Alaska Robotics

Archive for the ‘Comics & Illustration’ Category

Gallery Happenings

Monday, October 21st 2013 by Pat

This Saturday, October 26th, we’re having a Monster Drawing Workshop for kids and hosting our first ever Smash Brothers Tournament!

Read about this and more in our weird and irregular Alaska Robotics Gallery newsletter!

Fantasy Football

Friday, September 13th 2013 by Pat

I’ve always thought that Fantasy Football should be more fantastic. Here are my picks for the 2013 season.

In part this was just an excuse to draw some fan art. I don’t know if I’d actually want NFL SuperPro on my team but he seemed too dorky to leave out.

I should have also included MegaMan, Nightcrawler and Kitty Pride.


Tuesday, August 20th 2013 by Pat


In January, I moved out of the Blue Door, my home for nearly ten years. The Blue Door had industrial carpeting, awful popcorn ceilings, unpredictable plumbing and all the sounds and smells that come with a view of South Franklin Street.

I loved that place, it was my tree fort in the middle of the downtown, a paradise.

I moved for the right reasons but I’ll miss the Blue Door and I’ll miss my roommates, even if I do see them everyday at work.

The new place is great, I’m feeling quite at home. The only problem is that the fridge doesn’t seem to work as well.

Comic Con Wrap Up

Thursday, August 8th 2013 by Pat

I feel like I should try to throw a few words at summing up my Comic Con experience before the memory completely fades. I loved it.

We got there early this year so Aaron and I were able to catch up on sleep, eat ice cream, and watch Pacific Rim. Good times. Just eating burritos and hanging out with one of my best friends was a nice way to start the trip.

Our rental house had a lot of Buddhas and sexy lady paintings so I felt right at home when we got moved in. A dozen of us pitched in this year and rented a place, I think that’s the way to go, much more fun than a hotel and less expensive. I guess the downside was the short bus ride to town but even that wasn’t too bad.

Marian and I went out for some wine and Brussels sprouts when she got to town. It was good to have a date night after she’d been out on the road so long. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have eaten the Brussels sprouts.

On Tuesday, Aaron and I took a really long bus ride out to a niche bookstore in a stripmall to catch a presentation by Cory Doctorow. It was excellent, the kind of casual and conversational experience I knew I wasn’t going to get at the convention. Doctorow writes for Boing Boing which has been my primary source for tech news, inspiration and internet culture over the past several years.

Doctorow’s book, Little Brother, was an Alaska Battle Book a couple years back so it’s all over the state. I picked up my copy in White Mountain. I finally cracked it open this week and it’s incredibly topical considering all the Snowden revelations about U.S. government surveillance. I’m a sucker for dystopian novels and I can’t wait to get home and continue reading this one tonight!

Wednesday involved lugging bins into the convention center for preview night but Aaron let me sneak away and go to a release party for W00tstout, a colla-beer-ation between Wil Wheaton, Drew Curtis, and Stone Brewing. It was great, I loved it, and I don’t normally go for those kind of beers, but I could do with a lot more of that one. The venue was, unfortunately, right at the end of the runway which meant a lot of interruptions during the talking bits but a generous uptick in airplane jokes.

Thursday was the first long day at the convention. I think we sold some comics, it was a blur. In the evening, we went to W00tstock, a variety show full of music, comedy and storytelling. It was a blast hanging out backstage but also incredibly weird. I’m not used to such a distinct social hierarchy and when I get put into that kind of famous person fish bowl, I sometimes feel like I need more air.

Of course, it’s got to be incredibly weird from the other side of things. Can you imagine being Neil Gaiman or George R. R. Martin hanging out anywhere at San Diego Comic Con? I bet it feels like everyone is watching you and waiting to deliver an over calculated hello.

Patrick Rothfuss gave me a copy of his children’s book, he seems like a good dude. The best part of the night for me was eating deflated pizza while watching Jamy Ian Swiss perform card tricks and seeing a very nice music video by the Doubleclicks for their song, Nothing to Prove.

The fake geek girl chatter goes round and round in the nerd circles and I think this brings it right down to the ground in a very lovely way.

Molly, Marian, and The Doubleclicks had a concert together on Friday night and it was the best. I’ve heard them all play a lot and I don’t know if it was atmosphere or my own mood but it was the most pleasant and wonderful show I’ve seen them put together. The ice cream helped. If you want people to love your music, make sure they have plenty of ice cream going into the show.

I had some great breakfasts and lunches and dinners of course. That’s always a favorite part of the convention, sneaking across the Smurf Bridge to burrito land or meeting up with friends to try food I can’t get back home.

I got to hang out with Vera and Jeremy a bunch. I gave Kazu a big hug and caught Jason in passing a few times. Scott was drowning in fans every time I saw him, always smiling though. Chris and Maurene were there, married now. And I shared a house and many pizza slices with Tony Cliff and Dik Pose.

