Thursday, March 31, 2016


From the PuppyMonkeyBaby series of drawings
(Exquisite Corpse style creatures made of three stacked parts with rhyming names that end with the long "E" sound)

The "Jessie" show is a bit of a sensitive subject around here. One child is partial to it- for sociological research purposes no doubt- and the other loathes it on principle. I am more in the latter camp...but despite my aging angry feminist concerns about the show's spin on class and gender, I know there are worse things he could be watching. 

The Loch Ness monster is always popular with my sons, but I found it difficult to put a water dinosaur in the middle of the body.

I had a Dressy Bessy doll back in the 70's...yes, it was the very early 70's...or maybe even the late 60's, dear god... She was paired with a Dapper Dan doll for boys. They had zippers and buttons and shoe laces for kids to practice fastening and tying.
Dressy and Dan did not have any Velcro however.
That's mostly the fastener of choice with my kids...

Trump V Trump Complete

Really, the hair is no exaggeration:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Dark Souls Avatar with Flaming Hand

"Mom! My hand's on fire! Mom! my hand's on fire! Mom!...."

Setting one's avatar's hand on fire and making him run in circles exclaiming about the flaming hand seems to be something one can do to pass the time until the next iteration of the Dark Souls game is released. 

While I don't particularly appreciate this activity, I do always enjoy drawing flames.

Trump V Trump: Dawn of Injustice

Bombastic conflict and the joy of trying to punch oneself in the face.

Batman V Superman was as long and heavy as promised. But our expectations were low, and the kids were pretty pleased with the movie overall. 

Having drawn the battling boys as pugs, the next obvious substitution was Donald.

This one is not finished yet- (my younger son wanted to know why Batman is wearing a light suit)
There was limited time this afternoon as I had already spent 2 1/2 hours watching the movie.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Belated Easter: Bunny Mash-up

Dummy•Grundy•Easter Bunny 
bumps a hip with
Smokey•Sonny•Chocolate Bunny

Another drawing in the PuppyMonkeyBaby series.

To be specific: that's "dummy" as in ventriloquist, "Grundy" as in Solomon Grundy, Batman's oversized undead antagonist in the Arkham game and other instances, with the legs of an actual bunny...

...And Smokey the "Only you can prevent forest fires" Bear, with the body of Sonny Bono without Cher in his best 1973 blazer, atop a partially unwrapped foil covered chocolate rabbit.

If I have to explain it all, both my drawing and the references leave something to be desired. 

And The Grundy torso came out too green and Hulk-like.
Needless to say, the kids were not particularly impressed.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Judy•Doody•Call of Duty

Judge Judy with Howdy Doody and Call of Duty Black Ops, I think. I have deprived my long suffering sons of all incarnations of Call of Duty. They are vaguely familiar with who Judge Judy is despite never having seen her in action. Howdy Doody was a complete unknown for them. They pronounced him "super creepy" when I showed them a picture.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Charlie•Harley•Jacob Marley high fives Snoopy•Scooby•Sleeping Beauty

Just a boy and his dog:

(PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing #10)

Peanuts meets Harley Quinn from DC's "Batman Animated" and the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge's partner from "A Christmas Carol"
...and Scooby Doo and Disney's Princess Aurora.
I can't really explain this.
You can see the rest of the series and read an attempt at an explanation at this link.
But it probably won't help much

Dark Souls Avatar Again

My son has a new upgraded avatar in the Dark Souls game....
and no, it is no longer this guy.  In the time that it took me to draw this one, he had moved on to a man with a head that appears to be on fire.

He told me that he liked this one because it resembled the Solaire character. (That's the buckethead doing the sun salutation from a couple of days ago)

And he is holding the very important spear of someone very important. The details have escaped me it seems.

Even worse, I now have to go remove the kid from the Xbox....(or is it remove the Xbox "from his cold dead hands?" as he would say) and force him to do his homework.  If only I had an important spear to help with this task.

