The spirit photographs of William Mumler

Before there was Photoshop, there was William Mumler. He was a photographer in the 1860s, back when the art form was still relatively new and startling innovations were being made every day. Mumler’s particular innovation was discovered quite by accident when he unintentionally double exposed a negative while taking a self-portrait. The resulting photograph showed not only his clear image but another, more blurry one standing with him. To Mumler’s eyes, that after-image more resembled a ghost than a man. This strange photographic effect got Continue reading →

The Argument Faze

I think Virginia Woolf stated it beautifully a while back, but lately the ‘room of my own’ has taken on a whole new meaning for me. If I was to rent out a room in my house to someone, I would think about the rent money. I would think about the cleanliness of the person, the compatibility, whether or not they were a cat killer…you get the gist. Having said this, after the last month I want nothing more than to charge rent to the character Continue reading →

Hooking Up With a Not-Yet Bigtime Legend

My new comic-book sample-pages focused mostly on pretty girls and handsome men. Why? Because I had, a few months into my first career, learned that the ability to draw those could get me into advertising illustration, which paid ten-to-one-hundred times more than comic-books. The quality of my samples was aided, dramatically and happily by my acquisition of a Polaroid camera, and its instant, self-developing snapshots. Since its introduction a short time earlier, the Polaroid had rapidly become an essential tool among even the lowest-rung artists Continue reading →

National Handwriting Day — what’s the point?

National Handwriting Day, chosen by the Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association in the early 1980s, falls each year on January 23rd. If you want to know why that day, get out your favorite copy of the Declaration of Independence and take a look at the signers. Who stands out from the rest? You would be correct if you picked John Hancock. That big, bold signature was written that way, according to Hancock, so King George would be able  to read it without his spectacles. January 23rd is Continue reading →