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Archive for April 2008


Husky Monday


More Husks. Gosh, I wonder what it is about these characters that would make me think of them on a Monday morning?


We are the Freakies!

Like our li'l pal, Quisp (whom I wrote about yesterday), another and far more obscure cereal in the early-to-mid '70s was Freakies. With the first commercial, which introduced all the characters and featured their theme song, I was hooked. I can't recall what the cereal itself was like? I'm sure it tasted like most, y'know -- sugary. Don't they all? I'm pretty sure the bits of cereal were roughly in the shapes of assorted Freakies characters, but you probably had to look closely or use your imagination. I recall we had the Freakies magnets on our fridge, so my siblings and I were fans. Even though the cereal lasted but two years, you can still order tees and toys, no doubt due to a sense of nostalgia felt by folks my age. When I've brought them up to anybody over the years, nobody (but my brothers) has had any idea what I was talking about. Perhaps Freakies have always stuck in my mind thanks to the last name of "Fricke" (pronounced with a long "e"). Kids were quick to put two and two together, so that song was sung to me on the playground. They just repeated the first line, really, but that was all they needed to know for their purposes! But here's the rest of the lyrics, anyway: Oh we are the Freakies We are the Freakies And this is our Freakies Tree And we never miss a meal Cause we love our cereal This is the Big Boss We call him BossMoss Make sure you spell it right Snorkeldorf they call me So handsome and pretty Here’s little Hamhose He’s got a weird nose Do I really have to sing? My name is Grumble I am Cowmumble You’re standing on my foot Gargle is his name Smartness is my game I know more than you do And don’t forget me I’m Goody-Goody I always do what’s right For instance, I eat Freakies cause it’s got a lot of vitamins and it’s good for me Oh we are the Freakies We are the Freakies And this is our Freakies Tree Yessir.. The song is pretty catchy, actually, another reason they've stuck with me. Like the cereal itself probably stuck in your teeth! It's pretty clear with both Freakies and Quisp, and nearly every other kids' cereal product, it was the characters, animation and commercials that hooked us and that we remember, far more than the cereal itself.


Quisp is Best

One of the robots I posted yesterday reminded me of the Quaker cereal character, Quisp. He's not a robot, but an alien. Always marketed alongside his rival, Quake, they apparently had a competition from 1970-1972, played out over several commercials, and Quisp won, hands down. Quake was always such a big doofus lunkhead. The weird little extraterrestrial's cereal was better, too, though nothing more than sugar. Here's a sample commercial: By the late '70s, Quisp cereal was discontinued, but has since made a comeback, though with limited distribution. The cartoon at the official Quisp site is well done, put together by John Kricsfalusi and the fine folks at Spumco that brought you Ren & Stimpy. Towards the end, implied reference is made to Qusip's earlier Cereal Wars with Quake. Done with flash, it looks a lot cleaner than those early commercials. Those done in the '60s & '70s hold a certain charm, though, the animation done the old-fashioned way. Quisp's voice evokes a Jerry lewis vibe, something played up in the more recent Spumco online ad. There's another influence in the earlier voice, too, though I can't quite place it? Reminiscent of Wally's Cox's Underdog voicing? That's not it. Anyone? Quisp was created by Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the team responsible for Rocky & Bullwinkle. I found a few toys available at ebay and elsewhere online. He's a cute little guy, and apparently, a baseball fan, too. quisp01.jpg



When drawings robots, I find I don't like to get too technical (I don't much love drawing cars or machines, either), instead preferring to make them as animated and organic as possible. I vastly prefer drawing the human form and face more than anything else, so my robots are also a reflection of that, while taking liberties, of course, to stretch, distort and exaggerate. This first group shot was a convention sketch, a commission from a Chicago fan who gave me carte blanche, and this is what I came up with. The droid on the right has an Art Deco quality, or perhaps suggests an African mask. Kinda needly, ain't he?


This next series of robots were done for a CD kiosk company that never quite got off the ground. I tried to work the CD shape into the design throughout, as ears, buttons, wheels, and the like. These guys needed to be friendly and are more on the cute side. One of them reminds me a bit of the old cereal character, Quisp. He, and his cereal are back, or still around!



That doesn't mean I'll just go for the cute or goofy when doing robots. I can go nasty and gnarly, too. Space Waster is one of ten postcards I self published way back when. I'll probably post the rest around Halloween.


While preparing this post, I'm reminded of some early robots I liked drawn by certain comics artists, and one of my first characters, say, circa 1979, a robot named Mac. So, it looks like there will be another robot post in the near future.


100 Posts and Counting....



I began this blog with the site relaunch in mid-December, 2007, with the intention and hope of blogging nearly every day. To tell the truth, I wasn't sure how I'd do. With work and family and side creative projects, there was no guarantee I'd be able to find the time, rather that this blog would go the way of so many...into stagnancy and obscurity. Well, I can't speak to obscurity, but other than taking some days off here and there, in just over three months, the Blue Moon Blog has already reached its 100th post. This blog has evolved and grown over that time, but has become pretty much what I'd envisioned when I wrote the first post. The blog is designed to be an integral part of the larger Blue Moon Studios site, a way for me to keep it fresh and alive, and a reason for you to visit habitually. I've covered new projects, sketches and illustrations from the archive, my various and eclectic popular culture interests and obsessions, tips for creating art and running a home business, and, of course, the latest goings on with the Blue Moon Crew, all of which are easily accessible by category links in the always-present sidebar to the left, so browse away. I've a couple dozen new posts already in the works, so check in, to appropriate an old Chicagoism, "early and often." And drop a quick comment if and when you're able, so I know you're out there. Thanks much to all of you who've been visiting daily and commenting, and welcome to you newcomers. We'll see you again tomorrow.


April's Fool

"This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four." ~ Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894
Welcome back to the blog; thanks for checking in again. We're still plenty busy, but have posts at the ready for the coming days (I even jumped the gun with a post yesterday about baseball). A couple years back, I did ten illustrations for Disney's Family Fun magazine to run in their April Fools' issue, with ideas suggested from readers of the magazine. Borrow a prank to fool a loved one today and enjoy the laughs.






I was chosen for that particular assignment as they wanted to vary the illustration styles, while still using one artist. Of course, Mary pitched in on the coloring on most. I scanned these from the printed magazine, and they still look all right. For more April Fools tricks, visit the Family Fun site.