Posted on April 6th, 2021
Well that was a day.
The plan was to work just a half-day since I worked on Good Friday, which was supposed to be a holiday. That way I could tear apart my living room to deep clean all the stuff that's been neglected during the pandemic. Now that I've been half-vaccinated I'm starting to think about the day that people will be able to visit me again, and that's inspired me to clean house. Finally. Which is very Mary Sunshine of me given that COVID infection rates are on the rise again. The vaccine rollout has lured everybody into a false sense of security, so people are doing some crazy-ass shit. Even those who haven't been vaccinated. Especially those who haven't been vaccinated (and are proud to announce it).
Yesterday the Texas Rangers hosted a baseball game with 38,238 in attendance. A lot of them unmasked, of course. Doesn't seem especially smart given that the UK variant is now the dominant strain in the USA. It spreads more easily and has a higher mortality rate than "original COVID." Even worse, now there's "Post COVID Syndrome" where healthy people who recover from COVID end up with serious long-term effects. And the statistics are staggering. 30% of people who had COVID continued to have symptoms up to 9 months later. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. We don't have enough data to know what can happen after that 9 month period. Doctors worry about everything from immune system deficiency to long-term permanent brain damage.
As if COVID killing young healthy people wasn't bad enough?
But anyway... I ended up working a full day (and then some) after which I was too exhausted to clean. Instead I made tacos for Taco Tuesday then plopped on the couch and watched movies for the rest of the night... The Birdcage (81% on Rotten Tomatoes), Kingsman (74% on Rotten Tomatoes), and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (51% on Rotten Tomatoes). AKA "Those movies I love and never get tired of watching even though I've seen them a million times." It's the last one that has always puzzled me when it comes to the reviews...
Despite not being the biggest Ben Stiller fan, I love this movie. Really love it. And for oh-so-many reasons right now, I find myself relating to it more than ever. Yet it got mediocre to negative reviews and I honestly don't get it. I found it to be refreshing escapist fun that shows what happens when you start living the life you've always dreamed about. Stiller is incredible in it, which is all the more remarkable when you consider that he directed the film as well. And just look at the supprting cast! Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Scott, and Sean Penn... does it get much better than that?
Oh well. Everybody's entitled to their opinion. It's just a shame that the critical consensus likely kept people from seeing it. But I guess I've watched it enough times for ten people, so there's that.
Say... does anybody remember The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty?
What a great series! I think along with Top Cat this was one of my all-time favorite cartoons as a kid. They don't make 'em like that any more!
And since it's close to midnight now, I guess I'll clean house tomorrow. Maybe.
Posted on May 15th, 2019
Can I please just have a day off from this insanity?
Every time some heinous new political bombshell drops, my brain explodes and I have to pull my head back together so I can get through another day. Whether it's idiot politicians being idiots, ignorant people being ignorant, or the nonsensical being presented as common sense... it seems every single day is another assault on my sanity, and it's getting harder and harder to pull myself through it.
As I've said many times, I do not support abortion outside of special circumstances. But that's my personal belief. This being AMERICA and all, everybody gets to live by their beliefs and for their conscience. I fully, unequivocally support a woman's right to choose. President Clinton said that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare"... and that pretty much sums it up for me. But in order for abortion to be rare, people must be educated and have free and easy access to birth control. Until that happens, our society endorses "abortion as birth control," and the people who are strongest against abortion seem to be the people most responsible for it. Their only solution is to just make it illegal... problem solved.
Except not really. Because banning abortion isn't going to stop abortion! The collapse in logic here is mind-boggling. No way to get a safe, controlled abortion? Oh, okay... bring on the coat hangers and back-alleys. Then some 12-year-old pregnant rape victim ends up dead because her parents didn't want her childhood (and possibly her entire life) ruined, so they risked an at-home procedure that went terribly wrong. THAT's what constitutes being pro-life?!? Who in the hell are these sadist pieces of shit running Alabama?
Meanwhile, all these politicians and their wealthy backers will STILL have access to safe abortions and suffer absolutely no consequences because of it. As always, the law only applies to poor people.
