Friday, December 10, 2010

My Life (Right Now)

Words by Stiles. Photo by Camillo Longo.

(And seriously, please visit Camillo's site for some of the best photos you will see all year.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Leave Them Kids Alone

Sometimes a song lyric is a perfect six-word tale all on its own.

Roger Waters is out touring "The Wall", and from what I hear it's pretty incredible. My friend Jonathan Goldman snapped some pics from the show. (Nice seats!)

For further reading, here's a great article about the kids who infamously sang on "Another Brick In The Wall (Part II)" and their eccentric music teacher Alun Renshaw -- who by all accounts was anything but a brick.

Words and spectacle by Roger Waters.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Werewolf Idol

Halloween is coming. Time to bring out the ghouls, ghosts and creepy creatures. Andrew Bargeron created the art for this week's tale. If you're a fan of cool horror and retro sci-fi, then you absolutely must head on over to his official site.

Words by Stiles. Art by Andrew Bargeron.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Shade Lighter

The art for this week's tale is by my longtime friend J. Oyer Tomas. If you like what you see here, then there is an entire gallery of intriguing works awaiting you at his official site. Please head over for a visit, and tell them Six-Word Tales sent you.

Words by Stiles. Painting by J. Oyer Tomas.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just Add Words

It's B.Y.O.W. week. I give you the image, you give me six words.

Photo by Stiles.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


As an extra to this week's tale, here are some more photos of the Earthship. We took some pictures of one of the structures still under construction. (*Note the stacked tires.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off The Grid

This summer I spent the night in an "Earthship." It's a type of home made out of natural and recycled materials. The outer walls are created out of stacks of dirt-filled used tires. The electricity is harvested from solar panels and wind turbines. All the water comes from collected rain and snow melt. Glass bottles are used as "bricks" for the inner walls, creating a stained-glass effect as the sun shines through.

My Earthship was actually part of a community of other homes like it; a Hobbit village by way of "The Road Warrior." It felt like the past and future all at once.

I look at trash differently now. Our garbage can actually be quite useful. Combined with creativity and engineering, all this waste can become... beautiful.

Words by Stiles. Photo by Juliet Snowden.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Forged By Fire

Artist Mike Manomivibul returns to illustrate this tale of mystery, birth and alchemy.

Words by Stiles. Art by Mike Manomivibul.

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Any promise of something wondrous just down the highway and around the corner... I'm pulling over. Sure, I've been burned in the past, but my hope for roadside greatness never fades.

The week's photo is courtesy of Bonnie Hawthorne. Take your own little road trip and visit her site, filled with pics of unusual places and interesting people.

Words by Stiles. Photo by Bonnie Hawthorne.

Monday, July 26, 2010

"Escape from New York"

My friend Devin Roth did this awesome painting. We're presenting it here as part of the Six-Word Movies series.

"Flight of the Snake" by Devin Roth.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"Blade Runner"

This week's Six-Word Movie adaptation is by Jonathan Goldman. Jonathan is a writer living in Los Angeles -- and he plans on staying there until he gets his flying car.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"Harold and Maude"

I'm starting a new series this week called Six-Word Movies. We're taking some of our favorite films and boiling them down to the core. I've got some friends who will be helping out with these "adaptations."

Think of it as a micro film festival... six words at a time.

Adaptation by Stiles. Finger puppets by Abbey Christine.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010


New tale. New artist. Everyone please welcome Jason McAloon. He's got a totally unique design style unlike anything I've posted before. And now, in Jason's own words:

"I'm an artist/designer in Chicago.
Always seeking opportunities to work with people in the entertainment, music, and creative avenues.
Influences/Inspirations include fog, running, horror vacui, glitch, minimalism, outsider art, Swiss design, Troma movies, and the book The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.

I'm borderline reclusive. I have since childhood experienced chromaesthesia, where sounds and words evoke images of colors and different shapes."

Check out Jason's site for more incredible design work and follow him on Twitter for news on developing projects.

Words by Stiles. Art by Jason McAloon.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Six-Word Tales and Greg Ruth's 52 WEEKS PROJECT team up once again to bring you summer's biggest crossover mega-event! (Actually, we decided to continue with our Lynchian inspired series of illustrations and stories.)

