Just Like Heaven

A year ago I was polishing off what turned out to be one of my all-time favorite sketchbooks which I referred to as The Sketchbook from Heaven. I tried to find or, in some cases, make a replacement, but nothing fit the bill. As luck would have it, my eagle-eyed wife found a very similar sketchbook by the same manufacturer at the same store this past Christmas. The difference between this and last year’s sketchbook is that the covers are colorfully festooned with graphics meant to entice it’s intended juvenile audience. The graphics didn’t do anything for me, but I carried the book with me everywhere and kept it close at hand in case inspiration struck.

…but it wasn’t the same. I only occasionally jotted a note or scribbled something down. It seemed similar to the old sketchbook, but it wasn’t the same. The inspiration did not strike.


Then the motor turned over or the rust shook off or some other metaphor occurred, and I found myself flipping open the cheap, little, llama sketchbook more and more. It was slow going at first, but a flow was starting. The stuff I drew was making me happy.

For some reason I keep revisiting the Atomic Warrior which was a character I cooked up as a Halloween costume for my son. The original idea was What if George Lucas forged ahead with Star Wars with no budget? More characters and a storyline percolated up through the pages as I doodled. It’s now a post-apocalyptic story following the Third World War that started and ended very quickly around 1980. The creatures and freaks battle it out in the radioactive remains of what is known as The Delaware Valley. So it’s a short time ago in an area not too far away…

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