Cam and Friends

Cam and Friends: Fourth of July Post


I meant to post this on the Fourth, and things got away from me.
In the world of Cam and Friends, many many different species of creatures coexist, going about their daily lives. Not everything is perfect, but they work out a lot of differences.
This quickie cartoon introduces Schultz, a German gryphon, and Everly, the two-headed unicorn.

Cam with Schultz the gryphon and Everly the two-headed unicorn.


Cam and Friends: Teddy Tailybone!

Teddy is the adopted mom of the three main dragons in Cam and Friends, but she also crosses over into another project of mine, Weird Woids,which is a segment of Booger Holler Junction.

In Weird Woids, Teddy is at her desk at a yet-unnamed company (this is probably where she works in the Cam and Friends universe), busily working, when she gets a call from her unseen boss, Mr. Bigbottom, on her office phone. The boss always has some strange word, or “weird woid” he is struggling with that’s in a  letter or email he’s gotten and he needs Miss Tailybone’s help with it. Teddy seems to always naturally know the meaning of the strange words, which are indeed real words, and she explains them to her boss, usually citing some obnoxious thing he said in a meeting or goofy thing he did at a company picnic, or something Mrs. Bigbottom told her about, as an example. The boss gratefully (although a bit obliviously) thanks her for her help and Teddy sighs and gets back to work.

I wanted the Teddy puppet to be a lot simpler than her cartoon counterpart, and I really don’t offer any explanation except this:
Teddy is made to be similar to many other puppet dragons and reptiles from old TV shows, such as Ollie from Kukla, Fran & Ollie, Orville on The Popeye Club, and crocodiles in classic Punch & Judy shows. She is intended, in puppet form, to be a long neck with body unseen, and that neck just be all one fabric. Her head and face are not quite as detailed as her cartoon counterpart, either, and I’m fine with that. She pays tribute to these vintage puppets in that way instead of being perfectly “Muppet-like”.

Puppet vs cartoon

Teddy in her cartoon form vs. puppet form.


Teddy coming together

She is coming together well! Her antlers are from a Christmas costume headband—I will not try to sew and turn something that can end up having such tiny extensions.

(from Patreon) Public Post: Behind the scenes! Working on Teddy.

Replacing the human mom in the cartoon with a dragon mom has not been so simple. Since Mom was, essentially, me, I wanted the resulting dragon to be representative of me, even if not a direct caricature. In scoping out all the dragons and dragonlike creatures from cultures all around the world, I tried to find something I liked that was close to my own heritage. I began working toward creatures from Native American folklore, even if I couldn’t find anything specific to my own relations (Cherokee and Choctaw) I felt I was getting close. My friend Melissa pointed me toward the Mishupeshu, also known as the Underwater Panther, one of the most important of several mythological water beings among many indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands and Great Lakes region. Although it is never regarded specifically as a feline it has catlike traits, plus antlers, which were very important for me! (I always mutter that I wish I had antlers when I am in a crowd of annoying people)
The Mishupeshu also has an extremely long, prehensile tail, which I thought would be a really fun and different trait for one of my dragons to have. So, in still working out how Teddy looks, I have made her limbs much more feline, given her the long tail, and she retains her antlers she has had all along. She does not drop the antlers yearly, like a deer, however. It was nice to learn of a another dragonish species that was furry besides just my beloved Peludas, because I also wanted her to have fur. I think I’ve almost got her.

Teddy as Water panther 1

Cam and Friends: We Are All Different.

I made Cam and Friends similar to Jim Henson’s plan with the Muppet production Fraggle Rock—different species all living together, sometimes not getting along so well, but sometimes working together and understanding each other. My dragons are many different colors, shapes, sizes and species, and they have friends who are not even dragons–unicorns, griffins and other creatures are included in their friends and classmates. They don’t always see eye to eye, but they at least know they can share the same spaces peacefully.

We are all Different

Cam and Friends: Big Pink.

Short green and handsome

Can we have a little love for Big Pink?
She is a Peluda, a species of dragon that has fur. Peludas derive from medieval France, where a fur-covered dragon known as “The Shaggy Beast” once terrorized  the area around the  Huisne River.
Big Pink is a member of “The Big Dragon Club”, which consists of Cam, Pink, and their winged friend Floyd. All three are much bigger than their friends, family and schoolmates, and have decided to stick together to help each other with oversize dragon problems. They have known each other since they were little. Floyd and Cam see Pink as simply a “sister” and have no interest in dating her, which is just as well, since Big Pink has an unrelenting crush on Chuck.
And poor Chuck. A bit like Kermit and Miss Piggy, he often has no idea what to do or how to escape the advances of a determined female nearly three times his size. He is sometimes undecided in his interest in her, mainly writing her off as simply “too danged hairy”.

Neat trivia: Big Pink has been a character of mine since the 80s.
Her full name is Prudence Fishbreath, which only her parents, Cam and Floyd know.
Her appearance has changed a bit over the years, as she was meant originally to be quite menacing.
Her colors are meant to be very “80s”, with dusky pink and tiger stripes, and a teal top. Her ears are inspired  by tiger ears in color, but they hang like a hound’s ears.
The appendages on her head are very sensitive, like antennas, and are called “poongas”.