Monday, November 30, 2015

Darth Santa and Kylo Ren

They find your lack of holiday cheer disturbing:

It seems far too early for Christmas themed napkins, but with "The Force Awakens" breathing down our necks, I felt it might be time for this image.

The kids have been very pleased lately with Jeffrey Brown's book "Darth Vader and Son." But when choosing a kid to put in Lord Vader's lap, the boys agreed that Kylo Ren was the one who would be most comfortable there.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Retribution

Thanksgiving dinner strikes back...with squirt guns.

The napkin recipients' father hasn't eaten red meat or poultry since his childhood, so we usually have a salmon on Thanksgiving. My mom has contributed a turkey for those who are not philosophically opposed to the eating of poultry.

The original concept was thanksgivIng dinner items holding machine guns. Given recent world events, I tried to recast the machine guns as squirt guns. There is such a real world item- a clear plastic machine gun shaped squirt gun called the "Saturator." 

Star Wars Thanksgiving

"Only at the end do you realize the power of the Dark Meat"

Clearly grasping for a Thanksgiving theme this year...
The boys wanted to know why does Kylo Ren Turkey seem more fluffy than Dark Vader Turkey?
And why do they not have their light sabers?

Alas, I did my best. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ezra Bridger and Kylo Ren

Ezra, the adolescent hero from the animated show "Star Wars Rebels" and the big bad guy from the upcoming "The Force Awakens." They might be having fun...or engaged in a mortal struggle...we're not really sure.

This is the napkin that I was supposed to be working on during our appearance on the Good Morning America 40th anniversary live steam Star Wars segment last night. I did not make a whole lot of progress on it at ABC. We managed to shift the emphasis to the kids...well...pretty much just being themselves, rather than me trying to ink a napkin, which was definitely not going to make for exciting viewing.

At first, the boys were grouchy about having to take the train back into Manhattan on a school night. Then they were really annoyed that no one would give them the passcode for the ABC wifi (the nerve of those corporate security types!) and that they had to entertain themselves with offline games while we waiting in the green room with a rather depleted snack table. But they were thoroughly impressed by the other Star Wars content that preceded us: $3000 of Star Wars toys together on one coffee table! A family who built their sons AT-AT bunk beds! Another family who installed an enormous light-up replica of the Death Star on the roof of their home!

The kids managed to pull it together and be pleasant on camera when it was our turn. Our older son was so naturally chatty while offering his opinions on the relative merits of the several movies in the franchise, that the GMA host Dan Harris suggested that he might have a future in television.

By the time we left at 8 pm, the boys had downed a couple of cans of soda each and were revoltingly full of energy. They felt the appropriate post broadcast activity would be a trip to a toy store to buy Star Wars toys. We walked about 10 blocks bickering before I convinced them that their plan was not going to pan out.

I finished the napkin after I finally got them to wind down and go to sleep at 10pm.

My younger son specifically requested the combination of Ezra and Kylo for this napkin. But he and his brother would like to point out that Ezra would be much older by the time he might have encountered this particular character.  I couldn't cope with the task of aging Ezra while trying to keep him recognizable, so I assuming a time portal or some other excuse for the two guys being on the same napkin.

Got to keep these drawings plausible.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Good Morning America 40th Anniversary Star Wars Hour Appearance

The napkins have been asked to appear on a special live stream  of Good Morning America this evening around 6:30-7:30 as part of a segment on Star Wars... and people who do obsessive things relating to Star Wars I am guessing.

To quote from the GMA live stream at :
"Good Morning America” is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a 40-hour, non-stop live stream. The “40 for 40” event features celebrity performances, as well as exclusive, memorable content, special guests and will be hosted by current and previous “GMA” anchors. Watch the “GMA” 40th anniversary live stream from Tuesday, Nov. 17, through Thursday, Nov. 19, to celebrate 40 years of “GMA"

They have already had an appearance by One Direction, the cast of the Hunger Games...and right now as I am typing this with the livestream video window open, an attractive woman is talking about her favorite brand of hairspray.  

I will be talking to host Dan Harris, and, yes, drawing on a napkin...Live On The Internet..

I'm hoping the show will have the kids talk.
They are far more telegenic than I am.
And they know a lot more about Star Wars

For more information on Twitter and other social media, the relevant hashtags are:

Olaf on Hoth with Tauntaun and Wampa

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ewok, Jawa and BB-8

Diminutive Star Wars people squabble over BB-8...or maybe they are sharing nicely?

Our kids are pretty enthusiastic about the upcoming Star Wars movie... But will there be Endorians and Jawas?

(Probably a better chance of seeing Jawas on Tatooine)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cast of Characters Who Could be in "Goosebumps" Movie

...take one of those abominable group selfies...