Batman V Superman Pug Cosplay

The kids are of course looking forward to "The Dawn of Justice" because, you know, Batman is going to fight Superman WHILE WEARING POWER ARMOR.

My husband and I agreed that we could recall very little of the preceding Superman movie, although we were both pretty sure that we had taken the kids to see it.

The appearance of Wonder Woman seems like a potentially pleasant diversion... or a disaster, I suppose.

But Pugs! Always good!
Pugs in power armor? Even better.

As you can see, I did not quite get the pose right.  My younger son said, "What is he doing with that paw?" And the isolated Pug muzzle in the power suit makes the dog look more like a cat... Should have drawn Wonder Woman.... or not

Friday, March 18, 2016

Solaire from Dark Souls

A "grossly incandescent" lunch napkin:

Solaire is "knight of the sun" who, according to the Dark Souls wiki, "does not let the crumbling world affect his mood." He is mostly helpful to the player, and offers some peculiar dialogue along the lines of, "The sun is a wondrous body./ Like a magnificent father!/ If only I could be so grossly incandescent!"

Our older son took a packed lunch to school for a field trip today, and specifically requested an image of this knight.

While he cannot play "Dark Souls" every available waking moment that he is not in school.... I suspect that he is always thinking about it. Of course, I feel that he spends way too much time playing this game...and of course, he feels the exact opposite.

The constant wrangling over screen time makes me feel incredibly tired. As I have mentioned before, I suspect that I was born without the video game gene. Despite the impressive and immersive visuals now available on the Xbox... well, I would rather just go do something else (like drawing ridiculous things, for instance). But I try to pay attention to what is going on in my son's games and try to learn why they are so remarkably compelling to him. When he tells me that homework is getting in the way of the really important stuff than he needs to do, the disapproving adult in me wants to summarily dismiss him as an immature person with an addictive habit. While I do compel him to finish his homework and do all that other stuff AFK or IRL ("away from keyboard" or "in real life") I also try to appreciate what he ( and millions of other people) find so compelling about games like Dark Souls.

I don't think this issue will go away until after he no longer lives with me, or until my dementia increases to the point where I no longer care....

Whichever comes first.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


A very quick drawing on the PuppyMonkeyBaby theme in honor of St. Patrick's Day. 

Pinkies are baby "feeder" mice generally sold frozen or live to feed to pet reptiles. 

For the "Paddy" part, I went with a generic Leprechaun costume, my apologies to Irish people everywhere. I thought about trying to draw St. Patrick himself, but that was not going to happen in 10 minutes.

Peppermint Patty's feet bothered me when I was a kid. In fact, I found the rest of her slightly troubling as well. I was an androgynous child, often mistaken for a boy myself, but strangely, I did not appreciate Patty's gender non-conformity. 

But to be honest, I disliked Peanuts in general, a fact which came up when the recent movie was released and my sons wanted to see it. My younger son and I saw the movie. I still did not like it much. Unlike my younger son, I was not impressed by the use of classic rock music. 

But I did enjoy drawing Patty's feet here. I'm thinking about drawing Charlie•Harley•Jacob Marley with an appropriate Snoopy creature....

Grumpy-Mummy-Playboy Bunny hangs with Grumpy-Gummy-Crash Test Dummy

Grumpies go for a low five:
PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing #8

I had a debate about the various bunny options: Easter Bunny, Chocolate Bunny, etc, but decided that I really wanted to draw the human legs rather than short furry or candy ones. This meant, however, that I had to discuss with my sons what "Playboy Bunnies" were...or are. I suppose they might still be around.

While images of women in high heels with fluffy tails profoundly irritated me during my youth, in the context of the overwhelming cornucopia of explicit images of women available online, the old fashioned Bunnies don't look too much worse than the average female superhero.  But as my sons are well aware, all those scantily clad girls do make me grumpy...or maybe just more grumpy than my usual baseline grumpiness. 

I had to swap the lower bodies between the Grumpies. I originally had the Gummy Bear on top of the Bunny legs and that made the stumpy Gummy paws look unfortunately suggestive of female secondary sexual characteristics.

