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May 2009
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August 2009


Good afternoon. The solstice-adjacent sun still mercifully high in the California sky at 7PM, and I thought I'd show you the latest Monster expansion. I just received a sheaf of photos from Belgian friend of the Monsters Luc Debaisieux at JWT Group Belgium (J Walter Thompson) in Brussels. Luc runs a program that turns the agency's historic building -- the 1908 Maison Delune on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt -- into a gallery for a young artist for one year at a time. This year it's the Monsters' turn.

You may recognize a lot of these Monsters from the Open Source Monsters series, and from the Send A Monster Facebook app, but the biggest of the pieces contains a new Monster I brought out especially for the Maison. I'll add that at the end. For now, my great thanks to Luc for his endless energy in making this happen, and to his JWT colleague art director Sebastien Verliefde, whom you may remember from his stellar additions to the Open Source Monsters. You can see some of them in the bottom row, center frame. And here.

More Monsters are on the way, but even now
I hope you'll get the idea that 344 LOVES YOU




Good morning. How are you? I thought I'd put the important thing up front for once and launch right into a brand new Monster. Karen Linderman of the Topanga Film Festival invited me to make a new Monster advertising the event, and I sprung into action. Or rather, I came up with an idea, and then asked friend of the Monsters Simone Giuliani to spring into action, which he did by writing and excellent, suspenseful 45 second music cue that became my guide for the animation part.

I'm teaching myself animation as I go along on the Monsters -- you can see the very first one on Monster 10 -- and because of it most of the Monsters tend to move at a rather stately pace. They also tend to inhabit smallish spaces. There's no real reason for this beyond an odd mental barrier towards changing the size relationship of creature to sheet of paper. Well, no more of that! This time around I thought I'd try for a fast Monster in a big space. Just to see if I could.

Simone's excellent music really spurred me on to push the speed and the mood, so that the animation could keep up with the music. I hope you enjoyed the result. (If you have a reasonably fast computer, check it out full screen. It's quite nice that way. :^)

More Monsters are brewing.
Please stay tuned.



Good evening. So... uhm... did I mention that the Monsters are now supporting a team in the North Hollywood Kickball League? Well, it's true! They're called the Monster CartelĀ® and I don't have to understand the ins and outs of kickball to know that they're badass. Check it out:





If you're in the L.A. area and want to support them, here is the 411,
courtesy of team member and art instigator David Osorio:

All games are played at the
Valley Plaza Rec Center
12240 Archwood St., North Hollywood, 91606
on Tuesday nights.

Game 3 vs. NoHo Hoodlums -- 7:30pm (June 23rd)

Game 4 vs. Where My Pitches At? -- 8:30pm (June 30th)

Game 5 vs. Greg Priestley Avengers -- 7:30pm (July 7th)

Game 6 vs. I'd Hit That -- 8:30pm (July 14th)

Game 7 vs. Drunk Again and Looking to Score -- 7:30pm (July 21st)

Game 8 vs. Wet Hot American Kickball -- 7:30pm (July 28th)

Playoffs TBD --

Rock'em, sock'em, Monsters!
You know that 344 LOVES YOU


Good afternoon. How are you? After a few weeks of June Gloom the sun has finally found the 344 porch again, so I thought I'd take a little break from fiddling with the latest Monster to show you some cool surprises that have come in the mail recently.

First off, I received a package from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

"Oh," I thought. "Have my people finally tracked me down?" But no. As it turns out, a teacher at Perkiomen Valley High School, Mr. Thomas Komp, gave his Graphic Design I class an assignment to make Monsters, and they went hog-wild. What did they send me? Well, after they were done making Monsters they had them bound into a book. 47 drawings, collages, and computer-manipulated images -- one from each student -- are shown side by side with letters from each of the students... to me. So that took me a minute to absorb. Top all that off with a cool DVD that documents their labors set to music, and that's a good day of mail.

Perkiomen-book-01 Perkiomen-book-02

If you're on Facebook you can see the video here.

What a mind-blowing effort! Thank you very, very much to the students of Perkiomen Valley High Graphic Design I for the beautiful and amazing gift, and to Mr. Komp both for guiding the effort and for teaching a graphic design class in high school in the first place. I know of one other, Scott Schaller's Cabrillo High School Design Lab, and I'm so jealous! I wish we'd had that back at good old Gymnasium Ernestinum back when I was there.

Side note: It's Per-ki-omen. In my head I kept pronouncing it Peri-komen. Which is silly. Everybody knows that science has yet to find a way to recreate Perry Como as a chemical element.

All the Pennsylvania glory found me a week or two ago. It's taken me some time to A. recover from the shock, and B. take pictures of the book and DVD. Now today, a big box arrived from Sara Gallup right here in Los Angeles. Sara saw the Monsters in the L.A. Weekly, got the book for her birthday from her significant other, and started making Monsters in her 3D class at Los Angeles City College. Here's what she told me: "I made matte and gloss acrylic medium transfers using photocopies of the monster images within your book. I took these transfers and hand-sewed them to various fabrics (some with feathers for added effect), stuffing them with cotton. They began to resemble small stuffed animals, maybe toys. I then constructed a home for these creatures using an old palette. Finally came the sale sign, also done using acrylic transfer." How totally crafty! How totally excellent!

Of course, I was delighted when Sara offered to send me one of the stuffed Monsters, and shocked today, when the whole gang arrived at my door, complete with its mini corral. (I'm glad that she kept a few of her favorites, though.)
Check it out:

Sara-Gallup-Monsters-01-cro Sara-Gallup-Monsters-02

Now the excellent plush Monsters by Jennifer Bennett Gubicza
finally have some friends to keep them company.

But wait, there's more! She also sent me a high relief collage made from Gendy Alimurung's articles on the Monsters and on Amy Winfrey's Making Fiends in the L.A. Weekly. Highly, highly excellent, don't you think? No wonder she got an A on both assignments. Thank you so much, Sara! I'll give them all a good home.


To sum up: I get the best mail, because the Monsters have the best friends.
It's no wonder that 344 LOVES YOU