A Creativity Carnival – for Artists, Writers, Poets, and other Oddballs!

Friends, I still haven’t decided upon a Feature I’d want to go ahead with, but I did have a Creativity Carnival in mind.

I trust the following image captures what I had in mind for it. I’d like to thank my blogging101 friends for their inputs on it. While I am still not sure whether this should be a weekly event, I was wondering if some of us would like to give it shot, if I started it, say, coming Friday (July 31, 2015.)

Possible rules in a nutshell (Please recommend addition/deletion)

  1. Participating bloggers will have a week to make the post.
  2. The Pen and Ink Caricature drawing will serve as a cue.
  3. Participating bloggers would be welcome to write a story, an anecdote, a poem, or even draw a picture or post a doodle in response to the cue.
  4. Participating bloggers  will integrate the caricature-drawing into their posts.
  5. Participating bloggers will provide a ping-back to the carnival post so that other participants can visit their blogs and comment, like, and socialize.

Creativity Carnival for wordpress bloggers

Should I, should I not?

I had tried it once, but such an event cannot thrive on its own. I looked at the Daily Post event form – and a Creativity Carnival doesn’t fit into any of the given categories.

If you think that you’d like to be a part of it, please leave a smiley in the comments 🙂

More later – Keep drawing, writing, and smiling!

 

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Giggle-wiggle with Bernie Sanders: Why he can or can’t win?

Reblogging for my American friends and fellow-bloggers 🙂

There was a time, not in too distant past, that the only democratic candidate who registered in our minds was Hillary Clinton. Then came Bernie Sanders (Oh, he was already in the race, alright, but I am speaking of the moment when we realized this fact.)

Today, Bernie is being seriously considered as an alternative to Hillary, who he admits, he likes. But why or why not would he become the blue-eyed boy of the American public? The Giggler-wiggler takes a shifty-stance on this hot topic.

View the Original post and Funfographic here: Giggle-wiggle with Bernie Sanders: Why he can or can’t win?

6 Celebrity Body-parts that Deserve their own Wax Statues at Madame Tussauds

I had written this post almost a year back – for Cracked.com but they thought that it required more work. They weren’t happy with the quality of my links  🙂
Had my topic read, “7 Advances in Medical Science that could change Humans into Birds,” or “10 Proofs that Aliens walk Among Us,” I’d have definitely spent a few more months in research. But the idea of spending hours and days gathering links that prove that these specific celeb-body parts have gained fame and brought fortune to their human-carriers, didn’t exactly fill me up with drive and enthusiasm. So I strangled my dream of writing for Cracked.com and forgot all about these rather interesting celeb-appendages. 
Today, this article just popped up as I was scrolling through my notes in Notes looking for forgotten blog-post ideas – and I thought why not 🙂
So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you 6 Celeb-body-parts that deserve their own wax-statues at Madame Tussauds (and their own caricatures by Tom Richmond.)

Miley Cyrus’s Forever-out Tongue:

Miley’s tongue would be one of a forerunners in a race for a place at Madame Tussauds. Why? Her tongue possibly has more fans than Miley herself, which is not at all odd – because her tongue has wooed its own fans all over the world by popping out of her oral cavity with unfailing regularity. In fact, her tongue beats Miley in connecting with the audience. Her tongue has struck every possible pose for the camera – it has leaned out of the corner of her mouth with its tip curving provocatively; it has curled up in a lip-smacking, come-hither look; it has cascaded out of her mouth in an attempt to ape the Niagara falls! Her tongue deserves its own place in the history of mankind.

Michael Jackson’s Crotch:

The candidacy of Michael Jackson‘s crotch for a dedicated wax statue is undisputed, and while it is no longer possible to actually sculpt a statue to honor it, credit must be given where it’s due. Before the King of Pop began clutching his goods to the beats of music, the poor crotch was a shamefully hidden, never celebrated part of the human body. Nobody touched it in public; definitely not under the glare of a zillion lights and in full view of a million fans. The fame of Michael Jackson’s crotch transcended borders and reached the remotest corners of the planet. It became the only crotch in the world that was not just pointed at, talked about, but literally clutched again and again, as he sang and danced his way into people’s hearts. It’s the crotch that inspired videos such as “Fifty Ways to Grab your Crotch“.
When I see four-year-olds grabbing their crotch and imitating Michael Jackson, I can’t help but think how his crotch led every crotch out of darkness, into the world of glitz and glamor.

Jay Leno’s Chin:

Jay Leno‘s chin is a Chin with a Man attached. If prognathism was considered a mark of beauty, Mr. Leno would be the handsomest man on the planet. I am not disputing the fact that Jay Leno is a super talk show host; all I want to say is that his chin had a big hand in the success of his shows. Whether he is connected with the House of Habsburg, and thus, is royalty; or whether he has a Habsburg jaw, is a matter of speculation; but in my absolutely certain opinion, his massive jaw deserves a special place of honor at Madame Tussauds. I’d like to tell you that internationally, Jay Leno’s magnificent jaw is known better than he himself is.
If anyone has any doubts, I’d like to mention that man who owns this unique chin himself believes that all his life, he has but followed his chin, or why would he name his autobiography, “Leading with my Chin.”
Caricature, Cartoon of Jay Leno - The Tonight Show Host (Portrait, Sketch, Drawing - event: Retirement.)

Handing over?

Pamela Anderson’s Upper-Anterior Assets:

Some have boasted of bigger ones (Dolly Parton), others, may have shown off better ones (Carmen Electra); but the height of fame reached by Pamela’s silicone-enhanced bosom still remains unchallenged. Pamela Anderson’s silicon-spheres drew eyeballs like a flame draws moths. Men watched them and drooled. Women looked at them and depending on their financial might, either rushed to the plastic surgeons to get theirs pumped up, or to the lingerie store to buy the newest padded bra. And yet after getting her money’s worth from them, the voluptuous Bay Watch babe, the longest surviving Playboy Cover Girl  decided to swap her humongous pair of implants for a couple of dainty ones. Those original implants have been saved by her Plastic surgeon. I wouldn’t venture to suggest what use he may put them to but I’d recommend that he puts them up on eBay. If and when that happens, they must find their own wax replica in the museum of celebrities.  Madame Tussauds’ staff has its work cut out.
Caricature and Cartoon of the Model, Actress, and Sex-Symbol Pamela Anderson with two fish who've lost their homes.

