Saturday, October 29, 2011


Haunted houses are supposed to be scary, aren't they? 

Not so, thought Eddie, I can stay in that one all night. I'm not scared of any ectoplasmic visitations!

 And as it was, that wasn't the problem, nor the thunderstorm, or the creaky doors and cob webs. Not even the cat that walked across the keyboard of the ancient pipe organ. 

No, it was the bats, plain and simple. 

No, wait, not bats, bats aren't scary.

 It was the mice. 

Mice, with hang gliders!

Or, if you prefer German: Fledermäuse, Nicht!! Fliegenmäuse mit Fallsegelflugzeugen! 

This is an elephant I sculpted out of paper, and painted a long time ago. But only today have I completed the haunted house and hang-gliding mice to put his terror in context. Elephants are apparently known for their fear of mice. What are you scared of?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fuel - Bicycle Gasoline

Bananas are yummy, and full of potassiummy goodness, as my friend Murray would say. But he's a gorilla, and slightly biased. I like bananas, and I live in the state of the Banana Benders, ie, Queensland, but last summer's floods and cyclones wiped out much of the banana crop and as a result, they have been horribly expensive all year, up to $12 a kg... A friend of mine has recently visited London, where she got to eat bananas at a good cheap price, kind of ironic as they don't even grow them there. I remember visiting eastern Germany during the last banana shortage in 2006, and eating lots of even more ironic bananas there. Because, back in the day, bananas where virtually unobtainable there, a symbol of the decadent west. I daresay they are cheaper there now than they are here...

Anyway, bananas are terrific fuel for cycling, it is said a single banana can give you enough energy for another 10km! According to the how stuff works website ' will find that a person riding a bicycle at 15 miles per hour (24 km per hour) burns 0.049 calories per pound per minute. So a 175-pound (77-kg) person burns 515 calories in an hour, or about 34 calories per mile (about 21 calories per km).
A gallon of gasoline (about 4 liters) contains about 31,000 calories. If a person could drink gasoline, then a person could ride about 912 miles on a gallon of gas (about 360 km per liter). Considering that a normal car gets about 30 miles per gallon, that's pretty impressive!

Actually the average banana contains around 172 calories, so, do the maths, how far could you go? At 21Cal per km, that's... well, only 8.19km, but bananas convert energy much more efficiently than do mars bars for example.

As I was doing this weird little illo for illustration friday, I had the Delirious song going through my mind, the one that goes:
 'She don't need no bicycle gasoline,
She just needs her violets.
She don't need no bicycle gasoline,
She just needs her violets.'

Brilliant song, very clever, slightly weird, but I like it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

time for a new look

Time to say goodbye to the classic Honzablog header and freshen the place up a bit. What do you think? 

Monday, October 17, 2011


Scattered. That's the Illustration Friday challenge this week. I was a bit stuck by this one, not wanting to do anything too literal. So instead of an illustration, I ironically ended up with literature, well, an attempt at poetry anyway. I didn't know where it was going when I started it, I just made a collection of words that rhymed with 'scattered and battered them into some sort of shape. How many allusions can you pick? Anyway, I scanned my sketchbook, and then collaged a few bits to it to make it a bit more illustrative. Ah well...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

IF - Contraptions part ii

Well, I already added the drawing of a masculine butterfly as my entry into Illustration Friday's Contraption challenge, but I was not convinced by it. I mean, I like the design, and I think it has a future to be developed into a future project, but it's not what I would really call a contraption. A contraption is something, in my book, that is cobbled together by an inventor, without the additional benefits of industrial design. Now, I'm a big fan of good industrial design, but I love contraptions too. I grew up reading the adventure of Professor Branestawm, looking at Heath Robinson drawings, wishing I had a mousetrap game and making stuff. 
And later on, what about Wallace and Gromit? I love that stuff! But, alas, my butterfly was more Buck Rogers than Heath Robinson.
But this is a contraption. How better for a young man to plight his troth by serenading his princess with his sackbut? A steam powered winch, a grappling hook (launched by a harpoon gun) and eight legs to climb her tower. She would be impressed! 
This is quite an old, but unfinished sketch - I finished inking it just now so I could scan it for my blog, but the design evolved and I actually made a working model which really did climb,  once I rearranged the centre of gravity and such! I moved the story into the thirties, and had my hero playing his trombone to the heiress of the BaconBitz empire in her penthouse suite of the BaconBitz ArtDeco Skyscraper from his 'Arachnoflyvver', which got industrial designed in the 1930's streamlined style. Hmm, not such a contraption now! But a definite Buckminster Fuller, rather than Buck Rogers influence! I was planning on even making a 3m tall art deco Skyscraper facade for it to climb. Maybe I will some day... I couldn't find the actual model, it's lost in transit somewhere, but here is a representation of it done in Google Sketch-up.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

IF - Contraption

This biro drawing was inspired by the phrase 'Masculine Butterfly'. What would a masculine butterfly look like? Hence this slightly gangsta sci-fi contraption. One day I would like to make a scale model of this, and mount it in a display case as if it were an exotic lepidopteric exhibit from the Amazon or some such place. Or is it a tiny Alien spacecraft designed to blend in in natural Earth conditions, although this may only be possible in a garden of artificial flowers...

Monday, October 03, 2011

IF - Hibernate

Why do so many people live their lives as if they are hibernating? As I wander around my local shopping centre I wonder at all the people there with dead eyes, going through the motions. If they look up they may see wonderful things all around them. Look again at the world with child-like wonder, maybe you won't see a roller-skating elephant in a pink tutu, but you may see something that will make you smile, make you think, make you live again...

The image that this illo is based on is the classic Australian painting Collins St, 5pm by John Brack,_5_pm