Shroom Raider issue 1 cover image, Amanita Jones sitting atop pink-hued chair-sized mushrooms

Adventures in Writing: Comics lettering (and editing)

[361 words, 2-4 minute read]

Hi folks! SCLeccentric just released another page of Shroom Raider, and I thought I should maybe share my lettering experience? Have you lettered a comic book before? I just lettered my fourth comic book page. Getting off to a slow start, but it’s goin’!

Shroom Raider issue 1 cover image, Amanita Jones sitting atop pink-hued chair-sized mushrooms

Issue 1: Mushroom and Zombie Flambé!

I like lettering because it requires great focus and is meditative.

The joy of lettering is that it gets me into a flow state: a state in positive psychology that indicates full immersion and enjoyment. I engage my breath and try to relax, which helps hone my focus while carefully drawing those lines. MUCH easier said than done, but practice makes perfect, right?

I tried a more flowery style the first three pages, which is pretty much my normal handwriting, but it’s just too much.

My first lettering style, a more flowery sort of font.

My first attempts at lettering. Work!

The style crowds the content in my opinion; it’s a bit distracting. Thus, I began writing sans serif and using all capital letters. It makes for cleaner lines and more consistent spacing in page/box margins and between lines. You can see the flowery style on pages one through four in the link below, and page five (and the new lettering style) is below the link:

Shroom Raider pages 1-4

And page five is below. You’ll see there’s a considerable difference between the two. I like the change anyway; it’s more fun to letter the second font. Hope you like the style too! Also, I edit the script before lettering it onto the page, and I’ll elaborate on that process soon—because, when it comes to writing, comic scripts are a whole different animal.

And! If you like these pages, or comics and illustration in general, definitely visit SCLeccentric.com for some illustrated laughs, adventure and excitement! See you soon!

Hello All, Last we checked, Shroom Raider was about to be eaten by a giant catfish! Will she make it? FYI, Psilocybin means “magic” mushrooms. That catfish should be tripping for a while. For once I actually have a few pages finished, so I can post consistently. Stay tuned, we will have another page for […]

via Shroom Raider Page 5 — SCLeccentric

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Fungi Fridays: Amanita phalloides*

[690 words, 3-5 min read]

The Amanita genus is famed for its deadly mushrooms. This genus can be trouble, but there are a few edible species in it. Amanita caesarea (Caesar’s Mushroom) is a highly regarded edible, and the species Amanita hemibapha, commonly known as the Half-dyed Slender Caesar, is edible as well.

I’m thinking the depicted pale mushrooms are Amanita phalloides, commonly known as Death Caps. I didn’t get the best look at these for identification purposes, but they were beautiful from afar! Many Amanita phalloides images depict fruit with greener caps than these two depicted mushrooms, but their distinctive volvas and pale coloration are red flags to me, and they’re just too immature to know what color they’ll turn.

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Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the Fly Agaric

The beautiful (but toxic) Amanita muscaria, commonly known as Fly Agaric, is in the same genus as the phalloides. Muscaria has been traditionally used as an insecticide and sprinkled in milk to attract unsuspecting flies. It also has religious significance in Siberian culture due to hallucinogenic properties caused by ibotenic acid, muscimol, etc. and many cultures reportedly use it as an intoxicant. Apparently, humans have found many uses for this ‘shroom!

As for reported toxicity, North American deaths from Amanita muscaria compounds have been documented as recently as 2012 though—which means people are safest steering clear of this mushroom.

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Likely Amanita phalloides, the Death Cap. Related to muscaria

This is as good a time as any to consider the possibility of poisonings, as they *are* a real danger in foraging. David Fischer of Americanmushrooms.com has a logical view on the practice, and below are some of his words concerning the hallmarks of intelligent foraging, how average people regularly avoid poisonings and who qualifies as an “expert”:

“Millions of North Americans pick and eat wild mushrooms every year, without as much as a belly ache.