We don't want this to look too weird after all.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Dark Souls Avatar


Me before I put on my makeup.

The above caption comes from my older son, aspiring meme generator that he is.

His avatar in the Dark Souls 2 game is a sort of zombie who seems to have very brightly colored wisps of hair...or maybe that is the "healing factor"? I cannot say for sure.  I couldn't really get a grip on the detail on the armor either, but I thought the combination of the greenish zombie face and the flossy yellow pink of the hair was nice.

Winnie-Wookiee-Gingerbread Cookie and Krusty-Chewie-Baby Huey

Chewie Wookies:
PuppyMonkeyBaby Drawing Project #7

Winnie the Pooh
Wookiee from Star Wars
Gingerbread Boy Cookie


Krusty the Clown from the Simpsons
Chewbacca from Star Wars
Baby Huey from the 1950's cartoons

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Wile E Willy Wall-e

PuppyMonkeyBaby Drawing Project #6

That's Wile E. Coyote from the Warner Bros Road Runner cartoons and Willy Wonka- the 1971 Gene Wilder version of the movie, and WALL-E from the 2008 Pixar movie bearing his name.... if that helps.

Wile E. Coyote looks pretty unhappy. Maybe he thinks I should have done a better job drawing the Wall-e treads on his lower third....maybe he's not happy being one third velvet jacket wearing human and one third trash compacting machine.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Chucky-Bucky-Rubber Ducky

PuppyMonkeyBaby Drawing Project #5

My kids have not seen any of the Chucky movies. I am hoping to keep it that way for as long as possible. They seem rather well informed about who Chucky is nonetheless.

Bucky Barnes, aka "The Winter Soldier," is of course a favorite around here. My older son can provide chapter and verse about what is going to happen in the next Captain America movie, versus what has occurred in the comic books. I am pretty sure he gets this information from Youtube commentators and, ahem, not from the "primary sources."

We don't have any rubber ducks around anymore.  Once upon a time, we certainly did... and then some.  We even had a series of superhero rubber ducks. There is a disturbingly vast number of rubber duck variations out there (Google "novelty rubber ducks," I dare you...or actually don't- since I looked them up a couple days ago, my browser and Amazon are showing me endless images of alternative rubber duckies that I might want to purchase.)

I think the kids liked this one a bit more than say, Coyote Carrie Cassowary.... but not much.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Coyote-Carrie-Cassowary and Budgie-Barney-Barbie

Two more watercolors in the PuppyMonkeyBaby inspired series.
I can see that I am going to have to find a way to shoot snapshots of these in a consistent light situation.  I had felt pretty proud of myself for having upgraded to a cell phone camera app that allows me to set the white balance, but clearly this is not enough.  

That's Carrie from the classic 1976 horror movie starring Sissy Spacek as the telekinetic teen who has pig's blood dumped over her head at the prom. There was a 2013 remake so Carrie is not just ancient history. But my sons were still not particularly interested.

I was sorry not to get to draw the Cassowary's head, but I thought the four syllable name needed to go  at the end. And Sissy Spacek's feet were not going to be very recognizable. Cassowaries are apparently known as "The World's Deadliest Bird"- or at least they are in the context of sensational videos on Youtube. (Google "Cassowary Attack" for extra time-wasting entertainment.) 

Wikipedia states that they are shy and usually avoid humans.  That is unless they are being antagonized into trying to disembowel annoying people for the entertainment of internet viewers. So perhaps a Cassowary was an appropriate choice for Carrie's lower half beyond the fact that the two words rhyme.

While I was a '70's child who would watch practically anything horrible broadcast on TV, I had a special dislike for the Flintstones. And as a precociously angry feminist, I always refused to play with Barbies unless I was melting them in a fireplace.  (Only happened once) 

I have, however,  always like budgies and parakeets.

My sons don't have much of a relationship with the Flintstones. They haven't seen the more recent movies or the original show. But if they had the opportunity, I am sure they would watch it at least once if they thought it would really annoy me.

