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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rocket Raccoon & Iraq

Have you met Rocket Raccoon?

After finishing my first drawing of the Doctor snorkeling, I turned my skills, such as they are, to the back of my admission ticket, a piece of 8.5x11" copy paper. I've been thinking a lot about Rocket Raccoon lately, probably because I've seen him three times now in Marvel Comics' new movie "Guardians of the Galaxy." I enjoyed how he was portrayed in the movie, even if it was different from how authors like Bill Mantlo, Dan Abnett, and Andy Lanning have approached the character. I've seen artists draw him in various ways, and my friend Justin Ponsor, who works as the colorist for the current Guardians series written by Brian Michael Bendis, has even drawn a picture of him (and his friend Groot) that was accepted by So I wondered what I could do with him. 

Instead of outlining his head, I started by drawing his fur, then his eyes, then defining his ears. Then it was more hair, and along the way, I started in on his snout. I've never been good at faces, let alone noses, and I was working from memory, with no images or models in front of me. I only spent a few minutes on my drawing, and most of that on his fur, but I'm happy with this first attempt. It's something to build on for later.

Dave & Busters may not have live raccoons for artists to draw, but they do employ waiters to serve their human customers. Twice while I was sketching a young woman came by and asked me if she could get me anything. Both times I assured her that I was doing fine, but I wondered if it bothered her that I was taking up space without buying anything at one of the booths in her area. So afterward, while I was waiting for the youth leadership conference to finish, I got up and spoke to her as she printed out checks at the cash register.

She thanked me for my concern, and told me that she had no problem with me sitting in her area. I asked her if she enjoyed working at Dave & Busters, a place that seemed synonymous with fun. Sadly, she said no, as people brought money for their food and games, but seemed to regard tipping as unnecessary. She was working her way through college, and upon graduation, it was her dream to go to Iraq, or some less-well-off country, and teach young children to read, write, and be more tolerant of others customs and beliefs. In the meantime, she was scraping to get by, pay for her education and living, and relying on Medical if she got sick. 

She seemed a rather erudite young woman, who claimed she rarely watched TV, and never saw a movie in the cinema before she read the book. In addition to her studies, she typically reads three books at a time, two nonfiction on subjects that interested her, and one novel or book of short stories. I've no doubt she could do well for herself should she decide to stay in the United States after she graduates, and her mother has argued repeatedly with her that she should do so, that going to countries like Iraq is unnecessarily dangerous. But she's more interested in changing the world, and making it a place where people regard others with respect, and live harmoniously with others. Her example lifted my spirits, and proved a welcome contrast to the words and actions of the minister in the banquet room. 

Please adequately tip your waiter or waitress, folks. You never know the potential ministry you may be funding.

Dragon Dave

Related Internet Links
Justin's drawing of Rocket & Groot

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