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DAILY MONSTER 43 (and 44)

Good morning! And happy New Year's Eve, everybody! It's the last day of the year! Finally! Out with the old, in with the new. In honor of the occasion (and due to a counting error on my part) you get not one but TWO daily monsters today! We're shutting down 2006 in style!

Monster 42 brought out fun new stories from fun new contributors: Kyle J. Britt impresses with the saga of Planet Mervis and its special deity-in-charge, the all powerful Brach, who truly makes the world go 'round. Very nice work, Kyle. I hope we'll get to see more stories from you in 2007.

Aspid Istra sees in 42 either a combustible piglet or an upside down meat buoy with an automatically extending antenna. You're weird, Aspid. I like that about you!

Mogabog is back and identifies 42 as Fredrick Mornin' Monsta---the son of Mista Mornin' Monsta (Monster 33)---just one of those loud, annoying kids that never stops asking questions at inopportune moments. (Now where did I put my yo-yo?) Thank you for connecting the dots, Mogabog.

New contributor Brandon thinks that 42 is an elephant on stilts---on a bad hair day. Valid theory, Brandon. What brought on the bad hair day, do you think? Or the need for stilts? Either way, I'm excited to see new stories from you soon!

Victoria introduces us to Sigmund Koppel and his entirely lovely lineage of Monsters. They seem like the kind of people I'd love to hang out with. Just 'cause you're a monster doesn't mean you can't be a Mensch, too.

Last, but never least, Sam B. gives the parents' point of view on a small boy who didn't find his place in the world until he found his yo-yo. Those are nice parents, Sam. And it's a nice story to end with. Thank you.

Today's two monsters combine the very simple with the needlessly complex. Do you think there is a relationship between the two? Is one the larval stage of the other? How big is one compared to the other? Is one visiting the other in the zoo? Or on the job? Which one's afraid of the other? Are they even from the same planet? Is it the end of their year, too? I'm excited to find out the facts from you! Until then, have a great New Year's Eve. Have a brilliant night! Have some champagne! Be safe! 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 42

Goood morning. Thank you for checking in on this, the penultimate day of 2006. We've almost got this one sliced off!

But you're not just running out the clock! You came in with some great stories for Monster 41. New contributor Selma thinks it's a revived dancer from the Folies Bergères, while Schlockading envisions a violent shoot-out at a tap dancing performance! (This kind of thing happens all too often. It's tragic!) Victoria wonders if Number 41 is dancing or if Nature is calling. Fair question, Victoria. I'm glad you like the creature either way.

Crimson gets extra geek points for correctly identifying the drum beats at the end of the clip. I have to put those in, by the way, because it keeps the Revver transcoding software from cutting off the last one or two seconds of the clip. Sometimes I snap my fingers, one time I used the beginning of the Housemartin's Bow Down, but lately it has, in fact, been the opening beats of Dress You Up! Very nicely identified, Crimson! Well done!

The great, eerie story of the day, however, comes from Terry T. His tale of the hunting siblings Toichido and Mei is a strange and beautifully creepy combination of Running Man, Brazil, and Beauty Secrets of the Rich and Famous! Excellent, excellent work, Terry.

Finally, a big shout-out to Mogabog, who has posted amazing, brain-twisting stories every day these last few weeks. He is back with monstrous (yet deeply kind) introspection. Thank you for sharing your brilliance, Mogabog. And to all of you: Every once in a while I just can't help but gush about all your cool ideas and about your generous spirit. Thank you for being here!

Before I get all verklempt, let me introduce you to Monster 42. He may not have the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but at least he's got a yo-yo, and that's a start. What do you think he's up to? Is he playing in between classes at Monster School? Is his yo-yo actually the size of Ayers Rock? Or is it not a yo-yo at all, but a complex multidimensional computer interface? You hold in your brains the Magnificent Unknown: I know that I don't know what you know, but I know that you know and I know that you'll tell us! And that's one of the reasons that 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 41

Good morning. Thank you for checking in. I hope you're sailing on clear, smooth waters in between the years.

You guys posted another batch of cool stories yesterday. Nice work!

Monster 40 moved Mogabog to poetry. Thank you for the pretty verse, sir, but I didn't recognize the meter: 4-8-3-7-4? I thought it might be a decreasing sequence, but that would've been 4-8-3-7-2-6. Will you fill the hole in my education, please?

