Friday, February 27, 2015

Retro-Mule: Comic Strip Film Viewer, Pt. 1

I found a box of odd-and-end type things and was going through it when I realized that I had found old artwork from the early 1980's!  Some things that I had completely forgot about were now here for me to share, and that's what I want to do this week and next.  So, let's start walking down the memory lane.  Quickly.  Walk fast.  I think there are muggers out here....

When I was a little kid, 1983 or so, I took a flat cardboard box and some rolls of receipt tape that my mom brought home to me and created something I thought was neat (at first).

Before continuing: The receipt tape was paper that I could use to draw on instead of my primary tablets.  It was free, and we weren't very financially able to splurge on drawing paper, so my mom supported my drawing habit any way she could.  Even my grandparents who would tear open a paper sack that groceries came in so I could draw on that.  Unfortunately, none of that exists.

Back to my creation:  I thought that the idea was neat to have the comic strips run in a particular order so they could be threaded through a 'viewer' and you could read one frame at a time.  It could be read as horizontal strips, or turned and read as vertical strips.


 The problem I noticed after three turns at this was: If you use it, you have the trouble of going back and rewinding the whole strip.  Plus, to print and sell something like this would be more costly than, say, printing an actual comic book that you have the ease of turning pages to read your story.

This week and next, you'll get a chance to see these three turns from the early 1980's and see why this was not  a very profitable idea.  (To read these, read down, then back to the top.)

In this first strip, you see Muley playing one of my favorite video games, Pac-man, and acting out what I also acted out when it was time to stop playing and move long: Pac-icide.  You kill off your Pac-man, end the game, and head outside to play.


(By the way, read these DOWN, and then back to the top.)




To show that I was aiming for a film strip idea here, you can see the countdown to the next 'show.'


In this strip, you see Kevin and Michelle Rhea.  Obviously, Kevin is named after me.  My best friend as a kid was a girl named Michelle, and everyone said we looked a lot alike so I created twins in the MuleyVerse named Kevin and Michelle Rhea (who, in the stories, are my cousins).  Michelle liked the idea of cartooning and created a character that she later gave to me, although I gave her credit for that character for years and you'll see that character in the next installment.

Here are Kevin and Michelle Rhea.

Note:  I love French's Classic Yellow Mustard, and eat some foods (like hot dogs) just so I have something to put mustard on.  Here, you see Kevin Rhea eating a hot dog slathered in mustard!

Hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Buford Adopts a Kitty - Part 7

Catch up on Parts 1 & 2    Part 3    Part 4    Part 5   Part 6

You already know that the kitten had to go, but we still have to wrap up the story.  Here's the end!



Hope you had fun.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Buford Adopts a Kitty - Part 6

To recap:
Parts 1 & 2      Part 3      Part 4     Part 5

And now, an all-new episode of Buford Adopts a Kitty...even though the kitty is pretty much out of the picture.  I don't like drawing kitties.



Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion of Buford Adopts a Kitty!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Buford Adopts a Kitten - Part 5

Previous strips in review:
Parts 1 & 2
Part 3
Part 4

And now, ladies and gentlemen (if you're still around), Part 5.
(Click the comic strip to see it larger.)

We're making a round of jokes about allergies, and that's because I have those allergies and it allows Muley and Friends to be ridiculous.  There are ways to take care of those allergies.  Here is a good website that can help.


Stay tuned for part 6!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Buford Adopts a Kitty - Part 4

Visit Parts 1 & 2 and Part 3.

(Click the comic strip to view larger.)

When first planning to adopt a pet, our suggestion is to snag plenty of allergy medicines to begin with.  There are generic medications that keep you from spending all that extra money that you'll need for vet bills and getting holistic pet food.

The second step to the planning is finding where to get the pet.

In our case, Casper wandered into the driveway before a storm as a kitten, and I suckered myself into keeping him.  Wendy was in the middle of the road as a kitten, and she suckered me into keeping her.  Bebe was one of 9 puppies born under the abandoned house next door, and when we took "all" of them to a foster farm, she hid in my house and I got attached/suckered into keeping her.

