Happy Thanksgivukkah from the menorah turkey. This one did not go to school today as everyone is at home languishing with the flu...perhaps he can take it in the year 79,811 when the two holidays coincide again.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Ansel requested a napkin featuring the Minecraft skins of Grim Reaper and Iron Golem, and I was apparently seized by an irrational desire to get started on the topic of Thanksgiving.
Archer came home early today with a fever and was able to give me a lengthy critique based on the snapshot of the napkin on my phone. He offered extensive commentary regarding which Minecraft skins I should have included rather than the ones I thoughtlessly drew on this napkin..."Mom! BurittoBrine, really? When you know how much I like Herobrine?"
He also questioned my overall composition. He was only slightly mollified when I showed him the original source in Norman Rockwell's painting: ("Freedom to play too much Minecraft"...?)
Friday, November 22, 2013
While we were finishing rereading Doug TenNapel's "Bad Island" last night, Ansel requested these unfriendly little aliens on his napkin for today.
In the graphic novel, they are determined to force the parents of a human family into a lake of acid. But I thought maybe we should put their sharp sticks to a more positive use here on the napkin.
Or maybe they are looking to malevolently torment the napkin recipient with a healthy lunch of whole grain pasta and a fruit and a vegetable. Our kids are usually happier to have a bagel for lunch.... Just a bagel.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
I can't really explain this one beyond it being the ultimate combination of cute and deadly.
The penguin (of course) comes from the silly internet meme of the penguinocalypse- the origin of which I do not have time to figure out. I can point out that the mouth on the original image seems to that of a lion, and that if one googles "lion yawning," the results are quite impressive.
I added the bunny to continue the insipid/ threatening theme, but the rabbit is definitely not as perfect a combination as the penguin.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Lacking a napkin image request last night, or a compelling idea of my own: I transformed the boys into Minecraft characters... sort of.
They did actually recognize themselves this morning. The glasses and the matching outfits were the cause, I'm sure. They have been wearing the same t-shirt and pants for several days. Unable to come up with anything more personal, I backed them with the dancing skeletons from "Don't Mine at Night."
One of my sons, aware that I often google late at night looking for something to draw on a napkin, asked this morning, "Is there really fan art online of us as Minecraft characters?"
Well...not previously honey... but now there is, I suppose.
Monday, November 18, 2013
We read Doug TenNapel's "Cardboard" again over the weekend.
While we made some more cardboard stuff, we were not able to pull off the fabrication of a huge mech like "Pacific Rim"s Gypsy Danger.
Thor versus a Creeper...Who would prevail?
I'm afraid the Creeper came out on top at our house over the weekend. My husband and I offered to take the kids to see "Thor: The Dark World," but our younger son preferred to stay home and play Minecraft.
It would be utterly pathetic to have to hire a babysitter in order to go see a superhero movie designed for small boys.
I blame the "Super Hero Squad" TV show for much of Ansel's dislike of the Thor character. In that series, Thor is mostly comic relief: a long-haired girly-man with a funny accent who likes to admire himself in the mirror. Ansel tells me the problem is not really Thor, however: he just doesn't like the Avengers "separated." Meaning, the Avengers movie was OK, but none of that Iron Man, Hulk, or Thor stuff.
I think the problem might be that the preview on TV was a little scary....
But those Creepers can be scary also.
Friday, November 15, 2013
The boys have been very interested in The Simpsons lately, on the lookout for age-inappropriate jokes and references.
Not that they have lost interest in "Dragons: Defenders of Berk." Not at all...One is just much less likely to hear the word "penis" used on the dragons show.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Our sons are eagerly awaiting the arrival of "Swap Force" as a holiday present. I am not clear on what is particularly appealing about this Grim Creeper fellow, but he seems to be one of their hypothetical favorites.
Perhaps it is the scythe? They are partial to scythes.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
As soon as we finished reading "Smash" by siblings Chris and Kyle Bolton, the boys wanted to know where was the next book in the series?
It was certainly a pleasant read, and I am always happy to provide an example of how brothers can do something together besides pelt one another with Nerf darts.
They were not too impressed with my didactic message, or with my klutzy drawing on the napkin.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Weaponized cuteness: What bug eyed furball is not improved by palm repulsors?
We forced our oppressed sons to watch some of "Iron Man 3" over the weekend. They resisted initially because anything that mom and dad want to watch must be boring... even if it is a big ridiculous superhero movie that was made mostly with 10 year old boys in mind. Afterwards, they offered that it hadn't been SO bad after all.
