Thursday, December 31, 2009

end-of-year clearance!!


so in doing this perhapa-blog three times a week--a schedule set up by my late, great pal mike who, frankly, hasn't been keeping up, dude--i tend to gather and save various images and stuff on my computer's desktop with the hope of someday using them or needing them for some post or another. they consist of creepy things, funny things, artistic or creative things, or just stuff i thought looked cool.
of course, at times, this makes for a pretty cluttered desktop.
so here is my year-end blowout! a chance to just clear the board and start fresh--'cause isn't that kinda what new years is all about? make what you want form them--it's a mish mash!
have fun!

a hungry gator in the bayou by andrew goldhawk

sometimes i just like the design or layout of something and think it could work as a comic book cover. i dig this retro 60s look. okay, i dig goldie hawn too. met her once. she was delightful!

how i get things done...

a sweet ms. marvel by matthew clark.
call me a traditionalist, but i love the old costume.

apparently this is a tribe elder donning a ceremonial bear costume for a (inuit?) ritual.
but i grabbed it 'cause it looks like that shaggy man guy the justice league used to fight.

the dover demon

i don't know what this is, but it's freaky.
the name ascribed to it is nauka chodzenia, but i don't know if that's the artist or the name of the piece.
when i google it, everything is in polish or czecnian and there are photos of babies...


strange animals

when our pal, roger ash, sent me this link with the title/subject line reading fish with see-through head i thought i knew what he was talking about. i had seen a picture of a goldfish in japan that scientists had bred to make it's skin transparent...

but this is not that.
this is mondo freaky.

oh, and here's that goldfish...

Japanese researchers have succeeded in producing goldfish whose beating hearts can be seen through translucent scales and skin, as pictured in this handout photo from Mie University.

have a safe and happy new year!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

cool girlfriend: todd's sketchbook 1


so chris sprouse is awesome.
he is a great guy, a fantastic artist, and a good friend.
i love him. i also love his wonderful wife, xan.

like most artists, however, chris is his own worst critic and, as we detailed in depth in his modern masters book, he will draw and re-draw things (pages) sometimes three, four, FIVE times before he's happy with it. and even then he's usually not happy with it. frustrating to those of us who think that every single sweep of his pencil is a work of art. but that's the way these artists roll...

so, anyway, many years ago, at a convention in baltimore i think, at dinner, i handed chris my sketchbook and asked him if he would do a sketch for me, nothing too fancy, i'd be happy to pay. he said nonsense to the paying part, "we're friends!", and asked if he could take the book home and do it when he got a chance? no problem i said.

many many years ago.

now, okay, i've asked for it a couple of times over the years and the thing is, in that time, chris had moved twice, gotten married somewhere in between, and created tom strong and probably a half-dozen other titles along the way and told me that he had it, somewhere, that he had actually done a sketch in it, but didn't really like it and wanted to do another one, but that the book had gotten packed up in a box upstairs someplace in that first move, and he'd be happy to go dig it out when he got the chance...

cut to christmas evening--just the other night--as sharon and i were exchanging stockings and she hands me, a brightly wrapped present which is obviously a book.

so how cool is that?
coolest girlfriend ever...?
wanting to get me something i REALLY wanted, and something that would be a total surprise, sharon wrote to chris and xan (whom she had probably met maybe once for two seconds at a show) and asked if they would have the time to dig out the book now so that she could give it to me on christmas. they did--awesome, right?--and i was completely knocked off my chair as i peeled back the wrapping from that book i hadn't seen in--i won't say how long, but--a loooong time.

so thank you so much, xan and chris, for making sharon's wish come true, who then made my wish come true, and made it one truly special christmas!
and the coolest part is that my gift is now your gift as i'll be posting a bunch of the sketches in the book here on the blog...

see below...!

before i get to those, though, i realize that i may be creating a monster here--a good and totally awesome monster, but a monster nonetheless--'cause i KNOW that there are a couple other members of our little perhapa-family here whose sketches and commissions collections make mine look totally lame by comparison. and so i extend my offer to each of them--and they know who they are--if they would like to share any of their very rare, wonderful, exclusive pieces here on the blog as well...

i've talked about our awesome volleyball games in woodstock on tuesday nights back in the mid-to-late nineties and how i was, initially, stunned to be playing with and/or opposite (sides were changed every week) with legends like jim starlin, bernie wrightson, terry austin, fred hembeck, ron marz, etc.

terry and i became fast friends and we discovered quickly our mutual love of the batman animated series and, especially, harley quinn. here's terry's harley...

and his follow-up the next day with livewire--from the animated superman--'cause he felt so bad making me dead...

ron and bernie and i were invited to terry's one night for a bon voyage/fried catfish going away dinner where the four of us laughed and joked and bernie did a couple sketches in ron's and my sketchbook. it's not only cool to have a bernie wrightson sketch, this is also a reminder of a really great night.

more to come...
including starlin, sienkiewicz, neal adams, nick cardy, the one spencer beck thinks is the funniest thing he's ever seen, dave johnson, rich case, this guy named rousseau (although i don't know if i really can post that, c. )...oh, and this other guy called ringo...
smell ya later~!

