Sketchy Komiks: Leisure

leisure cover
It’s Christmas Eve and it’s time for an extra special edition of Sketchy Komiks™. This time instead of he customary one pager, it’s a 16 page sketchbook comic! I’ve put this out as a mini in the past. But the books are sold out and I don’t really have plans to reprint them. I’m still fond of this story and in the seasonal spirit of sharing and giving, I’m putting the whole thing online.

Season’s Greetings

This is the first time ever I got around to making an holiday card. It’s a little thing, 3.3″ x 5.2″, printed with the Gocco system. After sending them to friends and family I’ve got a bunch left over. If anyone is interested in getting one of these cards, just send your mailing address to me (tomk {at} and I’ll send one off. Offer valid until supplies last.
2008 x-mas eve animals talk gocco
Click to Enlarge.

Left Hand of Darkness

left hand of darkness by Ursula Le Guin
Minneapolis is covered by a thick blanket of snow. The temperature is dropping. Winter has arrived for real. It’s the perfect time to (re)read Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness again. We’re all Gethenians.

Sketchy Komiks: Popping Bubbles

A satisfying post on Modern Missives transposes the current art market insanity onto another older one: the legendary Tulipmania of 17th century Holland. It reminded me of another recent story about Damien Hirst laying off 20 people as a response to the financial crisis. Then I remembered that I had done a little comic about it in my sketchbook… and this is how today’s installment of Sketchy Komiks™ came to be.
damien hirst
Click to enlarge.

UR : Utopia Report : No. 1

Cartoon Utopia #67 By Ron Regé, Jr

Introducing another new semi-regular feature on Trans-Atlantis: UR™ or the Utopia Report. If you’ve read this blog, or my comics before you already know that I’m very interested in the concept of Utopia. In the Utopia Report, I’m going to start cataloging interesting articles, posts, and snippets relating to the general topic of Utopia. As with my posts on the Apocalypse and Utopia in the past, this is to help me organize my thoughts and resources on the subject. It’s mostly going to be undigested links and quotes, though I may occasionally comment on if the mood strikes. Hopefully, someone out there will find this useful or at least interesting. OK, here it goes.

Momus recently alerted me to an interesting book The So-Called Utopia of the Centre Beaubourg — An Interpretation by Luca Frei. From the publisher:

Appearing under the pseudonym Gustave Affeulpin in 1976, and coinciding with the inauguration of the Centre Beaubourg in Paris, Albert Meister’s fictional text imagines a radical libertarian space submerged beneath the newly erected centerpiece of French Culture.

Student Works: Putting Utopia Back To Work is a fantastic and way too short interview with Behrang Behin about his Stack City student project. Behin’s project for a sustainable city is pretty interesting in itself. The conversation veers into some illuminating utopian territory:

abandoning the future as a cultural construct deprives us of a valuable instrument for defining ourselves in the present. You can learn a lot about the ethos of a society by looking at their science fiction. In that sense, the future is a place in our collective imagination, a terrain on which we fight our ideological battles and air out our common neuroses. This is precisely where architecture must play a role. Sustainable architecture shouldn’t just be concerned with the tactical level of engineering efficiency and the preservation of resources, but should also participate in the invention of alternative futures in cultural imagination.

Finally, here’s something I should have linked a while ago. Ron Regé, Jr has been doing some world-building. On his blog, he’s been posting drawings of his Cartoon Utopia. I don’t know if these will be just a series of drawings, or if he will create some kind of utopian comic book, but it’s amazing to watch a whole world come into being before your eyes.

Bill Patten at Dusty’s

Bill Patten Trio at Dusty's

Every other Saturday, at a small bar named Dusty’s, in Northeast Minneapolis, Bill Patten and his posse perform a variety of songs. His musical tastes are eclectic, but impeccable. Watch especially for the Dick Dale meets Ennio Moricone mashup which frequently ends the night. No matter what mood I’m in when I get there, I always leave with a big smile on my face.

bill patten at dusty's

Doodle Dump 004: Bored at Work

A brief suspension of Trans-Atlantis posting services comes to an end tonight. I spent the last few days in New York fully intending to keep up the almost-daily blogging activity. Blogging is an activity one can technically do from any location in the world provided there is a semi-reliable connection to the world wide web. But even a short trip demonstrates that the routine required to make even a simple blog post possible is easily disrupted. The lack of set schedule, late nights and odd sleeping hours are enemies of blogging… unless of course those things are routine…
In today’s Doodle Dump™ all the drawings were done at work during meetings or boring moments.
Click on the images to view them larger.
four heads

Continue reading “Doodle Dump 004: Bored at Work”

Sketchy Komiks: The Original Affluent Society

A bonus second Sketchy Komik™ this week. At couple of years back I was reading several books on primitive societies. The phrase The Original Affluent Society kept popping up in various texts. It referred to early hunter-gatherer cultures which worked the equivalent of four hours a day to feed and clothe themselves. The rest of the day was spent in leisure. The farm based cultures that followed spent a lot more time toiling in the fields, trying to get the earth to grow some food for them. Farming set the civilization on a work oriented course for the next several millennia. Only the wealthy ruling classes (artistocrats, etc.) were afforded any kind of leisure time, hence the phrase ‘the leisure class’. The modern society we live in is the first time leisure has been experienced by a wide portion of the population. We work eight hours a day or more, I guess we still have some way to catch up to the hunter-gatherers.
This sketchbook comic really has very little to do with any of this.
the original affluent society
Click to Enlarge


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will already know that I’m a big fan of Momus. As of yesterday he is offering as a free download the first of his six albums recorded for the now defunct Creation label. The first one is The Poison Boyfriend, his second solo effort. Keep checking his blog during December for the the other five.