Friday, December 21, 2012

New Year's Party 1200 Years in the Making Catches World by Surprise

  Chichen Itza, Yucután, Mexico - December 21, 2012. 
  Onlookers were shocked and terrified this morning when the Kukulcán pyramid at Chichen Itza began to rotate, spin, and open up like a gigantic puzzle box. For moments, the six tourists then visiting Chichen Itza feared that this event was a portent of the much-advertised 2012 apocalypse. Then the massive pyramid began to emit fireworks and confetti, as well as play catchy music using an intricate system of bells and whistles that had apparently been built inside.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Anna Bolena at the MN Opera

You know that I usually like to give you loads and loads of history and backstory whenever I go to an opera, but this time, all you need to know about Anne Boleyn, 2nd wife of Henry VIII, can be heard in this song:

"Young Anne Boleyn she was two, had a daughter, the best she could do.  I said she flirted with some other man, and off for the chop went dear Anne"

Sexy Henry!  Take me now!
 The 1830 opera Anna Bolena by Donizetti is ostensibly a portrayal of Anne Boleyn's life leading up to the day when Henry had her head chopped off, as he was wont to do.  Donizetti did four operas about Tudor England so I was excited for some history.

Then during the reception the speaker told us, "If you're a fan of Showtime's The Tudors, rest assured that we have a very sexy Henry for you!" And I sighed the collective sigh of a million historians crying out in terror, only to be suddenly silenced. [Link:  Sexy Henry's diet]

To read my write-up of the opera and see my lovely cartoons, keep read on under the cut.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Inside the Monkey Lab: A Story Collider Comic

Click here to read Inside the Monkey Lab
on the Story Collider website
This summer I got a small paid gig illustrating comic books for The Story Collider, a podcast and online magazine that collects audio stories about how science has effected people's lives. My second comic, Inside the Monkey Lab went online in October.

"Guy Schaffer wanted to understand the brain, but the only job he could find was in a monkey lab — a lab where a monkey attack led to a deeper set of crises."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Time and Pressure: A Story Collider Comic

This summer I got a small paid gig illustrating comic books for The Story Collider, a podcast and online magazine that collects audio stories about how science has effected people's lives, "From finding awe in Hubble images to visiting the doctor... Whether we wear a white lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since eighth grade"

My first comic, Time and Pressurewent online in May, and illustrates Rachel Bitney Wecht’s story of her struggle to woo a physicist—The Story Collider’s own Brian Wecht.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nabucco at the Minnesota Opera

It's that time of year again for visiting The Minnesota Opera with my cartoonist friends at the Black Hat Collective.

Armed with our pens, paper, pencils, and paintbrushes, we got to enjoy some fine performance while making ourselves useful by bringing you all cartoons from the theatre!

This month's show is NABUCCO by Giuseppe Verdi
(click here for tickets)

The opera tells the story of King Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) from the bible, and the staging uses a stage-within-a-stage setup to draw parallels between the Assyrian oppression of the Jews and the Austrian oppression of Italy in Verdi's time.

To learn more about the plot, the set, the history, and my watercolor cartoons, click "read more"

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Dead Enders

My friend Sam Sandak and I have been working on Sam's latest project, called The Dead Enders.  It's a teen-film-turned-zombie-attack featuring a gaggle of miscreants from Sherman Oaks, CA.

After we spent a long time workshopping the story, Sam called on me for some production art.  I made him some t-shirt logos, storyboards, and most proudly, a set of fancy character sketches for the cast.

Read on to see them!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


May 26 was the 2nd Annual Mini Comics Day, where cartoonists come to the Minneapolis Center for Book Arts and write, draw and print a mini-comic from 10:00-5:00.  It was also my Mother's Birthday, so I dedicated my mini comic to her as a gift.

Read on to see scans of "Abra-Ka-Deborah - The Marvelous Misadventures of My Mom!":

Monday, May 28, 2012

SpringCon 2012 19th and 20th I had a table (for the first time ever!) at the Midwest Comic Book Association's SpringCon! I was seated next to Sarah Kopitske and across from The Black Hat Collective and surrounded all about by Cartoonist Conspirators. Linkara was there doing... something. As were the Ghostbusters.  It was a lovely crowd!

I set up the table with homemade book stands and sold posters and prints of my portfolio pieces and several comic booklets.  I also wore my Hedorah Fedora.

I still have plenty of inventory, too, so if you want to order something drop me a line.

Read on to hear stories about how the con went, and to see some pictures I made while I was there.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Tale of Turnip Head - In Color

You've heard of Christmas in July, but what about Halloween in May?

You might remember The Tale of Turnip Head from when I posted inks for it in November.  Part of, "one of my ongoing, long-term projects... a graphic novel about the history of Halloween," The Tale of Turnip Head is "a wordless fantasy illustrating the evolution of the Jack-o-Lantern" that begins with a Celtic warrior on the battlefield.

