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Blue Moon Crew

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

Twin Cities Book Festival

On Saturday, October 15, I'll be appearing as a featured author at Rain Taxi's 11th annual Twin Cities Book Festival, a FREE event open to the public. Thousands of book lovers attend each year to meet their favorite local and international authors, for readings, panels, talks, and to snatch up a bunch of books, of course!

I'll kick off the kid's book events at the Children's Pavilion with a reading of my Night of the Bedbugs at 10:30 AM, followed by an all-day drawing/cartooning workshop from 11AM-4PM. I'll be on hand to show young artists how to draw features and expressions, create their own characters and start making their own book. Paper and drawing implements will be supplied; you just need to bring your curiosity and imagination. Drop by anytime!

Copies of Night of the Bedbugs will be available for purchase from The Red Balloon. I'll be happy to sign and do a sketch in your copy. See you there!


TothPix: Ear Ache Effect

My Toth book review is further delayed as I'm stricken with a horrible ear ache which has really knocked me for a loop the last several days. At least I'm on antibiotics and have ear drops now, so I'm on the mend, but still a mess. The Ear Ache Effect!

A Toth panel from Eclipso's Amazing Ally (House of Secrets #63)

And on top of that, I've got a bad cold, too, so I'm drippy, sniffly, coughing, nose-blowy, weak and wobbly.

Another Toth panel from Eclipso's Amazing Ally (House of Secrets #63)

This too shall pass, yes?



Dancin' in the Rain!

It started raining last night after dinner and a rousing game of Pounce (the rules at the link are close but not exact to how we play). The girls wanted to go out - so we did! Nothing like running around like goofs in the pouring rain, splashing around in the backyard grass, getting thoroughly soaked. Whether middle-aged, teen or tween, we were all kids last night. Showers & laundry followed. Totally worth it! We didn't catch any pics or vid, so I drew up this quick sketch in SketchBook Pro, experimenting with layers, tools and effects. I don't really know what I'm doing with this program yet.


Fly Died. Nosedive?

I spied from the corner of my eye a fly who'd died. Seemingly balanced on the tip of its head, this fly was kissing the sidewalk. Had it taken a nosedive? Nope. I moved a nearby figurine to get a better look and the fly lifted off. It was caught in a web. Passed time to clean the studio!


Server Down!

I was a bit lost for a couple days, the server that supports my direct domain name down. So, no bloggy bloggy, no email, no web site. ARRGGH!

Pollack...or no?

All right, I still had access to the internet so was on Facebook and Google+, my virtual lifeline. But recalled near too late I could use my .mac email account. D'oh! So, I drew a bit on the Cintiq and at the drawing board, finished Doug TenNapel's Ghostopolis while taking in some sun on the patio, and saw X-Men: First Class at the theater with my daughters. Not a bad day, despite my frustration. Not being able to compose posts for my blog, though, I was forced to postpone the last two posts on my 14-part series on Alex Toth's Adventure comic, The Land Unknown. The penultimate post appears on Thursday, the final installment next week!


Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-Aged Man

Seriously, I'm not in a bad mood. I just went grubby for a few days, so had my daughter snap this pic with a double light source, me in a new shirt, behind me the block glass in our art studio. A change of pace from my cheery Bedbugs author photo, anyway!


Bedbugs March In Madison!

The Blue Moon Crew hit the road on April 1 (no joke!) so the Bedbugs and I could visit Westfield Comics in Madison, Wisconsin on April 2 for a reading, cartooning workshop and signing. I begin each event such as this showing children how I created and evolved the Bedbugs characters, then we explore various ways to draw the main features of the face: eyes; nose; mouth. With these tools, anyone can mix & match on any face shape to show a multitude of expressions and emotions. It was great to see the kids there drawing and creating their own characters. I read the Night of the Bedbugs book as a slideshow on a TV screen, large enough for everyone in the room to see. What fun to hear  kids laugh at different parts of the story - how gratifying! They also loved the Bedbugs Boogie and Bedbug Lullaby music videos. After the presentation, I juggled Bedbugs beanbags and juggling pins, chatted with those who purchased books, signing and doing sketches, and mixing it up with old friends who stopped by. Good time! Thanks to our pals, the Carani family for helping set up the appearance, being fine hosts and taking pics & vid. Everyone at Westfield was great - thanks, to Bob Moreau & Co!  


Happy Anniversary, Mary!

Happy anniversary, Mary, my sweetie! Twenty-two years ago, I was fortunate and blessed such a smart, funny, thoughtful, creative, pretty, nurturing, talented, true blue, frugal, tenacious, honest and caring woman agreed to marry me. You've stuck by me, truly, in sickness and health, rich or poor, for better or worse. I love you!


Rule the Earth Day

My brothers and friends and I played RISK! all the time as kids. Our family would have marathon games during the holidays that went so long we had to break down the game, mark and keep track of who had what, where, so we could continue another day. All of those we played on a board my Dad bought in the '60s, the same board I still have, what with the good ol' wooden squares for armies. (Maybe it's nostalgia, but I still prefer those simple wooden blocks to the newer versions of the game with soldier pieces.) My wife has no interest in the game, but my kids are finally old enough to play. Over the last months, my daughter, Emily and I have played four one-on-one games, splitting the wins, two a piece. On a recent trip back to Chicago, she played her first game with more players, taking on me, her cousin, her uncle...and won! She sure knew what she was doing, too, rolled dice like a monster. At times she seemed to be playing emotionally, trying to take back Australia when I took it over - but she did it. Kicked my butt back out! She had a strategy, played her cards and placed her armies just right as her Pink Horde rolled over us and Ruled the World! Not that we boys were too happy about it: Way to go, Emily! Winner and RISK Champeen! Til next time, girly...


Blue Moon Studio Still Life

I snapped this as the Winter southern sun sliced through the studio window, casting long shadows across the walls. Most of these stuffed toys and statues will be recognized on first sight, others singular; one-of-a-kind.