They aren’t Pancho and Lefty!

The Fingers of Keith Richards:

Perhaps the only celebrity who can be recognized by his fingers, is Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.  While his gnarled fingers are possibly the result of osteoarthritis and they could be Heberden’s nodes where the joints closer to the finger-tips swell up, they’ve often been attributed to his playing the guitar. Amidst a lot of speculation on how his fingers acquired those distinctive knobs, I feel that saving a space for his fingers in Madame Tussauds is a good idea.
Cartoon Caricature of Keith Richards - Guitarist of the Rolling Stones rock band - done for the American Spectator Magazine

Keith Richards of Rolling Stones for the American Spectator Magazine

The Hair & Skin of Donald Trump:

Whether they deserve two separate mentions or one, can be a matter of debate. However, this famous but controversial billionaire who is now hoping to be the next President of the United States, has something to offer to Madame Tussauds.  His skin has the oddest orange glow that reminds some of the Oompa Loompas of Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
This orange glow is local to his face and doesn’t reach his hands, so quite possibly it’s Trump-made and not natural. Whatever it is – it’s characteristic of Donald Trump, and helps his face stand out among a crowd of other normal-skin people. His hair that was once dark, later acquired a yellow hue that lasted him a good thirty years; but what actually makes his hair worthy of being celebrated and honored is the way they sweep down his forehead, only to lurch up again, right before they get into his eyes. His hair has a life of its own, but it in servitude. It serves a life-long bond as it guards that Dollar-minting mind by keeping it covered all the time.  When most of Trump’s contemporaries have only fleeting memories of a full head of hair; Trump’s dome of silken hair has defied all laws of nature – making Trump’s face one of the most recognized business-faces around the world.
Perhaps the American voters can swap their votes for Trump’s hair and donate the hair to Madame Tussauds.

Title, Tagline, and the Journey of this Blog.

  • Note for blogging101 co-bloggers: This blog’s title is: “Shafali’s Caricatures, Cartoons, and Portraits,” and it’s tag-line is: “Draw to Smile.”
  • Note for all other visitors, this is just another post from your quirky caricaturist.

This blog was born on December 11, 2009. I still remember that morning. It was so cold that if you stepped out of you house, you’d feel your marrow freezing in your bones, immobilizing you and then pushing you deep down into the abyss of hopelessness. Professionally, I was committed to a job that kept me comfortable and well-fed, but my need to draw had never left me. Art was that passionate and persistent lover, who would stalk me all the time and follow me everywhere. I’d have these little secret trysts with art, whenever I had a moment to spare. My notebooks were filled with doodles ready to tattle that the flame of my passion still burned bright for my one true love.

That morning, quite like many other mornings before it, demanded that I perform the chores of my job, without pain, but also without pleasure; with a sense of duty, but without any passion!

As I sipped my tea mechanically, I chanced upon a face in the newspaper. I just picked a pencil and caricatured it to make it funnier. I was drawing a face that could make me smile.

Here’s the face that I drew that morning.

Caricature Sketch of an anxious and worried man - the first caricature.

My first caricature

View the First Post here.

A few squiggles…and a confused yet mocking expression. It would’ve been consigned to the waste-basket where many of its predecessors had gone, but it was meant to change my life, and so it didn’t. My husband saw it – and along with it, he saw my pain.

“Nobody ever sees the drawings you make – why don’t you start a blog where you can scan and post your sketches,” he said.

I tried to wriggle out of it. “I won’t be able to keep it up,” “Nobody would ever visit,” “Who wants to see funny faces,” and many more feeble excuses were made that day.

And yet that evening, we sat down together and created a blog on WordPress – shafali.wordpress.com. At the beginning, it was titled “Shafali’s Caricatures,” then when I began doing cartoons the title expanded to “Shafali’s Caricatures & Cartoons,” and now, because I also do a lot of portraiture work, it’s called “Shafali’s Caricatures, Portraits, and Cartoons” The tag line however has never changed. Drawing has always made me smile, and I think that there’s no point drawing if it doesn’t make you smile 🙂

This was the first header of this blog 🙂

shafali_caricature_header.jpg

Then came this…

celebrity_caricatures_cartoons_shafali_header.jpg

Next was…

shafalis-caricatures-blog-header1.jpg

And now it is:

shafalis-caricatures-blog-header-jul-2014.jpg

 

In the last 6 years, this blog has grown along with my portfolio of works (which began demanding its own space and so I created another blog – of course, again on WordPress,) it has helped me get some very interesting commissions, and more than anything else, it has given me a space where I can present my works, my thoughts, and be myself 🙂 I know I don’t do a lot of blogging stuff right, but I am open to learning and this is why I’ve joined blogging101.

So folks at blogging101, if you are just starting, don’t worry – blogging is like a little garden that you start from scratch…you must care for it and be patient with it. If cared for, it will bloom, that’s certain.

Who I am and why I’m here?

More importantly…why is this post here?

This post is here because I’ve enrolled in Blogging 101 program that will run for three weeks, and this is our first assignment 🙂 I’ve already taken the whimsy in me to task, and she’s promised to stick to the guidelines. I don’t trust her, and I warn you not to trust her either.

The first question is: Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

Answer: Bipeds are social animals. Why do you think we got up, straightened our limbs, forced our two hinds to carry our whole body weight? To free our hands so that we may use them for shaking other people’s hands. I could’ve kept a private journal, which would have been found by archaeologists in the year 3015; scanned and preserved in a 250 Zettabyte pin-drive – so that some historian could download it into her head and use it to craft time-travel stories. Oddly, that doesn’t appeal to me – I’d rather write, read, and be read, here and now 🙂

The second question (a mere guideline) is: What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Answer: No idea. I end up writing about the strangest things (People trapped inside computers, Atlantis, Tatooine, Politics, Art, Artists, Writers) and I write the strangest stuff (short-stories, parodies, serious commentary on world affairs, biographies of people who inspire/irk me.) I can, however, tell you what sort of images you’ll find here – you’ll see caricatures (people made to look funny with their features pushed, pulled, tweaked, and twisted,) cartoons (you know the stuff,) and portraits.

