Saturday, April 30, 2016

Poky Loki Hokey-Pokey Potato Gnocchi


(PuppyMonkeyBaby and then some)

To review: the parameters of the PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing series are: make three part characters composed of vertically stacked rhyming nouns or names that ended in the long "E" sound.

I could not come up with a really good solution for the lower body on this one, yet would not give up on the enjoyable combination of the Poky Little Puppy and Loki from Marvel's Avengers and Thor movies. Therefore, to overcompensate, I added a double lower third with gnocchi and "The Hokey-Pokey."  You put your right foot in, you take your right foot out..." That probably doesn't need to be said, does it? But not everyone has been forced to attend "Mommy and Me" style music classes during the last decade, so maybe it is not fresh in the mind the way it is for me. (Don't ask me how I feel about "The Wheels on the Bus")

"The Poky Little Puppy" may not be fresh in your mind either. It was a book that, strangely enough, I can remember disliking during my childhood. But this did not stop me from reading it to my own kids. Maybe it was the wall-eyed, dumb way the puppy is drawn that made me dislike it? Maybe it was the obsession with desserts that dogs should not be eating anyway. (Rice pudding, strawberry shortcake? Do mother dogs feed their puppies such things?) Maybe it was the mixed message that being slow might mean that you could get away with misbehavior and maybe even get to eat everyone else's dessert too. At any rate, the book ends with the wayward puppies being thwarted by the sign,  "NO DESSERTS EVER UNLESS PUPPIES NEVER DIG HOLES UNDER THIS FENCE AGAIN!" (they eat cake, and they can read!- if only I had such success managing my children.)

I think it is unclear whether the Poky Puppy or Tom Hiddleston's Loki character will be able to "turn themselves around" and not do evil things like becoming super villains or digging holes under the fence and coming home late for dessert...or for gnocchi.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy's Star Lord with Death Gun from Sword Art Online

Guys wearing masks with glowing red eyes take selfies.
(Is it any coincidence that our younger son likes both Death Gun and Star Lord?)

During our intense Star Lord phase, which reached its peak around Halloween 2014, we were able to purchase an inexpensive costume, complete with a fairly adequate mask.

At present, our son is asserting his deep need for a Death Gun costume. And sadly, Death Gun costumes for children are not so easily purchased online. I usually do what I can to avoid making complicated sci-fi masks for my sons, but I may not be able to entirely dodge this one. At least Death Gun's mask is less complicated than Star Lord's.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Romney Swami Pacific Tsunami

Another PuppyMonkeyBaby series drawing I am afraid...with a particularly unconvincing portrait of Mr. Romney.

This year's Republican candidates have actually made me think back fondly to Mitt Romney's campaign in 2012. And he did try to stand up to Donald Trump recently. So, I am not trying to poke fun at him. His name just happened to rhyme nicely with other things.

Although in hindsight, I am a bit sorry that I did not choose Rudy Giuliani instead.

My sons don't know much about Rudy or Mitt, so it's all the same to them.

Death Gun from Sword Art Online

It's my name. And the name of my gun.

Our younger son has been has been watching the second season of the anime series "Sword Art Online" Or more accurately put, WE have been watching the series.

The first season was conveniently available on Netflix with English dubbing and did not require me to read the subtitles for him. I remained mostly ignorant of the specifics of the story. My son did alert me more than once, and with some barely concealed appreciation, "Mom, this show is not very nice to women." With further prodding, he offered up that what he meant was that there was a lot of gratuitous display of female bodies...Thus, the appreciation.

I've vetoed anime shows more than once based on poor gender politics. He still asks at least one time per week how old he will have to be before I will allow him to watch more of Netflix's "The Seven Deadly Sins"  Six or seven instances of inappropriate groping of a minor female by an older man played for humor perhaps inspired a toxic reaction that made me forbid further episodes.

Sword Art Online seems relatively less offensive. Yes, one of the main female characters wears an outfit that prominently displays her butt crack, and the camera is often ogling said crack, or her crotch. Interestingly, the male protagonist from the first season, Kirito, is forced to play the game with a female avatar. But his female avatar is conservatively dressed. No cleavage, no butt crack, no lingering shots of his/her crotch.

But I digress... While my son does appreciate the anime display of the female form, what he likes most about SAO is the second season villain, Death Gun, with his glowing eyes and his super cool outfit. He is covered from head to toe. No visible cracks.