How the fuck do I get off this planet?
If only I had a portal guns from Rick and Morty. Which, by the way, is finally coming back this November...
Isn't it sad when the best thing you've heard out of the news all day is that a cartoon is returning?
Welcome to life in these United States.
Or on this earth, really.
Posted on April 1st, 2017
Hey! What a nice surprise!
A new Rick and Morty episode was released on April Fool's Day!
I love this show.
Seeing the Season 3 premiere months(?) early just makes me want to watch the past two seasons all over again.
Posted on December 18th, 2016
I'm dashing through the snow over the mountains... but fear not, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• No It's Not Equivalent. I swear... it's getting worse every day. Every time I see false equivalency being applied to an issue in the interest of being "fair and balanced," I want to punch somebody in the face. This time it's The Los Angeles Times unleashing this crap when they published letters saying that US internment of its citizens of Japanese ancestry during World War II was justified. Clearly there is no "other side" to Japanese internment being totally unjustified and a horrendous blight on humanity (in general) and the USA (specifically). Unless you are a psychotic asshole. And yet here we are. Thanks, L.A. Times... I needed a reminder that psychotic assholes are everywhere!
• New DuckTales! I'd like to say that DuckTales was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid... but it didn't start airing until I was three years graduated high school, so that's not quite true. In any event, it's getting revived with a bit more star power than the original behind the voices...
You can bet I'll be watching. Let's face it, I still act like a kid.
• Sandcastles in the Sand. While I was never a fan of Growing Pains (Kirk Cameron was always a fucking asshole), I was a fan of Alan Thicke's Canadian talk show and his subsequent American talk show, Thicke of the Night. Which is why I was sad to see he had died this week. Later in life, he was cast as himself as often as he played characters, which is a testament to his effect on North American culture. One of my favorites was when he appeared as Robin Sparkles fictional dad in flashback videos of How I Met Your Mother...
You will be missed, sir.
• Emergency! Come Right Away! Another sad passing... Bernard Fox has left us. He'll forever be known as Dr. Bombay on Bewitched...
Here's hoping he's having cocktails with Uncle Arthur in the Great Beyond.
• Animal Welfare? Inhumane, cruel, and horrifying. But nobody will care and nothing will be done because everybody wants their 99¢ McChicken McNuggets...
If people want to eat meat, more power to you. But I can't fathom the person who doesn't care about the pain and suffering of those animals that end up on their plate. The health risks are just icing on the cake.
• Driven! I'd say that winter driving is the worst, but the unprecedented number of assholes on the road makes all driving "the worst." Winter just makes it even worse...
Over the mountains I go...
Annnnd... wish me luck.
Posted on January 21st, 2016
Okay then. Done!
More of Reza Farazmand's amazing toons can be found over at Poorly Drawn Lines.
Posted on November 24th, 2012
There's few things I love in life more than LEGO.
And it's not just the bricks and toys... the LEGO video games are mind-bogglingly entertaining. I've played them all, and haven't been disappointed yet.
Last year I found a new LEGO surprise quite by accident. I was channel-surfing and happened upon what I thought was a video game advertisement. It was actually a trailer for a LEGO Star Wars cartoon special from Cartoon Network.
Enter LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace...
It. Was. AWESOME.
Smart writing, beautiful animation, and funny as hell. I absolutely loved it, and was dying for more.
Little did I know, Cartoon Network released a second installment this past summer. But I only found out about it today... again, quite by accident.
Enter LEGO Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out...
Genius. Yet another LEGO triumph.
I really wish that Cartoon Network would come out with these more often. They're not exactly Star Wars cannon but, in many ways, that's the best part because it frees the writers to be even more adventurous in the stories they can tell. If you haven't seen them yet, I highly recommend checking out Cartoon Network to find out when they're playing again. And the original special, Padawan Menace is still available on Blu-Ray and DVD.
Posted on January 10th, 2011
And so, as promised, here I am commenting on the tragedy in Arizona after a day off from thinking about anything. I suppose I should preface this entry with a disclaimer in the hopes that my comments and email inbox won't explode with hate, which is about the last thing I need right now...