The third question (and a very important one) is: Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

Answer: Two kinds of people:

1. Personally, Fun-loving people – those who like to see the world through glasses tinted with humor. Who step into your world and brighten it up by their mere presence. They post a “hi” in your comments, and you grow wings 🙂 BTW, most of us fall in this category…if you think you don’t, you’ve just misplaced your humor-tinted glasses.

2. Professionally, prospective clients for my illustration-work. As an artist, I illustrate for magazines, books, and novels; and I also license my images for commercial use. I have another blog where I maintain a portfolio of my works here.

And finally,

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to accomplish?

1. New Friends for my Heart.
2. New Clients for my Art.

Signing off…

and

going back to “Draw to Smile” 🙂

5 Professions that Gandalf could’ve followed in the Modern Real World: A Caricature of Gandalf the Grey.

Here’s a grey caricature of Gandalf the Grey that I did a couple of weeks ago. Just some sketching in Photoshop. As I said earlier, I don’t do a lot of digital sketching…but every once in a while, when I want to take a short break, digital sketching comes in handy.

A Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Portrait of Gandalf the Grey - The Wizard the Middle Earth - Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

Gandalf the Grey – Without his hat, because he’s unable to decide which grey hat goes with his new grey robe.

Gandalf is a wizard of the Middle Earth. We first see him in The Hobbit (well, the chronology of the movies in which Gandalf’s character is played by Ian Mckellen, is different from the fictional chronology of the Lord of the Rings saga.) In fact, we see him almost right at the beginning of the book – when he meets Bilbo Baggins the short-statured but totally lovable hobbit, who is persuaded by Gandalf to join a group of dwarves who desperately needed his help to open a door guarded by the dragon.

Among all the characters that populate this famous trilogy (which gets rather verbose and on-the-verge-of-tears boring, at times,) I like Gandalf the best. He is multi-skilled and his personality multi-faceted.

In fact, if he was a real person instead, he could have chosen any of the following five highly remunerative and rewarding professions.

1. Gandalf the CEO of a Megabucks Corporation:

The guy is smart and sensible; on the inside he’s quite like the CEOs of today who specialize in getting others to do things that themselves couldn’t accomplish in ten lifetimes. Here’s an example.

He tries to recruit Bilbo for the team; when he doesn’t succeed, he sends the dwarves to Bilbo’s hole, and then attempts to get him onboard. Later, when he’s sure that Bilbo is sub-consciously sold on the idea, Gandalf leaves with the dwarves. When Bilbo joins them later, he thinks of it as his own decision. That’s exactly what CEOs do. They make us believe that we are the ones making our choices, when actually, they’ve already made the choice for us. Trust the judgment of a cynical caricaturist: a highly successful CEO of today lurks behind that grey beard and grayer robe.

2. Gandalf the Politician:

In today’s world, Gandalf would be a politician par-excellence. He understands the need to create a persona…thus the hat (not seen in this caricature, though), the robe, the muffler, and the gnarled stick. He is a slick talker and has the knack to disappear from the scene just when things begin to heat up. Remember the time when the dwarves and Bilbo meet those three trolls who’d have enjoyed a dwarves-roast, had Bilbo the blundering underdog of the story not blathered to save them? Where was Gandalf then? Guess what – He was away…working, sweating, finding information – for them…not for himself. Gandalf doesn’t do anything for himself does he? It’s all for the people he represents. And we are always expected to take his word for it.

While I don’t see his robe sweeping across the Eagle Rug in the Oval Office, I think he could’ve mentored Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and helped them burnish their political acumen.

If you don’t remember Mitt Romney, here’s the gentleman doing just the thing that Gandalf would’ve advised him against.

Mitt Romney's Gaffes - A Visual Interpretation - A Caricature, Cartoon, and Sketch of Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential Candidate in the 2012 US Elections.

3. Gandalf the Consultant:

Gandalf would’ve really made his parents proud, had he chosen to work as a consultant. He comes across as an extremely risk-averse guy. You never see him putting a single penny of his into the adventures. He just rides along. He guides the adventurers with his knowledge and uses his contacts to ferret out useful information, but do you see him creating or manufacturing anything?

For a moment, assume that those adventurers didn’t have Gandalf to consult with; then what? Would they not reach their goal at all? Would they all sit like morons and do nothing. I don’t think so. In the good old times that existed before the now-ubiquitous-consultants arrived on the scene, the world was doing well. In fact, consultants are needed only when people and organizations get into businesses that they know nothing about, so thinks the caricaturist.

4. Gandalf the Shrink:

In this world of ours, Gandalf could’ve been a psychologist with a roaring practice. The LoR trilogy presents ample examples where Gandalf attempts to soothe crushed egos and bleeding hearts. (OK, not just a shrink, an agony aunt too.) He understands how the human mind works. In fact, he also understands how elves, dwarves, trolls, orcs, dragons and all the other creatures of the middle earth think. In fact, if he were real and he lived today, Sigmund Freud might’ve been his disciple – after all Freud could only claim that he knew about the machinations of the human mind, and especially how every mundane human act was powered by sexual desires.

I request those with a keen sense of observation, to compare the expressions of Sigmund Freud below to those of Gandalf’s above. You’ll see what I mean when I say that Gandalf could’ve been the coolest shrink ever.

Cartoon, Caricature, Drawing, Portrait, Sketch of Sigmund Freud the man who gave us the Oedipus complex and the freudian slip.

I know what you are thinking.

5. Gandalf the Internet:

And yet, we couldn’t have an LoR without him, because he’s the guy who knows – and in the days of the yore, in the times of the middle earth, a man with knowledge was indeed handy. He was the middle earth counterpart of the Internet. The adventurers of the LoR trilogy had to just spit out a search-string and Gandalfoogle would whirr into action – spitting out results.

 

Coming up soon: Caricatures of Gandalf the Grey, Taylor Swift, and Jesse Jackson.

Have you ever seen them together? In the same place? This has never happened before! But now it will. Now you will see them together here – at this caricaturist’s blog!

Caricatures in the Offing!

Blogging Plans for the Next Two Months:

  • Tutorials – Cartooning and Caricature-Drawing
  • Tutorials – Pen & Ink Drawing
  • A couple of Short Satires (I may not publish them on SmashWords like the earlier ones – just here.)
  • Snapshots/Final Artworks/Caricatures that I do during this time.

