December 12, 2005

43: Blow'd Up Real Good

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It's Christmas-time, so I hope this little piece of imagery doesn't come off as too macabre. But really, go and peruse the lengthy list of Illustration Friday submissions for the word surprise – then come back here and ask yourself, is there really anything more surprising in life than sitting on a bench, reading a book … and then spontaneously combusting?


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Just this weekend I completed Top Secret Project X and decided I'd let my hair down with this bit of fun. Actually, first I was going to revisit a doodle I made over a decade ago while working at Broadway Pharmacy in downtown Winnipeg. That place was absolutely full of surprises; they'd come through the door daily, destitute, delirious, drunk and (once or twice) dripping in blood. My friend Allan Lorde and I worked there for a number of years as teenagers (and then some), and we'd doodle the dates in the daily prescription copy ledgers the place kept. Sometimes they'd get pretty twisted, but so long as they included a date, nobody seemed to mind. I drew this one (above left; the poster reads death wields a mallet) – on August 12, 1994 – and thought it could use a proper update job as my submission for I-Friday's 'surprise'. But then I figured I'd just include it here along with coming up with something original for the first time in awhile.

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So here it is: a guy sitting on a bench, loosely modeled after myself (right). Reading a book (that's Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, my favourite). Waiting for the bus. And then: foom!

I used pencil for the loose sketch based from the photo, and then drew the final lines with my precious Pigma Microns. I only sketched it once, and duplicated it five times in Photoshop to get this final result – obviously with some minor amendments to the final bit of the sequence.

Be sure to click here for a better look than I can offer here on the homepage.

21 comments:

Tony Sarrecchia said...

Spontaneous combustion is always a surprise. Nice job.

Doug said...

jeopepalooza?.... that sounds so... so familiar... :o)
good job! ... ah, the old exploding head trick. I hate when that happens!

Bobby Chiu said...

lol... happens to me sometime

garth bruner said...

hehehe

Rachelle said...

That would be quite the surprise if your head spontaneously exploded. Thankfully it has never happened to me.

Anonymous said...

GAAAAH!What would I do now my head has exploded? I wouldn't be able to tell you I like your submission and added titbits of interest or come back next week :)

Catnapping said...

I married the last guy that spontaneously combusted me...

Holly said...

Ya-the spontaneous exploding brain does suck. Did that mean your brain was full? I think that happened in school once. I liked the image you used as reference. You look all floaty and studious. Well done. Cheers!

Allan L. said...

Yes! Rulin'!

Urban Convert said...

Pretty surprising, hey.

A Little Hut said...

lol. your humor cracks me up.

carla said...

I think this one is awesome, Jeope! It's so perfect how the heat rises until he blows up. The first thing that came to mind was the scene from Spinal Tap where they guys are talking about how their various drummers over the years died...one guy spontaneously combusted on stage leaving behind a little globule on his seat. This is great! And...thanks for sharing the process:>

Jeope said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone. This one hit an all-time record for visitors - seems like you can all relate.

(Catnapping, I like your comment the best ... )

constanthing said...

That must've been one engaging book ... nice storyboarding sequence!

jen sees world said...

haha wow, that is weird! Great minds think alike... and explode apparently :) Your work is beautiful by the way.

Majane said...

Fabulous idea and I like your style. Nice work!

The Sensualist said...

Oh trip out. I just waited for the darn bus for 45 minutes in the freezing cold (Ok, I'm a pansy, I live in San Francisco, so it ain't THAT cold, Mr. Canadian) and felt ready to spontaneously combust, that or turn into an icycle and fall over and shatter.

Brrrr!

I have this feeling that your sense of humor may be superb.

James said...

My life won't be complete until I actually witness a "sponcomb". Delightfully sinister my friend.

Doug said...

well... it has been fun being a co-palooza with you this week. Thot I'd say bye before we disappear into cyberspace tomorrow... by the way... how do you pronounce your name? Jeope.... jee-ope? jo-pay?
just curious... see you around next week

Aravis said...

A friend once told me that when she was a little girl and first heard of spontaneous combustion, she thought that those who combusted did so because they had figured out the Meaning of Life and couldn't be allowed to live long enough to share it. So they were made to combust.

It's as good a reason as any other I suppose. *G* Perhaps your man there just stumbled across the meaning in his book? ;0)

I love your second interpretation as well.

Alina Chau said...

nice works!