Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010

Hi, there, friends of the Mule,

Muley is 30 years old on January 1st, but is still 6 years old. From comic strips in high school and newspaper publications, anthologies or his own publications, stage work as a star or emcee for events or shows, national television appearances or international newsletters or internet presences, or walk-around Muley mascot for charity events, Muley has done it all…except motion pictures which would be fun to see in some capacity. So, happy birthday to my favorite little ass!

Well, here we are, on the cusp of a new year with prospects of changing for the better. Not sure how much different 2010 will be. If you’re Mayan, we’re two years away from destruction. If you’re Russian, we’re 20 years away from the planet being smacked by an asteroid. If you’re American, you’re praying for peace in a war-torn world and, if you’re like me, you’re also broke, both physically and financially. So, what’s there to look forward to? More time.

I hope everyone takes time to be with your friends and family. You should call folks you can’t be with as soon as possible. If you’ve been offended, forgive; and pray that you are forgiven—it doesn’t have to be spoken because you’ll know when it happens. Love more, judge less: it’s so hard nowadays to discern good people from bad, but by loving others we can maybe start a “change reaction.” I created that term (or think I did) as a way to describe that sometimes it takes one person to do something positive and inspirational to influence others to do the same. Soon, your chain reaction reinforces a good change in the world.

Volunteer more—or for the first time—and share a little of your love to make life easier for someone else. Lots of people need extra care: kids that are sick and need a story-time reader, kids from bad neighborhoods who need someone to care about them, poverty stricken folks who need help carrying their charity food from the church to home and more.

Life is short, and the time we’re given flies by. I hope you are able to balance your time to give your attention to those around you who you know or not, and hope that others will show you the same courtesy.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The 2009 Christmas Whine

After e-mails and the video by our friend Bog Frogsby, Muley was inspired to make a little video about his broke arm. Granted, he's lucky it was his arm and not his back since it was my arm that was broken (think about it).

video

So, why do I say "Happy Holidaze, But Merry Christmas"? Well, to be politically correct, I suppose it's proper to say "Happy Holidays," or as we say 'HoliDAZE,' so by saying that you don't leave anyone out regardless their religion, or even the non-religious who celebrate the season with peace and love. For me, though, it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the only religious icon who raised from the dead and lives today. So, what else does that have to do with Christmas? Well, we give gifts and there is no greater gift than salvation. If nothing here makes sense, give it a look-see online about the reason for the season.

Special thanks to Martheus Wade for 'handling' Mule-duty for the video, and to Lin Workman for bringing Muley down so this one armed man could reach him.

Special thanks to well-wishers:

Toshigawa.com with whom I frequently partner.

AndrewChandler.net for the tribute video.

Next up: Photos from Muley's visit to the RMH.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 Season's Greetings Card by Muley the Mule


Tune in to the site on December 25th to see what Muley made for you tonight.

Muley drew this year's card:





From my co-horts at MAW Productions:

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Wish for Muley Video

Quickly, a comprehensive history of Santa Fish was posted but it never showed until today. Be sure to visit this News of the Weird.

Around the world, Muley has friends of all shapes, sizes, genders and species. Here, you can see his good friend, Bog Frogsby, singing a well-wish for Muley.


Bog is assisted by creator and artist extraordinaire, Andrew Chandler.

Be sure to visit muleythemule.com daily through Christmas for more holidaze goodness!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gimme A Break!

No, don't. Here, you can see the broken arm that I've whined about in prior posts. What hurts worse is seeing how big my shaved head is in this picture!

(The) Santa Fish: A Biography of the World’s Most Mysterious Holiday Figure

The Character

Not much is really known about the Santa Fish. The main reason is that he really doesn’t say a lot. The other reason is that people are too afraid to ask! So, based on what we DO know, and things we have seen happen, we can make assumptions here. Perhaps one day he’ll take a fish out of his mouth long enough to set the record straight, but in the meantime we will consider this profile as fact.


