Sunday, November 28, 2010

Letters to Papa and Granny

Everyone who knows me knows I say there were a few men who were important to me growing up: Jesus, Popeye, and Indiana Jones. Then, there are my heroes: Charles Schulz, Jim Henson and Hank Ketcham (and even Dan Aykroyd). That caused me to create a painting called "My Heroes" which was painted by hand and looks like stamps or silk-screen.

Let's digress to important people: After Jesus, most dear to my heart was a man who you all know as Papa Roy. He made a great grand-father (and father) figure and was always there to talk to me and (in those times I felt it was hard to deal with) when I would call and ask him, "Will I be all right?" He would reassure me, "Why, sure!" (MAN! I miss that phone call. Nobody else says it as asuredly as he did, so I quit asking and just hope now).

With Papa Roy, my heart's angel was Granny Ethel. Quiet, soft-spoken, unassuming, deep-thinking--she was the grandmother that a lot of us have (but, of course, I'm biased and have to say I like mine better than your's!). I didn't need a mother-figure in my world because my Mama was always there, even now. She's very involved in the whole "broken arm" thing. But, Granny was there as a guide for my religious thoughts, she was someone who (when she spoke) spoke the truth and spoke of important thoughts.

For example, one time as I sat with my Papa and Granny, I asked Granny, "What's the meaning of life?"

"Well," she said, "When all is said and done, I think the meaning of life is to love everybody as much as you can, do as much good as you can, love the Lord, and try to make yourself and others happy."

That made total sense to me. It's a good definition of the meaning of life! So, I turn and asked Papa Roy, "What's the meaning of life to you, Papa Roy?"

"Don't dip snuff!" He exclaimed, without even a pause for thought. "It almost killed me! I got so addicted to it I would use that junk instead of eat, and I wasted down to nothing! I was weak and sick and couldn't hardly do my work! Yep, don't do snuff!"

Umm, ok! Ha ha. In the whole scheme of things, I suppose I can see where not doing snuff is important to defining life: if you use it and die because you didn't eat anymore, then that doesn't sustain life and you can't love everyone and so forth.

Papa Roy was never without his overalls, olive green work shirt, t-shirt under that, and work shoes. And, you could always find him in a cap of some sort, chewing away on some Juicy Fruit chewing gun. Granny Ethel was always dressed in a light shirt with either a t-shirt or tank-top under that, a skirt or pants, and an apron. More often than not she wore open-toed house shoes with socks, or a pair of slippers. Now, this is at home. Papa Roy was wearing whatever he might work in that day; Granny was dressed down at home--but, if you were taking them out, or it was a holiday, or it was a special occasion, they were dressed UP! Yes, Papa Roy would dress UP in his finest overalls, olive green work shirt, t-shirt under that, and work shoes--all new, all clean. Granny Ethel would put in her teeth, fix her hair, and my Mama and aunts had her some nice clothes purchased that they would fix her up in. Both were a handsome couple for grandparents!

Anyway, in 1988 my mother re-married and we moved to Munford, TN. My heart ached because everything I knew was in Holly Springs, MS, and Cornersville, MS. My grandparents would now be nearly 2-and-a-half hours away. But, if I didn't call them I would send them a letter.

Here is a letter from circa 1988 that I sent to Papa Roy and Granny Ethel, and an un-dated Father's Day Card I drew for Papa Roy probably in 1988 or 1989.

I'm sure they either understood that the heart symbolized "Eye love U", or they may have wondered, "Why'd Kevin draw a heart eating a cookie with the letter U on it?" Papa and Granny in their usual "costumes." The logo back then was a "W" up top and an "M" on bottom connected by lines and framed by brackets (W for Williams and M for Mule, back then I called everything under Williams/Mule Productions).

Here's where you can see my love of the Joel Chandler Harris books about Uncle Remus. At the time I drew this (from 1980 up until the early 90's maybe) I used to let the characters all speak in a really southern dialect like from that book or from Snuffy Smith:

Here, you see the ultra rare autographs of Buford the Dog and Roy Duck. Apparently, the drawings were colored in crayon and were rubber-cemented into the card, as was some money (that's what the "For Gum" is pointing to, I'm sure).