I just think those flight artists are the best people ever. It’s their 10th anniversary next year. I’ll have to make a card.

Working the booth is always a joy for me, I love talking to the people who come by and it really makes me happy when a group of kids gathers around the comics bin and starts reading through everything. It’s fun to guess who they’ll turn into, what the world looks like to them.

After the convention was over I came back and found that I’d been included in a wrap-up article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, I guess I wore the right shirt on the right day. The EFF is the group I believe is doing the single most good in the world today. They’re way out ahead of the curve on digital rights and working hard to extend our civil liberties in a vast, rapidly expanding, space that is often misunderstood by lawmakers and misused by corporations. They’re kind of the digital equivalent of the American Civil Liberties Union and I’m proud to be a footnote from their trip to San Diego.

Predictions for next year.. Tony Cliff will win an Eisner Award and go to a pool party. Aaron and I will eat all the burritos. I will have a book.

A Word on Bears

Wednesday, August 7th 2013 by Pat


It’s the “Duck and Cover” equivalent to bear defense, I’m pretty sure this isn’t what the U.S. Forest Service recommends.

Patent Trolls

Monday, July 29th 2013 by Pat


Patent trolls are the dull green fungus on your delicious sandwich… if that delicious sandwich is innovation. I propose a solution.

One of my favorite radio shows, This American Life, did a great piece on patent trolls if you need a primer or just want to learn more.

Thanks to Laura Sydell and Alex Blumberg at Planet Money for all their great reporting!

Comic Con 5K – 2013

Wednesday, July 17th 2013 by Pat

Comic Con 5kIf you’re in San Diego for Comic Con, let’s go running!

The Comic Con 5k is a casual run/jog/walk for anyone who wants to work off some con nachos. We’ll meet at 8am on the back steps of the convention center and head out along the water front.

Disclaimer. This is not an official event, it isn’t any kind of event, running is incredibly dangerous and I can’t be responsible if you trip on an invisible jet and skin your knee.


Tuesday, July 9th 2013 by Pat

happy pat

After the whole rigmarole last week I was feeling pretty grumpy with my brain.

Dawson’s Comic Workshop

Monday, July 8th 2013 by Pat

We’re proud to be hosting Dawson Walker’s comic workshop at the gallery starting this Wednesday.

Dawson grew up here in Juneau and is currently on summer break from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where he’s been making great strides in his comic and illustration work.


Ages 9-19 and all classes will be at the Alaska Robotics Gallery at 220 Front St. in Juneau.

4pm-6pm: Wednesday, July 10th
4pm-6pm: Monday, July 15th
4pm-6pm: Wednesday, July 17th


Space is limited, so please register by calling 523-0303 or dropping by the gallery. The cost of the workshops is $20 per student or pay-as-you-can and all proceeds will go to Mr. Dawson.

Dawson 1 sm

Similarities and Transformations

Tuesday, July 2nd 2013 by Pat

Blah. This morning a friend pointed out that my comic from last week is waaaaay too similar to a Perry Bible Fellowship comic.

I agree.


The Worst.

I can feel my guts twisting and calcifying, it’s the worst.

Did I read that PBF comic at some point? Probably.

I love The Perry Bible Fellowship. Nicholas Gurewitch has made some of my favorite comics and I’m certainly influenced by his humor and work. I remember seeing one of his originals at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and it was gorgeous.

I have no problem arriving at a similar idea as someone else but this is more likely a case of cryptomnesia, the act of creating something from a forgotten memory that I believed to be original.

I don’t think cryptomnesia is uncommon in creative fields, all art is transformative to some extent and when we aren’t careful about knowing our sources and influences, it’s possible to digest and spit out work that is nearly identical to the original.

Know your Sources of Inspiration.

We’re all fishing in the same zeitgeist soup and occasionally lines get tangled. I’ll be more careful in the future and I’ll try to better understand where my ideas are sourced.

I don’t feel bad about the work I did on my adaptation of “The Great Wave.” I knew exactly what I was trying to do with that piece and was really happy with the results but it probably would have felt awful if I’d discovered that it unintentionally looked identical to a famous print.

the great wave sm

The challenge, as always, is to create with intent, to go beyond the obvious and create something new… something so good other people will accidentally copy it.


I’ve removed the above comic from my archives, although people can still see it here in the context of this article. Many apologies to Nicholas Gurewitch and his fans, it was not my intent to create something so similar.


Update: I got a Tweet from Nicholas Gurewitch about this.

I can’t judge, man. When I published that comic, someone told me that the “Clerks” cartoon show had already done it.

I guess the joke has been done by a bunch of people. I don’t know if that makes it any better or worse but I do *feel* a lot better.

I’m done over thinking this. People are going to come up with similar jokes and ideas. It happens.