Saturday, December 30, 2006

Taboo and Family Holidays

As a final post for 2006, here's a look into a Midnight Shoveler Christmas.
I love going home to my family for the holidays. We usually play Scrabble, make inside jokes, and complain about being loved too much, therefore getting overspoiled in number of presents (I've never seen the point in this last one.) This year we even sang songs as I played piano. No joke. First, Hark the Herald Angels, and then we moved on to Pocahontas and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, but it was family singalong nonetheless! We also read The Little Match Girl on Christmas Eve (a spoiler: it doesn't end well- Hans Christian Anderson ends the delightful Christmas tale of a poor Russian street urchin with the words frozen and corpse.).
But the best part of this nontechnological time at home was playing the 2-person version of Taboo. It's the game where you see a word on your card like 'Elephant' and you have to make your teammate (my sister, the only other player in our version) guess the word 'elephant', without using gestures or motions. The tricky part is that you're NOT allowed to use certain words, also on your card, which would usually be used in describing an elephant (say, 'Africa', or 'tusks'). But our sibling bond is often stronger than words. Our dialogue went like this:
"Napoleon Dynamite's favorite thing, not a liger, is..."


And my personal favorite:
"No. Egg. Eggbeaters."

Happy New Year, all, and thanks for reading. See you in '07!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Room is Alive

Every time a strong wind blows on my poorly built, poorly maintained, and poorly storm protected windows, the plastic sheeting on it puffs out and the blind opener stick takes on a life of its own, moving out into the room about a foot. I also have a toilet that likes to talk to itself all day, and a door that growls every time it's opened (like my stomach, it is never satisfied). So I have come to decide that my apartment is alive, and it's trying to tell me that I'm getting what I'm paying for.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Ginkgo Vomit

It's hard to be mad at a tree. Trees are what makes a town feel cozy, make us paper so we can draw comics, and the world should have many more of them. A tree looks fashionable and chic in all seasons, and doesn't even have to dress in layers in the winter. Winter snow on a maple tree? So hot right now.
But when it comes time for the ginkgo tree to drop the fruits of their sex, I want to run for my life. The berries fall off the trees and squish on the sidewalks, and then emit the most disgusting rotting smell. What's sadder is that not all ginkgos have to drop fruits, but some do, and it seems quite voluntary and random on the tree's part (maybe the other trees have to help memory loss and menopause...or is that St. John's Wort?). And it so happens that all the ginkgos of Pittsburgh live all around my house, so I have to cross the street back and forth about five times on my way to class and work just to avoid getting their rancid ovaries all over me. At least I think they're tree ovaries. I could be wrong, but the plant gonad reference was just waiting to be set up there. They've been periodically dropping fruits since the summer- there is no one 'fruit' season for the ginkgo. They're EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I don't even feel like walking someplace new in fear that my shoes are going to get covered in gingko fruit. And then I'm that guy at the grocery store that everyone thinks has dog poop on his shoes. When will the deciduous insanity end? Tree, tree, stop sexing on me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Art Scraps

One woman's test photography is another man's treasure, so the saying goes. In fact, I turned this lovely test strip of some pebbles underwater into a geometric study with just a few pieces of Scotch tape (very classy) and some magazine cutouts. It's even mounted three dimensionally on foam. Ooo. It was so popular with the celebs that I had to hurry up and make a couple more for Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker, who had been shooting a movie down the street. They saw me working on this little number for my friend Sally and barged right in the door or her apartment, practically forcing me to hand over my collages (and fifty dollars) into their hands! But now that I think about it, maybe they were really just burgalars with paper cutouts of Dennis Quaid and SJP taped to their faces with the eyeholes cut out. I am missing a substantial amount of my precious jewel collection.

Dennis, if I see you wearing my tiara on the set, you're in big trouble.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Misinterpretation of Signs

Some days are curiouser than others. Wednesday was a day like any other: go to classes, save the world, sell ceramics, watch gays on TV, go to bed. But today, Thursday, was off. It feels like a day where you look through someone else's reality glasses and your picture of the world looks a little like looking through a liquor bottle. To the right: A view of a Smirnoff bottle: does it say something about how one man's alcohol is another man's art?
I was also stung by a bee today. On a bus. In mid-November. And this is the SECOND bee sting I have gotten in a month. Aren't bees supposed to be sleepy at this time of the year? Maybe they're also having a weird day.
And then, the cake topper: There's a laundry/dry-cleaning store a ways up the street that has some process called 'Martinizing'. As in, some guy named Martin does something cool with your clothes and they look good as new when he's done with them. (Perhaps. I don't actually know how you Martinize your clothes.) But what did I read? Martini Zing.
As in, a drink with a zippy olive in it. Or, perhaps it's a new, trendy bar/lounge! I have to go there sometime soon and find out.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Once You Poop, You Can't....Stoop?