Santa Fish devours a bass while hard at work.

It is believed, though not confirmed, that Santa Fish, whose ancestors were Nordic fishermen, lives near or on a Louisiana bayou or the coast because of his love for fish. There is a possibility he lives elsewhere and brings tons of fish to him. It is believed that the suspect…um, Santa Fish receives all improperly addressed letters to Santa Claus, or letters from naughty kids to Santa Claus gets forwarded by North Pole elves to Santa Fish who, on Christmas Eve, rises from his supposed cabin by the swamp and flies through the air delivering coal, switches, rocks…and fish…to the bad boys and girls around the world. However, it has been suggested by Holly Springs, MS, attorney, Ima Marune, that (because of Santa Fish’s love of fish) the gift-giving of fish may be a positive thing.

A Santa Fish gift in 2008.

Upon investigating his appearance, we know that Santa Fish is obviously clean by looking at his outfit and, though obese, he must be healthy after eating all that fish. Those who have been near him, Muley for example, or those who have been where he once was (Muley looking at his stocking where Santa Fish was) have reported the stench of fishiness, so while clean he smells bad. We also assume that he gardens as we have seen him wearing gardening gloves the majority of the time.

So, what have we learned here today? Santa Fish is as mysterious now as he ever was, but maybe these speculations offer a little, although only probable, insight into this figure of the holidays.

The History

During the 2007 Muley Christmas video shoot, my pal Martheus Wade (creator of Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa) performed a quickly assembled Santa Claus.

video

During blocking of the Magical Christmas Hats performed by his wife, Janet, Martheus made his way into the studio where he found an old rubber fish near dry rot. Suddenly, behind us we hear the chomping sound of Martheus’ Santa Claus, turning to see that the eyes are loose and wobbly and Santa is eating at the fish’s guts. Breaking me down into a fit of laughter, we had to make the aptly named “Santa Fish” his own video.


video

Santa Fish made a return in the 2008 Christmas video after the previous year’s success.

video

Also, two of the only existing Santa Fish action figures were made: One for Martheus and one for our archives.

An inaction figure of Santa Fish.

After the 2008 Christmas video, a lot of positive replies came back (amidst the ones reading “This is scary!”), and the most positive reply? “I think you guys have created your Great Pumpkin.” So, it was decided that the Santa Fish would become a regular part of our puppet character ensemble, although he did find his way into the 2009 KLWP Greeting Cards as drawn by Muleton Mule, Jr.


Santa Fish has always been performed by Martheus Wade.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Slimey Christmas Greeting

There is a broken arm update below, but first:


You all know how much I love Ghostbusters! Each year I try to post a new image of my Slimer photo puppet prop on a fan forum, and this year's Slimer image is below. I did borrow the background from another website. Note the slime upon entry at the fireplace. To see original images before Photoshop, click here.




Well, you'll have to excuse my delays in e-mails, as well as any whining. When you love doing things like drawing and puppetry and you suddenly can't it is depressing. Although it's been 4 days now, the pain and throbbing hasn't subsided and I've been getting very little sleep. Folks, be careful NOT to break anything!!


So, what is going to be missed? Well, there were to be Muley Christmas games that you can download from the site, an exciting new video for Christmas, plus plans to begin rolling out a few new websites beginning in January based on some high profile projects that I've been working on for a while.


Besides that, work on the house and yard work which can't be done with one hand, puppet construction, and some paintings for friends which cannot be done. Plus, it interferes with my graphic design job that I do Monday - Friday.


Needless to say, not doing art constantly is depressing. Folks who don't express themselves through art keep me wondering how they survive or keep happy. Maybe by not breaking things.

I do look forward to 2010 as 2009 has made me face my two biggest fears: losing Papa Roy and breaking my right arm.


