Monday, June 30, 2014

Eren From "Attack on Titan"

Archer's interest in all things "Attack on Titan" has continued to blossom.  He's been asking to watch the television show.  I read that it is "the Japanese equivalent of 'The Walking Dead'" which seems not like an endorsement for viewing by an 11 year old and his 7 year old pop culture sidekick/younger brother. Archer tells me that the show is broadcast on "Adult Swim" at 11:30 pm.  Uh huh.

Meanwhile, we continue to  emphasize prominent weapons.  The fighters in "The Attack on Titan" universe wear some sort of jumping/grappling gear which allows them to launch and swing from cables so they can slice at the enormous titans' weakest spot on the nape of their necks. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gamera and Godzilla Observe Gay Pride

The original Kaiju's gender/orientation was always murky- Maybe it was just fluid?

I feel like it is my maternal job to question the orientation of my sons' favorite characters at least once a year....but unfortunately, neither of them would take this napkin to camp.

Last years Pride napkin with Batman & Superman: link here

Friday, June 27, 2014

Colossal Titan From "Attack on Titan"

Archer suddenly "discovered" the series "Attack on Titan" this week.  By "discovered" I mean he finally picked up and read the books that had been on his book shelf for several months.

This often happens, when I first suggest a book, it is met with dislike or derision and hostility.  But when found in a pile somewhere without obvious maternal intervention, the same book that was previously rejected can become the subject of an obsession that lasts for several weeks.

And it certainly doesn't hurt when that book is the source of a video game that involves the bloody killing of huge monsters, and the ability to transform into a huge monster oneself.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

American Holstein Minotaur

Ansel is still listening to "The Lightning Thief" on Audible.
This Minotaur is definitely not accurate to Mr. Riordan's description in the book.  After looking at various swarthy and threatening Minotaur images on Google late last night, I thought why shouldn't a bovine man who lives on American soil be white bread and dairy farm appropriate?

Ansel was not terribly impressed this morning, but he had come down with strep overnight, and ate lunch at home anyway.

Aetherium Armor from Skyrim

Archer has great affection for Skyrim despite not yet having played it.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pierce Brosnan-Like Chiron fron "Percy Jackson"

Ansel discovered yesterday that he loves listening to "The Lightning Thief" on Audible.  
He was determined that he was going to listen to all of it (10 plus hours) before bedtime.

I'll admit, I have become confused as to which character appears in which Percy Jackson book at which point in the story- and then there are the movies as well... so I chose a character that I was certain appears early on in the story.  

I spent most of my childhood drawing horses, so I foolishly thought a centaur would be easy for me to pull off quickly.

Mark Tatulli's Ismael

Archer loves the macabre humor in Tatulli's Lio series.  Lio's pet cephalopod is one of his favorites. 

I briefly considered drawing a more realistic squid, but decided he could not do without the pointy teeth and tongue.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Call of Duty Figure

Archer requested I draw this Call of Duty Mega Bloks figure, although he renamed it "Commander Flame of the Snow Wolf Division."

Sabertooth Tiger

Reading Jeff Smith's web comic "Tuki" was appropriate for Ansel's recent interest in Saber Tooth Tigers.  We have a couple of replica "Smilodon" teeth knocking around the apartment and Ansel has been asking to string one so he can wear it around his neck.

He's also been asking why is it we can't have some real Saber Tooth Tiger Teeth?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Eenies at War Guy on a Cyborg Dinosaur

Archer requested another "Eenies at War" character for today.  He told me I could feel free to draw the Tyrannosaur in a more realistic way, but should not mess with the guy or the tail catapult.

Archer says he likes this guy almost as much as he does the one riding on the sheep with an AK47. (see June 19th)

Connor Kenway from "Assassin's Creed" with Guns from "The Sixth Gun"

Since we seem to be wallowing in images of weaponry now that the kids are in summer camp and not at Quaker School, here is an assassin posing with supernatural weapons.  The summer camp is, however, housed within the Quaker school and features many of the same staff.  As usual, I am just refining my children's ability to engage in self aware hypocrisy. 