Monday, December 28, 2009

after the tinsel...

still enjoying that christmas coma--it's snowing here, the kids (jake and kayla) are sleeping by the fire, everybody's enjoying another day off, the extended holiday...

so this post is going to be brief and colorful--i hope.
we had a wonderful christmas and i hope you did too!
i'm now doing my best to make the season and the spirit last. (i hate it that the christmas carols immediately disappear from the radio stations the minute december 26th comes round--and the stores have torn down all the christmas decorations and are already pimping valentine's day...)
i received a lot of cool loot for christmas and a few special things that i'll post later this week.
but here are a few pics that i thought i'd share as we try to keep that friendly christmas-y brotherly vibe going...

my favorite christmas card this year...
...and the funniest!
--from matt and suzanne

hundreds gather to protest global warming

a facebook friend sent this over to me...

and now that i'm writing marvel super hero squad! (or mshs! as we call it in the biz...), i'm also, sadly, collecting them. well, some of them anyway. well, i had to pick up some of my favorite characters (spidey, the thing, wolverine, electro...) and a few of the "rare" squaddies (we call them that too...) here are a couple of the hard-to-get squaddies i got for christmas...

the fuzzy furry beast

phasing nightcrawler

i also got a fantastic four thing with (exclusive!) white boots--which looks so much like the way mike drew him that i had to have 'im!

hope you're still able to relax and sustain that holiday feeling!
smell ya later!

Friday, December 25, 2009

god bless us and merry christmas everyone~!

merry, merry, merry~

a few christmas wishes from some of our perhapa-family and friends...

first this santa from my awesome, new MSHS! (marvel super hero squad!) artist, leonel castellani

a marvel-centric greeting from roberto castro and greg adams--

and this hilarious christmas card from jason and candy louis--candy is the artist. (she sent us that merry choopie pic last year! thanks, guys! happy christmas!)

a funny choopie and the gremlins sketch on the christmas card i got from lauren menardo--

and this little somethin' that i invented...

it says it there, but merry christmas everybody!

smell ya later~!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

rich woodall's guest blog: the origins of christmas~!


merry christmas eve!

so rich and i were chatting last week about christmas and past christmases and where christmas came from and stuff like that and, in realizing that he was incredibly knowledgeable on the subject, i asked if he'd like to do a guest blog on it, to which he eagerly replied, "oh, man! yeah! sure!" (which is rich all the time...)
but as rich delved into this project, christmas itself swirled around him in the form of the usual shopping and decorating, as well as a sudden boatload of extra work at work--and he told me that wasn't sure he had the time and was sorry.
i told him what he had so far was great and that i was gonna post it--even though he's argued that it seems unfinished and doesn't have a definitive conclusion. i'll give him that.
but the blog is a lark and he'd already put so much time into it that i present it to you here. please don't judge rich on it's shortcomings--i whisked it away from him before he could even give it a once-over read.
thanks, rich-you're the best!

“History is written by the victors.” Winston Churchill
Christmas has a very long and colorful history… even before it was “Christ’s Mass” or Cristes m├Žsse (Old English first recorded in 1038 AD). Before we had Christmas Trees and Eggnog, we had Pagan holidays to honor the Sun and the Winter Solstice. It wasn’t until around 220 that the idea of celebrating Christ’s birth was entertained. Of course by that time, Christ’s exact birth date had been lost to the sands of time and, to compete with all the other Pagan holidays, the Christians staked their claim on December 25th. With the spread of Christianity, and the assimilation of other cultures, Christmas became an amalgam of many of the different ethnic traditions. One of those traditions… Santa Claus.

