Harts Pass No. 376

While it's been hard for me to get excited about TOO much in the grand scheme of things this past year... I sill find relish and solace in a lot of little things a little closer to home. A fine line then regarding complacency and action but sometimes a little joy is necessary. Nearly a foot of snow in the last 24 hours is a good thing all around. At least in my book. Happy New Year!


Harts Pass No. 375 -- Happy Holidays!

So my family and I happily went to STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI on Monday afternoon in Wenatchee. As per usual I also had a comic due on Tuesday. So... something about wolverine kids wielding candy canes like light sabers - a marmot that vaguely resembles a porg - and definitely some commentary on this whole malarky about one holiday wish being somehow better than another. I mean give me a break. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Felice Navidad, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Yalda... the list goes on. The idea is that you warmly greet another human being with some potential respect for their own particular cultural heritage and also some greater appreciation that we are NOT all necessarily Christian or required to live by a certain set of religious traditions. And so the Star Wars theme of a determined resistance against imperial forces has also somehow made its way into my Christmas comic for 2017. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!


Harts Pass No. 374

It's true, I think, that the anticipation of a recipient opening their gift is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. And for the most part with this comic, I just really wanted to figure out a way to use that drawing of the "too big" hat pulled down over Kit's head :) Merry week before Christmas!


Harts Pass No. 373

PS While this comic is not exactly based on real life events, thrifty dad types who rarely visit the doctor's office BEWARE!

PPS And given the way that our country is being run of late, "crystal clear vision, but zero depth perception" might also carry weight as a political subtext...


Bear Witness Comics No. 5

If my Polar Bear Post Card Project was about optimism for something good -- the now more than ever critical plea for President Obama to have protected ANWR from oil exploration -- then the point of these Bear Witness strips is definitely to shed further light on things that are not. 

Sometimes my opinions might be one side of a perfectly healthy debate or a varied take on political opinion, but in certain other cases flat out WRONG things are happening -- and we need to hold voters and (even more so) self-interested politicians accountable. 

I've set up a separate website for these comics, so feel free share this as much as you'd like or to check in at www.bearwitnessscomics.com, but even though I'm primarily a children's book illustrator I also plan to post them here on my illustration site. 

Surely the political bent here is a little beyond the average primary or secondary elementary school student, but my intention here if nothing else is to use my art to express an opinion and to stand up for things that I believe in. Even those of you with differing political options have to appreciate and respect the value of that discourse in our society. 

We can do better. We need to do better. Back room political deals and partisan tax reform packages that affect the ENTIRE country but only benefit the few? I don't care if that the way that things are done. That is not the way to do this. GRRR!


Harts Pass No. 372

There are a lot of people in the world that could benefit from a little contemplation and humility... but there is one person in particular who needs this most of all -- and he's certainly NOT a young wolverine reveling in the early days of winter. That being said, our President is absolutely tone deaf to the needs and concerns of real people with real struggles in real communities. And so it goes. I hope that there are still pieces to pick up when our country finally comes to its senses.



Harts Pass No. 370

Definitely inspired by TOO much waiting around for things to happen. I try not to get bogged down in waiting, or reading the news, or overthinking things that are quite a bit beyond my control... but it seems to be a pretty natural thing to which we all fall victim. I do feel much better for sure when I just keep moving -- or "acting" -- or creating and don't metaphorically stare at the "buffering" for too long. Onward and upward!


Bear Witness Comics No. 3

The so called "uncertainty" is insane.

Bear Witness Comics No. 2

I'm admittedly new to the political cartooning, but "bear" with me if you will. I hope to do at least one or two of these a week, and there seems to be plenty to talk about. A rapid-fire morning here as I add things to my blog that have already landed on Instagram and Facebook. Enjoy!

Bear Witness Comics No. 1

A new series of comics for me - and this time with an intentionally political bent. It's not much really, but in some fashion similar to the Polar Bear Post Card Project, these Bear Witness strips will be a way for me to process the news of the day and to participate in the conversation.

And hopefully, somewhere in these words and pictures will be a reminder to think -- to have a respect for our fellow citizens (and bears even!) - and to take things like science, and common sense, and decency into account before making crucial decisions that effect our communities, country, and world. 