I am going to assume that Death Gun's redundant catch phrase sounds cooler in Japanese.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pikachu Zaps Deadpool

Maybe it's best if relations are not too warm and fuzzy.

We recently read some of "Deadpool Volume 5: Wedding of Deadpool," during which Wade and his new bride, Shiklah, (who Is literally a man-eating demon) fight some Pokemon-like creatures over a briefcase full of cash. Deadpool says something like, "you follow that guy, and I'll stay here and kill Pikachu." The Pokemon creature in the comic doesn't much resemble Pikachu...but the kids and I agreed, why not Deadpool and Pikachu?

I thought maybe their relationship should look a bit less combative, if not entirely positive. Given Deadpool's behavior with unicorns in the recent movie, it might be wise to keep the relationship slightly unfriendly.

(Pikachu never seems to lose his charm as far as the kids are concerned- See all of the Pikachu napkins here)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Betty Machete Alberto Giacometti

That's Betty White's head , Machete's torso, as played by Danny Trejo in the Robert Rodriguez movies of the same name, and the tweedy pants and legs of Giacometti, the early to mid twentieth century Swiss sculptor and painter.

All three of these people are somewhat obscure as far as my sons are concerned.  Betty White is the funny little old lady who swears in the Deadpool promotional video. I am not going to waste my breath describing "The Golden Girls" to them. And in the spirit of full disclosure, that show was broadcast in the late 80's to early 90's, a period when I did not own a TV set, so I have never seen it myself. I do remember her fondly from "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," but as previously mentioned in my post about the Mary Mary Topiary drawing, I suspect it will also be difficult to explain the appeal of that show to my sons.

I showed them a picture of Machete in his full knife studded ensemble and of course they were immediately interested in watching that movie. Both "Machete" and "Machete Kills" are rated R, and feature such highlights as a woman who fires bullets out of guns that are in the place of nipples on her breastplate. Maybe we will try to hold off until "Machete Kills in Space" comes out. The IMDb website says it is in development.

We watched a recent episode of  "The Simpsons" last night which featured Mr. Burns's likeness inserted in several famous works of art, including Giacometti's "Walking Man."   My sons were astounded by the coincidence when they recognized the same sculpture from this drawing.

I am definitely not doing my job when it comes to exposing them to art history. I am also not doing my job when it comes to exposing them to music, politics, philosophy, etc. But you would think I could at least manage my area of specialty.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Totoro Sits on Deadpool

"Insert snarky comment here"

Our younger son has developed a sudden intense desire to watch the movie "My Neighbor Totoro." I suspect this interest somehow came from a YouTube video, but I cannot identify the exact source. Unfortunately "Totoro" appears to only be available on DVD, and our TV and DVD player stopped communicating with one another about a year ago. The kids are utterly mystified- "HOW can this movie not be available on Netflix or ITunes?  In their universe, all video entertainment is available at all times.

As a stopgap measure to satisfy the Totoro craving, I picked up a used copy of a four volume graphic novel composed of stills from the movie. The direct import of movie stills into the book leads to some oddities. There is not a lot of dialogue in the movie, but there are a lot of sound effects. These are reproduced graphically in Japanese text with an index of english translations in the back- many pages of tiny text translations of "tmp, tmp, tmp,"  "VROOSH" and the like.

And certain images in the book seem a little odd or awkward because they were isolated out of a stream of animation. In the flow of the movie, one would not be able to dwell on them, but in the book, one can.

One such image which particularly drew my sons' attention was the dangling furry testicles of the flying "CatBus" character. In the context of the movie, his endowment might be a brief visual joke, if one noticed at all... but in the book, one can dwell on the image at length, particularly if testicles are of special interest.

Earlier on in the book, I had explained that Japanese culture feels generally a bit more relaxed about the anatomical realities of the human body than we do here in the puritanical United States. There is a scene where the Dad hangs out naked in the bathtub with his two female children which would probably not appear in an episode of "Dora the Explorer" or "Inside/Out."  But the CatBus scrotum seemed a bit extra credit anyway.  As my sons were quick to point out, he did not appear to have a penis.

The CatBus anatomy of course led to conjecture about Totoro's genitals, or lack thereof.
So when it came time to draw Totoro comically sitting on top of Deadpool, I decided that Wade had better be on his stomach and not potentially getting a face full of furry dangly bits.

