About Bruce Timm

“Today I thought I would tell you about Bruce Timm.”

“Bruce Timm?  Who the heck is he?”

“You know. That artist with that style… you know, the Batman guy.”

“You mean he played Batman?”

“No.  He designed Batman; The Animated Series.”

“Oh, that guy… the guy who draws girls really good.”

“Yes, that’s the one.”

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“He gave all the DC heroes their modern, animated look… their style and flair.  He made them angular, immediately identifiable, and powerful.”

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“Yeah, I think he not only did the Batman cartoon, all film noir and retro-cool, but the Superman series that followed it, the Justice League, and all the cartoon series and movies that went along with those.”

“But that’s not all he did, either, is it?”

“No, there’s more.  He wanted to be a comic book artist, but before he got into animation, Marvel and DC turned him down.”

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“I heard he worked at Filmation for a while.”

“Yes, he got a chance to draw and design characters for Blackstar, Flash Gordon, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra; Princess of Power, and the Lone Ranger.

“Dang!  He was busy.  But only superhero stuff?”

“In 1989 he went to work for Warner Brothers.  He worked on Tiny Toon Adventures.”

“That Spielberg/Bugs Bunny thing?  The one with Buster and Babs Bunny?”

“Yeah, that one, believe it or not.”

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“Tell me more about the girls.  I want to hear about him drawing girls.  Wonder Woman in Justice League was hot.”

“Showing you is probably better than telling you.  Be prepared to cover your eyes, though.  He liked to draw the female figure nude and semi-naked.”

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Betty and Veronica from the Archie comics.

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“I like how he draws pretty girls.”

“You would.”

“He’s the artist you wish you could be, isn’t he?”

“Pretty much.  He’s about four years younger than me.  If I had gone the comic-book artist route instead of becoming a public school teacher, our careers might’ve been parallel.”

“Except he has talent.”

“Yeah, there’s that.”

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Troll Time at the Local Doll House

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You know that old doll house that my wife rescued for me?  You don’t?  Well, about six or seven years ago she spotted it on the sidewalk with a pile of other trash waiting for the city garbage collectors.  She asked the homeowner about it.  It was a kit they had bought at Michael’s but never finished, so my wife immediately thought, “My goofy old husband collects dolls all the time, so he will love this.”

“Take it,” said the homeowner, “It’s a shame to have to throw it out.”

So she brought it home and gave it to me.  I of course, collect twelve inch dolls and action figures, none of which fit in a doll house of this particular scale.  So it had to sit practically empty for a space of about four years.  Then my daughter got tired of some of the small Happy Meal dolls that she had gotten from McDonald’s when she was a wee gamin.  (Yes, that’s a real thing… you can look it up.)  I acquired two mostly naked Mini-Barbies, and four other doll-house size dolls, two baseball players and a Lullaby League Girl from Oz, along with a small Winkie Soldier.  Then Dreamworks did the Trolls movie.

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They began moving in by two different routes, these trolls.  Teacher Troll and Baby Troll and Big Troll, whose hair in the back is the only visible part of him… or possibly her, moved in from where I found them in kids’ bedrooms and the garage while cleaning.  I used to keep a stash of them to give out as classroom prizes back in the 90’s.  I bought the movie Trolls from Walmart at $5 a shot over a bunch of weeks between Thanksgiving and last weekend.  The empty spaces where I didn’t even have appropriate doll furniture were now being filled by Trolls.

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In the downstairs bedroom you can see the little yellow Troll has joined Naked Mini-Barbie, the Lullaby-Leaguer, Ceramic Book-Lovin’ Bear and the Angel who used to hold my wedding ring.  (I could never wear it due to arthritis, and it eventually got lost in the move from South Texas to Dallas.)  (Yes, I know it is not a good thing to lose your wedding ring, but it is possible my wife sold it so she could shop for a better husband.  At least, that’s what she told me while she was really angry.)  (And yes, I know I’m supposed to be talking about Trolls taking over my doll house, but I actually like bird-walking while telling such stories.  It lends such every-day Mickey-ness to the story.)

c360_2017-02-24-13-18-52-533The baseball player in the upstairs sitting room where nobody sits, once spent an entire winter at the bottom of the swimming pool.  That’s why his blue uniform turned a bit putrid green.  He stays in this room with my Wish-nik Troll from 1967 and the Winkie Soldier from Oz, who is naturally green in the face and never took a swim.

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Also upstairs are my Troll-topped Pez dispensers, two more movie Trolls, and the former Teacher Troll who lost her apple and my daughter gave a modelling clay diaper to for modesty’s sake which has long since melted a bit (the diaper, not the modesty).

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And at the top of it all, in the attic, are the two movie Trolls that I bought first and started this whole Troll-collection nonsense.  So now the doll house is no longer empty.  But the Trolls are beginning to complain that there is no paint on the walls, and I really ought to do something about that before they take matters into their own hands.  You never know what they might do in the middle of the night when nobody is looking.

