The Fearless Flying Teddini

When my brother Ted was 8, he threatened to run away and join the circus. It took him 30 something years but he finally did it...

He took his girlfriend Leah with him...

I taught Ted the double ninja spin he does at the end. It's how I usually enter and exit rooms.

Behind..."Behind the Knits"

I've had fun, making fun of Vickie Howell on this blog. Her teams of lawyers have yet to find me. This blog has somehow evaded her giant boot of knitted steel crushing all who hamper her craft world domination.

She actually asked me to help create her "life story" video in conjunction with her new book KNIT AID. The idea was inspired while working on Knitty Gritty. Being a professional welder, Vickie often joked ...

"How did I get this job?"

The crew would laugh the hardy laugh of people who love steady paychecks. Totally delusional, Vickie believed she knew what she was talking about and wanted to tell her life story via YOUTUBE.

Vickie and I went back and forth writing the project while I also supervised the design and creation of the historic images. Using state of the art CGI motion capture, weeks were spent scanning actors so I could manipulate them as a digital characters into the final images you see.

A large part of the budget went to hiring the world famous 80's cartoon voice over actor, Andrew Wollman. You might know Andrew's face as the monster from the late 60's horror classic... MUTTON CHOPS OF BLOOD starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.

I envisioned an epic equal to Lawrence of Arabia. Unfortunately, Vickie demanded the video be under 5 minutes because it's the longest she can pay attention to anything...

For more details on the video see Vickie's blog here.

The "Ritual Cults and Crafts" magazine cover above is from the yet to be released "Special Edition" knitter's cut of the video.

The PARA ABNORMAL cheap joke of the week!

Today I posted one of the cheapest, bad jokes I've ever cartooned over at PARA ABNORMAL...

I've decided to make Friday cartoons there "The Cheap Jokes of the Week" and you can participate. E-mail me or leave as comments (here or there) your bad, cheap or hokey cartoon idea. If I use yours- you'll get credit, bragging rights and I'll e-mail you a nice high-res version of the cartoon. There is no deadline or idea limit. This is open ended.

The hokeyer the better (remember any bad kid jokes from the playground days?) and keep it in theme with PARA ABNORMAL.

Studios of artistic idols.

Nothing is more romantic and inspiring to me than seeing an artistic idol's studio.

Howard Pyle from the book N.C. WYETH by Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen, Jr.
Photo from the Delaware Art Museum.

N.C. Wyeth studio from the book N.C.WYETH by Douglas Allen and Douglas Allen Jr.
Photo from the William Penn Memorial Museum, Harrisburg.

Rockwell from the book NORMAN ROCKWELL ILLUSTRATOR by Arthur L. Guptill.
Photo by Robert McAfee.

Frazetta from the book ICON:FRANK FRAZETTA edited by Arnie & Cathy Fenner.
Photo by David Winiewicz.

The Frazetta picture (from 1997) is a favorite of mine. When I discovered his work as a kid in the late seventies, the mystique of the man was as powerful and fantastic as his illustrations. This picture is just a regular guy drawing. Seeing someone I worship wearing shorts in his studio as cluttered as mine and sitting at the same style drafting table I have is amazing. I even had similar window blinds in many of my old apartments. These details really fuel me.

The idea that great artists work in some remote mystic room
of creativity (forbidden to the unworthy) is washed away and could be me.

That's what really makes seeing an artist's studio so great and inspiring. Seeing little details that you can relate too. You realize your humble studio is not unlike a masters. You lose the petty insecurities. You can now focus on your work and how it'll never be as good as theirs.

A long time ago in my basement far, far away...

I was drawing the Star Wars comic I posted last month.

I daydreamed back then of showing it to people at Lucasfilm. Well 28 years later I discover they've seen it. I got a unexpected and nice "shout out" today from the official Star Wars website news blog. Click here to read it.

Also, congratulations to Mike Headley. He correctly picked which panel in chapters 3 & 4 was inspired by a Ralph McQuarrie painting.

"You squish it!"

As an Uncle, I try to teach my Niece things that will serve her in life. Open her world to ancient knowledge, history and the arts. Well, I can't pick and choose what life lessons from me stick with her.

Niece Devin and her parents took a trip to Chicago this weekend. Here's a portion from an e-mail from my Sister sent...

" ...sitting on the plane with "a far too big of a sandwich" in front of her (Devin) says to me 'Don't worry mom...Uncle Dave showed me a "technique" squish it!'. And so she did."

"Can you help my Mom?"

It's not hard to entertain my visiting future Mother in Law. The Fiancee's Mom loves to garden. She always arrives in town with a new project in mind for enhancing our landscape.

Unfortunately, I'm often assigned to help her...

18 Holes x 3 this week.

The Fiancee's parents have been in town visiting from Baltimore. Her Dad has been teaching me golf. We've been to the course 3 times this week.

The good: I'm learning fast and like the game...

The bad: accidentally almost killing my future Father in Law in the process...

M, N and O

I've been reworking my portfolio a bit. Here are two more pages from the GREAT ABC SEARCH I illustrated for Checkerboard Press in 1991. Both are Rotring art pen and watercolor on bristol board. Click on images to enlarge.

Morphing Ghost Picture with LCD Photo Frame

Let the Halloween Projects begin! As a Christmas gift, I got a PANDIGITAL 6" LCD digital photo frame. I just got around to using it. It has a slide show feature dissolving from photo to photo and is easy to upload pictures directly from the computer. I experimented with it and now has become a new, favorite Halloween prop creating HAUNTED MANSIONesque morphing portraits.

I scanned a old family photo of my great, great Grandparents. Using the clone tool in Photoshop, I made a second version with their heads and hands gone. This size frame forgives some sloppy Photoshop being a small window (3"x 5 1/4").

That's it! I just uploaded them. There is a 5 second delay between PICS but the result is great and has so many possibilities. Here's a video of the effect...

I also drew my own rotting old man portrait and it also worked well. Again, I only did a before and after. I was impatient to see it work right away, but I'm planning to do one with numerous stages of slow decay which should be fun to see happen over a longer period (ala Dorian Gray).

Here's a video of this one...

The glass, matte and frame are removable but odd dimensions so it's not easy to switch out quickly with something more theme appropriate. Until I can really customize perfectly, I aged the matte with a wash of coffee and dry brushed the frame with dark brown acrylic.

The frame also has it's own remote control and you can upload MP3's to it. Your portraits can have their own theme music (or creepy voice?). It lends itself to a lot of ideas. I'm going to buy more of these frames by October. Especially a larger 15". I can imagine a spooky collection along the fireplace mantle come Halloween!

AHHHH...the good 'ol days.

I just wanted to post this and re watch over and over getting warm fuzzy feelings remembering my painfully dated younger years...