Dormouse with “Aliens” style Power Loader:

Remember what the Dormouse said:
…was it, “They mostly come out at night, mostly”?
…or was it “Get away from her, you bitch”?

Ansel’s interest in things small, cute and furry was focused on the Dormouse this last week.  He was reading “A Bed for the Winter,” which according to Amazon is ” the harrowing story of a little dormouse and his frantic search for a safe place to hibernate.” He was also wondering if Dormice make good pets.  (probably not)

Everyone in our household seems a bit under the weather this week. Today we were introduced to the nifty term “viral torticollis” to explain why one child’s head is on sideways and he can’t bear to go to school.  I am definitely suffering from some welcome-back-to-school-virus related dementia myself, so this is probably not one of my better efforts in terms of concept or execution.  

I thought maybe since the Dormouse is always in danger of being another animal’s dinner, perhaps he or she could use some technological assistance.  I was originally planning to come up with some sort of Dormouse appropriate mech suit, but decided to take the easy way out and borrow Ripley’s backlit power loader from “Aliens.”

Just for the record, Ansel has not seen the movie, but he thought this was cool enough anyway.

Dormouse with “Aliens” style Power Loader:

Remember what the Dormouse said:
…was it, “They mostly come out at night, mostly”?
…or was it “Get away from her, you bitch”?

Ansel’s interest in things small, cute and furry was focused on the Dormouse this last week. He was reading “A Bed for the Winter,” which according to Amazon is ” the harrowing story of a little dormouse and his frantic search for a safe place to hibernate.” He was also wondering if Dormice make good pets. (probably not)

Everyone in our household seems a bit under the weather this week. Today we were introduced to the nifty term “viral torticollis” to explain why one child’s head is on sideways and he can’t bear to go to school. I am definitely suffering from some welcome-back-to-school-virus related dementia myself, so this is probably not one of my better efforts in terms of concept or execution.

I thought maybe since the Dormouse is always in danger of being another animal’s dinner, perhaps he or she could use some technological assistance. I was originally planning to come up with some sort of Dormouse appropriate mech suit, but decided to take the easy way out and borrow Ripley’s backlit power loader from “Aliens.”

Just for the record, Ansel has not seen the movie, but he thought this was cool enough anyway.

 Angel with a Squirt Gun:The Quaker school version of “Angel with a Shotgun” Archer listened to The Cab’s song “Angel with a Shotgun” on repeat for much of yesterday afternoon.  He acquired the obsession with this song the same way that he has developed most of his preferences in music lately: from watching “Attack on Titan” videos.  He particularly likes a version of the song where it is sped up- becoming something like “Angel with a Shotgun” performed by the Chipmunks.  And whenever Archer is listening to something, so is his seven year old brother.While I was cringing yesterday, I tried to remember what my favorite music was when I was eleven, or seven…back when dinosaurs walked the earth.  I’m afraid I was on a pretty much all classical diet at the time. But I do remember that one of my best friends in sixth grade had an obsession with Styx and the song “Come Sail Away,”  I should not be too judgmental of my sons’ music choices.Of course, this song is not just about the aesthetics of music for them.  When Archer and Ansel think of angels, they are thinking of the “Weeping Angels” in the Doctor Who series.  The idea of a creepy all powerful alien who can impersonate a stone figure who is now also armed with a shotgun….well, how cool is that?On a final unrelated note: I set out to draw the requested weaponized angel with the idea in mind that I was going to make it look like one of Bernini’s lovely baroque stone angels.  The angels in the TV show are of course clunky cludged together life casts as well as live actors. Almost 30 years of sculpting has certainly taught me that I am no Bernini. A few minutes of sketching last night indicated that I am also not capable of drawing a Bernini-esque angel on a napkin.  I ended up using some very different source material, which might have been titled something like “Cute Girls with Squirt Guns”  I don’t think I am going to be any more specific than that as my older son often reads what I write here.  Thus the “angel” on the napkin suffers from modern malnutrition and an awkward pose. 

 Angel with a Squirt Gun:
The Quaker school version of “Angel with a Shotgun”

 Archer listened to The Cab’s song “Angel with a Shotgun” on repeat for much of yesterday afternoon.  He acquired the obsession with this song the same way that he has developed most of his preferences in music lately: from watching “Attack on Titan” videos.  He particularly likes a version of the song where it is sped up- becoming something like “Angel with a Shotgun” performed by the Chipmunks.  And whenever Archer is listening to something, so is his seven year old brother.

