Sunday, August 12, 2018

Live Action Naked Mole Rat


“My dad’s allergic to every kind of fur...”
Ron Stoppable and his pet Rufus the naked mole rat from “Kim Possible”

Our younger son was a bit of a Kim Possible fan in his younger youth despite the fact that the show ended in the year of his birth. It was one of Disney Channel’s most successful animated shows until the advent of Phineas and Ferb five years later.

Our son informs me that a live action version is in the offing. Images of the non animated Kim are easily found online.

We have to wonder, however, about Kim’s sidekick Ron’s companion Rufus. The naked mole rat is kind of cute in the animated series...cute for a naked mole rat anyway.

As we have the same problem as Ron-Dad is allergic  to most furry things- our son suggested that maybe we should get a cute pet like Rufus. 
I felt compelled to illustrate what Rufus might look like in a live action version. 
Unsurprisingly, the naked mole rat enthusiasm has passed. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fortnite Skins


Upgraded in Pink:

Our kids found the upgraded versions of the Drift and Ragnorak skins in Fortnite pretty compelling.

But my younger son tells me that the pink version of Ragnorak depicted here is just fan art and it should be blue.

This was a quick sketch cludged together in the morning before departure for camp, so accuracy was not at an all time high. 

Inari Fox Selfie


Things are cuter and more furry on the internet:

We had some conversation about whether the “Inari fox” pictures you see passed around online are “real”... i.e. pictures of real animals. 

As you might imagine, no, they are not real animals, but they are real objects made by @santaniel_toys.

But if they were real, you would definitely bring one to summer camp and take a selfie with it.

Robot and Son



We’ve been enjoying reading “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown on the subway to summer camp. A robot named Roz who is shipwrecked on an island populated by animals becomes the mother of a gosling. 

In my son’s action movie universe, the second act of the story would probably involve the revelation that Roz the maternal robot was actually a high tech killing machine from a future timeline, and she would have to use her previously hidden weaponry to save the island’s residents from an interdimensional menace. Many explosions would ensue. 

We haven’t finished the book yet, but I am pretty sure that is not what is going to happen. 

After looking at this napkin, my son told me that he envisioned Roz as looking more like Futurama’s Bender than the Terminator.

Bender would have been easier to draw.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Shark Headwear for Shark Week 2018


Chomp on Junior:

I hear it’s Shark Week. The folks at Fortnite companionably released a skin called “Chomp Senior” for some synergistic shark marketing. 

(The price and apparent desirability of Fortnite skins continues to boggle my mind...but I am a person who draws pictures on napkins for zero monetary compensation, so what do I know?)

Chomp Senior is a cool guy in a form-fitting shark-inspired outfit complete with a shark headpiece where his face is framed by the open shark mouth.

Sort of like this napkin, except I somehow forgot the important part which is that the cool guy is supposed to be wearing cool opaque black sunglasses.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Helmets on the Subway


What if we could all wear our favorite helmets on the train?

Everyone is absorbed in their phone on the subway- a sort of digital, mental helmet.

But wouldn’t it be more fun to wear a Fortnite or Halo helmet? And you could worry less about other people sneezing and coughing on you.

I started thinking about this after watching our younger son wear a cardboard helmet on the way home from camp.

I seem compelled to draw things on the subway, though the environment is clearly way too complicated for my skill set (and maybe the napkin genre) 

Just struggling to put one thing in front of another lends a weird outsidery art quality to the endeavor. And as a teacher at an institution that grants MFAs, I am afraid that my outsider privileges have been permanently revoked. Hashtag “notoutsiderartjustawkwarddrawing”

And despite the crowded train scene, I only managed to include 7 helmets, just the tip of the desirable helmet iceberg around here.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Shark vs. Knight


Left Shark vs Daedric Knight:

The kids have been playing Garry’s Mod. They are mostly interested in repeatedly blowing one another up with ridiculous weapons.

I thought their avatars could be interesting to draw in unweaponized acrobatic combat.

I might be alone in that interest.

...and while the Left Shark was not all that challenging, the Skyrim armor was clearly a bit more complicated than I needed. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Fortnite Llama


Llama, Llama, Fortnite Drama:

Damaged as I am by 15 years of sleep deprivation, I cannot hear the word “llama” without mentally echoing “Llama,  Llama, Red Pajama.” This is the hooky title of a children’s book that I read over and over again to at least one of our kids. (The younger one claims no knowledge of it, but that probably means I only read it to him 50 times instead of the 100 times I read to his brother.) 

Five minutes of googling tells me that this 2005 book by Anna Dewdney has since become a “cultural touchstone” and a franchise (several sequel books, a Netflix series, a rap by Ludacris, etc) So I am no doubt not the only one burdened by the mental compulsion to echo all instances of “llama” with “pajama.” 

But there is a strange relevance here in regard to Fortnite and online gaming.... 

Ms. Dewdney’s book was about a young person’s difficulty with staying alone in his bedroom without his mama.
As I recall, baby llama’s poor self-regulation eventually led to much “llama drama,” boo-hooing, and wailing, which finally summons his annoyed mother to tell him to simmer down and go to sleep....while of course reassuring him of her love. 

The drama, wailing, and general poor self-regulation in our house is now less about separation anxiety and more about the frustrations of online gaming in general...and Fortnite in particular.

We had intense stress about llamas over the weekend. I cannot claim a deep understanding of these “llama”/piƱata things’ role in the game, but their acquisition is essential. Hysteria can easily blossom when they can’t be found...or when, GOD FORBID, one is snatched away from under ones nose by another player.

