7:50 AM

Okay, I confess - I'm still in Comic Con mode.
That means that when I sit down to doodle for a while, I find myself drawing superheroes and comics and things of the nerd-world. Then again...that's my usual routine. So maybe I'm back to normal after all.

This guy is just a random superhero I drew. I don't know what his superpowers are (if any) 
but I know his outfit is sage green and he has a nice jawline. That's the important stuff, right?
And while I'm at it, maybe he speaks with a british accent...


Tree Quadrants

7:53 AM

This is a bit of an experiment. I had the idea of painting a tree using negative space - that is, painting the area around the tree so that the outline of a tree is visible in the part that wasn't painted. Like above. I think it would be cool to paint this on a piece of wood, which is why I threw a wood background on there. This is my rough draft. I also created a version using only white "paint" below, to see if I liked that better. I don't. I'm a big fan of white-on-wood-grain, but in this case I think I prefer the colors. The black tree on the bottom left is the original sketch I did, before I scanned it into the computer.  


These aren't the droids you're looking for.

7:56 AM

This was a drawing I did last week. It's pretty silly. I was going to make it into a comic strip, but I couldn't quite figure out how it would go, so I left it unfinished. All I had in my mind was the idea of Alex and Ellie encountering some weird guys dressed as R2D2 and C3P0 at Comic Con, and somehow working the the iconic Star Wars Jedi-mind-trick-phrase "These aren't the droids you're looking for" into the punchline. That's as far as I got.

But I did manage to make some progress on the Boba Fett homefront
(since last week I declared that I wanted to get my picture with him at Comic Con.)
It's a Boba Fett built entirely out of Legos, but it still counts!


Many Michaels

7:52 AM

Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 11:14 AM

To: Annie Ludes
Subject: RE: Thursday

This is totally fine as long as you are not going to Comic Con. If that is the case, you must first draw a picture of the 5 of us standing in line at Comic Con dressed as Star Wars characters (or any sort of Furry) before you go.

The Management.

So after I received that email mentioned in yesterday's post, I got a follow-up email from another coworker, Sarah. I thought it was really funny, since we all joke about how many times I've ended up drawing our other coworker, Michael...

From: Sarah
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 11:21 AM
To: Annie Ludes
Subject: Re: Thursday

To be clear, we don't mean 5 versions of Michael ;)

So, just for fun, I drew five versions of Michael at Comic Con.
They're weird. It's all weird. And they don't really look like Michael. But I enjoyed myself.


Comic Coworkers

8:04 AM

This is what my life is like sometimes.
Here is an email I sent to my coworkers last Monday:

From: Annie Ludes
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 11:01 AM
To: My five "bosses" (for lack of a better term)
Subject: Thursday

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I’m planning to take a vacation day this Thursday the 21st. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with before Wednesday afternoon. I’ll make sure you have all the printouts you might need ahead of time.

As a response, I received the folowing email (from someone who knew I was taking the day off to go to Comic Con):

Sent: Monday, July 18, 2011 11:14 AM
To: Annie Ludes
Subject: RE: Thursday

This is totally fine as long as you are not going to Comic Con. If that is the case, you must first draw a picture of the 5 of us standing in line at Comic Con dressed as Star Wars characters (or any sort of Furry) before you go.

The Management.

And that is how this picture came to be:

I did not see any of my coworkers at Comic Con, but if I did...
I would have hoped it would look something like this.


What happens at Comic Con...

7:51 AM

This isn't quite a realistic depiction of what we're like at Comic Con, but it's an exaggeration. 
I know celebrities are just normal people, but sometimes I get a little too excited and I lose my cool. 
Yesterday at Comic Con there were a few celebrity sightings and I just turn into a silly little girl, no matter how hard I try to act nonchalant. I don't know what comes over me. It just happens. I get all wide-eyed and awkward and I can't help but take pictures. Fortunately, Comic Con is one place where I feel that I'm surrounded with people that won't judge me for it...which is ironic because I have judgmental thoughts of just about everybody that walks by. (You should see the costumes I'm seeing.)


The Ratio

7:52 AM

This is kind of an inside joke with myself. I went to Azusa Pacific University for college. I liked it, but I was definitely annoyed that there were a lot more girls than guys. Everyone always said the ratio was 6-to-1, which is way too high. Not enough dudes, right? But at Comic Con...the tables have turned! 