So, the next blog should be about something more interesting than me being a pansy-whining foo-foo punk-boy, so I hope you'll stick around.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"Breaking" In To the Biz

Well, my three gigs as a mascot for the Mississippi Riverkings have been cut short. Saturday night's game began, they announced Riverthing and out onto the ice I walked, slipped on the freshly zambonied ice, down I went with a "pop" in my right arm followed by intense pain. I threw out a t-shirt to the audience (handed to me before I went out), so I got that part of my job done and then headed back to the dressing room. Needless to say, after 37 years of protecting my right arm, it's broken in two places.

The Riverkings staff and EMTs were nice and would come in to check on me. As there was only one ambulance available in the area I was given the choice to wait til after the game ended (about 2 hours) or drive myself, and then I chose to go to the emergency room in my own car as the game would have had to stop since only one ambulance was available in that area. The folk at the Desoto Baptist Hospital were absolutely wonderful to me. From 8 p.m. when I got to them until 1:30 am when I left for home. Luckily my pal and roomie, Marco, was there to help me all the way thru the whole ordeal.

I hope to post some pictures from the parade and the game, andwouldn't mind playing Riverthing in the future--just maybe not on the ice!

So, you know my right arm is my drawing and puppetry arm, so I do not know when I'll get around to any new Muley stuff. I will try to keep the blog active, so keep watching for things here--opinions & articles, reviews, (I can use my left hand for typing) maybe photos and old art to show how much I'd improved my art since last week. Ha! This also knocks me out of auditioning for the role of Boolie Werthan in the play "Driving Miss Daisy."

I may be able to do left-handed puppetry, but there may not be a Muley Christmas video this year now, nor a drawing I wanted to insert into Christmas Greeting Cards which I can't sign anyway, and a slew of other projects will have to go on hold until next year sometime.

Still, I can type and plan on doing that. Hopefully future posts will make a better read than when I post on medication...like now which, presently, I feel my med's kicking in, so I should go.

I'll write more later.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fraggle Rock Fashions

No, you're not going to be expected to run around naked all except a hat and scarf or Hawaiian shirt, but there are new clothes coming out soon based around Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock, which you all know I love. Although, I'm not so crazy about Paris Hilton...

I saw this picture online and wanted to share it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mule on the Hunt

Back in 2002, photographer/videographer Lin Workman and I were shooting test footage of the Mule on the Street in which we basically had Muley just go up and talk to strangers. The Main Street Arts Festival was happening at the time. The videos were funny, the people took to Muley well, and the photographs were pretty cool.

In one gallery, we met George and Marva Hunt. His style is a mix of Picasso and blues-club d├ęcor. This fine art painter is unsurpassed nowadays and you can always find something to love in each of his paintings.



Recently, West Memorials had an art show featuring work by George Hunt where we all met up again and got a 2009 photo of all of us again, taken by DaMarco Randle.

Here are samples of Mr. Hunt's work:

Monday, December 7, 2009

"E.C." Goin'

I have always said that, in a boy's life, if a father is unavailable there are a few other men who he can claim as heroic:

Jesus
His grandfather
Indiana Jones
and Popeye the Sailor Man.


That said, you can always thank one guy who has gone unknown by the world: E.C. Segar. December 8th marks his birthday, so be sure to do what "I yam gonna do" and celebrate with some Popeye cartoons and a can of spinach! "Ik makes ye beeg'n skrong!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._C._SegarThis is a head sketch of Popeye I did one day as a doodle in my sketchbook. Hope you like it!


Mississippi RiverKEV


This is pretty short notice:

Kevin L. Williams is "assisting" the Mississippi Riverkings' mascot, Riverthing, in the December 7 Holiday Parade in Hernando, MS.

On Saturday, December 12, the same character will be 'assisted' during the night's Riverkings Hockey Game.

Everyone knows how much I hate sports, but they also know how much I love hockey!! It's the best thing going in the world of sports, so if you haven't been to a hockey game yet, you should go.

You might also remember that for several years I drew their mascot clip-art and kids' club comic strips of Riverthing and Sheldon, and Riverthing has always been the crazier of the two--thus my favorite!

