vintage vitale

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”.

Tumbleweed.

First new drawing May 2020 bb

I have been sitting on this a while. I wanted to bring this out specially for Dana Petty’s birthday(I am friends with her online), and I’m afraid I am about to explode so I will get it out a day early(also in case I don’t have a chance on the actual day).
Back in ’89, when Full Moon Fever came out, I wrote to Tom Petty, and you of course have all heard about my populating the letter with the rooster character I made of him, and little bird characters of the Heartbreakers and the Wilburys, and he sent me my guitar pick. Well, what I never have revealed was the third of three TP characters I have: Tumbleweed the Winged Mustang.
Tom was very into westerns, and it seemed like such a perfect, perfect character for him. Storylines I envisioned involved Tumbleweed swooping in to save other horses from mistreatment out in the West, or showing a lost human traveler where to find water, etc…

helendorf
I have included a photo of me with a very overpainted tee shirt I did way back then at a puppetry festival; Tumbleweed existed as a puppet back then and I had him on my shirt and on my arm and I was quite proud of him. The likeness between the puppet and the drawings weren’t too spot on, but, I was getting there. Anyway,I included the shirt (on an obviously very young Liz) so you can see just how old this character is. Compare, of course, with the new, updated drawing. 
Tumbleweed was in some of the margins of that original letter, so if Tom read my letter, which it seems to be proven that he did, he saw him. That still thrills me to no end, even if this never got anywhere. See, back then I was pretty ambitious and I was determined..DETERMINED to produce an animated short featuring Tumbleweed, and I wanted Tom to perform his voice. No other would do. I didn’t know how I would contact him or pay for it. How, how how???
I did get a few animation jobs and as I gained skill the more I thought about making the short. Then Tom did the voice of Lucky on King of the Hill and I remember thinking, “OH, god, that is THE voice, too! His hillbilly voice! I gotta do this!!”
But, obviously, it never happened, and I left the fandom for a while for weird reasons.

When I hear “Into the Great Wide Open” is when I most visualize little Tumbleweed, flying down and observing the weird things humans do, sitting on rooftops and fenceposts. “Learning to Fly”, one of my ultimate favorite songs in the catalogue, plays out a video in my head of how he GOT his wings—it happened magically.


I bring this out for you, my Dearest D, on your birthday, a bit early,but with the utmost love and affection for such a beautiful man. My Golden Boy, my Tumbleweed.

Flingback Friday! Chuck Rooster in Oklahoma

Here is an article published in the Tulsa Tribune, starring yours truly. I was attending  the 50th American Puppetry Festival, Northeastern State University
, July 28 –   August 3, 1991
 Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The late Jim Malone was the Festival Director.

I am shown with one of my most beloved puppets,Chuck Rooster. He was made back in the days when I couldn’t sew, but I could design and pattern, so my doting late grandmother patiently did everything requiring a sewing machine while I drew patterns,gathered materials, showed Grandmother where this and that was attached,and placed the finishing touches on my puppets. Chuck was modeled after one of my favorite musicians, Tom Petty, and he performed a lip synch number to one of the rocker’s songs at a late-night do-anything performance known traditionally to puppetry festivals as “Potpourri Night”.

Tulsa1

“Most Talented” and “Most Creative”

Well,I don’t know if I lived up to this or not, but it was pretty cool being chosen for this. This is me and my buddy Alex in the Senior Edition of our high school (Tucker High, Class of ’89)newspaper (we were actually part of its staff), chosen as “Most Talented” and “Most Creative”, but I’ve never really known who was who.:)

I’m holding one of my old puppets, Benmont, who is a cockatoo with a smart little bow tie.

newspaper1

Nogard Dragon.

Here’s another denizen of my high school sketchbooks and ditto-sheet drawings that made it into color, mainly because he became a bit of a cult figure amongst our class. My dear friend Alex( a talented artist and all-around funny guy) and I created a cartoon for our high school newspaper. The paper was called Tiger Tales and we were part of the staff, so naturally we teamed up on all the illustrations and cartoons. “Sir Charles and Nogard” featured a rather modern knight named Charles, who was a little short, bald guy, and his faithful dragon companion, Nogard. The duo traveled from planet to planet in a spaceship, righting wrongs, dealing with bad guys and having all sorts of crazy adventures.

Please be sure to check out my other high school dragons drawings, still being unearthed, at Puppatoons Tumblr!