Thursday, August 11, 2022
The Mesozine #2, new dinosaur comic featuring work by me, Stephen Bissette, Denis St. John, and more
Sunday, June 19, 2022
My eyewitness account and photograph of an alligator trying to eat a football and getting rescued, originally published on the Everglades National Park Facebook page, has gone viral! The Miami Herald, Newsweek, and the Belleville News-Democrat have picked up the story. I didn't think to include any football puns in my report because I don't follow the sport and don't speak football lingo. Luckily, the news outlets and public commenters can fill in with sporting humor. For example, Newsweek's headline: "Alligator Tossing Football Brings New Meaning to 'Go Gators' in Florida." :)
Thursday, March 3, 2022
This poster celebrates the rugged desert amphibian, the spadefoot toad,
and their courtship choruses after rainstorms! It makes a wonderful gift for anyone who likes frogs or animals in general. Give it for
Valentine's Day, Easter, Christmas, birthdays, or any occasion.
From my backyard in Carlsbad, New Mexico, I witnessed the spadefoot toads' summer of love. Spadefoot toads survive the grueling desert heat and drought by hiding in burrows for up to three years at a stretch. They emerge for torrential rains and gorge themselves on termites and other insects. Males sing their courtship songs (which resemble the bleating of goats) and mate with females in ephemeral pools. The eggs develop into tadpoles, then toadlets, then miniature spadefoot toads in only a matter of weeks. The year 2021 had an unusually high abundance of rainstorms in Southeast New Mexico, resulting in a productive year for our spadefoots. It was remarkable to witness this miracle of life, from cacophonous chorus to rapid metamorphosis!
Couch's spadefoot toad (Scaphiophus couchii) was the dominant species in my neighborhood. Western green toads (Anaxyrus debilis insidior) also made some appearances in autumn rainstorms, and I heard calls from New Mexico spadefoot toads (Spea multiplicata stagnalis) during a spring storm.
I could write a book about the process of making this poster, from painting it physically in layers of gouache paint and India ink to modifying it extensively on my laptop computer. I commonly hit up Duckduckgo image search for photo references for my artwork. This time, I used mostly my own photos (and some by my colleague Tristen Gleason, who rescued many spadefoot tadpoles from drying pools). The project began in August 2021; it survived my December move to South Florida and the December crash of my laptop computer. Like a spadefoot toad waiting for rain, I persisted.
FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING on this item
Friday, January 14, 2022
I moved to the Florida Everglades in December 2021! It is perhaps the closest thing there is to a real Jurassic Park, with its abundance of big reptiles and birds, and conifers and palms. In my district, Shark Valley, there are zero sharks, at least two crocodiles, and more alligators than I can count. I am a sailor on horseback in this subtropical climate and miss huddling by the fire against the chill of winter.
Photos #1-2 of this post: ©Ross Wood Studlar. Photos #3-10: NPS / Ross Wood Studlar
I drove to the Everglades from the west side through Big Cypress National Preserve and met my first alligator in Florida outside the Oasis Visitor Center.
After an arduous move out of New Mexico and cross-country trek and before the arduous task of getting moved in to South Florida, I stopped at the entrance sign.
I got introduced to the Everglades wildlife ….
Friday, November 26, 2021
Friday, October 1, 2021
My work will be featured at ABQ Zine Fest 10(!), although I will not be there in-person this time. The event takes place tomorrow Saturday, October 2, 11 AM- 5 PM at La Esquinta, 507 4th St SW, Albuquerque, NM. There will be various workshops and a pop-up store, including my books Frog Stories, Follow the Moon, and Can Jumping Spiders See the Moon? ABQ Zine Fest is taking a hybrid approach this year, combining real-life and virtual events. You can also check out the exhibitors online. I am there under the banner of Comics from the Wood. Here is their poster ©2021 ABQZF. https://www.abqzf.com/ #ABQZF #ABQZF10 #Comics #Zines
Monday, August 16, 2021
As a follow-up to my previous desert tortoise scene, I looked for an opportunity to draw a female in battle. I learned that while female tortoises rarely exhibit aggression towards their own species, they can be fierce in defending their nests and will even fight Gila monsters who want to eat the eggs. The only venomous lizard native to the United States, the Gila monster must be a foreboding opponent. But so is a reptilian battle tank with the temperament of a mother grizzly!