For more information about the Riverkings and to see their game schedule, please visit their link by clicking on the Riverthing sketch.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa Mule has Breakfast with Santa at the RMH!


You all know that one of our pet charities is the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis, which houses 51 kids and their families. It's a better alternative to living in a hotel while the child is being treated at St. Jude Childrens Hospital for cancer and other debilitating diseases. Feel free to donate to them via their website by clicking on the image to the side. Besides just money and other needs (I should post a list in the forum sometime soon), you can also send them toys (closed boxes, non-gender related toys--no dolls or anything with cloth).

On December 19, from 9 a.m. until Noon, Muley will make an appearance at the RMH to hang out with the kids and have a quick bite to eat with them and Santa. There are always lots of fun things to do (such as ornament and cookie decorating), and folks coming in to sing and participate with the event. It's usually closed to the public, but is a fun-filled event for families.






We always enjoy visiting with the RMH!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving with Cookies and Folks

HAPPY BELATED THANKSGIVING
Well, I intended to do this Wednesday night, but as with all things that happen around the holidaze I got all tied up. So, to keep it short, I wanted to share with folks that I think we should be thankful this year because it seems things are going in a better direction in many facets of life for folks. We're still struggling, but we do have our health, talents, friends, family, shelter, food, clothes, work, money...the necessities of life. All of these, most especially friends, are gifts from a higher power above us. So, in my prayers I always thank God for what I have, but Thanksgiving morning I did without asking for anything!

SESAME STREET'S 40TH ANNIVERSARY BOOK

If you're like me and a fan of Sesame Street, this is an ideal book to pick up. I wasn't crazy about the front cover because it's like a hodgepodge collage of images, even including Bert and Ernie on it twice; but, the back cover is nice and should have been the front cover.

The interior covers of the book feature Cookie Monster rather than Elmo, which I expected, and I think Cookie was a great choice. I also liked that Cookie looks at the DVD and thinks it's a cookie!

Another thing I like about the book is the history, the making of the show, the characters, the actors, and bios about folks like Jim Henson (Kermit, Ernie), Frank Oz (Cookie, Grover, Bert), and Richard Hunt (Placido Flamingo, Forgetful Jones). I also like seeing the performers handling the puppets in such a nonchalant way--after all, Frank has Bert in a choker hold!

There were other behind the scenes stories and trivia which is neat, with photographs never seen before such as Snuffy in storage, or Carroll Spinney reading a newspaper wearing Big Bird's legs.

I also think it'll be a great opportunity for folks to SEE the first episode because it is included on DVD in the book. Wait'll you see the video about where milk comes from that is in the show--you'll want to slit your wrists!

Out of 100 jelly beans, I give the book 95 jelly beans--of the Jelly Belly variety--because this book is chock full of great images, a dvd, and reading with an SRP of only $40, and you can actually get it less costly online. Be sure to check it out for a low price of $21.60 at Amazon.com.

LOOKING FOR FOLKS I LOST TOUCH WITH
If you're reading this and your name is below, please contact me to let me know how you're doing:

Vernita LeSure from Holly Springs, MS
James Mullis, a best pal of mine from Munford, TN
Vincent or Angela Palazola, Memphis, TN

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Zeke by Kev

Not the farmhand who becomes the Cowardly Lion in Oz (the movie was never as proper as reading the book). But, from the sci-fi western book West World by Ed Crandell, I've taken his art and created a bit of fan art of one of his characters. Enjoy!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Turtles, Music and Oz

Hello, folks!