The critter here in the Iron Man arms is an "Inari Fox" one of those internet memes that gets passed around as a real animal.(link here) The image that comes up most often is actually a fimo and fur doll made by "Santiani" on Deviant Art. (link here)
Sunday, November 10, 2013
A birthday napkin for the 11th birthday of a child of a friend from high school:
Unlike my sons, the child in question reportedly was pleased by her representation on the napkin. Her mom caught me at a slightly less psychotically busy moment a while back when we were heading into a long holiday weekend and I thought I might actually have time to do an extra napkin.
Now, I have the nagging feeling that I should be doing napkins for all of my friends' children... and for all the other people who asked nicely after our strange TV appearances earlier this year.
I have not really been able to get my mind around the commission question yet. These things are napkins, after all. They are... to put it charitably, not archival... not really a sell-able artwork. But they can be time consuming, and certainly could be in a commission context. My kids are often dissatisfied with the results, but they are not paying me...And I almost enjoy their criticism. In short, I have trouble imagining a price that would be both reasonable for the commissioner and for me, the person who is already getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night... and who has to pay New York City babysitting rates to get anything beside the bare minimum accomplished.... and then there is also that teaching job and my erstwhile career as a sculptor to consider...
But it was nice to get a chance to draw something with a bit of girl aesthetic for a change...or at least without any weapons.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
"Hang on to your nuggets"... and to your dairy, and your gluten: Thanksgiving food that talks back.
We saw "Free Birds" over the weekend during a ten year old's birthday party. The movie's other tagline posits itself as "The best turkey movie of all time." This may be true. Perhaps it would be wise to leave it at that.
I will observe, however, that it reminded me strongly of "Chicken Little" a widely panned 2005 Disney movie that was the object of obsession for our older son for much of the period between his third and fourth years. Something about the talking birds, wimpy underdog protagonist and invisible flying ship catapulted me back to our repeated, stupifying viewings of "Chicken Little." That said, "Chicken Little" features one of my favorite animated characters of all time: Fish Out of Water ....and "Free Birds" does not have that redeeming feature.
At any rate, "Free Birds" posits pizza as the solution to the problem of the Thanksgiving driven murder of turkeys. While my children are happy to embrace an exclusively dairy and gluten based diet whenever possible, Uncle Grandpa's Pizza Steve presents a further food empathy challenge.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Is Mr. Gus a small, laid back kaiju?
Our sons found Mr. Gus's uncharacteristic hysteria on "Treasure Island," the latest episode of "Uncle Grandpa" to be extremely hilarious. He has trouble accepting the "embrace the weird" lesson of the episode.
Given the weirdness and flexibility of the Uncle Grandpa universe, I figured Mr. Gus might as well be enlarged to the size of the kaiju in "Pacific Rim." His calm demeanor and flat affect, however, made it hard to imagine him engaged in any physical conflict with Pacific Rim style jaeger.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
"Dude! Watch out, we're going to fall off!"
Episodes of "Regular Show" usually take a turn for the weirdly implausible somewhere around the midpoint, so the idea of Mordecai and Rigby riding on a dragon is no more unreasonable than most of their adventures.
While our sons may not want to be the slackers from "Regular Show" as much as they would like to be Hiccup, Rigby and Mordecai's behavior is certainly influential.
Monday, November 4, 2013
It's still "Post Halloween" at our house.
My kids requested an image of Hiccup being confused by candy corn. They hypothesize that there is not probably not mass-produced candy in Berk.
Our older son has given some careful thought to the quality of Hiccup's life. He told me that he thinks that Hiccup has it better: He has a dragon, doesn't seem to go to school, and is pretty independent. I pointed out the likely lack of video games and refined sugar in Hiccup's environment. (I think the napkin request hails from this point in the conversation) Archer offered that he would be willing to trade the iPad for a real dragon. That seemed more or less reasonable, but I added that, at least in the Dreamworks version, Hiccup does not appear to have a mother. Archer replied, "He seems to do well enough without one." So there Mom.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Happy end of Halloween.
We survived the holiday, including a long bike ride home in the dark drizzle, and returned with more candy than should be stored in one apartment.
By the time the kids went to bed late last night, I was completely incapable of coming up with an interesting image for a drawing. I had an actual pile of candy to look at while I drew this one, but probably nothing short of the presence of an actual dragon would have been compelling enough to turn this into an interesting image.