This blog post is in no way an attempt to tell people what to think. I am not trying to change anybody's mind. I'm not trying to get people riled up. I'm not trying to send a political message. I'm not trying to do anything except write down my thoughts in the hope that it will help me to move past this dreadful act of violence that has broken my heart and put me in a state of despair that I haven't felt in quite a while. I ache inside when I think of a little nine-year old girl being gunned down before she's even had a chance at life. I know that this isn't new... I know that unspeakable violence against children happens all over the world every day. But every once in a while an event like this brings all the pain forward and suddenly you're overwhelmed by something you try to forget... something you try to deny even exists. Then the reality of it all beats you down until you don't want to exist in a world where something so senseless and stupid can happen to somebody so innocent...
The shooter, Jared Lee Whatever, is clearly a seriously disturbed individual. Even a cursory look at his writings and YouTube videos reveal that he is mentally unstable with a tenuous grip on reality, perhaps even full-on schizophrenia, (as if gunning down a child wasn't proof enough that something is wrong). It's not in the scope of a simple blog entry to go into the peticulars of mental illness and my experience with those inflicted by it... except to say that trying to explain why they do the things they do and what causes them to do the things they do will make you crazy. I don't pretend to know what punishment is fitting for someone so clearly disturbed but, thankfully, it's not my job to decide that.
A lot has been written blaming Sarah Palin's "target list" (which clearly names Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as a political enemy) as a contributing factor to what happened...
Coupled with her Twitter comments telling her followers "Don't retreat, RELOAD!" it understandably paints her in a bad light. And, since everybody is always looking for a villain whenever something terrible happens, she's a very easy person to blame.
Except... I don't for a single second believe that Sarah Palin honestly wished that somebody would pick up a gun and kill these people. Like me, she comes from a place and a culture where guns and gun terminology are just a way of life. I know this because I have been around guns all my life. Many, many people where I live own guns for hunting, for sport, and for protection (yes, we have a police department, but that's not going to be much help if you live ten miles up a canyon somewhere and somebody is breaking into your home or you're being attacked by a bear). When I was young I got my firearm safety card. I know how to use a gun. I've shot guns in the past. And even though my beliefs forbid me from handling a gun today, I could certainly do so if I had to. It's just part of the culture where I live and grew up.
As is the gun-based terminology that Sarah Palin is currently being crucified for.
But I'll get back to that in a minute.
First I want to go a bit deeper into "gun culture" and what that actually means. Because, whether or not it's prevalent in the area you're at, if you live in the United States of America, you're a part of it. And it starts from an early age.
If you're anything like me, a very early age...
This is the kind of stuff I grew up watching. If you're my age (or Sarah Palin's age) odds are, you did too. And for me to say that it affected her and not me would be pretty hypocritical. Here is a panel from a DaveToon from 2004...
And here's a full DaveToon strip from 2006...
And, just to show that I'm not above gun violence to myself...
Heck, I use guns ALL THE TIME in my DaveToons. And it's not always Daffy-Duck-style blasts to the face either. In a DaveToon from two years ago there were actual bullets involved...
Now, granted, the vast majority of times nobody actually gets hurt in my DaveToons. Just like with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoons, in context the guns are used for comedic effect, not to actually kill somebody. Even when I finally used bullets in my gun, the worst I could manage would be to shoot off somebody's hat. And yet, I have occasionally shown somebody riddled with bullet-holes. Like the time I tried to show the results of somebody "Happy Slapping" a random person in Britain vs. somebody "Happy Slapping" a random person in the USA...
And, of course, registering my displeasure with George Lucas over his stupid Star Wars prequels and screwing up the Indiana Jones franchise...
In context things like this are mere fantasy ramblings. Even though I don't use guns in real life and think that the world would be better off without them, I'm not above using them for entertainment in a cartoon on a blog meant for adults. Or enjoying them for entertainment value either. I regularly watch all kinds of action movies where people are getting shot left and right. In the context of entertainment, I don't find anything wrong with that. And neither should George Lucas... he has "Indiana Jones" shoot a lot of people in his movies. Heck, he even massacred a bunch of kids in Revenge of the Sith!
