Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Monkey See, Monkey Do" Part 2

A while back I posted a comic strip that was similar to something I'd done in the past.  Not really a copy-cat by any means because I'm a fan of his work.  It's just coincidental that the muses sweep down and give some folks the same idea even if it's much later.

Today's offering is of a comic strip that ran on the once popular Rock 103's Funny Pages.  Rock 103's Wake-Up Crew was geared toward an adult "waking up and on the way to work" audience.  It was also the very best morning radio show of all time which has since, and sadly for the world, ceased to exist.  But, as part of their website they had the "Rock 103 Funny Pages."  It was Muley's first venture into internet publication with the help of Lin Workman who would scan the art and add color to the strips (grey tones, and then actual colors when I gave him that).  He actually did the work for several folks' strips. 

Well, Muley's strip was titled "Smart Ass" for the Rock 103 crowd, even though it was still supposed to be simply "Muley Comix"--but, you have to fit in (or do you?).

This strip was drawn in December 1999, and was published on the Funny Pages site on April 11, 2000:

I'll explain Muley's ears another day...
And sorry for the final joke in the strip--remember, it was geared for a more grown-up crowd.

This T-Shirt is available at Walmart as of 2011:


Is it me, or do we see too much similarity here?  Anyway, the point of me doing this strip is because I wanted to get the "ass" jokes done and out of the way (granted, I didn't think of Lazy Ass).  I didn't want to get bogged down with expectations of ass jokes in my strip because that's not what it was really about.

What are your thoughts about these kinds of similarities?  Have you had an experience with such a thing happening to you?

In the meantime, be sure to share your Muley love with the world!  Here's an Ad-Share for you to use on Facebook!  You can find more over at Muley's Facebook page.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meeting Jimmy Johnson: The Cartoonist

I'm driving home when my friend Jim Palmer calls me up to tell me that cartoonist Jimmy Johnson (not the NASCAR driver!) is goinig to be in town at the Booksellers of Laurelwood signing his new book, Beaucoup Arlo & Janis.  I'm also glad that John Beifuss did an article about the signing or we wouldn't have known!  You'll remember John from the "Sivads of March" event a few years back when Muley tried to do a "Mule on the Street," but was taken over by a Sivad-Wanna-Be.

My buddy, DaMarco Randle, and I get there early today and meet up with Jim, Greg and Paula Cravens, and Andrew Chandler.  DaMarco snaps some pictures of the event.  Lots of questions were asked and lots of very funny answers were given. 

We know that Jimmy likes the "old style" of cartooning and doesn't do anything in the computer, reads comics in print and on the web, in inspired by the readers, and answering the question, "How do you capture such teenage boy personality in Gene?" that he, too, was once a teenage boy.

As I'm leaving behind the position of Mid-South Cartoonists Association President, it was nice to go meet Jimmy because he was one of the original members of the MSCA.  That would be in the 1980's or early 1990's. 

So, enough of my rambling, here are photos to enjoy!

Jim Palmer (the cartoonist, not the baseball player) strikes a
striking pose at the Booksellers of Laurelwood.  Look at the
crowd gathering behind him!

Me with my usual goofy pose holding up an awesome book!

Jimmy Johnson explaining that he hopes we don't expect him to be funny.

So, I hold the camera up and take a shot of all three of us. There
seems to be too many chins under my head, and I don't know what
Andrew was looking at; but, this was funny to do.

Somehow, when signing time came, we ended up
way at the back of the line...and that wasn't the
end of it, either.  The line went further toward the
front of the store and around the music section.

Letting Jimmy know that the MSCA is still around
and going strong and that we hope he'll be able
to come down and visit sometime.  I'm laughing
because he signed my book "To President Kevin,
Hail to the Chief!"  HA HA!  Usually folks write,
"Chief, go to..." well, you get the rest...

A rather handsome bunch, I'd say: (Back) Me with Jim Palmer;
(Front) Andrew Chandler, Greg Cravens and Jimmy Johnson.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Boxy-Muley and a "Share-Ad"

Ever wanted to own your own Muley the Mule?  Well, now (with a little assembly-required) you can!

Here he is!  BOXY-MULEY!  He's been created by Janet Wade, co-creator on that awesome graphic novel I edit called "Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa" and Just Another Distraction jewelry.