Are they “experts”? Yes! At least, they are experts on the edible wild mushrooms they know. Either their parents or grandparents taught them how to identify morels, or puffballs, or meadow mushrooms, or they have a good field guide and they read it… or both.

No one with a reasonable understanding of the importance of properly identifying mushrooms—with a serious awareness that some species are fatally toxic—falls victim to the Death Cap. The folks who eat Death Caps do not use field guides: they just pick the damned things and eat them. No trip to the library. No reading. No spore prints. No idea what a “partial veil” is or what “gill attachment” means.

So… Is it really dangerous to eat wild mushrooms?

How dangerous is it to drive a car? If you’re drunk or careless, it is VERY dangerous; if you’re sensible and pay attention, it is reasonably safe.

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Amanita muscaria, related to the phalloides

Consider this: Would you pick and eat an unfamiliar berry simply because it “looked good”? Of course not. Finding, identifying, preparing, and eating wild mushrooms can be a delightful pasttime—IF it is done intelligently.

Otherwise, it is a terrible “accident” waiting to happen.”

I’m so grateful for all the mushroom knowledge made available thanks to the diligent study and reporting of mycologists around the world. They make it possible to forage intelligently.

 

edit 2/3/17: I replaced all instances of “Destroying Angel” with “Death Cap”. “Destroying Angel” fungi are also poisonous, but this colloquial term usually refers to A. bisporigera, A. virosa and A. magnivelaris, NOT A. phalloides. There is a European (spring destroying angel) A. verna which resembles A. phalloides. A HUGE thanks to 1left for bringing this to my attention, whose blog is a wonderland of knowledge about wildcraft and foraging. You should check it out.

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Genus: Amanita

Species: phalloides

Edibility: inedible – highly toxic

Sources:

https://botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/mar2002.html

http://americanmushrooms.com/deathcap.htm

http://www.bayareamushrooms.org/education/further_reflections_amanita_muscaria.html

*Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor *is* a novice) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

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Morel mushroom

🍄 Fun(gi) at the MSSF Fungus Fair!🍄

Driving across the bridge from the East Bay to San Francisco

On the way to MSSF!

Sam and I went to the Mycological Society of San Francisco Fungus Fair a few weekends ago, and it was nothing short of AWESOME! There’s nothing like learning about the largest branch in the Tree of Life with kindred souls!

There were two main rooms: upon arrival, you’re guided through the entryway by scents of tasty mushroom soup 🍲 and this savory serving foyer opened up to a huge room filled with mushroom fanatics performing fungi arts and crafts (there are so many ways to use mushrooms): A chef demonstrating his mushroom recipe, people dipping white scarves into rainbows of fungi dyes, excited children building multitudes of mushroom housesthen we came to the next room. The next room. Ugh. So much mushroomin’ it wasn’t allowed.

MSSF Fungus Fair life-sized diorama of a forest floor covered in leaf litter and fungi

Life-sized diorama of a forest floor you might encounter on a foray; it took up the center of the room.

There was so much information and so many specimens there that filled gaps of my fungi knowledge and will be super-useful in my fungi-related posts (definitely planning one re: California Chanterelles now). Accessing so much reliable information about fungi was invaluable, so I’ll be locating and attending fungi fairs as often as I can manage now.

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I also got these while at the fungus fair:

Wineforest Wild Foods brand dried Candy Cap mushrooms

Ever heard of candy cap mushrooms? Their binomial name is Lactarius rubidus, and I made candied yams with them! I subbed the candy caps in place of vanilla, and the yams came out with distinctive maple flavor. Contrary to what one might assume, the yams DID NOT taste like mushrooms. They tasted like candied yams with maple syrup…seasoning, if that makes sense…delicious! These are even good used in a roast duck or chicken recipe; they add maple flavor and distinguish your glazes, yum 😋 And  I only need to use one or two mushrooms per serving of any given dish. A little goes a long way!