Possible To-do’s for First-time Visitors:

Keeping this post short 🙂 Got to get back to sketching a very interesting scene for a magazine-spread. I need a cup of tea before I start…

 

The Caricaturist meets and befriends Anthony Tweiner in Atlantis!

New Visitors, Please excuse this idle prattle of a flu-ridden caricaturist who has temporarily lost her ability to appreciate the difference between reality and fiction. Usually she isn’t like this. When sane, she knows that Atlantis is real, Internet is virtual, and the real world is fictitious. If you are here on a serious errand, please don’t waste another precious moment on this post.

  1. If you are looking for caricatures to ridicule a celebrity of your choice, please click the Gallery Icon in the right sidebar.
  2. If you want to learn how to draw caricatures and/or are specifically looking for my book “The Evolution of the Caricaturist”, again check the sidebar, and add your email id in the tiny form given there, or use this link here. I’ll email you when it comes out on the App Store. It is due to arrive there shortly.
  3. If you are wondering why the Interactive tutorials aren’t up yet, it’s because I lost the free fonts that I had used in those tutorials and now I need to replace the fonts, reformat the tutorials, and re-export them before I serve them from my new site.

None of the above?

Then please read on.

Most of my readers know that Atlantis is my favorite blog-holiday destination. When I disappear from the blogosphere, it’s because I’ve snuck off to Atlantis.  I am still here in Atlantis and I am here of my own volition. You don’t have to remind me that the first time that I visited Atlantis ever, it was not because I wanted to, but because I was abducted. You may call it the Stockholm Syndrome, but I developed a soft-corner for my abductors when I realized that all they wanted from me was to create a caricature illustration of a happy couple, which could be given to them as a wedding gift.

I happily complied with their wishes, completed the caricature, enjoyed the party, and went off to bed in a beautiful room that had a huge glass wall on one side. On the other side of this wall was the ocean, and I could see the corals,  the sea urchins, and also a giant vampire squid that had this really scary unblinking stare.  I admit that the wall was slightly unnerving on my first night there, but I soon got used to it.

In fact, I gave the squid a name – Anthony Tweiner. In my humble opinion, the Atlantasian vampire squids are the Sheldon Coopers of sea.  I say this because on my next visit to Atlantis, I requested for the same room and tapped Anthony Tweiner on the glass wall, and Mr. Tweiner, who was nowhere to be seen until then, appeared suddenly, recognized me and dashed towards the wall. Thankfully all his weiners…oops, tweiners (it appears that I can’t get over my tryst with Mr. Anthony Weiner’s caricature,) were neatly tucked in behind him, or he would’ve broken a couple. He was happy…, rather elated…, umm…, actually rhapsodic, to see me back. I too was happy, but about something else. I celebrated his lack of access to an Internet connection or he would have tweeted the closeups of all his tweiners to me – and the kind of open-minded society that Atlantis is, they would’ve told me that it was Mr. Tweiner’s way of paying me a compliment.

Anyway, I don’t want to split my split-ended hair anymore, nor spin a long yarn longer, so to snip them both short – I’ve been visiting Atlantis quite often. And why not? They pay well and they treat me like a queen, because none of the Atlantasians draw (you won’t either, if you were living in a Utopia that had a per capita annual income of $100K (that’s the exact double of the US), no taxes, no sexism, no racism, no terrorism, none of those other myriad -isms that humanity is plagued with.)  They’ve also set up a small studio and office for me to work from, and anointed me as the National Caricaturist of Atlantis. And I must not forget to mention that I’ve got Anthony Tweiner to keep me entertained.

This is why I sneak off to Atlantis whenever I can, my friends.

… …?

What was that?

Why you?

Speak up please. I can’t hear you.

Why you, why not us?

Oh I get it. You are wondering why I get to become to the National Caricaturist of Atlantis, and why not you.

Yes. Why?

It’s simple my friend. I believe in Atlantis, so I get to go there, I get to meet all those cool Atlantasians, I get to befriend Anthony Tweiner, and of course, become their National Caricaturist…

You see, it’s quite like religion. They say if you believe in heaven, you find it; if you don’t then you don’t. If you believe in Atlantis, you’ll find it; if you don’t, you won’t.

So, will I see you here, sometime soon?

Important! Whose caricatures would you like to see here this month?

Hi Friends,

I am planning to make some caricatures this month and I am dead serious about this. I haven’t done a lot a caricatures since Romney lost to Obama (Horrible horrible stuff – but recall that this wasn’t scanned, it was photographed, and then it was photoshot (oops, I meant photoshopped) to make it look acceptable. When I was done, I understood why I am never called in to Photoshop-out Aishwarya’s double-chin or make Bips look fairer!) 

Let me stop spinning a long and tangled yarn and tell you straightaway that I think it’s now time to revive the caricaturist in me, and put her to work.

The question is – whose caricatures should I create?

The answer is: I am not sure. There are so many famous people out there that I can’t decide.

Will you help?

In each of the following categories whose caricature would you like to see here. Please leave your thoughts as a comment.

Internationally Famous Personalities:

(Note: I am adding the suggestions that I’ve already taken. Additional suggestions are welcome :))

  • 2 Actors (1 Male and 1 Female)  (Dustin Hoffman, Billy Crystal) and “you-know-who” (even though you-know-how isn’t yet an international celeb.)
  • 1 Singer/Musician (Male/Female) (Bette Midler, Willie Nelson)
  • 1 Politician (Male/Female) (Burlesque-oni)
  • 1 Historical Figure (Male/Female) (“You-know-who” as Akbar.)
  • 1 Fictional Figure (Male/Female)

Please post your thoughts and help a caricaturist in distress.

I’ll  be back soon…perhaps with the caricatures you desire 🙂

I’d like to thank you in advance for your help this important matter,

– Shafali The Caricaturist.

The World Ends tomorrow and a Seat on the Ark is selling for Billions!

Updated: December 21, 2012 a.k.a. Doom’s Day a.k.a Mayan Apocalypse. Note: The threat still looms large. 21st has not even begun in the US, and we don’t really know anything about the time-zone that the Mayans had in mind, when they prophesied the end of the world.

