Tuesday, June 30, 2015

C-3PO Rides a Gallimimus

Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #7:

According to the Jurassic World website "Gallimimus" means "Chicken mimic"
These dinosaurs are shown running in a large flock in both the first "Jurassic Park" and the recent "Jurassic World"...probably as a call-back to the original film.

It seemed like an appropriate mount for the fussy, bumbling droid. I tried looking at pictures of people riding ostriches to try to get a feel for C-3PO's riding position, without much success... But, wow, there are a lot of pictures of people riding ostriches. I had no idea it was such a popular activity.

Nightmare Foxy from FNAF 4 Rides a Pink Fluffy Unicorn

The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse?
(Yes, this combination was a specific request from my somewhat perverse older child.)

Apparently there is another iteration of the horror video game "Five Nights at Freddy's" (fnaf to the initiated) in the offing. And perhaps the murderous animatronic animals in the game have decomposed further. There is a picture of Foxy, one of these characters, circulating on the web,  which displays mostly glowing eyes and scary teeth.

If you have any interest in this song, you can read what little I discovered about it in a post from 2013 about a previous misguided pink fluffy unicorn napkin.

It might be best to stay away from the actual song, depending on your tolerance for slightly ironic insipidity.

Below is the "My Little Pony" version of the unicorn and the Foxy picture:

Monday, June 29, 2015

R2-D2 Rides the Ankylosaurus

Astromech Astride an Ankylosaurus:
Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #6

I had a rationale as to why I drew Artoo on this particular dinosaur...but I can't imagine that anyone really wants to read about it.

Suffice it to say that Ankylosaurs appear in "Jurassic World" in a somewhat memorable fashion and seemed to deserve inclusion in the napkins series.

Minions with Deadpool

"Bring me the head of Deadpool"....is something you might say to your Minions.

When I was posting the previous Deadpool napkin, I asked if he could regenerate after being digested. I was helpfully informed that he could revive "even from a puddle." But what if his head is separate from his body... does the body sprout out of the head, or does he have to wait for reunification?  I have no doubt that someone will educate me if I post this image somewhere like Instagram.

My son's partner in Deadpoolery has moved on to basketball camp this week, so there was a good bit less enthusiasm for Mr. Wilson, intact or not.

With all the advertising for the upcoming movie, however the kids are still pretty enthusiastic about Minions.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hera from Star Wars Rebels on Pteranodon

Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #5:

I have not been following "Star Wars Rebels," the latest animated Star Wars TV show, very carefully. Hera Syndulla is one of the band of rebels, and I think, the captain and pilot of their ship. She is a Twi'lek,  one of the humanoid, but not human, species in the Star Wars universe. This means, (fun facts that I just learned on the "Wookiepedia" today) that parts of her brain are located in her "head-tails" and that her eyebrows are tatooed on.

I felt I had been shirking the color possibilities of the dinosaurs in the series so far, making them all an amorphous grey/green. Of course, no one knows for sure what sort of coloring would be accurate....

The color scheme definitely got away from me on this one.  The greyish green solution looks pretty good in retrospect.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Yoda Rides a Triceratops

Star Wars Rides Dinosaurs #4

I thought about really keeping things small and drawing Yoda on a baby Triceratops. There is a charming scene in "Jurassic World" where kids ride saddled mini-dinosaurs in a petting zoo.

But it was a two napkin evening that night. I had already expended too many resources stuffing Deadpool into the Indominus Rex's mouth, so I did not want to have to draw the boring parts of this dinosaur.  Perhaps it is an adolescent Triceratops, it's too small to be an adult....I think.

Yoda does not need to grandstand on a big predatory dinosaur because....he's Yoda.

...and size matters not.

Deadpool Poses with the Indominus Rex

The Merch with the mouth sits in a mouth.
But can he regenerate after digestion?

My older son has been hanging out with a real Deadpool enthusiast at summer camp. The character is always popular with our kids because he is so age-inappropriate. But lately, we've seen a notable surge in Deadpool fandom.