While I was cringing yesterday, I tried to remember what my favorite music was when I was eleven, or seven…back when dinosaurs walked the earth.  I’m afraid I was on a pretty much all classical diet at the time. But I do remember that one of my best friends in sixth grade had an obsession with Styx and the song “Come Sail Away,”  I should not be too judgmental of my sons’ music choices.

Of course, this song is not just about the aesthetics of music for them.  When Archer and Ansel think of angels, they are thinking of the “Weeping Angels” in the Doctor Who series.  The idea of a creepy all powerful alien who can impersonate a stone figure who is now also armed with a shotgun….well, how cool is that?

On a final unrelated note: I set out to draw the requested weaponized angel with the idea in mind that I was going to make it look like one of Bernini’s lovely baroque stone angels.  The angels in the TV show are of course clunky cludged together life casts as well as live actors.

Almost 30 years of sculpting has certainly taught me that I am no Bernini. A few minutes of sketching last night indicated that I am also not capable of drawing a Bernini-esque angel on a napkin.  I ended up using some very different source material, which might have been titled something like “Cute Girls with Squirt Guns”  I don’t think I am going to be any more specific than that as my older son often reads what I write here.  Thus the “angel” on the napkin suffers from modern malnutrition and an awkward pose. 

Skull Pinata Head:

Our seven year old Ansel is developing a real taste for the macabre.  He spent the hour before bedtime last night wearing a skull head pinata (from last year’s birthday) with various drapery, trying to transform himself into a “jump scare.”  When he finished wearing the head, he carefully composed it on the couch for maximum shock value for his brother in the early morning.

He decided that this skull guy really should be a character in our ever developing- yet still nonexistent- web comic.  I really liked the idea of a creepy individual who wears an old pinata on his head, although I suspect Ansel had a literal skull in mind.  I tried to split the difference in the drawing: There is some suggestion that it’s a pinata, but Ansel still thought it was cool and not silly.

The main horror of this skull guy’s visit last night was that he left little scraps of white tissue paper strewn all over the apartment.

Skull Pinata Head:

Our seven year old Ansel is developing a real taste for the macabre. He spent the hour before bedtime last night wearing a skull head pinata (from last year’s birthday) with various drapery, trying to transform himself into a “jump scare.” When he finished wearing the head, he carefully composed it on the couch for maximum shock value for his brother in the early morning.

He decided that this skull guy really should be a character in our ever developing- yet still nonexistent- web comic. I really liked the idea of a creepy individual who wears an old pinata on his head, although I suspect Ansel had a literal skull in mind. I tried to split the difference in the drawing: There is some suggestion that it’s a pinata, but Ansel still thought it was cool and not silly.

The main horror of this skull guy’s visit last night was that he left little scraps of white tissue paper strewn all over the apartment.

Rufus from “Dolphin Tale” dominates a shark:
A possible plot development for “Dolphin Tale 3”?
Ansel is very much looking forward to the next “Dolphin Tale” installment opening this weekend. His older brother, who is mostly interested in movies that feature murderous aliens, technologically advanced weapons or at least a high body count, could not be less sympathetic
I thought perhaps if there were more conflict in the storyline, Archer might be willing to sit through a dolphin movie.  However, I was rather traumatized by “The Day of the Dolphin" when I was around Ansel’s age (a million years ago in the mid 70’s).
I decided therefore to keep the dolphins out of any potential conflict and go for comic relief with the Rufus the pelican ‘with issues.”

Rufus from “Dolphin Tale” dominates a shark:

A possible plot development for “Dolphin Tale 3”?

Ansel is very much looking forward to the next “Dolphin Tale” installment opening this weekend. His older brother, who is mostly interested in movies that feature murderous aliens, technologically advanced weapons or at least a high body count, could not be less sympathetic

I thought perhaps if there were more conflict in the storyline, Archer might be willing to sit through a dolphin movie.  However, I was rather traumatized by “The Day of the Dolphin" when I was around Ansel’s age (a million years ago in the mid 70’s).

