What do you do when you’re feeling sad and/or bored? Google search for cute animal pictures, of course!
Inspired in part by stumbling across Kristyna Baczynski’s work, those illustrators I was swooning over a few days ago, and the long stream of graphic novels I continue to check out from our public library’s fairly decent collection, I decided–why not make my own zine tonight just for fun?
My most recent library picks have included The Cardboard Valise, The Graphic Canon Vol. 2: From “Kubla Khan” to the Bronte Sisters to The Picture of Dorian Gray, and another Havey Pekar, this time: Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me.
I quickly ran for my crutch and Googled, “how to make a zine,” to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid right off the bat. I found this great little article on Rookiemag.com called, conveniently, How to Make a Zine by Emma Djska.
“[Zines] usually deal with topics too controversial or niche for mainstream media, presented in an unpolished layout and unusual design. Everyone, from a major NGO to a teenager like you, can be an author (and also an editor, art director, and publisher) of a zine, and that’s part of what makes them so awesome.”
Now, as we know, puppies aren’t exactly a “controversial” or “niche” topic. In fact, they’re pretty much the opposite! They’re ubiquitous cuteness porn. Even our friends Midwest Pressed have taken them on as part of their latest “worn out” imagery ( Tim Dooley and Aaron Wilson of Midwest Pressed have been creating series of screen printed art and clothing with a stream of “worn out” imagery, things we see too much of every day. It started with skulls, unicorns, bigfoots, real houswives and then went through riot cops and now it’s Puppies vs. Kittens!)
But, despite that, puppies were exactly the “cure” for what ails me because it is so ridiculously sad to sit on my computer and search for pictures of cute puppies. And then I decided that Google had them all ranked wrong. #1 that comes up isn’t the “cutest puppy ever” in my opinion. I thought #5 or #6 or even #25 looked pretty good in the runnings! And so I thought I should take the ranking power away from Google and put it back in our hands! It shouldn’t just be the power of the click putting sites like collegehumor.com on top!
Yes, I know all of these puppies are probably now at least grown into scraggle-muffin mangey dogs or are even dead in the time it took their cuteness to ascend to the high rankings on Google Image Search–but that makes this even better. They’re the ghosts of “cuteness passed!” They’re like child stars turned porn stars turned failed Celebrity Fit Club (the poor man’s Biggest Loser.)
So, I made this little zine with enclosed star stickers so you can rank the puppies you think are the best. There are 4 stars, blue: best in show!, red: runner up, gold: horrible mention and green: that’s not a real puppy.
I know, this whole thing is dumb. Really what happened is I was writing a little card to go into a custom order I had off of our Etsy shop, and I wanted to draw something on there, and it just popped into my head that I should draw, “the cutest puppy ever” on the card, so I google searched that. Then I looked through and didn’t find what I found to be the cutest puppy ever until #5 or so. So I drew that guy and implored in the card that he should really be #1. And isn’t it a shame?
And then I started drawing puppies in my sketchbook like some sort of Lisa Frank addict or “pound puppy” collector. But those things are so cute it hurts! (which is embarrassing to admit… I think it’s some sort of misplaced hormonal baby lust, to be honest–use it or lose it. But to be fair I was one of those kids that got sad when my Tamagotchi died from neglect.) But, hey, they even give puppies to baby cheetahs to calm them down (and not in the way you’d expect–not as a snack!)
In the end, I’ve decided to make a series of these “Dear Google” zines where I ask image search “what is the cutest/best/ugliest/scariest _______ ever” and draw the results. I’m looking into, “ugliest baby” for Volume 2.
So, stay tuned for more of this crap! In the meantime, you can get your very own hand-bound, limited first edition copy of “Dear Google, Vol. I: What is the ‘cutest puppy ever’?” in our Etsy shop for just $3.00.
And, by the way, the puppies you don’t vote for: they get turned into horse food. It’s only fair.
This reminds me of the old national Lampoon cover, “If you don’t buy this magazine we’ll shoot this dog,” which used to hang on the wall behind my head with the rest of the clutter when I worked at Maple Street Book Shop in New Orleans.
So, be sure to check it out (or be careful what you feed your horse)! And also check out some of my other recent doodles. The one directly below is drawn from artists Piero and Laurence Gane’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra from the aforementioned The Graphic Canon Vol. 2.
And, the original “cutest puppy ever” sketches:
Below, some poorly executed self portraits with a bunch of unfinished work for my Facebook Profile Pictures Drawing Project:
And, a couple more self portraits to finish it off… I’ve been drawing everyone else’s face so often with my recent projects, that I figured I would practice a bit on my own. Without drawing, I might forget who I am.
P.S. Here’s a great break-down of what all is in the Graphic Canon Volume 2 if you’re interested in learning more about it.
And here is our recent appearance on Ann Flowers’ A Beautiful Party Blog: “A Day in the Life of Hannah & Blake Sanders.”