The History of the Nib Geebles Calendar
The 2017 Nib Geebles calendar, features 15 illustrations from the Hansel & Gretel exhibit. Square format, size (8 ½ X 8 ½). To order yours visit the Merchandise page.
This is the 30th Nib Geebles calendar. The first one was made for the year 1986, by mistake. We commemorate this milestone with the 2016 Relationships Calendar. In life-affirming black and white, the Relationships calendar probes the big questions without having to answer them. Square format, size (8 ½ X 8 ½).
Arguably the best, vaguely menacing, black & white, botanically themed art calendar you'll see this year. Each one is signed, numbered and features a cigarette burn on the cover. Now in a square format, size (8 ½ X 8 ½).
In bold black and white, featuring a blistering hand-painted sun on the cover, the 28th Nib Geebles calendar takes a look at the weather - and the weather is weird. The wind blows, the rains fall, cars fly...and people all over the world still fall in love, especially weirdos.
The 27th edition is the 2013 Year of the Snake Calendar. Yes, there are plenty of snakes, the whole calendar is crawling with them. To make the snakes a little easier to handle we added decorative scribbles and so on. As an added bonus there are no references to the story of Adam and Eve.
Now in its 26th year, The 2012 Nib Geebles Dogs Deserve Our Compliments Calendar features 15 drawings done in a bold Splattervision graphic style. Imagery includes drinkers, a tiger, the invisible man, an ugly duckling, handsome guys, complicated social situations, sporks, and of course dogs (along with other beasts). As in other years, there are holidays galore (including some that those other calendars dont tell you about)!
The 2011 Eggs Over Easy Calendar. The calendar this year is dedicated to persevering through troubling times. Due to budget concerns the educational elements have been removed. Even the police presence has been greatly reduced. There is still some humor, but it comes with a price. What were left with is natural laws (the ones that cant be broken) and the means to look within ourselves (and to each other) to find what we need to find clarity in the confusion.
The Nib Geebles 2010 Brighter Day Rising Calendar is now available. Now in its 24th year, the Nib Geebles wall calendar has proven to be a reliable source for those wishing to know what day it is. It also provides another perspective on the human experience. This years calendar focuses on people who have gone into the street in search of a brighter day, from those who are for to those who are against. In the interest of public safety, this calendar features a greatly increased police presence.
This 2009 calendar takes as its theme the inevitable passage of time (and the affect of time on those who pass through it). The cover features two Jackasses back to back (or Donkeys ass to ass, depending on your preference), behind them time drips on. Inside are many useful suggestions on how to use your time wisely.
The Doomsday Love Calendar takes a sober look at love and relationships (the doom and gloom is mostly in the air but occasionally touches the bodies of the persons depicted). I can't honestly boast that the calendar will help stave off death for the viewer but at least it won't kill them. The biggest risk is probably paper cuts (and that can be avoided if you wear thick winter gloves when you're looking at it).
The parties, vacations and adventures are over and it’s finally time to get back to reality, sort of. The 2007 Reality-based Entertainment Calendar features more birds and things that fly and less furry animals than in years past. If you’re a fan of exotic locales don’t despair, one of the drawings depicts Calcutta, another Catalina Island, where you can relax with beer-drinking ladies on a three-day binge (for an entire month).
This marks the 20th anniversary of the Nib Geebles Calendar. I was practically doubled over after patting my own back so much. But I was upright enough to complete another calendar. I found another studio, a patio table on a rooftop where I work (I go there at lunch). This calendar continues the vacation theme, The Deep Sea Adventure Calendar. Yes, a lot of time is spent underwater and there are drawings of fish and frogmen. As it turns out I was so dizzy with delight over my 20th anniversary that I made a mistake worthy of my first years as a calendar maker; I neglected to write the dates for an entire week in the month of July. This was discovered in July, when it was too late to fix. For all those who missed important dates please accept my apologies.
