Tuesday, December 15, 2015


"Beezus: Jesus' less-amazing kid sister"
by Tommy Kovac
ink, watercolor marker, and metallic marker on sketchbook paper

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015


"Hi, kids!

Friday, November 20, 2015


     In my early twenties when I had recently started working at a junior high school, the holiday season hit, and everything was hectic, people trying to be jolly and festive and overtly social, you know how it goes.
     I was eating lunch in the staff break room, surrounded by coworkers, and suddenly a terrifying  disguised figure came slinking through the door.
     It was dressed in a full-throttle Santa costume with red pants, red coat, big buckle, big shiny black boots, mittens, big fluffy Santa hat, and with its face almost completely obscured by lots of white beard. Only its mouth and cheeks could be seen, and just a hint of its eyes below big fake eyebrows. But none of these small details gave any hint to the person beneath the costume, because heavy makeup had been applied to the lips, cheeks, and eyes.
     "HO HO HO!" It shouted in a husky stage voice, as it minced down amongst the tables where we sat, trying to eat. Its hips swayed, an obviously fake big belly twitching from side to side. Its red lips smirked. It ran its gloved hands across shoulders and arms, even pinched a few cheeks.
     Reactions throughout the room were mixed. Some laughed gamely, making valiant efforts to make it seem normal. Some stared at their food and continued grimly eating.
     I sat frozen in wide-eyed terror.
     Santa simpered and capered through the room, coming nearer and nearer to my table. Touching, pinching, slinking...
     Its movements were not graceful, though. It was disjointed and weird, like a film being run backwards. Herky-jerky.
     In a sickening reversal of natural order, Santa slithered into a man's lap and demanded with those hungry red lips, "And what do YOOOOOOU want for Christmas, LITTLE BOY?"
     I panicked. I was sweating and trembling, the room suddenly shrinking, bringing that wrong Bizarro Santa even closer. Why was this happening? Why were they allowing this to happen to us?
     One of my table mates noticed my panic and whispered, "What's wrong?"
     "I... I have to get out of here!"
     "Oh, don't be silly. It's fun! It'll be over soon."
     I panted, gasping for air. "I don't want it to touch me."
     My coworker started losing patience with me. "Oh, come on. You're scared? Of Santa Claus?"
     "YES." I hissed. But now the coworkers on either side of me were trying to get me to stay, both of them holding my arms, telling me not to be silly.
     Santa loomed closer, lurching and swaying, big stiff belly jutting out, red lips pursing like a sphincter to blow another fierce volley of HO HO HOs.
     I thought, "If that thing sits on my lap, I will die. My heart will stop in my chest."
     I broke free of my coworkers' hands and darted out the back door.
     I later found out that "Santa" was actually our school psychologist-- an alarmingly weird woman we'll call "Nora." Nora always wore too much makeup, and had tics and twitches that made me think she might have some minor neurological disorder(s). She was skinny to the point of gauntness, and had a severe short and choppy haircut dyed a deep wine-red that was not flattering to her weathered features. She was fond of pantsuits and high heels.
     I feel perfectly justified in fleeing the scene, as obviously that was the wrongest Santa ever seen. But for years my coworkers teased me about running away from Santa.
     A few years later...
     Nora was in a pretty severe car accident, and had to have some reconstructive surgery done on her face. She also suffered some body trauma that gave her a limp, and even more tics and twitches. I felt bad for her. She meant well, and seemed like a nice person.
     But then she had to go and wear another goddamn costume at Christmastime.
     This time she was a gender non-specific ELF, in green leggings and curled-toe boots and jingling hat. But the worst part was the mask. I guess because of her accident-scarred face, she chose to wear a full face mask. But it was one of those clear plastic masks with rouged cheeks and lips, and a suggestion of blurry eyebrows. The kind of mask that makes a scary blur of the person's features, and muffles their voice. 100% serial killer.
     She had added a long weird misshapen elf nose, which jutted out rudely and reminded me incongruously of that I Love Lucy episode where Lucy uses a lump of clay to make a fake nose to disguise herself in front of William Holden and then she ends up smooshing the nose until it looks weirder and weirder.
     This time, instead of a husky low "Santa" voice, Nora was using a loud squeaky "Elf" voice. And she was kind of a tall woman, so there was really nothing elf-like about her.
     Her raspy elf squeak was so muffled by the serial killer mask that I couldn't understand one single word she said the whole time she capered about the room, mincing and flitting in what must have seemed an "elf-like" fashion to her.
     And did I mention that the accident had given her a hitch in her get-along? It was a horrifying ballet of awkwardness, watching her twitch and lurch around the room in those green leggings and curled-toe boots. I think in her mind she was probably "prancing," but it didn't play that way.
     This time I stayed in the room longer, though. I felt bad for Nora, and at least I knew who it was under all that fucking weirdness. But that clear plastic mask, man...
     That's the detail that still haunts me.
     Fuckin' elves.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Mutability"


Just a lil' ol' sketch I did with a black colored pencil in my handy-dandy sketchbook.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Happy Halloween and..."

