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February 2008
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April 2008

NEW TALLEST MONSTER ACTION

Good afternoon. You know, while I've been working towards the new Daily Monster season starting tomorrow morning, the World's Tallest Monster has been quietly growing in the background. Well, today I received an excellent new segment that makes it so that I just have to direct your attention to. It's just way, way cool! Here's a little closeup:

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What makes it even better is the artist's name: Timothy Robotham. Man... I wish I had a robot in my name, don't you? Thank you to everybody who has been growing the Tallest Monster. I know that I've been remiss in featuring it more prominently, but it's a lot of fun to see it expand and expand. It's no wonder that 344 LOVES YOU


IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE... NO, WAIT... IT'S A BIRD.

Good morning. How are you? Thank you for visiting the creatures on a Wednesday.
I'm hard at work preparing for the new season of Monsters --- starting next Tuesday, April 1st --- but I thought I'd post a new drawing for you in the meantime, so you're not entirely monsterless all week. I hope you'll like my new friend here:

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In addition to posting new Daily Monsters, I'll also be a speaker at the re:Charge08 conference hosted by AIGA Jacksonville next week. Their theme is "Feed Your Creative Monster." You can see how my presence is needed. If you're attending the conference, I'll hope you'll come say Hi.

For now I hope things are well with you, and that the week is treating you kindly. Southern California is basking in some lovely springtime sunshine. If you're not as climatologically blessed I'm sending some friendly rays your way.
Why? Because 344 LOVES YOU


MONSTER META : ATEM RETSNOM

Good morning. Many you are very kind to send me photos of the book in the stores and on your shelves. I'm posting a few below, just because they please me so. But Cristina from Cancun sent this shot and I think it deserves to lead the pack for meta joy alone:

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Thank you also to Sonya, Bill, Terry, and Sam for these great shots.

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Fresh monster action is in the works, and the new season of Daily Monsters will start on April 1st, of course. Until then, please don't let the sporadic posts cause you to doubt that which is true: 344 LOVES YOU


GROUND CONTROL TO MONSTER TOM ....................... The Monster Book Launch Party

Good morning. How are you? I hope you had a fun weekend. I know a lot of you did, because I got to see you have it at the Launch Party for the Monster Book at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart.

Thank you so much to all of you who came to say Hello and get your photo taken with the monster. You can check out all the cool photo booth pictures in this special Flickr photoset. (If you took your own photos at the party, please post them to the Daily Monster Flickr Group, or send them to me and I'll do it for you.)

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A great big thanks to Tim Moraitis for making the pictures happen, to Jona Frank for helping us get everything beautifully lit, to Elizabeth Thinnes for hooking me up with Steve Babcock at the Universal Studios Sign Shop, who made the monster, to Mac Barnett at 826LA who let us use the store for the event, and to Amy Orringer at 826LA, without whom the party would've been me alone in a room without food, light, chairs, music, or people! Thank you also to all the great volunteers at 826LA who helped set up and run the event, and to my friend Jen Stone who keeps stepping into the breach. You're all so very generous to help me, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

I hope you had a good time, too!

It was so lovely to see all of you. A special shout-out goes to Mr. Terry Tolleson, one of the top story contributors in the book. Terry packed his family on a plane to came to the party from Austin, Texas to celebrate. That's dedication! I love that!

In the months to come I hope that I'll get to meet more of you as I go back on the road a bit. If you'd like to get your photo taken with the big monster, come see me at the F&W booth at Book Expo America from May 29th to June 1st at the L.A. Convention Center or at the Impact Books booth at Comic-Con on June 7th and 8th.

Of course, before that will come another full month of Daily Monsters starting on April 1st, and I'm sure we'll have some more fun between now and then, too, if for no other reason than 344 LOVES YOU


GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER?

Good evening. I just picked up a special guest for Saturday's launch event. He comes to us courtesy of the good people at the Universal Studios Sign Shop, who took my call thanks to a kind referral from my friend Elizabeth. (Thank you!)

Because our special guest fought hard to fit in my car in the first place, that's where he shall remain until tomorrow, when I'll drive him to the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, where he'll wait to pose with you!

