Sunday, September 22, 2019

Happy Doodle Diary Anniversary Day

"Do you have hands? Excellent. That's a good start. Can you hold a pencil? Great. If you have a sketchbook, open it and start by making a line, a mark, wherever. Doodle. " - Chris Riddell

"So darlin', Happy Anniversary
You've made my life for me
Once again, thanks for the memory
My darlin', Happy Anniversary."

- Roy Rogers


The 22nd of September...  a day after my birthday (gosh, am I really 52 already) seems to be the day for A LOT of things ... Car FREE day (OK, I won't be going anywhere today), Business Women's Day (congrats to all women in business), White Chocolate Day (not for me, I like mine DARK), Chainmail day (Will that be going well into the KNIGHT?), World Rhino Day (Some say they are just obese unicorns), Elephant Appreciation Day (not a lot of them around here), Ice Cream Cone Day (not for me today) and my two favourites of them all "Doodle Day" and "Dear Diary Day"!!!


I have been doodling since I could hold a pencil. Not so much on the wall, as some kids might - no, I was fortunate that my father supplied me with steady amounts of paper. At school I would always create elaborate doodles in my workbooks, which resulted in working for school newspapers, going to the Art Academy and eventually "doodling" for several newspapers and publications here in New Zealand. I still doodle - but theses days more on my digital tablet. Here are some examples:

Keeping a journal started for me in 1977, in the form of a travel journal - but keeping a everyday one began in 1979.
Wow - I have been doing this for 40 years!!! - Even in my journals I used to doodle, whether it was a map of a house or room, just some silly doodle in the margin or a breakdown of the contents at the back of the journal.  Many volumes have been filled since. Here's an entry of SUNDAY 22 September 1985. I turned 18 years old that year. 

But who cares about all those silly made-up days (Hmm... Ice cream Cone day DOES sound tempting) - the real reason to celebrate today is because it is our Anniversary!!!
That's right - our marriage turned 18 years old today. On the 22nd of September 2001, Debra and I got married at the Windrest Cottage in Te Puke. 

Happy Anniversary, Babe!
You truly are my rock in this turbulent river and looking
in the crystal ball, I can see many more great years ahead !

Monday, September 16, 2019

Happy "Collect Rocks Day"

“Polished round and smooth as marbles or lozenges of stone veined and striped. Black disclets and bits of polished quartz all bright from the mist off the river.”  
 -  Cormac McCarthy

BloQ LyriQs:
"I am a rock
, I am an island
And a rock feels no pain." 
- Simon and Garfunkel

Ever since I was a little Dutch boy I loved collecting rocks. If we would go places, if possible, I would build dams with stones and most likely bring back at least one piece of rock, a stone or a pebble... Over the years I have gathered quite a few. I still remember where some of them came from - a cool rock I got from my grandmother many years ago... an awesome crystal-like rock I brought back from America (1977).  Others have since become part of displays, like a western scene underneath our stairs or can be found in any other diorama involving movie and or Disney figurines around the house. 
Rocks are everywhere in and around our house... from my office desk, to hallway tables - even in the bathroom you will find an item of geology. From my trips to Canada as a kid, I remember my auntie having a rock tumbler. This would polish up most pebbles into the most amazing gems. I always wanted a rock tumbler, but never had the chance to get one. If there's anybody out there that will let me tumble some rocks - send me a message!

Whenever we go for walks along the beach at Ohawe, there's often at least a couple of rocks that find their way back home in my pocket. I always believe they talk to me - they have a story to tell, the ones that stand out - which makes me, I guess, the rock-whisperer. Rocks do have stories to tell - some rough, some smooth - some round, some rectangular. Showing the scars of their journey through time...  One thing I LOVE doing, is stacking them, at the beach I often create little carefully balanced rock towers - or cairns, as they are called. I take a few photos of them and leave them to the elements. Sometimes, after returning from a walk, the stack still stands strongly in defiance... other times the wind has swept them over, having rolled towards their next resting place. Maybe someone else will pick them up and throws them in the water (flat ones are great for skipping), or maybe some kid is turning one into a pet-rock.