Wade's regenerative abilities enables the wonderful over the top gratuitous violence that my sons enjoy so much. This is not unlike movies Like "Jurassic World" where one might argue, the whole point of the enterprise is to devise increasingly ridiculous and horrible ways for people to be killed by dinosaurs.

Our sons are going to be really annoyed when the Deadpool movie is finally released and they are too young to see it. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blogs From Germany


"Even artists have to lubricate the school bread for their children."
 The napkins received a little online exposure from Germany, leading to some fun with Google Translate.

Katja Hentschel, a writer for the German lifestyle blog Glowbus, was briefly a sitter for our older son, long ago when he was an only child.  She wrote a nice little piece about us and the napkins, generously making our family sound a whole lot more cool than we were.... or are.

You can see her blog post here: 
Glowbus Blog
And you can  read the Text of Katja's blog post courtesy of Google Translate.

Because of Katja's nice post, we heard from the German edition of Wired Magazine.
They asked me and the kids to respond to a questionnaire for a series that translates as "Network Famous"
You can see the questionnaire in German here: German Edition of Wired Magazine
And you can read the text of the article in English  both the original answers that I submitted, and a very amusing translation courtesy of Google Translate)

Killeraptor from Monster Legends

A Dinosaur that does not live in "Jurassic Park"

The Monster Legends Wiki says that Killeraptor is "a monster dinosaur designed for the extermination." My older son was initially excited about him because he thought he had robot arms. I would certainly not claim to be an authority, but it looks like just arm armor to me.

I was grateful that I did not have to draw anyone riding this one.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ahsoka Tano Rides the Spinosaurus

The Apprentice Returns on a Spinosaurus:
(Star Wars Rebels meet Jurassic Park/World #3)

I did not consult the kids on this one, but somehow it made sense to me to put Ahsoka on the big bad of the third Jurassic Movie. Perhaps that movie is not fresh in your mind. I certainly could not remember it until I saw it recently. It is likely that I never saw it at all when it was released in 2001. At any rate, the Spinosaurus makes several appearances, eats several people, part of a plane and, presumably, a T-rex that it has killed.

I thought Ahsoka deserved a powerful dinosaur capable of vanquishing a Tyrannasaurus.  The Jurassic Park Spinosaurus also has a rather decorative skin with blue and orange markings on its "sail," so I hoped it would go nicely with Ahsoka's decorative "headtails." Sady, I did not have time to deal with dinosaur markings last night and had to more or less resort to amorphous dino grey/green.

The boys were very excited to see Ahsoka's reappearance in the recent episode of Star Wars Rebels. She was a big hit in the previous series, The Clone Wars. She appeared on several of my younger son's napkins long ago in the days before I started posting them here. Ahsoka was even so cool that my older son's best friend and Star Wars play pal was willing to "be" Ahsoka while my son was being Captain Rex or Anakin Skywalker. Unfortunately, the younger brother eventually received the message from his preschool classmates that it was not cool to like Ahsoka because, you know, she was not male.

Below is one of his Ahsoka napkins from 2008 or 2009, before gender conformity set in (and back when I was more sane and spent no more than 5 minutes on the drawings)

And one from three years later that did not go to school because it was deemed to be too icky:

I am also pleased to see Ahsoka's return.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Vapwhirl from Monster Legends

I had big plans for this one.  I found some nice images of fire tornadoes online and was thinking about adding some realism to the picture.

Ha. I was lucky just to rough this out and get it in the general ballpark of the appearance of Vapwhirl in the game.

My son was no doubt pleased that it looked like the game anyway.

Star Wars' Ezra Bridger Rides Blue from Jurassic World

This is definitely the Velociraptor that you are looking for:
The kid with blue hair rides the blue raptor.

My younger son told me last night that "Star Wars Rebels characters riding Jurassic World dinosaurs is the thing that we are doing now."  Well, alright. Since Star Wars Jedis are supposedly able to use the "Jedi Mind Trick" to control animals, I guess this is as plausible as anything else that goes on here.

