It came to me in a flash

January 20th, 2011

He says.

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

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:

And this:

Then, without warning, the pen decided to be a cock and drip:

Everyone panicked:

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!

And how!

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.

(For some ACTUAL journalism and some sweet kickin’ videos, check out the following: FLOG, TCJ)

[Thanks to guest Mindless, It Burns, for this important report]

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