Friday, September 25, 2015


(Before you read this let me explain that I have been cooped up at home with a cold for four days and am phlegmy and stir-crazy.)

A couple months ago I took this photo in the restroom of one of my favorite restaurants. 

I am struck by the way in which graffiti of reproductive organs reduces them to their essential elements. In this case the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. No cervix, no vagina. No parts directly involved in sexual intercourse, only those necessary for generating an ovum and housing it after fertilization. 

Why did the artist (named "Tooth" perhaps?) leave out the overtly sexual parts of female anatomy? I'm used to seeing simplistic penises, breasts, and labia scrawled on bathroom doors. But those are representations of the external, visible organs and tissues associated with sex. I never see graffitied prostates. What does this icon of (internal) reproduction stand for? Does a new generation of graffiti artists choose to imbue* pictographic female slang with new meaning?

Note the shading of the uterine wall. Another artist (I assume... Puzzy? is that a name or a misspelled label?) has added little red hearts and nestled a miniature uterus and tubing within the embrace of it's larger sister, who seems to be a lefty. It's kind of adorable. This little red icon of generation is like the Nike swoosh or the Stuyvesant Town fountain logo.

Nike's swoosh

Stuyvesant Town's fountain logo.
Local to the East Village and Gramercy areas of NYC.

Why does this uterine image haunt me? Probably because I don't know what it means. I assume it's a symbol of female empowerment. Its location in a restroom is degrading any kind of Womb-Power message, isn't it? It must mean something! The artist took time to include the finger-like fimbriae, for crying out loud.

"Tooth" and "Puzzy," who are you? Do I see you at the restaurant but not recognize you from your drawings?

*Yes I am using "imbue" from the French imbu - moistened, as a double entendre! And a tasteless joke!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I just returned from a great weekend in Riverside California. What was I doing there? Attending the Graphic Medicine conference of course! And speaking about teaching anatomy and drawing on bodies. 

I've been thinking a lot about teaching anatomy to massage therapists, cartoonists, fitness professionals, dancers, illustrators, etc. and the similarities and differences in what these groups "need" to know about anatomy.

One area that I think all groups overlap is in the need for us to be able to relate anatomical information to our own bodies as well as the bodies we are assessing, massaging, drawing, painting, teaching, making do push-ups, taking out to dinner, and more. Drawing on your own body, drawing on other bodies, palpation (of self and others), movement, exercises targeting anatomy, and visualization can all facilitate the somatic application of data that will be used in the service of others and/or to pass the final exam.

Similarities in learning objectives for arts and health sciences.

In my experience, understanding that my body is just like everyone else's body, anatomically, helps me to appreciate other gender, health, age similarities and differences. Our anatomy makes us all a part of the same herd of skeletons, lungs, muscles, pancreases, and digestive tracts. Just thinking about the bus (on my commute to work) being full of a bunch of walking livers gives me a thrill (and will distract me from getting car-sick.)

I brought Crayola Washable Markers to my talk and a surprising number of people were brave enough to draw on their own forearms along with me. We traced the attachments of flexor digitorum superficialis and extensor digitorum. Glad I brought Handiwipes!

 Flexor digitorum superficialis.

Extensor digitorum

(Thumb extensor and abductor muscles not shown.)

Thursday, June 4, 2015



Yes, the rumor's are true! In addition to my self-care mini comic First Aid For Drawing Injuries, available now through Birdcage Bottom Books, I have another mini out: You Are A Donut. Premiering at the Grand Comics Festival this Saturday June 6. 

Are you in for a treat! (Not a donut - the mini comic!) You are a Donut compares you to a donut to reveal 2 cold, hard, facts about your digestive tract. That's it, just two. It's very short.

Come by my table on Saturday at the Grand Comics Festival. Pick up a copy of "First Aid" or "Donut" or both! Pet my taxidermied rabbit!

Thank you, Pat Dorian for the photo!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


You're a cartoonist. You take care of yourself to prevent drawing injuries, do your stretches, take regular breaks, draw with perfect posture, and what happens? You start to experience pain while you draw anyway. Another example of Bad Things happening to Good People. What do you do? Go to the doctor if it's serious, but if it's a minor injury go to your bookshelf and start reading First Aid For Drawing Injuries or, Pain is Your Frenemy!