We are crossing corporate boundaries, however. My older son opined that perhaps a series of Star Wars and Jurassic World team ups might be a bad idea as it could encourage Disney to purchase the Jurassic Park franchise also. (Because these napkins are so very influential!) I explained that Jurassic World was a Universal property at the moment and was therefore probably safe from Disney.

Ezra, the teenage star of Rebels, was the obvious choice for the next napkin.  The kids debated who he should be riding, but I have to say that Blue from the "Raptor Squad" was really the only choice.

My son did not like Ezra's riding position. I did not bother to explain that I was trying to hide as much of his body as possible so I would not have to draw it.

This two napkins a night thing is definitely not going to work out.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Darth Vader Rides the Indominus Rex from "Jurassic World"

Don't underestimate the power of the dark side:

I did not have much success putting members of the cast of "Inside Out" on dinosaurs yesterday, but "Star Wars" characters seem to be another matter. The first new episode of "Star Wars Rebels" rolled out over the weekend, so the Sith Lord was an obvious choice for dino riding today.

I haven't had an opportunity to draw Darth Vader since my older son's obsession with "Star Wars" 7 or 8 years ago. I've missed the reflective possibilities in his helmet. Despite my parents' general polite lack of interest in Star Wars, they had a very realistic, wearable, Darth Vader helmet in their office since the early 80's. Perhaps my soft spot for the helmet really has more to do with that.

The Vader helmet attended a 5th birthday with Grandpa a few years ago:

Pandalf From "Monster Legends"

If Ian McKellen were a green-eyed Panda:

Our older son is still hard at work on the Monster Legends game. Apparently Pandalf, "part wizard, part panda," according to the Wiki is a desirable character. I cannot speak to his particular attributes, but I would like to report that the egg that he hatches from has both a beard and a hat on it, which seems peculiar.

I tried to cludge together a realistic panda and the obvious source material, Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. The Panda wizard has multiple forms, and is, of course, cuter in the game than my drawing.  

My son would like me to add that he named his Pandalf, "Gandalf" in what is either a total failure of imagination, or some sort of meta-simplicity.

This drawing was perhaps a bit slapdash, as we had a couple of people from the Today show over for a visit last week. I had to cook it up on the spot and draw it under a hot light with a camera hanging over my shoulder.  

But let's be honest, the real problem was performance anxiety.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Inside Out with Dinosaurs

But who should be riding which dinosaur?

We've seen the trailer for Pixar's "Inside Out" more times than I can count. Perhaps due to overexposure, I found myself fairly annoyed by it.  My kids, however, remained enthusiastic about the trailer and the prospect of seeing the movie...that is, right up until the time that I suggested that we should go see it this weekend.

I think we had all started to focus on the fact that the movie was mostly about a girl and the balance between happiness and sadness. This realization, (and the uniformly positive reviews) made me want to take my sons to see it, while it made them resist.

It's certainly not that we are against the expression of emotions around here. We are particularly good at sharing the negative ones. But perhaps the  perceived girliness of the movie did not make them want to see it immediately...

And whatever I'm selling, they're not buying...just on principle.

Putting the emotion girls on dinosaurs did not help. My younger son looked at this napkin today and announced, "I am not taking THAT to camp!" He then wanted to know what my rational was for putting Sadness on the Indominus Rex. I guess I was fantasizing a more playful interaction between the dinosaurs than the one that concludes "Jurassic World." Perhaps in the next sequel, the Rexes will be pals...

But I'm afraid that Anger should probably be on the napkin, riding the Mosasaurus. (That's the giant dinosaur that comes out of the water to eat the great white shark in the ad campaign) Luckily, I did not have room.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dragon Rider

In a very surprising turn of events, my younger son asked me to draw a picture of him riding a dragon.

He is usually violently, if not hysterically, opposed to any attempted depictions. I suspect that the mixed age group of summer arts camp is proving to be a more receptive audience for the unveiling of lunchtime napkins than the second grade classroom.  He reported a lot of teasing and criticism from his from his rather conformist classmates during the school year. His less socially sensitive older brother is also eating lunch in the same room at camp, so he has some backup.