"Happy Halloween & fuck you guys!"
     I'm guessing that the little demon guy is so pissed off at the Halloween elves because of how smug they are. I mean, yeah, I drew it, but I don't always understand it.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Castle" digital print

"Castle" digital version for print
     So I scanned every block of the original Castle structure before I glued it all together, and created a digital version of the real thing. Wasn't that clever of me? I did it partially because I half-expected my shoddy craftsmanship to result in the castle falling apart, or getting otherwise ruined.
     Which it sort of has. I put it out in the back yard and it got rained on, and it fell over and some of it came apart. But I'm fixing it. :)
     Such is the transitory nature of art, and life.

ORIGINAL ART : "Black Tears"

"Black Tears"
by Tommy Kovac ; ink on sketchbook paper

Saturday, October 3, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Witch's Hair"

"Witch's Hair"
Sakura ink pen on sketchbook paper
(just because)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : Uh-oh! Doodle Time!

"9/19/2015 Doodle Time"
Sakura ink pen on sketchbook paper
by lil' Tommy Kovac

Sunday, September 13, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Mutation 9/13/2015"

     This is from my sketchbook. I used one of those nice fine-point Sakura pens. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Nesting Eyes"

"Nesting Eyes"
pencil on sketchbook paper
by Tommy Kovac

ORIGINAL ART : Crazy Castle!

"Crazy Castle"
wood blocks, laser-cut frame pieces, assemblage, acrylic and spray paint,
German foil scrap, and various mixed media
by Tommy Kovac
     We had all these extra little square wood shelves from some media shelving we keep CDs and DVDs on, and they've been sitting in the garage for years, because I kept thinking I could use them for some art project. So this is the project.
     I used all of the little square shelves, and then started sawing off pieces of other long shelves I got from my aunt, using my jig-saw to make the turret thingies.
     I had sooooo much fun with spray paint, acrylic paints, and these rad paint markers I ordered on Amazon! Not to mention weird little found pieces of shit I used to hang in the windows.
     Here are some detail pics:

It's one of those baubles from a chandelier, but now it's a NOSE!
Isn't that just the SILLIEST?!

Broken piece of wind chime I've been hoarding for about a decade.

Tiny baby with chandelier bauble head! CRAZINESS!
     And here are some pics of the various stages of construction, and my cluttered work areas:

This was really where most of the magic happened, right on the living room floor in front of the TV. I make messes like this all over the house, and leave stacks and piles of paint tubes, colored pencils, spray paint cans, shavings of stuff, etc. Then Anthony has to come along and vacuum when I'm done because I'm allergic.

ORIGINAL ART : The Ballad of Tubert

extra-thick cardboard packing tube, paint markers, duct tape, ric-rac,
adhesive gem thingies, pipe cleaners, feather, cake decorating hat, and craft foam
by Tommy Kovac
     Why Tubert? Why not, I say.
     When we unpacked a big box with an unassembled exercise machine, there was this random super-thick cardboard tube in it that seemed to serve no purpose. It wasn't keeping anything in place, it had nothing inside of it, it was just kind of... there.
     But now it is Tubert, and has purpose, meaning, and personality.
     Here he is in the nude:
The nude form is nothing to be ashamed of.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Honeyfoot" sketch

"Honeyfoot" sketch
Ink and pencil on paper
by Tommy Kovac
     I'm going to do some color shading on this sketch, just minimal stuff. It's just for fun, just letting my brain ramble. That's the kind of art I enjoy making the most. Non-linear, nonsensical, unplanned.

Friday, August 7, 2015


The following is a guide to my ferns, with brief commentary.

Fern #1
     Fern #1 is my favorite. Prehistoric and lush, it stands guard at our front door. I don't even care if the other ferns KNOW Fern #1 is my favorite.

Fern #2
     Fern #2 is the newest. It's a "Mother Fern," according to the little card thingie. It's delicate, leafy, and just an all-around dear. (And yes, that's a Chihuahua leg on the right.)

Fern #3
     I would like to give Fern #3 the "Most Improved" award. It's had some hard, brown & brittle times over the past year, lurking there by the front steps, beaten down by the harsh sun. But I don't give up on it. No, sir.
     I mean, it's not my FAVORITE, like Fern #1. But it's nice.

(Fern #3's fernhole)

Fern #4

     Fern #4 is kind of a disappointment. I mean, I've TRIED. God knows, I have. It started out in Fern #1's pot and location, but just couldn't handle it. Didn't THRIVE. Know what I mean? When I dumped it out of the pot in favor of the more robust and charismatic Fern #1, I almost just dropped Fern #4 in the trash. But I'm not a monster. So I gave it another try at the back of the house, in the shade.
     It keeps withering, though, like a bitch.
     I suppose there's a bit of hope, though, because right now it's on the upturn. Could it be a candidate for "Most Improved" for next year? Possibly. But it better really step up its game with the leafy, and the prehistoric, and the frondy.

