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Tag: Blue Moon Studios


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.


Fricke Family in Neighborhood Magazine

The Blue Moon Crew were featured in the July issue of the Four Estates Guardian magazine, which focuses on neighborhood news and one family in our area per issue. Below are reduced images from the sections in which we were featured, as well as the text of the article.

Mind Your Neighbor’s Business: the Fricke Family of Artists

Art has a way of keeping people young at heart, and so it is with the Fricke family. Paul, Mary, Laura, 14, and Emily, 10, are a family of artists who live in Silverthorne subdivision. Despite humble beginnings, they show that following one’s dreams and inborn talent can take a person farther than any college degree. Though none of their four parents were artists, Paul and Mary were encouraged to draw at a young age. By age 12, Paul knew he wanted to be an artist. In the early 80s, Paul and Mary took classes at the American Academy of Art in Chicago (though neither knew of each other at the time). By age 22, Paul had co-created and independently published the comic book Trollords with his former high school pal Scott Beaderstadt. It was Paul’s first breakthrough into the comic book industry, a success that led to a decade of work with other comic book companies in Chicago and New York, such as DC, Topps, First and Image Comics. Paul and Mary met in 1985–not at the Academy, but on a trip to Florida–and quickly discovered they had much in common. While dating, they took more classes at the American Academy of Art, though neither of them ever graduated with degrees. They began collaborating on projects together in 1986. Meanwhile, Paul had quit his non-artistic job to become fully self-employed in freelancing. They were married in 1989 and celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary this June. Paul has been in professional artistry for 25 years. In 1993, they moved from Chicago to Plymouth and settled into their newly built home in Silverthorne subdivision in 2001. They are the owners of Blue Moon Studios that specializes in cartooning, comics, storyboards, and illustration, “a one-stop-shop from concept to final digital art.” Through his art, Paul helps companies, both large and small, to communicate ideas and to educate. He has done a variety of projects, specializing in historical, religious, and educational comics for companies such as Microsoft, Scholastic, and the National Kidney Foundation. Another facet of Blue Moon Studios is storyboards, which are preliminary, rough sketches for broadcast or online commercials or print ads. These storyboards are for a company’s internal use. Paul’s hand has been behind a majority of Best Buy commercials, and has drawn comps for ads featuring such popular characters as the Pillsbury Doughboy. Inspired in their art by countless painters, book illustrators and comic book artists, Paul adds that inspiration comes from the fact that, “To make a living doing what we love – on our worst work day, we’re drawing.” Cartooning keeps Paul “a kid at heart,” he says. “It’s fun, expressive and nearly everyone can enjoy and relate to it.” Mary’s passions are painting and drawing, and she has exhibited her portraits and landscapes at local art fairs. Working from home is a delight for them. The whole family contributes to Blue Moon Studios in one way or another. Mary colors a majority of her husband’s comics and illustration drawings. Paul says she is a “reliable sounding board with good creative instincts.” While their daughters have helped with art and lettering on a few projects, they are also a constant inspiration to their parents. Laura and Emily have inherited a double-portion of their parents’ creative genes and entrepreneur spirit. Emily runs her own cookie business called “Emily’s Funky Munky Kookies.” The girls hobbies include art, music, gymnastics, swimming, sculpting and reading. And as a family, they all enjoy drawing and painting together, playing music, and gathering around the table for a board or a card game. At work or at play, the Fricke family finds inspiration to keep their art alive and their hearts young. They say to their neighbors, “Thanks for all the happy hellos, waves and chats, and your support during times good and difficult.” Night of the Bedbugs is Paul Fricke’s colorful, rhyming story book published this year by Image/Silverline Books. The book tells the story of how a little girl’s nighttime fears are calmed when a friendly bedbug and his pals join her for a pajama party and sing her to sleep. To learn more, visit and


Happy Blue Moon New Year!

Sure, 2009 was a rough tumble of a year in many respects for many people across the globe, and certainly was for us personally, the Blue Moon Crew. But for all the challenges and difficulties, we find much for which to be grateful.

Our family is healthy (or getting healthier). We have plenty of creature comforts, even as we've tightened our belt. Our Blue Moon Daughters are growing evermore to be smart, funny, talented, confident and independent individuals. Mary and I marked our twentieth wedding anniversary (even if we weren't able to celebrate or spend it as we would have liked), and during a time of crisis and hardship have become closer than ever.

We're still drawing away, doing what we love most to do, both to sustain ourselves and our family, and ourselves creatively. And as 2010 rolls out, my Night of the Bedbugs children's book arrives on the scene! So we're excited about what the New Year will bring, stepping out of the dark, even if as with baby steps, to gaze upon and steep ourselves in what we trust will be better and brighter times.

Don't forget to look for the blue moon tonight, a special rare occurrence in this case, as a New Year's Eve blue moon will not happen again for about another twenty years.

And the illustration above was done by one of the greatest American illustrators of all time, J. C. Leyendecker. A book dedicated to his work and life has finally been compiled and released, long overdue. I highly recommend you pick up a copy, and if you click the link, you can order it through our amazon/Blue Moon Store to support this blog. (Personally, I'm perusing a copy now I picked up at the library.)

So, we wish for you, our world, all peoples, peace, safety and health, contentment and happiness in the coming year. Happy Blue Moon New Year to one and all!


Blue Moon Christmas Bloopers

Here's a little slideshow of bloopers and out takes from our Christmas card photo shoot. Sometimes poses were good, but faces goofy, other time faces were fine but poses stiff. And to keep things loosened up and fun, the girls goofed around between mini-sessions.

And posing with Laura is a friend's guinea pig, Scooter, who's our special Christmas guest this year.

Merry Christmas and Happy & Healthy Holidays from the Blue Moon Crew!


Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas from the Blue Moon Crew (Emily, Laura, Mary & Paul) and the Bedbugs!


New Blue Moon Rising

Blue Moon Rise From my point of view, this has been a long time coming, so I'm pleased and proud to present here the new Blue Moon Studios web site, complete with this fully integrated blog. We've set it up this way to make it easier for readers to not only keep up with the latest goings on here at Blue Moon through the blog, but also to check out other art, features and info, all while never leaving the site. My particular and special thanks goes out to my pal and web guru, Mitch Rossow. For many months, he slogged through with me to get this site up and running. Mitch has been invaluable with advice and consultation at the early stages of the conception, design and structure of the site, and also through the building process, even teaching me a little code along the way. So now it's a cinch for me to maintain and add content, and simple for readers to stroll through the site in smooth and streamlined fashion. Check out his work and web philosophy at the Mitch Rossow Design site, and behold his daily photo blog at Thanks, Mitch!