But, your case may be different.  Consider the pound, consider animal shelters.  There are good animals there that need a Forever Home and love.  You don't have to purchase a full-breed animal to get a good pet, and sometimes rescued animals are not only the best pet, but also they are the pet that gives you the best, appreciative love!

You can also check with your local vet's office as they sometimes have good advice on getting a pet and where to go.

Remember, getting a pet is not a short-term act.  These are called Forever Homes for a reason: when you get a pet, you also get responsibility.  Feeding, cleaning, playing, exercise, activity...there are many jobs in taking care of your pet, and the attention required is exorbitant!  Also, you can have a pet at home, but that pet at home can also be abandoned--don't be that person!

Don't leave them outdoors chained up with no attention, don't leave them without plenty of water and food, don't leave them out in the cold, don't leave them locked up in a small room, don't leave them to their own devices.

Pets need a boss.  Not the "Hitler" kind of boss, but the kind of boss that cares about them and wants everything that is happening and that is going to happen to be a happy outcome for the critters.

So, this post reminds you of the responsibility in providing a Forever Home to an animal.  And reminds you to get allergy meds.

Up next, part 5.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Buford Adopts a Kitty - Part 3

(Click comic strip to see it larger.)
You can see Parts 1 & 2 by clicking here.

As I mentioned before, I like to take items from my real life and add them to the comic strips for Muley the Mule and Friends. 


When we perform puppets, I assist Muley; but, Martheus Wade assists Buford the Dog and Janet Wade assists Missy Mule.  Now, while I adopted Wendy that inspired this series, Martheus and Janet adopted a black cat which they named Black Cat, who had a kitten that was named Black Kitty

So, when it came time for Buford to name his kitten, I thought, "What better play on real life than to borrow from his live-show assistant."  So, Buford names his cat Kitty since it's a kitten.

The Wades with the original Kitty.

Hope the story is moving along fun for you!

Here comes part 4!
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Buford Adopts a Kitty - Parts 1 & 2

(Click the comic strips to see them bigger.)

I have mentioned before that most of the things I write for puppets or comic strips have a basis on my real life.   In this series of strips, Buford the Dog adopts a kitten.

The story begins with Zombie Walk and my buddy, DaMarco Randle, also the supplier of the photos to follow.

DaMarco is the clown in the middle...
 A few years ago, after Zombie Walk was over, I traveled home on Danny Thomas Blvd in Memphis with my buddy DaMarco Randle, when he, in the passenger seat, began hitting the invisible passenger-side brakes yelling, “CAT IN THE ROAD! CAT IN THE ROAD! Didn’t you see the cat in the road?”

“What?”  I asked, hoping I didn’t hit anything.  “Where?”

“There was a kitten in the road!” he exclaimed.

“Living or dead?”

“Living!”

I was certain that it was up to fate to handle the life of that kitten.  I didn’t put it there, and it wasn’t my responsibility. 

But, I’m an old softie and as I thought about it I began to realize that I can’t just leave a kitten on side of the road, so I did a huge, illegal U-Turn in the middle of Danny Thomas Blvd, aka Hwy 61, and crossed back over the bridge.  From within the deep grasses across the street I hear “Meow! Meow!”  This poor kitten screaming and hollering.  My initial thought:  I hurt it! 

I whipped the vehicle around again and stopped by the side of the road where DaMarco lured the kitten to him and into the vehicle.  All the way home, this kitten kept looking at me.  I didn’t want to make eye contact with it because I just knew what would happen.

We got her home, watered her, fed her, washed her, and while she dried I left her in the towel, holding her to my chest to keep her warm.  I looked down at those big eyes a few times, and shouldn’t have, though I could still resist.

But, she pulled the winning card.
Purring, this kitten began to crawl out of the towel, up to my chin, rub against it, and I sank into the couch.

“You’re keeping her, aren’t you?” DaMarco asked as I sank.

“Yup.”


