Thursday, January 20, 2022

Mule on the Street: In Print - Sam Ray (In Tribute, from 2009)

 There were a few tests of Muley in the real world interviewing people, a series we called "Mule on the Street," with filmography by Lin Workman and edits by Kevin L. Williams.  As part of the Mid-South Cartoonists Association (MSCA), an in-print version was going to be started with Muley interviewing people and asking his very popular questions, like: creamy or crunchy?  (Photos below by Lin Workman.)

In celebration of his life and honor of his art, below is a reprint of an interview with Sam Ray at the December 3, 2009, dinner meeting of the MSCA.  The original print of the article would have been rewritten to appear as though it was a transcript of an interview, but that is long-lost with a previous version of the MSCA website.  Below is the image used for the interview followed by the response Sam sent to use as the interview.

I was born and grew up in the Ripley, Tenn. area. I am now an old man. My mother

was a painter, songwriter, and played a little guitar. All my siblings were creativepeople. I just latched on to what little talent I had and they didn't really pursueit much. My father was the one with the crazy sense of humor.Interests: cartooning, travel, music, the outdoors, readingI became interested in comics because my mother was an artist, I loved newspapercomics, comic books, and my drawing got me a lot of attention in school.People who inspired me: Everybody who encouraged me. I never got any negativityfrom anybody.Prior projects: Various things, but mainly my gag cartoons for various publicationsand my stint as a writer for "Hagar The Horrible"I seem to have always tended to come up with a lot of business-related ideaswhen doing gag cartoons. It just made sense to mine this territory if I was goingto do a strip. With "Business As Usual" I'm just trying to refine the kind of stuffI've been doing for years and do a strip that has some merit and doesn't embarrassme too much when I see it in print.I've written so many gags over the years that when I sit down to do a new stripI just try to pick one that I can get excited about.How do I get my brain going? I've found that after I stop fiddling around and getmy butt in a chair at my desk things will just start to click.Thoughts on syndicates: It's a well-known fact that syndicates receive tons ofstrips from hopefuls. But I once read that a big percentage of these submissionsare totally inappropriate. This was a syndicate editor talking.I have only good things to say about MSCA. I've gotten work, made new friends,received valuable criticism, and had the opportunity be with other people whoreally understand this mess we've all gotten ourselves into.I like my eggs over easy. My favorite color is blue. If I had a girl's name I wouldprefer Sue. It's nice and short and easy to spell, like Sam.All the best,Sam

Sam's art as shared by artist and actor extraordinaire Jim Palmer:

Sam signing his book at Comics and Collectibles.

Here are more photos from that MSCA gathering:

Andrew Chandler, Sam Ray, Lin Workman, Michael Langston

Ronnie Shenks, Sam Ray, Micahel Langston, ?, Chris Freitas, Mama Jane Shenks, ??

Lin Workman, Andrew Chandler

DaMarco Randle, Kevin Williams

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Muley Reads: Super Circus

Muley Reads: Super Circus!  This book is based on a show from the 1950's and features many of the same popular characters: Nicky, Cliffy, Claude Kirchner, Mary Hartline, and Scampy.

At the Super Circus, clowns Nicky and Cliffy create an act that leaves little clown Scampy out!  When he realizes this, he disappears!!  Where has he gone? What will he do if he can’t be in their act?  When we get left out because we’re not “big enough,” should we just give up?  Let's read the book to see what we might do instead of giving up.

If you like this video, please donate to us by CLICKING HERE.

Muley the Mule assisted by Kevin L. Williams Music is Crazy Chicken by David Fesliyan, DONATE. Muley Reads is a series of videos starring Muley the Mule reading some of his favorite books - and we hope some of yours - wishing to inspire a love of reading, learning, imagining, and creation in children of all ages! And, as always, we love the books that communicate about people, animals, environment, love, and friendship. Some of Muley's special friends may even pop in to request a book. "Reading is fundamental!" Books add the fun, Muley adds "da mental!" Grab your family together, grab a snack or two, and sit back to relax while Muley Reads!!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Muley's Kids Message: Epiphany (1/9/2022)

What is EPIPHANY?  It's the moment we say "A-ha!" when we figure something out, and it also means "manifestation."  That's the liturgical season which follows Christmas!  Here's Muley's Kids Message for the Kids' Congo that explains a little about the word epiphany, and a discussion of one of his favorite items in his collection.

If you like this video, please donate to us by CLICKING HERE.

Muley the Mule assisted by Kevin L. Williams Music is Eye Laugh by David Fesliyan, DONATE.

Hey, everybody!  You know, one of the fun things about having a friend over to the house is when we get to show them around.  We get to show them the living room, our bed room, and our collections whether it’s a book, toy, or game.  Are you like me?  In your room, do you keep the things that are most important to you?  I do.  Sometimes, it’s pretty neat to share the things that are most important to us.  Sort of a “show and tell” where we show the item and tell the story about that item.

One of my favorite things is a simple item.  See, Charles Schulz is the guy who created Charlie Brown and Snoopy, and he used only one type of ink pen to draw the comic strips and it’s called a Kohinoorpen, and when they quit making the pens, Schulz bought out the entire stock of the pens to make sure he never ran out.  

Well, one day Charles Schulz passed away, and the museum that shows his work was selling the remainder of his pens, and I was able to get one when I visited the museum!  Here it is!  And with it, I got to draw this Snoopy!

Now, we all know that it’s fun to show off the things we love.  What do you own that you like to share with others? 

Right now, we’re in the Season of Epiphany.  Say it with me: Epiphany.  Ephiphany means “manifestation” and is also that “AHA!” moment when we figure things out.  The Season of Epiphany means we’re celebrating the day the Magi found baby Jesus, and also the time when Jesus was baptized.  You see, John the Baptist – aka Jesus’ cousin – saw Jesus coming toward him and he, well, did a bit of “show and tell” to the crowd around them all.

John the Baptist said, “Look, the Lamb of God!  I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”  That wasn’t the last time John shared the news about Jesus to people either, he talked about his cousin everywhere he went.  And who wouldn’t?  Well, first of all, you have to admit that having Jesus as a cousin would make family reunions actually fun; but when John saw Jesus, his epiphany was the best “show and tell” since the Magi had their own epiphany and said, “Aha! Baby Jesus!” 

I believe at any age, we can have that epiphany where we say, “Aha! Jesus!”  You know, we have a lot of opportunity to ‘show and tell’ about Jesus.  Sometimes, we can share Jesus without even saying anything at all – by being kind and respectful, by being helpful and honest, by sharing love and friendship, and did you know you can be a leader by being all those things for other people and after they see how much fun it can be, they’ll have their own “aha!” moment of epiphany and follow your lead and do the same thing for others, and the whole time, they’ll be sharing the love and work of Jesus.

We always have a chance for ‘show and tell’ and to help other people have their own epiphany of what it’s like knowing that God loves you, Jesus loves you, and your pal Muley loves you, and I’ll see you real soon!

Donate to the Charles M. Schulz Museum by clicking the image above!!