Still, I was somewhat surprised by the request. He had just rejected a pet raptor napkin with his likeness on it a few days ago.

Somehow, it was a long week, so my attention to this particular dragon was limited. I did my best to splice dragons from "Dragon Age" and "Skyrim," particularly cribbing from a nice image by "Dragon Age" concept artist, Matt Rhodes which I cannot seem to locate now.

It's not a fantastic dragon or a particularly fine portrait of my son,...but I thought the contrast between the purple sky and the orange flame is nice.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Colossal Titan Deadpool

Attack on Titan meets the regenerating degenerate:

This image was a very specific request, as my older son is working on a short animation at summer camp which will feature this sort of Deadpool vs giant Deadpool scenario.

I suppose Wade Wilson has more than a little in common with the Titan Shifters of AoT.  They defy both the law of conservation of mass and basic logic in their ability to heal from any sort of physical abuse, resurrecting themselves and replacing body parts.

This fantasy of immortal bodies that can be regrown an infinite number of times is pretty compelling...particularly since the physical destruction can be grotesque and ridiculous without any permanent consequences.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fallout Boy

The apocalypse will be fun as long as there are cool weapons.

My older son wanted me to draw him as a character in the game Fallout. Fallout takes place in the hypothetical post-apocalyptic future, but has a cool 1950's look. I made no attempt to draw a gun that is actually available in the game. (I'm only in the first week of the two napkins per lunch situation, and already quality is starting to suffer!) My son told me the weapon was good enough nonetheless. And...this is not a particularly good likeness of my son, but since I made him look a bit anime-like, he was quite pleased with the result.

Note the prominent firearm in the this image.  We are now in summer camp, and the situation is a bit more relaxed than during the Quaker school year.... Still, I had to fight the urge to draw a piece of fruit on the business end of the gun.

(you can see all the strawberries stuck onto various weapons in the past at this link, although you will have to scroll down a bit to get to the older napkins that feature fruit stuck on swords and guns)

Popular MMOs MMOnster from "Monster Legends"

Our older son has been playing "Monster Legends" and was fixated on acquiring a powerful character designed to look like the avatar of Pat, a youtuber who posts videos as PopularMMOs.

As an elderly person who grew up in the early days of "Pong" (hard to believe, but sadly, it's true) I find it hard to get my mind around the whole "in app purchase" situation and the spending of real money ("real" as in "a significant amount") to buy credits or characters within games.

We give our kids a little weekly allowance so that they can experience making their own choices about what is most important to them. Our older son is very clear that acquiring characters like the MMOnster is his most important goal. I have some ongoing problems with this sort of purchase, and much to his dismay, have expressed my opinion assertively and frequently. However, I have to let him make some choices for himself.

But, he had borrow money from his younger brother to make this one work.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Velociraptor with Nerf Guns

Yes, of course, our sons loved "Jurassic World."
(And, now words I have never imagined myself typing: "Spoiler Alert"...and while I am at it: "Cranky Mother Alert)

To continue: How could they not love it?  Dinosaurs, guns, imperiled audience-surrogate boy moppets, Chris Pratt being manly....What was there not to like?

The stroll home from the theater was a nice opportunity to discuss gender politics. "Why do you suppose that lady was wearing such ridiculous shoes in the jungle?"  Or "Why do you think the pretty babysitter met the most dramatic and awful death in the whole movie?"

I know I sound like a total killjoy when I say that I often feel like Hollywood is helping me raise a pair of budding misogynists. But ideally one should be able to take unbridled pleasure in watching Chris Pratt being a "total badass," riding motorcycles with Velociraptors, without needing an uptight, clueless, (yet very attractive woman) to be his foil/girlfriend/conquest.