I can't believe I haven't posted this comic yet...because there's nothing quite as funny as poop. And when you combine that with an elderly interacting with a stoner kid (note the dreadlocks, camo pants and, as my father would say, 'ghettoblaster'), you've got grammatical genius. Normally I believe the phrase is 'POP it like it's hot'. As in 'Turn your polo collar up, children, because it is just so in fashion right now'. In the 20's they might have said, 'The popped collar is the bee's knees!' and in the 1950's it might be 'Be-Bop-a-Hepcat Pop-a-Collar Zing!, Daddy-o'. But today it's a bit simpler.
I have too many stories and puns in my brain that all deal with the topic of a great four-letter word. And no, the word is not 'Cats', or 'Asps', or 'Acne', or even 'Butt' (all great words, though), poop probably takes the cake. See, just now, I can envision another comic being formed, a cake being stolen off a wedding table by some brown...Cats! Butt! Acne! Nevermind.

Friday, November 10, 2006


It sounds naughty, but it isn't, really. Tonight I saw two people about my age dive into some tall bushes, hoping that I didn't see them trespassing in the yard of an abandoned historical mansion (clearly marked with 'Get The Hell Off this Private Property You Asshole Frat Boys' signs, or something to that effect). There was a small exclamation of an expletive, and then some careening into the hedges. Followed by something like a whispered 'Ow! Sharp!'
The lesson of the week will be short and sweet: once you're spotted where you shouldn't be, don't head for the nearest shrubbery.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dead celeb spotted on Halloween!

Someone at a Halloween party I was at this past week was lucky enough to snap this shot of Andy Warhol, who appeared briefly next to my friend Jess. He left as quickly as he arrived, with a flash of white wig and silkscreens for everyone, and then he was gone. Who knows where he came from (well, he was from Pittsburgh, that we know) and where he was headed on that unearthly night, but the party was a bit more glamourous for the rest of the evening thanks to him. And thanks to Poison Ivy, the Pied Piper, and a Rook (my, how our chess set has grown) for creating the fabulous atmosphere for such a ghostly visitation to occur.
If only I could conjure Peter Saarsgard for the next party. I'm going to go practice my seance-ing.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Halloween, one of the best holidays of the year (except for maybe Take Your Daughter to Work Day) is quickly approaching! Some of you dear readers may already be in the midst of your costume parties. I do love a good Masquerade- I always wanted to be invited to Martha Stewart's house for Halloween, 'cause it always looked so glamorously home-made spooky. Other people at this time of year might even take a moment to remember the dead, or tell some ghost stories, or cook a harvest feast. Maybe there will also be hot cider and dunking your head in a tub of icy-cold apples. How wonderfully quaint. But for the kiddies among us who grew up in a generation of video games, Halloween means carving an internet character onto a pumpkin (in this picture we see HomeStarRunner at the Pumpkinfest in Boston), and getting a two-pound block of chocolate in your trick-or-treat bag. Gone are the olden days of checking for razorblades in your caramel apple (flirtation with danger! death by sugary weapon!), and receiving one tiny piece of candy at each house. "What, only one KitKat?"
Wear reflective clothing, children, and be home by 8.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dance Parties of Olde

I was a witness to this woman at a vintage-outfit-wearing dance party a couple months ago, and boy, did she have the Lord of the Dance in her. This is a very accurate caricature, by the way, not a gross overinterpretation. Notice her strangely contorted right leg, as if it were not attached to her hips the normal way, and the hair which seems to project horizontally from her scalp. (Can anybody but quasi-Asian people pull this off? I don't think so.) She was a diva, perfectionist in her attitude, ensemble, and energetic struttin'. I also added a major visual aspect of the party, the construction/automechanic lightbulb, which was used to light our boppin' feet on the dancefloor. Sure, the music wasn't as cool as I would have picked, but if I picked the music, I don't think anybody could find the beats ("What is this music? Tin cans and Cat Meows? Rad.") And the lighting left a bit to be desired, but aren't most good things in life craptastic?
I'm aware that Pittsburgh is not the city for crazy asymmetrical haircuts (that's Reykjavik) or disco lighting and one-piece glittery black bodysuits (that's Xanadu), but I'm hoping that I can bring a little glamour to this Mid-Atlantic town. Point being: if you see me in my black bodysuit underneath one lonely exposed lightbulb, don't stare, join in on some sweet beats.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Full Time Crackheads