I wonder what will happen to my rock collection when I pass on to the next phase of my spiritual journey. Will someone keep them and cherish them, like I did - or will they be scattered somewhere for others to find. Or just end up in a skip of rubbish...

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Happy Letter Writing Day

“The proper definition of a man is: an animal that writes letters.”- Lewis Carroll

Song of the blog:
"Wait, oh yes wait a minute Mister postman
Wait, wait Mister postman - Mister postman look and see
Is there a letter in your bag for me
I been waiting a long long time."

- Diana Ross

Today isn't just the first day of September, my birth-month - it's also kinda the start of Spring here in New Zealand - plus we have our father's day on this Sunday and to top it all of it is International Letter Writing day... Do people still write letters and if at all, would they still be writing them by hand or is are they just typed on the computer and printed out. Have emails and social media hacked so deep into the art of creating letters it's come to the point of extinction. 

I remember one of the first letters I ever wrote back when I was nine years old. It was sent to the EPPO magazine, my favourite Dutch comic magazine back in the 70s and 80s. I believe I wrote several letters and it was always exciting to get a reply, in those days done by old fashioned typewriter. Around that time I started reading Stephen King I even wrote him a letter and got a cool little reply back in the early 80s. It was also the time I had made a friend during a primary school trip and wrote letters with him for many years. Mid 80's my letter writing got even more elaborate. I still have quite a collection of letters I wrote to and from friends in Holland. The other day I got a nice message from one of my friends, she had found a box with old letters from me and send me a photo of the envelopes (her address has been obscured for privacy reasons).

Creating different envelopes became a real a real art for me back in the 80s. I would like to think that most of these little pieces of mail-art are still kept by friends in a box in their spare room or attic. I've got photo-copies of some of my creations, but it would be nice to see photos / scans of any of these little 80s treasures. With my friend Joris there were crazy mail-war battles where we created the most outrageous postal pieces of madness. One time he send me a wallpaper sized letter, that actually lived on my wall for quite a while.

Once I emigrated to New Zealand, for the first few years (before the internet took off) there were still a lot of letters to several friends - like the amazing correspondence with my fellow KABK student and artist Pepijn - but overall the level of letter writing soon started to die a slow death. These days, people share their life on social media. Photos of holidays, their family etc. But, it's not the same as the old letter in the mail. The excitement of a cool arty envelope. something you can touch - and look back at decades later. Maybe with people coming back from digital to vinyl and people giving up Netflix for books, the old retro letter writing will return to replace its digital email cousin.

SAFE the letters - write me a one today! 
Send me a cool envelope or home-made postcard:
eRiQ, PO Box 18038,
Merrilands, New Plymouth 4360
New Zealand

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Happy Vlogging Day!

"Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes." - Andy Warhol

Song of the Blog:
"You're gonna be famous, you want to go far
Name up in lights, everybody knows who you are
On with the show."

- Chicago

According to, one of the best ways to celebrate this "holiday" is by uploading a simple video of yourself to your favorite social media website and use the hashtag #VlogginDay as a way to let everyone know it’s time to vlog. Funnily, the other day today to celebrate is LAZY DAY.  So, I combined the two - because I was lazy, I took a 2009 slide-show from TEN years ago and submitted it for my 10th Vlogust entry. They also mentioned how "You can also use this day to listen to your favorite vloggers and hear their stories."

A few vloggers we watch quite often are:
The Crosbys ( A wonderful family with three cute kids, one of them Claire is a singer)
Justin Scarred ( I met him back in 2008 at Disneyland, love his style of vlogging)
Disdutch (Dutch vloggers, Hous and Mike take us on our Disney and Dutch adventures)

Those are some of the channels that bring us joy on a regular basis. We also watch most of Russel Brand and a variety of uplifting videos mostly during breakfast or lunch. Personally I do watch a few comic book related channels as well. Like Michael Minneboo and the Stripvlogger (both Dutch by the way).

