MUPPET MONDAY: Bobo

One of my daughter’s favorites (not the painting, the character). Well, it’s one my favorite Muppet paintings, and here it is.

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Bobo is a Muppet who has steadily gained traction to now. To borrow a hockey term, he’s a solid two-way center. This isn’t the guy who’s going to score the game-winner every night, but he’s an integral part of the team, and really, the Muppets are the ultimate in celebrity teams. Not one of them could ever survive on their own. (Well, maybe Pepe. I could see him leading a sitcom starring an otherwise all-human cast.) It’s the summation of their part that makes the Muppets great, and its nice to see a new character break through to join the staples we all know and love.

But that brings me to the point: The Muppets has omitted some previously established well-known puppets. I’m playing devil’s advocate when I ask what happened to Walter, because I hated him from day one. But seriously, he was the star of the Muppets’ revival on the big screen in 2011 and now he’s… uh… in storage?The Muppets

We’ve also been without penguins and Camilla the chicken, Gonzo’s former main squeeze. If there’s background room for Crazy Harry, a personal favorite whose antics as a trigger happy bomber shouldn’t fit in the PC post-9/11 world, then there’s got to be a place for Camilla.

Muppets Tonight alumni Clifford and Johnny Fiama (and his monkey, Sal Minella) have been MIA for years, which is especially telling considering the visible, if not prominent, roles they held during the mid-90s through the earliest part of the 21st century. Meanwhile, fellow Muppets Tonight stars, Andy and Randy, Miss Piggy’s nephews, have at least had some blink-and-you’ll-miss-them moments in 2015.MuppetsTonightSandraBullock

Beauregard is stick clutching to whatever screen time he can get with a vice-like grip, but we’ve lost Pops and George the Janitor. (It looks like Beau inherited that glamorous gig.) I can’t remember the last time I saw Mildred Huxtetter, but it was probably the original Muppet Show.

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Beauregard and Andy (or Randy) sneak into a shot of otherwise well-known Muppets. At least we got Behemoth in a Santa cap, too.

I’d also like to see more of Gene/Behemoth, just because.the-muppets-abc-series-750x422

 

MUPPET MUESDAY: Chip! He’s from I.T.

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I watch the current incarnation of The Muppets. with my daughter. She absorbs on a purely visual level. We could both go for a little more music, but the most recent episodes have added a little more harmony, and toned down on the bitterness that permeated earlier installments, resulting in a really fun show, specifically Going, Going Gonzo and its follow-up, Single All the Way.

The real fun is seeing which characters she has latched onto as the series progresses. Kermit is a favorite of hers, but not far behind is Pepe, of all puppets, Bobo and Fozzie.

Of course, there’s the regulars – Piggy, Rizzo, Scooter, Electric Mayhem, Sam the Eagle – but I’ve been most pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of relative unknowns, and their varying degrees of success. Big Mean Carl has enjoyed a but of a 21st century resurgence, first in a popular YouTube video, and now as the receptionist on the fictional Up Late with Miss Piggy talk show. Yolanda went from nameless rat to Kermit’s star admin. To date, she’s had a few great zingers, and even played a major part in the heartfelt sub-plot of the mid-season finale. Lips is the sixth member of Electric Mayhem, has had more speaking parts than he deserves and in general, does more onscreen for 30 seconds an episode than collecting dust in a closet. Uncle Deadly and Bobo, who always felt like a tandem to me, dating back to their Muppets from Space days, both have their comedic moments, and thrive in their roles – Deadly as Piggy’s wardrobe assistant, and Bobo as… uh… the stage manager? (I’m not looking it up.) But the one C-lister who has stepped up the most has been Chip.

Who’s Chip? He’s from I.T.

This freaky-looking Muppet plays every bit as creepy as he looks. (Those blinking eyes are WEEEEEIRD.) But he’s our creep, and as such, he’s every bit as endearing as bad comic Fozzie. Chip’s memorable moments result in him being the first Muppet from this new series for me to paint*, and even though I’ve lost official track, he’s the 61st or 62nd overall I’ve portraitized.

*I know Chip debuted way back in 1989 – can you believe this dude is almost 30 years old? – but he’s essentially tabula rasa. A blank slate. And they’re nailing it right now.

 

 

Deadpool, Canadian Icon

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Going back to Canada for this Deadpool flag. The Merc with a Mouth is originally from the Great White North in the comics, although Wade Wilson being a crazyman and all that, even that origin has been called into question from time to time. Head-scratching comic book continuity issues aside, this Maple Jack lives here.

Better late than never…

To the millions of you who were visiting this site way back when, remember when I made Kevin Smith out of Taylor ham and American cheese in 2011?

Well, it popped up on Smith’s Instagram and Facebook feeds earlier today.  The accompanying blurb goes something like this (exactly like this):

Portrait of @thatkevinsmith made with NJ breakfast staple Pork Roll (Taylor Ham) and American Cheese. So brilliant (the art, not the guy the art depicts). Author unknown.
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Author unknown?!?!? I’m crestfallen. Heartbroken. Despondent. Saddened. Woebegone. Definitely woebegone.

Well, next time I’ll be sure to add a watermark to my work with my website on it to avoid this from happening again.

Warriors, Come Out to Play

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Turkey tomorrow. Swan today.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Bruce on the Loose

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Springsteen. New Jersey. 11×14″. The “border” is comprised of the song, “Incident on 57th Street.

I’m so over these pot bellies (as my wife calls them), so I’ve been jazzing them up with some random sketchiness (like Iron Man’s circuitry, Batman’s Gotham, Boo Berry’s ghosts). In this case, I asked the guy who commissioned this for his favorite Bruce song, and this is what he gave me. I’ve never heard it before, because despite my ethnicity (Jerseyish), I don’t give a single shit about Bruce Springsteen. Not one. And those shits I don’t give about Bruce I MIGHT throw at Bon Jovi. There really is no definitive New Jersey rocker that I can identify with. I wish I was from Zanzibar. (OBSCURE FREDDIE MERCURY REFERENCE.)

Anyway, I kinda regret my jazz-up idea to combat the war against white space, because two hours of transcribing those lyrics and my hand is killing me.

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A companion piece to go along with the Iron Man commission. I keep forgetting to mail these.NJ_Batman2011