I decided therefore to keep the dolphins out of any potential conflict and go for comic relief with the Rufus the pelican ‘with issues.”

Baby Legs Kowalski: a character that was my younger son’s design, but ended up way too weird to go to school today.

Baby Legs Kowalski: a character that was my younger son’s design, but ended up way too weird to go to school today.

The Land Shark: Inspired by “Sharknado,” “Axe Cop,” SNL, “Chicken Little” and a trip to Costco:
Archer and Ansel have talking a lot recently about a web comic that they would like to create…(to be specific: a web comic that they would like me to draw) “Axe Cop,” a very successful series written by a 5 year old boy and drawn and facilitated by his comics professional older brother is of course a great inspiration.
We often discuss potential characters for this hypothetical comic, and the Land Shark was yesterday’s topic. (“Sharknado” has a long tail, so to speak) Archer was primarily responsible for the description, including rocket boosters, laser weapons and a “chainsaw holster.” Fish Out of Water, our favorite character from “Chicken Little” (and originally one of our early favorite books by Helen Palmer) inspired the helmet.

I’ll admit I was much more interested in the ridiculousness of the character than the kids were. The Saturday Night Live Land Shark sketches from the late 70’s were in my mind. I recounted them to the kids, but they did not find my rendition as funny as I thought they should. And I liked the idea of the alpha predator riding around on the sort of motorized scooter that enables the morbidly obese to navigate around Costco. I am slightly sorry that I did not try to render the distortion of a water filled helmet in a realistic way… because, you know, the overall image is so very realistic.
Archer pointed out that I had neglected to include the laser weapons.

The Land Shark: Inspired by “Sharknado,” “Axe Cop,” SNL, “Chicken Little” and a trip to Costco:

Archer and Ansel have talking a lot recently about a web comic that they would like to create…(to be specific: a web comic that they would like me to draw) “Axe Cop,” a very successful series written by a 5 year old boy and drawn and facilitated by his comics professional older brother is of course a great inspiration.

We often discuss potential characters for this hypothetical comic, and the Land Shark was yesterday’s topic. (“Sharknado” has a long tail, so to speak) Archer was primarily responsible for the description, including rocket boosters, laser weapons and a “chainsaw holster.” Fish Out of Water, our favorite character from “Chicken Little” (and originally one of our early favorite books by Helen Palmer) inspired the helmet.

I’ll admit I was much more interested in the ridiculousness of the character than the kids were. The Saturday Night Live Land Shark sketches from the late 70’s were in my mind. I recounted them to the kids, but they did not find my rendition as funny as I thought they should. And I liked the idea of the alpha predator riding around on the sort of motorized scooter that enables the morbidly obese to navigate around Costco. I am slightly sorry that I did not try to render the distortion of a water filled helmet in a realistic way… because, you know, the overall image is so very realistic.

Archer pointed out that I had neglected to include the laser weapons.

The nice people at Tombow were kind enough to send me some of their beautiful markers to try out.
They come in an extensive palate and are excellent for details like monster teeth and centipedes…and I bet that they would work even better on a surface that is more cooperative than a napkin.  The brush tips can be very precise and the holder for the set is definite bonus.  My other markers lived in a beat up shoe box for several years and were perpetually disorganized.

My only complaint about the Tombow markers so far is that my kids love to handle them and keep messing up their arrangement in the stand.

School field trip for monsters:

Ansel and Archer were pretty excited to read Mark Tatulli’s sequel “Desmond Pucket and the Mountain Full of Monsters.” The grande finale of this book involves a particular make and model of Volvo bus and a bunch of animatronic monsters rescued from a condemned amusement park ride.

I was able to find an image of a 1953 Volvo 638 bus, but I ended up drawing it more as a school bus full of “real” monsters.

School field trip for monsters:

Ansel and Archer were pretty excited to read Mark Tatulli’s sequel “Desmond Pucket and the Mountain Full of Monsters.” The grande finale of this book involves a particular make and model of Volvo bus and a bunch of animatronic monsters rescued from a condemned amusement park ride.

I was able to find an image of a 1953 Volvo 638 bus, but I ended up drawing it more as a school bus full of “real” monsters.

