pictures and words by paul mccall

December 2018
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Happy 50th Birthday Twilight Zone
Filed under: General, Studio Caricatures, History Lessons
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 10:30 am

Fifty years ago tonight the Twilight Zone debuted on CBS television.

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Time to Brush Up on the Anatomy
Filed under: General, Whatever, History Lessons
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 5:33 pm

One of many things I’ve learned in a 30+ year career in commercial art is that you should always try to learn new things and regularly brush-up on things you’ve learned long ago. (Or kidded yourself into thinking you learned!) At this point in time I’m both learning and brushing upon watercolor painting, as demonstrated by the seemingly unending posts of what I’ve been doing at the Art Center Open Studio session. Another aspect I’m about to embark upon is a “brush-up” on human anatomy. To that end I ordered and just today received something I’ve always wanted in the studio…

Not just any cardboard box - look closer.

Creepy, no? Yes! And that’s how the box was delivered in today’s post, with a strategic rip!
This is the box within the box…

You can get this model from two on-line vendors, Biovere, from whom I ordered this one and

Who apparently makes them and then sells them to Biovere who sells it for less.

Now, in case you didn’t click the Freedom of Teach link which is the above photo, FoT offers this model in two other versions…

The one on the left is the one I ordered because it was cheaper. I figure that if later I decide it would benefit by being the neutral gray color I can just use one of my 25 airbrushes and repaint it myself. The detachable head wasn’t worth the price increase nor was the turntable. I can rig up a lazy-susan for mine if I wish. (And, even though not pictured, the basic model has the detachable arms and wing-wang, all done with magnets!.)

This what I got when out of the packing and assembled.

Now I have to use it.

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History Lessons Take One
Filed under: History Lessons
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 8:02 pm

I’ve instituted a new category, “History Lessons” in which I find things in my files from 31 years of my illustration career that I think may interest people who stop by here.

For a period in the 90s I was the editor/publisher of “Scientifiction” the newsletter of the First Fandom organization. Just a brief description; First Fandom, formed in 1958 is the organization started by the original fans of science fiction literature. The real original members were those who could prove fan activity during the time period of the first World Science Fiction Convention, 1938. I’m not that old, but I became friends with a lot of those great people. Chief among them was Julius Schwartz who was one of, if not the first agents for science fiction writers and later became an editor for DC comics working there for 40+ years. Not to mention being the publisher of the first SF fanzine! I used to do as much art for the publication as I could, here’s a cover piece, a caricature of Julie Schwartz, writers Ed Hamilton and Jack Williamson. (I re-used this piece for the cover for a collection of reprinted interviews from Julie’s ‘zine Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine.)

Arthur C. Clarke died last week. One of the many interesting experiences I had with FF was at a convention gathering of members there was a long-distance speaker phone call from Clarke in Sri Lanka to speak to his fellow FF members. He was kind enough to say some nice things about my publishing efforts. Here’s a caricature I did of him as a young man in England.

Now - why I call this category “History Lessons.” If I feel there is a bit of advice I can offer to artists with less career experience than myself, I’ll inflict it on you.
My time spent doing all the desktop publishing for “Scientifiction” and creating art for it was unpaid, in money. But the memories I have of the people I met and the stories I heard in those gatherings are more than satisfactory compensation for the time spent. If you get a chance to donate your time and talents to a good cause, do it!

Not all my “History Lessons” will be so benign!

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