Archive for August, 2010

Front page of a sleepy suburban paper!

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

I had to compete with the high school’s football field completion being delayed and a demonstration from abuse survivors in front of a Carmelite regional office. I’m very flattered, thank you Weekly Doings!

The large doodles (I’d hesitate to call them much more than that) will be up for another month or so at least, though the panels may be moving throughout the library as the remodeling continues.  Check ‘em out at Indian Prairie Public Library if you’re in Darien, IL!

Responses from the Real World

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I sent the plush elephant drawing Oh Bother to Sharon Pincott, a naturalist, photographer, and writer that does a lot of work with elephants in Africa.  The video I posted above is hers.  She wrote me back a wonderful note:

Hi Arius,
Your elephant image is really touching. Captioned with something like "Please don't kill or maim me by setting wire snares" it could be a really powerful wildlife conservation message.
With best wishes,
Sharon and the Hwange Estate elephants

Thanks for the response, Sharon, and best of luck with your writing for Getaway magazine and your work with these majestic organisms!

Dr. Phillip Willink of the Field Museum, wadin' around

I also emailed my invasive species drawing Genghis Kharp to Dr. Phillip Willink of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.  He responded thusly:

Hello Arius,
That is a great picture of an Asian carp! Excellent. I hope it was well received at the art exhibition. Surely people enjoyed it.
And thank you for your interest in this topic. It is very complicated, with scientific, biological, political, social, etc. aspects to it. Then again, Asian carp are just the tip of the iceberg. Some of us have been involved with Great Lakes' invasive species for years, and will continue to battle them for years to come.
Thank you for your email,

This is part of the thrill of making art about science.  There are so many gifted people working hard on the problems and issues and research, being able to send them something to acknowledge and celebrate their hard work is a real treat. They are champions, and I'm a damned cartoonist.  It's very affirming to be able to connect with them.

Oh, bother.

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010


HOORAY! I finished another piece! And I’m not talking about the exuberant firefly above, she is a little thank you present I whipped up for my summer zoo camp boss. I threw her in to counter the mood of my new drawing, Oh Bother.

aka eeyorelephant

Oh Bother

Aw, it’s Eeyore!  Except as an Elephant!  Eeyorelephant! But what’s he doing with that wire? Why did he sever his own trunk, and why are his legs so stitched up?

This was about the most digestible way I thought I could illustrate the horrific phenomenon of elephants triggering poacher snares.  The wire snares dig into their legs (here’s a mildly graphic pic of an elephant with scarred legs from, and often in the animal’s attempts to remove the snare they can cut into or even sever their trunks.  It’s horrible business.

I became aware of it by watching a clever elephant successfully removing a snare in the following video:

Apparently it’s not always maiming and death for them, as they are remarkably intelligent.

If you’re hungry for more poacher snare art, apparently if you head to the airport in Zambia you can scoop up jewelry made from gathered snares.  It’s the idea of a co-op called Community Markets for Conservation, who encourage locals to trade snares and firearms for training in a variety of skills to improve their lives.  You can read more here at

Thomson Tembo in Snarewear, from

Indian Prairie Library Murals

Monday, August 16th, 2010

I had the incredible opportunity to whip up some drawings to decorate my local library.  It is undergoing a remodel/renovation, and as a result there are a bunch of blank drywall panels blocking off the areas being worked on.

I came up with a series of ten sketches representing book genres that the library has.  Five were chosen, and I projected the sketches onto the wall and did some basic inking with sharpies.

Its super-basic, but I think they look pretty good for a ten hour project.  The library’s been getting lots of positive feedback, though everyone is itching to see them more developed.  On the other hand, it’s temporary drywall, to be discarded in a few months.

Come on down to Indian Prairie Public Library in Darien to take a look.  They’re kinda neat!

Superthanks to Dave Bunn for compiling the video!