A break from the Portland sketches, but this is connected, for those toy pirates were bought in a toystore in downtown Portland. These are some of my son’s Playmobil toys, pirates and knights. This year he got into knights in quite a big way, after we visited the Tower of London and picked up a couple of plastic swords and a toy knight’s helmet. Since then I’ve been battered in an onslaught of medieval mayhem (he has a plastic bow and arrow set also, which I’ve been on the rubber-suction-cup end of once or twice), although we’ve made our own shields (his design, of course). However it is always safer (for me) if the battles are between little plastic men, so I’ve upped his Playmobil collection with more knights, and of course (since I was dressed as one myself in Portland), pirates. Well this set of pirates has a cannon, so the latest game is called “knocking down the bad guys”, though it evolves into a general theme of knights vs pirates. Let me tell you, this plastic cannon is pretty powerful, but those knights with their shields are equally tough and can sometimes take a bit of a pounding before falling down. I love Playmobil toys, they’re the best, and they’re also great to draw. These ones are in his Stillman and Birn ‘alpha’ book, the one where I’m drawing his stuff.