I somehow dodged having to draw Connor Kenway again for today (although Chris Giarrusso's version is very nice) because my kids were reminded recently of the coolness of giant mechs.
There was some debate about the translation of various jaeger features to Pikachu anatomy: Where do the weapons go? What does one do with the tail?
I'm sure one could spend hours on the topic of Pikachu mech design...hours that I did not have last night. So my apologies to all those who inhabit the overlapping territory of the venn diagram circles of Pikachu and Pacific Rim fans.
Mikey goes in for a high-five with the axe wielding star of Assassin's Creed III, Connor Kenway.
We've been reading (and rereading) the three G-Man books by Chris Giarrusso over the last few days.
As I am very well aware of my sons' interest in the character, I showed them Chris's "Weekly Wednesday Sketch of Connor Kenway yesterday. Ansel immediately told me he wanted a G-Man style Connor on today's napkin.
I was perhaps overly ambitious and put the two characters together. Ansel looked at it this morning and said "Nice. But I want the other one for tomorrow." (Meaning: "Copy Chris's sketch exactly, Mom!) Innovation has never been encouraged by my children.
The Baby Eating Stork and The Christmas Tree of Doom: Two of my sons' favorite characters. The tree appears in the first book, "Learning to Fly", where it becomes animate and violently escapes while being decorated by the unsuspecting family. The tree then breaks through the front of their house and steals the family car. It later returns while in Santa's employ to make amends, but parks the car on the roof, leading to further damage to the house.
The stork appears in the most recent G-Man book, "Coming Home" and does pretty much what is culturally expected of a stork... except he does threaten to eat the baby, and he has a mouth full of baby-eating teeth.
We seem to still be on the topic of Ewoks around here.
And an ewok costume on a cute, sarcastic, talking dog... well... that's practically a can't miss.
In case you are over 12, or not the parent of a child who watches too much Cartoon Network programming, the dog in question belongs to (and is voiced by) Toby Turner formerly of Youtube "Tobuscus" fame, presently also of Cartoon Network interstitial programming fame. Toby and Gryphon engage in brief snarky inter-species banter between shows.
My sons may be dog- deprived, but they are definitely not sarcasm deprived.
After a previous three years-long obsession, our sons now claim to be completely over the Star Wars franchise... (unless we are talking about video games of course.)
Jeffrey Brown's "Star Wars: Jedi Academy" somehow managed to get around their usual prejudice against things Star Wars. The story of a Luke Skywalker-like underachiever who attends a Jedi Academy that is very similar to an American middle school is inventively told in a mixture of comics, journals and clippings. The story and format appealed to both our six and ten year old sons.
Of course, what Ansel liked best, and wanted on his napkin, was the ominously hooded bully in the book, a junior Darth Maul named Cyrus.
Trapped indoors on Sunday afternoon while we tried to determine whether he was coming down with a cold or not, Ansel sat through part of a "Nanny McPhee" movie fairly happily. His older brother was in another room, so Ansel was able to watch a story that had some dialogue, plot, female characters... and not too many weapons, without suffering fraternal derision. Archer did join Ansel for a few moments here and there... long enough to comment, "Nanny McPhee is a bit of an asshole." Well, yes, she was a little hard on those misbehaving children....
Uncle Grandpa indulges in some magic abuse of a wayward child himself in the latest episode of his show (Emperor vs Emperor) as he turns the disobedient kid into a monster with a mayonnaise spatula for a hand.
Needless to say, our boys prefer the cartoon guy with the beanie to the British lady with the moles. I try to keep my feelings about such things to myself as I noticed long ago that the more I express my dislike for something, the more compelling it is for my sons.
And after Archer's obsession with "The Doodlebops" back in 2006.... let's just say, I had to become much more aesthetically and conceptually flexible... or kill myself. (Here's a Doodlebop link if you don't know what I mean and are a glutton for punishment) And there is something to be said for kids' shows that are written for stoned adults. They are less sanctimonious.
The presence of Nanny McPhee made Ansel hate this napkin. I suspected as much, but somehow could not restrain myself from pairing the two snaggletoothed magic adults.
Taking a break from drawing on napkins for the weekend, I had a rare opportunity to squirt excessive frosting on to a cake for an adult birthday. The underlying carrot cake was professionally produced by someone else, and arrived immaculately coated in pristine cream cheese frosting...very, very, soft cream cheese frosting.
As I had to refrain from touching the surface of the cake, it was an all squirting exercise... leading to a outsider-ish corduroy face quality. It was supposed to be a portrait of the napkin recipients' very sun tanned aunt as Wonder Woman for her 50th, but the resemblance to the aunt or the super heroine was approximate at best. I botched the lettering as well....