One thing I miss is how Papa and Granny would serve as an audience to my "live art" display at their house. I would spread all my art stuff out on the floor and draw, paint, anything...and they would watch. I loved the remarks like, "It's funny how you can take a bunch of lines and make something like that!"

Just a look into my past and history and more about my wonderful grandparents. Wish you could have all met them--they were fantastic!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day (4)

Well, just when you thought it was safe to go out into your Muley-Mini.

Happy Tryptophan Day! Don't let the turkey you eat put you to sleep--that's when all the other turkeys of the world exact their revenge upon us!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksiving - Part 3

So far, the attempt at keeping the pet turkey from being eaten has been a success...mainly because (around here) we don't eat pet turkeys!

Someone asked me recently, "What was that dinner in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?" Well, it was prepared by Snoopy and included buttered toast, jelly beans, popcorn and pretzel sticks. YUMMY! The after effects being more sugar-high than a tryptophan-low.

So, using the comments section below: what are you thankful for? How will you spend Thanksgiving?

I'll be spending the holiday with my extended family! We gather together and eat, eat, eat! Hopefully, your meal will be plentiful, your time together will be the stuff memories are made of, and happiness will be yours on this day and every day!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - Part 2

Did you know that the turkey was almost the national bird of the United States of America? Well, it was, and of course, we're still wanting to keep the poor thing off the table this year. Well, our pet Turkey, anyhow.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Part 1

Hope everyone is doing well and are headed toward a great holiday weekend! The great feast that is laid out before us on this day can't go to waste. I don't mean that we will let it go to waste by not eating it; but, that it might go to waste because we forget to be thankful for it.

I'm also thankful for many other things besides food: clothes, shelter, work, friends, the talents given me for art or puppetry; I'm thankful for vision, hearing, speaking. I'm thankful also that my friends can have all this stuff, too. I'm thankful for the salvation that Jesus provided from the cross. I'm thankful for friends I've known that I've lost touch with (but who are always on my mind), and I'm thankful for the friends I have that are close to my heart. I'm thankful for the opportunity to meet new friends that the future holds for me.

I'm thankful for having known my Papa Roy and Granny Ethel as long as I knew them, and thankful for my mom who calls me daily (unless I all her first) and who constantly watches over me.

I'm thankful that you are taking the time of your busy life to share my thoughts and to allow me an opportunity to share these thoughts and to share entertainment with you through Muley. And, if you'll chuckle a little bit when you see the silly Muley things I give you then I'm thankful for that, too.

There is nothing more powerful than laughter, and nothing more beautiful than a smile.

Speaking of which, it's now time to turn this post over to a Muley-Mini. Bon apetit!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Aunts Are Okay; ANTS Are Not!

I mentioned during the last comic strip post that one more "ant" strip would appear--please enjoy this strip which shows that 'what goes around, comes around' is true!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thoughts of Turkey Legs...

First: December 11, from 9 am - 11 am, Muley will appear at Breakfast with Santa at the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis. This is his pet charity, so to help be sure to visit them at!

Although we have a pet turkey in the Muley-verse that will never be eaten, Muley and his pals can't understand--even when told--this turkey is not going to be eaten; so, they set out to find ways to save it each year. Here's one small instance of this attempt.

I know in the header Muley is dressed as a pilgrim on the hunt; but, he'd (of course) never cap a turkey (unless it was talking through a movie he was watching at the theater).

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do Bugs Get Depressed?

Well, I suppose that (after seeing these next two Muley Comix strips) you'll be able to guess which is my least favorite of the rodents that have intruded my house this past summer.

Now, in the case of this particular comic strip, I have often wondered why an insect gets itself into such compromising and dangerous positions. Such positions are: crawling on my counter; crawling on my floor; crawling on my wall; crawling around the trashcan; crawling around anywhere that I can see it. Almost as if it has a death-wish!

