Cartooning Like You Mean It

Cartooning, Teaching & Living – by Tom Hart

5 Obstructions, Matt Madden and Me

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A colleague asked to see the original 5 obstructions post, and I realized the image links were busted. I’m uploading here en masse to reinstate into the proper posts, found here.

Matt Madden has long been my good friend and my most consistent critic and standard bearer for me. Thanks for this, Matt. It’s nice to see your face shining so large and brightly in this post.


Written by hutchowen

February 28, 2016 at 3:08 am

Rosalie Lightning

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Dear friends, as many people know, my wife Leela and I lost our most precious life force, our most generative, beautiful, gorgeous daughter, Rosalie, this past month.

Her passing was shocking, ripped a hole in our hearts, “My heart is a blast site” Leela said. A friend offered, “Rosalie opened a capacious space in your hearts” – capacious, capacity. I get it.

We had just moved from New York City to Gainesville, Florida, in search of a simpler, less stressful life. Rosalie loved, absolutely loved it here. I will tell more of this story some other day.

Leela and I will be spending time traveling, first to the Golden Willow Retreat in New Mexico, for people grieving and suffering from loss. Leela first heard about this on the radio show Snap Judgment, when the founder of the retreat told his story of losing his wife, then his mother and children all successively. That show was broadcast on my birthday earlier this year.

After a return to Gainesville, which we too, love and are committed to staying and working in, we’re going to spend a week in Hawaii, where we’ve been offered a small free artist’s cottage in Makawao, Maui, at the Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center. This is a place we taught at when Leela was pregnant in 2009, and it is where we were happiest during those first 9 months. It also gave us the kick we believed to move to a more beautiful place and to start a school and center dedicated to making art.

In Maui, we’ll scatter Rosalie’s ashes there in the ocean. I always said she was a water spirit. I still believe it.

We’ve had an outpouring of generosity and love from you all. We have cards and emails and postings of all kinds still to open and read; the deluge of support and love from you all has been our greatest strength.

We certainly didn’t wish it would take a tragedy to remind us that we are loved among our friends, and even strangers, but reminded we have been. We thank you so deeply for your words, contributions, prayers. All that was sent our way helped bolster us, strengthen us in this time when we were so deeply deeply in pain.

Leela and I have been together on a long path. Suddenly diverted, shocking, terrible, but the path out is still forward. In the darkest times, your support meant everything.

We are feeling a lot of bruised and conflicting emotions throughout all of this, but one thing has remained consistent: our gratitude towards the people who reached out to us. We honestly could not, and can not, make it through without you.

Love each other, and thanks.

If you ever met Rosalie Lightning, keep her in your hearts, and send us your fond stories or reflections. She was special. We miss her immensely.

Tom Hart

Written by hutchowen

December 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Hutch Owen Strips: Dennis Go Does Down

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I’ll be cross-posting here and on Blogger for a while until the Hutch book, Let’s Get Furious comes out.

At the HOW TO SAY EVERYTHING blog, I’ll be detailing more about process, etc. Here’s I’ll just be broadcasting.

The following marks the largest single section of Let’s Get Furious, the largest sub-story in the book, called “Dennis Goes Down.” Dennis, clearly one of the world’s “1%” decides to go see how the rest of the world lives. He thinks they need a kick in the butt to get spending again. This was written in 2004 or 5, I think.

I was still drawing too small at this point, and figuring out how to use this small space. I don’t love these drawings, nor the color choices (the book is printed in black/white), but this is a pretty great long story. I’ll be posting the more  thing in the coming weeks.

I stole those teeth from Tanioka, the guy who invented “noseblood.”

The idea that we all, as consumers and producers, are part of a larger myth and story interests me, fascinates me and disgusts me to no end. What was in ancient times  a system of stories and rituals for coping, growing and evolving has been recast and relocated in commercial endeavors. It’s regrettable, maybe even evil but I don’t give people that much credit. We’re mostly just stupid and have lost sight our best options for our humanity: art, ritual, family, nature, faith, physicality, concentration, generosity, etc.

I wrote this while reading David Copperfield, which I never finished; got too carried away with this story.

Written by hutchowen

November 6, 2011 at 2:09 am

Posted in From Tom

Tagged with

Pushing this over to blogger

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Well, one year later I’m finally posting a “moved away” sign on this blog. We’re currently at

Most lite, personal stuff has wound up at Facebook.

This site is full of good archives so keep looking. In the meantime, visit the new school, the new blog, the new baby, etc.

Written by hutchowen

July 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Posted in --N E W S, From Tom

Greetings from Maui

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breakfastsAlright, this is where I gush like everyone else. Nothing original here. Leela and I have just returned from Maui where we taught in Makawao for 10 days and ravenously visited the rest of the island in our free time.

It’s paradise. Maui’s the first place for which I want to drag out that term, throw it around and see if it fits. It does.

The place is so full of life, of green and moisture and ocean and streams and lovely birds and wild-looking delicious fruits. It’s got wild chickens (see right (or is that one some sort of pheasant?)), lovely people, a defunct volcano (2 actually), hundreds of microclimates (including types of desert, tundra, rainforest, etc.), great coffee, silence, color, a love of art, the 4th best observatory on the planet (off-limits to the public), ranching, rodeos, plein-air art festivals, hula, keiki, craters, cattle, sugar cane everywhere, mangoes to die for, dragon fruit, glorious avocados,folk-art, giant trees, zen monks, taiko, pork-in-the-dirt, spam sushi, surfer car rental places, a long and fascinating history and tropical fish that will basically swim up to your cheek and kiss you in your pores, as if you needed one more reason to begin sobbing from the beauty of it all.

And the people are wonderful.

Hello to the fabulous Kelly McHugh, Caroline who runs the Hui, her wild and hugely interesting family, and to Maggie, Nathalie (Yay Nathalie), Keri, Miguel and Miguel, Lana, all the great students and the many others I’ve no doubt forgotten or whose names I can’t spell. I doubt anyone on Maui is so gauche as to google alert their own name, but in case Maggie Sutrov is listening, hello Maggie! Here is a link of her in the act painting her most recent splendid view of the island. (See bottom.)

And Travis Fristoe, if you go to Maui, you have a coffee waiting for you at HAZ BEANZ in Pai’a. They’re only open 7am – 1 pm so go early and then go sit with the sleepy dog next door.

Written by hutchowen

July 29, 2009 at 5:48 am

Review in The Comics Journal 298

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I reviewed Ron Rege’s AGAINST PAIN in the latest Comics Journal, #298.

For complicated reasons, what they printed was an unedited draft, as I hadn’t finished writing it. Nonetheless, it has the basics of what I wanted to say. So do the opposite of what Jeff Bridges says in “The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go“, and don’t read it for my style!

(He implores a character to read his Joycean epic “for his style, man!” It’s a charming, stupid moment.)

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June 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

SVA Cartoon Allies at Mocca 2009

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Cartoon Allies at Mocca 2009…

Cartoon Allies make their way to Mocca 2009

Cartoon Allies begin their slog to Mocca

Cartoon Allies make their way to Mocca 2009

Cartoon Allies make their way to Mocca 2009
Ok everyone’s cheery

Greg Fenton with his Egyptian $20
Greg Fenton shows off his Egyptian $20

Written by hutchowen

June 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Posted in From Tom