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Blue Moon Crew

Concerning the doings of Blue Moon Studios and the Fricke Family: The Blue Moon Crew
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Cheese Pig

cheesepig_blog

My wife called me a cheese pig the other night. I kept nibbling Co-jack as we prepped for dinner. She was so mad! Cheese doesn't last long in this house with me. Cheese Pig! I really can't disagree.

Update: Just thought of some parody lyrics...

Cheese Pigs are made of cheese
Who am I to disagree
We travel Wisconsin, France and Germany
Everybody's looking for some cheese

Cheddar cheese wants to bemuse you
Camembert wants to be smoothed by you
Feta cheese will always abuse you
Colby cheese tends to make you snooze

Eat your cheese up, chew your cheese up, bindin' up

Cheese Pigs are made of cheese...

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Alive Day IV

tree_aliveday4
Four years ago today I smashed myself into a tree.

I'm getting better.

The tree I've illustrated the last three years for these entries means little to me now and its hold over me is fading. A couple years ago, my daughter, Emily joined me for a pilgrimage to the area where I had the accident. I tracked down exactly where we drove our snowmobiles to the scene, hopped a fence and began our search. We'd packed snacks and water for our long hike, but our efforts were fruitless. I'd hoped to make peace, become a tree-hugger, literally. I hugged some other tree instead.

My snowmobiling partner of that evening told me we'd probably never find it, given construction in the area, and the fact that new trails and paths are carved out each Winter. But recently he's told me he thinks he's found it. And I find I have no interest anymore. I've moved on. The tree, the accident are receding, finally, but after effects linger. Linger - HA! They inform my life, each and every day.

So, here I am, coping, living, struggling day to day, like we all do, yeah?

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Hai! Sensei!

After an exchange in class last week, one of my students whipped out this quick cartoon - LOL! I was incredulous, throwing my head back, laughing at the notion she plans to do a story 4-5 times the length required for her Final. I wasn't laughing at her, but bowled over by her audacity and confidence. A wonder to behold! And more yet, she'll no doubt pull it off and with panache. The Future of Comics is here, folks. We'd all best get our butts in gear! FYI - I am too large for my own good, do wear Hawaiian shirts, but go sans belt and do not tuck.

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Fractured Fables Trade Paperback

The Fractured Fables anthology (Image) to which I contributed has been released now in softcover. To get a taste, read the Pippi van Wrinkles story I did with my pal, Len Strazewski and wife, Mary at my comics site, bluemoontoons.com.



We're honored to in such great company with creators such as Ben Templesmith, Terry Moore, Doug TenNapel, May Ann Licudine, Bill Alger, Alex Grecian, Christian Ward, Jill Thompson, Scott Morse, among many others. There's such a wide array of tales, tones and styles you're bound to like most presented here. And for only $4-5 more, one can still pick up the hardcover copy. Either way - good deal!

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Alive Day III

It's been three years today since I slid a snowmobile into a tree.

It seems like yesterday...and an eternity. Doctors tell you the trauma will always be with you, but that it will fade. And they're right. For me, that tree becomes less solid, less an immovable object ahead of me I'm going to run into and more something I can leave in the distance. I may not have passed it that night three years back, physically, but I'm passing it emotionally and metaphorically. I dwell less in the icy, windy, frigid darkness of that night, less in the moment in the hospital nine days after when I thought I was checking out for good. More often I strive for the light, the sun, my family, longtime friends and new, for activity and life.


Doctors will also guesstimate how long recovery will take. The say six months, a year, maybe two years. Then after two years pass, they say I'm on track, that a trauma like this can take 4-5 years to overcome. They project because they don't really know. Each person and experience is different. They favor less time for the sake of hope, and 'cause a shorter recovery time may turn out to be true. And maybe not.

My bones are still healing - I'm no spring chicken. I can still hear and feel them click and clack as I move about, and I'm sure I always will. But they don't hurt as often, pain comes less sharply to trigger anxiety. But sleep still bleeds into the sense of dying and panic is not always a thing of the past. In the Summer of 2009 hearing or speaking words about death would send me into a tizzy. I'd have to turn off quickly the baseline of a Michael Jackson song used in an online commercial lest it spark an anxious tingling through my body. I was that sensitive. News of celebrity deaths don't have the same effect now. From a purely selfish perspective: what a relief.

My challenge now is beating bad habits that have formed over time as I ween further off medication. Going to sleep at a regular time each night is something with which I've had little success. I snack too much before bed and don't exercise nearly often enough. I've got to go cold turkey on nervous, twitchy compulsive behaviors. And I don't find those tasks as easy as they may sound. But my path is more clear to me since my accident than ever before. I'm more active and social, interacting and connecting, producing more. Leaning towards the light, making progress.

I'm confident I can get over these next hurdles, and hope it will be sooner than later. And I'm pretty sure a year from now my next Alive Day, I won't feel the need to draw that darned tree again.

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eMinis Sculpture: M is for Mermaid

Emily's Alphabeast this week is a sculpey Mermaid, done on her 12th birthday!


Don't forget to visit her eMinis etsy shop for turtles, doughnut earrings, aliens and Jake the Dog.

Alphabeasts is a 26-week project, a blog where artists of all types and stripes contribute a mythical beastie any old way that suits them, as long as it's a new drawing or sketch of a creature whose name begins with the letter for that week. Check out a cornucopia of crazy creatures by an amazing array of artists at the Alphabeasts archive, and be sure to check in every Monday.

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eMinis Sculpture: Sunlight Spirit

My daughter, Emily decided to contribute this week to the Alphabeasts project with one of her eMinis sculptures. "L" is the letter this week, so she chose Ljósálfar, a Sun Spirit from Norse mythology.


If you like the looks of this, check out her eMinis etsy shop!

Alphabeasts is a 26-week project, a blog where artists of all types and stripes contribute a mythical beastie any old way that suits them, as long as it's a new drawing or sketch of a creature whose name begins with the letter for that week. Check out a cornucopia of crazy creatures by an amazing array of artists at the Alphabeasts archive, and be sure to check in every Monday.

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Daughter in Pastel


My daughter, Laura agreed to pose for me today, so I could try my hand at pastels again for the first time in years. I mark it as a failure: I used pastels too large on paper too small; her nose is too large here, face not wide enough. The drawing doesn't do her justice, either - she's prettier than this. Not horrible for a half hour, I guess. I see more coming in the near future....

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Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Blue Moon Studios! Check out our Halloween-related posts from the last four years...

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Drawing With Kids

I spent Saturday drawing with kids in the Children's Pavilion at the Twin Cities Book Festival. Tried to teach 'em a thing or two about cartooning, creating characters and stories. I learned from them, too. Always do.

All kids draw. Some don't stop.

At the Festival, some kids drew known characters, some created their own. Some scribbled abstract shapes and textures. Some were off on their own, others wanted some pointers. Others called out ideas and suddenly I was taking requests. It was fun! I drew some cartoons versions of some kids who stayed by the table a while, gave 'em a little memento.

It's funny, at an early age, kids draw free 'n' easy. The sky's the limit. There are no rules. In all my drawing sessions with kids, I try to encourage that. Sure, I offer tips, tricks, guidance and insight, but It seems a mistake to shackle young kids with too many boundaries and guidelines. There will be a time for that soon enough. At some point, if a kid keeps drawing, they're gonna put in a lot of hours, learn the rules before they can break them again.

Lots more pix of the day and event viewable for anyone at my Facebook page.