My younger son and I finally saw the "Goosebumps" movie over last weekend. His brother was going to a fun birthday party, so he was feeling terribly under-served and required some compensation. As far as I was concerned the movie was pleasant, but not particularly memorable.  My son thought it was great and immediately wanted me to pledge to take him to the sequel, whenever it might be made and released.

While we own several "Goosebumps" books, and I have tried to convince my horror-loving children to read them on many occasions, the series has just not been very popular in the past at our house.  I must confess that I was unaware what a publishing juggernaut the series has been...350 million copies have sold worldwide, and it is the second most popular children's series of all time, according to Wikipedia.

The movie's specific and rather dopey plot aside, "Goosebumps" the movie's charm is that it is a compendium of funny horror characters and therefore transcends the possible failings of each tale of scary zombies, creepy clowns, malicious lawn gnomes, deadly werewolves, etc., etc.

Being an 8 year old, my son was willing to attribute the original creation of many of these sorts of characters to R.L. Stine and the Goosebumps franchise. I reminded him that certainly the idea of werewolves, zombies, the abominable snowmen and ventriloquist dummies among many others predate Scholastic Publishing, some by tens if not hundreds of years.

And, on a more personal note, several of these characters appeared in my recent sculpture show "Popular Monsters," so perhaps I am particularly not willing to cede all credit to Mr. Stine.

Today's napkin is a reunion of sorts of characters who could appear in a best selling children's book series, in a major motion picture, or in my small, unsaleable sculptures.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Kylo Ren and Darth Revan

Everyone needs a little R & R in their Star Wars universe. 
(Pithy tagline provided by my 12 year old son)

When the first "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" trailer came out a few months ago, there was a lot of conjecture about just who was that guy with the red lightsaber with the cross guards?  Some Star Wars authorities opined that it was a "Knights of the Old Republic" character, Darth Revan. Of course, Darth Revan lived thousands of years before the events of the Star Wars movies.... (You already knew that, right?) Therefore, it was rather unlikely that he would be appearing in the movie.

I guess he was such a cool dude that people were still hoping that the guy in the mask was going to turn out to be him. My older son tells me that Darth Revan could crush a planetoid the size of the Death Star just using his force powers. Take that, Luke Skywalker.

At any rate, while this Revan person is not in the upcoming film, it seemed like he should be paired with the guy who is, Kylo Ren.

They can commiserate about how challenging it is to not be able to see out of one's helmet, and how hard it is to go to the bathroom while wearing a floor length robe.

Perhaps the force comes in handy for that sort of thing.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Powerful Pumpkins

What did one Jack O Lantern say to the other?
"Cut it out."

Maybe not.  Maybe he said, "Watch out, or I am going to zap you with my lightning force powers!"

There's been a weird post-Halloween trend at our house in which the boys pretend to be pumpkins...not inert gourds, but fighting pumpkins with super powers.  

It defies explanation mostly. I think it has something to do with the "pumpkin armor" and "pumpkin costume" available in the Terraria game. 

I was going to draw said costume or armor, but the boys had made some pictures of their characters, and wanted me to work from their sketches. They explained that both pumpkin guys could generate force lightning and that one was wearing a wizards hat, and the other, a red fez.  

My favorite moment of their pumpkin game was an instance during a sword fight where the older brother had just skewered the younger with a Nerf weapon.  The elder pronounced him dead or at least injured, but the younger replied, "No, you just stuck your sword into my cut-out eye hole. You didn't hurt me at all."

They told me that in my drawing the pumpkins were too human and not cute enough.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Posing with Popular Monsters

Thanks to everyone who took the time to pose and shared the image on social media or with me!
The images below are by no means comprehensive...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Spooky Scary Skeletons

A Unicorn, a Velociraptor....and some guy....send shivers down your spine....and are really hard to draw.

As usual, I discovered that the phrase that my older son has been contantly repeating recently was not of his own manufacture, but was actually proliferating on the Internet.  My first tip-off came when one of his friends came over to, yes, play video games, and said the same phrase over and over in the same tone of voice.  (Again, I have been consistently sleep deprived for well over a decade, so it takes a lot for me to catch on.)

At any rate, "Spooky Scary Skeletons" is a 1996 song by Andrew Gold, a video of a classic Disney animation with the song that has over 5.3 million views on Youtube, some Minecraft video spin-offs, etc, etc. I am just going to say that there's a link to the "know your meme" page on the topic because I don't think I can begin to unpack all of it right now.

My son asked for unicorn, Alien and velociraptor skeletons doing a high kicking "Michigan J Frog" style dance.  I was definitely not up to the challenge.  I had a hard enough time just drawing some vaguely anatomically correct skeletons and trying to put one in front of the other.  And what does the Alien skeleton look like anyway? (No doubt the answer is available online somewhere...)

The original Disney short of the dancing skeletons is truly inspired and inspiring... and I should have done better. Maybe I will give it another shot.

My son had something more like this in mind...with skeletons. Easy, right?