One of my sons did have a romance with Barbies when he was a toddler. (I will refrain from specifying which one to avoid intense domestic strife and additional future therapy bills.)

He really liked the Disney Princess line of Barbies that were on sale at a local pharmacy. They were just about his favorite thing around the time that we were finishing up his toilet training. Thus the princess Barbies became the incentive items for his performance in the bathroom.

For quite a while afterwards, family members would announce their need to visit the bathroom by saying, "I need to go earn a princess."

My sons are unfamiliar with the movie "Carrie" so they were not particularly impressed with my choices in that drawing either.  They of course feel that I should exclusively be drawing characters that they are interested in. 

Coming up next is ChuckyBuckyRubberDucky featuring the killer doll from "Child's Play" and Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier, so perhaps they will be more enthusiastic about that one....

Monday, March 7, 2016

PuppyMonkeyBaby Brethren: Telly-Tony-Shetland Pony and Yogi-Yeti-Plate of Spaghetti

Telly Tony Shetland Pony
Yogi Yeti Plate of Spaghetti

PuppyMonkeyBaby Drawing Project:

Recently, the fairly horrifying Mountain Dew PuppyMonkeyBaby ad campaign reminded me of the Exquisite Corpse drawing game in which three people each draw one third of a figure or creature without being able to see the other parts. As a young child, I was quite fond of playing this game with my parents, probably because it involved drawing on what seemed like a more or less even footing with my professional artist parents. And the results were most often humorous and ridiculous.

I started thinking about other potentially ridiculous creatures divided in vertical thirds that have rhyming names ending in the long "E" sound. PuppyBabyMonkey is of course limited to two syllable words, and I considered embracing that parameter as well, but in the end, I decided that I could not always pass up the rhythmic gratification of having two iambs in the last word. (i.e. "Telly Tony Shetland Pony" instead of "Telly Tony Pony")

There are many variables, both linguistic and visual, to consider here while deciding which characters or objects work well stacked together.  As I spend an hour a day riding a bike 9 miles through Manhattan and Brooklyn after dropping off my younger son at school, I have had time to generate a massive list of nouns that range from Dromedary and Cassowary to Houdini and Mussolini....

Yes, I am aware that it is sad that I have spent a lot of time thinking about this.

Mostly I was looking for an organizing principle for a series of drawings. After drawing in markers on napkins more or less daily for over ten years, I was curious if I could manage to draw in and on anything else.

These two are in ink and watercolor on paper. I think it might have been at least 20 years since I have used water color and a brush.

So these could be worse.

And on the specific topics of these two drawings:

Telly Tony Shetland Pony

That's Telly Savalas, bald, lollypop consuming star of the cop show "Kojak" for those of you who were not watching TV in the 70's... And Tony the Tiger from the Frosted Flakes cereal marketing campaign ("They're Great!!") who is enjoying a disturbing bit of resurgence lately thanks to a supposedly unauthorized series of online videos where Tony checks in with the kids from the commercials 30 years ago who are now disturbed or disturbing adults.

And a pony, because who doesn't like a pony?

Yogi Yeti Plate of Spaghetti:

Unsurprisingly, our kids enjoyed the 2010 Yogi Bear movie. I think we saw it about a year ago. It is one of the many kids' movies, that while I viewed it more than once, I can barely remember anything about it besides the fact that the animation was a bit disturbing. Were it not for that movie, however, I am not sure that the kids would know who Yogi Bear is. I have been somewhat remiss in exposing them to classic Hanna Barbera cartoons.

Unlike Yogi and Boo Boo, Yetis come up frequently in our house. They are a staple of the Scooby Doo franchise and appear often in other the other cryptid-filled stories that our sons love.

And spaghetti.... well, it is rare that our kids encounter a plate of simple carbohydrates that they don't like... As long as it does not have too much of a challenging sauce.