But perhaps I should not worry about the behavior of "Jurassic World"s humans too much. They really are a secondary concern. The dinosaurs are certainly delivered in spectacular fashion. The movie employs a time-tested sequel formula: the big bads of the previous outing are enlisted as allies to defeat the new, even bigger, baddies. Although, it was perhaps a little bit unclear why the dinosaurs did not eat the appetizing two-legged pink snacks who were conveniently still standing around at the end of the big battle....

But we left the theater with our enthusiasm for Velociraptors greatly increased. Today's napkin image derives from a "How it Should Have Ended" spoof video for "Jurassic Park," in which the Velociraptors are so intelligent that they talk and use guns. I convinced Ansel that we should give the Raptor Nerf weapons in place of the real guns as a less violent option.

....And, because you would totally want to shoot Nerf guns with your pet Raptor.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Superman Birthday Cake

While I might qualify as a professional drawer-on-napkins at this point. (if there could ever possibly be such a thing) I am definitely an amateur when it comes to frosting cakes. 

Our  kids' aunt requested a frosted Superman cake for her husband's recent notable birthday. This seemed only fair and symmetrical as I had squirted a lot of frosting on a Wonder Woman cake for her notable birthday a couple of years ago. 

Just in case it is not clear: these cakes are supposed to be portraits of these individuals dressed as the characters, not just inaccurate portrayals of superheroes. My sons were not terribly impressed, and told me that I made their uncle look more like Stan Lee than Superman. And they agreed that their aunt's cake had been more attractive.  (For the record, that cake was photographed under more flattering light conditions..... but, yes, it was a better looking cake. Perhaps that is for the best.)

Much to our younger son's distress, we had to leave the birthday party before the cake was served, so we did not get to see Uncle Myles/Clark/Superman lit up in a humorously politically incorrect fashion with a single candle cigarette-style in his mouth.  More apocalyptically, from an 8 year old's perspective, we did not get to eat any cake.

I'm am not proud to say that had I reserved a extra bowl of plain frosting at home just for this sort of disaster.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Relaxing at Home with a Pet Velociraptor

Watching TV with your pet raptor is fun...unless he won't shut up during your favorite show.

Sometimes I draw things that I know the kids are not going to like,  just because I can't help myself. My younger son is always unhappy when I draw a picture of him that looks even remotely like him.

His first reaction to the this one:
His second reaction:
"Maybe I will take it to camp, if you give me a foot rub."

Friday, June 12, 2015

Alien, Raptor and Unicorn do the Michigan Rag

Hello my baby.

I'm going to be drawing two napkins a night next week when the kids start summer camp. I am not sure how this is going to go, as I'm way out of practice with that sort of volume.

Since my sons are in the same program and will be eating lunch together, I suggested that perhaps there would be one napkin a day, alternating between the two of them. Their response could be described as a bit agitated. The older one argued that it wouldn't be fair because he hadn't been getting any napkin drawings during school and really had to have them for camp. The younger one argued that he was used to getting them in school and couldn't possibly go without them for camp.

Ok. Well, I guess they must still appreciate the napkins a little.

I thought I would try and make a few before camp begins.  However, such advance planning rarely works out well for me.  Asking what they want ahead of time just means the kids' requests get much complicated. For instance: "I want the Alien, a Velociraptor and a Unicorn dancing like the "Hello My Baby" frog with top hats and canes."

The kids have been singing this "Hello My Baby" song frequently when they want to pull out all the stops and be extra annoying. But somehow I had not made the connection between this grating behavior and the classic Warner Bros cartoon featuring Michigan J Frog.

Perhaps the singing frog cartoon is not fresh in your mind either... particularly if you are not the mother of small boys prone to loudly performing the song while jumping on their bed clad only in underpants more than an hour after they should have been asleep.

You can see the cartoon "One Froggy Evening" and read copious (and fairly interesting) commentary at this link

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Rocket Raccoon with Velociraptor

"Guardians of the Galaxy" meets "Jurassic World"

 It seemed only fair to put the stars (as far as my sons are concerned) of these movies together.
After looking at the press pictures of Chris Pratt snuggling up to a raccoon or baby dinosaurs, I thought perhaps Rocket and the raptor should be similarly cozy.

