MUPPET MONDAY: Bobo

One of my daughter’s favorites (not the painting, the character). Well, it’s one my favorite Muppet paintings, and here it is.

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Bobo is a Muppet who has steadily gained traction to now. To borrow a hockey term, he’s a solid two-way center. This isn’t the guy who’s going to score the game-winner every night, but he’s an integral part of the team, and really, the Muppets are the ultimate in celebrity teams. Not one of them could ever survive on their own. (Well, maybe Pepe. I could see him leading a sitcom starring an otherwise all-human cast.) It’s the summation of their part that makes the Muppets great, and its nice to see a new character break through to join the staples we all know and love.

But that brings me to the point: The Muppets has omitted some previously established well-known puppets. I’m playing devil’s advocate when I ask what happened to Walter, because I hated him from day one. But seriously, he was the star of the Muppets’ revival on the big screen in 2011 and now he’s… uh… in storage?The Muppets

We’ve also been without penguins and Camilla the chicken, Gonzo’s former main squeeze. If there’s background room for Crazy Harry, a personal favorite whose antics as a trigger happy bomber shouldn’t fit in the PC post-9/11 world, then there’s got to be a place for Camilla.

Muppets Tonight alumni Clifford and Johnny Fiama (and his monkey, Sal Minella) have been MIA for years, which is especially telling considering the visible, if not prominent, roles they held during the mid-90s through the earliest part of the 21st century. Meanwhile, fellow Muppets Tonight stars, Andy and Randy, Miss Piggy’s nephews, have at least had some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments in 2015.MuppetsTonightSandraBullock

Beauregard is stick clutching to whatever screen time he can get with a vice-like grip, but we’ve lost Pops and George the Janitor. (It looks like Beau inherited that glamorous gig.) I can’t remember the last time I saw Mildred Huxtetter, but it was probably the original Muppet Show.

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Beauregard and Andy (or Randy) sneak into a shot of otherwise well-known Muppets. At least we got Behemoth in a Santa cap, too.

I’d also like to see more of Gene/Behemoth, just because.the-muppets-abc-series-750x422

 

Bruce on the Loose

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Springsteen. New Jersey. 11×14″. The “border” is comprised of the song, “Incident on 57th Street.

I’m so over these pot bellies (as my wife calls them), so I’ve been jazzing them up with some random sketchiness (like Iron Man’s circuitry, Batman’s Gotham, Boo Berry’s ghosts). In this case, I asked the guy who commissioned this for his favorite Bruce song, and this is what he gave me. I’ve never heard it before, because despite my ethnicity (Jerseyish), I don’t give a single shit about Bruce Springsteen. Not one. And those shits I don’t give about Bruce I MIGHT throw at Bon Jovi. There really is no definitive New Jersey rocker that I can identify with. I wish I was from Zanzibar. (OBSCURE FREDDIE MERCURY REFERENCE.)

Anyway, I kinda regret my jazz-up idea to combat the war against white space, because two hours of transcribing those lyrics and my hand is killing me.

Iron Man as New Jersey

I used to be a great drinker. I don’t do many elicit or illegal or even mildly hazardous activities anymore, but I did have two glasses of wine at work just now and sweet maple syrup, do I feel wobbly. And in that time, I also painted/drew this commissioned Iron Man as New Jersey. (11×14″, watercolor and gold ink)

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Frankenois

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I can’t believe that damned Jason Voorhees got me back into making state characters.

In light of my Boo Berry designed as Minnesota (home state of General Mills, makers of Boo Berry), someone requested I make FrankenBerry as Illinois. That makes one ball hair less sense than anything I do on any other regular day, so what the hey, let’s give it a go. I was totally lost and threw away my first draft in a fit of disgust. …and then I saw the profile in my head. That nose. The lower lip. Holy shit, Illinois, you are no longer as boring as the Home Depot box we call Colorado. You are wonderful. And Frankenois was born.

And here’s a little tidbit. I arranged Frank’s clock to read 9:23. It’s an homage to Illinois –specifically Chicago – heroes, Bobb Hull and Michael Jordan. Both of whom should be painted as Illinois…Hmmm.

Happy Halloween!

Boo BerryHappy Halloween from me and my pal Boo Berry. Here he is, shaped like Minnesota, home of General Mills, the company that makes Monster Cereals.

Paul Frees was the voice actor who voiced Boo, impersonating Peter Lorre. Frees died November 2, 1986, coincidentally, the Day of the Dead. You probably don’t know Frees by name, but chances are, you’ve heard him. He voiced K.A.R.R., K.I.T.T.’s evil counterpart in Knight Rider, Boris Badanoff of Rocky & Bullwinkle fame, a hoard of characters from Rankin/Bass Christmas specials (including Santa and Eon, the evil buzzard from Rudolph’s Shiny New Year), and hilariously enough, John Lennon and George Harrison from The Beatles’ 1965 cartoon AND Berry Gordy from 1971’s The Jackson Five. How’s that for range?

I’m obviously on a cereal mascot kick, and I’m slowly developing a Pinterest board devoted to it. Check it out.

Jason Voorhees Badass New Jersey!

Jason VoorheesInspired by The Sexy Armpit‘s Purple Stuff Podcast, I’m going back to my home state and the Bad Ass New Jerseys (BANJ) with the Garden State’s favorite serial killer, Camp Crystal Lake’s Jason Voorhees!

The Friday the 13th star was created with watercolors, colored pencils and spray paint on 11×15″ 140lbs watercolor paper. Then I burned it as my two-year-old sang Happy Birthday, and if that’s not the cutest damn thing in the world, well, I don’t want to be here anymore anyway. And then I buried it in the dirt. If I owned a gun, I would have shot it, too, just for authenticity’s sake.

I posted this to my Twitter feed Friday afternoon, and said Twitter feed exploded with a bevy of comments, favorites and retweets. So I figured, shucks, I should make a purchase link for this, like, five minutes ago. And then it was sold and is currently on its way to Indiana, which I find to be the weirdest part of this story.

MUPPET MONDAY: Wonder Pig!

Wonder Pig

What better week to share this Wonder Pig portrait than Comic Con week?

TANGENT: Personally, I’m over Comic Con. It’s too big, has nothing to do with comics, and is a $50 ticket (minimum) to wait in a line while dodging the oversized tin foil sword some anime fanboy/girl made with the remnants of his cafeteria lunch grilled cheese wrappers.

This Piggy portrait is from the original Muppet Show (episode 419, starring the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter). I painted it on an oval canvas –I have no idea how big it is off-hand… maybe 16×9″?) I’ve had since at least 2002. My current life goal is to be rid of all this old inventory of art supplies I’ve accumulated over the years. It’s overwhelming.

And just for the sake of adding my two cents, I think The Muppets is great. Two episodes down, and I’ve had a handful of good laughs in each episodes. There are those who think it’s lost the innocence of Muppets past, becoming dark and gritty like…everything else… and there’s a point there, but get over yourselves. “Dark” as this series may be, it’s a far cry from the adult nature of Avenue Q (which I saw a couple eyars ago; the raunch is way overhyped), and even if the tone of The Muppet Show were kept alive from 1978, the current program would be dead before mid-season. Nobody wants Wayne and Wanda ballroom dancing and telling corny puns in 2015.