Mike Holmes’ Extraordinary Self-Portraits

A friend sent me this charming link, courtesy of NPR’s Robert Krulwich. It’s been making the InterWeb rounds over the last few months, but just in case you haven’t haven’t yet clicked on it as it floated past, I’m giving you another opportunity.

We start with a man called Mike and a cat called Ella. Two creatures.

Nothing odd about them, except that Mike has a beard and Ella is a touch chunky. Otherwise, they could be any cat and guy. Except…

…Mike Holmes (companion to Ella) is a cartoonist. And every so often, for an hour (that’s his house rule; he does each of these in an hour) he will do a portrait of himself and his cat, through the eyes of another cartoonist.

Holmes calls them “Mikenesses.” And they’re pitch-perfect. (I’ve always gotten a huge kick out of people who can mimic. Probably an off-shoot of my infatuation with classical music. Or maybe it’s just that I think it takes a lot of careful observation to mimic something or someone well. And as a guy who isn’t very observant myself — haven’t got the patience for it — I really respect that ability in others. So…envy, mostly.)

I love that Hergé version in particular, because we’re all huge Tintin fans in the Susanka House. But the Watterson and Berkeley Breathed ones are spot-on, as well. (The Sendak and Chuck Jones versions? Probably also spot-on, but …kinda creepy. Just keep walking.)

Also, back up. He does these in an hour; that’s his rule. As someone who can’t draw stick figures in an hour, I’m speechless.

The pdf book is available for purchase here.

About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.


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