Finally, the sequel to (NO)PAIN! Injury Prevention for Cartoonists is here! This little tome can be used to help you reduce discomfort until you can see a healthcare professional, or it can provide guidelines for the self-care of mild drawing injuries that don't require medical attention. Explore R.I.C.E. therapy from the perspective of the committed drawer, learn some tips for understanding your pain, avoid making your injury worse, and more!

The benefits and dangers of compression... revealed!
How do you get your mitts on this mini? Come to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival and their Word Balloon Academy May 8-10! 

Not in Toronto? Pick up a copy at Brooklyn's Grand Comics Festival June 6.

Not in Brooklyn? By the end of May you will be able to order a copy through Birdcage Bottom Books. More on that soon.

Monday, November 10, 2014


You've seen Pictorial Anatomy of the Cute. You've seen Pictorial Anatomy of 007. You've seen New Linea Alba, which is essentially a "Pictorial Anatomy of Kriota". Now you can commission your own customized Pictorial Anatomy Drawing!

Who had the honor of being the first to be immortalized in all their muscular glory? The adorable dog Pochi at Fantastic Comics, that's who!

Here's the photo I picked to work with from the Friends of Fantastic Comics Tumblr.

I made a series of sketches locating Pochi's skeleton through all that fur. Glad he had a haircut! Once I had the skeleton laid down I worked in the muscles to fit his bony frame. I had to keep a list of what was what and where.

Then I retraced the line work, colored, and voila!

Pochi approves!

Zoey is jealous.

Want to give that special someone a gift they'll never forget? Say "I love you" or "Happy Vesalius's Birthday" with an anatomized portrait! I love doing commissions. You can message me on Facebook or Kriota (at) earthlink (dot) net.

Monday, November 3, 2014


Bored? Listless? Looking for that perfect three minute something to do? Well, my friend, I have an answer for you! Amuse yourself and test your knowledge of animal-human pathogen transmission.

The Zoonosis Activity page can be found in my mini Zoonosis and Tipsy Nephrologists along with gag cartoons of drunken doctors, the ill elderly, and a short series called "Don't Pet the Kitty!" The title says it all, I think!

The image in the mini is in black and white, but who can resist purple tinting? Not I!

If you'd like to purchase a copy of "Zoonosis..." you can find it at Birdcage Bottom Books.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


It's the incredible day that can't be contained in one blog post! So here we are for Part 2! (Yes, it took awhile, but waiting builds discipline.)

For the rest of my Vesalius 500 day I attended some excellent panels, and took my sketchbook. Good luck reading my writing! Good luck reading my drawing! If you are looking for some form of linear narrative, you are screwed. I usually start drawing in the upper left corner, work my way in pseudo left-to-right rows down the page, and then start cramming additional comments and illustrations up the right side. Eventually I just put anything extra wherever it will fit and create relationships that may not have been discussed in the presentation. Despite all that, I find other people's sketchbooks interesting. Here are my pages...

MK Czerwiec and Ian Williams gave a presentation about Graphic Medicine (comics with medical/patient/caregiver themes) and its evolution as a website, a transformative and creative practice, a teaching tool, and their personal relationships to comics and medicine.

Lisa Rosner, author of The Anatomy Murders, spoke about her discoveries in researching the lives of the notorious Burke and Hare and their victims. She described the culture of 1830's medical education, the premium on bodies for dissection, and the method by which B and H killed their victims. Then she went on to describe the ways in which the press misdirected the general public in their understanding of who their victims were, as in Mary Patterson was NOT a prostitute. For some reason I've been interested in the circumstances leading up to the Anatomy Act of 1832 so this was a "treat" (if such things are treats!)

Alice Dreger spoke about Fascinomas, pathologies or conditions that evoke fascination in the medical community. She also talked about the evolution of medical representation, the myriad messages behind anonymizing patient photographs, and towards the end rocked my world with a dismissal of the feminist dismissal of Vesalius' illustration of a vagina. Kudos, Alice!