The Surreal Default Setting.

I hope I'm not alone here. Does anyone else have a surreal default setting in their brain? You know, when you say, do or think odd things? It usually happens alone when almost fully awake during your morning routine or when very tired during the day doing something mundane.

It's when you sing a famous song but replace the words with lyrics about your bathroom towel or toenails needing to be clipped. It's when you interview yourself with questions thought in your head but actually answer out loud while in the shower. It's when you do a spontaneous silly walk through the kitchen.

My biggest quirk is random, made up "B" movie catch phrases and weird, lame characters with goofy names. This morning I was taking the Half and Half out for my coffee and knocked over a bottle of Hot Sauce. Then this pops into my head...

She turned 6 years old...

and fell into a deep preteen mid life crisis. She's been hitting the sauce pretty hard.

I love it when a good prop gag just happens in life.

May the Irish be with you!

Need a gift or something to wear for St. Patrick's day? I just added a new holiday design to my online shop, LOWE DOWN STUFF. Many different shirt styles and sizes available! You can still get it in time for the big day via standard shipping if you order by March 4th. Check out all the designs I have to offer at WWW.CAFEPRESS.COM/LOWEDOWNSTUFF.

I've ordered my own wears before (from t-shirts to magnets) and the quality is great. Help support this blog and my daily cartoon blog PARA ABNORMAL. Thank you for reading my shameless plug.

Sketchbook makeovers.

My part time efforts to restore all my old sketchbooks continue. The last time I cared was a long time ago. I did the cheap and classic then... newspaper pages as dust jackets.

It was a very, VERY long time ago...

Flashback Friday: Johnny Carson

With the OSCARS this weekend, I remember when the late, great Johnny Carson hosted the ceremonies for a few years. Carson was a big part of our family's life and the reason we moved to Los Angeles. My Dad produced the now classic 1979 60 minutes interview with Mike Wallace. You can read more about it and see video clips by clicking here.

Dad won an Emmy for it. He went on to work with Carson on two other shows, producing and directing JOHNNY GOES HOME and JOHNNY CARSON'S GREATEST PRACTICAL JOKES. The latter was combined by NBC with DICK CLARK's TV BLOOPER specials and morphed into the 80's series, TV's BLOOPERS AND PRACTICAL JOKES, which my Dad produced and directed the practical jokes segments on.

Back in 1979, we were living in New York. I wrote a silly poem about Carson and mailed it to my Dad while he was in L.A. working on the 60 minutes interview. Unbeknownst to me, He showed it to Carson. A few days later, I got this in the mail...

On the back, Dad transcribed my poem, I was no Robert Frost....

News from Oregon

My brother in law Kirk, working up in Portland on CORALINE, sent word the trailer is online now.

Join the Darkside!

I just created my own online comic series - PARA ABNORMAL. It's a place to channel my darker humor and love of monsters. They'll be a new cartoon everyday, 5 days a week! Visit I hope you get a laugh and check in often. Make it a favorite place! Tell a friend!

I'm not giving up this blog. It will continue in all it's random glory.

A future really good geek Valentine gift.

Tired of living toy collector lies come Valentine's day?

Tired of justifying the Jedi Aayla Secura action figure you bought the girlfriend one year is meaningful because the blue skin reminds you of her sad moods?

NECA toys is creating a series of PRINCESS BRIDE action figures. The bridge between toy loving geeks and the women they love is almost complete. An action figure of John Cusack holding a boom box above his head is needed.

Behold the first action figure that girls might actually like... THE DREAD PIRATE ROBERTS!

Beating The Odds.

Flashback Friday: 10 Things

My friend JAG, on her blog, posed this question the other day...

What are 10 things you've done that other people probably haven't?

I should preface that some of the things below were very stupid to do, I don't condone in anyway now being older and wiser, especially #10!

1) Painted an elephant.

While working on Nickelodeon's Wild & Crazy Kid's we had to paint an elephant, so two teams of kids could race to see who washed off their side first.

2) Shopped with Bruce Willis.

I worked in Aaron Brothers Art Mart right after College. Bruce Willis came in one day and shopped for a drawing table. My manager came running out of the office, pushing me out of the way and took over. Not that I was a bad salesperson, she was just a "suck up".

3) Climbed on a famous landmark.

