Ho Tai, “the Laughing Buddha”

Ho Tai
Ho Tai

I thought I’d try my hand at drawing a Ho Tai, also called the Laughing Buddha. Unlike commonly assumed, this is not a Chinese representation of the original Buddha (Siddharta Gautama Buddha) but a rather different historical figure. He lived during the 9th Century and was a Buddhist monk. He worked away happily in the monastery kitchens and loved his food but he is not as famous for his prodigious girth as for his kindness and generosity. He often visited local villages and distributed food and gifts to the poor – especially children – becoming something of a Santa Claus type figure depicted carrying a sack full of goodies. After his death he was elevated to god status by the Daoists. It is easy to find all different sizes of Ho Tai figures in shops in your local Chinatown. Now you can impress the proprietor by knowing the correct name! (Note the pronunciation is ho – long o, and tai like tie)

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

more face doodles…

elf boy
elf boy
school girl
school girl
distressed woman
distressed woman

A few more face doodles today with these being perhaps a bit more fanciful than the last three I posted. Hope you enjoy.

We’re going away for a few days for a wedding so I won’t be posting anything new until next week. Hopefully I will have time to prepare something during that time though!

images (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Issa’s cat – my fish!

my fish!
my fish!

Mutual interests
are the foundation of love
but this is my fish!

Following on with the Issa’s cat story, a new haiku from Tom Radcliffe inspired the above comic. Perhaps though, there’s a little regret in that backwards glance – or maybe just confirming a good decision. I think she was only into him for his fish anyway!

This is number three in the Issa’s Cat series. To see them all, click the Issa’s Cat comic category on the side.

Now on Le 12 as “Mon Poisson!”

Image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

the cloudy river of the sky…

Li Bai drinking alone by moonlight
Li Bai drinking alone by moonlight

花間一壺酒。 A cup of wine, under the flowering trees;
獨酌無相親。 I drink alone, for no friend is near.
舉杯邀明月。 Raising my cup I beckon the bright moon,
對影成三人。 For her, with my shadow, will make three people.
月既不解飲。 The moon, alas, is no drinker of wine;
影徒隨我身。 Listless, my shadow creeps about at my side.
暫伴月將影。 Yet with the moon as friend and the shadow as slave
行樂須及春。 I must make merry before the Spring is spent.
我歌月徘徊。 To the songs I sing the moon flickers her beams;
我舞影零亂。 In the dance I weave my shadow tangles and breaks.
醒時同交歡。 While we were sober, three shared the fun;
醉後各分散。 Now we are drunk, each goes their way.
永結無情遊。 May we long share our eternal friendship,
相期邈雲漢。 And meet at last on the Cloudy River of the sky.

poem Li Bai, translation Arthur Waley

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Issa’s cat dines out – part 3…

catch of the day
catch of the day

Caught red-pawed!

Issa’s cat is caught!
But a cat may look a king
right in the eye.

Poetry thanks again to Tom Radcliffe in the comments! There is also an interesting commentary there if you want to check it out.

On another note, you can see the adventures of quite a different sort of animal when a camel gets feisty with a bucket on cute overload. It’s pretty amusing – don’t forget the hover text is more than half the fun!

This sequence now available en français on Le 12!

Image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer

Issa’s cat dines out… part 1

"all good things..."
"good things come..."

There can be some distractions on the road looking for love… and Issa’s cat is fairly easily distracted.
The scent of fish is strong near the cafe by the wharf and a cat could score a fine dinner if his timing is right! Just waiting for the perfect opportunity to get something a bit tastier than fishbones…

A fragrant fish
piques that most feline feature:
curiosity!

A new haiku to accompany the image thanks to Tom Radcliffe in the comments!

image (cc) 2009 Hilary Farmer