My sons told me that I should have just drawn Deadpool's head sticking out instead, and that he should have a speech bubble that says "insert snarky comment here."
As usual, they were correct. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

DeadMaul / Darth Pool

Darth Maul and Deadpool in a double headlock.

Or, what is black and red all over?
(Comic books featuring Deadpool or Darth Maul)

Or, what goes black, red, black, red, black red?
(Deadpool and Darth Maul wrestling)

Pathetic, I know. My kids did not even find those amusing.

The morally questionable guys in red and black continue to be compelling at our house. Our younger son has not had the pleasure of viewing the "Phantom Menace" movie to see Darth Maul's first appearance.  But he was still pretty happy to see Maul reappear in the recent "Star Wars Rebels" season 2 finale, trying to entice the adolescent protagonist, Ezra, over to the dark side.

And Maul has that double lightsaber, so how could he not be cool?
And Deadpool is just Deadpool...and somehow the epitome of cool lately.

For some reason, my cell phone camera can't deal with the color red, so all of the subtlety and tonal range in the drawing seems to drop out of the digital image... (That's right, I just used the words "subtlety and tonal range" in regard to a drawing on a napkin.) This technology has improved a lot over the last few years. Previous red napkins looked much worse. But it still has a ways to go.
You will just have to trust me that the napkin looks better in person.

On another uninteresting technical note: I had a lot of trouble sorting this image out- figuring out which arm belonged to whom, and what part should be in shadow or in light.  So I am posting a flipped version of the image below so it might make more sense.

And of course it is a napkin, so perhaps there is no permanent right side up.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Daphne Daffy Muammar Gaddafi with Jeannie Houdini Benito Mussolini

Ladies with the legs of dictators:

Yes, it's another PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing, and probably evidence that the series has been going on too long....

When I was hatching the "Gaddafi" and "Mussolini" rhymes, I was optimistically thinking that there was going to be something really distinctive and recognizable about the legs of these two men.

During his unfortunate and long tenure as "brotherly leader and guide of the revolution," Mr. al-Gaddafi was known for peculiar and often over the top sartorial choices. He was fond of Michael Jackson-like highly decorated uniforms and garish floor length dressy numbers. He wore this  particular wrap to the G-8 Summit in 2009 where he was photographed shaking a much more conservatively suited Barak Obama's hand. The reporter for Time Magazine suggested that he looked like he "dressed for the evening-gown portion...of a beauty contest for sofas."

Il Duce was fond of very full jodhpur pants, and was perhaps distinctive for his height to width ratio. Hitler was only a bit taller, but in photographs his jodhpurs seem much less wide...and less prevalent.

As for the middle: that's Daffy Duck, and Harry Houdini, somehow both strange and hard to recognize in my drawing.

Daphne from "Scooby Doo" and Jeannie from "I Dream of Jeannie" were important characters in my 70's tv watching youth, I am not proud to say.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Scottie Scotty and Mary Mary

"I cannot change the laws of physics, Captain!"
Scottie Scotty Porta-Potty and Mary Mary Topiary:

A disturbing combination of two characters from significant TV shows of my youth.

I was certainly born too late to have been watching the original broadcasts of Star Trek in the late 60's on my parents 10" black and white TV.  But I did watch a whole lot of Star Trek in reruns during the 70's. Now that we live in a world where there are multiple cable channels devoted to 24 hours a day of children's programming, it is hard to recall the days when a young person would have to resort to watching Star Trek while doing her homework after school.

I think I might have been watching "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" with my parents in the evenings, as that program made its original run from 1970-1977. I watched a few minutes of a couple of episodes on YouTube earlier this week while I was trying to decide which Mary hair style would be the right choice, and was reminded how deeply the show was ingrained in my subconscious.  It was certainly not written for young children, but had enough brisk dopey jokes to hold nearly anyone's attention. More consequentially, the central concept of a single attractive woman with an interesting job living alone in a large city was ever so compelling to me as a young female person.

Sometimes I think the downside of the present day smorgasbord of constantly available kids programing is that our kids don't have to watch shows like the Mary Tyler Moore Show with their parents. While there were plenty of easy jokes about how Mary's boss Mr Grant was grumpy and her co worker Ted was dumb, the show also addressed topics like difficulties for women in the workplace divorce, homosexuality, and drugs. I watched it in the company of adults, and it presented a picture of what adult life might be like. This is not something one can say of most of the programming on Cartoon Network or the Disney Channel. While I do watch some TV with my sons, the shows are kids' shows. I rarely watch "adult" programming with them beyond action movies that are really aimed at 13 year old boys anyway.