Listening to my sons intermittently screech in frustration is perhaps unnecessarily traumatic for me. If only I, like the mother in the book, could successfully encourage less startling expressions of llama drama.

... but let’s be serious, I never succeeded in getting them to go to bed without drama.  
At least we did get a llama, so there’s that.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

More Fun with the Giant Pet Rat


Riding a Giant Rodent to Peer Group Notoriety:

While we were on the pet rat topic, our younger son observed: “if the rat was big enough for me to ride to school, and then it climbed up the building...I would be the talk of the school!” Indeed he would.

The rat here is climbing up the facade of the building that houses summer camp. I think they might be more flexible about that sort of thing than would his regular school.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ghost’s Mask From Ant-Man and the Wasp


The Joy of Headgear That Totally Obscures Vision:

Don’t get me started about the quantum realm where Michelle Pfieffer apparently had decades of access to shampoo, mascara, and fingerless gloves... 

And besides the character’s problematic relationship to physics, Ghost is definitely not a satisfying villain, or anti-hero, or whatever. 

But, as far as our kids are concerned: she has a cool mask, so it’s all pretty good. 

This particular napkin was a slapdash effort, produced in a rush in the morning before our departure for camp...when I was supposed to be making breakfast, folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher, packing the lunch....

I did not have time to capture the weird retro textural variations on the hood and suit...but did at least draw the weird, can’t-possibly-see-out-of-them, glowing, pseudo eye protuberances.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

NYC Subway


Handheld Puppies:
(What if everyone on the train had a personal puppy instead of a cell phone?)

I might be on the edge of becoming a full blown tinfoil hat wearing crazy person at any moment...but I will spare those not in my immediate family my thoughts on the topic of radiation. Let’s just say that I have a suspicion that maybe it is not a boon to one’s health to spend a lot of time underground in a metal tube full of cell phones that are constantly searching for a signal. 

These sorts of thoughts don’t stop me from riding the subway daily. But I am grateful that our younger son is tall enough that strangers on a crowded train can’t hover their phones directly over his skull while they scroll Facebook between stations. 

But wouldn’t be nice if we were all looking at our own personal puppies instead of phones?

Dogs have been clinically proven to improve the health of their human companions, but they are not exactly encouraged on the subway. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Optimal Pet Rat



We still remain petless despite our younger son’s sincere and persistent requests for a dog.

As I am sure I have already mentioned, I suggested to the kids that a rat would be a smaller, easier, pet...and maybe something that would not aggravate their father’s allergies.

Unsurprisingly, no one wants a pet rat.

Maybe we see too many of the non pet variety on the subway....and in our yard and garbage cans.

During one of our pet rat conversations, our younger son said, “we can get a pet rat, as long as it is larger than my brother and can teach me Kung Fu!”

Then there was some bickering about whether the hypothetical rat should be named Splinter or Ratatouille. 

If only there were a giant rat that could cook and provide educational exercise for the kids...

More likely the large rodent would be sitting on the couch eating cookies and watching YouTube just like the kids.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Mask in Blue and Gold


Mask in Blue and Gold:

The camp project was a clay face mask:

While other kids made cute animal faces, our son’s mask featured gold rimmed eyes crying blue streams.

I am resisting even attempting an interpretation of his imagery. 

But I did make a lessor napkin version.



Friday, July 6, 2018

Helmeted Knight with Background Dragon



Our younger son is working on a video at camp that features a knight and a dragon. We spent the Fourth of July making the knight’s helmet pictured here out of cardboard.

Fashioning compound curves out of corrugated materials proved way more challenging than I anticipated. I vaguely remember knocking out a cardboard “Captain Rex” Star Wars clone trooper helmet in an evening with time left over to draw the rest of the costume in Sharpie on white pajamas many years ago... So many years ago that my older son was young enough to develop a life threatening need for a clone trooper costume the night before Halloween...and apparently I was young and foolish enough to make him one. 

I don’t remember that helmet being so challenging, but perhaps I was just not sleeping enough at the time to form accurate long term memories.

Or maybe this loss of helmet building skill is a symptom of progressive cognitive decline: losing one’s keys, poor word retrieval, and the “inability to fashion helmets out of flat materials”

In fact, I am a little sleep deprived right now. Can you tell?

My son is now telling me that we need to remake the helmet over the weekend as he has decided that it requires a more complicated design.

At least the dragon is two dimensional.


Here’s the previous helmet from way back in 2009
Maybe it was more impressive in my memory...

Monday, July 2, 2018

DeadPooh and Cable Too


Consider yourself pounced.

Having sat through the “Christopher Robin” movie preview a couple of times now, listening to Ewan McGregor say, “POOH!” repeatedly....well, it seemed like we had to have a DeadPooh.

I was thinking about pairing him with Spider-Tigger-Man, or maybe Wolverine/Tigger, (too much claw similarity) but our younger son thought Cable was a better bet. 
Perhaps I was just trying to avoid the additional labor of figuring out what Cable was wearing in Deadpool 2 and exactly what his arm looked like.

As it was, I neglected to draw the stuffed bear on his belt...but perhaps that would have been redundant...or meta?

Friday, June 29, 2018

Incredibles’ Jack Jack and Jurassic World’s Carnotaurus


Which One Will Prevail?

We haven’t seen either The Incredibles 2 or Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom yet, and we are going to have to choose one movie to see first this weekend.

I think we are leaning towards The Incredibles. 
And clearly Jack Jack is going to kick that Carnotaurus’ butt anyway. It can’t even stand up to the tyrannosaurus long enough to eat Chris Pratt in the preview.

Not that we will miss an opportunity to see dinosaurs eat non super humans. 
Definitely not.