The instructions are easy to follow, and we're also sharing a stack of images showing proper usage of your own Boxy-Muley at your house.  Be sure to send us photos of your Boxy-Muley usage to muleytmule@hotmail.com or post them on Muley's Facebook page.

Click on the whole print-out below and then you can either print from there, or right-click and save to your computer to print and use later.


Here's how your Boxy-Muley will look:




And how you display him is up to you (keep in mind, he's smart but he's only a six year old!):

He can perform for some old guys in a balcony...


he can pose with your favorite super hero...


you can take him for a day at the circus...


or you can pose him with your favorite childrens' book!


There are lots of fun ideas you can do with Muley, so have fun!

So, let's say you're a fan of Muley the Mule and Friends 'Comix and Stories' or the 'Puppets,' but not sure how to show that fandom without a bumper sticker?  Well, now you can post our image on your website and link back to us here, or share this image on your own facebook page.  We like you, and hope you like us, so please post!

Monday, February 20, 2012

"In Reflection: A Frog and his Man"

One of the most famous photos of Kermit the Frog and Jim Henson has been running all over the internet for several years, being used in official capacities such as interviews with Kermit the Frog, being used in fan-made memorials to Jim Henson, and even being used to make crude jokes. We've even had a guy search for this photo for three months before he located me about it. But, where did this image come from?  Where did it begin?  Is it official?  Is it something the Jim Henson Company made, or even Disney's Muppets after their purchase? 

Nope.  It's not an official company image, and it wasn't staged by the Henson Company, Sesame Workshop, or Disney; but, it was made by fans who wanted viewers to feel a bittersweet emotion.

More recently than not, folks who know us recognize when this photograph pops up on the internet.  The "us" I mention is Lin Workman and myself.  We took this 'famous' photo on September 1, 2007, at the Jim Henson Delta Boyhood Museum in Leland, MS.  Which picture, you ask?  This one here:


Photo taken by Kevin Williams and Lin Workman.
See, in 2007, Master Replicas was sending their Kermit the Frog Photo Prop Collectible around the country on a promotional tour.  It was a pretty popular program hitting probably 10 - 15 cities.  The process was that you had to apply and tell why Kermit would want to visit your city, and they would ship the Kermit to you in a suitcase in which you would put a few collectibles from your town and then you would send him on to the next town.  Each town would be given a gallery on their website with a poll running for the "popular vote" in their forums.


Photo taken by Lin Workman and Kevin L. Williams.
In order to win the opportunity to have Kermit come to Memphis, TN, I listed, "...and we can take him home again, to Deer Creek where Jim Henson used to play in Leland, MS, and to visit the Jim Henson Museum there."  Not long after my e-mail was sent I was told we'd be playing!

Lin Workman and I took MR Kermit all over Memphis (the Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Beale Street, to meet Blues singer Di Anne Price, out to eat BBQ).


(We lost the beautiful Di Anne Price in March 2013, click the
photo above to read our tribute to her on that day of transition.)

At Central BBQ in Memphis, TN, playing off a
fun song from "The Muppet Show."

On September 1, 2007, we went down to Leland, MS, and to the Jim Henson Delta Boyhood Museum with Martheus and Janet Wade who assisted in a lot of the photographs there.  As we walked by the photograph of Jim Henson on the wall, I asked Lin if we could take a photo of the Kermit prop replica in front of it, he says 'Sure,' and I dropped down to the floor, posed Kermit, and held him up while Lin took the photo.  (There's another that has never been published of Kermit hugging the photo as best he can, published here for the first time.)



After the Leland trip, we submitted the photos to Master Replicas which went up on their website (I guess it's been removed from the internet since then).  This photo was an immediate hit with everyone who feels and understands that sentimentality we hardcore fans feel when we think of Jim Henson.

Video photo-montage of the trips can be seen below, both were published to YouTube on September 10, 2007.


Now that you're at this part of the story, go back and look at the image up top again and think like a Muppets and Jim Henson fan.  Do you get it?  Do you feel what we, as fans, felt about the image?

The image was taken in a moment as we were snapping shots all over the museum, but after we took this shot we looked at it and all the emotion of how we care about the character and his creator was in it:  A reflection on good times, a reflection on good friends; inspiration and admiration, the appreciation of someone--a longing to see a loved one who has gone on before us.  Influence of creativity, happiness and a desire to make the world a better place.  The photo prop looking at a photo of Kermit emoting the same smile as his creator who stands below him, and the smiles both have given to us and the world.  This is only a little of what the photo sums up for us, but you get the meaning and the idea of it.