But it did have a lot of frosting!
And the cake underneath tasted pretty good.
Camera lens distortion makes for a super chest view in the image above.
Rayburn the monster and Timmy the plucky urchin from Rob Harrell's book "Monster on the Hill":
At some point in the story, the kid gets accidentally turned into a
"shmushroom." Broccoli probably wouldn't help, but the remedy offered
in the book: "psychofruit juice" was not available in Ansel's lunch
Ansel really liked this book about a depressed monster with self esteem problems. He was quite annoyed when his older brother, who gets to stay up a bit later than he does, was able to finish the story before him. I did read the ending to him early the next morning.
Pikachu continues to compel Ansel as you can see by his school self portrait below.
Mercifully, the startling cries of "Pika! Pika!" are more infrequent this week.
I drew this one rather distractedly last night while watching Star Trek: Into Darkness on pay per view.
Predictably, the low effort blob on an indeterminate background is Ansel's most favorite napkin in recent memory. He actually said, "Mom, that is so awesome!" this morning.
The Pikachu frame was entirely his invention according to his teacher.
But also take a look at the attitude on this six year old person.
Axes for Peace: Axe Cop and Connor from Assassin's Creed III support nonviolent conflict resolution for Quaker lunch:
Ansel wanted these two guys on the napkins complete with their axe/tomahawk. This was not exactly Quaker First Grade lunch material, so I moved the weapons to the edge of the image and ladled the peace rhetoric on really thick. Archer said, "Oh come on! No one actually says that stuff at school!"
Ansel had requested that they should both be saying, "I'll chop your head off!"... (Although, perhaps not to one another- He did not specify)
I am pretty sure that saying that sort of thing is not encouraged at school.
Today Axe Cop teams up w.ith Ansel's two favorites from "Lions, Tigers & Bears" by Mike Bullock and Jack Lawrence. Ares and Pallo are part of the Night Pride- stuffed animals who morph into real powerful cats in order to protect children
Axe Cop is wearing his nightime cat suit of course.
Our older son is quite an authority on Minecraft...particularly considering he has not had an opportunity to play the game himself. He has watched enough online videos of other people playing and discussing the game that I should probably have my parenting license revoked. (If only there were such a thing as a parenting license...)
The younger brother is not so interested in Minecraft, but he is definitely interested in all the various incarnations of Pikachu.
I have been told that I made Pikachu's thunderbolt the wrong color- it should have been entirely yellow. I don't know how I could have made such a mistake.
I know that the lack of authetic Minecraft detail, however, was just laziness.
A friend introduced my older son to a Youtube video called "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing On Rainbows." You can see it here, but don't say that you were not warned...
tune, and an attendant form of idiocy, became lodged in my children's
and my brain. Apparently we are not alone. There are ten hour versions
of the video available online.
I can't really figure
out the precise origins of this particular internet meme in the five
minutes that I have allotted to write this blog post. Perhaps this is a
good thing. The song seems to have been composed by a young man named Andrew Huang (over 4 million views on Youtube just for his video of this song) and may
or may not have originally had anything to do with "My Little Pony" or "Dan Vs"
(Dan is the gun wielding man wearing the "JERK" t-shirt in the
video...if you made it that far)
I thought maybe an
anti-cute pinkish unicorn rainbow thing would help evict this meme from all
of our minds... Well, no, perhaps I didn't really think that was going to work.
drew this between 1 am and 1:24 am this morning after I had spent several
hours filling out mortgage application paperwork, so perhaps I was not
truly responsible for my own actions.
Unsurprisingly, when I showed the napkin to him this morning, Ansel's response was a long bug-eyed silence.
Our younger son continues to be abjectly dog-deprived, so whenever we visit with an even slightly affable canine, Ansel immediately "misses" him or her afterward. The dog he is missing most recently is Izzy who belongs to some friends out on Long Island. Izzy allowed Ansel to pick her up, sort of, earning a place in the napkin hall of fame.
Here she is hanging out with the remorseless killer from Assassin's Creed 4...because...maybe because I am tired of drawing Connor from Assassin's Creed 3?
Our kids are still fixated on characters from video games that they are too young to play. They obviously enjoy the age inappropriate malice and power of characters like Connor, but that doesn't mean that they can't be improved by insipid cuteness.
The official request from Archer was that I draw "chibi" versions of the two. He meant in the manga sense of the word, but I ended up making them look more like "real" children (whatever real might mean in this context....). If you're justifiably wondering what "chibi" means, take a look at the Wikipedia article