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Blue Moon Crew

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

People Will Come

Ah, there's nothing that says Spring to me like opening day of the new baseball season. Here in Minnesota, at least yesterday's snow melted quickly, which can almost convince me it's nearly Spring. But Spring is a tease up here, especially last year, so baseball helps me create the illusion it's warmer outside than it actually is. How 'bout that Johnny Bench, eh? Seven balls in one big paw. And you know what they say, big hands...big bat. My pal Tom Richmond has a fine post on baseball at his blog today, and you can read all my previous baseball musings and plugs here. But there's no better way to kick things off than this speech from Field of Dreams: Batter up!


Between a Tree and a Hard Place

Accident and Damage Three weeks ago, trying to have some fun in another Minnesota Winter, while snowmobiling I slid sideways into a tree. The machine emerged relatively unscathed. I wasn't so lucky, taking the brunt of the impact. Ouch! Since then, I've been through the emergency room, two three-day hospital stays, untold amounts of x-rays, CAT Scans, got to know well numerous nurses, doctors and radiological technicians, and have been kept on a steady diet of an assortment of drugs. I broke my clavicle, nine ribs and messed up my left lung, and had inserted in my side a chest tube to drain unwelcome fluids from around my lung so it could restore itself more fully to its previous puffy state. The only way to advance through something like this is to take it a moment at a time; deal with each new pain, every situation as it comes. My body has responded pretty well throughout to such a brutal onslaught, and emotionally I've been OK through most of it, but I've not held up well at times, feeling very anxious and even once having a full blown panic attack. My first, and not fun. Not recommended. Work and Recovery So, given my condition I've been forced to relax, reading stacks of books and watching shows and old movies I haven't seen in a while or have never seen. Despite having to take it easy and recuperate, I also felt it best to continue to work when and if I could, so Mary and I proceeded on a storyboard job, for which I drew both from home and at the hospital. Our long-time client in this case left it up to us whether we felt we could still take it on, and trusted us to finish it well and on time. Though there were days I could only muster drawing for only an hour or two, I've put in about a half day a few times. Next week I'll begin work on a larger comic book project for a prominent company, for which I think I'll be in better shape. Consequences and Aftermath Minutes after I hit the tree, a flurry of thoughts shot through my mind: plans for the night were ruined; guilt for putting out friends and family for the night and beyond; work schedules would be affected; visit and travel plans would have to be canceled; money strains and worries loomed large in an instant. Disability insurance for freelancers like us is very expensive, so we don't have that to lean on. But I count my blessings that: I didn't hurt myself even worse; was able to work a bit; I can tag team with my artist wife to share the workload in a pinch; we got through this without turning down work or letting down clients; and was able to secure further work during a chaotic time. What I regret most is making a bad choice and big mistake that has had such an impact on Mary and my daughters. All this has been hard on them, and a tremendous burden on Mary, who's been my rock and lifeline. Sorry, girls...and thanks. It's such a relief to me I'm feeling a bit better and we're getting back into the swing and something of a normal routine. I love you gals. And for the rest of you, let's be careful out there.


Wanting and Having: Wacky Old Bony Legs

In 1970, while Christmas shopping with my Mom in downtown Chicago, my eyes spotted a crazy-looking battery operated horse by the name of Wacky Old Bony Legs. I was instantly besotted and obsessed, which must've been apparent to my Mom, who took note. Little did I know that began for her a weeks-long search for the buck-toothed equine, as she learned the store where I first glimpsed Wacky was sold out. Now, I wasn't an animal or horse fan, and Wacky looks kind of stupid, but for some reason, his goofy spectacles and buck teeth, his quirky name emblazoned on the sleek red blanket, and the promise of jerky, battery-powered movement -- at my command! -- sent my six-year-old brain buzzing. Imagine my glee upon opening the sizable package to discover what I'd coveted most to receive on Christmas morn was actually in my hands. I could barely contain myself, giddy and jittery while playing with my "flat footed friend," not much interested in the remote controlled dinosaurs my brothers had gotten.  I had Wacky Old Bony Legs!

After a few days, though, the excitement wore off, it seems, and he was broken within a week. I've often wondered since just why I was so taken with this dumb little horse; it almost incomprehensible to me now. But I never forgot the desire and anticipation I'd felt over Wacky, and the lengths to which my Mom went to fulfill my most fervent desire. The experience with Wacky taught me to check myself and wait a bit when I'm excited about a new purchase. There's nothing like wanting something so bad you'd do almost anything to possess it. But there's often a letdown when you actually have it. Sometimes wanting something is more enjoyable than getting it. It's best many times for me, I've found, to establish a waiting period before I buy.  I sometimes find I didn't want a particular thing as much as I'd thought; the moment has passed.

I discovered these photos of Wacky at, where the toy had recently sold for $10 plus shipping, and I wanted Wacky all over again. Wow, that's cheap. But I missed my chance -- it's already sold! Will I ever get another opportunity to own him? And should I begin the search? Hmm. I don't know if I will or not. But if I do track him down, it won't be because I want Wacky as much or in the same way I did when I was six. It would be to remind me of that sense of a child's thrill...and a mother's love.


Handmade Christmas Figurines

This is a post-Christmas post, but I just had to show a couple of the the gifts my daughter, Laura made for some family and friends. She fashioned with popsicle sticks and painted with custom colors a dozen or so Christmas sled ornaments. For her Mom, she added one of her famous Sculpy critters to ride the sled. See more of her handiwork at Laura's page.



From our summer trip to the North Pole, it seemed appropriate for the girls to don Santa hats so we could use this photo for our Christmas card. They leapt free and unfettered into a huge snow drift over and over again until we got just the shot we were looking for. What troopers! We're so proud of our little polar bears! Merry Christmas! God keep us toasty, every one!


Santa Hug

Merry Christmas from the Blue Moon Crew!


Christmas Elves

Our Christmas card from 1991 featured this long, horizontal tapestry of weird elves. A mini-elf and li'l mouse were thrown in for good measure. I designed this piece to fit a sheet of letter-sized paper cut long ways, which fit nicely into a standard envelope. I'd copied this onto some nice blue/green paper, but present it here in its original black and white.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Halloween from Frankie!

Happy Halloween from the Blue Moon Crew and Frankie, our Hallow's Eve pal for about a decade!


Hallow's Eve Jury

Like yesterday's Halloween decoration, this Jury From Hell was done with colored pencils, over a black marker line drawing on a wine-colored matte board.