Alex & Boba Fett

7:26 AM

Is it weird that I have a legitimate goal of getting my picture with Boba Fett while I'm at Comic Con?
Okay, I know you think it's a little weird. But odds are, someone will be running around in a Boba Fett costume, and this cartoon might just actually happen (don't worry Mom, I won't follow Boba Fett to his car or anything.) I've always had a love for Boba Fett (the bounty hunter from Star Wars) and Comic Con is probably the one place where people will know what I'm talking about.

Also, if you're wondering who the girl is that Alex keeps talking to - I've invented a new Smart Alex character named Ellie. She's one of Alex's best friends, and is based on one of my best friends, Alison - the one who's going to Comic Con with me this year. Ellie was named after the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" and Sense and Sensibilty's Elinor Dashwood, two of Alison's favorites. But I think I accidentally made Ellie less fun than Alison is in real life...mainly because somebody has to play the role of the straight man while my character is busy being over-the-top-ridiculous.


"These Are My People!"

7:42 AM

I don't love waiting in lines. No one does. Sometimes it takes all my patience not to throw a tantrum in a slow-moving grocery store line. But sometimes, if the reward is great enough, I find line-waiting totally worth it. I'm one of those people who thinks it's worthwhile to wait in line for hours to get in to something special. When I was in high school (okay, fine, maybe college) it meant waiting all morning to meet JC from 'N Sync. I've spent many nights on the Tonight Show curb so that I could get a front row seat to see Sean Connery or No Doubt...or, again, 'N Sync. I've been to my share of midnight showings for movies. I love it - people walking around with elf ears and capes and lightsabers...Part of it is that I just really love fans. I love being around people who love the same thing that I do. And maybe that's the appeal of Comic Con for me. It's like one big party for the fans.

I heard that people have been in line for the Twilight panel since yesterday morning, and it doesn't take place until Thursday. Those are some pretty dedicated fans out there, and yes, I think they're a little crazy for loving Twilight that much. But gosh I admire their dedication. Even for Twilight. And every time I drive by a movie theater surrounded by tents of fans spending the night in line, I think the phrase "These are my people!" I know it's ridiculous, a tad dramatic - but I feel affection for them. It reminds me that I'm not the only person who thinks some things are worth sleeping on the sidewalk for...But then typically I get a closer look at the crazies in the tents, all un-showered and dressed like vampires or zombies or something, and I think "Okay, maybe they're not quite my people, but close enough."


Comic Con Week!

7:48 AM

That's right, ladies and gentlemen - this week is Comic Con! I know you're excited.
It doesn't actually start until Wednesday night, but I'm starting the celebration a little early. This week will be dedicated to comic strip tales of my alter-ego Alex who is also going to Comic Con this week. Of course she is! She wouldn't miss it. Nerdily enough, I've actually been planning this week of blogging since last year's Comic Con. 

I know it's silly to make such a big deal out of such a seemingly ridiculous event. I don't even read comic books (any more) and I have no intentions of showing up in costume (which is consistently the first question people ask when they hear I'm attending.) Nope, no costume for me. I need there to be a higher ratio of people-in-costume-to-people-dressed-normally for me to feel okay about that sort of thing. Like Halloween. And even then, I'm starting to get past the age when costumes feel cool.

Aaaaanyway, I go to Comic Con because I love seeing movie and TV show casts in person. I think it's fun. The thought of being in the same room as the cast of Fringe makes me giddy. And also, my friends and I joke that I'm going to find my future husband at Comic Con, since I find it appealing when boys know a thing or two about superheroes, mutants, elves, and the like. That's sort of the focus of today's comic, but Alex goes a little bit farther with things than I will. (Don't worry, I always wait until at least the third date before I bust out any Jedi tattoos.) So in conclusion, Comic Con is a place where I feel right at home, and I look forward to sharing it with you via my dear smart-aleck, Alex.


Comic Con!