But as I type this, I am reminded that our kids do watch a bit of adult-oriented, evening television programming with their father...(usually right around the time I am trying desperately to put them to bed) The programs in question are usually the reality shows that my husband favors, something like "Deadliest Catch," "Fast N Loud,"or "Pawn Stars."

So, I guess they are in fact gaining insight into what it might like to be an adult male.

(part of the PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing series)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Deadpool with Star Wars Friends

Deadpool goes well with everyone....maybe.

With the impending (May 10th) release of the Deadpool movie on iTunes, my younger son wants to assign me the ridiculous task of editing the thing down to the portions that could be watched by a nine year old.  He is convinced that the universe it will remain a totally unjust place (yeah? Get used to it kid) until he has seen the movie.

I will admit that I am hoping someone out there in internet land will shoulder this burden for me and release a cut (5 minutes long? 10 minutes?) of the movie that is appropriate for the PG-13 crowd.

But I am not holding my breath.

And although they have insipid cuteness and violence in common, I fear things would not go well between Wade and the diminuative Star Wars folk.

(See our other Deadpool napkins at this link)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Freddy Teddies

Freddy Teddy Spermaceti and Freddy Teddy Mario Andretti 
To be more specific: Freddy Krueger from "Nightmare on Elm Street," on top of Theodore Roosevelt, on top of a Sperm Whale, next to Freddy Fazbear the murderous animatronic bear from the "Five Nights at Freddy's" videogame, on top of a generic teddy bear, on top of the lower body of the world champion race car driver, Mr. Andretti.

The chances that the same person would both know who Mario Andretti is, and be familiar with the killer animatronics in Five Nights at Freddy's are probably slim to none. Unless you are an aging person who grew up in the 70's and then had kids later in life who are now obsessed with video games. Or maybe if you are the grandparent of those kids. Hi Mom!

My apologies to everyone else for the obscure noun choices. 
And then there's the Sperm Whale.... Technically, spermaceti is the waxy material in the whale's head that used to be harvested for oil. I don't think the whales are really known as "Spermaceti Whales," but Google does respond to that input. I really wanted the last term to be "Spiral Jetty," the famous earthwork constructed in 1970 by Robert Smithson (it's a fact rarely displayed on this blog, but I do have a graduate degree in fine art which is really paying off at times like this!) I just couldn't make the Jetty work visually as a lower body in the context of another Freddy Teddy with human legs.

Probably unfortunately, I haven't given up on using it in another context... I've still got Betty, Machete, Giacometti... and of course SETI, to work with.

(See the other PuppyMonkeyBaby drawings at this link)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Deadpool with Colossal Titan

Deadpool wears red so that Titans can't see him bleed.
(But does the Colossal Titan think that Wade has good taste?)

Bedtime reading this week has been the latest installment of Attack on Titan- volume #18, and some of the recent collected Deadpool comics. Wade seems to be sharing custody of a child with a SHIELD agent who has a robot body. I cannot even attempt a comparable synopsis for AoT. I am moderately confused by what is supposed to be going on in both storylines. My sons will sometimes try to explain the story arcs to me, but I have accepted a significant amount of ignorance in both cases.

But why not put them together? The Titans and Deadpool share implausible abilities to regenerate from catastrophic physical damage. Deadpool claims that he needs to eat a lot of junk food in order to regenerate. I'm not sure if the Titan shifters have ever discussed needing any supplements to their diet in order to grow their huge Titan bodies.

But they are probably not eating hot dogs and chimichangas.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Harry Canaries

Harry•Canary•Woodland-Fairy and Harry•Canary•Little-House-on-the-Prairie
They don't look like they are feeling lucky.
(PuppyMonkeyBaby drawing #16)

An explanation starting with what is probably the most obscure element: the canary on the right is DC Comics' Black Canary. She was one of my favorite characters back when the kids were watching "Young Justice" despite being clad in a strapless top and no pants, More than just a screamer,  she was smart and somehow able to defeat Super Boy in hand to hand combat. Based on a Google search yesterday, I gather that Black Canary is also a character in the current TV show "Arrow." I borrowed the black jacket from that show as the blue blazer she wore in "Young Justice" looked a bit too much like it belonged with the Laura Ingels Wilder style skirt on the bottom.