And since then, our photo has shown up honorably (keeping our tags in place on the image) on all sorts of tribute websites (which is fine); but, then, there are those 'people' out there who have taken our image and desecrated it which is NOT fine.  There are people out there who have 'swiped' the image and removed Lin and my tags from it and claimed it as their own, even showing up on ebay for sale by a company who claims to be honorable by offering an "official photograph" of a Kermit collectible...a photo that the guy doesn't even own rights to sell.


The MR Kermit Krew!
It is not an official photograph from Disney, The Jim Henson Company, or Sesame Workshop, and yet it has shown up in movie reviews, and even during an official interview with Kermit the Frog regarding the movie The Muppets in Australia on their version of A Current Affair.

The point of this is that those of us who were there, creators of this particular photograph, have never, ever offered this photograph up for sale.  We have never, and would never, give anyone else approval or rights to use this photograph for sale as Kermit the Frog belongs to The Walt Disney Company, and Jim Henson belongs to the world.  For someone to steal our photograph for sale cuts at the very sentiment behind why this photo was taken and what it means to us and not only desecrates our love for the character and the man who created him, but also desecrates the appreciation every fan in the world has for them.

So, above you know the story of where the photo came from, why we took it, what it means to us, what happened as a part of the contest, what all has happened since then and more.  I hope that you--whoever is reading this--will help us keep folks from further harming the intent of the image and will let us know if it ever is taken without honor again.

If there's enough interest, I'll be willing to set up a video-photo montage of the images used on Master Replicas website, too.  Post comments below, or visit us on facebook and let us know if you want to see the images.

==========

9/4/2013: Visit Paul Williams' blog "The Elegance of Kindness" by clicking here!  He had some really nice things to say about the photo:
You and Lin captured the true feelings of millions of Muppet, Kermit and Jim Henson fans with your amazing photo.


==========



October 2013 Update: An official copy of the Jim and Kermit photo was dedicated to the Jim Henson Delta Boyhood Museum during FrogFest.  You can see photos and learn more by clicking here.

www.muleythemule.com
www.linworkman.com
www.toshigawa.com
http://www.birthplaceofthefrog.com/location.html

Updated to share this photoshopped image, author unknown.



Updated to share this image by Carlotta4th.


Here's an article that gives credit where credit is due:
http://justaratinacage.com/kermit-the-frog-remembers/

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Who Ya Gonna Bray? 'Buster Muley!"

Are you afraid?

Ever have those feelings late at night while your watching television in the dark or reading before going to sleep that someone is watching you?  Ever hear those weird creaks or bumps as the sun sets and you know you didn't do it?  Ever get creeped out going into your basement, attic, or barn?  Have you ever thought you caught a vision of someone out the corner of your eye, but nobody was there

If the answer is "yes" to any of these, don't wait another second!  'Buster Muley is on the job!!  You need PROFESSIONAL PROTECTION!   Go ahead and order this print for your protection: 

"There is no Dana, only Mule"  $10.00*:

Inspired by the movie Ghostbusters, Muley can be seen here zapping the evil entity Missy Mule (and she's going to get ticked-off when she reads this), having just arrived on his emergency tricycle!  This full color 8x10" print features the downtown Memphis skyline with an authentic twist--yes, it's top secret; but, it helps recreate the climactic ending of the movie.  If you can guess what it is, tell us when you place your order and we'll send you a free (albeit small) Muley sketch!

Meaning you'll get a sketch of Muley from Kevin; not that Muley will actually sketch something.  But, you know what we mean...

So, you ask, "How do I order this fantastic print?"  You can mail your order with a check or money order to:
KEVIN L. WILLIAMS PRODUCTIONS
PO BOX 770397
MEMPHIS, TN 38177-0397

Or, you can order through Paypal by sending your payment to kevinmule@hotmail.com.

And, if you act now, we'll also send you good vibes to ward off all those pesky creeps and under-the-bed monsters that worry you at night! 
ORDER NOW!!
(*Price includes shipping and handling charges in the U.S., more fees may apply to ship out of the country. Memphis, TN, residents should e-mail directly with pick-up options for $10; prints are still $15 for delivery in-town.)

