Halloween '12: Fiendish Flowers and Scary Shrubs

Okay look, I know that I wrote awhile back about not posting any Halloween project ideas this year that weren't well under way. That was stupid of me. Who am I kidding? Sharing my October ideas, sketches, and possible plans here has become addictive. It's fun, and I like doing it even when I know it's not good for me.

The big problem is, I post some ideas with impulsive promises and commitments to make happen by the 31st. I set myself up for failure and always look back on something and think "Why did I say I was definitely going to do that"? So, I'm still going to share Halloween yard ideas, but not describe any as definite plans.

Alright fresh start.

Anyway, this is what I'm definitely making this year.... awwww dammit Dave.

Nevermind, this is the fresh start. Definitely.

I've been doodling fiendish flowers and scary shrub ideas for the front yard. Thinking up any kind of monster plant that doesn't resemble Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors is almost impossible. But it's fun to try.

They'll be part of a small garden tended by old Mrs. Scaryweather, she's been missing for a couple of years now (broke and busted). I wanted to bring her back last October, as envisioned in the sketch below, but ran out of time. I'm hoping to actually create this scene in the corner of the front yard. If I'm able to make the faux pumpkin patch, it would be a nice to work in the pumpkin cart and scarecrow from last year as well.

Cartoon Caption Contest: TIME TO VOTE!

Well, I consider this contest a success. There were a whopping number of entries. Many gave me really big laughs. Thanks to all who entered!

But per the rules, unfortunately some good ones have to be taken out of the running for the grand prize faux baseball bat from Specter Studios. Two captions were coincidentally entered multiple times by different people  ("Swim Softly and carry a big stick!" and "Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty."). Two other captions are voided not being from the continental US - "Hello Mr. Cat... say 'hello' to my little friend."(Canada) and "Batter up in a game of Bassball." (Japan). These entrants will still get a copy of the cartoon from me with their captions added as a thank you for playing.

That leaves 55 eligible captions. Here's the voting process and rules (please read all):

-Vote for THREE entries. No more, no less (and no voting for one three times).
-List your choices by the corresponding number as a comment to this post only.
-Yes, you can vote for yourself, but you're limited to picking only one of your captions. Your other two votes must go to someone else.
-Anyone can vote... those who entered, those who didn't and anyone from anywhere in the world.
-No anonymous comments. All votes must have some name or handle attached.
-Due to the long list of entries, I'm extending the voting time beyond the originally planned 48 hours. Polls will now close on Monday July 2, at 9am (Pacific) and 12pm (Eastern). The winner will be announced shortly after.
-No changing votes once you've posted. So read them carefully. Take your time choosing, no rush, there's 5 days until the deadline.
-To keep it fair, like before, using the "comment approval" feature, all votes will be held from being visible until the polls close. But I will update the comment box listing who has voted so you know I got yours.

Okay, here's the cartoon again followed by the list of possible captions to choose from. Good luck everyone!

  1. "Go pound sand."
  2. "You'll be sleeping with the fishes."
  3. "I'll let it slide this time."
  4. "This ain't no deep fried fish batter, I mean to hit it passed the great coral reef!"
  5. "If that scuba diver comes back, I'm ready."
  6. "I wonder if this is how 'Catfish' Hunter got his start?"
  7. "Carlton 'Fish', up at bat..."
  8. "They told me life as a sports celebrity is like living in a fishbowl. I had no idea it was like this!"
  9. "Ricky's trying to 'carp' the bat again."
  10. "Don't you think being on the swim team would be a more appropriate sport for me?"
  11. "I told you I wanted SALMON FLAKES!"
  12. "Did I just hear a flush?"
  13. "Beat on the brat with a baseball bat, oh yeah."
  14. "Curveball? I prefer knocking a furball out of the park."
  15. "I tawt I taw a puddy tat."
  16. "Let that cat stick his face in here one more time!"
  17. "Actually Wanda failed to see the irony and never liked Kevin Klein as an actor to begin with."
  18. " Sure life had been better ever since that day at the carnival when Yogi's life was changed forever. But he was never going to miss that opportunity again."
  19. "My favorite news channel? FOX News, why do you ask?"
  20. "The Walking Dead season 3 starts July 7th."
  21. "After the house cat got into those chemicals under the sink, the fish had to go to new lengths to protect his fins."
  22. "As The Creature From The Black Lagoon's bookie, fishman had to collect eventually."
  23. "The 'Cash For Goldfish' ad began as a joke, but soon the economy pushed them to them too far."
  24. "The fish was glad they remembered his birthday, but he felt like they didn't put a lot of thought into the gifts." 
  25. "I'm going to knock this one out of the bowlpark!"
  26. "Let that cat try something now!"
  27. "The rare and reclusive hermit goldfish."
  28. "Insured by Louisville Slugger."
  29. "Now Batting for the Florida Marlins, Bubbles Blutarsky." 
  30. "Now that spawning season was over Chester knew he could concentrate on HIS game."
  31. "Goldy is determined to break Babe Ruth's record, if only the cat wasn't playing first base."
  32. "Meet Catfish Hunter's lesser known cousin, Goldfish Gary."
  33. "The only pitch Gary couldn't hit was the sinker!""
  34. "I got your fishing license right here buddy." 
  35. "Babe Ruth never adjusted to this particular reincarnation"
  36. "You will wish I were a piranha; and STOP CALLING ME NEMO!" 
  37. "Huh? Huh? I'm swimmin' here, just swimmin' here. You make your move..." 
  38. "You talkin' ta me? You talkin' ta ME? Well I'm the only one here..." 
  39. "Am I here justa swim around for ya? Huh? Just swim swim swim all day. For YOU? Ya, I'll swim for ya. C'mere!"
  40. "Seriously. Knock on the glass just one more time, I DARE you!" 
  41. "Go ahead, touch my new Specter bat...I dare ya."
  42. "Zombie Threat Level: Orange!"
  43. "Goldie decided that if the next pitch came close enough to hit him, he'd rush the mound."
  44. "I hate all you can eat sushi night!"
  45. "Do I look like I'm being koi with you?!"
  46. "This cat is gonna realize my memory is better than he thought."
  47. "Tap the glass again... I dare you."
  48. "Like shooting WHAT in a barrel?!" 
  49. "FISH FLAKES!!!! Well no more..."
  50. "At one time babe ruth didn’t believe in reincarnation. Needless to say, he did change his mind."
  51. "Due to a mix-up at the North Pole, little Bobby is opening up a bubbling treasure chest this Christmas morning."
  52. "This home is protected by Goldfish Home Protection Systems Inc." 
  53. "Tap on my bowl one more time and see what happens, I dare ya!"
  54. "It's a Cinderella story, out of nowhere, former castle groundskeeper, about to become MLB World Series Champion..."
  55. "Nobody gets in to see the Wizard, not nobody!"

