Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Skelebuddies with Matthew (2013)

Good morning!

In a change of pace from the vintage news articles and items-I've-picked-up, I had a cache of original drawings from this weekend that I just had to share with you. While my now-husband Matthew considers himself a video game connossieur, a composer, and a tech geek, in that order, I think he often leaves off his list of accomplishments how good he is at cartooning. One of my favorite games to play as we while away a lazy Sunday with me watching old movies on Youtube and him working his way through the Castlevania series for the umpteenth time is to think of a hypothetical scenario and have him cartoon it out in his own quirky, cute style.

Portrait of the artist as a young Bab
1) Backstory: I was watching a bunch of old Dick Cavett clips on the Sunday in question... last week when I caught the Bette Davis interview, I was delighted to see another thirty or forty segments from his talk show and with celebrity guests I want to know more about! Truman Capote interrupting Groucho Marx (and vice versa!). Janis Joplin making dirty comments over Gloria Swanson. Bill Cosby talking about his jazz aspirations with Jack Benny. Katharine Hepburn literally moving the furniture on set to better suit her capricious mood. Magic! So I asked Matthew to do a drawing of a skeleton interviewing Elvis (sadly, Elvis never appeared on the Cavett show, but Cavett has never been a skeleton to date, so accuracy is not in the foreground here). Matthew got frustrated five minutes in going, "I can't draw Elvis!" I countered, "If it looks bad, you can just say it's Andrew Dice Clay!" Matthew: "No, that would mess with the punch, I'm just going to do my best." A couple scribbles and scrabbles later, his efforts yielded:

I love that the host has is own "SKELETALK" proprietary mug, and the closeup of the second "panel". Also, "SKELVIS". You can laugh now. Being a little outsider artist myself, and completely horrible at anything but faces and dead-on angles, I can't get over how "human" the little body languages come across.

2) Backstory: Still Youtubing talk shows, I watched as a feather trimmed Lucille Ball seemed to get in a sideways dig at Cavett's diminutive height (he's 5'6'') during one clip. "You're a little short handed," she says in that gravelly, Lucille not Lucy voice, and leveled her cool blue eyes at her host. That exchange caused me to google Lucille Ball's height. Ah! Also 5'6''! Or possibly as tall as 5'7''. The Internet can't seem to make up its mind on the former Arnazes. Desi, for example, is somewhere between 5'6'' and 6'', according to fluctuating Google accounts, with some Desliu obsessed boards pointing out visible lifts in Desi's tassled loafers. This prompted me to ask Matthew to draw two skeletons that are both the same size, with one crabbing at the other for his perceived "shortness". Matthew came up with this:

THE TINY SKELETONS ARE SO CUTE. THEY ARE SO CUTE. The enormous skull head coming out of nowhere was a nice touch, as well. This reminds me of some of the bosses in old arcade games (there's definitely one in Altered Beast, but there are others I'm not thinking of because it's before I've had my coffee this morning).

Last but not least:

3) Backstory: Matthew was listening to me tell him all about Eartha Kitt and her career after I read this heartbreaking article on DailyMail about her fruitless search for her real father. I reminded him of  Kitt's holiday single "Santa Baby", her tenure as Catwoman in the old Adam West Batman tv series, and her small but memorable role as Madame Rena in Friday Foster. "Oh yeah!" he intones. "I remember the Friday Foster thing." (I made him watch a LOT of Pam Grier movies when we first dated, it's a mercury test for whether or not we'll get along...and we did!). Moments later, Matthew stopped to ask, "So what has she been up to lately? Has she been in anything?" Me: "Uh, no, as she died in 2008." Matthew: "Ugggh! I thought she was alive this whole time!" 

A semi-literal interpretation of Matthew's delayed reaction to EK's passing:

Me: ((laughing)) Why does she look like something out of Tales from the Crypt?!" Matthew: ((chuckling to self)) "Grow another butt. Get it?"

Do you have any daydream doodles you like to come up with when you're bored? What kinds of things do you look up on Youtube on a boring afternoon off work? What other scenarios involving skeletons would you deem appropriate to go through Matthew's idea hopper? Let's talk!

I gotta get back to work, but I'll see you tomorrow with more vintage stuff. Take care! Til then.


  1. haha, these are so cute! i especially love the skelvis line! it reminds me of one day i was sitting at a craft fair booth with my friend kyle, who is an illustrator. i passed the time buy telling him things to draw like "a skeleton and a ghost on a first date! a centaur holding an umbrella for a TINY unicorn! draw all of us as DOGS!" it was so fun! i bet i still have those tucked away somewhere!

    1. I love that you are also into exploiting the artistically talented with your totally awesome ideas for drawings!! IT IS THE MOST FUN. All of your ideas are ideas I wish I had thought of, especially "DRAW US ALL AS DOGS!"

  2. I used to own a body mod studio [back in the days when it was still considered "subversive" and we (my receptionist and I, and the faux finisher Peter) did little drawings in the reception book that would make your hair stand on end.

    A friend of mine was once given the boot by her spiritual guru. The incident was relatively trivial, but she was always kind of a "loose cannon", and he had a big batch of new recruits from China coming in, and he didn't want to have to wrangle with her in front of them. So he used the incident to give her the boot. She was devastated, of course, and a friend of hers (he was the brother of the lead singer of a popular 90s band) drew up the most pants-wettingest-funny cartoon about the whole incident! I wished I had made copies of it, it was so fantastically well done in just a few lines such as you see here. He caught my friend's loose-cannon tendencies so well I almost died laughing. Another cartoon which i still have lampooed a former "friend" who had never really ever been my friend,I was just someone she kept around so she could ridicule me behind my back and subtly run me down to my face. (It was my first encounter with BPD.) Anyway, I was staying in a country house with two girlfriends (one of which who had set me straight about my so-called 'friend", and I decided to draw a cartoon of us three as Rocky Horror-type superheroes saving Toronto from the "Braggin' Lady" as we dubbed her and her ego..., with Dr Everett Scott in the "Charlie" role (as in Charlie's Angels).

    It was screamingly funny, and we still reference it amongst ourselves to this day! Plus, it was MOST therapeutic: I lampooned every one of the "Braggin' Lady's" tendencies and quirks and wove incidents from our mutual careers into the text, which spoiled it for others, but made it even funnier to me and my other friend! I drew it but never inked it; I keep saying i should do so!

    1. That is amazing. OMG. Lampooning horrible situations through hilarious cartoons, I'm sorry, way better than a punching bag or breaking you're using your anger/disappointment as creative fuel! If you find these doodles, you should send them over, I bet they're even better than described!!!!

  3. I don't know if you got that last post, but a good movie that includes Elvis and a skelly is "Bubba-Ho-Tep" it is equal parts funny and scary.

    1. I've been meaning to see that FOREVER. My friend Anna is the biggest Bruce Campbell fan, and she's told me time and again I need to watch it. Didn't the DVD come in this tiny DVD-sized Elvis suit? Will have to get from the library.

  4. So funny that you and your husband enjoy the evenings laughing together. Love the drawing skills of Matthew!

    1. Haha, your comment made his day! :D He lives for praise.



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