. This time in Tallahassee. Sun got the best of me. That and maybe a few hundred miles of driving over past 48 hours.

So, tomorrow: Time for some Florida exploring and hiking.

Oh, and great to hear from my pal Jackie Mia Joyner today! Glad to get a Lala update!2016-0410-Gig-Tallahassee-03 2016-0410-Gig-Tallahassee-01 2016-0410-Gig-Tallahassee-02

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My drawing life stories along Kissimmee River near Lake Wales – April 09, 2016

by on Apr.09, 2016, under Caricatures

Been doin’ the drawing life stories (Thanks, John Read) thing tonight along the Kissimmee River, near Lake Wales!

2016-0409-Gig-KissimmeeRiver-03 2016-0409-Gig-KissimmeeRiver-01 2016-0409-Gig-KissimmeeRiver-02

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