Cartoon Caption Contest: Limited Time to Enter!

There's little more than 24 hours left to enter my cartoon caption contest and win a realistic, faux baseball bat prop from Specter Studios. The deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday June 27th at 9AM pacific (12PM eastern)!

Think up a caption, or a word balloon, or a thought balloon or any combo of, for the cartoon below.

All entries will be voted on.

It's not too hard. The cartoon is not exactly begging to be captioned with insightful, globally significant, smug words that only a select number of obscure political historians would find funny.

But, if you do come up with a joke that makes those types laugh out loud, major kudos to you and stop wasting your intelligence reading my blog.

For all the details, and to enter your caption idea, click here.

Geeks VS Zombies

My latest project is creating some fun art for an original stage play, coming to The Complex Theater in Hollywood this August. I think the title says it all.

An old friend Roger Mathey, who is producing and directing, asked me to design the logo (above) and illustrate the main poster (which is in the works). The font for ZOMBIES is called Swamp Witch by Chad Savage (and used with his permission), found on his great site Sinistervisions.

Here's a teaser for the play from it's first, sold-out run at The Empty Space in Bakersfield CA.

Do you want to help see the undead become a respected force in the theatrical community? You can support the production by visiting here (and get a copy of the poster plus other perks). In lieu of that, maybe spread the word about the play to your zombie loving friends?

Cartoon Caption Contest! Win a Prize from Specter Studios!

Write a caption or a word balloon or a thought balloon (or any combination of) for this cartoon of mine and you could win a baseball bat prop provided by Specter Studios!

The bat prize is one of Specter's many cool and realistic custom props made from soft foam and latex. It's perfect for a movie or theater production (or beating faux zombies with for your Halloween haunt).

The bat you could win!

The winner will also see the cartoon posted on my webcomic Para-Abnormal using their caption (with credit of course).

AND as a thank you just for playing, I'll e-mail EVERYONE who enters a hi-rez version of the cartoon with their caption added (if you submitted more than one, my choice which one).

Giveaway contest rules:

- Leave your caption to the above cartoon as a comment on this post

 -The deadline is 9AM pacific time (12PM eastern), next Wednesday June 27th

 - On Wednesday afternoon, all the captions will be posted and everyone will have 48 hours to vote for their favorite (you don't have to enter to vote). More details on the voting process then.

- Too keep it fun and challenging, using the "comment approval" feature, I'm not going to post any captions/comments entered until the contest deadline is up next week. Until then, so you know that your caption was received, I will update the comment box periodically with who has entered so far (and also answer any questions about the contest that might be asked).

- I hate to deny creative lightning bolts, so you can enter as many times as you wish should a new caption idea hit you later. More caption ideas might give you some advantage since they will be voted on. But do me a favor, don't go caption crazy, think before you comment, you have time... one, two or three really great jokes are better then a hundred bad ones.

- In the unlikely event (but could happen) that two or more contestants might coincidentally submit the same caption almost word for word, it will void that caption from consideration, but all captions will be posted to see (and you'll still get a cartoon from me).

- No anonymous comments please. All eligible entries must have at least some identifying name or handle attached.

- The baseball bat prize can only go to someone in the continental United States (sorry Hawaii and Alaska, that means you're out too).

- Keep the captions PG-13 rated (I try to run a fairly family friendly blog here).

- The prop baseball bat prize will be shipped to the winner directly from Specter Studios. You will need to e-mail me your contact info and address if you win, so I can pass on to them. Needless to say, but if you're a crazy hermit living in a woodland shack trying to stay off the grid, don't enter the contest.

To learn more about Specter Studios, visit (and like) their Facebook page  or visit their website.

That's it, tell a friend and most of all, have fun.

Two Decrepit Hags

The finished illustration of Ashputtel's evil stepsisters later in life.

Creative Inspiration: "Make good art."

I know this commencement address by Neil Gaiman has been shared everywhere around the 'net recently, but if you've yet to watch it, enjoy, then go "make good art".


Asputtel The Poster

The finished poster illustration for the Asputtel theater production.

Creative Inspiration: H.R. Giger

Just discovered this fantastic mini documentary from 1979 about artist H.R. Giger's production design for the original ALIEN. It's narrated by Giger himself and thoroughly follows the creation of his now iconic works for the film. The behind the scenes footage is amazing - from first sketches to the sets being torn down in the studio.

In three parts.