I am updating this post because in the last 12 hours, this blog has been inundated with more than a hundred instances of the query, “What Time does the World end?” Honestly, my incredible omniscience fails to tell me the exact time and also the exact time zone for this once in the earth’s lifetime event. But when I switched on my computer this morning, I was driven to draw this guy, who really wants to know.

Doomsday humor cartoon - what time does the world end - on Mayan Apocalypse - December 21, 2012

Will someone please tell us the exact time, so that we can stop waiting and start working?!

Oh, I forgot to mention. There’s a Doomsday Discount on the above cartoon. If you want to take it away with you for your blog, you are welcome to do so 🙂 It’s free. The sale ends along with the world!

 

Folks,

If you’ve kept your eyes and ears open, you must know that the world is going to end tomorrow (December 21, 2012.) This key information comes from the Mayans, and so it has to be absolutely correct. What? You are questioning it? Are you crazy? The Mayans knew. How?! Don’t you know? Those guys were the original programmers of this world matrix, and they planned an auto-shutdown of the Universe program on the date in question.
We are really running short of time here, so let me skip ahead and talk about more important things.

You see, I’ve been frantically searching for any information on a Noah’s Ark-alike that leaves from my city. So far, I’ve found out nothing. I think people don’t want to share this information on the Internet, because only two humans from every city are allowed to board the ark. Sources who’ve requested anonymity say that only politicians will be allowed to board the ark, and that some seats in the hull are going for Millions of Dollars. I also hear that Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber have already secured their passage into the new world by parting with almost all their riches.

So why isn’t the media reporting this corruption around the Ark-deal? Oh well! Those media guys are going to be stowaways. It’s rumored that these arks were built with secret compartments to ensure that the best of the best (read: the politicians, the paparazzi, and the stinking rich) will be able to escape the inevitable, either directly or indirectly.

If you have any information on this matter, please leave it here in a comment. I have a feeling that if you had such information, you must’ve already been brain-washed into believing that you’d have a seat on the ark, if you just remained silent; but my friend, they are playing with you. Mark my words, if the world ends tomorrow…billions of us would be standing together bidding farewell to our politicians and others of their kind.

Now, the second important question…

What’s the exact time at which the world is expected to end? Any information will be deeply appreciated and widely distributed.

I’m lost…can’t find myself. Last I remember, I was in one of the “Hidden Files”…

The Caricaturist has gone missing again. She needs to geo-tag herself, she needs some meta-data on her dress, she needs to make herself searchable; or she’ll lose herself so completely that she’ll never be found again!

This is what happened – as I remember it, and unlike always I am not exaggerating.

The time was 9 in the night. I had been working on the computer since 6 in the morning. (Of course, I took the much needed breaks of both kinds. Now what kind of unasked question was that?!) Now, you’d expect me to be tired…to be falling down on my keyboard, slipping off my chair, typing bad four-letter words instead of nice four-letter ones (yep! the nice ones! Did you ever hear of the four letter word called “love”? Now replace that with “work”! You see what I mean? They don’t get any worse.)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was peering into the screen trying to figure out who was actually making the text blurry – my computer or I, when it happened. My computer screen exploded into a riot of colors that began to swirl and twirl, opening up a sort of tunnel, which had a sort of light at the end. Now, most tunnels that I encounter these days have absolutely no light anywhere – they are dark, damp, and dingy. So I was mighty pleased with this particular tunnel, and I jumped right into it.

The practical ones among you would expect me to end up in a hospital, with my head bandaged up and me being nursed back to health by a Tom Cruise look-alike nurse (No! NOT Ben Stiller look-alike…no way – not even in your imagination would I be nursed back to health by Ben Stiller look-alike.) The more imaginative readers would expect me to find light and be happily ever after.

How pleased am I to tell you that both of you are wrong. The moment I landed in my computer, the light at the end of the tunnel vanished. I looked to my left and then to my right, and saw that bits and bytes were zipping and zapping up and down…and the whole place looked as busy as hell. Before I could make sense of it all, a byte zoomed in near me, picked me up, flung me on his shoulder…and banged my head against a passing zip file.

I’d have immediately lost consciousness, had curiosity not forced me to keep my eyes open. The byte who was carrying me, glided past many different folders. I saw my favorite software applications and I saw their less favored cousins. While Photoshop and Flash proudly displayed their six-packs that they got through their rigorous work routines, all those other applications looked like they could use some work. They lounged, they loitered, and they had all put on weight. Illustrator, in particular, looked like a bum; beer-bellied with a week’s worth of stubble! Not their fault, I thought and made a mental note of it.

While I was taking it all in, the byte who was carrying me, missed a step; and I saw myself flying into the No Fly Zone!

With a soft thud I landed on a file. I looked around and saw rows after rows of files after files. The file on which I landed opened up and swallowed me. I realized that I’ll never be found again – because I was in one of the hidden files.

I have painstakingly encrypted this message in one of the icons on your desktop. The icon automatically sends a message to your browser and forces it to display this message on my blog. So, if you are reading this…please HELP!

Toony Pretzels Cartoon – Essentials of Asset Evaluation by Shrew and Shrewd!

Toony Pretzels by Shafali - Cartoon of a Nagging Wife and a Cheating Husband - The Shrew and the Shrewd and some Asset Evaluation

If you haven’t done your share of Asset Evaluation, here’s a quick definition to get you going.

Asset Evaluation is the process of determining the current worth of a portfolio, company, investment, or balance sheet item. (Source: Investopedia here.)

I don’t know why but this cartoon reminds me of “The Trump Card,” a twisty tale on the matters of fidelity.

And if you aren’t touchy about the issue of fidelity (or infidelity, for that matter) enjoy some cool jokes about cheating at the following links.

Caricature/Cartoon – Shia LaBeouf wondering whether the Transformers are really worth the hassle?

The caricaturist presents a colorful yet confused Shia LaBeouf.

caricature-cartoon-painting-portrait-of-hollywood-actor-shia-labouef-transformer-disturbia-colored

Down the Memory Lane:

Where do I begin? With his transformation through Transformers or with his disturbing Disturbia? I think I first saw Shia LaBeouf in the first movie of the Transformers series. He looks a lot like the boy who used to live in my neighborhood – in another lifetime. I didn’t like that boy a lot. I thought he was a lot dumber than me (and he reflected the sentiment towards me.) He ended up running his father’s paint shop, a task that doesn’t require you to be a genius, and I ended up poking fun at others – so effectively both of us turned out to be right.

