Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lil Bub and Terminator


Internet Cats with Robots: Day 2

Why this pair? It really defies explanation.  Lil BUB definitely seemed like the obvious follow up to Grumpy Cat.  According to her official website, she "has overcome great challenges, is a published author, a talk show host, a movie star, and has helped raise well over $100,000 for animals in need." 

When I spent a few sleep deprived minutes contemplating which pop culture robot would be her ideal counterpart, I did not have any sort of epiphany.

 While C-3P0 does have a similar facial expression, in hindsight, perhaps I should have gone with Ultron.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Baymax and Grumpy Cat


"Hairy Baby!'

Ansel had forgotten how much he liked "Big Hero 6."
He had not, however, forgotten the "Hairy Baby" scene.  As it was included in the original trailer, and the more recent advertising for the DVD/iTunes release, there was really no way to forget it.

Mochi, the cat in the movie, is mostly agreeable and plump. After listening to many repetitions of "Hairy Baby"and marveling at the efficacy of sound-bite advertising on the 8-12 year old mind, I was perhaps feeling...grumpy.

And I am continually impressed at the internet meme and marketing marvel that is Grumpy Cat.

Additionally, yes, I am aware that Grumpy Cat is really a female feline, is actually named "Tardar Sauce," and as she suffers from feline dwarfism, is probably smaller than depicted here. These important facts and others were drawn to my attention by Grumpy Cat authorities in the past when I mistakenly referred to her as a "he."

Next up, Lil Bub with the Terminator?... or Trash Cat with Wall-e?..."Happy Cat" (The one who says, "Can I has cheeseburger?") with the Cybermen?

The possibilities are endless... or at least several.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Turkor the Ungrateful From Terraria

We've gone a few days without a Terraria boss napkin, so we were overdue.

Ansel was a bit suspicious of this drawing when he saw it this morning before school.  His endlessly-informed-about-all-video-games older brother reassured him that, yes, Turkor really does have a cooked turkey body, and really does, Hydra-like, sprout extra heads. 

I had seen a video clip on Youtube last night that featured two heads.  If I had know that there could be more, I definitely would have included them.  I am always pleased when I get a chance to draw a wild turkey head.

Here is a link to the Turkor page on the Terraria Wiki if you still doubt that this could possibly be a character:
http://terraria.gamepedia.com/Turkor_the_Ungrateful

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dovahbear from Skyrim


What could be more compelling than video games that you are too young to play?:
Games that you are too young to play that also have bears wearing horned helmets.

My older son turned twelve this morning, and has now renewed the argument that he is old enough for M rated games like Assassin's Creed and Skyrim. After all, we let him play some 12 plus games when he was a mere 10 or 11. He is wisely not extending this argument to Grand Theft Auto at the moment...although he has on other occasions.

As far as I know, there is no lap dancing in Skyrim. But there are Dovahbears, and they are pretty enticing as far as both kids are concerned.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Attack on Titan Survey Corps Cake



I have used something in excess of 16 sticks of butter over the last 23 days.

Due to poor long range planning on my part, the kids' birthdays are only 22 days apart.
This makes for a challenging February for me, as there are two birthday cakes and two classrooms' worth of "birthday snack" cupcakes to be baked, and more importantly, to be frosted. Baking is definitely not one of my talents, but I do have a fair amount of experience with squirting colored frosting .

The kids claim to have outgrown frosting depictions of things like dragons and puppies. Both asked for geometric cake decorations. Given my haphazard style of frosting application, this proved to actually be harder than drawing a superhero or a dog. Ansel requested a target and Archer asked for the insignia from the Survey Corps capes in the manga series "Attack on Titan."

When laboring over the the fussy geometric pattern on Archer's cake at 1am a couple of days ago, I actually thought back fondly on previous cake requests like "The Predator Riding Godzilla."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Wicket and Paddington with Storm Trooper Helmet


An Ewok and a Bear share a moment.
Maybe they are considering eating something other than marmalade?

I thought that Wicket and Paddington had so much in common, how could I not put them together on a napkin?  They are both short, furry persons who wear stuff on their heads and live in forests.

And Ewoks and Bears are sometimes predatory. If the details of "Return of the Jedi" are not fresh in your mind, my sons would be happy to remind you that the Ewoks initially try to roast Luke and Han alive for dinner. At the conclusion of the movie, the Ewoks are playing Storm Trooper helmets and armor like a xylophone, and the suggestion is that the former occupants of the armor have met a rather unfortunate, (but perhaps not unsavory) end.

Of course Paddington and his much larger Aunt Lucy and Uncle Pastuzo seem to prefer to eat marmalade.  Spectacled Bears, the real life bears who live in Peru, actually eat very little meat. (I looked this up on Wikipedia, can you believe it?) But they do eat some flesh when it is available.

Stormtrooper might be an acquired taste.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Ewok Pilot and Yoda Hanging Out


Yub Yub?

There's been a little resurgence of interest in things Star Wars recently at our house. The contents of the enormous container of action figures and space ships got strewn all over the hallway, and we reread some of Jeffrey Brown's "Jedi Academy" series.

One of Ansel's favorite aspects of the series is "Ewok Pilot" a comic-within-the-book penned by the main character. The Ewok Pilot creates humorous disorder and speaks in cute Ewokisms along the lines of the aforementioned "Yub Yub!" and the always popular "EE Chee wa maa!!"

While the two characters might be near the same height, I didn't think Yoda would be as  impressed as my sons are with Ewok Pilot


And....pathetically, I just have to point out how nicely the napkin pattern lined up with Yoda's face. It's rare that I am able to make it work out so well.
Sad that this passes as a visual design accomplishment for me, but so be it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scabby from Chickenhare Book 2



 "Scabby wants to live!"

