Monday, December 4, 2006
There are many activities that one should not undertake while binge drinking: open heart surgery, confessing to manslaughter, choosing a long distance provider, etc.
Ostensibly, you might add "fine arts" to that teetotaling list. If, however, Jackson Pollack has taught us anything (other than gullible patrons will pay good money for vomit on canvass), it's that artistic inspiration is often most profound whilst ripped to the tits.
It's with this premise in mind that Reverend Dave Johnson inadvertently began an international cult phenomenon. Johnson, a Los Angeles - based comic book illustrator for titles ranging from "Superman" to "100 Bullets," had no idea he would be spawning anything other than Schlitz farts when he went out drinking with friends last year.
"Well, I was sitting at home one day wanting to go out with a group of friends and hang out at a bar," sayeth the self-anointed Reverend. "So I suggested that we bring art supplies to see what we drew like under the influence. We've been doing that almost every weekend for about a year now."
These beer klatches came to be known as the Drink & Draw Social Club, and it soon inspired an army of like-minded inebriates to pick up Pabst and paper. Chapters began popping up across the country, and there's even a Drink & Draw UK across the pond.
"Drink & Draw Lawrence"at the Jackpot, Nov. 16Warning: contains explicit drawingsView audio slideshow(8 min.)
Joel Pfannenstiel, proprietor of Lawrence's Astrokitty Comics, is one of Drink & Draw's many online acolytes. "I thought-on seeing Dave Johnson's web-presence on Myspace for his Drink & Draw of the West Coast variety-that we should do something here," he said at the inaugural event. "So I'm calling this Drink & Draw Lawrence, and we're starting it at the Jackpot this evening."
"What better way to get people together, just having a good time, than giving them some crayons and some paper and some beer?" Thad Haverkamp, bartender for the inaugural schnockering at the Jackpot. "If it works for 3-year-olds, it works for bar patrons."
There was a crowd of about 30 looking to get their creative swerve on, with a mixture of dedicated artists and curious amateurs. The initially tranquil social exercise turned into a contest to out-repulse your doodling neighbor, thanks to co-organizer Joe Noh.
"The filthiest drawing tonight will win a $10 gift certificate," he announced. There were plenty of takers.
"I drew a wombat with an enormous penis," said Pfannenstiel matter-of-factly. "I said to the person next to me, 'Give me an animal.' They said wombat. So it could have been a trout with a giant penis."
- Friday, January 19, 2007, 9 p.m.
- 75th Street Brewery, 520 W. 75th Street, Kansas City, MO
- 18+ / Free
Animal genitalia abounded, as further evidenced by Kansas City artist Michele Witchipoo's portrait of a masturbating toad. "I usually never draw my characters naked, but I have a transsexual bullfrog as a character," said Witchipoo. The name of her piece? "Rubbit."
As the evening wound down, the stack of empty bottles was rivaled only by the stack of dozens upon dozens of beer-stained masterpieces. "I was shocked considering it's our first one," said Pfannenstiel. "It's been a glowing success. Lots and lots of hideous, dirty, filthy drawings have been made."
The next regional Drink & Draw will be in January in Kansas City, and then in Lawrence again shortly thereafter. The extended Drink & Draw movement will be featured in an upcoming documentary about Myspace and has a coffee-table book coming out in December.
Despite Drink & Draw Social Club's mushrooming popularity, Reverend Dave Johnson stays focused on the fundamentals. "The goal of Drink & Draw is simple," preaches the Reverend. "To hang out with good friends and have fun doing it. The rest is gravy:"