Friday, August 9, 2013

First Contact in Ancient New Mexico

In recent travels with my parents, I experienced more of the great state of New Mexico—the state which looks and feels like the set of a science fiction movie. I'll have more to say about the otherworldly frontiers of the land of enchantment soon. For now, I'll share a piece of my own science fiction art, inspired by New Mexican artifacts.

At Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, near to Alamogordo, the rocky hills are docrated with more than 21,000 glyphs, chiseled into stone by the Jornada Mogollon people, between 600 and 1100 years ago. The images feature birds, insects, mammals, humans, circular symbols, abstract geometric patterns, and animals with geometric patterns on their bodies. A trail winds through the gallery of stones, and gives us a rare and up close view of the mysterious artwork. So many centuries hence, it is hard to know the meanings of images—archeologists and others can make but educated guesses.

We observed a bug-eyed creature, etched in the stone. We speculated that it was a record of humankind's first contact with aliens, centuries before the Roswell incident. I imagined what such an event might look like, and recorded this dream in my sketchbook.

UPDATE on previous post: After the rainstorm, the mighty thunderhead of bats rose from the cave. Evidently, the rains brought out more insects, and brought more bats from other regions for a stay over in our bat cave, just as the inns in Portland become crowded with travellers when a convention on local organic food takes place. Unfortunately for us, the additional bats didn't stay at our cave for long, and we have returned to a small but captivating nightly exodus of bats.

CURRENT EXHIBITION: On August 10 and 11, I am exhibiting at Portland Zine Symposium (Oregon), alongside fellow artist Lesley McClintock! I shall exhibit and sell my comic books Frog Stories, The Raven and the Crayfish, and others, as well as posters (Thunderbird!) Lesley shall offer prints, illustrations, and paintings, taking inspiration from Crater Lake and the forests of the Pacific Northwest. It shall also be great to see my comrades Chris Seigel and Nolan Calisch of Wealth Underground Farm!

Topmost photo by © Susan Moyle Studlar


  1. Ranger Ross, It was fun to read some of your posts (I cannot read them all as it is well past my bedtime and my older eyes have a bit of trouble reading white text on black background). Your writing makes me feel like I am right there. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your adventures with words, drawings, and photos!
    -Carole Holomuzki

  2. Carole, it is good and heartwarming to have your following on this little blog. I'll consider a different color scheme; maybe it's time after several years. I had thought that white-on-black looked dramatic, but then my skills in design lag far behind my skills in drawing and writing.