This Spring I bring you the colored version of the story, and the news that I'm selling booklets of Turnip Head.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

MN Opera Adapts The Giver for Young Singers

The MN Opera has a habit of inviting The Black Hat Collective to dress rehearsals for new performances of classic operas, but this April we were blessed with a very special opportunity to see an brand-new opera, written specifically for young voice students (between the ages of 8 and 18) based on the enormously popular children's novel The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

MN Opera: Madame Butterfly

For each new show it opens, the Minnesota Opera invites local bloggers to a full dress rehearsal.  The Black Hat Collective of cartoonists and I make it our mission to interpret each show in cartoons and drawings, then post them online.

Last Thursday's show was the immortal:
Madame Butterfly

Part of the reason I didn't do a blog for the MN Opera's last production, Lucia Di Lammermoore, is because I was often too interested in what was happening onstage to draw!  That's a good problem to have.  The same problem came up a lot on Madame Butterfly.  It has a very rich story, complex and expressive characters, and lots of background info to deal with.  I'll be walking you through Madame Butterfly in the most enlightening way I can  —with words, videos, jokes, drawings, and photos.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Minneapolis Cartoonist Conspiracy - April 2012 - Moebius Tribute

In March 2012, French bandes dessinées artist Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius, passed away.  Moebius' science-fiction work, often in collaboration with writer-filmmaker-guru-psychomagician-artist Alejandro Jodorowsky, influenced feature films such as the Fifth Element, and Moebius created pre-production storyboard art for films such as Tron, Alien and most heavily, Blade Runner.

This April, the Minneapolis chapter of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy convened to bring to you a Moebius tribute jam comic:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fun Math Games - Monty Hall and Nim

You unlock this door with the key of imagination.  Behind it is another dimension.  A dimension of goats.  A dimension of cars.  A dimension of counter-intuitive probability tricks with which you can astound your friends.    You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas.  You've just crossed over into:  The Math Games Zone.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Blair Thomas - Hard Headed Heart

I got the chance to see the amazing Blair Thomas perform Hard Headed Heart at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. 

Heard Headed Heart is made up of three of the artist's solo pieces.

First, Mr. Thomas performed "The Puppet Show of Don Cristobal" which is a raunchy and violent throwback to Punch and Judy-style puppet shows.  He makes a lot of innovative choices in the technical and poetic front.  For example, he wears a façade/costume that can transform from one character to another with a single spin.

Second, he performs his interpretation of "Saint James Infirmary" —which features unique marionettes, a story scroll, and live jazz orchestration which Thomas provides as a one-man-band with the help of a loop pedal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Werther —or— A Dark Knight at the Opera

Last Thursday I went along with the Black Hat Collective to another preview at the Minnesota Opera.  Our mission:  To draw comics, enjoy the show, and have a fun time —then blog about it!

Tonight's show: 

Read on to learn about history, tragedy, romance and Batman in this fully-illustrated article featuring cartoons and comedy. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Come to The Medicine Show!

Ladies and gentlemen!  Boys and girls! 
The time has come for a reprise of 
the phantasmagorical, sensational, mystical 

Strombolli's Medicine Show!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Alchemy: Its history and theory

My friend Michael McConnell is designing a gallery exhibit about the periodic table of the elements.   I am a rabid Alchemy enthusiast, so Michael gave me a special assignment:  By Spring 2013 I shall create a 10 minute (or 10'x10'x10') presentation on the elements as understood by the Alchemists.  To prepare for the project I wrote this "thesis" to base my work around.  Here I shall take a "just the facts, Ma'am" approach to the history of Alchemy and focus mainly on what was pertinent to the periodic table.  Still, talking about Alchemy is not an exact science because Alchemy itself was not an exact science, but rather, a "philosophical art" for which each Alchemist had his own unique approach and theories about what he was doing.

The origin of Alchemy:

Hellenistic Egypt, ca 300 BC.  Greek colonists look at the religion of the Egyptians and see similarities between their god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth (The-Thrice-Great).  Both were gods of language, gods of magic and psychopomps (in charge of transmitting souls from one world to the next, like the grim reaper) In the minds of some, the two figures merge into one character called Hermes Trismegistus. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolution(s)

New Year's resolution(s):

Henceforth I will publish one thing —a piece of flash fiction, a picture, a poem, a comic, a song, etc.— every day (or some rate close to that).

January is watercolor month.  I will work on a watercolor painting every evening after dinner.

2012 sees an increased focus from me on my relationships.  Friends are there to uplift, challenge, team up with and champion each other.  Such relationships are arguably the only things that matter.

2012 is also the year I turn commercial.  I will endeavor to show off, sell things, get jobs, and generally be a presence like never before.

Shortly I will have converted the "junk room" in my house into a studio out of which I will base my artistic endeavors.

And friends:  I hope to have your support as I try to do this stuff.  I need all the help I can get, and feedback is always craved.


—Thomas Boguszewski