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A Pair of Pertwees

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When I was a teenager in high school, PBS began running episodes of the BBC sci-fi show Doctor Who.  And back then, the show had already gone through two doctors before I ever saw it.  So the first Dr. Who Doctor for me was Jon Pertwee.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the whole idea of Doctor Who, a time-travelling fixer of plot holes in history who goes about appropriating young women as companions and travelling through time and space and other dimensions by using a T.A.R.D.I.S. that manipulates “timey-wimey stuff”, I am afraid there is no hope for you here.  I am a Whovian and am not inclined to be a chief explainer  of all things Whovian to basically non-Whovians, and especially not never-will-be-Whovians.

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I was in college already by the time Jon Pertwee was no longer Dr. Who.  And though I also loved Tom Baker as the Doctor, I was forever caught by the heart with the first Doctor I watched and will forever hold in my heart the notion that Pertwee is the real Doctor.

And he was a gifted comedic actor that had a long career stretching back to Vaudeville and would also come to be identified with British comedies like Worzel Gummidge.

He had a prehensile face, capable of many comic contortions, and an ability with voices and characterizations that made you think “multiple personality disorder”.

Jon left us in 1996, but he has had a new life for me through his son, Sean Pertwee.  His little boy is practically a clone, though as far as I can tell, a very serious clone.  The comic DNA was apparently forgotten on the laboratory shelf.

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Sean Pertwee is now playing the ninja butler in the pre-Batman show on Fox called Gotham.  He has stepped into the role of Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce Wayne’s butler, and it’s like having my first Doctor back again.

Now, I admit that this post is mostly just fan-gush about people and characters that are mostly forgotten now.  But Jon Pertwee lives on in me.  I saw him play the Doctor back when some things in life could still be absolutely perfect just as they were.

 

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Filed under humor, artists I admire, characters, nostalgia, Dr. Who, review of television, comedians

The Doofy Doll Collector

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I suppose it is a rather girly thing… or maybe even a creepy thing, that a sixty year old man like me collects and plays with dolls.  This post, a lazy-writer short post, is intended just to show you some of my newest dolls and newest collections.  I am not going to waste time justifying why I like dolls.  That would probably require an advanced degree in abnormal psychology.  So I will just show you and gloat about what I have achieved in my own weird little way.

This Monster High doll is Frankie Stein, the daughter of Frankenstein’s monster.  I scored two of these at Walmart’s pre-Christmas clearance sale for three dollars apiece.  This is the one I pose and play with.  The other I am keeping as a mint in box.

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These are the three lovely girls I bought with Christmas money from relatives back in Iowa.  I went almost to the limit buying Starfire at a pricey $19.88.  The collection rules clearly state, “Never buy a single doll worth more than $20.”

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I bought Starfire to keep Harley Quinn, my other $19.88 doll company as part of my DC Heroines collection.  That collection as it now stands follows.

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You can see I still need Batgirl and Poison Ivy.

So there is my lazy-writer post about me playing with dolls, poorly rationalized and barely explained.

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Now You See Me… Now You Don’t

How does an artist know himself?  Now there’s a difficult question.  I spend all my time looking at the world with the eyes of imagination.  I don’t even seem to be able to take photographs in the normal way other people do.  Maybe I should consider this self-think through the medium of pictures I have made with captions added to them?

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Mickey is not actually me.  He is my “other” me, my pen name, my goofier self.

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                                                      I was born in a blizzard in Mason City, Iowa in the 1950’s.

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I have learned about dog poop five times a day since 2011 when we found Jade, our dog.

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                                                                                                                      I was a middle school teacher for 24 of my 31 years of teaching.  I love/hate 7th Graders.

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When things go wrong, I tend to make a joke about it.

I like to draw students as I saw them, not as they really were.

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I always see myself as the one with the BIG pencil.

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If there is goofiness around here, it is all my fault.

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                                                                                           In spite of the title, I don’t know how to disappear.

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I love everything Disney.

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I tend not to be very much like other people.  I don’t think like they do.

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                                                                                                                         In grade school, I was deeply in love with Alicia Stewart, though I never told her that, and that is not her real name.

My high school art teacher told me that when an artist draws someone, he always ends up making it look a little bit like himself.  That is because, I suppose, an artist can only draw what he knows and he really only knows himself.  That being said, this post should really look just like me.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, family dog, goofiness, happiness, humor, Paffooney, self portrait, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Doodlefox

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While watching Netflix yesterday afternoon, a retirement activity that becomes the majority of my social life when the diabetes demons are eating me, I started doodling a fox.  It was a pencil doodle at first.  And I was not drawing from life.  I was drawing the fox in my head.  I suspect it was the fox from Antoine de Saint Exupery’s masterwork, The Little Prince.