The Vacation Calendar is yet another favorite. For several years I had been drawing all day, every day, in my cubicle at work (which I had decorated to look like a Turkish brothel. I bought yards of a fine purple and gold striped fabric and called in Ann Marie and Abira to do the decorating). I was so happy with the situation that people began to notice and I got promoted (which effectively ended my drawing binge).
The Rising Price of Pleasure Calendar is another favorite. The cover features two men in drag (a theme worth returning to). Most of the drawings are from the Vague Years.
We were buying a house in 2002 and so I spent all my time working on that and hardly any on my drawings. I did the entire calendar on Thanksgiving weekend (while the rest of the family was away). This was the only time I’ve ever spilled an entire bottle of ink. I had the bottle balancing on a piece of cardboard, one corner of which was sticking out. I accidentally hit the part that was sticking out and the open bottle of ink catapulted across the kitchen. I cut up several drawings and pieced them together in an effort to make them more cohesive. I used these in the calendar. Later, when it was too late, I went back and put them back together, realizing they made more sense in their original form.
Despite its chaotic origins, the Animal Vegetable Calendar was one of the most popular.
The calendar was all about Foxey Ladies. This is the first calendar to feature drawings from the Vague Years, a project I started that became too big and too vague to finish.
We all know what happened in 2001, I became a father. Details about the calendar are embarrassingly vague. I think the 2001 calendar was called, We Believe in Dreams (that may be just hearsay, it might have been Parade of Mortals). I was trying to go in a more upbeat direction and that may be why I’ve forgotten the details surrounding it.
We all thought this was the big one and I stored up gallons of bubbly water in case the clocks and computers went bad, they didn’t. The calendar was dedicated to Father Time, who looked blurry on the cover. This one, like several others from this period, is missing from my archive.
The Party Calendar, by this time I thought that my audience had been through enough and only wanted to (and deserved to) party. The cover was pink and so was I.
Strangely enough, I don’t remember anything about the calendar for this year, not even the title. Oh, yes I do, It was the Earth’s Beautiful Playthings Calendar. It contains references to my personal life at the time. I guess they all have that. There was also a recurring character, Froggie, who appears on the cover sniffing ether. In a later calendar Froggie becomes a prince and after that returns to the pond, a prince no more.
The Tomorrow Never Comes Calendar. This calendar contained a drawing of a centipede I’m particularly proud of (it didn’t really have enough legs to be a centipede, it’s more of a centipood). Again the cover didn’t reproduce as well as I’d hoped. It depicts a celebratory group of multi-hued nuclear people, one of whom is vomiting, I received no complaints. This concludes the small years (an unfortunate phase in presentation).
1996 was called the Daily Confirmations Calendar. This almost didn’t happen because I was in the process of moving to Los Angeles (for unknown reasons). We had just lost Jerome Caja, our old friend and inspiration. Jerome appears as Connie Krishna on the back of the calendar.
This begins the ‘small years’. I thought people might like a small calendar that they could have with them wherever they went, but it wasn’t small enough. The Social Surgery calendar had a black cover with a painting I’d done, Ape to receive heart transplant from 14 year old boy. Something was lost in the reproduction. I did the drawings with a Japanese brush pen.
This calendar featured a full-color offset cover printed by Clifton Meador, a genius who I was fortunate enough to know. The drawing on the cover was of a large person on top of a thin wisp of a person (they both look happy). It was handsome and I was proud of the drawings too but the whole thing was ruined by the words I’d written really small on the cover, ‘lying, fucking, fighting and low self-esteem.’ I was surprised when this alienated some of my long-term public (something I had once tried to do, and gleefully, but by this time I thought I was entertaining them). Nobody wanted the calendars this year and that summer I threw arm-loads of them into a dumpster (the saddest moment in my calendar career).
Another fine year, The Skintight Entertainment Calendar featured a hand-made glitter cover and appeared in a video by George Kuchar. The gluing and glittering on the cover was a decidedly labor-intensive experience and both the glue and glitter got everywhere, but for entertainment it was worth it.