Twin Peaks turned 20 a couple of months ago and it brought back all kinds of vivid memories from when I first watched the show.  One of my most terrifying TV experiences of all time was seeing "Killer BOB" hiding at the foot of Laura Palmer's bed.  In true David Lynch fashion, the entire concept for BOB came about as a "happy accident."  Click here, and Mr. Lynch will tell you all about it.

Some are scared to look into the abyss, but the mirror can often speak a different kind of truth.  Twin Peaks showed us that sometimes BOB was waiting on the other side of the glass.

Words by Stiles.  Art by Greg Ruth.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ride On

The above illustration was done by my good friend Greg Ruth for his ongoing 52 WEEKS PROJECT. The passing of Dennis Hopper had us both flashing back to our first terrifying encounter with Frank Booth from BLUE VELVET. It's one of the all-time great film characters, spun right out of a nightmare.

For the six words this week, I'm paraphrasing from Mr. Hopper himself. I was looking for a quote from one of his many films, but I thought his own honest words were more interesting. Here is the full quote:

"There are moments that I've had some real brilliance, you know. But I think they are moments. And sometimes, in a career, moments are enough."

Here's to the many moments... and much more.

Words by Dennis Hopper. Art by Greg Ruth.

(And please visit the 52 WEEKS PROJECT for weekly portraits of fascinating people and imagined persons.)

Monday, May 24, 2010


And now, the flipside of "raining ideas."

I resent the term "writer's block." It suggests that if you simply chiseled away at a big piece of stone long enough, an idea would start to take shape.

For me, it's a puzzle that I've screwed up beyond solution.

But this is just a tale. It isn't about me. Seriously. I'm fine.

Words and photo by Stiles.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Haunted Mind

I had been looking for the right image to accompany the above story. The fates were with me as I came across the work of Estelle Lagarde. Her photos remind me of classic album covers. I can hear the soft pop of the vinyl. The music starts and I'm staring at the record sleeve... wondering about the woman fading away in the corner.

For more of Estelle's captivating work, please visit her official site or her page at Millennium Images.

Words by Stiles. Photo by Estelle Lagarde.

("Clair-Obscur", from the series "Dame des Songes", 2006)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Nice Weather

I've been thinking a lot lately about where ideas come from. It's a different process for everyone, but we all experience the same feeling when the light bulb goes off over our head. There it is! The very idea I was looking for.

Many thanks to Ryan Pendleton for the use of his perfect photograph. Please visit his Flickr page to see more of his works.

Words by Stiles. Photo by Ryan Pendleton.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Next Generation

Among my family and friends, we have a bunch of brand new kids in the world. I'm predicting great things from all of them.

I'm also excited to have a new artist contributor this week. Please welcome Cole Rise and make sure to visit his site for many more stunning images.

Words by Stiles. Photo by Cole Rise.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Waiting For The Light To Change

Ever get the feeling that the Universe is trying to tell you something?

Words by Stiles. Photo by pinkparis1233.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Sound Of A Broken Heart

Track Listing

"One Step Ahead" - Split Enz
"Haunted When The Minutes Drag" - Love And Rockets
"Unsatisfied" - The Replacements
"4th of July" - X
"Kingdom of Rain" - The The
"No Feelings" - Sex Pistols
"The Unguarded Moment" - The Church
"Ways To Be Wicked" - Lone Justice
"Tell Me When It's Over" - The Dream Syndicate
"Here's Where The Story Ends" - The Sundays

Words by Stiles. Photo by pinkparis1233.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Night Patrol

I've got neighborhood watch duty tonight.

Be careful, bloodsucker. I know you're out there.

Words and picture by Stiles.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Arrival Day

All these thousands of years later, they still celebrate the day that the visitor came down from the stars. As it has been written, he liked their home better than his own. So he stayed.

Words by Stiles. Art by Mike Manomivibul.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Walk Of Fame

Another chapter in the "Hollywood Chronicles" saga... six words at a time. It's a cautionary tale that's been depicted in many different forms. One of my favorite versions is by the great Ray Davies. Cue the music:

Everybody's a dreamer
and everybody's a star
And everybody's in showbiz,
it doesn't matter who you are.
And those who are successful
Be always on your guard
Success walks hand in hand with failure
Along Hollywood Boulevard.