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Yes, that fox.  The wise one that knows about taming little princes, and loving them, and being reminded of them in the color of wheat fields.  I began to need that fox as my doodle pen uncovered him on the blank page.  There he was.  Surprised to see me.  Either he was leaping towards me in the picture, or falling down on me from the sky above.  I don’t know which.  But I realized I had to tame him by drawing him and making him as real as ever an imaginary fox could ever be.  You will notice he does not look like a real fox.  I did not draw him from a photograph, but from the cartoon eye in my mind where all Paffoonies come from.  And this was to be a profound Paffooney… a buffoony cartoony looney Paffooney.  It simply had to be, because that is precisely what I always doodle-do.

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And so he was a fox.  He was my doodlefox.  I had tamed him.  And then I had to give him color.  And, of course, the color had to be orange-red.

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And so, there is my fox.  Like the Little Prince’s fox he could tell me, “What is essential is invisible to the eye.  It is only with the heart that we can see rightly.”  And I put him in a post with lyrical and somewhat goofy words to give you a sense of what he means to me, in the same way one might explain what the thrill of the heart feels like when a butterfly’s wing brushes against the back of your hand.  Yes, to share the unknowable knowledge and the unfeelable feeling of a doodlefox.  A demonstration of precisely what a Paffooney is.

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Stardusters… Canto 35

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Canto Thirty-Five – In the Control Center on the Moon Gundahl

Farbick and Starbright still had the two lizard-men in their force field trap, but they were definitely also surrounded and in big trouble.  Thirty-four half-sized lizard men, or, rather, lizard-boys and lizard-girls were standing around them in a huge circle, looking at them with snaky eyes and holding things that looked distinctly like guns.

“You’re surrounded now,” warned Bahbahr from his prison, “and the kids have krahzhen-lachhers with them.”

“Krahzhen-lachhers?” asked Farbick.

“What they call tommy-guns in the language of the Untouchables starring Robert Stack and Walter Winchell… you know, automatically repeating slug-throwers.”

“Wait a second!” said Stabharh, “kids?  Where is your handler?”

“We had a fight over who was going to die next to provide food for the others,” said one of the lizard-girls, “so we killed and ate him.”

“That showed good initiative,” said Stabharh.    “Now kill these two Tellerons and we can eat them too.”

“Wait!” said Bahbahr.  “We still need them to show us how the alien tech works!”

“Why?  They will just try to trick us again.  They might succeed in killing us the next time.”

“You can’t have them killed yet,” argued the fat lizard-man.  “We’re still stuck in the invisible box.  We have to get out of here before you have them killed.”

“Um, I hadn’t thought of that,” said Stabharh.

“Are you really, really hungry, kids?” asked Farbick of the lizard-kids.

“Oh, yes!” answered four or five of the lizard-kids at once.

“You see all this technology we have here,” said Farbick slyly.  “We have a machine here that can make food out of thin air.”

The little lizard people all drew closer to the pile of Telleron tech with wide, questioning eyes.

“Don’t listen to them!” barked Stabharh.  “They will trick you!”

“Aren’t you going to eventually kill us and eat us too?” asked a lizard-girl.  “You did that with all the adults in the station after the Senator’s attack started the food shortage.”

“We kept you alive so we would have a next generation of our people,” said Bahbahr in a pleading voice that made Farbick shudder.

“But you would eat us before you let yourself starve to death, right?”

“She has you there,” sneered Stabharh at Bahbahr.

“We can leave them where they are,” said Starbright.  “The material synthesizer can make food out of random atoms.  It can feed you for long periods of time.”

“Food out of nothing?” asked a lizard-boy skeptically.

“Not out of nothing,” admitted Farbick.  “We will have to find carbon and proteins and other molecular materials to put into the synthesizer when the current fuel runs out.”

“But we can make food out of garbage… or recycled dead bodies,” said Starbright.

Farbick hated the fact that for too many generations in space the Tellerons had used extra tadpoles and personnel for fuel for the synthesizers aboard the mother ship.  Eating children was not a good thing, and their cultures both needed to stop doing such things.

“Well, can you make us some food?” asked a lizard-girl.  “We are in no hurry to free Lord Bahbahr.  He is a terrible ruler and we all hate him.”

“We might like him better with what the Earthers call ketchup all over him,” added a lizard boy.

“You cannot rebel against me!” shouted Bahbahr.  “I own all of you!  You must obey me!”

“He’s in a cage, right?” a lizard-girl asked Starbright.

“Yes.  But let Farbick and I make you some nice meat sandwiches to eat.  You can give us those heavy, nasty old krahzhen-lachhers and we can decide what to do about Stabharh and Bahbahr later.”

“Okay,” said several of the lizard-kids.  The gun-things were handed over and Farbick made a food he had seen on Earth with the material synthesizers.

As one lizard-boy received a synthesized hot dog with a big, toothy smile, he turned and grinned at Bahbahr.  “You do have an awful lot of meat on your bones,” the lizard-child said.

*****

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Filed under aliens, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, science fiction