The 1992 Human Folly Calendar remains one of my favorites. It had a handsome cover with a drawing of couple on the street, one with the other’s whole hand in their mouth. More than one person said how much they liked the Chinese writing in the background (referring to the buildings). I was gainfully employed and spared no expense on the printing. I worked with a great print shop, on Avenue A. They might not have been particularly interested in the calendar but they were paid handsomely and they did fine work.
1991 was called the Clean-living Calendar and came with a moist towelette. Viewers were supposed to see a connection to the calendar before it.
Everything changed in 1990. I was now in New York, New York, the place where I became something resembling a grown-up. Also, I learned to spread the ink on really thick. My first New York calendar was the Nature Calendar. The cover had a crowd of blobby people, all smiling. I hand-colored their lips blue. It came with a little crack bag (from the bodega down the street at W. 157th Street, where they sold “accessories”) I filled it with dirt. The dirt came from Madagascar courtesy of Dr. Robbie Ali. It was really nice dirt.
The 1989 calendar was unfortunately somewhat lackluster. I was in the process of moving away from San Francisco, for good, and was somewhat preoccupied with that. On my last day in S.F., I happened to notice the Chronicle headline saying that a plane had blown up over Scotland and all the passengers were killed. I didn’t know then that my friend Barry had been on the flight.
The calendar was called the Mandatory Feel Good Calendar. The cover featured three clowns brandishing knives (I had a thing about clowns for a long time. I’m over it now). If the drawings were sort of ho-hum the presentation had improved, good paper and a really sassy white spiral binding, instead of staples or black plastic. I was now with my life-accomplice, Abira, and was learning a lot and expanding my technical skills, by association. I hand-colored the clown’s noses and buttons on their shirts. It was shrink-wrapped again and was enclosed with a little package of Mayonnaise. My advertising slogan was, ‘All the days, holidays and Mayonnaise.’
it was obvious that I would have to do a calendar every year for the
rest of my life. This year I doubled my edition to 50 units. It had
a good cover, some naked, distorted looking people contorted into some
un-comfortable shapes (suggesting an air of togetherness). It was called
The Year of hallucinations (or something like that). I had friends who
had access to a shrink-wrap machine and (after hours) they went in and
shrink-wrapped all 50 of them, with condoms. It was the beginning of
my crass commercialism phase. The idea being that with this calendar
on their wall the owner would be getting laid more (unlikely).
by the disaster of the year before, I decided to make another calendar
for 1987. This time there would be an edition of 25, so I could alienate
even more friends and loved ones. It would be called The Naked Year,
owing to my habit of drawing naked people (I thought it was nice to
depict people in a way that they had nothing to hide, but there was
also the fact that my skills were such that drawing clothes on people
posed something of a problem).
As with most histories, the history of the Nib Geebles calendar is fraught with mistakes, mishaps and misgivings (including name-calling and fisticuffs).
On Christmas 1985 I was in the position of needing a gift for my girlfriend, who was coming over. Since I detested shopping and that sort of thing, I decided, with the aid of my friend and accomplice Richie “Heinous” Rynes (most of the name-calling and fisticuffs involved him in some way), to make a wall calendar. One that you could use not only to know the date and day of the week but that would also make you feel bad, just from having looked at it (this component was an inevitable consequence of viewing my artwork at the time).
The first calendar was the only one. I made no copies and in fact used original art. It was a primitive affair and was “bound” in a big hideous yellow book binder notebook. I punched holes in the artwork with a hole-puncher (that I had stolen from the big Woolworth’s on Powell street, in San Francisco. Shoplifting was out of character for me, even then. Woolworth’s is now out of business. I have myself to blame).
I can’t remember what the response was when I gave the calendar to my friend. In hindsight I can’t imagine that she liked it that much, it was cumbersome. It was also destined to fall from any wall you nailed it to, with a lot of clattering.
By March of that year the calendar was lost, sent in a box to Colorado or somewhere. Today I have no record of any of those drawings and can remember only one, a cowboy on a horse, riding away from the sun.
©copyright, gordon henderson, 2004