Tuesday, December 22, 2009

RIP Arnold Stang

Earlier today I saw the New York Times obituary of character actor Arnold Stang. (My new goal in life: to live in such a way as never to have the word "milquetoast" in the headline of my death notice.*) Anyway, the story caught my eye because Mr. Stang has been important to me for two things. First, his surname is "gnats" spelled backwards, and how cool is that?** Second, and frankly more important: he voiced the character Churchy LaFemme in the clay-animation film Pogo for President, which film I am sure I have seen more than any other, so sad is my life.***

At any rate, I commemorate Mr. Stang's demise with this quasi-pencil sketch, digitally darkened, and so faint in its original graphite version**** that I myself failed to detect part of the artwork in the scan and cropped it too close on the left (man, I'm out of practice with the machinery of bloggery...but all that's missing is part of a gravestone whose text is the title of this post):
* Perhaps fittingly, given Mr. Stang's work in animation, the term "milquetoast" is itself derived from an early comic-strip character, Caspar Milquetoast. Who knew?

** I wish I'd been kidding when I noted this, but it's true: every time I think of Arnold Stang I mentally read his last name backwards. Till now, however, it has never occurred to me to read his first name as Dlonra.

*** For further evidence in re: my life, the sadness whereof, see also: the previous footnote.

**** Graphite, but not pencil. I drew this with a "graphite object," a sculpture of a pea pod. If the object's not meant for drawing with, why does it fit perfectly cradled in a hand poised for sketching? I ask you...

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