Victoria introduces us to the Man from Hoffnungsfunke, which actually means "spark of hope," if I remember correctly. Very nice! Thank you, Victoria. Your story actually meshes very nicely with Amy's. Amy knows that Monster 40 has been training to compete in the ski jump for more than 144 years. That's dedication! Impressive!

Schlockading has another take: We're witnessing a demonstration of the 140-SW Skiliner™ personal aircraft---a nifty device that comes with some serious disclaimers! Still, though... risk, shmisk! Who wouldn't want one of these swift and sleek flyers? Very cool idea, Schlockading!

Stephanie chimes in with rhyme and a poignant comment on the state of our health care system, while Sam B. shows us the benefits of a balanced diet, citing the example of young Valborg. Very nice!

Monster 41 is a dandy one. Just look at the well-tailored sweater and the snazzy pinstripe pants. And 41 knows how to move? Is he a dancer? A racer? A percussionist? Or a grape stomper? And what's with his face? Does he have a great, big laugh? Or a marvelous moustache? A giant nose and beard? What is his story? I can't wait to find out from you! Because you always have the scoop! And you're always nice enough to share it with the whole class! You're so cool! 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 40

Good morning. Today is a travel day for me, so I'm hedging my bets with a time-release post. if you're reading this, it means that I didn't manage to get my laptop connected in time for the nightly story round-up. But that doesn't mean you don't get a brand new monster in time for your breakfast. As far as yesterday's stories go, I will update this post as soon as I can get back online.

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Ah-ha! Access has been restored! Thank you for all of yesterday's great stories:

Mogabog, in anticipation of New Year's day, claims that 39 is a Flying Resolution Monster---a creature that comes out of hibernation around this time of year, reaches the peak of its powers around January 1st, then quickly goes back into its cave to slumber for another year. Good theory, mogabog. I think I have a few of these monsters lurking outside my door right now.

Terry T. gives a riveting account of a community under attack. He does a great job making something very familiar seem like Grade A space opera! I was glued to my seat anticipating the grand finale. Excellent suspense!

Schlockading reports from this year's Monstucky Derby. Nice work, Schlockading. Or is that Colonel Schlockading? And where's my Monster Julep anyway?

Victoria sees 39 as Pinocchio’s cousin, a White Lies and Flattery Monster of sorts. Could be very handy to have a few of them to round out your New Year's Eve party. Her monster is the sunny side of Sam B.'s Close Talking Monster, who is---in Sam's own words---a smarmy little devil, and a rancid gasbag. I know a few people that may be closely related to this fellow.

Stephanie is back with an infomercial for Sinkenken, the answer to all your Hoovering needs. Tell Dyson to suck it, this is the last vacuum cleaner you'll ever need. This must be the latest evolutionary step up from the wooly mammoth vacuum cleaner they used on the Flintstones! I definitely want one. Nice work, Stephanie. I especially like the reason behind the name!
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On to today's creature: I hope you'll like Number 40, who came out of the ink well to salute my dad, who always watches ski jumping between the holidays---specifically the Vier Schanzen Tournee (the four ramp tour). Do you think 40 could compete? What country (or planet) is it competing for? How did it qualify? Or is it engaged in an altogether different activity that just happens to look like ski jumping? I'm sure you've got all kinds of ideas already and I'm excited to see where you'll take this one! Even on the road and without immediate internet access 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 39

Good morning. Thank you for visiting!
And many thanks for all of yesterday's great stories.

We start with Yi Shun, who introduces Monster 38 as a waddling Vegas showgirl with a serious attitude! Nice job, Yi Shun! I can see it! Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershon have nothing on this gal!

Sam B. is back in style, reporting on poor Geert who's seeking help for his fear of cracky-eyed pelicanic waterfowl. Once you've read the description of his recurring nightmare, you'll be a little scared of evil pelicans, too. Thank you, Sam. You never let us down!

Schlockading presents Blork the Water Guard with the laser tongue. He also gets extra credit for his explanation of the eyes that shift from the water into the creature's head! Excellent! Great work, sir!

Stephanie scores big with the story of Franklin, who's got some serious trouble with his bionic legs. Franklin's sad tale is a stark reminder that if you're going to litter, at least try throwing out something that might be useful to somebody else who finds it. Thank you for a great laugh, Stephanie. I didn't see the ending coming. Or the beginning. Or the middle. Very well done!