All that being said, I'm not against people owning guns in our gun-based culture. That ship has sailed. In the USA the guns are here and they're here to stay. If we were to all of a sudden ban guns, it would have very little net effect. Since the majority of people mis-using guns are criminals anyway, you'd be removing the ability for non-criminals to protect themselves against them. For better or worse, we have a gun culture and that isn't going to change.
But, given the seemingly never-ending tragedy involving insane people with guns, it's not like we shouldn't at least attempt to figure out a way to keep things like this from happening. The problem is that nothing we try seems to work. Things like "waiting periods" and "background checks" may stop some senseless tragedies from happening where they exist, but the shootings are still going on. Because the crazy people always seem to find a way. Just like when an alcoholic gets behind the wheel of a car while drunk and ends up mowing down innocent people in a sidewalk somewhere. It's illegal, we have laws against it, we have court-mandated rehab to try and prevent it, and yet it keeps happening. This doesn't mean we shouldn't keep trying, but there doesn't seem to be a foolproof solution at hand. At least not here in the United States where guns are everywhere. Just like prohibition with alcohol, there will always be a way for people to get their hands on something... even when it's been made illegal.
The perils of people having of guns is an issue that requires a lot more thought. And I'm not going to claim to know how that chestnut can be cracked.
But what about the perils of people talking guns in their language, communication, and entertainment?
Is somebody like me who draws cartoons glorifying gun violence for entertainment partly responsible for escalating gun-based violence in this country? What about cartoons, video games, television shows, comic books, movies, YouTube videos, websites, and all the rest?
And yet... not really.
Taken in context, someone would have to be insane to look at one of my DaveToon rants or a Daffy Duck cartoon and think that they're being instructed to go get a gun and shoot somebody.
Unfortunately, as we are sadly aware, these people actually exist.
So, like I said... probably.
And yet... not really.
Even though I loathe Sarah Palin, abhor her politics, despise her lies, deplore her half-truths, and find her messages of hate and bigotry to be disgusting on every possible level... even though I find her partisan hackery and unfounded attacks to be reprehensible... even though I think she has a lot to answer for when it comes to her irresponsible manipulation of people with fear, uncertainty, and doubt... even though she is one of the most useless, incomprehensibly stupid people I have ever seen in the political arena... even though she disgusts me in ways I can barely enunciate... her saying "Don't retreat, RELOAD" and drawing targets on her political rivals is just a part of our gun-based culture. Sarah Palin is being strung up for something most of us are guilty of in some way.
Even Daffy Duck.
When I was in high school I remember a pep rally poster where gun targets were painted over drawings of mascots from other school's sports teams. Above that, something like "WE'VE GOT YOU IN OUR SIGHTS" was painted. Did our school literally want to hunt down rival schools with guns? Of course not. Was our intent to incite others to hunt down these rival schools with guns? Of course not. But that's the culture where I come from. No sane person would attach heinous acts of violence to something like this because In context it's simply communicating team spirit in words and images everybody here understands.
In the wilds of Alaska where Sarah Palin is off shooting moose and clubbing fish, I'm sure it's much the same. Words like "RELOAD" are just colloquial parts of speech where she comes from, and a means of expressing her seriousness in the idea of confronting opposition head-on. I totally get that. The USA is filled with violent imagery just about everywhere you look, and she's just latching onto that as a way of stating her opinions. In that respect, she's no different than Quentin Tarantino making violent films like Reservoir Dogs or the people at Rockstar Games who make the Grand Theft Auto video games.
Except... as a political leader, Sarah Palin should know better. She should act better. She should be a better example. She should inspire better. And she should lead by a higher standard. But she never has, and I don't expect her to start now. When your message is one of division and hatred, there's very little room to maneuver. Sudden pleas for respectful debate and intelligent compromise would be seen as a huge weakness by her fan-base, and an implausible reversal by everybody else. She's trapped in a prison of her own making, and though she may temporarily tone down her rhetoric, it's only a matter of time before she's back to form or else she knows that she's finished.