Well, I fixed 'em! There is a product (and here comes my PSA) called Terro Ant Killer. You can read about it in a blog by clicking here. Basically, you have these little cards that you set down near the ants, and you put a drop or two of this stuff on the little card, and the ants flock to it. After a day or two: you're ant free.

Now, I know someone out there is going to say, "You're so cruel, Kevin!" Yet, I have to say that I didn't tell those ants to put themselves in such a dangerous position. It was their death-wish, not mine. And, it's also not nearly as cruel as what I caught Muley doing to them (which you'll see in the next comic strip).

As usual, what goes around comes around (which you'll also see in the next comic strip); so, I expect any day now to find a big card with a blotch of clear liquid that smells and tastes like chocolate.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Celebrating 30 Years of Pac-Man

Before there was Playstation 3 with my all-time favorite video game "Ghostbusters: The Video Game," and before there were awesome Star Wars games for XBox, there was the Atari system. I think I prefer the one handle-one button control system even if the graphics are very pixellated and boring. After my last move, I found my old Atari system and plugged it in, grabbed my Pac-Man and went to town! It's a little fuzzy on the screen (don't know if it's the cartridge, the program, the system or the TV); but, it sure is still fun!

Well, we wanted to do a Muley-Mini to celebrate 30 years of Pac-Man! Hope you have a fun-filled day after reading this with plenty of Power Pellets at your disposal to get rid of your enemies! Chomp Chomp!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

We aren't political by any means, but I do have a high appreciation for our military men and women of all ages and ranks because they put their necks out on the line for us daily. Whether wartime or in times of "peace," they are always the busy people watching out for all the rest of us Americans!

In my own family, I have a great stepfather who served in Vietnam and has told me the horror stories of that period of time--not just during the war and fighting, but also upon returning home to the picketing many who weren't boycotting and spitting upon the war itself, but ungratefully spat upon our returning soldiers who fought, lost limbs, lost friends or lost lives like my Uncle Ellis who I never had the pleasure to know.

Unfortunately, these same kinds of behavior exist even today. Where is the appreciation? When there are "Christian" groups who are picketing at a fallen soldier's funeral: 1) you are not human if you cannot respect the family any better than that and 2) we're serving a different Jesus and God! You cannot be a Christian if you do not have Christ's love in you, and to behave in such a way is absolutely not Christ's way. Shame on you. (Okay, so, that's my political and religious stance).

Now, I have friends who are in the military, whether overseas in the Middle East, home now either returned or headed that way, and to those friends of mine (you know who you are) I appreciate you, your hard work and dedication to keeping me, my friends, my family, and my country safe. I wish I had an ounce of the courage you have to do what you do.

So, for those who have served: Thank you! I may not otherwise be allowed to be free to draw, perform puppetry, or post on the internet if not for you. To those serving: Thank you for maintaining my freedom of speech, religion, and life.

To find ways to help our veterans, please do some online searches or visit these websites:

Disabled Veterans National Foundation

Vietnam Veterans of America


To discuss other ways to help our military folk, please visit THIS LINK.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Well, I Declare...

Yes, there is always something about my family history that keeps it from being great!

The background in the comic strip is "borrowed" from the fine art piece below from John Trumbull.

Speaking of Independence, don't forget to check out Jetta/Shi: Arrow of Destiny book, part of the War of the Independents!!

Memphis Comics and Fantasy Convention was a fun time, and we got together with several of our old friends and made some new ones! Check out the pictures by clicking on the logo below!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Muley-Mini for Fun!

And you thought the alphabet was just for learning? Don't "alpha"bet on it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Muley at Memphis Comics and Fantasy Convention

Be sure to visit the Memphis Comics and Fantasy Convention November 5 & 6 at the Cook Convention Center to meet Muley and his pals Jetta and Turra from "Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa!"

Click the image below to visit the official website!

You can also find Muley Comix and Stories #1 online at the new web address by clicking here.

To keep up with what Muley is up to these days, you can find him on his Facebook page by clicking here.