Monster 39 might be an ancestor of Sy Snootles. Then again, 39 is clearly more attractive and of much friendlier disposition. Does it have three legs? Or two legs and a tail? Is it a runner? Or a bouncer? What does it use it's extendable mouth for? Where is it coming from just now? Where is it off to next? Who are it's friends? I know you'll tell me and I like that about you. I hope you're having a great in-between day! 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 38

Good morning. Thank you for checking in. I hope you're having a day of excellent and uneventful holiday digestion. I hope that wherever you work, you're getting time off between the holidays. I've got two books waiting for me this week and I hope I'll actually get to read them, too. (They are Moab is My Washpot and Don't Get Too Comfortable, in case you're curious.) I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Victoria and first-time contributor/long-time 344 friend Azalea both feel that Monster 37 went so crazy flying around the globe, delivering gifts that he grew two extra eyes. Which is pretty crazy. I've been really stressed at times, but I've never grown more than a few extra fingers and half of an extra spleen. Four eyes? That guy clearly needs a vacation. Azalea ups the stakes, though, and says that 37 started bleeding from his eyes, too. Which is disturbing in a very Catholic Virgin Mary sort of way. Maybe it's the fumes from his tar beard? "More on that later," says Azalea. I should hope so! Talk about a cliffhanger! Thank you for posting, Azalea. I'm looking forward to seeing more stories from you in the days to come.

Stephanie forwarded us words straight from the creature's mouth. (It's always good to get a first-hand account.) Turns out that 37 has powerful laser eyes, but likes to keep that fact hidden. Wise choice, I think. Stephanie's monster also sounds a bit like Ali G., but that might just be my take on his accent. I'm sure his lip fronds must make proper enunciation somewhat difficult.

Schlockading continues his story from yesterday. Apparently, 37 is the post-volcanic radioactive mutation of 36. Which makes perfect sense! It also explains why his hat is so stretched out. After all, this isn't Marvel Comics where David Banner's pants mysteriously grow with him to Hulk size.

Sam B. reports of Quadro, who got LEDs implanted in his eyes to distract himself from his thwarted holiday ambitions. How much do you want to bet, Sam, that somebody's going to come up with that very operation in the next 10 years? It'll be the grillz of 2017.

An extra cheer goes to Schlockading's mom, who put together a Daily Monster Kit (just like this one) as a Christmas gift for the Schlockster. Hats off! Good job, Mom! Schlockading, please send me a link to some of the monsters you cook up and I'll post them here.

Now, on to Monster 38. Something is making all these monster eyes go crazy. Maybe it's something in the water? Or is 38 actually bobbing along on a lake made of some alien liquid? What does it eat? Can it fly? Can it walk? Can it discuss Hegelian philosophy? Or the trade deficit of Zanzibar? What do you think? I'd love to hear your theories!

I'll leave you with this final thought for the day: Studies have shown that nothing you eat between now and the New Year will make you gain weight! Have a great, short week! And remember: 344 LOVES YOU


P.S.: Like ships passing in the night, Crimson posted a continuation of the Tale of the Arctic Shadow Imp while I was writing my nightly story round-up. As it turns out, the pain of Santa's stubbed tow rewired his nerves into making his eyes flash red. Instead of causing Santa pian, that is. Santa doesn't have time for that kind of thing. (He also has moral stereo vision! That's a new feature!)

Also rolling in just now: The return of The Respected Taxonomist Kukuttan! Would you look at that? It's like a present that hid itself all the way by the base of the tree, back there in the shadows. Good to have you back, TRTK! And you come bearing a truly different point of view! 37 isn't a monster, it's a house! A most peculiar house in a most peculiar location. Do check out the story.

TRTK also challenges the recent direction of the monsters, their seeming transition to more and more humanoid forms. Monster 38 should put that worry to rest. Monsters are made of Id Ink. They manifest however they feel like manifesting. I'm just there to film the event.

Oh, lest I forget to mention it: A few of you commented on the P'uh! sound. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in remembering it. TRTK posted a link to a sound file that is not the P'uh sound, but includes something very close. Beyond that, it's very funny in it's own right. It also startled my girlfriend's cat Mavis, who had been and is now once again sleeping next to me. Good night, Mavis! Good night, y'all!

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One more late night addition: I just received a message from monster lurker Victoria, who posted a lovely paragraph on the site at her blog. More importantly, she made an excellent drawing of herself watching the monsters. Thank you, Victoria! Victoria also does some very nifty stop motion animation. Take a look!