What fungus fairs (or any sort of nature-themed fair) have you attended? Let me know in the comment section below 🙂

I can’t recommend attending the MSSF Fungus Fair enough, and you should definitely check it out if you live by San Francisco. I can’t wait for next year’s fair!

Fungi Fridays: Unknown*

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Unsure about the ID of these, and all my research on fungi foraging warns against picking any little brown mushrooms (called LBMs). Nice to look at, regularly not so nice to eat 🍴 the little brown ones are commonly difficult to ID and land many a brave soul in the hospital. They’re a huge reason why many adults tell children all mushrooms are poisonous (when it’s not nearly that simple, but I get it – better safe than sorry!). It’s possible they’re edible, but not likely enough to chance it without further info. I’m thinking they might be mycena? I have no clue though ><

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Genus: Unknown

Species: Unknown

Edibility: Unknown

Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is a novice) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

Fungi Fridays: Bear Bread mushroom*

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Here’s an Artist’s Conk (less commonly known as Bear Bread) fungus Sam crossed a river to cut down – he’s a big fan of Samwise Gamgee from LOTR, and I happen to be as well – sorry Frodo – so Teamwise was born!

The Artist’s Conk (Ganoderma applanatum) is a bracket fungus that grows within the wood of living and dead trees. It is a saprobic wood-decay fungus (meaning it colonizes rotting wood and dead organic matter), and it is quite inedible. But, though I can’t imagine the hungry forager who would deem this fungus edible, this fungus is also called “Bear Bread” for the obvious reasons.

Sam took a big dunk in the river to get this fungus too :O I recorded him making the trip across, and I’ll likely post videos on my Instagram of his trials and tribulations (thanks again Samwise!)

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Genus: Ganoderma

Species: applanatum

Edibility: inedible

 

Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is a novice) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

 

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Fungi Fridays: Turkey Tail mushroom*

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Trametes versicolor

(NOTE: I know today is Saturday – but the post didn’t publish yesterday as scheduled for some reason 😦 wonder why…got some sleuthing to do!)

Nothing like the famed bird so fondly consumed on Turkey Day, these ‘shrooms are in the polypore family. I’ve seen some polypore species cooked (@mallorylodonnell has great fungi cooking pics on Instagram, I love her feed) but they aren’t considered “choice.” That means lazy cookers should steer clear of bracket fungi, because it takes some work to tease the flavor outta these babies (ONLY cook the tender edges, the closer to the base you get the woodier your meal will be! And only cook YOUNGEST bracket ‘shrooms you find).

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Genus:  Trametes

Species: versicolor

Edibility: Edible with work, not choice

 

*Disclaimer: This site is provided for informational purposes only. Taylor assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequences of readers’ actions. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is an amateur) – but that’s where community input helps! Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!

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(Forageworthy) Fungi Flashback Friday: Pleurotus ostreatus*

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Pleurotus ostreatus

It’s (F)FFF Time!

You may remember this image from a post I made earlier 🙂

I fondly recall the dinner made from these oysters. I’ve had store-bought oysters and their flavor pales in comparison. How did I verify their edibility? Scent and physical characteristics like gill structure and surrounding environment (is it growing on a dead piece of wood? What kind of tree is the wood from? This stump was from an oak tree). Fried these babies with garlic, tasted JUST like bacon!

Find more info to help you forage safely here (I love this site): http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pleurotus_ostreatus.html

🍄💓🍄

Genus: Pleurotus

Species: ostreatus

Edibility: Choice

 

 

*Disclaimer: The information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. You should consult a doctor or mycologist for any medical or scientific advice concerning the fungi covered here. Tjdevarie.com assumes no responsibility or liability for any consequence resulting directly or indirectly for any action or inaction you take based on or made in reliance on the information, services, or material on or linked to this site. Though every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, identifications may be incorrect (Taylor is an amateur), but that’s where community input helps. Please, feel free to correct misinformation you find (or just add your two cents) in the comments!
Happy foraging!