Ferns #5

     The Asparagus Ferns at the base of the blue gazing ball in front of the house are like the Borg in that they share a hive mind, which is why they are collectively "#5." They are tough and green and lanky, no matter how much direct sunlight they get. I don't know why I don't consider them "my favorite," like Fern #1. Maybe it's because I'm a little wary of them.
     #5 is hardy, and thrives on little attention. 
     Full sun? No sweat. 
     Scant water? Fuck you, Human, I/we don't need you anyway. 
     Am I/Are we creeping a few feet closer to your front door? Maybe so. Maybe you better watch your back.


Fern Gully
     Fern Gully was an animated movie about a rain forest that came out in the 1990s. I did not see it.

Best-selling romance author, Fern Michaels
     Fern Michaels writes romance novels, and I've read none of them. The dogs look nice, though.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : The Mustache

"The Mustache"
Colored pencil
T. Kovac

     The only thing I can figure is that this sketch is probably inspired by the growing number of transgender kids and adults in my sphere of acquaintances. Not sure. It also reminds me, now that I'm finished with it, of Dorothy and the Wizard In Oz. That's the book where they go down into the earth and discover the Mangaboos, a race of vegetable people.

Monday, June 22, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : Color Pencil Sketches

The following are some color pencil sketches I've done in the month of June.

These first two were done in the last week or two of school, when the teachers were really getting on my nerves, and I was feeling pretty anti-social:

"Alienate Everyone"
Colored pencil
T. Kovac

"'No' Face"
Colored pencil
T. Kovac

And then this is when I was finally on summer vacation. It must represent freedom, psychologically. I guess. Or not. Or whatever.

"Devil Astride Hippity-Hop"
Colored pencil
T. Kovac

Saturday, June 6, 2015

ORIGINAL ART : "Girl Ever After"

GIRL EVER AFTER by Tommy Kovac

     I did this on commission. Watercolor paint, acrylic paint, watercolor markers, colored pencil, glitter paint, silver paint, and some gloss varnish on illustration board.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


     The nice people at Big Red Comics in Downtown Orange invited me to sell books and sign autographs as part of their Free Comic Book Day celebration. (FCBD is always the first Saturday in May, but it has taken me many years to get that straight in my head.)
     Incidentally, I did not make that name plate for myself, the nice people at the store did. I would not have referred to my own comics as "awesome," although mayhaps they are.
     See the free bookmarks with tassels? I gave away 60 of those motherfuckers! Anthony cut out and hole-punched every single one of them, and we put the tassels on together at the kitchen table the night before. I'm a fan of tassel-related projects.
     I did a lot of doodling that day, beginning at breakfast and continuing at the event.

Sketch inspired by Anthony's "bananas foster pancakes" at IHOP.
Bananas Foster's randy gay brother.

Alice and the Cheshire Cat, just because.

Sketch done for a really cool kid who suggested I draw a wizard monkey. Because wizards are cool, and monkeys are cool,  so, "a wizard monkey would probably be REALLY cool."

I was challenging myself to see if you could draw the Cheshire Cat NOT smiling. As you can see, it's mostly unsuccessful and unsatisfying.

     Right as I was drawing that hideous spraying Cheshire Cat, which is very wrong and regrettable, this cute family came up to see me in Wonderland-inspired costumes. I quickly flipped my sketchbook to a less offensive page.
     The mother had hand-made a Queen of Hearts dress for herself and a Mad Hatter outfit for her daughter. They were there to get a signed copy of Wonderland, and it was very flattering and fun. Dad was a cool guy, too, and told me about this website called Spoonflower that his wife uses to actually have her own original designs printed on fabric, which she uses for the outfits. Pretty cool idea.

     All in all it was a very successful day. I sold some prints, some copies of Wonderland, Stitch, Skelebunnies, Royal Historian of Oz, Smells Like Library Vol.1, and Smells Like Library Vol.2. I was there from about 10:30 to 5pm.



Me staggering to the car with a box full of my books.
Very cool poster to advertise the event
     So I was invited by Anat Herzog at Chapman University to participate in their first "Salon," in conjunction with Anaheim's WonderCon 2015. The topic was "Comics As Social Change," which I thought was a great topic.
     Chandra Jenkins spoke first, introducing the topic and giving a brief overview of the history of comics and graphic novels, particularly as agents of social change. Then I spoke for about 10 minutes, then Andrew Vo, and then David Brown. Andrew is a student who did an award-winning thesis on comics as propaganda in WWII. David won an award from the NAACP for a black superhero comic he did, inspired by the L.A. Riots.
     One coherent and possibly on-topic thing I said was that if ideas are like viruses, comics are an ideal vector for spreading them fast and efficiently. Comics are usually cheap, and because they are largely visual, the ideas can be processed quickly by the reader, and handed off to the next person with a, "Hey, check this out!"
     I also talked about how people sort of EXPECT comics to contain controversial or edgy material.

     Part of the evening's program stated that Tommy Kovac (that's me) would be visually documenting the discussion. So I made sure to doodle on the butcher paper table-cloth while people were talking about stuff, and while I was thinking of what to say.

     And here are some close-ups of some of the doodles...

Group shot of all involved. David Brown, Anat Herzog, Andrew Vo, Me, Chandra Jenkins, and Ahmed Younis.