And that means we ALL have a problem.
Because while I have every confidence that Sarah Palin never in a million years intended for anybody to be shot because of her gun-speak and infographics... when taken in context she should not be the least bit surprise that the accusations are being laid at her doorstep. You can't viciously attack your political rivals with such unbridled vitriol and expect nobody is going to take your extremes to an extreme.
Whether that's what happened here, we may never know. As I said, trying to understand the mindset of a disturbed person like Jared Lee Loughner will drive you crazy. But... so long as Sarah Palin continues down the road she's on, she should expect to be taking more heat down the line.
Hopefully you can now understand why I choose to forgive... even defend... Sarah Palin using language and imagery that's a part of America's gun culture to communicate. It would be hypocritical of me not to.
But I hope you can also understand why I choose to believe that context is everything when it comes to something like this, and hers is hardly a message or method I can support. Respectful debate has been replaced with vicious attacks when it comes to political discourse in this country... on both sides of the political spectrum. That this will lead to violence is not surprising. That people in this country will stand for it is surprising.
Or not. I mean, you've got kids watching Elmer Fudd blow off Daffy Duck's head seventeen times for heaven's sake.
Posted on January 6th, 2011
Welcome to a totally unexpected... PART FOUR of a series detailing the evolution of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey over the years. I say unexpected, because I thought yesterday was the end of it, but I got some emails and questions, so I thought I would extend another day.
First of all, a look at what could have been with the "colorways" of the DaveToon vinly dolls I was working on before the company closed-up shop. Here's the painting instruction sheet I made for the manufacturer (I removed the paint color notations so you can see the characters better)...
The dolls would have come as a set in a custom-designed box with a clear plastic window in the front and various "accessories" tied to a background card behind them. I hadn't actually drawn the box, because I was waiting to get the final shape, but I had sketched out some concepts based on an old G.I. JOE box I had found. The idea was to make it look slightly "vintage" and show all the features and accessories as EXCITING FEATURES on the back and sides. The box would be the same for all the versions, but a space would have been reserved to sticker the three variants...
And that's as far as I got. I was supposed to get prototype dolls and a bunch of other stuff for the deposit I payed, but I never saw any of it. For those who asked, the pricing is a tricky business, because I hadn't gotten information on duties and taxes and shipping fees. My goal was to sell the "Classic" dolls for $15-$17, the "Zombie" dolls for $22-$25, and the "Custom" dolls for $30-$35... but that could have gone up or down depending on how everything ultimately got costed out. Considering a single 6-inch doll usually sells for around $40, I thought my pricing was pretty good. The idea wasn't so much to make money, but to simply cover the costs of making the dolls... just because I wanted them! Oh well.
One of the most popular questions I continue to get is "How do you draw your DaveToons?" I had answered this question in a smart-assed way back in September, 2006 (NSFW!)... but it's probably time to give a serious answer. While I don't have time to create a comprehensive "How-To" showing every last detail as to how things are done, what I CAN do is run through all the steps it takes to draw one of my characters...
BUT FIRST, FAIR WARNING: I will absolutely concede that this will look a heck of a lot easier than it actually is. If you are not familiar with Adobe Illustrator, then you should understand that this is a program that takes years to master. I have been drawing with Illustrator most every day for over twenty years and there are still things I have problems with. I just want to be sure that somebody reading this doesn't think "Wow, this is simple! I'm going to draw cartoons too!" then run out and spend $600 on Adobe Illustrator only to find out that it's not quite as easy as all that.
With that having ben said, you can see the basic concepts that go into how I approach the "DaveToon Look" in an extended entry...→ Click here to continue reading this entry...
Posted on January 5th, 2011
Okay. Okay. I know. I made a promise that yesterday I would reveal for the first time anywhere NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D. But, because of some kind of technical problems with a software upgrade, I couldn't render them into 2-D pictures. So last night I made a few phone calls to get that sorted, and here we are.
But before I reveal the images, you're probably wondering exactly WHY Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey would be rendered into 3-D in the first place. That's a very good question. There's actually two reasons...