One cat had already been a rescue, and his name is Casper*.  After the ghost.  So, of course, you have to partner that name up with the good little witch, Wendy.

That being said, you know the real story; but, here is how it happens in the MuleyVerse.  Let’s see what happens when Buford finds a kitten lost in the wild over the next few weeks.
This is the first kitten sketch planned for the strips.




*The first pet to rescue was a male cat now named Casper.  He wandered into my driveway just before a storm and was brought in to keep the kitten from suffering through the storm.  I was playing with him and accidentally named him.  When you name it, you have to keep it.  Which is why I never name people or kids.

Wendy was the second rescue.  The third rescue would be a dog.  DaMarco named her and her sister that looked just like her:  Bebe and Cece.  We kept Bebe.  I wanted to name her Princess, so her name is Princess Bebe, but we just call her Bebe.  I guess it was a better name than Aeae.




Enjoy these stories!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Jan-Jun Children's Message Schedule

We hope you'll come visit First Congo on any Sunday for great people, music, services, and more.  There are tons of volunteer opportunities to participate in that can help you and others.  There is a fair trade store to buy gifts for good prices that pay fair wages to the crafters of the products.  Organizations to meet and participate with.  More!

As a part of this church, Muley is very happy to participate with the kids' messages.  Following is his schedule through June 2015!  Please come out to visit.

10AM - You can visit members and learn about the church at the Cafe Congo.
10:30AM - services begin.

January 25-Kevin and Muley
February 8-Kevin and Muley
March 15-Kevin and Muley
April 12-Kevin and Muley
May10-Kevin and Muley
June 7-Kevin and Muley
June 21-Kevin and Muley
 
 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Videos Through History

Okay, so, not a long history of it.  Several years ago we were late on sending a Christmas Card out to folks, so we set up a camera and recorded Muley and Kevin to make that Christmas Wish.



It had to be followed by our New Year's Day message (to make a drawn-out joke work):



Lame, silly joke.   I know, but otherwise it wouldn't be a Muley joke, right?

But, then, Muley found a magic book in which we borrowed (what we thought was) a Santa's Helper for a quick cameo:



However, it was then our discovery that we didn't get an official Santa, but closer.  Somewhat of a cousin, but we were still not sure exactly who--or WHAT--we had, until this happened...



That's right, it was the moment of discovery of the dreaded SantaFish!!  You can learn more about SantaFish in his o-fish-al biography by clicking here.

In 2008, we had a video where Muley wrote a letter to Santa Claus; but, his letter went, as all letters by naughty boys and girls go, to SantaFish!  Here's what happened, followed by out-takes and alternate shots.



In 2009, Muley broke his arm.  How'd that go for Christmas?



It went thataway.  Yep, in 2009, there was a Christmas whine.  But, in 2010, there were people whining that Muley ruined a perfectly good song.  C'mon, folks: he's 6 years old with a camera and a karaoke tape, give him some credit!



Then there was the time he and his buddy Roy Duck performed "Little Drummer Boy" from their school play.  They done okay!



And that is the long, drawn-out history of Muley's Christmas videos.  Let's see what happens in 2015, shall we?  Could it finally be the long-awaited "Truly Muley Christmas Special?"

Probably not...

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Supporting Families Around The World

As you know all too well, Muley loves to talk to the kids and grown-ups at First Congregational Church in Memphis, TN, and as part of that once in a while gets to make an announcement, like he did recently about Heifer International.

First Congo has supported Food Justice for a long time including a Food Pantry open to the needy three times a week, Fishes and Loaves closet which feeds homeless folks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Food for Families once a month feeding over 300 families, and Heifer International which, since 1944, Heifer International has helped over 250 families in 125 countries, including the USA, by offering cows, sheep, geese, bees, goats...everything needed to help sustain life!

Below is the image (taken by Roger Courts) that ran in this week's Congo Beat newsletter and the text to go along with it!  Note the Irish spelling of "Kevin," which is an Irish name.

Maybe.

Click the photo to learn more about Heifer International and donate to them.

http://www.heifer.org/index.html?to=1