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Raging Pencils Comic
A little art history

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start rant

Too Much Information

fuck fox newsAlcohol of all varieties was always a problem in my family, and right about the time I was off to high school my dad decided to chuck it all and try to drink himself to death.

My mom had held jobs, mostly waitressing, from the moment the older children could look after the younger ones, but after enduring twenty years of drunken abuse from my father she said to hell with it, too, and the two of them entered into a horrible game of Economic Chicken with us kids riding that white line in heavy traffic. Suddenly, one day, they were just gone. The result was that for about the next three months or so I and my five sibs, aged 10-17, were mostly on our own.

I honestly don't remember how I got by from day to day but I'm sure it involved the largesse of friends. But that only went so far so, needless to say, and as the school year wore on I'm sure I began to look a bit ragged.

The highlight of that grim period was art class. In fact, I showed enough raw talent that I was allowed into the industrial arts program. This was responsible for the creation of all the art, signage and ribbons the school required. I particularly enjoyed silk-screening. These two classes gave me focus and kept me relatively sane.

Eventually the fine art class introduced us to oil paints and I happily discovered that I had an aptitude for the medium. From still lifes to abstract expressionism I raced through a lot of paint and canvas.

Sales of paintings by high school kidlings were rare, especially in my podunk little town, so the handful of masterpieces for which I received modest sums was remarkable, especially for me. Even though they were probably pity sales I'm pleased to say that, even after thirty years, a couple of my paintings still grace the hallways of the old alma mater.

Eventually Dad hit the limit of his bar tabs and returned to work. Mom reappeared from wherever she'd disappeared and ran the household again as though nothing unusual had occurred. I eventually got a part-time job, a cheap car and a girlfriend. Life was suddenly endurable.

owe my two art teachers from that period a huge personal debt, but it's sadly one that I can never repay as they've passed on. So this comic is for them and all the teachers that make big differences in their students lives. Even the differences that take years to understand.


end rant

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Readers of
Auxerre, France
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my old-fashioned little 'toon.

Today's mystery web comic is:


Raging Pencils is a nostalgiac conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
IllustrationFlash AnimationWeb Design


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Today's Google Chow.

My family was experiencing some hard times just as I entered high school. We were all hungry...a lot.

In art class I began to paint in oils. Before long the teachers started buying my art.

I felt like a real artiste though it's now clear it was just the faculty's way of seeing I got fed.

I'm still trying to be a better artist, but I'll never in million years be half the teachers they were.