And speaking of questionable parenting, and what is, or is not OK at Quaker school:  we are finally completely caught up to the current issue of  "The Sixth Gun" a moderately inappropriate for kids supernatural western comic series by Brian Hurtt and Cullen Bunn.  We got started on the series when one of the kids discovered the first two volumes at the school's used book sale. Apparently, they had been ousted from the library for unsuitable content.

At any rate, Ansel requested that I draw his favorite assassin, Connor, holding the first two supernatural pistols from "The Sixth Gun.'  The first gun shoots "with the force of a cannon blast," and the second "spreads the fires of perdition."  While Connor appears  to be capable of mowing down an entire army single handedly with just an axe, certainly he would benefit from this weapon upgrade.  (Having admitted to reading "The Sixth Gun" to my sons, I feel compelled to  pathetically point out that I have not allowed them to play Assassin's Creed.  This does not diminish their enthusiasm for the concept or the character.)

Distracted by Connor's annoying to draw outfit, I botched the pistols: the part of the gun that identifies them as the first and second gun is the grip, which is, of course, impossible to see here. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

F35 With Star Wars Style Lasers

Archer has been building an "armada" of paper airplanes inspired by F series jets during his free time at camp.
He asked for a F35 on his napkin, but with the addition of lasers shooting out from under the wings.  Since he is in camp and not Quaker school, we seem to be focusing on weapons technology.

Red Panda in Rocket Raccoon's Uniform

Absent a request from Ansel last night, I figured I probably couldn't go wrong with an animal in a cool uniform.
Ansel's camp group is going to the Prospect Park Zoo today.  Ansel's favorite zoo resident is of course the red panda.  I put the panda a Rocket Raccoon outfit for maximum stylishness.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Eenies at War: Guy on a Sheep

Archer has been very pleased with this Eenies at War character who shoots aliens with an AK47 while riding a sheep.
I was somehow unable to restrain myself from drawing the sheep in a more realistic way.
Normally, during the Quaker school year, the AK47 would have been a problem, but a little depiction of weapons seems to be acceptable at summer camp.

"Twilight" from "Bunks"

Our younger son has a very sensitive barometer for coolness.
When he watched the Disney movie "Bunks" about a outbreak of zombies at a summer camp, he was very impressed by the personal style of the black-clad, brooding character that is nicknamed "Twilight" by the other campers.  This dark hoodie wearing boy is played by Nicholas Bode.

Despite the zombie premise, this was definitely a light movie intended for kids.  None of the zombified campers in "Bunks" is actually deceased. And at the end, the "undead" are happily restored through super soaker delivered applications of an antidote. 

The zombies still seemed to make Ansel a little uncomfortable...  But not so uncomfortable that he could not study the behavioral and sartorial choices of this character.

Ansel has not seen any of the Twilight "Saga" so the nickname just sounded cool to him. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Scooby Doo with Tom and Jerry

As a child, I  detested Tom and Jerry even more than I did Scooby Doo.
(Perhaps I should add that my loathing of these shows did not stop me from watching them, so it was an informed hatred.)

My kids like the various iterations of these characters, of course, and will happily watch them when they appear on television.   Due to advancing age and chronic sleep deprivation, I have softened in my attitude towards both franchises.  Although I do still have a special distaste for Tom and Jerry of a certain vintage.

Yesterday while passively aggressively watching Tom and Jerry with my sons, I tried unsuccessfully to explain what it was about these shows that annoyed me so much.  The failings of Tom and Jerry are easier for me to describe as there is the obvious triumvarite of sadism, racism and sexism.  Certainly one could say the same of some other cartoons, but none bothered me as much as Tom and Jerry. I suspect the central problem was that I really adored animals when I was a child, and it pained me to see even cartoon animals acting like such assholes.  My sons definitely don't have that problem.