Since the first of August I decided to take on the challenge of VLOGUST - not to get a lot of views or to become famous. More as a challenge, to find ways to create fun little videos under 5 minutes that showcase some of the things I like. Just a fun way to familiarize myself with the software and see what can be done without having to sit in front of a camera and talk. I am not a talker.  I have 14 subscribers, probably best friends and family, so that's my audience. I hope they get some enjoyment out of them, I know I do.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

To Vlog or Blog - that is the question.

"To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. 
Either you be or you don't be."
- Golda Meir

Song of the VLOG Blog:
"Baby, look at me
And tell me what you see
You ain't seen the best of me yet
Give me time
I'll make you forget the rest"

- Fame, Irene Cara

VEDA ... Vlog Every Day in August... or Vlogust.
My friend Minneboo made me aware of the concept of the challenge of vlogging every day this month. He had started doing it himself already. Not fair of course, (hahaha) -  because he is a journalist and just goes about interviewing all these cool comic book artists and has about half an hour of awesomeness to send out to the world of the interwebs! But honestly, we all have stories to tell. About our lives, hobbies, passions. There are plenty of things someone can share, something that SOMEONE will have an interest in.
Be it collecting empty chip bags (here) or the love for an animated DUCK.

I was happily celebrating 7 years of Facebook, back in 2014

The question is, what platform shall one use. Will you BLOG or VLOG, or why not both.
Michael Minneboo creates a blog each time he does a vlog, coupling the two... hand in hand, creating a symbiotic partnership between the social media. Plus heralding the whole process by announcing the new editions on the other popular digital outlets: Twitter and Instagram. I stayed away from most of the social media for a long time. It was taking up too much time and I felt like it was taken over by too much negativity. Facebook was one of the first ones I kinda gave up on. The last 5 years I haven't been that active and have cut out a lot of junk posts and ignored / deleted stuff that just doesn't appeal to me. I did befriend a lot more cartoonists and like-minded people recently, following photography groups and focusing more on the positive aspects of social media. Because after all it is just a tool, an outlet. You can go to a bookshop and be bombarded by bad writers and negative books, but it you go to the section that you enjoy, you WILL find what you want to read.

Youtube might seem like a young person's playground, but being you at heart I have embraced the visual medium of vlogging on Youtube and am going to do my best to use these cold wet winter days of August to spread some fun and joy around online. To warm up the coldness that people associate with Social Media using anything from my 50+ years of experience. So, have yourself a nice beverage (cold or hot), turn on your favourite device and head on down to my new Youtube channel for some daily entertainment. They won't be too long, on average 5 to 10 minutes, so that will give you plenty of time left over to click like and comment!
Click here and go and subscribe.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Happy Paperback Book Day

"There’s nothing like a printed book;
the weight, the woody scent, the feel, the look."
- E.A. Bucchianeri
Reading a LARGE paperback on a cruise ship.
Song of the Blog:
"It's a thousand pages, give or take a few.
I'll be writing more in a week or two.
I could make it longer if you like the style.
I can change it 'round,
And I want to be a paperback writer,
Paperback writer."

- The Beatles

To be honest, I prefer reading hardcovers (HC) - most of the novels I collect, like my Stephen King collection are in HC format. But I do have copies of a few of his novels in paperback format. The original paperback format is quite handy to take along in order read on a plane, at the beach or on a cruise ship (the first paperback books were aimed at railway passengers). My pockets have always been quite big, so it would easily facilitate a novel. These days most of my reading happens on my tablet and rarely ever do I even buy a novel in paperback format. Some of the King paperbacks I bought second hand purely for the cool covers (The Stand, because I read it a lot).