Full disclosure - after strongly considering Bear Witness comics -- as in certify, attest - provide evidence for the truth of something; or to declare - to state emphatically and authoritatively - I decided to make a title change starting with my 4th installment :) The original title, Bear in Mind comics just wasn't quite as sturdy. 


Harts Pass No. 369

The "falling back" is a little weird I'll admit -- but it definitely bothers some people on a whole different level. Bring on the dark. Bring on the snow. Winter baby! Ready to go!


Harts Pass No. 368

Posting this one a little early... and also a little late! Fun to be drawing a Halloween costumed family of wolverine super heroes (and villain) on the actual day, but it shows up in the paper today and usually online on Thursday. Alas, so it goes. Hope all the kiddos had fun trick-or-treating!


Harts Pass No. 367

The return of "Dear Melanie!" It's been years since she answered any reader mail and the time has come to get back to work. GRRR!


Harts Pass No. 366

This one pretty much speaks for itself...


Harts Pass No. 365

I'm a bit of a broken record when it comes to fall. My second favorite season of the year for sure!


Harts Pass No. 364

High school math has entered our den -- where three variable terms form one most excellent trinomial expression! Mr. Foley, feel free to correct or elaborate upon my understanding and/or use of mathematical lingo!


Harts Pass No. 363

I'm getting over my first cold of the fall -- and an early one at that (to be blamed in my mind on too late summer forest fire smoke). Anyway, nothing that a little fall color can't cure for sure. Cheers!


Harts Pass No. 362

Always very glad for a quick onset of winter weather. Sure, we'll get another little wave of heat, but fall is here to stay and the best days of the year are yet to come!


Harts Pass No. 361

I love my daughter, but I have to admit that packing sack lunches is one of my least favorite things about the new school year. I mean, it was kind of fun to mix it up with little a bit during those first 5-6 years... but at this point one less thing to do on summer mornings is kind of nice :)


Harts Pass No. 360

Last week was the official start of the XC running/coaching season, and in all of the excitement I pretty much TOTALLY forgot about making a comic for the paper. Back again this week, but unfortunately so is the smoke from area fires. Most of eastern WA has been in the "unhealthy" to "hazardous" air quality rating over the past several days -- and it makes it hard to coach and outdoor sport for sure. On some small level, what with air-conditioned spaces and a change of pace, I can even imagine that kids actually might be enjoying the first week of school. Fingers crossed!


Harts Pass No. 359

An end of summer haiku -- for you!


Harts Pass No. 358

When we left for vacation the air in the Methow Valley was some of the worst in the state. Its better now, but you know that the smoke is blowing somewhere... Back on track with a new comic for 8.23!


Harts Pass No. 357

GRRRaaaaaaahhhmaaa! Just in case you can't read the hand lettering above :) Part and parcel of many high stress situations... and a passing phase as usual.


Harts Pass No. 356

Last week's Harts Pass. A few friends have 9th grade kids off to school away from home next year... THAT would be pretty rough, but great of course if the kids are excited about it!


Harts Pass No. 355

A few fires in the south valley last week... which were amazingly and quickly under control. And a new one this weekend to the north and west. Summer in the wild west indeed!


Harts Pass No. 354

People (and marmots) get excited about things in vastly different ways. I mean sure, there are some common instances of general excitability... but then there are those finer lines or variations on a theme. Hope that you're enjoying summer -- whether it it shows or not :)


Hart Pass No. 353

Happy 4th of July week :)


Harts Pass No. 352

And the grass IS really tall this year!


Harts Pass No. 351

My daughter and I were out for a run last week - and were attacked by a Goshawk! This happened to me maybe six or seven years ago and I know that the same bird has been equally aggressive with a few other friends and neighbors that have likewise accidentally ventured too close to its nest (which I still haven't actually seen BTW). At various other times I've encountered cougars, black bears and protective mother mule deer (almost as aggressive as the goshawk) but being chased through the woods by a taloned falcon is pretty much the scariest encounter of them all!

Harts Pass No. 350

Gack! My comic from last week -- to be follow shortly by the strip for 6.21. Now that summer is officially here, be sure so save some lazy days!


Harts Pass No. 349

Graduation was last week at our local high school, but the critters at Harts Pass are wise beyond their years as per usual. G'day mate!


