Well, he did it. By God, he did it. Front and center with his aviators and his Davy Crockett cap. Unfortunately, most of us never got the chance to see it, as there was no local broadcast. But what he, and perhaps the Royals, never counted on, was some fat shlub* in his basement pouring over highlight videos to spot the man, the myth, the legend, in all of his glory.
Crooow At Attention #1 - Chalk on Wet Cardboard
Here we see the icon, gently observing the machinations of the players. His countenance stoic, much like that of his avian namesake. Note the illustrator's inclusion of an advertisement for MyKiaKC.com just above him to the left, almost as a thought bubble for insight into the character's mind, thinking about Jen, and her quirks, longing for the commercials once more.
Crooow In Repose - Watercolor on Duct Tape
Even the shortest of days should carry with it the burden of a gentle recline. The strain of the day weighs heavy on even the broadest of shoulders. The string of connection between all of these various artworks is the illustrator's continued inclusion of the thoughts of the main figure as advertisements. Here, we are given in to the world of Crooow, as he thinks about Mitch Williams' twitchy, DT-shake responses on MLBNet. And adopting a puppy.
The Vanishing Crooow - Oil pastels on Tissue Paper
In a clever turn, the artist has excluded the focus, but left the form. Why? Where has He gone? What is he doing? But knowing what we know about the artist's previous entries (thoughts as advertisements), it becomes clear; He has gone to retrieve a delicious Palermo's pizza, noting that they are, indeed, "Pizzeria perfect." He wonders if they will have them at the All-Star Game?
Crooow Transformed - Plaster on Glass
Widely considered the artist's seminal piece of the collection, stated as such for it's necessary attention and previous understanding of the time period depicted. What many do not gather is what makes Crooow Transformed different than The Vanishing Crooow, other than the size and perspective. But those who have taken either a focus-course on 21st Century post-neo-classic-modernism, or a Statistics 101 course, have noted that the "Man on the Mound", as he was simply referred to before it's discovery, is in fact a man named Crow himself. Therefore, the clear absence of Crooow from his usual spot, and the replacement of this new man, known as Crow, are in actuality one in the same person. What a gloriously hidden artifact that the artist has included. It's a depth of field discovery that gives this piece it's new-found symbolism and meaning. All previous assumptions (he left to go get pizza) from the previous work are rendered moot; he has become the ballplayer, that which he watched is now himself. A stunning achievement indeed.
Here we see him, back again in his usual turn, at ease with his thoughts, resting and thinking. Power tools pervade his thoughts, filling him with ease. Perhaps a comparison of Billy Butler to a power tool? A chainsaw, or riding lawn mower perhaps? But his thoughts are broken. The Taco Bell meme invades his mind. He thinks how many years in a row he is sure to continue the trend. Four years. $44. 4 for $44. A blood-oath is paid, and determinism fills him with white light and a new sense of purpose. He WILL continue on. He WILL eat $11 worth of Taco Bell again. It is only a matter of time.
Croow in Agitation - RoseArt Crayons on a Vinyl Record
Something is amiss, but we are not sure what. The action is occurring off-panel. We simply know that it has caused an on-rush of emotion in our protagonist, and he is agitated. Is it excitement or anguish? We may never know for sure. But what we do know is, whatever has occurred, the cause of this out-pouring of emotion, it is simply too much. And yet, he can not tear himself away from his thoughts completely. The Taco Bell. The Butlerian Lawn Mower. The baseman flees off-panel right. Others look on with concern. Or it astonishment? The world may never know, but one thing is for sure:
The world will never be the same.