7:53 AM

Ahhhhh, Comic Con...Where everyone embraces their inner nerd.
I too, will be one of those enthusiastic fans, and I'm proud of it. I've wanted to go to Comic Con for years, and last year I finally went - just for one day. This year I'm upping the ante and going for three days, and I can hardly wait! In case you don't know what Comic Con is - it's a big convention for all things comics/superheroes/nerd/movies/TV/sci-fi/action/books...Really, it's expanded to where just about anything can have a panel at Comic Con. But I like it that way. Last year I even got to see Tina Fey, which was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. Lots of people choose to attend the convention in costume, which is what's being depicted in the drawing above. I will not be wearing a costume, but it's still fun to walk amongst the crazies. Everything about Comic Con makes me happy. Next week's blogging is going to be very Comic-Con-centric, and this is just a little glimpse of what's yet to come!


7:52 AM

Yesterday I came across a picture of Conan O'Brien and I had the sudden urge to draw him.
Mainly, I wanted to draw his hair. That hair!
It's so unusual and I'm so very intrigued with the big flip of it felt like I was drawing an ocean wave, like a little surfer should be coming out onto his forehead. I'll save that drawing for another day, but for now - here's a rendition of Conan, pre-beardpocalypse.


Modern Philip

7:53 AM

Yesterday's sketch of Harry Potter and the fairies from Sleeping Beauty made me think of Prince Philip (...the guy from Sleeping Beauty.) He's really the stud of the Disney bunch - what with his red cape and pointy hat and all...oh, and that one part where he fought Maleficent the dragon to save his one true love. And, as mentioned yesterday, Maleficent is the worst. If you can fight her, you can do just about anything.

This is a "modern" version of Prince Philip. I thought it would be funny to see a version of him in hip(ish) clothing instead of his normal medieval garb.This is the result. I know it's dorky that he has a phone clipped to his belt, but I thought something ought to take the place of his sword. All in all, I think he turned out just fine...and I've never found a gray sweater vest more attractive. 

Poor Harry

7:54 AM

I keep picking on Harry Potter. For some reason I think it's funny to have other magical characters beat up on him. This time it's the good fairies from Sleeping Beauty. I like to think they can hold their own, since they're used to going head to head with Maleficent...and she's the worst

Magic Duel

7:57 AM

Sure, Harry Potter might be able to defeat Voldemort, but the real question is...does that mean he can defeat anyone with magical powers? Because from what I understand, Cinderella's fairy godmother is pretty powerful. Like, mice-into-horses powerful. Glass-footwear powerful. And she's got her own brand of magical spells* that they don't teach at Hogwarts. Yes, I'm clearly still on my Harry Potter kick right now. It's all I can think about until the new movie comes out!

*I just discovered it's actually "bibbidi bobbidi boo." 
Not that it matters, as this is the least important thing ever.


Big Bag Theory

7:56 AM

This drawing is one big inside joke with myself, so let me unravel it for you a bit...
Recently my friend Laura (drawn on the right) gave me a purse. It was hers, but she said it was too small for her and she gave it to me. Laura is a mom, so she needs a little extra space in her purse for things like pacifiers, diapers, clothes, dolls, strollers, you name it. I, however, need room for keys, a phone, a wallet, and an occasional sketchbook. That's it. I really like the purse that Laura gave me, so I use it...but it's the biggest purse I've ever had. It takes me so long to find my phone in there. I think of it as my Mary Poppins purse, like I could pull out a lamp at any given time. 

On another note, I've been obsessed with Harry Potter lately. I watched all the movies last week and now I'm in full Potter-mode, ready to see the final film. Until then, I've got wizardry on the brain. Every time I pick up a pen, I momentarily think of it as a wand. Even yesterday at work, someone startled me at my desk and my first thought was grab your wand! so I could defend myself. (I know, yikes.) And if you've seen the most recent Harry Potter movie, you know that Hermione placed an "undetecable extension charm" on her little bag to make its inside much larger than the outside seems. It makes her little purse able to hold a lot more than it should, like Mary Poppins' purse. So now, every time I reach into my purse, I wonder if it has some sort of extension charm placed on it, because my keys are just that hard to find. Really, this whole thing is just me being dramatic and mocking myself for thinking my new purse is sooooo huge. 


Starry Potter 2.0

7:42 AM

This is an updated version of the "Starry Potter" photoshop creation I made a few days ago.
My friend Nate said he was sad that Chewbacca remained unchanged in the first version, so I updated him along with the others. Now Dumbledore is gracing us with his presence, though he's much hairier than usual. He's Chewbacca. He's Dumbledore. He's Chewbacledore!

