January 20th, 2011
Scott Kurtz, creator of PVP, asks the question about Jim Woodring’s Nibbus Maximus calculations and hears the best answer in the history of giant tools.
I should back up.
Some of you may not know, but the dark god Cthulhu is a HUGE Jim Woodring fan. So huge, in fact, that he flew all the way from R’lyeh (he flew Alaska, an AMERICAN airline; eat it, Mindless) to attend Woodring’s unveiling of the Nibbus Maximus. Natch, he invited me to accompany him. (FYI it was not a date, but we did have a splendid dinner at Seattle’s Ruth Chris stake house after the show. Cthulhu had lobster.)
Regrettably, Cthulhu refused to have his face/mollusk ponch photographed because he was having a bad hair day, but he did allow me to photograph his tentacles.
Here’s Cthulhu holding one of the complementary pens provided by Dick Blick:
Now, Cthulhu was not the ONLY celebrity in the house. As I said above, Scott Kurtz of PVP fame was in attendance, as were these three fine cartoonists, all members of the local cartoonist collective: Friends of the Nib, the leader of which is Woodring himself.
(From left to right: Jason T. Miles, Max Clotfelter, Kelly Froh. Their work can be purchased online at profanityhill.blogspot.com)
In one corner, there was the main man Jim Woodring: creator of Frank, Jim, Stranger Genius Award Winner and all-around swell guy.
In the other corner, the dreaded Nibbus Maximus.
30lbs of poplar wood and brass, Nibbus Maximus is 5 ft. long and sports a 16 in. brass-plated nib. This calligraphic monstrosity came to life by the many hands of various Seattle craftsman: engravers, steel workers, gun makers …
A solemn nation looked on in worry…
But don’t worry: Cthulhu cast a light spell and everything went fine.
Woodring prepared a few oversized pencil drawings to ink.
And began with some practice.
But believe you me: it didn’t take long before he was inking this:
Then, without warning, the pen decided to be a cock and drip:
Luckily for America, Cthulhu was in attendance. He invoked Hastur’s Yellow Sign…
And everything went back to normal.
Then everyone bought t-shirts.
The best part of the event was its informal nature. Everyone in attendance got a chance to draw using a nib pen, and the Friends of the Nib gave short lessons on nib technique to those who asked. Even Lord Cthulhu had a chance to make art!
Here’s an autistic boy’s version of Frank!
And a wonderful Dick Nixon!
In short, it was a wonderful occasion, and I wish all the Mindless could have been there.
And Cthulhu says hello.
[Thanks to guest Mindless, It Burns, for this important report]