"I ain't afraid o' no Missy Mule!"
(But, probably should be...)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Drawing Inspiration" Art Show a Success

We'll share Muley's reminder video for the show in a bit, but first:

If you click the image below of Muley, and you have a facebook account, you can see photos of the art show.  Special thanks to Vicky Neyman and Lin Workman for setting up the show at the DeSoto Arts Council!


Here is the commercial Muley shot for the art show...


Hope you can make it to the next show if you didn't make it to this one.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Monkey see, monkey do (Part 1) and Muley Logo Sharing

Well, they say that imitation is flattering; but, I dunno.  I've been 'flattered' too many times.  Presently, I'm showing a comic strip that I did back in the 90's based on an idea (and the strip is signed by) my co-worker Tina Chism.  Once in a while, we could collaborate on our ideas and we had some fun, though not much--it was NOT the best working environment in the world.  Quite horrible, at that; but, we did do things like create a layout of the house on the show Mama's Family and such, so it was no surprise that we ended up working on a biographical (for her, not me!) comic strip that actually got good laughs when published back then.


And a few weeks ago, I got a phone call from her saying, "Did you see the comics in Sunday's paper?  If not, check out Non Sequitur."  I did.  Very familiar. 


Is this "flattery" or is it the cosmos playing dirty tricks and saying, 'here's an idea, use it?'  There's no way that Wiley (whose work, by the way, I love) could have known about this.  Odd how that works out.

It isn't the only 'similarity' between my work and that of other folks'.  I'll try to post other such things in the future.  For now, keep cool!

And, speaking of keeping cool, you can share the love of Muley around the net!  Here's a banner card (thing) you can forward to folks.  You can even right-click and save to post on your facebook, twitter, myspace--whatever you use!  So, get workin'!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"The Best of Me" by Grace Eggers

Hey, folks,

Yeah, usually we post things about a certain mule here; but, even though she's not a mule, be sure to check out this link for our family member, Grace Eggers, who is an extremely wonderful singer! 

We want you to help out her cause, too, and either go online and buy her recordings to help fund her work (the album is only $5):


or you can donate through the following address (with a tax-deductbile donation payable to):

Helping Hands Inc
1241 Briar Creek Road
Charlotte, NC 28205
(include a note that the donation is for Grace Eggers, but be sure to make the check payable to Helping Hands, Inc., for it to be tax-deductible donation).
Don’t miss out!  Participate today!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

January 29th Kids' Sermon

So, how big do you think God is?  Well, that was the topic of Muley's discussion in relation to Paul's visit to the Greeks and that discussion about their "Unknown God."  Muley loves his fellow kids!  You can click on the link to see what all goes on at the Church.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl Sunday

Yeah, we're in it for the commercials, and know there's some sort of game going on.  Yay, because the game gives me time to get munchies and bathroom breaks before the next set of commercials.  So, you can tell we're really not sports fans in the MuleyVerse.  Here's proof--check out how much we know about sports...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Muley's all about "Drawing Inspiration"

So, you say to yourself, "I want to meet Muley!"  Or, you may say to yourself, "I want to see how a Muley comic strip is completed."  Well, now you can do BOTH!  And, we hope you'll draw your own inspiration from the show.


February 11th from 5 - 7 pm, you can come down to the DeSoto Arts Council and see the art show "Drawing Inspiration" where you can meet Muley in a limited-time appearance and, during a demonstration, see creator Kevin L. Williams as he completes a comic strip from concept to inks.

The special thing about this show is "the process of cartoon as art" so you get a behind-the-scenes look at the way comics are created...hence the demonstration.


On display at the show will be acrylic on canvas paintings: Muley the Mule as SuperMule ($150, 16x24"), "Meep, Beaker!" ($35, 5x7") and Little Big Bird ($35, 5x7").  You also see an original, inked page from the short story "Eddie Bubba's Baby Brother" which appears in Muley's Comix and Stories.

The art show will be held at the DeSoto Arts Council, 564 W Commerce Street, Hernando, MS 38632.  Also on display will be DaMarco Randle, artist and performer of Muley's pal, Roy Duck.

Here's a little video giving a 'head's-up' process of puppetry construction featuring Muley the Mule and Buford the Dog.


While not a process piece other than to show how artists change over the years, here is an original comic strip of Muley from his creation year in 1980, recreated in 2007.