As for the Harrys: (Harries?)
For some reason that I cannot discover, my sons are almost phobic about the idea of seeing any of the Harry Potter movies. They also adamantly refused to listen to me read the first book to them. I've seen parts of several of the movies over the years on TV after the kids' bedtimes, but we remain mostly a Hogwarts-deprived household.  My younger son guessed that the Harry Potter head in this image was Velma from "Scooby Doo" which does not say a lot for my drawing. He told me that he could not recognize Mr. Potter because I had neglected to draw his forehead scar. Somehow, I don't think that was it.

Unsurprisingly, the kids have not seen "Dirty Harry," but thanks to the magic of YouTube and various memes, they do know who he is, more or less. When I asked my older son about Dirty Harry, he said, "Are you feeling lucky?"

The woodland fairy is a generic concoction. I considered making the legs Tinker Bell-like, but decided that would be too boring. I wanted to draw some leaves I guess.

My sons have never seen "Little House on the Prairie," nor read any of the Laura Ingels Wilder books. The books were among my favorites at some point in my childhood. I remember that I was very disappointed and lost interest in the series around the time the Laura character got married, but that was many volumes in. These books are among the many that I have not managed to share with my sons. I could not even get them to listen to the "Chronicles of Narnia," so it seems unlikely that they would sit still for a description of churning butter.

There was some protest on Instagram about a previous image in this series that mixed genders- Bambi and Blondie. Just for the record, most of these have been determined by the sound of the rhyme more than any specific commentary beyond visual juxtaposition.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hardcore Attack on Titan

What's better than a combination of two super violent things that you're too young to see?

After stumbling across the trailer for "Hardcore Henry," our younger son was utterly convinced that he has to see the movie. He is nine and the movie is rated R, so I afraid that I will unable to help him satisfy this need in the near future.

The preview definitely looks like a frenetic first person shooter style video game brought to life. And brought to video with significant difficulty, apparently, as the camera had to be mounted on actors' faces while they performed a remarkable number of extreme stunts.

R rated movies are a touchy area for us lately as the younger brother was furious when he found out that his brother had seen the R rated "Deadpool" movie courtesy of a friend's parents. While my husband and I immediately regretted authorizing this outing when we saw the movie ourselves, the 13 year old has at least been mature enough to restrain himself from quoting choice bits of dialogue from the movie at the dinner table.

I am not optimistic that the 9 year old would be so reserved. In principle, he does not accept the idea that the four year age difference between him and his brother should matter when it comes to such things.  And in practice, unfortunately, it often does not: If the 13 year old is playing a video game in the living room, then his 9 year old brother might as well be playing it also.

But this does not mean that I am taking a 3rd grader to see "Deadpool."

There is more than one "Attack on Titan" movie out there, and those movies may be age-inappropriate as well. As these films are still difficult to see in the United States, it is unlikely that our kids will have an opportunity to see them in the near future even if they are not rated PG..

Age-inappropriate violence aside, I am afraid that the main problem with a first-person-shooter-style portrayal of the Survey Corps fighting in "Attack on Titan" would be the intense motion sickness brought on by all the physics-defying flying around with "3-d maneuver gear."

At least that would be the case for me. Maybe I am just too old to watch that sort of thing.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


takes a stroll with 
Blondie•Zombie•Mahatma Gandhi:

(Another drawing in the PuppyMonkeyBaby series)

Bambi's Blondie is from the "Blondie" comic strip- as in Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead, a newspaper comic strip that, remarkably enough, has been running since 1930 until the present. (The strip was also adapted into 28 low budget movies produced from 1938-50.) I read the strip in the morning newspaper during my childhood and always found Blondie's cartoon "shapely" figure and housewifely charms very disturbing.

The Blondie on the right is Deborah Harry, the lead singer of the eponymous 1970's & '80's new wave/punk rock band which was a feature of my early adolescence. I can't hear "Heart of Glass" without it evoking a seventh grade dance. 
She doesn't mean very much to my sons. They were both rather troubled by the outfit I chose for her zombie body. My older son opined that it was "inappropriate for a blog that kids look at."

They do know who Gandhi is.