I thought I might let you viewers in on a little historic landmark in Pittsburgh, the Smithfield Street bridge. Very historic, I'm sure lots of celebs have passed by this very spot. Why, it's practically the red carpet of Pittsburgh. I just saw Peter, Maggie, and New Baby Saarsgard there the other day being photographed in front of these three commemorative plaques. (I hope I got a good shot of them- I tried to get a view of the Incline in the background, too. Send me a copy, m'kay?)
I'm so glad that someone had the ingenuity to add an additional plaque for the real people who surround this bridge when the celebs aren't around. Frankly, there wasn't any more room on the pillar to add more text, so they had to make do with the very bottom. Crackheads of the world, unite! You work hard for your honey.
I'm off to write something involving a vibraphone, two bassoons, and percussion (what that something is, I have no idea right now). But perhaps I'll call it 'Crackhead Bridge'.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Steve Irwin Tribute

Even though I never got any cable stations, I still managed to see Mr. Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin on many a talk show. He usually brought with him some rabid animal (who is deathly afraid of talk-show audiences, of course) in the name of promoting awareness about, say, lemurs. The lemur then sits on Rosie O'Donnell's head, pees on her, goes crazy and eats some paper, or maybe a microphone, and is raced off the stage by a helping cameraguy. I feel bad for everyone involved. Here is me (or a Harry Potter version of me, I guess) interviewing one of the many crocogators that Steve has touched (in so many ways). Thankfully this croc was too emotionally overwhelmed to snack on my arm, but I have a mace in hand. If only Steve would have carried one of those babies when he took his last scuba dive. Goes to show you, if you're going to have a jostle with stingrays, always carry your medieval defense weaponry! Practical advice for everyone, really. I'll miss you, man.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I can empathize with the chicken killer

After hearing about a recent news headline involving a woman shooting her husband (not fatally, fortunately) after he killed her pet chicken, I had to make a comic. My first sketch I abandoned, as I thought the shotguns looked more like hairdyers, and the man's potbelly just makes him look a couple months pregnant. But it looked so funny I uploaded it anyway. The second image, now this is more personal. I can picture a note left on the counter that says 'Dear John, you killed my beloved birdie. Prepare to die. Love, Sally'. However, my tone has changed today after hearing these two yippie dogs bark continuously for an hour while their owner is not home. The dogs don't even live next door, they're around the corner and on the opposite side of my shanty- I mean well-lit studio- but the sounds reverberates nonetheless. Suffice to say, if the chicken in the backyard was squealing like these two little doggy sausages, I'd want to bust out the semi-automatic, too. There'd be nothing but a pile of feathers left. Or, in my case, two collars with the words 'Spanky' and 'Rex'. Just don't let my wife find out it was me.
(Thanks to Kate for the link.)

Sunday, September 24, 2006


It has come to my attention that the world is far more populated by nerds than I had ever imagined. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Take this piece which I created based on "photos" of subatomic particle collisions with a particle accelerator. (I can imagine the physicists among you readers salivating as I type this, fondly recalling your days learning about quarks.) Well, this doesn't help things when you want to go on a date. Either 1. there seems to be only five available nice people on campus, 2. they are too wrapped up in computerspeak to care about things like "relationships", or 3. they are Republicans. I suppose I'm not getting a degree in dating, though, am I. I'm here to be a good student and write my good little orchestral piece. Well. It's my birthday and I'm allowed to complain, and Paris says she always gets what she wants when she complains. (Maybe I should complain about the lack of thousand-dollar bills in my wallet?)
However, there is something strangely attractive about having an area of interest that is so particular that only really nerdy people in your field will know what you're saying when you casually let things like '...Can you believe it? She makes her own reeds. How bourgeois.' or '...self-propelled infants can totally recognize causality...' slip out. If only Justin Timberlake could revise his very sexy song to 'Get Your Nerdy/Back', I'd be all over the dancefloor with the computer scientists. Except that they'd be dancing via webcast, and using their robots to dance for them. And I'd rather dance with my hipsters anyway.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I can feel the autumn breezes in the air...or maybe it's just a lot of rain, like we're getting in Pittsburgh. Either way, it's time to dress up in warmer clothes, wear decorative scarves (before the necessary scarves make their appearances) and most importantly, painstakingly create leafy autumnal costumes for little children to wear. Thanks to Martha Stewart for the image, I made this little collage as a reminder to myself:, Midnight, it's time to unfurl the oak leaf wrap you've been storing away in my cedar chest. I think I'll break it out for conducting class, they'll love it.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Barbies and the Twenty-first Century Girl

