I’m working on a commission for The Sexy Armpit, a blog about pop culture in New Jersey. It’s a great site and I’m proud to be a part of bringing its slimy green mascot character, Sludgey, to life.

Bit by bit, he is taking shape. Next come layers of green fleece “slime”.


Silver Scream Spook Show!

Some of the Puppatoons monsters will be making their live stage debut July 25, in The Silver Scream Spook Show at The Plaza Theater in Atlanta! It’s a bit of a test run, but Professor Morte is very stoked about having them. Wish us luck! Morte is especially interested in featuring Gruno and Gliz, and Halbag. At last, these monsters will get the live show time they so richly deserve.:)

Gruno and Gliz

“The Violet Thing” and Carson

A few weeks ago, I made some puppets for someone. This was one, included as a freebie:

I called it The Violet Thing, and I got very attached to it.  I hated to send it away.

So I decided to make a new one. This time I might even jazz it up with a furry neck, using some very crazy-patterned fur I got from my pal Jill in a fur trade.

This was the result of my doodling:

Haven’t started it yet, but you can see most of the same features—-the little corkscrew feelers on top of the head, the long tongue,multicolor pompom nostril bumps, and wide eyes. His name is Carson, because, well..I have this idea about keeping him in the car and entertaining my fellow saps stuck at red lights. He is also named for my pal Brian Carson of Creatures Inspired.

Netherworld 2010! PUG!

I have still been working my tail off this Halloween season, and finally I have a chance to show you my new puppet partner at Netherworld. Last year, it was big, bad Mega Mouth; this year I am teamed up with Pug, a vicious, red-eyed, carrot-toothed denizen of the corridors.

Isn’t he amazing, folks? He feels like he’s about the size of a small car. He’s heavy and takes some real turbo-strength to operate him properly, but the effect is well worth it.

I do not give a halfway presentation with this puppet.I push it, suddenly, roaring right out into people’s faces, biting and snapping, red eyes flaring,then pull it quickly back into the darkness to hide for another ambush. It takes incredible strength to do this, and I give it my all, which is why I tear myself to pieces every night that I am operating it. Employees have lamented that I am not there more to operate it, but this is why.I want to work Pug, and I want to do it well, or I don’t want to do it at all. Unfortunately, this means giving me  several days of work followed by several days off to repair myself! 

It also takes some brains to operate Pug, and other big puppets of this ilk, without getting beaten up by the unruly public. Stupid guys, always in an effort to impress the other numbskulls in their group, will often dive on the puppets, or gang up and all push the puppet at once, which can knock the puppeteer off balance, hit them in the face or head with the machinery, and do all sorts of collateral damage to the equipment itself. Yet our employers want us to get aggressive with the public and really SCARE them, freak them the hell out. So you have to learn and understand how to be a good “predator”…:)

I have my “performance” down to a science..

Usually I can tell that the guy in the front of a group, especially if he has big baggy pants, is gonna be trouble. I hate to miss out on pummeling him, but it’s just as much fun keeping him from doing stupid stuff(so he can be cool in front of his friends)by splitting him up from his group.

I let the big dumb jock “alpha male” go first,and get him around the corner and out of the way, THEN attack the rest of his group. If he is separated from his group, he can’t impress them by being a butthead.I also make sure I only chew at people minimally–I give them a good chomp, for sure—and then retreat quickly back into the dark so they don’t really have a chance to do anything to the puppet and me. Then once the rest of the people are hurriedly streaking by, thinking, “oh, it’s not gonna come out again, we’re safe”, I come roaring out one last time and get the straggler, the one who thinks he’ll get away by being at the end of the group!

Anyway, it’s been a really fun season. I know my appearances have been sporadic, but it’s really all my little body can handle.

I have my “performance” down to a science..let the big dumb jock “alpha male” go first,and get him around the corner & out of the way, THEN attack the rest of his group.If he is separated from his group, he can’t impress them by being a dickhole.

Little Jed Zombie!

This Halloween Season I am participating in ZombieWalk Atlanta 2010. My pal Smits is coming down from Nashville to walk with me and we came up with quite the sordid mess for our costumes. She will be a zombie Beatles fan, and I will be a zombie puppeteer!

This is a sketch for the puppet,Little Jed, that I intend to take along with me;

and here is the finished Little Jed. He is named after a rather amusing friend of mine whose daughter is a big fan of Mo.:)

Then there was the matter of costumes. During a recent visit to my house Smits joined me in the immense trashing of clothing for our zombiefied outfits. I cut up, bloodied and filthified my old Puppatoons logo shirt and jeans, as well as a dress she scored at Goodwill that had a definite retro flair to it, as if she had worn it in the sixties.

I think they came out quite well, eh?

Last but not least came the zombie makeup. We visited Atlanta Costume, where we picked up a bottle of liquid latex and a small palette of “dead” selection of Ben Nye makeup.

Five minutes into playing with the makeup I was hooked:

Oh, what fun we are going to have. 😀

The Mummycorn!

September and especially October are my busiest times of the year, and I apologize for the lack of updates. I have been working on a Halloween show, as well as working at Netherworld and preparing for this year’s Scarecrows in the Garden, and now Zombiewalk 2010.

My entry for Scarecrows in the Garden this year is a mummified unicorn—The Mummycorn. This is a character I have tossed around for years as part of a book project called  The Carousel of Creeps.

About the size of a small pony, M.C. is covered in 13 yards of strips of muslin. The frame is once again PVC, but built a lot tougher than last year’s entries.

I designed him with the idea that he has walked endless miles and countless years in his current state. He’s shriveled and things like his ears and eyelids fell off long ago. He’s covered in dirt and stains from his centuries of wandering the earth, as well as his own leaked-out guts from ages past.

In short,he’s pretty manky looking.

Make a Life-Size Jabba the Hutt Puppet!

I’m going to be participating in a Christmas parade again this year with my Star Wars costuming friends, the members of the 501st. We were tossing around a “theme” for our part of the parade (for Atlanta Children’s Healthcare) and it will probably be The Empire Strikes Back,with all of us dressing as characters from that movie, especially since it is the film’s 30th anniversary. A Yoda puppet has been commissioned, I will be making it if all goes well, and performing it, if all goes perfectly.

So in researching making a Yoda puppet, my partner-in-crime,Jason, found this incredible homemade Jabba the Hutt puppet with tutorial. So,I guess, next year, if we have a Return of the Jedi theme I have my work cut out for me. 😀