As a designer/illustrator I love book covers, they say you can't judge a book by its cover - but what if you actually just like covers. I mean, some of the artwork used for the covers could easily be framed and put on a wall. The cover art for Salem's Lot (1976), created by James Plumeri,with the red drop of blood dripping from the embossed mouth doesn't even have the book title or author's name on it. James Plumeri also did the design for my paperback of The Shining (1978), it actually looks to be shining with the reflective silver-like Mylar coated cover. Two of my favourite paperback books. The Stand cover art is by Don Brautigam. It was awarded "Cover of the Year" by Marketing Bestsellers in 1980.

Sadly, the cover art is nearly destroyed because of all the reading!

But my other all-time favourite paperback novel, not because of its cover, is The World According to Garp (1978). First read on a holiday to Sweden. I have had several copies - some I have given away. This green version, one I couldn't find much info about online, has been read A LOT !!! Some other example of paperbacks still in my bookcases, are books from Dean Koontz, Carl Hiaasen, Jonathan Carroll and Chuck Palahniuk.

Some of my paperbacks back in my old man cave.


Monday, July 29, 2019

Happy 22nd Birthday QQ !!

"Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!" - Dr. Seuss

Song of the BloQQ:
"For unto us a child is born
(for unto us a child is born)
Unto us a son is given
A son is given
Unto us a son is given"

- Joy to the World

Twenty-two years ago I walked around the streets of Whakatane with the biggest smile on my face, my son Quentin Nicholas Quaadgras was born on the 29th of July 1997. Since then QQ has grown up quickly from the Pokemon loving computer-game  playing little boy to the bright young man living and studying in Auckland. So proud of you, my son.

I will remember for always the days we read Dr. Seuss books to you, the times you entertained us dancing on the bed. Drawing together, playing play-station, having walks in nature, watching movies and having long conversations about all sorts.
Happy Birthday from Debra and me!
Original artwork for the card we send to friends and family when QQ was born.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Weird Headlines, Click-bait and Nordmende

"The world is still a weird place, despite my efforts to make clear and perfect sense of it." - Hunter S. Thompson

Song of the Blog:
"Let's make the headlines loud and true
Let's make the headlines - cause I'm giving it all
Yeah, I'm giving it all to you."

- The Spice Girls
1980 - Electric Dreams

For as long as I can remember I have had a fascination with printed matter. Books, magazines, newspapers - you name it. There are plenty of them in my collection and this includes the boxes of magazine and newspaper clippings. Have fun sorting through all of that once I am gone, my loved ones! Meh, who am I kidding - most of it will just end up in the rubbish. So, why keep it all - especially these days when everything is so readily available online. YEARS of news papers are there to look through in certain online archives, many magazine are digitally there to browse through.

I guess it's the feeling of nostalgia, going through one of those old archive boxes every once in a while brings back the memories of the fun things in our lives. One thing I came across was an old Nordmende TV/Audio equipment catalogue from 1980/81, that I re-purposed in the early 80s to keep weird and amazing newspaper articles. The ones that are now known as click-bait... Like "Jesus died of a heart-attack", "Japan will ban sex-tourism"  or "Man(85) coughs up bullet". All of them of course in Dutch - but, they still create a fun peek into the sensational stories that papers used to fill spaces.

The fun part is not only the articles have been all stuck in to fit a nice patterned design (something that would eventually become my job!), nor that I used Typex to whiten the areas in between and add the handwritten dates around them, but - the fact that it IS an old catalogue with "ancient" technology and because of some of the personal dramas around 1983 the project seems to have halted around that time. This leaves two-thirds of the catalogue EMPTY from news paper clippings. yet FULL of all the retro technology from the start of the 80s.

Who didn't dream of having a mini-combo TV/radio/tape-recorder/clock !!! Or your own home-studio VHS system or - WOW - a TV that could show you what the weather would be like... Oh,wait, ... nearly 40 years later now and all of that (and more) is in my mobile phone.  But, not this old catalogue, with roughly cut out headlines, stuck together by a 15 year old.. it's still sitting in a box to hold and cherish and I am giving it all to you, my loved ones!