Not sure what might happen after the photo shoot is over.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Unicorn Takes on "Zilla"

Kaiju Killer:
(But only the less popular Kaiju)

Our older son can provide chapter and verse about the differences and relative merits of the various iterations of Godzilla. Unsurprisingly, his information and opinions come mostly second hand. He hasn't actually watched all those obscure-to-western-viewers 1960's Toho monster movies. I suggested to him that he probably wouldn't have the patience to sit through, say, "Mothra vs. Godzilla" from 1964, or even the 1992 version, "Godzilla vs Mothra." He replied, "Oh God, mom, of course not! That's what Youtube is for!"

Through watching YouTube, he managed to pick up the near universal fanboy condemnation of the 1998 American Godzilla movie. (the one with Matthew Broderick) That monster is known among the kaiju cognoscenti as "Zilla" because "they took the God out of Godzilla." If you want to know more about what that sentence means, I recommend the Wikipedia entry...or spending an ungodly amount of time watching YouTube commentary.

When my son asked me to draw him riding a Unicorn "Kaiju Killer" like the one pictured in 101 Ways to Use a Unicorn by Robb Perlman and Dave Urban, I knew it had to be "Zilla."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Sea Otter and Harry Houdini in front of the Brooklyn Bridge

So long Second Grade....
One last image that doesn't make any sense without an explanation:

Our younger son is finishing up the school year tomorrow, and I am further behind than usual in figuring out how to express some small portion of the gratitude we feel towards his teachers and learning specialists.  Since I try to solve far too many problems by drawing on napkins, it is not a surprise that here we have a thank you napkin for his teachers. 

In addition to the class study of the bridge, our son did his independent research projects on Sea Otters, Harry Houdini, and Jacob Lawrence. My apologies to Mr. Lawrence for not including him here. While Mr. Houdini was well known for jumping off bridges while handcuffed and generally submerging himself in water, I could not make any such argument for Mr. Lawrence. Perhaps he would not be sorry to skip being submerged in effigy in a toxic urban waterway.

As it is, both the bridge and Harry look a bit off.  My older son glanced at the napkin yesterday and said, "Whoa! What is going on with his head?!!" When I responded self-defensively that I didn't think it was a terrible likeness, he soothed me, "Ok, it's probably just that I am not used to seeing him in color." Yes, that must have been it.

Harry, sans Sea Otter

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Velociraptor, Chris Pratt and Rocket Raccoon

"Guardians of the Jurassic World"

Type Chris Pratt's name into a search engine and invariably images of him posing with an animal will come up. My kids agree, he is clearly a cool guy...but he's even cooler when cuddling with a raccoon or baby dinosaurs.

After yesterday's napkin image of a raptor on a motorcycle, adding Mr. Pratt was the next logical step. And once I had added him, it seemed a shame not to include Rocket Raccoon.

No doubt Rocket would have something to say about the folly of genetically modified dinosaurs...they can't even speak English or pilot a space ship, after all. Although he would probably appreciate the capitalist motives of the builders of Jurassic World.

This image was definitely too complicated for me to pull off comfortably. I often feel like a lazy draftsman when I look over the past napkins images.  I tend to avoid drawing full bodies and usually just chose an easy close up of a head or two. In this case, I didn't even deal with the whole motorcycle and raptor, but I still struggled with the orchestration of limbs and bike parts and ran poor Rocket's arm right out of the image. I will happily set my aspirations lower for the moment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Napkins and "Obsessive Parenting"

Our napkins were recently discussed by Bhawna Saini on her "Yellow Mellow Life" parenting blog in "Of Obsessed Mothers and School Lunches."

She asked me to answer some questions, and generally made me sound like a better parent than I am. While I might admit to being a person with obsessive compulsive tendencies, I'm not sure that these compulsions necessarily spur me towards better parenting.