My conflicted relationship with the characters is no doubt clear on today's napkin.  Tom looks particularly deranged, which is perhaps appropriate, as he always offended me the most. Ansel might have been willing to argue for the goodness of Scooby, Jerry and Tom on television, but he was  definitely not pleased with my interpretation of them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Faust from Blades of Fury

Archer has recently been reminded how much he likes Gameloft's "Blades of Fury."
He wanted a drawing of his favorite character in the game, Faust.  I asked him if he knew the original story of Faust.
He said, yes he did:  that it was about a guy who sold his soul to the devil to get some really cool armor.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Skullcrusher from "How To Train Your Dragon 2"

A belated Father's Day post featuring Hiccup's father, Stoick's dragon, "Skullcrusher."

Going to see "How to Train Your Dragon 2" on Sunday was probably not my husband's first choice for a personally gratifying Father's Day, but he was a good sport and even stayed awake for the entire movie.

The movie made the kids more or less ecstatic.  They were able to mostly ignore the tragic demise of Hiccup's father, just as they had been able to overlook his previous lack of a mother.

I'll admit to being amused by the not-at-all-traditionally-maternal behavior of Hiccup's mother Valka. Having done the Viking equivalent of going to the corner to get milk and cigarettes, she chose to live alone in the company of dragons for 20 years without ever going back home to check on her son.  She was  apparently still more or less in the neighborhood with plenty of available transportation, so it was not for lack of opportunity. It's much more cliche absentee Dad behavior to disappear for decades and then reappear wearing a cool mask to claim significant influence over one's offspring after all of the hard work of parenting has already been done by someone else.

When I jokingly mentioned the advantages of Valka's parenting style to my sons, the younger one asked me, seemingly worried, if I would consider leaving him for 20 years to help dragons.  I told him it was a bit late for that, and fortunately, dragons don't really exist.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Defeated Robot Mummies from "Cleopatra in Space"

Robot Mummies: a promising combination- like Vampire Ninjas, or Zombie Cowboys, or Viking Werewolves...

I had tried to convince Ansel to read Mike Maihak's web comic "Cleopatra in Space" at least a couple times before, but it was not until we received the actual old fashioned bound paper book published by Scholastic (Book One: Target Practice) that he was finally and completely sold.  He instructed me to purchase Book Two immediately.  I have not had the heart to point out that it will not be available until April 2015.

Near the end of Book One, Cleopatra (transported from the distant past to the distant future) singlehanded lays waste to an army of  evil robot mummies.

There seemed to be a lot of potential  in Robot Mummies, but clearly the pile up exceeded my drawing capabilities last night.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pikachu With Portal Gun

Archer actually asked for the Scribblenauts version of Pikachu holding a portal gun. I went astray somehow and ended up with a more "realistic" creature...although realistic is perhaps not exactly the right word...but it's not very Scribblenaut like anyway.

I'll have to admit my complete ignorance of the Portal game. I wasn't even certain which was the business end of the gun.  Meanwhile, Pikachu became far more malevolent looking than I had intended.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Boys in Imaginary Spaceship

The boys fly a "Guardians of the Galaxy" inspired plane or spaceship of some sort.

We are in between school and camp at the moment, but since both kids will be taking napkins to camp, I thought I'd better get ahead a bit.

The original vehicle that this picture was based on was entirely composed of empty Fresh Direct boxes and furniture arranged in our living room. 

Archer said my drawing looked much like he had imagined it, except his version had big guns on the wings.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Milo The Dog From "The Mask"

The entertainment at an 11 year old's birthday party over the weekend was a screening of "The Mask."  My sons initially found the movie far too slow and impossible to watch.  After a lot of whining and wandering in and out of the room, we finally arrived at the money shot of the movie as far as they were concerned- the wacky masked dog.  Suddenly, the entire thing was redeemed.

I was horrified to realize that "The Mask" is now 20 years old.  I mentioned this disturbing fact to our 7 year old, Ansel, and he argued with me that Jim Carrey, the star of "Mr Popper's Penguins" could not possibly be old enough to have been in a movie 20 years ago.  I added that while I am old enough to have been an adult 20 years ago, Mr. Carrey is even older than I am.

Ansel was quite certain that this was not possible.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Bewilderbeast From How To Train Your Dragon 2

The Bewilderbeast: another peculiarly noseless dragon from the HTTYD universe.