A college buddy and I hiked up to the Hollywood sign one afternoon (when you could) and enjoyed the view sitting in the first "O".

4) Drank beers on Norman Bate's front porch.

From my young and reckless file: snuck into the Universal Studio back lot with friends very late one night and "partied" at the Psycho house.

5) Had lunch with John Boy Walton.

When we were kids my Aunt Ellen became friends with actor Richard Thomas. She brought him over for lunch one weekend. The Waltons was still a hit show at the time and all the neighborhood kid's were jealous.

6) Ran a successful underworld business.

From my wanting to be cool file: in the early 80's when I was in High School, the NY state driver's license was un laminated paper with no picture. I discovered a talent for using a razor blade and sharp pencil to make anyone "drinking" age. I became very popular and made a lot of pocket money from classmates for my services.

7) Hung myself.

From my lucky to be alive file: as kids, my brother Ted and I were playing in the basement. I pretended to hang myself goofing around tying a noose around my neck from a water pipe. I slipped and accidentally hung myself. I passed out. Ted undid the noose and saved my life.

8) Pissed off a giant South American bird eating spider.

I was working on a kid's show. We had a animal expert guest who brought giant insects and tarantulas. After the show, the producers wanted to get B roll of the largest spider walking around. My job was to stand with a big piece of cardboard, keeping the spider from moving off a table and out of frame. The trainer used a straw to blow air on it and get it to move. On the first more than moved... it ran! Straight at me! I got spooked and leaned back, letting the spider fall to the floor right at my feet. It raised up on it's back legs with fangs flicking out making a "hiss hiss" sound. I freaked, screamed like a little girl and ran away faster than I've ever run in my life.

9) Created my own holiday parade.

In 1976, our town had a local 4th of July Bicentennial parade. I missed it but decided to hold my own later that afternoon. I decorated my bicycle and got a couple of other neighborhood kids into it. We went up and down the local streets until we realized no one cared.

10) Paid $60.00 for a Mace Windu action figure.

Some friends and I went to a local Comic convention one Sunday. This was before the new STAR WARS: PHANTOM MENACE opened. Ah, those hope filled days of fun anticipation when everyone thought JAR JAR might be a really cool new character equal to CHEWBACCA. One booth was selling a Mace Windu action figure not available until weeks later. I was in a STAR WARS fan fever then. I wanted to be the "first kid on the block" to own it. I shelled out the $60.00 asking price, didn't even haggle. It's only worth 10 maybe 15 bucks today. I can actually feel the word "sucker" glowing in neon on my forehead.

Post your 10 things.

Planet of the Puppies!

It's official! Thanks to my niece Devin's 6th birthday party...there's no artistic employment using a paint brush I've not done! I can add "face painter" to the resume. Last Saturday, with hair still wet from the morning shower and only one cup of coffee in me, I went to work pretty fast.

It was a PUPPY themed event. Devin got made up first and wanted to be a Huskey...

She changed her mind and wanted to be a yellow Bulldog...

Devin was a trend setter, except for two hamsters and a cheetah, every kid wanted to be yellow bulldogs.

Painting a kindergartener's face is like trying to paint a moving train speeding past you while standing on the platform. They had no patience or appreciation for the shading and detail I really wanted to do. Kid's these days.

Jokes aside they were really into it. They were cute little divas giving me notes and fixes to do looking in the mirror when I thought I did a good job. I had several requests for "touch ups" when the make up got smeared off while playing or wiping their face with a napkin after eating.
One kid made me smile wanting full blown lower jaw protruding bulldog fangs painted on. She had me redo them because they were not sharp looking enough.

The rented "bounce house" looked more like a kennel cage...

Drag and Drop Texture

I know most computer savvy art people will read this and think me a Neanderthal. I learned an old trick a few months ago using Google image search and Photoshop at same time. Search for an image you like and simply drag into your open Photoshop art. I felt like a moron never trying this before.

I've used scanned or "screen grabbed" texture images before but never just "clicked on" the open web page image and dragged over.

For this below doodle example, I Google searched images of gold leaf, rubies and chain mail. Heck, even the kid's face color is a cropped portion of a baby's face. Took me 3 minutes. A great time saver in my set design work when playing with concept ideas, instead of drawing every plank in a "hardwood" floor and realizing tile would look best.