But I’ve digressed from the topic completely. That neighbor-o-mine isn’t the topic of this post, Shia LaBeouf is. So let us talk about him.

Shia LaBeouf’s Scanty Biography:

Shia LaBeouf was born on June 11, 1986. He began working as a Standup Comedian at the tender age of 10 (BTW, he used to look really cute as a child.) He played Louis Stevens on Even Stevens. His first movie was “Holes” in  2003, which was followed by Disturbia (A remake of the Rear Window – an Alfred Hitchcock movie) and then came the Transformers in 2007.

In 2008, Shia became famous as Sam Witwicky, the teenager whose yellow car draws him to the war between the Transformers. The next movie in the Transformers  series (Revenge of the Fallen) got delayed because of his accident in which he broke his left hand. This must’ve been a really bad year for Shia because:

I don’t know if the Transformers have really been nice to him – but they’ve definitely been nice to his bank balance, which I guess is a good enough reason for him to stick with them – but then should he be giving an eye and an arm for it, is a question that he ponders upon in this caricature.

Shia LaBeouf’s Personal Life:

Shia’s personal life is possibly the most not-happening sort of personal life in all of Hollywood.

The only thing that makes me a little interested in his personal life is that he likes to date women who are already in a relationship. Thank God for small misdemeanors!

Follow Shia LaBeouf’s life at: http://www.shialabeouf.us/

Honey, who shrunk the Caricaturist?

When I woke up this morning, I found myself in a room sans ceiling and walls. I looked around trying to figure out where I was, but I couldn’t. The place looked liked the inside of an igloo (not that I’ve ever seen one actually,) but the walls looked like they were made of glass.

I began to wonder. Was I abducted again? You know how I am slipping into a habit of getting abducted by different sorts of people all the time. So I steered my reasoning in that direction, trying to figure out what this hemispherical glass cavity could be. The glass wasn’t transparent – it was more like I was caught under an inverted Opalware bowl!

I looked around, trying to find an anchor for my reasoning. What was I lying upon? Uh…oh. It did look like a coarse napkin folded into a triangle. And what was that huge insect-like animal that stood near the edge of the room? An ant? An ANT?! Yes! It was an ant, and it looked formidable. I could ride it – the way they rode that ant in “Honey I shrunk the Kids.” But they were four and I was alone – and I really wasn’t that sure of my inter-species communication skills – especially with no translator in sight!

So I decided to stay put.

I am still lying in my table-napkin bed, being as quiet and still as I can, waiting for that gigantic ant to leave, so that I may get up and explore the place to find a way out. If this is the same bowl that I had set on the kitchen table to dry, I think I should be able to find my way out. I don’t think it’ll take me long. And until then, I might not be able to post. But my dear visitor, I’ll have you know that the thoughts of this blog shall give me the courage that I require in the hour of need.

I hope that this message reaches you, because I really don’t trust the Internet connection under this bowl. It’s too weak – it appears that along with me the GBs too have shrunk into KBs.

I intend to be out of this place and regain my normal form soon. My sketchbook too has shrunk to 2 pixel by 1 pixel and there’s no way I can squeeze in a whole caricature in that size.

Microscopically yours,
The Caricaturist
From under the Opalware Bowl
Placed upon the Kitchen Table

Rock and Roll on Stranger Tides with Captain Jack Sparrow!

Quoting self:

People who use prescription glasses shouldn’t watch movies in 3D.

I watched the fourth movie in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, “On Stranger Tides”…and I watched it in 2D!

But wait. Who’s watching ME? Is he the imposter or is he Captain Jack Sparrow? Must be Johnny Depp, the guy who has been impersonating Captain Sparrow – right? Anyway, here are the eyes of this entity.

A Pen and Ink Drawing of Johnny Depp's (Captain Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean) Eyes.

I'm watching you.

If you think that I have lost my head completely, you haven’t watched the movie. Right at the beginning of the movie, our dear dirtily dandy Captain Jack Sparrow arrives in London. Why? Well, it’s because he’s looking for someone who’s been going around telling everyone that “he” is Captain Sparrow. A sparrow she is, as we later discover, and she’s known in Hollywood as Penelope Cruz.

Do I see you with your mouth so wide open that your jaw is about to come unhinged? Didn’t you know  – PoC-4 doesn’t star Keira Knightly the thin but ethereal beauty. Instead the bulb-nosed, long-faced, funny-accented Penelope Cruz has taken her place (thankfully they called her Angelica and not Elizabeth.) She fits into the movie almost as well as Keira would fit into an XXXL gown. She looks horribly, horribly, and horribly out of place. But never mind her – you could close your eyes whenever she gave that funny smile of hers and not miss a thing!

Anyway, here’s the story.

************Spoiler’s Warning Begins**************

Don’t worry, you’ll not know a thing if you read on…so read on!

************Spoiler’s Warning Ends**************

Well, as I said earlier Captain Sparrow finds that the funny woman, who we just described, was impersonating him. This obviously infuriates him, and he plans his revenge, which would include spiriting the funny woman across stranger tides to a deserted island and leave her there, after (note…AFTER) he told her that he loved her. (What other kind of revenge would you design if you looked and moved like Captain Jack Sparrow?)

So, there wasn’t the Flying Dutchman, the Black Pearl, or even Elizabeth. But yes, there were the mermaids, the Spanish, the black magic wielding Blackbeard, and King George II.

PS: There indeed was some black magic going on in the movie. When I left the hall, two eyes followed me out.
PS2: I’ve got to stop. The eyes are watching my every move!

PS3: Though it seems impossible, yet if you haven’t seen this caricature of Johnny Depp, you should click the following image 🙂

Caricature of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Where is the cheese...Captain Sparrow?

Caricature of Matt Mullenweg – The Founding Developer of WordPress – The Caricaturist Strikes Again!

Of course, you know Matt Mullenweg.

He is the founding developer of WordPress, the blog service without which I wouldn’t be blogging. He is 27, unlucky in cards (wonder if it matters to him?), loves to play music, and he has made it to the Caricaturist’s hit list!