We spend a substantial amount of time each day bickering about when and with whom we are going to see the Dreamworks Dragons sequel.  Will one child be allowed to bring a friend if the other one cannot line one up?  Will we see it immediately with the raging throngs when it opens, or will we be able to hold off and go later when we will not have to wait in line. (a fate almost worse than death for one child).

As they say, the anticipation is killing me... Or at least my children's' anticipation is causing me grave discomfort. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cloud Jumper Dragon From How To Train Your Dragon 2

To say that the kids are looking forward to the Dreamworks Dragons sequel might be a bit of an understatement.
I found this new dragon in the HTTYD wiki last night, but this morning it was clear that Archer already knew all about it.  "Did you notice that the Cloud Jumper has four wings?" he asked.
Ansel may not have done quite so much advance research, but he is no less enthusiastic.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Winterra Dragon From MagiQuest

Over last weekend, we finally succumbed to the combined pressure of a friend's birthday party and years of television advertising and took the kids for an overnight at Great Wolf Lodge

Pretty much everything about the place filled our kids with ridiculous glee:  The large indoor water park, the availability of pizza for breakfast, the robotic arm that could be instructed to put Skittles and rainbow sprinkles on a cup of FroYo, and, of course, the opportunity to fight virtual dragons by waving a $22.95 plastic wand in a MagiQuest game.

Beyond the ridiculous glee of one's offspring, the main advantage for parents is the complete absence of adult guests who are unfettered by children.  No one expects a lobby that is not besieged by groups of children rubbing their shoes on the furniture and scrambling up the wooden statues of bears, or a hallway that is not menaced by stampeding wand-waving kids, or a buffet line unpopulated by six year olds spilling their smiley face french fries on the floor, or a dining room free of toddlers shrieking in terror at the sight of a person in a large furry bear costume.

The all kid environment enables a pleasant lull in the constant parenting battles around appropriate behavior in public and the lack thereof.  One can then use the additional cognitive space to contemplate important questions like: what sort of effect on the human eye or lung does an indoor atmosphere that is mostly composed of chlorine and chlorine byproducts have?  Or what sort of organisms can cause large black swaths on orange plastic slides while being constantly soaked in chlorine, and are these organisms similar to those extremophiles found bathed in hydrogen sulfide on the ocean floor?  Or how much useful commercial data is the resort harvesting from tracking the movements of parents and children through its halls via their electronic wristbands?

The kids had a fantastic time, and I am sure I will be able to mull over these questions further on a future visit. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Chim Chum with Fish

Our kids had to read every frame of the web comic "Chim Chum and the Portly Samurai" by Adrian Ropp. The series covers the often anachronistic adventures of a samurai and his sidekick/antagonist Chim Chum,  a cute fox.

This image is based on  #394  The actual panel pictures the samurai and fox sitting in a boat fishing,  and the caption is spoken by the samurai: "This is what you get for trying to gross me out by putting worms on your head."

The premise was amusing enough that Ansel was able to overlook the fact that my rendition of the fox was not particularly cute.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Robin Hood Fox

What does the fox Robin say?

As is often the case, a sudden and previously unknown need for things Robin Hood popped up yesterday.  The character has never been of much interest, despite my encouragement.  I remember enjoying the 1973 Disney animated fox version when I was a child.  Ansel and Archer have seen some of that movie, but were not particularly impressed. (Too slow, too much romance, not enough fighting...and singing??!!)  My purchase of a box of DVDs from the 1960's series, "The Adventures of Robin Hood" was greeted with hysterical derision (It's in back and white, Mom!) and has never been cracked open.

But suddenly yesterday afternoon, we really needed a Robin Hood costume.  Immediately.  And not the fey green felt and tights getup, but something darker and cooler with a hood.

Despite their lack of enthusiasm for the movie with the fox robin, I thought it would be best to put an animal in the costume, and while I briefly considered a raccoon, a fox really seemed like the best choice.  I put the bow mostly outside of the image for maximal lunchtime pacifism. 

The costume is out of stock in Ansel's size until August, so we'll have some time to find out whether the Robin urge will stick around.