After my prior post about my performance "assisting" the Mississippi Riverkings' mascot, Sheldon, I was asked about the drawing which accompanied it. Sometimes, I like to do a very quick doodle to put online with my posts--nothing fancy, nothing finished. Just a little something extra to go along with the reading.
Now, here are some updates:
SHELDON AT THE SOUTHAVEN LIBRARY
Sheldon the Turtle made an appearance Monday, November 9th, at 6:30 pm for Family Night at the Southaven Library.
a) Sheldon arrived in time to meet up with some of the kids who showed up, and they listened to a story told by Ms. Nettie about How The Turtle Cracked His Shell. Ms. Nettie said it was an ancestor of Sheldon's, but he wasn't sure what that meant so she explained it to him.
b) After story time, there were refreshments of lemonade and cookies followed by coloring. Sheldon drew a self-portrait and colored the turtle from the story with the kids.
c) Sheldon then posed with some of his friends: Uriel of the Mississippi Riverkings, Lin Workman, DaMarco Randle, and Ms. Nettie.
It was a very fun evening--unfortunately, as I was 'assisting' Sheldon I was unavailable to have my own picture with him this time. But, that's okay!!

(Photos by Lin Workman, DaMarco Randle).



CHURCH GOINGS ON: Music and Oz!
Well, lately I've been going to First Congregational Church on Cooper Street (in the historic Cooper-Young district) in Memphis, TN. They are a very nice church with lots of outreach programs that I think are worth participating in, such as Food for Families. They also are really supportive of the arts.
















If you know me, and I bet you do, you know I happen to love Wizard of Oz. The church allowed the Memphis Ballet company to come in for open rehearsals for their Wizard of Oz Ballet. I didn't get any of the performers' names, but these photos show them. The choreographer was there and said he'd spent over a year searching for music to which the dancers would perform. It was pretty awesome to watch them all gracefully dance. In this image, the characters are here, but not in costume. I'm sure you can figure Tin Man and Dorothy, but can you guess which of the other two are The Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow?
What else do I love? Classical Music. The Eroica Ensemble performed that same Saturday in the sanctuary of the church. In an earlier post I mentioned Anthony Gilbert, now you can see the whole orchestra! The performance was seamlessly beautiful, and I really regretted seeing it end as my ears were filled with the most beautiful sounds they'd heard in a while.


Finally, I was asked what I did for
HALLOWEEN!!
I actually celebrated in different ways:
1) MSCA 10/2/2009 "A Nightmare On Broad Ave." art show as part of the Broad Avenue Art Walk. I had several paintings, including Cookie Monster which I showed in a prior post.
2) Lisa's Halloween Party. It was held for fellow employees, but I had an opportunity to go, as did my roomie, Marco.
3) Lin Workman's "Famous Villians" art show, in which he displayed his larger-than-life airbrushed portraits of some of the greatest villians in movie history.
My costume was, obviously, a Scarecrow (albeit not the one from Oz). Marco made his costume called "James D. Crowe," playing off the name "Jim Crow." And then Lisa was there dressed as...that. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Kevin Supports Sheldon


Monday, November 9th, Kevin Williams will be helping Sheldon of the Mississippi Riverkings hockey team...from the inside out.
The performance will be for "Family Night at the Library" from 6:30 pm until 7:30 pm at the Southaven Library at 8554 Northwest Drive in Southaven, MS.
It is a free event, so feel free to come join in the fun!
For more information, contact Nettie Moore at 662-342-0102.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spacey Monkey!!


Well, I found this picture of Sam the Rhesus monkey online and suggest that you click on the image to learn more about him, but I was inspired to do a little more with it after the way it looked because it cracked me up. See the video below that the monkey inspired!

video

Monday, November 2, 2009

That Darn Cat!

Well, everyone knows that I hate cats. I've never liked them. They make me itch and sneeze, and watery eyes and sinuses are horrible. They gross me out to see them eat, and when compared to many dogs they are just plain ugly. Everyone knows this, right?


Well, not long ago my roomie and I came back from a jaunt to the local store. We pull up into the driveway and unload the car, and on one trip to the car I notice a kitten looking out from underneath it. This kitten has decided to see what the humans are up to! So, I kneel down and click my tongue and meow trying to get his attention. Some many minutes later, here he comes.