Yesterday I received this email from Jane Wells, which said that I should try out the new improved WordPress dashboard, and make a post…and well…that there might be a teeny-weeny chance of my blog appearing you know where.

The problem however was, the contest (if I may call it that) is for the writers. So I, the humble caricaturist had to think logically. If you’ve known Van Gogh and Modigliani, you must know that an artist never counts logic among his strong points.

After a lot of deliberation, I finally concluded that I should draw Matt Mullenweg’s caricature. Before you read the rest of this post, here it is.

Caricature Cartoon of Matt Mullenweg pulling out WordPress from his Cowboy hat

...anddd....here's WordPress!

Why did I draw Matt Mullenweg?

Well. Here are some of my reasons.

  • He looks rather cute in his cowboy attire – not at all like a future programmer!
  • He is the reason I am blogging and dreaming about getting Freshly Pressed (though the dream faces the risk of going stale soon.)
  • He has recently received another one of those zillion awards that he really doesn’t know what to do with.
  • He has a blog (powered by…WordPress. What were you thinking?) And so who knows he might be busy writing a post using the new avatar of WordPress’s text editor, hoping that his blog might feature on Freshly Pressed!
  • Who knows…Matt might be passing by Jane’s desk (do they live and work in the same city?) and he might see her reviewing my blog-post, and he just might think that it’s a good idea to get a printout for his grass-board!

I could go on and on with the reasons, but they won’t help, because Jane Wells will fall asleep half-way through my rant, and I’ll lose my golden opportunity.

So…Adios!
See you later…in the Nineteenth Century Transylvania!

The Caricaturist writes from the Center of the Earth

…and should return by the weekend.

You must’ve surmised that the Caricaturist must be on an errand of great importance – only then would she disappear so completely. Imagine. A whole week without a new post. You know that your dear caricaturist would never ever let you down, unless she was called away for a greater purpose – OR unless an unexpected, uncontrollable event took place.

I have to report that it was the latter.

It happened on the 8th of May, 2011. After publishing Gaddafi’s Caricature, I felt extremely tired – It was quite a job scavenging all that information on him, and I didn’t have the US Intelligence working for me. So I decided to make myself a hot cup of tea. Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had run out of tea-leaves – an organized, methodical person like me, who uses innumerable diaries, post-its, and other data-capture devices to keep a tab on everything that has a tendency to vanish. I remembered making a note of the task, “Buy Tea-leaves/Tea-bags”, and adding a red circle with VERY IMP. scribbled in red across it – but I missed it completely. I guess it was because I didn’t open that particular diary for a week, and I didn’t open it because I didn’t remember which diary it was!

Any way, before I confuse you completely, let me finish the story.

When I discovered that I had exhausted the supply of tea-leaves/tea-bags, I rushed out to the unfriendly neighborhood grocer to buy some. In my hurry, I didn’t see the open manhole, and before I realized it, I was tumbling through a dark vertical shaft. I tried to look around, but I was falling at a great speed, and the shaft was pitch-dark, so I couldn’t really make out the texture of walls. Worse, I expected to hit the bottom anytime…in other words, I knew that death was imminent.

I closed my eyes and thought about my sweetheart, my parents, my brother, my dog, and my new-found American friend (and her dogs and her favorite dog’s dad…), my other friends, my office, my co-workers, my landlord, my landlord’s sons and daughter-in-laws, my neighbor’s black cat, the squirrels on the terrace, the birds…the list went on…the prime-minister, the US president, the president’s wife, the Queen, Lady Gaga…and the list continued to grow…the Chinese Premier, Hitler, Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, my MOTHER-in-LAW!!!!!

That shocked me! I must’ve reached the end of my list, but there was no end to my free-fall. In fact, it was at that point that I fainted.

When I opened my eyes, I was lying on a straw-mat in a cave. Two cavemen, three cave-women, and about a dozen cave-kids were gathered around me. I tried asking them where I was. The good news was that those cave-kids were smart, so one of them picked up what appeared be a fruit of some sort. He used a stone-knife to cut it into two halves, and pointed to the center. So that was it. I had reached the Center of the Earth!

After a lot of cajoling, the kids gave me a laptop that they had recovered from the stuff that kept coming through the man-hole, and I have managed to contact my family. They’ve contacted the Indian Government, and the Indian Government has contacted the Chilean Government – requesting them to send the rescue team that worked on rescuing the Chilean miners, to…well, pull me back to the terra firma.

I should return soon…until then, pray for the Caricaturist’s well-being.

(Credits: Message posted using the Laptop that the cavekids so kindly shared with me. This post wouldn’t have reached you, if it hadn’t been for those cave-kids and their dream of starting a WordPress Blog.)

Leaving to Attend the Royal Wedding – Just Received my Invitation!

Folks, I am sorry but I have to leave. I know that it’s on a very short notice, but when the Queen invites you to her dear grandson William’s wedding with Kate Middleton, you have to oblige (oops, the wrong choice of words…but I hope the Queen would understand that a delayed invitation could lead to such errors.)

Let me recount the events, which led me to make this post.

It was 5:00 AM and I was about to post the boy wizard’s caricature when I heard this knock on my door. At such an early hour, you don’t expect me to be dressed for the day, so obviously I was in my pajamas when I opened the door to a man who introduced himself as one of the Queen’s Royal Guards. He handed me the gilded wedding invitation, and apologized for the delay. According to him, first he was held up by the Taliban in the AfPak region, who mistook him for a possible Jackpot (read: an American Journalist). They released him last week, after realizing that he was just an innocent messenger.  He could have reached me the day before yesterday, but then he couldn’t get the card across the Indian custom officials – who were mesmerized by the “glitter of gold.”

I am making this post from the special jet that the Queen chartered for me. I am highly indebted to the Queen for naming this jet, “The Caricaturist One” in my honor. I extend an open invitation to the entire royal family to stay in my humble abode whenever they visit Delhi.

Here’s a scan of the invitation card (I couldn’t resist sharing it.)

Image, photograph of the golden royal wedding invitation card for Prince William's wedding with Kate Middleton.

Invitation for the Royal Wedding - 2011

Now I need to check with the guard whether it’s okay to attend the wedding in my pajamas. With such a short notice, I didn’t have time to shop for a formal gown. If I don’t get time to shop in London, and if pajamas are off the dress-code list then I hope one of the royal ladies will condescend to share her wardrobe with me – just for the occasion.

