Archive for November, 2013

Week ninety two of Operation Graphite – theme: Thundercats.

Shock - Tygra


Well, I’ll blame it on the tryptophan. Seems I was a bit late in with this weeks post. Even though the other Thundercats weren’t on hand to remind me, I am still obliged to do one crappy drawing a week.

Shock – Tygra

The theme selected for week ninety three of Operation Graphite will be: Hipsters.


Since nobody can really define the hipster, yet everyone seems to be able to label others as one, this weeks theme might be a little controversial. Ultimately this comes down to style, and a parody of that style. Weather you see yourself as one, or see others as one, the idea of the Hipster evokes a specific wardrobe and lifestyle. This week we will play with that idea as we illustrate hipsters in all shapes, forms and levels of ironic fashion.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Hipsters.

All art work is due on Thursday, 12.5.13. Submissions will be published the following Friday, 12.6.13

Hipster illustration by Joseph Mark 

Week ninety one of Operation Graphite – theme: Zodiac.

Pseudo Science of some form appeals to nearly everoyone. And while different people might scoff at others beliefs as quackery, a hoax or nonsense, there are very few people who are truly rational and entirely empirical in their thinking. I had the pleasure of once working with a prominent astronomer. Between breaks in an interview about cosmology, this very scientific person interjected that she was “a Cancer, and ruled by the Moon.” Though she refused to admit to such things on camera, her ability to associate with a divination system that is completely debunked by her profession illustrates the human desire to believe in the mystical. As science begins to eclipse truths with facts, there seems to be a hidden chamber within our rational mind that still wants to believe.

Contributing Signs:

shawnbrookwilliams – Scorpion

Shock – Capricorn One

Thank you for contributing.

The theme selected for week ninety two of Operation Graphite will be: Thundercats.


One of the most popular cartoons from the 80’s; the Thundercats, a band of anthropomorphized, big cat heroes whose arch enemy was an evil mummy. Sadly, the concept was way cooler than the execution.  Even though the original cartoon really doesn’t hold up well these days, The title sequence is still one of the greatest intro animations of its time.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Thundercats.

All art work is due on Thursday, 11.28.13. Submissions will be published the following Friday, 11.29.13

Week ninety of Operation Graphite – theme: Steampunk.

Shock - Iron Horse

There was some hesitation to go with steampunk as a theme. It’s one of those situations where the explosion in popularity has nearly corroded my once immense enthusiasm for this retro futuristic subgenera. It is not due to the style and subject matters meteoric rise, but the direction, or perhaps more accurately the current absurd execution of steampunk style today. Classic Jules Verne novels and modern Miyazaki animations stick out in my mind as the gold standards of the subgenera. Now days this setting of historical science fiction that never was is more of a filter to apply to pop culture. There is the steampunk version of this and the steampunk version of that, but I really can’t recall the last time there was a good story set in a steampunk setting. I love the look of some steampunk style, but what we often see now is the ludicrous and whimsical caricatures of steampunk culture tropes. It’s all top hats, monocles and exposed gears that don’t do a god damn thing. While deep down I still love a good story set in a rich world where a steam engine could power a mechanical T-rex, today the word steampunk is more akin to a style of fetish gear than that of a literary genera.

Shock – Iron Horse

The theme selected for week ninety one of Operation Graphite will be: Zodiac.


Hey, what’s your sign? Oh, you don’t believe in that stuff. Ok, that’s cool, neither do I. Everyone knows that’s all BS anyways. I mean, did you know there was a 13th sign? and everyone is supposedly one sign off? But still, there is something neat about all the imagery, those anthropomorphized associations of stars that we feel has some sort of insight to our personality and destiny. Mythological creatures, gods and what ever else some drunken sailor thought he saw whilst starring, glassy eyed at the cosmos. Real or not, it got our conversation started. Can I…  buy you a drink?

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Zodiac.

All art work is due on Thursday, 11.21.13. Submissions will be published the following Friday, 11.22.13

Week eighty nine of Operation Graphite – theme: Crossover.

Shock - Freeze and Phoenix

Once upon a time, just bringing two characters from the same publisher together was considered a Crossover. When Batman and Super man meet, or when the Avengers and X-men clashed or teamed up. Now days, we tend to think of Crossovers as pairings from totally different worlds. Most of these official crossovers are delicate matters with lots of lawyers involved, working out who gets what rights and what profits from the collaboration. Do we want to see all these figures mingling with each other, or do we want absolute boundaries between each universe? Samus Aran and Tony Stark seem like an epic duo, as would Teddy Roosevelt and Allan Quartermain. Similar archetypes, or perfectly contrasting archetypes, across different universes can make great stories. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen certainly was a  great example of a crossover, and one that benefited from the Public Domain to side step any messy copyright issues.

Shock – Freeze and Phoenix

The theme selected for week ninety of Operation Graphite will be: Steampunk. 

Old_steam_engine_at_the_Stoke_Stable_Museum sm

Among the spectrum of retro futurism genres, probably the most popular of them is Steampunk. Set in an alternate turn of the century setting, steampunk usually employes Victorian era design with fantastical applications of late 19th century technologies. This science fiction genera has exploded in recent years, creating a culture and lifestyle based around the some times exaggerated (or very exaggerated) romanticization of  british imperialism, sexy corsets, and hot gluing gears on everything in sight.

Please submit any drawing or painting, using traditional or digital media, that fits the theme: Steampunk.

All art work is due on Thursday, 11.14.13. Submissions will be published the following Friday, 11.15.13

Week eighty eight of Operation Graphite – theme: Witches.

Year after year, the Witch is one of the most popular and enduring Halloween costumes. Even though the origins of the holiday are rooted in European paganism, the ritual and aesthetics of Halloween are very much an American creation. And no other Halloween costume has quite the link to the American macabre as the Witch. While different forms of witchcraft is found in many ancient cultures, the Salem Witch trial and puritanical freak-out in the colonial era ties these users of witchcraft to the history of our nation. And paramount for a good Halloween character is ambiguity. Are these brides of Satan damned the deepest reaches of Hell for selling their soul to the dark lord in exchange for arcane powers? Are these women simply innocent victims of religious zealots who wanted to eradicate independent women and seise their property? Using black magic, white magic, or every hue in between, witches ignite our imaginations whether they be hero, villain or peaceful master of wortcunning.

Contributing Witches:

Micah – Witches

Shock – Warts and all

Thank you for Contributing.