-- "Celluloid Heroes", The Kinks

(Words and picture by Stiles.)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spirits In The Material World

The average person spends approximately one-third of their life asleep.

That's years and years of your existence here on planet Earth... with your eyes closed.

Just something to think about. Happy Ides of March!

Words by Stiles. Art by Matt Strackbein.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Have You Seen Me?

In every city and town, there a bunch of great pets looking for families. If you're in Los Angeles, please visit the L.A. Animal Services website for animals to adopt. If you live elsewhere, check the nearest pet adoption service near you.

May all the lost find their way home.

Words and picture by Stiles.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stop The Clocks

There are a lot of new and exciting artists out there. San Francisco based Jeremy Forson is one of them. His work is instantly unique and I'm thrilled to have him as a contributor to Six-Word Tales. Please check out more of Jeremy's art at his official site.

Today's story is like a long lost Greek myth. Suddenly, it's a world without sunsets.

Words by Stiles. Art by Jeremy Forson.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Six-Word Sketchbook: Terry Wolfinger

Terry sez: "I grew up reading Mad and Marvel and was really influenced by the likes of Mort Drucker, Jack Davis and Bernie Wrightston. I'm a huge fan of some contemporary painters like Sebastian Kr├╝ger, Phil Hale and Simon Bisley. I've been fortunate enough to work with a couple of them.

Most of my work is illustration and design for video games, but also some comics, and occasionally concept work for films. I've always got a few projects going on the side, presently a graphic novel and putting together some paintings for an art show. Basically, I just love drawing and would be absolutely miserable if I ever had to stop. They're gonna hve to pry that ballpoint from my hand!"

More of Terry's work can be seen on his blog and also at his official site.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Next Scream You Hear May Be Your Own

Hitchcock would have made a great zombie movie. Or maybe he did...

Terry Wolfinger returns to illustrate this alt version of an iconic movie moment.

"Go as quietly as you can, not a sound until I tell you to run. And then I want you to run as fast as you can. Does everyone understand?"

Words by Stiles. Art by Terry Wolfinger.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Swimming Pools. Movie Stars.

Dedicated to all my friends out here... who came from someplace else.

Many thanks to director, photographer and designer Kathleen Lorden for contributing to this week's tale. Please visit her Flickr page to see many more of her incredible and diverse photos.

Words by Stiles. Photography by Kathleen Lorden.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Six-Word Sketchbook: Matt Strackbein

Since Matt created these preliminary sketches for this week's tale, I thought I'd share them with everyone as well as a little info about the newest member of the SWT gang.

Matt sez: "I'm always working on my own original comics - obsessively - but lately I've been contributing to two different zines, which I think are super cool. I appreciate the underground street level attitude that comes from zines and I'm very proud to contribute to them. In terms of my heroes, the list is: Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, Harold Gray, Milton Caniff and Norman Rockwell."

For more of Matt's work, you can visit The Matter, Stumptown Underground and Matt's site right here.

Monday, January 25, 2010

They Say It's Your Birthday

Please welcome Matt Strackbein -- another new artist joining the Six-Word Tales collective. Matt's got more tricks up his sleeve, so stay tuned for future stories from this clever chap.

Let the party begin! The Birthday Boy is waiting.

Words by Stiles. Art by Matt Strackbein.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Deep Freeze

We're very excited to have artist Mike Manomivibul join Six-Word Tales this week. Mike created an incredible series of illustrations for his book Jetsam that you must check out by clicking here.

And now... lay back in the sleep chamber. Comfortable? Good. You'll feel a quick blast of cold and then it's off to dreamland. Just one last question: What kind of world do you want to wake up in?

Words by Stiles. Art by Mike Manomivibul.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tomorrow Never Knows

Welcome to the new season of Six-Word Tales. I've got more incredible artists coming on board and we're very excited about sharing a fresh crop of illustrated microfiction with all of you.

So... this is the year. For decades, countless movies and books all but guaranteed we'd be living in an era where sci-fi dreams would become reality. We're finally there!

Or does today feel a lot like... yesterday?

Words by Stiles. Art by Greg Ruth.