I'm Melissa. And this is my Barbie Doll. Well, actually her real name is officially 'Barbie Roberts', true fact! But I just call her Barbie. I love her and I play with her all the time. And Barbie teaches me lots of things. She says that a good girl should have a really nice 401K and not be reliant on this male-dominated society we live in so I can take whatever name I choose so I will call myself Hilary Duff Clinton because those are my two favorite Hilarys ever or maybe I'll just go on being Melissa but become a powerful account executive at an investment firm and buy lots of shoes. I love shoes. I love my Barbie. We go everywhere together. Do you want to brush her hair? Well you can't she's mine.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Cleaners on Vacation

This is a good rendering of where the cleaning products must have been while my apartment was being 'professionally cleaned'. Or at least that's where I assume they went, because it's taken a week to scrub the twenty years of dust off of my blinds, and the mysterious white fingerprints off the bathroom door (crime scene investigation, perhaps?). I finally live in a studio that I want to sit down in, thank goodness. Now that the place finally sparkles I can invite Paris and Nicky over for some cup o' noodles.
I can just see the bleach and the disinfectant wipes now, relaxing somewhere in Tahiti. Maybe they're even enjoying margueritas. Meanwhile, my clothes and silverware in their drawers are being ferociously attacked by bacteria. See them out in the ocean, panicking as the peramecium lunges for a sleeve?
With all this sand, sun, and surf, maybe this scene should be retitled 'Bleachwatch'. Coming to the WB this fall.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Turkeys Are So Dumb

My sister and I read a true fact during a board game (or should I say Bored Game, 'cause we were down to the dregs of activities) that turkeys are so dumb that they often look up in a rainstorm and drown. Poor guys. I can picture a turkey saying:
"I can't help it...They're so beautiful! Look at these little water thingies on my nose...aaccckggrrgh...chkkck" or perhaps
"I can't bear the thought of Thanksgiving. I'm going to end it all now while I still have my dignity. kkrrcchogjk". And then they just raise their dumb little heads and water rushes into their nostrils. We should teach these turkeys that drowning is so passe, so easy. The only way to go nowadays is with flair. Something along the lines of a crack-indused Post-Soviet mosh pit party in the Ukraine, with Kate Moss and Coolio, and you're the one who accidentally trips on a supermodel and she beats you to death with her high heels. Thank goodness you also remembered to wear your best jewelry when the paparazzi comes to photograph. Except that you don't see the lightbulbs flash, because you're in Heaven with the turkeys.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Tales from the rural world

I'm spending a little quality time in Western NY with the family, and though my modem is as slow as a slug (think five minutes to load, I thought I might tell you some tidbits of Midnight's 'summer vacation'. The trip from Pittsburgh back home was 26 hours, when it should have been four. It included our truck breaking down on the highway near Zelienople, PA, and a truck driver named Biff giving me and my dad a ride to the auto mechanic. From there we were warned not to stay in the hotel run by 'sand monkeys', which I tried to tune out by telling myself that it's not a good idea to discuss Middle Eastern culture with a man wearing a greasy tanktop emblazoned with pistols and the words 'Proud to be American'.
I managed to spend as much time as humanly possible in every large media store while our truck was being fixed, and enjoyed some quality time with my dad over heaping piles of Chinese Buffet ( I do love that jasmine tea).

Back at home, with the downtrodden and mustached townsfolk, I'm happy to be spending some time with friends, going swimming, and watching my parents enjoy their new birthday present, the .22 shotgun which sits by the chimney. I wake up most every morning at 7.30 to the BANG! of one more evil squirrel getting blown to smithereens. My mom casually drinks her coffee on the front porch, coffee cup in one hand, and gun in the other. That'll teach those varmints to eat out of our birdfeeder.
We're also getting our first coffee-doughnut shop in town, Tim Horton's. For Gowanda, NY, this is maddeningly exciting.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Au Revoir, Boston, Bonjour Pittsburgh

For all those Bostonians who I won't get to see for a while, all the best! Boston has been great, and I will miss all of it. All of it except:
-Being called a terrorist by an Indian woman on the subway
-All those fun subway-to-shuttle-to-subway-to-work rides
-The Silver Line: It's a subway! No! It's a bus! No! It's fast!
-The completion of the Big Dig. I'm so glad it's watertight. And very safe. And the parks above ground, whoa, they blow my mind. Very industrial chic. Concrete blocks and piles of debris are so hot right now.
-The Orange Line's commuters, which include 'Violently Vomiting Milk Guy' and 'Orgasmically Dancing in the Aisles Woman', along with several sightings of cankles.
-And a personal highlight, conversations which fall flat due to the incredibly obscure area of knowledge I now posess on vintage advertising posters. How does one compete with "Can you believe it? The limestone blocks were hand!!"?