DAILY MONSTER 37

Good morning. And Merry Christmas, if you're so inclined! I hope you'll have a beautiful, toasty day in good company. Many thanks again to all of you for checking in over the holidays.

Crimson, a new contributor, leads us off with a great little story about the Arctic Shadow Imp, who likes to inflict bruises by tricking people to bump into things. I actually had several run-ins with him just today and I have the marks to prove it. Good call, Crimson, and Thank You for posting. I look forward to more of your stories!

Schlockading has a theory: Monster 36 is actually the Grinch---after a nasty run-in with an active volcano. Eep! Which means that he would have made my favorite noise in all of toon-dom: The noise a character (or object) makes when it burns to a cinder in an instant. It's a breathy P'uh sound that transitions seamlessly into an open mouth wheeze. I tried finding the sound for you online, but came up empty. (What terms do you really search for?)

Sam B. is back with another lovely haiku. Merry Christmas, Sam / Thank you for your daily posts / The Monsters love you. (And 344 loves you, too.)

Terry puts it very simply: Santa has been burning the Yule log at both ends. May he get a chance to rest after today. I'm sure he's already got his first class ticket to St. Barts.

Thank you all for coming to visit. I've got another holiday monster for you today, and he seems an altogether nicer guy than yesterday's creature. He even has festive eyes! I think he's an envoy from the Monster World, wishing you a Happy Holiday and a stocking full of excellent goodies! As do I. Jingle, jingle! 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 36

Good morning and Frohe Weihnachten to our Austrian, Swiss, and German visitors. (Christmas Eve is where the action is back in the Old Country, don't you know.) Thank you for breaking away from the gift exchange and the family choir rendition of Oh Tannenbaum to check in on the Monsters.

Yesterday's Monster brought forth another lovely collection of interpretations. Terry Tolleson is first in line with his story of Hankor, the aspiring Cave Dweller and Togdor, the Ancient. (Poor, poor Hankor.) I imagine that this is the kind of story that medieval mountainmen and mountianwomen told their mountainchildren to keep them out of those teacherous caves.

A hearty welcome to first-time contributor Schlockading, who posts a report from the last meeting of the Rotten Pumpkins Prevention Society. It conjures images of a Frankensteinean mob with torches and pitchforks. Nice work, Schlockading. Now... please tell me: What is a Schlockading? I must know! Have I drawn one yet?

Mogabog is back and he's... delving into cartography. Perhaps it's a veiled Hello to our friend Simon. Here be Monsters! (We miss you, Simon, and I hope that some rest will find you today.)

Sam Berkes closes the day's proceedings with an alternate theory of the crime. It's not a giant monster, nor a mountain. It's a cubist turtle! I can see it, too, now that you say it, Sam. Thank you for opening up another perspective. And thank you all for posting, even as life settles down for the holidays.

Monster 36 is a jolly one, of sorts. Well, more manic than jolly, really. And perhaps a bit twisted. A fur-trimmed red hat does not a Santa make. And now that I look at his coat, it looks a bit like a straightjacket, doesn't it? What is going on here? Poisoned fruitcake? Christmas at Bellevue? A Godzilla Holiday? When Elves Attack! tonight on Fox? If you have a minute, I'd love to hear your story, but if you just want to enjoy a mellow Christmas Eve away from the computer, I certainly understand. Have yourself a cup of eggnog, sit back, and relax. That warm tingly sensation you're feeling means that 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 35

Good morning. It looks like everybody is clearing out for the holidays and things are finally beginning to settle down a bit for the holidays. But I'm happy to see that the true stalwarts still posted beautiful stories today. And not everybody went the horse-whispering, either!

Mogabog dazzles once again with an excellent story from Outer Space. Sigoo Jerny is a horse from a planet with extremely high gravity. Explains a lot, doesn't it? Sigoo faces some adversity in his young life, but comes out on top. Just the right kind of inspirational story to lead us into the weekend! Nicely done, Mogabog.

Terry Tolleson brings news from the Society Page. Ms. Junitai Kowou has a serious shoe fetish that would make Imelda Marcos blush. Being a devotee of fine footwear myself, I certainly understand how to get there from here. I don't want to go for the easy joke here, but ladies and gentlemen... The Pony wears Prada!

Stephanie comes at Monster 34 from a wholly unexpected angle: She presents the chagrinned thoughts of somebody faced with a photo of herself that was taken at a less than proud party moment! Brilliant idea, Stephanie! We've all been there, but I would've never thought to make the connection with Number 34. Nice work!