So Long, Art O'Fannie

8:08 AM

This is a charming little leprechaun I drew in honor of my blog url changing.
For the past year, it's been "artofannie" at 
Art. Of. Annie.
Buuuuut of course I realize you can also read it differently, as it can alternatively be pronounced as the name "Art O'Fannie." Sounds like the name of a leprechaun. Sometimes my friends pronounce it "Art O'Fannie" on purpose to be funny. They're clever like that. I love them anyway. I would do the same if it was their blog. But in an effort to simplify things and make my blog address easier to remember, it's now simply Easy, right? Boom. That's how I roll. Now, I mean. Finally. After a year.

Hopefully the old url should be directing you to now, or it should happen pretty soon. 
So farewell, Art O''s been a swell time.

Favorite Artist

8:12 AM

My favorite color is sage green. 
My favorite food is peanut butter. 
My favorite James Bond movie is Goldfinger.
I'm the kind of person that likes having favorites. I like to rank things for some reason. I know what I like and what I don't like, and I know my practically every category of life.

But something strange happened the other day. I was chatting with someone about art, and he asked me who my favorite artist is. And I drew a blank. I didn't have a clue. I fumbled with my answer, as I felt it would be incredibly snobbish to say "Well, I actually don't like any of them..." I couldn't believe how stumped I was with this question! How can I not appreciate any artists?! The first "artists" that came to mind were "whoever draws ninja turtles" and "the illustrators of the 1992 X-Men cartoon," but those hardly seemed like intelligent answers. For someone who loves to draw as much as I do, I find it odd that there are so few artists I look up to. 

Finally my mind drifted to comic strips, which is where my artistic heart lies. I like the simple whimsy of comics, with clean pen lines and a vibe that reminds you of doodles in your jr. high trapper keeper. And when I think of comics, Calvin & Hobbes is one of my favorites. I think little Calvin is so cute with his giant head and teeny tiny little boy body, and I love the whole concept of the strip with Hobbes and adventure and make-believe. So for the time being, I guess you could say that Bill Watterson is my favorite artist, or at least one of them. The creator of Calvin deserves some recognition. The doodles above were from a page of my attempts to draw people in the Bill Watterson style. After all, imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? And I'll do my best to like some more artists in the future.


Starry Potter

7:54 AM

As you may have noticed, I'm in the process of redesigning my blog. 
Change is good, right? People always say that, at least. It must be true if everyone says it.
Despite the fact that I've always loved the name "Whimsy & Whatnot," I'm trying to simplify things.
It's a new chapter. Annie Ink. That's simple, right? Change is good.
Lately I've been watching the Harry Potter movies to prepare myself for the final one coming out this month. I know it's nerdy, "preparing" for a Harry Potter movie, but it's making me more excited for the new one. I'm such a sap, though - I cry through every movie now. I don't know what happened! It's like I'm suddenly an old lady who thinks it's really sweet whenever the three friends hug or say something about friendship. Saaaaappy, like I said. These are not Lifetime movies...but at the end of the fifth one, there's this montage of practically every happy memory Harry's ever had, all hugs and friends and laughing and I was just bawling. I gotta' pull myself together.

But as I watch through the series, I am continually reminded of the three lead characters in Star Wars. Luke/Harry is the main one who's always worried about his big cause, prone to say lines like "I have to do this on my own" and fight climatic battles...and even though he's the main guy, it's the other two that are my favorites. I'd always rather watch a scene with Han and Leia or Ron and Hermione than a scene of Luke/Harry (Larry Pottwalker?). And then there's the guy is like her brother, and the other is a lovable's good stuff. So here's my combination of the two!

Fun with Animals

7:53 AM

Ostriches always make me think of Swiss Family Robinson. Middle-brother Ernest rides one in the movie, and that's what I think of whenever I see an ostrich. (I don't have many points of reference for ostriches outside of zoos.) But I like to draw them, because I think their funny shape is interesting and unique and recognizable. Same goes for giraffes. Of course, these animals don't normally have umbrellas and lampshades for heads, but that's where I come in. I was just goofing around and came up with this design. I added the stripes to give the drawing some color, with the blue implying rain and the yellow hinting at the glow of the lampshade. I included the original drawing I did by hand, just to show the process. In this case I did a lot of the work in Photoshop and the actual sketches were pretty bare, as you can see below.

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