My general impression is that parenting in public does not often garner positive feedback. Perhaps this is because I am the mother of two rowdy, contrary boys. Throughout the last 12 years, while standing over a shrieking toddler flailing on his back on a New York City sidewalk, or wrestling a Swiffer Mop away from a 4 year old in Whole Foods, or trying to keep the boys from kicking each other in a crowded subway car last week, rarely does someone tell me that I am doing a good job.

Posting the napkin images online, however, is a very public instance of parenting.  People comment that the napkins are evidence that I am a caring, attentive mother. Other people comment that I am misguided and clearly have too much time on my hands as well as a household staff, and am probably damaging my children...And that parents like me who post things online are just pathetically looking for attention for themselves.

I would say that none of the assessments above is accurate, except, of course for the last one.  The napkins do not indicate that I am a notably good or bad parent. I am posting them at this point at least partially for my own promotional benefit.  Pathetic self promotion is part of the job description for visual artists. I make other stuff and I post that also. Here's another self promotional bit:  ninalevy.net.

Posting the napkins online does have one pleasant non promotional benefit: it has given me an opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. Bhawna of "Yellow Mellow Life" lives in India. I had to look at her blog fairly carefully to be certain of that, as many of the reference points in her posts are the same as they might be if she were a person living in Brooklyn.
Thanks for writing about the napkins Bhawna.

"Jurassic World" Style Velociraptor on Motorcycle

Raptor Biker:
Because the only thing better than a dinosaur and a motorcycle is a dinosaur ON a motorcycle.

Last night I needed a napkin idea that would be easy to execute quickly.  I was thinking about maybe something with dinosaurs as the impending release of the next Jurassic Park movie is still a hot topic with the kids.

Idly googling the words"velociraptor" and "jurassic world" at 11 pm, I stumbled across the sublimely weird  "Jurassic World" trailer parody by Darren Wallace where the raptors ride motorcycles alongside Chris Pratt.....

On the way to school, the kids and I discussed the idea of raptors riding with Star Lord. My older son told me that the obvious follow-up would have to be Chris Pratt riding on a dinosaur riding a motorcycle.

I guess I'll see what I can do about that tonight.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Squirrel RIding Chicken

I can never pass up an opportunity to draw a chicken.

The kids are still rather enthusiastic about Clumsy Ninja by Natural Motion Games. 
They have each managed to attain a level of 30 out of a possible 99.  Clearly, many more hours could be spent not doing homework or playing outside.

They particularly enjoy some of the minor characters in the game like the Squirrel and the Chicken.
I am not entirely clear on the role that these animals play.  I think they might actually give the Ninja assignments, but they seem mostly to provide companionship and comic relief.  On occasion, the rodent rides the poultry, which is a highlight for our kids.

When my younger son asked me to draw them, I am sure he meant me to copy the image from the game, but my selfish compulsion to draw a realistic chicken won the day.

The critters in the game are much cuter.

(You can see my other poultry napkins that were unpopular with my son at this link...particularly the very similar, and very unloved, zombie baby riding a chicken)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Mechagodzilla and Ultraman from "Ready Player One"

We've been working our way through Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One" at bedtime over the last couple of weeks.

The story of a teenager who spends all his time playing video games in a virtual universe and eventually triumphs in both the game and the real world is hugely appealing to my gaming obsessed sons. It is definitely not a book written for children, although it might well be most gratifying for people who are still enjoying their 1980's childhood.

I've had to do a bit of editing during the reading, with varying success. We listened to some of the novel during a car trip, playing Wil Wheaton's reading for Audible because I cannot read in the car without projectile vomiting. Unfortunately, we listened to the section where the protagonist encounters another character whose avatar is named "HotCock007."  Needless to say, this and some other instances where I have neglected to filter out all profanity have only made my sons love the book more.

And, one of the last scenes features an epic battle between Mechagodzilla, "Godzilla's robotic doppelganger"  and Ultraman, another colossus from a 1966 Japanese television show.

Inappropriate language and Mechagodzilla: what could be better than that?