On a more formal note, while I wanted the creatures in this series of drawings to be, well, creatures, and not puddles, piles, or foods, I couldn't pass up the sound of "Spaghetti." There are a lot of good nouns with long "e" sounds on the end like Loogie, Uzi, Baloney, Upholstery, Porta-Potty, Potpourri, Jacuzzi, Twinkie...I could go on for a long time. They are tempting, but maybe hard to illustrate.

I am, however, giving some serious thought to Scottie Scotty Porta-Potty

Friday, March 4, 2016

Teacup Pig as Angel with a Kamehameha Shotgun

Not just an imaginary interdimensional porcine mini angel carrying a firearm....

There's potentially a lot to explain here, but rest assured, this picture was a very specific request cooked up by my sons last night. The short version of the story is that this image represents the confluence of multiple things that my sons are thinking about:

They are still very much interested in listening to The Cab's song "Angel with a Shotgun," which is appealing because it is the soundtrack to a fan made "Attack on Titan" video (over 500,00 views with commentary written in Thai) and also evokes Doctor Who's Weeping Angels for them. And of course, there is the repeated reference to a weapon in a catchy song, so that's appealing right there.... (There was a previous "Angel With a Squirt Gun" napkin from 2014 that hashed over these topics if you really think you might want to read more.)

Teacup pigs are a sore topic this week, because, as mentioned in our previous post, we will not be adopting a soon-to-be-immense micromini-pig any time soon...despite our younger son's overwhelming need for one.

This minipig is not only armed with just any shotgun. It is shooting a "Kamehameha Wave."  And what is that? you may wonder.  I had been wondering myself for a while about the yelling of "CAH-ME YAH-ME YAH!!!!" that was going on in our apartment. I have to admit that I might have been remaining intentionally ignorant of the finer points of the Japanese anime TV show "Dragonball Z."  I suppose that I have been fortunate that my sons have never consistently watched it, as I find the histrionic tone very hard to appreciate...or even tune out.

But now we have a Dragonball Z video game and I can remain ignorant no longer.  Apparently heroes of the series are able to gather and shoot energy from their bodies... akin to the "Force Push" or "Force Lightning" in the Star Wars universe, or the "Fus Roh Dah!" of Skyrim. This particular sort of energy blast is named for the Hawaiian Kamehameah line of kings. I am not sure why, and unfortunately, do not have any further time to sort this out.

I will add that I had not made the connection previously between the shouting that my kids were doing and the Hawaiian royalty, because, as I now discover thanks to the magic of the internet, I had been pronouncing "Kamehameha" wrong for decades.

Yet another educational napkin...for me, anyway.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Teacup Animals in Teacup

Size does matter, at least when it comes to pets....

Our younger, sadly pet-deprived younger son suddenly acquired a  deep yearning for a "teacup pig" over the last few days.  Continuing in my maternal role as killjoy and the voice of failed gratification, I pointed out that, like "teacup dogs," pigs that fit in cups are not a real thing. People adopt underfed baby pigs, and in the best case scenario, soon end up living with a 120 lb potbellied pig....or maybe even a 400 lb pig. (Link to Nat'l Geographic article on this topic)

After a lot of arguing and viewing of websites with titles like "6 Reasons Why Teacup Pigs are not Pets" I think my son is still a bit suspicious that I am just spoiling his fun and that micro mini pigs really do exist somewhere.

I will readily admit that I am not interested in having a pet pig, even if it were to stay relatively small and cute. I had some memorable exposure to a pet potbellied pig long ago in Chicago. This unhappy and belligerent pig was living in an office that I visited frequently for meetings and to deliver sculpture projects. The pig's owner was fond of pointing out that pigs are smarter than dogs and cats. I don't disagree, but intelligence is not an appealing characteristic in a pet if the bored animal uses its smarts for malicious retaliation against its boring environment and humans.

But while we were talking about micro animals that don't really exist, I thought we should add some others to the mix. While my sons have expressed interest in baby tigers, bears and dogs, the rhino and elephant were my additions in a attempt to make the situation more cute...or more ridiculous.