Karen Romano Young

From the desk: Doodlebug: My Novel in Doodles and Humanimal Doodles, a science comic in print and on the web.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Electrifying News About Humanimal Doodles

It's a rainy Sunday here at the Doodling Desk -- all the more reason to share the sunny, newest Humanimal Doodle in print, the Vespa Doodle. As with all my Humanimal Doodles, this one, just published in Odyssey magazine's May issue, covers news about what people are learning from animals -- in this case Vespa orientalis (that's its page at the Encyclopedia of Life, where eventually every known species will have its own page). Vespa orientalis is the Oriental hornet (or wasp). Scientists have discovered that its body acts as a little solar cell, turning sunshine into electricity.

But you know me: just say the name of a wheeled vehicle and I'm likely to drop it into whatever I'm writing or drawing. So of course when I realized that the source of the name for those nifty little motor scooters you see in European cities (and once in a while in New York or Boston or Bethel, Connecticut) was the Latin word for wasp, I jumped right on it -- on the doodling, of course, not the Vespa, alas. (I'd like a robin's egg blue one, although the orange one in that link is sweet.) I plopped a scooter right into the doodle. For me, that's part of the fun of doodling for me -- the freedom to free-associate in pictures.

I've been doing these Humanimal Doodles for almost a year now, since posting the Walrus Doodle during a trip to the Arctic Ocean. They've appeared in print and on the web (as on the World Wildlife Fund site in that Walrus Doodle link.) The Vespa Doodle is the sixth one that has appeared in Odyssey. In the works: doodles about mitten crabs, Alvin the submarine, and laboratory mice.

Here's the Vespa Doodle:

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