Jolly ol’ Elf or Saint, the Santa we know and love today isn’t the Santa of old. In 270 AD Nicholas of Myra was born in what is modern day Turkey. From his birth he was said to have been an exceptional child, refusing nourishment on days of fasting. He was the youngest Bishop in the history of the Catholic Church. He was imprisoned by Roman Emperor Diocletain with other Christians, but was released when Constantine established the Christian Church as the official religion of Rome. He was said to have performed many miracles. One grim tale tells of a Butcher who was abducting local children and passing them off as “fresh meat”. Nicholas visited, heard the story, and resurrected the children that had not been eaten. Another tale is told of a poor nobleman whose 3 daughters were about to have to turn to prostitution to survive. Again, Nicholas heard the story and snuck into the nobleman’s house at night and left a purse of gold for each daughter. This may be one of the stories that leads us to Santa sneaking into our house to give us gifts.
After Nicholas’s death, he became the Patron Saint of children, maidenhood, sailors, fishermen (in Greece he became a Christian version of Poseidon), merchants, pharmacists, archers, pawnbrokers, and many others. They established a Saint Nicholas Day, December 6th, a date on one side of the Celebration of Christ’s birth and on the other side is a day to honor Saint Basil the Great (Basil of Caesarea), also known for his care of the poor… the Greeks called him Father Christmas, and on January 1st he was to deliver presents to children.
And so the Santa Claus soup begins. We have two Saints, both from Turkey, about a hundred years apart from each other, recognized as what we would know now as Santa. Ah, but the soup gets thicker as Christianity expands! The idea of Santa’s Reindeer comes from the Norse god Odin, who led the Germanic celebration of Yule (a Winter Solstice celebration held on December 25th). Odin was said to have lead a “Wild Hunt through the sky” on his eight legged horse Sleipnir. Children would set out their boots filled with carrots, straw or sugar, near the chimney for Sleipnir to nibble on. Odin would reward the children by replacing his horse’s food with gifts. This of course turned into Stockings being hung with care.


i've been receiving all sorts of great illustrations and greetings from friends and family on the internet--and they've all been wonderful--but nothing that touched my heart and gave me that spark that brian had talked about in his comments yesterday as this...
on his blog, my good friend, jm dematteis, offered the gift of a christmas story to all of his friends and i just had to pass it on. that's what you do with a wonderful gift like this...



and here, because rich's blog got me in the mood, are some old-timey, traditional santas...

more treats tomorrow!
of a more perhapanaut-y flavor--
smell ya later!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

sharing the holidays--part 2!


so christmas is only two days away...are you ready? i mean that both commercially and spiritually. i am. sorta. i need to go out today and pick up a couple of small things that were back-ordered, but otherwise, i've got all of that covered. and i am in the spirit! yeah, the initial rushing around and trying to find something nice for everyone on your christmas list can be counter-productive to getting into the spirit of the holidays. but, it's weird, somewhere in that frantic rush there can also be that one moment, that one gesture, that one smile from a friend or loved one...that can start that spirit glowing within you.
or sometimes, in your mad race, you need to actually slow down, take a moment, take a breath...and let that feeling catch up to you, wash over you, and fill you up.
i hope you've all had that happen to you.

so here are a couple more childhood memories of christmas from two more members of our perhapa-family. thanks to everyone who dug out the photos and sent them in--i know it really made the holidays a little more special for me...


brien powell

Hey Todd! Thanks for sharing the great pics of Christmas past on your Perhapablog. They really do put you in that yuletide mood! Here are some pics from my Christmas past.
First is a sans beard picture of me from Christmas Day 1976 when I was just 3 years, 1 month & 11 days old.

The next picture is a shot of my haul from a few years later. If you look real close on the right of the picture you can see the Bionic Bigfoot figure that I used for my Perhapanauts Halloween contest entry.

Next is a picture from last year of me dressed up as my character Magnet Man w/Jimmy & Angel Valiant, Santa & an Elf at Boogie's Wrestling Camp in Shawsville, VA. Jimmy & Angel are two of my favorite people in the world.

& I had to include a shot of this year's tree trimming w/me holding my four year old son Douglas while he puts the star on top of the tree. Yes, it's a small star. Hope you enjoy these pics, Todd. I wish you & yours a very Merry Christmas & a wonderful new year. Here's hoping for a Perhapanauts Christmas Special sometime in Christmas future! Take care. Cordially, Brien Wayne Powell


mike estelle


finally got those pics scanned. i forgot to bring them with me yesterday but i got them today. i only found these 2, i know i have more somewhere maybe my mom or dad has them i dunno.

but here you are.

the top one is from 1980, i was 5 and the hulk in the forground was mine and awesome! do you remember it? you put him in a cage and pumped this pump and he broke out! very cool. lol

i look so happy in the bottom one right? i was at my grandma's house and i remember that toy somewhat. i think the hands shot off or something. not sure of the date on it, might have been 82 or 83 maybe?

i miss the old days of christmas!!

hope ya enjoy them!



here's are the answers
to our holiday version
of monday's
"five for friday!'