Positive thoughts on my time in Boston have included:
-Inventing dehydrated water (patent pending)
-Light being the new dark, and sitting being the new standing. And many others. Orange, however, is not the new black.
-Discovering the use of circumsized newborn's skin for grafting onto ailments
-Hipsters of every hipitude
-And who can forget a very small sampling of Midnight Shoveler performances, some of the best little art songs and recompositions of The Police that you'll ever hear. Ever. You'll be ninety years old and still nothing will quite compare.

I'm sure Pittsburgh will not hold quite the same fond memories, but I'll try my best to make it a good time.
Seriously, Midnight will continue to post whenever appropriate, and do keep checking in for updates from the land of Heinz ketchup and pierogies. There are plenty more comics up my sleeves.
(Pictured: One of my favorite buildings in Boston, seen from the Duck Tours: "Quack quack!" Shut the f'up, you ducks. Let me enjoy the gravel pits.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

First Came the Puggle

You first heard it on the news, when a Beagle was bred with a Pug to make this new kind of dog called the Puggle. Now owned by celebs the world over, a few big names (I promised I wouldn't reveal your names, Meryl Elton Cher) have requested that I find a way to hybrid some unusual animals. What a statement for the red carpet, ya? The first one off the petri dish is the Cowputer. I feel like this animal could also be useful in rural areas, where access to technology is limited. Because, of course, you're usually shovelling poop all day and don't have time for useless things like Blogging.
Still in the gene phase: the Horsetrich.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Well, Then I Hate You

It's always an unfortunate day at work when you have to disappoint your customers. As hard as one tries, at my particular poster gallery we do not happen to have posters from Armenia. Nor do we have photos of Boston's skyline, in fact we don't have any photos at all. We don't have posters of Irish Terriers or Thomas Kinkade landscapes. Or scenes from Malaysia. Sorry, folks. Usually customers walk away with something else they like, or they shrug and say, 'No prob, I'll keep hunting around.'
But one particular day, as I explained to a label-clad girl that no, we don't have any Prada or Gucci posters, I was greeted with a serious and perpetually-smiling response of 'Well, then, I hate you.' And with that, she walked away.

As someone once said, 'Nothing says love like hate'.
I love my job.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Falling Typography!

Watch out, Shane West! A razor-edged shard of typography is going to fall right on top of you!
Just goes to show that words- they cut like knives.

This is actually my favorite collage to date. If you want it, you'll have to fight me for it. And by 'fight', I mean write me a humongus check and aim it at my face as I reach out and grab for it.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

CIA Wiretapping

In finding out that the US government could be listening in on potential terrorist-linked activity, I thought I might wiretap a section of my hometown's phone calls. I picked up three very valuable snippets.

1. 'Becky looked like a fat cow in school today!'
2. 'I wonder if she got knocked up at that keg party last week.'
3. 'Ethel, are you going to bridge tonight?' (This one is especially suspicious.)

There are terrorists everywhere.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm Toast

In the winter, one can always put on another coat, some thermal underwear, or wrap some spaceage foil around themselves to get warmer. In the summertime, in Boston, with the thermometer reading 97 degrees, I cannot remove any more layers without trying to peel off my epidermis. And that never feels good. I have another couple months of this to look forward to. I'm toast.

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Hairproducts

In the spirit of my recent trip to Iceland, where everyone has wacky self-empowering haircuts, here are a couple new hairproducts for the 21st-century generation. You might also look into purchasing 'The Consumer', which has a credit card barcode emblazoned on one's forehead. No worries about fradulent charges, ever again, just swipe your face through the scanner!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bookish Lion

