American Bystander #7 Has Arrived!


Well, actually I got the PDF for it over a month ago, but I don’t REALLY think an issue of AMERICAN BYSTANDER has arrived until my package of physical copies shows up on the front porch. This issue continues the high standards the fledgling humor magazine has set for itself, with contributions by mainstays M.K.Brown, Howard Cruse, Mimi Pond, Ron Barrett, Rick Geary, and Shannon Wheeler, as well as blushing newcomers Ted Jouplas, Sally Gardner, and R.O.Blechman, and a portfolio feature on pastiche maestro Chris Shapan.

My contribution is an illustration for a piece on mindful meditation practice in a Mad Max-style futuristic dystopian hellscape by Lars Kenseth (a gifted cartoonist himself, but possibly too busy to illustrate his own piece this time).

David Chelsea is reading: At the Strangers’ Gate: Arrivals in New York
by Adam Gopnik

Editor Michael Gerber asked for something riffing on this ancient Chinese mandala:


Here’s my first rough:


I usually do some combination of watercolor and coquille board for BYSTANDER pieces, but this job seemed to call for a digital approach. I constructed most of the illustration in Adobe Illustrator, but the meditating figure and the severed child heads were drawn separately in Photoshop and imported:



Here is the final result:


Think they don’t make magazines like this anymore? Well actually, they do. Or they will, if they can build a subscription base. It’s impossible to sell advertising in it for a million reasons, so AMERICAN BYSTANDER sells subscriptions to pay the writers and artists. Check it out here.

Or, just order an issue. Every little bit helps!