1. "the perfect ending to a perfect day...", in the song sleigh ride, where's the party?

farmer gray's

2. in the twelve days of christmas, what are there 10 of?

lords a-leapin'

3. in the dreidel song, what is the dreidel made of?


4. how many ghosts visit ebenezer scrooge in "a christmas carol"?


5. what kind of decoder badge does ralphie get in the mail in "a christmas story"?

little orphan annie

hey! a special holiday treat from rich woodall tomorrow!
see ya then!
smell ya later!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

some christmas images...


so i guess i'll post a post each day this week--just to get in the spirit...

tomorrow will be more of YOUR pictures and memories of christmases past and if you'd still like to send in some photos or reminiscences, be my guest! there's still plenty of time and we would LOVE to see 'em!

today's is a bunch of christmas images i grabbed off the internet or that people sent to me. just some fun stuff and odds and ends...

starting out here =with a picture of molly by my niece jordyn's crazy fun friend, josh. jordyn kept telling me what a great artist he is and was badgering him to do a haps pic for us--and he sent her this the other day! (i'm sure that the "i hate you!" translates to the opposite--just the way it did back when i was sixteen...) thanks, josh! awesome job! hope you'll do more!

i'll keep this one anonymous and just call it "snow in virginia" (i love this pic!)...

...and this one, "snow in albany"...

i don't know where this one is...

and here is a heart-warming little link from dani that reminds us all of jake.

and because this is the perhapa-blog, we've gotta include something a bit disturbing, no?

happy tuesday!
smell ya later!

Monday, December 21, 2009

christmas card: this year's model

for those of you who enjoyed my christmas card gallery from last year, here is this season's offering.

happy holidays, everybody!

and as a special holiday treat,
here's a holiday version of
"five for friday!'

1. "the perfect ending to a perfect day...", in the song sleigh ride, where's the party?

2. in the twelve days of christmas, what are there 10 of?

3. in the dreidel song, what is the dreidel made of?

4. how many ghosts visit ebenezer scrooge in "a christmas carol"?

5. what kind of decoder badge does ralphie get in the mail in "a christmas story"?

get that shopping done!
smell ya later!

Friday, December 18, 2009

sharing the holidays~!


yes, i said that i'd post my christmas card today, but i'm pushing that off til monday just 'cause i love the awesome holiday pictures that everyone sent in! thank you, thank you, thank you, guys! these are great and i just couldn't put them off for the weekend!
here are some great holiday memories from just a few of the members of our perhapa-family! enjoy!

brian mulcahy

Here is one of my older sister, Diane, my younger brother, Cary, and me with my price and joy, Captain Action dressed as Captain America.
Also, a cute modern picture of Santa and a little friend.


alison martin (thibodeau)

Okay, I really had a ramble down memory lane. Love looking at the vintage presents and stuff in the backgrounds. Anyway, you asked for photos, here're some . . .

(alison is opening a game called...voodoo!! it all makes sense now...)

(i was good friends with alison's brother jeff--here he is playing santa for his baby sister. sweet.)


don kelly

The family one is my Mom's family before I was a twinkle in her eye.
Note the old Santa by the tree.

the other one is me at 5 yrs old? Maybe... with the same Santa standing guard by the fireplace.
He still resides with me to this day. We keep him safe and take him out every December.
Oh and I still have that Stocking as well.. it's retired but still sits with the decorations.


adam hutchinson

Here are some Christmas pictures. I must've missed where you asked for them. I have two from when I was very little (I'm the baby in them use whichever one you want), and one from my daughter's first Christmas in 2007 (I swear she enjoyed herself). ; ; )



i'm guessing that these first two are for '70 and '71 respectively--the third one is definitely '72.
we learned early on that if you asked for a wagon or something like that, santa would also fill the wagon with toys. wow!
(my brother and i were often embarrassed at how many presents we got at christmas, to the point of discouraging our friends from coming into the house sometimes. years later, my mom told us of how my dad would totally lose it at christmas and just go crazy at the toy store. he is that way still and inundates his grandkids with christmas gifts! slow down, rodeo!)


also from alison--and to remind us again what the season is all about--here's a picture of the christmas program from our church from back in 1976. i don't know which one alison is and i'm sure i'm in there somewhere...alison...?
feliz navidad!

i'd love to have more of these pics to post next week, so if any of you have some and are inspired to send them in, PLEASE, we'd love to have them!
i'll post the christmas card on monday and there are more holiday surprises coming up next week!
smell ya later!