It’s always reassuring to see a couple of actual comics turn up in one week of drawings of the day. For those who aren’t lucky enough to live in this part of the world, at this time of year, the American Midwest is full of orchards gearing up for their big season: from bushel baskets and cider and doughnuts and sitting on hay bales, right through to the corn maze and the regular hayrides and then the pumpkins and the gourds and the fake cobwebs and finally the haunted barn and haunted hayrides of Halloween.
In sketchbook world, the best local orchard is run by a family of centaurs. It’s a great orchard, with a big sales barn smelling gorgeously of Fujis and Mackintoshes and cinnamon. They sell homemade pies and fudge and ice cream as well as doughnuts, and sometimes there’s homemade bread. And since they have a little vineyard and a wine license, they make hard cider too, and its really delicious. Their corn maze is huge, its design based on Celtic knotwork, not pictures of celebrities, and their hayrides are pulled by real draft horses. It’s pretty clear from this drawing that while the staff really looks forward to the haunted hayride, it is on the mild side, spooky but not scary. And afterwards there’s a bonfire, with crispy hot dogs and s’mores, and the sparks fly up into the dark sky. Everything smells like smoke and leaves and apples, and it’s just about perfect.
(I fiddled with the pencils of the basket of apples for a while before I remembered that the studio wastebasket is a cheap bushel basket from the local farm supply store, exactly like the ones you find at the apple picking orchard.)