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The Parent rap

My parents, (photo coloured in)
"Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them." - Oscar Wilde

Song of the blog:
"I am what I am
A family man
Mother, father, brother"

- Fleetwood Mac

 Let’s face it, the most important people in many people’s lives tend to be their parents.  Today, 27 July, is Parents’ Day. A chance to say ‘thank you’, and to show how appreciative you are of the time, effort and love poured into your (assumable) successful upbringing and induction into "normal" society. Good work, parents. Personally, my father died in 1999 and I haven't been in touch with my mother, sadly since 2004 (I have tried several times myself ...).

Most superheroes are often orphans in some way or another. Batman lost his parents after a shooting , when he was a young boy. Superman was send away in a rocket, by his parents when they realised their world was going to be destroyed. I never knew much about Spider-man's parents, other than a they might have worked for SHIELD at some point. It seems heroes just have to face it all by themselves. In the end, we all do lose our parents in one way or another. If we are lucky we end up becoming one ourselves and hope that we keep in touch with our own children for a long time to come.
Illustration by Zohar Lazar

Looking back at the adventures of Tintin, I can't remember any mention of parents at all. I guess Captain Haddock became a sort of father figure. But, more than ever at least one of the parental figures seem to be out of the picture. It's the same with many of the Disney movies. SPOILER WARNING: Bambi's mother dies. In "The Jungle Book", "The Fox and the Hound", "The Little Mermaid", "Aladdin", "Tarzan", "Atlantis", "Lilo & Stitch", "Finding Nemo", "Brother Bear", "Frozen", "Big Hero 6" and even the live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast" all feature protagonists who have mothers that have died, or have been killed or caught. Snow White’s mom died before the film even begins. There's a great article about this topic here:
Why Are All the Cartoon Mothers Dead?


Of course there are many comics and cartoons WITH parents... even IF the father is,... well, Homer Simpson or the "Family Guy"... Even Disney has some good parents in some of their movies, like "the Incredibles" who resemble other super families like the one in "the Fantastic Four" and even Superman seems to have a son these days. In the end, we will mostly remember our parents and the roles they played in our lives to the best of their ability.
Thnx Dad... Thnx Mum - where ever you might be.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

037 - RIP Rutger Hauer (1944 – 2019)

"'Good guy' or 'bad guy', hero or anti hero; doesn't matter to me, what role I play, only the character have something magical." - Rutger Hauer.

Song of the blog:
"Jukebox in the corner, Long hot summer
They've got a film up on the wall and it's dark enough to dance
What do you mean you've never seen Blade Runner?"

- Star Treatment, Arctic Monkeys

These days you find out things by a tweet...
Checking Twitter, after lunch, I read that one of my favourite Dutch actors has passed away. Rutger Hauer (75)...
I grew up watching him. In the 70s he was in a Dutch TV series called "Floris", I even had some books of the show. One of them made it all the way to New Zealand. There were many of his movies in the 70s as well, I saw them once they came to TV. Some, like "Soldier of Orange", made a huge impression on me (I even recorded some of the movie on audio cassette, that must exist in a box somewhere). I guess the fact that his character in this movie was named Erik played a part. When I went back to Holland in 1999 I bought the movie on VHS tape.

In the 80s I started going to the movies to see him in his American movies. He got his big break playing opposite Stallone in "Nighthawks", shared the screen with Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick in "LadyHawke", went back to his sword fighting days in "Flesh and Blood". terrorized us in "HITCHER" and had his fun ways as a blind man in "Blind Fury". BUT - my all-time favourite movie starring Rutger has to be BLADE RUNNER.

"Blade Runner" is right up there in my favourite movie top 10. I own the special collectors DVD collection case, that came with a small police vehicle from the film and a small origami unicorn.  I have the poster on my wall and a file of clippings from the 80s plus the movie comic book that came out in 1982 (Junior Press). In the book, comic book artist Al Williamson captures the infamous speech by Rutger Hauer's character really well and it is a fitting way to end this blog. Rest in Peace.