I play with the kitten a bit, and so does my roomie. The kitten climbs up into my lap and just purrs and loves on me, and I keep petting him while photos are taken. But, a storm is brewing and I don't want to just leave this kitten outside.


So, I tell Marco, my roomie, that we can probably put him in the back bathroom, but just for tonight, because I don't want cats in the house. I hate them. Later in the evening, Marco comes to the back bathroom and looks over the cardboard wall I had constructed to keep the cat from getting loose in the house, and there he finds me on the floor petting this kitten.


"How's the cat doing?" He asked.


I replied, "Casper is doing fine."


WHAT?! I just named the cat. WHY?! Why did I do that? And you know what they say about any animal you name...


"Oh, heck," I said, "get your shoes on. We need to go get him a collar, food, bed, and toys."


When you name, them, you have to keep them. Here is a few recent pictures of my pet cat, Casper.



















And now, just because I think it's cute:



Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kim's Story (Pg. 4) and Musical Meetings

KIM'S STORY PAGE 4

Click on Hana to see the next installment of “Kim’s Story,” from the pages of ‘Jetta: Tales
of the Toshigawa – Defiance.” Written by Janet Wade, with art by Sean Isaaks and
colors by Kevin L. Williams.

MUSICAL MEETING

My friends Lydia Rakestraw and DaMarco Randle and I met Viola performer, Anthony Gilbert, the Executive Director of the classical musical orchestra Eroica Ensemble, which includes several of his family members as well. The group performed on October 24th at the First Congregational Church in Memphis, TN.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kim's Story: Page 3 Up and Running

I wanted to make sure everyone knew to check out page three of 'Kim's Story' from the pages of "Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Defiance." The writing is top-notch, the art is wonderful, and the coloring is superbly unmatched! I'm partial to the colors as I did 'em.

You can find the web comic at toshigawa.com!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Kim's Story (Page Two) Online


As you know, I've done the colors for "Kim's Story," a webcomic based on the pages of the graphic novel "Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa - Defiance." Be sure to visit the site and see page two! (Page one should appear first, then scroll down).






I've also written a book review of Lee Nordling's "Your Career in the Comics." It can be found at the Mid-South Cartoonists Association website here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Demon of a Film, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY Pays Off




Everyone knows that I am a paranormal researcher and have had experiences (which you can read about here), that I am a huge Ghostbusters fan, and that ‘I ain’t afraid o’ no ghost.’ For years, I’ve wished for a movie that plays on your psyche rather than works on trying to scare you with blood and gore like Freddy Kruger and his ‘Nightmare on Elm Street,’ or Jason Voorhees on ‘Friday the 13th,’ or even Halloween with Mike Myers. I’ve always wished for something that, when you watch it, you keep in the back of your mind as you walk down your dark hall at night thinking, “That could happen, it could happen to me, and it could happen in this dark hall.” There isn’t ever a movie that really makes me go “Wha’th’?!”

Paranormal Activity did.

While I’m not having nightmares or scared in my halls, the film was shot in a way that you think it’s an actual documentary and you WILL BE surprised by what goes on in the movie. Someone did their research on ghosts and demons, and I can’t really tell more about the movie without giving away the things that will shock you.

I will suggest that you see the movie trailer here.

================

While we're on the subject of demons, I'm happy to say that the demon, Willie Herenton, is no
longer mayor of Memphis, Tennessee, but our new Memphis City Mayor, A. C. Wharton, has taken the helm! I've been a supporter of his since forever.
He's kind, polite, intelligent, sensible, and classy! Herenton was NEVER any of that, having threatened to meet a news reporter outside to fight once (the only class that equals is low class--right along side of redneck). I really look forward to the years ahead with A. C. Wharton and wish him much success. Memphis is finally moving in a right direction.

Here, you see Muley and, at the time Shelby County Mayor, A. C. Wharton at a Ronald McDonald House event near Cooper/Young Historic Intersection in Memphis, TN.