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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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Master Bath Transom

A peaceful Saturday photo:

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Young Alec

If I didn't persuade yesterday that you watch more Alec Guinness movies, perhaps this additional sketch of the young and dashing Alec will nudge. Many links, info and reviews are to be found at the link provided above. This one was done with a couple Copic markers and the Pentel Pocket Brush in about 10-15 minutes. Long live Alec!

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Sunday Skywalker

Star Wars was first released in 1977 when I was 13. I wasn't a big science fiction fan, but walking into the theater as the movie was already playing, I knew what I was on the screen was like nothing I'd seen before. At that age, it was right in my wheelhouse and I became a Star Wars fanatic, seeing the movie multiple times that Summer.

All the stories I wrote and comics I drew were heavily influenced by Star Wars, for better or worse. I created a comic called Star Lords and drew tons of robots of varied shapes and names. I was enthralled.

I was about to start high school and for me that meant new freedom. Grammar school rules were more strict: no gum, no sneakers, no shirts with writing or images. That all changed in high school, so my wardrobe changed, too. I bought and had received tons of Star Wars items for my birthday and Christmas, and realized I owned five Star Wars shirts. This is the point, at 14, I started doing my own laundry, to ensure I had a different Star Wars shirt for each day of the week. I became known as the Star Wars expert, and a dork, what with my long hair and glasses.

After having attended many comic book conventions over the years I realize I'm a piker in terms of my Star Wars love and knowledge. Most anyone at the show would put me to shame in a Star Wars Trivial Pursuit challenge.

But even now when I pop in that DVD of Star Wars: A New Hope, it's like I'm in that theater for the first time again, entering a magical world, familiar yet fully new.

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Father's Day Abstract

My daughter, Laura did this and presented it to me for Father's Day. It sure cheered me up during a rough time.

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Sketch: Laura in Profile

Made on the 4th of July, just a few days after her birthday, Laura relaxes in her robe while watching a little something. The likeness is pretty close, but she looks a tad older in the sketch.

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Bedbugs: Be Quiet!

It's been a busy week in many ways, on many fronts. While working on a few different jobs on my plate, and trying not to get sidetracked by doctor visits, signing papers at a bank, having a plumber fix a couple leaks, planning for the Summer and continuing to heal my busted body, I made good progress on my word & picture book, Night of the Bedbugs. Here's a recently completed panel, a favorite of mine so far:

There will be a day soon where no person or character will be asking you to be quiet about Bedbugs. Stay tuned.

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One Man Circus

At my table at the MN MicroCon recently, I had a nice chat with Sarah Morean of The Daily Cross Hatch. A great site/blog of which I was unaware, now in its third year covering alternative comics. It's jam-packed with news, reviews and interviews, and many features I'll be revisiting to catch up on what I've missed. For her Tricks and Swag article, Sarah was interested in what promotional gimmicks artists use to attract people to their display and pony up some dough. Many artists are featured with a photo showing how they jockey for readers' time, attention and cash, including yours truly (with all the assorted Bedbugs thingamajigs), who she describes as a "one-man circus."

In the piece, Sarah ponders why artists spend so much time, energy and cash for their little slice of the pie, and whether it's worth it. I've struggled with this question, too. For years, while raising a family and working on big art projects for large companies, I've slogged away at my own personal creative projects, looking again to make dreams a reality. I began my art career with early success, self publishing Trollords. But even after that initial burst died down, even while working for DC and other comics outfits and drawing storyboards and illustrations for big time companies, I still have that desire to have something of my own real and out there in the world. With all the demands of work, family and the day-to-day obligations and distractions of modern life, it can be difficult to find time for some of the things you may want the most. And for me, setting up shop at a local con a couple times a year has been a way to keep those projects alive, let people know about them. But I've found without a more substantial book or product, readers and fans can't really hook into what an artist is doing. Keep your eyes peeled here for news on that front. In the meantime, the Bedbugs marbles, buttons, mini-comics, sketches, shirts and juggling beanbags serve to whet the appetite.

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Real Green Eggs & Ham

My daughter, Emily wanted a special breakfast this morning to give here extra energy and focus for an MCA test at school today (Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment). We had some leftover ham from Easter dinner, so she chose a rather literary inspiration: Green Eggs & Ham!

Yum!

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Easter Sculpies

The girls broke out the sculpy again this holiday, and made little decorative gifts for friends and family.

Emily made the detailed Eggs in a Basket, the magenta Easter Bunny and the Opposite Egg Basket on the far right. Laura fashioned the Three Little Chicks. Cute!

And here's Laura's little Curled Eared Bunny, which she presented to friends last night:

Li'l Mrs. Sweetheart got dolled up to pass out gifts on Easter morning. She loves to poof up the dress!

Happy Easter, every one!

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Nuts For Baseball

The Cubs won their first game, a solid, balanced effort with a season lead-off homer by Alfonso Soriano. He hit another in inning eight in game two, but they lost in the tenth. Oh, well, rubber game tonight! The season is on. I picked up this figurine at a convention in Rockford, IL in the early '90s. I swear my brother and I had some of these as kids, or perhaps we had stickers or drawings like it? As soon as I saw him on the table at that con, he was familiar, anyway. This is called Bull Pen Boo Boo from the Nutty Mads series made by Louis Marx & Co. in 1963. I haven't been able to find more any time since, or on line, but I'm gonna keep looking, so I can give this goofball some company on my studio shelf.  There have to be more, right? Does this guy ring any bells for anyone else? Update: In comments, my old pal, Dave Tabler from iSpot, directed us to the Marx Toy Museum, which I didn't know of.  Cool! This led me to a more intensive search, and I found a bunch more similar figures up for auction at ebay. I was hoping there would be a series of baseball-themed figures, but "Boo Boo" is the only baseball player. He's part of a broader series, which features weightlifters, dragracers, boatsmen, and many more. I remember this guy vividly, so my older brother, Karl must've owned him when we were kids:

Maybe he'll write in to verify? On the left, the Digger Racer asking price is $125 -- steep! Roddy the Hotrod, on the right seems to be available at a more reasonable price.

I like both of these dudes below, Waldo the Weightlifter and a parody of Rodin's The Thinker. I might have to pick up both of these.

These two I'm not sure about.  Weird!

But this guy's right up my alley. He looks awfully familiar, too! Donald the Demon. He's gotta join Boo Boo on my shelf someday.