Harts Pass No. 348

Spiders invading the house... and the Paris Climate Agreement on my mind.


Harts Pass No. 347

The weather last week was about as fickle as my ability to post. A short week ahead with State track meet coaching duties on the horizon, but Harts Pass will arrive as usual on Thursday. GRRR!


Drawn to Color: A Pacific Northwest Coloring Book!

Sasquatch Books has the final copies of Drawn to Color: A Pacific Northwest Coloring Book ready and waiting for their August 22nd release! 50 pages of coloring thrills by 20 critically acclaimed and up-and-coming PNW children's book illustrators. For children and adults, the variety of art ranges from simple to highly detailed, offering a range of coloring challenges.

PS I have two pages in here as well :)

Harts Pass No. 346

By guest cartoonist, Malloch DeSalvo! And Thor VERY much likes the idea of thinking about something... and making it come true :) Thanks so much to Malloch, Dexter, and ALL of the kid cartoonists in the 4th grade at Methow Valley Elementary!


Dino Doodle!

DINO TRACK! Track Dino? This is what happens when you help out with HS track and have 3-4 HOURS of bus rides to fill 1-2 days a week. I should post more often, but this was from last nights sub-district travel-fest :) Drawn on the iPad Pro in the Procreate App. PS: The kids ran GRRReat!


Happy Children's Book Week!

Just celebrating the week with my local bookstore here in Winthrop, WA. And while we're at it, former Methow Valley-ite Corinna Luyken will be here in two weeks to give a valley debut for her brand new BOOK OF MISTAKES!


Harts Pass No. 345

On the heels of another successful comics workshop at the local elementary school... we bring you SPRING TIME COMICS by Dexter Delaney! Guest commentary by Thor - but look out for the porcupine/wolf-with-cymbols wake-up patrol :) A big thanks to Methow Arts for bringing artists into  classrooms near and far!!

PS Stay tuned for a second guest cartoonist next week!


Harts Pass No. 344

A great writing quote, but applicable to SO many other things with regards to decision making, leadership, and perceptions of competency!


From the Archives!

OK, so for the sake of public discourse I'll politely give the "archive" designation to my mother's basement. In reality, it is/was an absolute nest of items that needed SERIOUS sorting, but there's nothing like a basement cleaning to bring family together :)

That being said, I DID uncover (and bring home for posterity - perhaps to my wife's dismay) two early writing samples: High Treason in Catfish Bend (circa 1983), and My Life in Alaska (1985), plus an old copy of Walt Disney's Tips on Animation, which might have belonged to my dad, but which served as a major source of inspiration to my younger artsy ways. Thanks mom!


Harts Pass No. 343

Loup Loup Pass to the Okanogan: currently closed due to a sliding/collapsing roadbed - in TWO different places! For those communing back and fourth from the Methow to the Okanogan, this adds about 40 minutes each way and perhaps an extra 40 miles total. The Loup Loup wolf pack? They're totally fine with it. Nature bats last... GRRR!


Harts Pass No. 342

OK, one more springtime edition of Harts Pass :)


Harts Pass No. 341

This is the comic from last week... when we were on Spring Break in California. And the photo below is of the snow in the air on Monday morning, April 10th :) To be fair, the yard was still covering in 4-6 inches of snow when we left, so for the springishly minded the situation is actually improving. As my first-ever book editor used to say, onward and upward!


Harts Pass No. 340

So traditions have their groundhogs as prognosticators of Spring. But here in the Methow... when the marmots hit the sunny rocks (just FINALLY emerging from the snow this year) then you know that we're really getting close!


Spring School Visits in Tonasket, Washington!

So this is what it looks like on a March 24th afternoon when you drive from Tonasket back to Winthrop, WA... and we're four weeks into the track season too :) A really nice visit with the 4th graders at Tonasket Elementary -- and they just wrapped up a week of making their very own books with help from the UW Pipeline Project and the "Alternative Spring Break" program (read a little bit below or follow the link.) Anyway, the kids were great and the program seems like a fantastic way to get UW kids out n' about into all different corners of the state. Thanks to all!


Harts Pass No. 339

It's March Madness... and with Sweet Sixteen appearances for both the Wisconsin Badgers AND the Michigan Wolverines, the mustelids are tearing up the courts. And hopefully they still will be later this week. GRRR!