Hey there, kids, it's Librario Lion, telling you to do your homework and read those books while you're on summer vacation. You can even come to my book readings on Wednesdays at 3, where I'll be reading selections from a couple great children's books. The first one is called Lolita and it's about a cute little girl, (almost your age, sweetheart!) and her grown-up friend. Then we'll be reading a lovely little tale called "Cosmo Magazine" and we'll learn how to make ourselves look nice for all the boys, won't we?
While Midnight Shoveler is away in Iceland and Paris for a week or so, why don't we take some time to dive in to some of my personal favorites, you know, The Satanic Verses, Carrie, The Joy of Sex-- I mean 'socks'! I love polka-dotted socks, don't you?
And maybe, just maybe boys and girls, Midnight will be back in time to read you a bedtime story. Have you ever heard of a funny story called The Shining? No, Sarah, I don't think it will be shiny like your earrings, but aren't they so pretty!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lots of bits of cutup narcissism

I always have good intentions of making high-quality work. Unless I actually want to make a piece for myself, and then it turns out a completely different way than I thought it might. Mary-Kate and Ashley gave told me that it was time to incorporate sections of all the colors of the rainbow, and stick in little pictures that they liked. The motion would swirl around in a very Van Goghey kind of way. Well, Mary-Kate, all you really got was a giant naked torso, and a small cutout building with a picture of lace next to it. (Ashley never got to see the finished version, she left to go eat something. Finally. Or was that the other twin?)
Where is my brain when I started gluing my little papers down? I think I forgot to take it out of my pants. If only it were self-portraiture. Then I'd be really narcissistic.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Conspiracy Therapist

'You know doc, I don't think my boyfriend likes me anymore. I think he's trying to kill me.'

'You're right. He is trying to kill you. And so is the government. They've been trying to kill you for years. And so are small appliances. They're in on it too, they all are.'

'Oo, you're so good.'

'I can say no more. That will be three hundred dollars.'

(If you'll notice at closer clicking, we've got some portraits of famous conspirators hanging up: Freud, Timothy McVeigh, and the ever-present Michael Moore.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Ultimate in Prepster Fashions

'Even though I look like a pinapple, and my collars have used up 2 pounds of spray starch, I still manage to pop pop pop pop it like it's hot!'

Don't you wish you could pull off wearing 7 polos at once? No, neither do I. But I bet the chicks would totally dig me. I better go to the Gap right now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How My Flu Must Feel

Thank goodness I've beat the flu, 'cause those little buggers can sure trash the place. And they didn't even pay for the snacks they ate from the minibar. Or the chairs they threw into the pool...

(Click on the my exposed torso for a closer look at celebrity viruses.)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Jared Leto + Selma Blair = Placemat

One of the best qualities an actor can have is to be smart enough to turn your back on stardom. These two actors exemplify this quite well, with comments like, 'I scoff in the face of big-budget! I am going to play in my band 'Lots of Black Eyeshadow'.' Or 'Gotcha! You thought I was Neve Campbell, but you're wrong! I was in that movie with, I guess you didn't see that one either.'
In comparison, one of the best things about being a collage artist is to be smart enough to cut up people you find incredibly attractive and weave them together into a placemat, knowing full well that you are probably violating some kind of copyright. I scoff in the face of actual artist's materials like "paint" and "pencils". What would Jared think of me? I wouldn't know, I didn't give him my new phone number after he wouldn't stop calling me.
There comes a point in a famous collage artist's life when the diamond-studded Blackberry just can't hold any more numbers. Wait, those aren't diamonds, they're sequins from Jo-Ann Fabrics. But they are so shiny!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Cow Troubles? Call for help.

One of my first comics. In technicolor, compared to the usual black and white! So when you're ever lost in a field, and don't know where to turn except to the Holstein to your left or the Angus to your right...just look for the telly booth. I'll be waiting on the other end to tell you to scrub off the cowplops from your sneakers before you track poop into the house. Aren't I too kind?
This comic reminds me of the afternoon when I had to chase a pregnant cow through a cornfield. Or was the cow chasing me? This, my friends, is beside the point.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

April Showers Bring Communists

This comic is a little hard to decipher, so once you click on it and take a look, let's have a gander, shall we? Well, we all know that April Showers bring May Flowers. Or so the saying goes. But have you heard the joke '...But what do May Flowers Bring? The Pilgrims! HA ha ha ha ha.' (Pee Ess: Not funny. But I digress.)
So if we can assume that Mayflowers bring Pilgrims, let's also assume that Pilgrims bring Imperialism (woo hoo us), and of course, lots and lots of disease (notice the viruses). Imperialism brings with it Americentrism (woo hoo us times 10) and what does Americentrism probably bring eventually? Communists!
This of course, is subject to debate. And I hate debate. Having everyone agree with me, by force if necessary, that's more my style. And that's what makes me an American. Happy May Day!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mommas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Bloggers

I have been wanting to use this comic for weeks, and finally got around to putting it on here. You knew it was coming sooner or later. And you know what this cowboy computer-user is thinking, don't you? Can't you just picture the quote in your head? Here it comes...
"I wish I knew how to quit you!...
but the readers need me!!!"