Now, you have to admit that either of those reasons were awesome enough for me to want to get 3-D models made. Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey dolls? AWESOME! A Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey video game? AWESOME!
And so I paid a very talented computer animator a lot of money to make the models.
Unfortunately, neither of these awesome projects came to be. I'll explain what happened in a minute, but let's get to the 3-D renderings, shall we?
First up... BAD MONKEY! Note that his tail is sticking straight out. This is on purpose, because it would be animated bouncing up and down as he walked in the video game, and it was easier to do this if it were starting from a straight position. The animator would curl it when he defined how it would move in the walk cycle...
Pretty sweet, huh? It took a LOT of back-and-forth with the animator to translate a
And then there's Lil' Dave. Who needed to start out naked with no hair for video game reasons I'll explain later...
And here he is with clothes. The hair wasn't finished exactly right at this point, but it was getting close...
So the models look great, what's the story?
The dolls were going to be very cool. VERY cool. Their arms and legs would move. They would have fun accessories. They would have awesome packaging. They would come in three versions (called "Colorways" in the biz)... 1) Classic Dolls, 2) ZOMBIE Dolls, and 3) Limited Edition BLANK "Paint Your Own" Dolls. Unfortunately, the company handling the job went out of business. My dream of having Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey vinyl dolls (along with an $800 deposit) vanished overnight.
THE VIDEO GAME.
If the loss of the vinyl dolls was tough on me, the loss of the video game was devastating. In addition to being out the money I invested in having the models made, I was out hundreds of hours in pesonal time. I wrote the game story. I helped design game levels. I designed the level maps. I drew hundreds of concept sketches. I painted hundreds of object textures. I invested time working on things like "walk cycles" and "cut scenes." Then one day I got The Call. The school was converting to some kind of learning internship agency. The theory was that this would be better for the students because they'd be getting hands-on experience at real gaming companies. The reality was that there wasn't enough internship positions to go around. So even if the guy working on my game could get an internship, he would then be working on the company's projects and not mine. Instead he lost his education financing and had to stop working on the DaveToon game so he could find a new school.
This was a real shame, because it would have been a pretty cool game. It was designed to be relatively easy, so young kids and adults with no gaming experience could play. But it was still funny enough that even a gamer would want to play to see what happened. The story revolved around Lil' Dave trying to avoid an invasion of robot monsters and solving puzzles so he could find his way home. Along the way, Bad Monkey would show up to help... and sometimes hinder... his progress. Lil' Dave replenished his health by finding chocolate pudding cups hidden around in the game. You couldn't really "die" while playing, but you could get thrown into "Zombie Mode" if your health ran out. If you couldn't get out of "Zombie Mode," you'd turn into a ghost (with no hair or clothes... just a glowing outline), fly back to the beginning of the level, grab a new body, then have to start over.
And there you have it. The NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D!
And the really sad story as to why you never saw them.
Maybe one day somebody will come along and want to work on the game again. Or maybe I'll get bored sometime and write a blog entry with the NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN sketches, paintings, bits and pieces that I spent a big chunk of my personal time working on in 2009. The good news is that you might finally understand what I was trying to say with this entry. And this entry.
So what's next for Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey?
Well... there are always possibilities. I definitely plan on new T-shirts. There will absolutely be more DaveToons on Blogography. And there are other things... secret things... I've got ideas for which may or may not happen.
When it comes to Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey, you just never know.
Posted on January 4th, 2011
Here it is... PART TWO of the story of how my DaveToon blog mascots came to be! If you haven't read Part One yet, you'll probably want to do that first.
Right off the bat, I'm going to have to apologize for lying to you yesterday. I had promised that I'd be sharing NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D but, alas, I'm going to have to wait until tomorrow so I can get a few problems with the 3-D to 2-D rendering sorted. It will be worth the wait though, I promise!