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Here he is, standing tall, next to Steve Babcock, the brilliant man who built him.
Did I mention that he's got a magnetic face with your choice of mouths and eyes?
The monster that is. Steve's face, while entirely genial, is not customizable.
Unless you count a beard. I'm sure he could grow a beard. Or put on a fake nose.
Oh... you know what I mean... and you also know, don't you, that 344 LOVES YOU


REFLEX BLUE MONSTER AUCTION GEEK

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Good afternoon. How are you? Thank you for all your comments on the monster mural. I'm glad you like it! While I was in Nebraska to do this, Donovan Beery and Nate Voss interviewed me for their podcast, the Reflex Blue Show. You can check it out on iTunes by clicking here, or you can download it from their website 36point.com.

For the podcast they also filmed me drawing a new monster that we're auctioning off on eBay to benefit the Red Cross. You can access the auction right here. If you've ever wanted to buy an original Daily Monster, but don't feel like ordering one omakase style, this is your chance. Buy a monster, help the Red Cross. What's not to love?

Nate and Donovan are a little nuts, so this is a really different radio interview from the one I did with Debbie Millman last week. The Reflex Blue Show is as close as designers will come to Morning Zoo-type radio shows, and it's actually pretty great. They know what they're doing. Check it out if you've got the time.

Geek0308coverIn other news, I'm proud to say that the monster book just got reviewed in the latest issue of GEEK Monthly. Now, being featured in Wired was pretty cool, but to be recognized by my own people? With the pride and the blushing! Hoyven! GEEK gave the book a rating of 97 out of a possible 100. Take that, Death Wears Overalls by Rock Hardlin with Gary Sassaman. With your puny 94 rating. Ha! (Mind you, the monsters did get bested by 2 points by The Green Lantern. But that's OK. There is honor in that. :^)

In the meantime, preparations are in overdrive for the launch party on Saturday. The trunk of my Beetle is Tetris-full of beverages, a life-size monster is in the works at a secret workshop in Burbank, and somewhere in the L.A. basin somebody is assembling snack trays that are only waiting for me to purchase them. We'll have a good time. Because, you know what? 344 LOVES YOU

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Did I mention that the monster book has been arriving from Amazon? Dave Lazarus sent this excellent image of its delivery that I didn't want to keep all to myself. I'll put it on the Monster Flickr group as well:

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THE SEWARD MONSTER MURAL

Good morning. Sorry for leaving you without a new post for a few days.
You guys certainly had fun while I was away. Look at all the great stories
you posted for Monsters 167 and 168:

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I've been on the road these last few days, placing two big monsters in the town of Seward, Nebraska. Prof. Paul Berkbigler invited me to teach a workshop for his senior graphic design class at Concordia University. When I first started taking my act on the road about 7 years ago, I spoke at the Nebraska chapter of AIGA and had such good memories of the trip that I immediately said Yes. I also said "Hey! Let's do a mural!" Because that was a lot of fun the first time I did one with AIGA Arizona, 17 months ago in Tucson.

The guys at Concordia put up a lovely page about the whole thing on their site right here. Their staff photographer Dan Oetting took some excellent photos of the painting process, and put them together in a little Flash presentation. It's got music, so if you're in the office, you might want to mute the sound in the bottom right corner:

What it doesn't show you is the final mural. For that you'll have to scroll down, or you can click on the thumbnail to the left and turn to Lance Schwartz at KOLN/KGIN in Lincoln, Nebraska, who filed a great report for the local news. LancesjournalThat way you also get to meet Paul, Max Wake of event sponsor Jones Bank, and Brenda Ard, one of the students from Paul's class, who---honestly---did most of the actual painting. Not just Brenda, I mean, but the whole class: Brenda, Kaylee Conrad, Jacob Cooper, Laura Knibbe, Ashley Lenz, Madelyn Lorenzen, Tannon Osten, Michelle Roeber, Lindsay Souchek, and Brittany Tomsick. Thank you to all of them, also for the hard work they did on the assignment I gave them in class.

Mark Anschutz very kindly donated the front of his building for our little painting adventure, figured out all the logistics, and kept us on track with advice and action throughout the process. He also got in on the painting with a number of volunteers from the faculty and the community at large: James Bockelman, Donald Dynneson, Tim Oliver, Philip Perschbacher, Brock Shaw, Richard Wiegmann, William Wolfram, and Jeff Voehl. After the students and I had declared the piece finished Friday afternoon they --- as I found out the next day --- snuck into the studio and started on a second coat of paint to make everything look just a little bit more even and vibrant. They were there until 1AM and continued the next morning and through the afternoon. Painting elves! Can you believe it?

Of course, once I saw that we weren't finished after all, I decided to change the color of the type, so everybody pitched in to repaint all the letterforms one more time at the last minute. That's good humor right there. (Thank you for your patience, everybody!)