Sorry folks. Have to stop now. Just now the pilot has asked me to fasten my seat belt as we’ve entered England and would be landing soon:)

A Blog Carnival for Bloggers – Tell the Story-in-the-Caricature – April 2011 – Edition 8!

Header for Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival Contest for fiction writers

Dear Bloggers,

Welcome to the new edition of the Story-in-the-Caricature blog carnival. Call it a storytelling festival or a spark of inspiration for the writer within you – but write a story that wows your readers!

Here’s the caricature to inspire you 🙂

Cartoon caricature of three people in discussion for the story in the caricature blog carnival for fiction or story writers

The rules haven’t changed – but I should repeat them for the new storytellers.

Here are the Rules for the Participating in the Storytelling Carnival

1. Write a story, small or big, about this caricature.

2. Publish the story on your blog, along with this caricature.

3. Leave the link to your post, as a comment to this post here.

4. The festival ends on April 30, 2011.

The Four Rewards for this Story Carnival

1. All the story links added for stories published along with the above caricature, until the last date, will be published on this blog in May 2011, along with your blog-address, and a link to the About Page of your blog.

2. The blog addresses of the participating bloggers will find way into my “The Storytellers” blog-roll.

3. We will also request all the story-writers to publish the links of other story-writers in a blog-post on their respective blogs. This will help the story writers find more readers – but of course, this would be voluntary.

4. The first blogger to do everything right (publish the story on his/her blog with the caricature, and then leave the link of the story against this post) will get the opportunity to name one international celeb that he or she would like to see caricatured.

Important Note:

Pornographic/Obscene Language won’t work:) so keep it clean.

Happy Writing:) I’ll wait…as I always do:)

Caricature/Cartoon – Julius Caesar – The Roman General and Cleopatra’s first Roman Paramour!

Julius Caesar was born on the thirteenth of July, 100 BC – just about 2110 years ago. You know him as the guy from Shakespeare’s drama Julius Caesar, in which he dramatically cries out “et tu Brute!” before he dies; as the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra’s Roman paramour; and as the untiring pursuer of the fearless Gauls in the famous Asterix comics.

Here’s Julius Caesar with his Laurel Wreath and two butterflies auditing the quality of the wreath.

A Cartoon, Caricature, Sketch, Portrait of Julius Caesar, the Roman General who was Cleopatra's lover!

They use only the most tender leaves for making his wreath.

A Short Biography of Julius Caesar

Caesar was born in a noble but poor family. His wasn’t a typical rags-to-riches saga, but he did have a tough life. At 16 he was heading his family, at 17 he became the high priest of Jupiter for which he had to break off his engagement and get married to another girl from a noble family; and then before he turned 21, he was forced to go into hiding because Sulla, the then dictator of Rome was weeding out the potential threats. Caesar’s mom’s family had to pull some strings to get him a pardon – after which Caesar joined the army.Only when Sulla died, Caesar returned to Rome.

Caesar came back poor and had to stay in a lower-class neighborhood (slums?) As he still had to put food on his rickety table, he decided to become a lawyer. One thing led to another (as it always does in stories that become too long to tell,) and in 60 BC he won the election and became a consul (whatever that means – if you know, please feel free to enlighten me.)

Caesar’s Personal Life

Caesar’s first wife Cornelia died in 69 BC. He then married Pompeia. She was suspected of having an affair with a guy who had a really complex name. the chauvinist Caesar didn’t approve of it at all – “Caesar’s wife should be above all suspicion,” he said in Roman – and divorced Pompeia. About 10 years later, he married Calpurnia to further his political career. Eventually, he discovered Cleopatra and he had an extra-marital affair with her.

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra

Cleopatra the ruler of Egypt met Caesar when she was already onto her second husband (who was also her younger brother) Ptolemy 14th!
(Wow! Those guys were super-creative when it came to naming their children…it must have something to do with the royal inbreeding program followed by the Egyptian royalty.)

Nevertheless, she decked herself up in a rug and met Caesar and they went for a long cruise on Nile – a lot of interesting things might’ve happened between them and some say that Cleopatra conceived Caesarion, their son, while they were bobbing up and down on the Nile. Though they say that J and C were crazy about each other, I’d say that Cleo was just trying to get some political mileage out of her relationship with Julius – or why would she land in Mark Antony’s lap the moment Caesar cried “Et tu Brutus”?

If you are completely nuts and you want to read more about JC and Cleo’s mushy love-life, check out the following two links:

  1. http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3329
  2. http://www.suite101.com/content/julius-caesar-and-cleopatra-a224138

Caesar’s Relationship with the Gauls

Caesar’s relationship with the Gauls could be described as troubled at best (source: Asterix Comics:)) He had brought the whole Gaul under his control and converted it into Roman territory, save one tiny little village, where Asterix and Obelix lived. His army was scared of the two Gauls, because they had the magic potion that Druid Getafix used to fix for them (and as a child, Obelix had fallen into a cauldron of the magic potion – I hope that the potion had cooled down when he fell into it.)

Once again, to cut a long story short – you need to pick an Asterix comic to understand it completely…or you might want to get in touch with Albert Uderzo, who in my opinion, is the best comic book illustrator and cartoonist in this world.

Caesar’s Assassination

Caesar’s popularity and his re-election as the dictator of Rome for the third time in succession led to a strong wave of jealousy among the senators. About 40 senators stabbed him to death in the Theater of Pompei. With his death, the Roman Republic died to give way to an empire, with Caesar’s adopted son Octavian becoming the emperor.

I guess this is all that I want to tell you about Caesar…and his butterflies.

Julius Caesar Quotes

There two important quotes that should be mentioned here.

Et tu brute! : This phrase literally means, “You too Brutus!” You should exclaim “Et tu brute” when someone you trust cheats on you. For instance, if your dog bites you. This phrase should never be used when your politicians cheat you, because you’d be a fool to trust your politicians.

Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion: This phrase means, people who are connected to people who have an image to cultivate, should not have ghosts in their cupboards. Example:? (Can you see me scratching my head…I too would need a laurel wreath soon.) Please feel free to add an example to the comments section:)