Anyway, getting back to the story... Bad Monkey and Lil' Dave had been languishing on my Hard Rock fansite, DaveCafe, for just over a year. Then, in September of 2003, I was preparing for a trip to visit Hard Rock Cafes in Reykjavik and Stockholm. A fellow Hard Rocker in Japan had once given me his "Hard Rock business card" and I decided that was a handy thing to have. I could put my email and website address on it and hand it out to Hard Rock fans I meet. My cheap-o ink-jet printed cards ended up looking like this...
At this point, the DaveToons had (literally) become my calling card for DaveCafe. But it was this humble blog where most of my time and effort were going. Finally, inevitably, on February 11th, 2004, worlds collided. I had written a Blogography entry where I mentioned a monkey showing up at work with an ebola virus, and it occurred to me that I could make Bad Monkey be that monkey. But he and Toon-Dave were only heads, so I had to slap together some bodies for them. Since I thought it was important for people to know where they came from, I put the DaveCafe logo on Toon Dave's shirt...
You'll also note that I had to figure out how to make Toon-Dave's head turn, which was a lot more complicated than you might guess. It took hours for me to figure out how that might work, since he's so firmly rooted in two dimensions. Eventually, I just slapped an ear on the side of his head where I thought it should go, then worked the hair around it.
Now that Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey had more than just heads, it was time to redesign my DaveCafe site. I announced the coming change around the end of February, 2004...
And the site went live in April with Toon Dave doing all kinds of interesting stuff...
For the next couple of years, Toon Dave continued to make dozens of appearances at Blogography. Bad Monkey made zero appearances. He was meant to embody negativity over at DaveCafe, and I made a conscious effort to keep him there. About the only thing new to happen was that Toon Dave got a very important addition to his anatomy in January of 2005 (I thought it was pretty impressive, but Avitable would take it to an entirely new level a few years later)...
While not really "new," in June, 2005 I decided I wanted to try my hand at animating DaveToons. With absolutely no experience, I started studying what it would take to make them speak. The idea was to create a cartoon talk show called Dave's Bad-Ass Blogography Show...
The following month I played around with the idea of making them move using Flash...
It was a fun experiment, but proved far too time-consuming for me to take seriously. Maybe one day I'll find the time to actually make a complete animation. Maybe.
2006 was the year things started changing. First of all, Bad Monkey made the first of many, many appearances in January. I finally found a use for him where he could be as bad as he wanted to be...
Granted, it was a pretty crappy appearance. Bad Monkey's body was just Toon Dave's body colored brown. Still, it was a start.
And then things really changed.
When DaveToons first started appearing in Blogography, they were specifically designed to be as fast and easy to draw as possible. Toon Dave didn't have hands, he had mittens. Fingers take time to draw. Bad Monkey didn't look like a monkey, he looked like a person dressed as a monkey. Lanky limbs and tails take time to draw. Everything was colored flat and boring. Shaded color takes time to draw. I was perfectly happy with all the DaveToons looking crappy because they took almost no time to slap together.
But eventually it started to reeeeaally bother me. The more appearances they made on my blog, the more upset I'd get that they didn't look as good as they should. So on May 6th, 2006, I spent a couple of hours and started over from scratch. With a DaveToon I titled Best Friends, Toon Dave and Bad Monkey were reborn...
It took about a year for the transition to fully take effect, but the look had finally been fixed. Now that the look was fixed, it was the name "Toon Dave" that was bothering me. Toon Dave was no longer just a toon version of myself. He was an entirely different character with an entirely different life. Fortunately, when I guest-blogged over at Hilly's Snackiepoo blog in August of 2006, the solution was at hand. She called her mascot "Lil' Snackie" and so "Toon Dave" became "Lil' Dave" and the name stuck...
After that? Well, I briefly played around with animation again...
...but Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey would stay pretty much the same throughout their many new adventures over the next two years.
The next "Big Thing" wouldn't happen until the end of 2008.
And it was SO big that nobody ever saw it. Until tomorrow. Tomorrow, at long last, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN images of Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D! And exactly WHY were Lil' Dave and Bad Monkey in 3-D two years ago? Well, that's a very good question. And I'll explain that tomorrow too!
I have to warn you though, it's a very sad (and very expensive) tale, so bring a hankerchief.