A Letter From Joe Biden

A couple of months ago, I sent off my book Veeptopus: Vice Presidents with Octopuses on Their Heads (which is for sale on Amazon, by the way) to three former vice presidents - Walter Mondale, Al Gore, and Joe Biden. I figured Pence and Quayle wouldn’t appreciate the book and I vaguely feared that sending one to Cheney would result in me getting spirited into an unmarked van by masked men.

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While, of course, I fantasized that one of these august figures would publicly and enthusiastically endorse my book, I really just hoped to get some kind of response. And a few days ago, I got a letter from Joe Biden.

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Sure, it’s a form letter but I’m still getting it framed.

Veeptopus On The Cover of The Santa Barbara Sentinel

As I write this, Apple is having their annual event in its new gleaming headquarters. The building - which I like to call Steve’s donut - is literally down the street from Veeptopus International. So in the spirit of the new iPhone 8 and Apple Store getting mysteriously dubbed “Town Squares,” I too have something to report.

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Veeptopus is having its first-ever book signing this weekend, September 16 from 8 - 11 pm, at The Rondo (202 W. Canon Perdido St.) in Santa Barbara. I love this because Santa Barbara is where I first started to put cephalopods atop elected officials. Having a signing there sort of feels like completing a circle.

 

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So you can imagine how stoked I was to learn that my event ended up on the cover of the Santa Barbara Sentinel. I’m pretty overwhelmed. This is the first time I can get the physical book out in front of people, which is great because people who see the book tend to really like it. It is — if I do say so myself — a very pleasing object to hold and read.

I will also have a handful of posters and T-shirts for sale from the Kickstarter. So if you’re in the area or you’re in LA and looking for an excuse to try some of the fine Santa Ynez wine, stop by and say hi.

 

 

Hey Look! I made a Veeptopus commercial!

I made this quick 9-second long video for the Veeptopus book, which, if I didn't tell you yet, is available now on Amazon! I'm pretty happy with both the book and the commercial. Check the vid out below.

The Veeptopus Book is Now On Sale!

That's right! You can now go out and order portraits of all 48 vice presidents with octopuses in one gorgeously bound volume. You can either go to my site or over at Amazon. I can't tell you how excited I am about this.

 

This book is the result of crazy stunt I did exactly four years ago today. My friend convinced me to participate in the From Dusk til Drawn fundraiser at the Museum for Contemporary Art at Santa Barbara. Basically, it involved drawing for 24 straight hours. At that point in my life – i.e. before children – sleep deprivation was a novelty. It sounded like fun. I was in.

I knew I needed a system. The last thing I wanted was to be struggling for ideas of something to draw at four in the morning. So after some debate, I decided to draw portraits of all 47 vice presidents of the United States. With octopuses on their heads. Still not really sure where the whole idea for octopuses came from.I learned that there was some alchemy that happened when octopus met VP: people liked it. That first gave me the idea to make this book.

 

It's been a long, winding journey to get the Veeptopus book out into the wide world. There are only a limited supply so act now.

 

I Can't Stop Drawing Pictures of Terrible People

So when I started getting serious about art, I wanted to make art about America's proud and complex history. I wanted to explore parts of our national character that have been obscured either through neglect (like 19th-century vice presidents) or through a more conscious forgetting. Telling the truth is one of the most important responsibilities of an artist. 

But since the election, that responsibility has been weighing on me. We have a president who, along with his mendacious minions, spouts utter lies every goddamned day. The political implications are, if you read history, terrifying. So I've been drawing work that clear and unsubtle. 

Betty DeVos is a terrible person.

Betty DeVos is a terrible person.

Though I'm looking forward to a time when I can go back to draw pictures about William Taft and badgers, recent events make this series seem much more urgent. I'm going to be starting something else, something bigger in the near future.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, here's a picture of Steve Bannon in a bathrobe. 

Liquor makes the pain go away.

Liquor makes the pain go away.

Faces of Trump Now For Sale!

If you read my recent posts, you know that I went on a weird Trump-drawing binge a couple weeks ago.  In fact, I drew about 100 of them. I'm not sure if it was exactly healthy, but it was cathartic.

So for last Saturday's protests, I took nine of my favorite drawings and put them on a poster. It got a great response, so it's now available in my store.

 

When I posted this online, a couple of my friends told me that I really needed to put this on a t-shirt. So I obliged. You can get one in white or in black.

https://veeptopus.myshopify.com/products/short-sleeve-mens-t-shirt-3

 

And, mostly because I could, I also put a Faces of Trump coffee mug in the store too.

 

And finally, because he is now officially the vice president, sigh, here's my official Veeptopus portrait of Mike Pence. With an octopus in his head.

Faces of Trump - Or How I'm dealing with the Inauguration of Donald Trump.

People deal with bad news in different ways. Some people use alcohol to numb the pain. Some wall themselves off from the outside world. And some stare into the abyss. I did all three in various forms over the past couple of months. The bad news, of course, is the election of Donald Trump - a man who seems an unholy mix of Bond villain, abusive stepdad, and enraged toddler. 

Lately, I've been compulsively drawing portraits of the man. Like I'm up to somewhere around 100 or so pictures. It's a weird coping mechanicism, I suppose.

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So I decided to make a poster out of it. I'll be carrying this at this Saturday's protests. 

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