I’ve been chipping away at this 24×24″ collage for months, maybe since February or so. I used a ton of shitty, old comics that would otherwise serve no purpose in this world. Comics like Wild Thing from Marvel UK, and Clive Barker’s Hyperkind, from Marvel’s Razorline imprint. Basically, a lot of forgettable early 90s comics. There’s also some Comic Shop News bits in here, as well as the cover to a brochure for Stony Brook University, which I’m not entirely sure why I own in the first place.
I’m not sure what my next collage will be, but I’ve got a short list of cereal mascots – Lucky, the Trix Rabbit and Sonny (from Cocoa Puffs) – and other Mario characters –Luigi, Dry Bones, Toad, Bowser, the Koopa Kids – I’d like to explore.
And I think we’re gonna have more of these quiet drawing moments coming up, because why not make a few more of these, a series I’m tentatively calling, “Oh,. I misunderstood What You Meant.”
Other potential franken-mash-ups could include titles like Strawberry Juice, Strawberry Fields, Black and Tan, and Fresh Kill. Feel free to guess what pop culture icons (real or fictional) would occupy each of those, and also suggests some other fun wordplay mash-ups.
One of my daughter’s favorites (not the painting, the character). Well, it’s one my favorite Muppet paintings, and here it is.
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?
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.
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.
I’d also like to see more of Gene/Behemoth, just because.
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.
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.