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).

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: with whom I frequently partner. 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 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.

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.

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

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 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:

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!" 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!