Finally, Sam Berkes brings us home with his yarn of Lip Zan, who had her social ups and downs and finally ends up in a strange isolated hell that channels Bill Cosby and Soylent Green. Sam, you did good! Thank you!

Thank you also for the nice side comments all of you left today. It's a pleasure to create the monsters for you, and a great honor to provide the spark for your always surprising and brilliant stories. Oh... you guys.. you complete me!

Needless to say, the monsters will continue throughout the holidays. I'm heading out of town for a few days, but I spent today pre-taping enough monsters to get us safely into the New Year. Some fun creatures came through today, so you have many fun characters to look forward to. There may even be some seasonally appropriate ones in the bunch. You never know.

Today's Monster is a bit of a scary one. Or maybe he's just petulant? What's he shouting about? Or is he inhaling deeply to feed off the particles in the smoggy air of his planet? is he the size of a mountain? Or does he fit in your coat pocket? What's with his horrible teeth? And what about that little spike on his forehead? If the answers come to you, I'd love to hear them! Why? Because 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 34

Good morning and 歓迎! to everybody popping over from Weekly Teinou 蜂 Woman I hope you'll have fun meeting the Monsters.

Yesterday's creature yielded another bumper crop of cool stories! First out of the gate, Terry Tolleson kits hard with a military space opera about Private Jatanko. Code Talkers meet Starship Troopers meet Fredo Corleone. Andy has it right: "Terry T. you rock me, baby!"

Sam Berkes' story about Terrance actually serves as a nice prequel to Terry's tale, and makes me wonder if Terrance is called Terrance in a subtle tip of the old monster chapeau. Either way, secret government missions are involved, so it's clearly a code name. Well done, Sam... if that is your real name.

Mogabog sets a second theme for the day: We're seeing nothing more than the next stage in wireless communication. Yes, this Monster has a 5th generation cell phone embedded in his head. It's just another step in the "Can you hear me now?" campaign, says Scott English. Amy thinks he's using it to order pizza, or to locate a dentist.

Speaking of dentistry, new Friend of the Monsters Yi Shun postulates that we're dealing with dental surgery gone seriously wrong. One imagines a gassed-up DDS in the mold of Steve Martin's Orin Scrivello, who--of course--has his own fan site now. Thank you for joining our little gathering, Yi Shun. It's good to have you.

Scott sees in Monster 33 a land-lubbing cousin of the anglerfish. Andrew considers him more of an avid IM'er and offers up a brilliant teenage transcript in support of his theory. The fact that you can channel such things makes me worry about you, Andrew! Just a little bit... May such transmissions always be entirely voluntary for you! :^D

Last, but never least, Stephanie tells of Cleo, who is in school to become an evil monster and make her pop-pop proud. We should've known that being a friendly monster would earn you nothing but scorn and ridicule in the monster world. If only Cleo would stop getting her education from the things that others have scribbled on the bathroom stalls.

In other news, Mogabog asks if there are holiday themed monsters around the corner. Well... what does every little blogger want for Christmas? Why... a pony, of course! So today's monster is a little bit holiday-themed, if you're willing to go with me on that one. ;^) I actually don't have a long cue of monsters at all. Only one more monster is in the can after today's. So you may want to check on the 24th and 25th. Perhaps some Yule Monsters will find their way into our dimension. Make sure to leave out milk and cookies.

Blobbo wants hi-res monsters suitable for his large, empty grad-student wall. It'll take me a little while longer, but I'm starting a new company in 2007 that will let me offer some things for sale online. Posters and cards may well be on the menu. And T-shirts. In the new year I'll post a poll to see which monsters you'd most like to see on cotton and paper.

All this is not intended to be any sort of sell-out cash generator, by the way, and I hope you won't see it as such. All I'm trying to see if it's possible for a solo practitioner to create cool products and actually live off the proceeds. No corporate jet purchases are planned. Breaking even will be the great goal! Please, stay tuned.

For now, however, please say Hello to Monster 34. Is it, in fact, a horsey? Or is it something entirely different? If it is, forgive me, a gift horse... who's giving the gift? Who's receiving it? What does Number 34 eat? Can you ride it? Can it jump over things? Can you brush its hair? Would it brush yours? What of Inkbiscuit here? Ladies and Gentleman... Win? Place? Or show? Please place your bets! You really can't lose when 344 LOVES YOU