The boys really like the Chickenhare books by Chris Grine, and particularly "Chickenhare Volume 2: Fire in the Hole"  The book includes this scene where Scabby the sea captain expresses his feelings after being told that he and his companions are going to be transported to hell by a devil. 

This proved to be way too weird for lunch,  however.
I cannot say that I was surprised.

Monday, February 16, 2015

George and the Cherry Tree Observe Presidents Day


We definitely need to work on our Presidential recognition skills.  Ansel has learned how to recognize a few extras beyond Obama courtesy of the Simpsons (JFK, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and Nixon) but clearly we need to do better.

I fantasized about some sort of obscure presidential napkin team-up in the spirit of "Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter":   Rutherford B. Hayes, Boss of Werewolves, William H. Taft, Beastmaster. James Garfield, Zombie Hunter, James K. Polk, Shapeshifting Overlord. etc.  I just couldn't find the time to work something like that out, conceptually or logistically.  Instead, I went for the low hanging fruit: a "Guardians of the Galaxy" Rocket and Groot style team up. 

Even the second graders know that the cherry tree story is bunk, but the tree looks nervous anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Insipid Valentine with Hamsters


Valentines Day Nom Nom Nom:
Fluffy Rodents Gnawing on Love.

One can never go wrong with hamsters, a cookie and a purple backdrop.
If only that combination worked so well in the real world.

My sons find Parry Gripp songs endlessly diverting... particularly the "Nom Nom Nom" song.  The hamster on the left is based on the opener from that video. He is, however, eating something much more healthy on YouTube.  I briefly considered drawing heart shaped broccoli, but fortunately came to my senses before it was too late.

Could this be the appropriate follow-up to the Shark Valentine?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentines Shark


Love Bites.
Have a Jawsome Valentines Day.
You're Fin-tastic Valentine.
I Would Bite at the Chance to be Your Valentine.
You're My Chum, Valentine.

Shall I stop now?

The kids in second grade are decorating bags today during class for the collection of their valentines tomorrow. So, clearly there will be no avoidance of the Valentines topic despite the fact that the actual day falls fortuitously on the weekend.

What is the right look for a valentine for 8 year old boy? My previous forays into this topic have not been terribly successful. But I thought I could not go too far wrong with a shark.

Ansel was not impressed with my pathetic attempt at a satiny fabric draped on the floor. "Mom, what is the shark laying on?" he asked this morning. I could only reply, "On some bad drawing."

You can see the last year's forays into bad Valentinery here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Robots from "Omega the Unknown"


What if you found out that your parents had been robots all along?

We've been reading Jonathan Lethem and Farel Dalrymple's 2007 revival of the Marvel series from the 70's. "Omega the Unknown" is an unusual superhero comic. The main protagonist, a 12 year old boy, discovers during a catastrophic car crash that his parents were robots. His subsequent life in New York intersects with a mute alien Superman like guy in a cape, murderous nanotech robots, and a corrupt self-proclaimed superhero called the Mink.

The story has been a little challenging for the kids to follow, but they are not much interested in straight superhero comics lately, and seem to appreciate the alternative quality of the story and the artwork.

Ansel's favorite parts so far have been the idea that parents could be robots...
...and how cute the Mink's nanorobot infested amputated hand is after it sprouts feet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Duke Fishron From Terraria


When Pigs Fly:
Just when you thought there could not be another Terraria boss napkin....

A boss who can do it all: swim, and....oink?
According to the Terraria Wiki, Duke Fishron "appears to be part pig, part dragon, and part fish."
Below is an image from the game.  I slimmed him down and made him look more sharklike.  I am not sure why...Maybe because I like to draw sharks?

Now that we are 8 napkins in, I am definitely ready for a new obsession.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Terraria's Plantera


When Plants Attack:
Terraria's Plantera offers a carnivorous, yet vegetarian, lunch option today.

My son seems to have an inexhaustible enthusiasm for Terraria bosses on his napkins.

Over the last few weeks, it was beginning to seem like his social self-consciousness was making the napkins maybe more trouble than they were worth. He was often concerned that whatever was on his napkin might be too weird or too revealing to let his classmates look at it. His older brother Archer is an unselfconscious and indefatigable proselytizer for his own pop culture enthusiasms. Ansel, however, is both very socially acute and quite concerned about how he and his stuff are being received.

For the moment, the Terraria boss series seems to have pulled the napkins back from the brink of retirement. There appears to be a lot of positive response from his classmates and a couple of burgeoning friendships developing around the topic of a shared interest in Terraria.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Twins From Terraria

What could be worse than a giant laser shooting eyeball?
Perhaps a giant eyeball with teeth?

As I may have mentioned before, Terraria features many creative monsters and bosses, and several pair sensitive body parts with pointy teeth. 
Ansel was so pleased with the giant eyeball concept that he made some additions to our zombie eye paperweight so that it would look more like a Terraria boss. (Why do we have a zombie eye paperweight?... Excellent question that)

And speaking of disturbing images.  I was googling a bit, looking for a good close up of a human eye to use while drawing this napkin, when I came across several good views of what is really going on in human eye anatomy.  I'm not sure why I never really gave much thought to what feature physically creates the beautiful color patterns that we see in irises. Now that I have seen the actual structure, it makes perfect sense...and I see it whenever I look at an eye.... and I find it very disturbing.  

...more disturbing even than an imaginary eyeball with teeth.