God, it feels so good to get that out.

Not the Humps You Were Looking For

I do not claim to have had a real-life experience to back this comic up. Even Britney's not that lumpy. But I had practically this sight today in line at the meat market...of the customer ahead of me, who (foolishly) was buying an enormous pot roast rather than some slimming greens. Sadly the pot roast was smaller than the size of her calf. See the previous post about 'cankles'.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

One Night Stand

A favorite topic of Midnight Shoveler...bedroom furniture. I thought, what would Ryan say to the children (and to Reese!) if I drew his naked torso curled up in my bed, a snapshot of Friday night? Probably something like 'I was auditioning'. Or 'I was a little late doing my taxes'. And somehow he could pull it off, and he'd go about his business as usual. For the record, Rayray's a great spooner. And a total gentleman when it comes to not hogging the blankets.
But I digress. I chose to draw my cartoon self in bed to make the humorous illusion to grammatical entendre. I also thought I could draw a 'heartbreaker' and then a doctor literally ripping someone's heart apart on the operating table, but that doesn't have anything to do with sexy furniture at all, now does it?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Scarlett Johannson

There comes a time in many artist's lives when the beauty of the world just might get a bit overwhelming. How can I possibly go outside without stopping to tell each and every passerby that they are beautiful in their own, special way? Thank goodness there are people like Scarlett around to remind me that most people in the world are incredibly ugly in comparison. This collage is a tribute to the timeless, effortless gorgeousness of celebrity starlets. Oh, to be contorted, photographed and antiqued, and still look like majolica*. That's my motto every morning, before I eat my Frosted Flakes.

*Italian porcelain, famous during the Renaissance. Brittle in the kiln but sturdy survivors! That's your art historical tidbit of the day. Shovel it up.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fine-Toothed Comb

When you've scoured the house for those missing pair of eyeglasses, it's time to break out the fine-toothed comb. And then you realize, ha ha! The glasses are on top of your head.
Not! That's actually not how it usually goes. Midnight Shoveler usually hunts around for several days and then in anguish, gives up to the comforts of a hot cocoa with some Bailey's. Okay, most of the cup is Bailey's and I sprinkle some cocoa in there for effect. But magically, as I reach for the whipped cream, I find my eyeglasses in the refridgerator. The milk carton, in trade, has been hanging out on the nightstand. Exactly where I put it.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Gay Neutron Quarrels and Lazy Cells

What better way to cheer up a cranky night than a little fun with biological and subatomic humor. These comics came at a time I was taking a class (no joke) entitled 'The Subatomic Zoo'. I think to myself, no matter how stressful life can be, with its finances, makeups and breakups, and endless decisions on what to wear, at least I'm not a neutron. Now there is an underappreciated job if I ever saw one. Oh, to the lovely neutron, I say: you carry half the world's weight on your shoulders, and we never even know you are there. And to the cells in my body, I say: please behave yourselves. If you're antsy, I've got some beers in the fridge.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No You Di-int.

Yes, fans, I sometimes listen to trashy music. Most of the time you'll find Midnight Shoveler with his ears turned to the Beethovens, the Rachmaninovs of today's generation, but from time to time I pump up the jams. This comic is a tribute to the Black Eyed Peas. I devised some alternate uses of the popular phrase 'my humps' for your viewing pleasure. And it's even G-rated, who would have thought. Click on the picture for some larger humps.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Look, Paul...

"Look Paul, what a cute thing I found today! It was hopping around next to some hypodermic needles down by the dumps, and I just had to bring it home."
Kids, don't play with pets that foam.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Avoiding Sniper Fire

Memo from The White House: It's late 2001 and Washington, DC is under some stress. I (Prez Bush) just issued my fun little 'Orange Alert' system (Green means go have fun! Red means hiker down with bottled water and baked beans) and now there's a sniper on the loose in the city. I think I'll send a news report to the BBC, where Midnight Shoveler is watching the telly, and let him know how to avoid any violence in Trafalgar Square. It's simple, fast, and fun! The whole family can avoid sniper fire together! When you walk across a large, open area, simply walk in a zigzag line, from side to side. See illustration at right for step-by-step. Think 'weave and bob, weave and bob'. You'll be at your tea in no time, and scary grandparents with rifles will miss you every time. Sure, you might be judged as a bit loony, and sent to the psychiatric ward, but it's safe there, isn't it?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Jigga Who?