Rufus the Pelican from Dolphin Tale 2:
Through the magic of advertising, Ansel has been eagerly looking forward to the opening of the Dolphin Tale sequel. He enjoyed the first movie, and recently subjected his much afflicted older brother to viewing it again on TV. We had a bit of an argument last week, however, about Winter’s gender. Ansel was convinced that the famous dolphin was a boy, because, well…in the minds of 7 year old boys, all meaningful protagonists are probably male. Cranky geriatric feminist that I am, I was determined to rain on his parade and went to the trouble of finding proof online that Winter definitely does not have a Y chromosome. On the other hand, Rufus, the annoying pelican who is featured prominently as comic relief in the movie’s trailers, is likely a boy.  I debated briefly about drawing Rufus in a more interesting way…. say, clutching a machine gun, or perched on top of a defeated foe (maybe a chainsaw shark?) In the end, I decided to just keep it simple, and make his bill large since he seems to be poking it places where it does not belong in the movie. Unfortunately, this perspective rendered him fairly unrecognizable…And I used a lot of girly colors. Ansel seemed less than impressed this morning.

Rufus the Pelican from Dolphin Tale 2:

Through the magic of advertising, Ansel has been eagerly looking forward to the opening of the Dolphin Tale sequel. He enjoyed the first movie, and recently subjected his much afflicted older brother to viewing it again on TV.

We had a bit of an argument last week, however, about Winter’s gender. Ansel was convinced that the famous dolphin was a boy, because, well…in the minds of 7 year old boys, all meaningful protagonists are probably male. Cranky geriatric feminist that I am, I was determined to rain on his parade and went to the trouble of finding proof online that Winter definitely does not have a Y chromosome.

On the other hand, Rufus, the annoying pelican who is featured prominently as comic relief in the movie’s trailers, is likely a boy.

I debated briefly about drawing Rufus in a more interesting way…. say, clutching a machine gun, or perched on top of a defeated foe (maybe a chainsaw shark?) In the end, I decided to just keep it simple, and make his bill large since he seems to be poking it places where it does not belong in the movie. Unfortunately, this perspective rendered him fairly unrecognizable…And I used a lot of girly colors. Ansel seemed less than impressed this morning.

The Colossal Titan meets Gypsy Danger

The Colossal Titan meets Gypsy Danger

Predator and Demon Wolf at Bedtime:

One last poorly executed iteration of the napkins replacing faces concept before we return to our regularly scheduled schoolday napkin programming.

The kids are each sporting the face of their favorite monster: Archer has a specific Predator named Dark from the “Alien vs. Predator” game, while Ansel has a non-trademarked red eyed “Devil Wolf” of his own design.

They are holding monster faces in bed, because…well…more often than not…they are monsters at bedtime.

Predator and Demon Wolf at Bedtime:

One last poorly executed iteration of the napkins replacing faces concept before we return to our regularly scheduled schoolday napkin programming.

The kids are each sporting the face of their favorite monster: Archer has a specific Predator named Dark from the “Alien vs. Predator” game, while Ansel has a non-trademarked red eyed “Devil Wolf” of his own design.

They are holding monster faces in bed, because…well…more often than not…they are monsters at bedtime.

Attack on Titanfall:  an inevitable combination.

Attack on Titanfall: an inevitable combination.

The Rock Monster Queen with a baby from LEGO’s “Clutch Powers”

The strawberry did not appear in the movie.

The Rock Monster Queen with a baby from LEGO’s “Clutch Powers”

The strawberry did not appear in the movie.

Posing with the Hulk in the Times Square Toys R Us.

Unfortunately, I completely failed to match the green of his LEGOs.

Posing with the Hulk in the Times Square Toys R Us.

Unfortunately, I completely failed to match the green of his LEGOs.

Dr. Trayaurus and Dan of The Diamond Minecart:

Dan is my personal favorite of the Minecraft Youtubers my sons watch. He is relentlessly upbeat, his British accent is soothing, and he does not scream expletives when he gets killed by a Zombie Pigman.

Dr. Trayaurus and Dan of The Diamond Minecart:

Dan is my personal favorite of the Minecraft Youtubers my sons watch. He is relentlessly upbeat, his British accent is soothing, and he does not scream expletives when he gets killed by a Zombie Pigman.

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