The mural went up on the building as I raced over to the campus to set up for my talk that evening. Cory Berkbigler took pictures of the finished thing, so I could unveil it as the highlight of my presentation. Teamwork all over the place.

The talk itself was a hoot, and led to an unexpected pre-launch of the Monster Book. The university bookstore had gotten its hands on 30 copies, which sold out before I even took to the stage. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's a good omen.

It was a great experience that I'm grateful for. I certainly had fun, and I hope that you'll enjoy the final result. You can click on the image for a bigger version.

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Oh, and the monsters glow in the dark, of course.
Did I forget to mention that? Why do they glow in the dark?
Because A. Paul's indefatigable students applied six coats
of phosphorescent paint, and B. because 344 LOVES YOU

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DAILY MONSTER 167 + 168

Good morning. How are you? Thank you for checking in on the monsters. Today is the finale of the month-long Return of the Daily Monster. To mark the occasion I'm posting not one, but two monsters for you.

But first, the big news of the day: THE BOOK HAS ARRIVED! Yesterday afternoon Amazon changed the status from pre-order to in stock and ready to ship! As a matter of fact, friend of the monsters Joerg M. of Chicago has received his copy, and Inanna's is on the way. If you've pre-ordered, your copies should find you very shortly. And if you've held back on ordering the book, because you're more of an instant gratification kind of person... Now is the time! You'll also be able to find the book at your local bookstore.

If you do see the book at a store and you're carrying your camera phone, please send me a picture, or post it to to the Monster Flickr group. I'd love to see the monsters out in the wild. Even more than that, I'd love to see a photo of you with the book! After all this time it would be great to have some faces to go with all your kind e-mails and brilliant stories. Only if you like, of course. Anonymity is nice, too. I'm just saying...

Thank you for being so patient waiting for the thing to percolate over the months. I hope that you'll see the book and feel that it was worth the wait.

OK. Alright. Yes! Let's get to what's important: Your stories! So much excellent stuff is coming in! You're just blowing my mind. You guys are strange and funny people and I love you for it:

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Now, please give a warm Daily Monster Welcome to Monsters 167 and 168:

As we've got two monsters today the first question is: Are they separate, or are they together. And if they are together, what's their relationship? Are they family? Are they a couple? Would they like to be together? Or are they merely posted next to each other by sheer coincidence? They both seem happy to be where they are.

One could hew to ancient advertising jingle wisdom and scoff "Why ask why?" But that kind of question obviates the need for storytelling, so I say Nuts to that! "Why?" is where the action is. And I do know that you live for action. (You do, don't you? :^) If you can sneak a few minutes, I hope you'll let me know what's going on with 167 and 168. Please...

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The Daily Monsters will return on April 1st, but do stay tuned in the meantime, please! We'll have lots of cool stuff to look at between now and then. The monster mural will appear here on the blog in the next few days, the monster book launch party happens next Saturday, and I'm sure there'll be even more surprises this month.

Excuse me?
Did you... what's that?
Did I just hear you ask Why?
Because 344 LOVES YOU


DAILY MONSTER 166

Good morning. How are things on your end? Going well, I hope! We are, of course, in overtime on the Month of Daily Monsters, and nearing the end of that, as my monster mural trip to Seward, Nebraska approaches. There will be one more monster today, and a double shot tomorrow. After that there'll be mural action, the Monster book launch party, and whatever we can cook up on the new Flickr group --- until April 1st, when there'll be one more month of Daily Monsters. We'll have fun!

Right now, more brilliant stories are waiting for you right here:

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It feels like you're just getting warmed up on the stories, so I'm truly bummed that I can't give you new creatures every day to write to for the next month. So many of you have only recently joined the site that I hope you'll use the temporary lull of new monsters to explore some of the creatures that have gathered here over the past months. Some of them still need stories, too.

But today there still is a brand new monster, of course!
It's an odd one, and it definitely needs a story!

What is happening with 166? Did he want cheekbone implants, but get plungers instead? Or are we looking at a cunning evolutionary adaptation? And why, out of all the monsters, is this the very first one to wear (or perhaps reveal) socks? I'm not even going to ask about the teeth. But I'm dying to hear what you think made 166 into the odd creature we see before us today. If you can find the time, I hope you'll...

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I hope you'll have a lovely 4th of March.
Thank you for coming to visit the monsters.
How you treat your monsters says a lot about you.
And it's just one more reason why 344 LOVES YOU