This is one of my favorite comics which obviously started out with good intentions and went off the deep end, so to speak. I thought, wouldn't it be funny to draw a mouse going swimming? And wouldn't it be funny if...oops, that mouse has a lion's tail. Why didn't I ever take life-drawing in college? Remind me never to go into portraiture unless my sitters have a good sense of humor. And while I'm at it, this little guy also needs a bumble-bee striped body, and a cat face. I'll name it a Libeemousecat.
We also read the amusing phrase, which my high school chorus teacher used to say when she was confused. (She'd also say the variant 'whatchajigger'. That one's questionable.)
The frog is obviously a diving instructor. All clear? Now let's get back to our rotary breathing.

Friday, March 31, 2006

10 Greek Gods-a-Leaping

This image is one of those revelation moments where an artist finds out that practically every guesture, every idea has been done before, and will be done after him. On the left, a Kenneth Cole ad clipping (attractive man). On the right, an illustration from a children's Greek Mythology book (unattractive Cyclops). Take away the sheep and what do you have? A good premise for cargo shorts. But most importantly, by placing these two images side by side (and I can say this in a completely art-historically educated way) it can look like they're suggestively play leapfrog, of course. These are the small things that keep a collage artist's wits intact and amused for hours. That and the glue fumes.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Oh My Gosh- Snuggly Goodness!

True-life story: I have found a perfect pair of swimtrunks. Not too Speedo-like, not too 'I'm wearing manhood insecurity pants which quick-dry so I can hop in my sweet ride'. And they fit in that blessed Eurotrash way, where if the water's a little too cold, the other people at the pool will kindly turn a blind eye, but those in the know say 'he is so hot right now'. My good friend Mr. Wahlberg (who knows a thing or two about appearing nearly nude) has commented that 'Midnight in his swimwear conjures images of long walks on French beaches, of trendy cabanas, and myself in the early Eighties'. Which I'm sure is the highest compliment of an underwear model-slash-actore.
Obviously this is Midnight Shoveler's cartoon persona, which is a strangely realistic depiction of the actual Midnight Shoveler, but in ink form he can have as many muscles as I like. Notice my attempt at some bulkier bisceps? And the heavenly light rays emerging from his mid-region? That's the holy light of the Fashion Epiphany. (Takes place around June and you don't even have to go to Church.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Dull Songs Everyone Hates

...And they never bought them either, but now, kids, they're only available for a limited time so pick up the phone! This great 6-CD set includes nobody's favorites, like:
-'The Day I Got a Checkup (And Nothing Was Wrong)'
-'Mosquito Bites'
-'Assembly Line'
-'My Life is Bad (Just Kidding)'
-'I'm Shy'
-'The Pink and Red and Grey Blues'
-'Fun With Trigonometry'
-'John Tesh Tribute'
And more! Dull Songs Everyone Hates even includes the duller:
-'Slotted Spoon'
-'Untitled 1'
-'Untitled 2'
-'Untitled 3: 1987'
-'Lint, Everywhere, Lint'
And the rare, never-before-remastered
'Composition for Four Sleeping People'!
This exciting TV offer won't last long--they can even be thrown in the trash as recycling exercises! The Best of the Boring from the '80's, '90's, and today! Call now!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Gall Stones

Simple yet effective, talking secretions. If you're lucky you'll also get to see my version of 'cankles' too, calves which blend into ankles into one seamless mass. Or perhaps the 'sharm', a shoulder and an arm all in one.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Celebrity Portraiture

This collage is a good excuse to incorporate your favorite so-hot-right-now celebrities into a fabulous mosaic work with a fun color scheme. Here we have the lovelies Diana Krall and Christian Bale. They'd like you to believe that I just cut out the pictures from magazines and glued them down, but no, this is not the case! They were actually in my apartment the other day, playfully posing. And because I'm such a cool celebrity photographer (no Press allowed in the studio, gosh darn it! You know what happened to Kate Moss.) all the stars want to buy the works right out of my decoupaged hands. It's as if they just can't get enough of looking at attractive, artfully arranged people all day...wait, that's me. Well, if you want your face glued on a canvas with some bubble motifs you should just let me know.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Creatures of Habit

Fun with Grammar. I personally like the devout mouse in the corner, having what I'm sure is an ecstatic experience with the Lord. Or the Lord of the Mice, whichever. I didn't ask God when I met him if he was also the Lord of the Mice or if there is a special 'Rodent Omnipotent', but it's on my list for next time.