Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thumbnails with old friends

Muppet.* Fan.

Hang around me long enough and you'll add those two words to your list of personality descriptors. (And hopefully those won't be the only nice words on the list.) Cookie Monster and I grew up together, as I was able to remind him in a letter that was published in "Sesame Street Upaved" a few years ago. (Seriously!) I've been told I was part of a test survey when Sesame Street first aired in the 1960s, and I mourned Jim Henson's death as the loss of not one but of many dear friends.**

So it should come as no surprise that among my December rituals is the repeated airing of "The Muppet Christmas Carol." My now-decrepit VHS tape needs replacing one of these days, but so far I've managed to eek out the 2010 screenings without serious mishap.

What IS surprising is that until last night I hadn't ever tried to draw a Muppet character. Not one. What the...?

I am pleased to announce that I've now at least partially amended that oversight. (As well as accomplished a set of thumbnails.) I can also say that Kermit is way harder to draw than it seems he should be... especially during the amount of time allowed by the pause button on the VCR. But may I introduce you to The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens and Rizzo the Rat as literary commentator?

Drawing Muppets is like drawing any other living creature. Gotta get the eyes right or it's all over.

It was a fun way to spend an evening and it dispersed some of the anxiety that starts building when my inner border collie*** isn't getting enough exercise. (***Thanks, Patrick... it's a useful image.)

Solstice countdown: It's TOMORROW NIGHT. 'Nuf said.

(*It should be noted, of course, that Muppet characters and all their attendant paraphernalia are copyrighted and trademarked and all that sort of thing. In no way are my little sketches intended to suggest any sort of ownership or to usurp authority and they are certainly not for sale. It's just practice, eh? And a bit of hero worship.)

(**At one time the entire memorial service at St. John the Divine in New York was available on YouTube. It doesn't seem to be there now, but there's still a wobbly clip of "One Person" that will break your heart. And Big Bird singing "Bein' Green"? Ach!)


  1. Oh, Muppets! In the 70s, working in London with and for some pretty high-powered folk, I've known many scuffles to avoid a Saturday night job just to watch the show. (No recorders in those days!)
    And your career was going nowhere til you'd been on the Muppet Show!
    Happy Christmas, Sherrie. Here's to a good year.

    goes off, singing:"... it's time put on make-up, it's time to light the lights..."

  2. Thanks for the clip link to the "One Person" number...I am still teary. Love your little sketches...a nice way to be connected to the little guys. And your comment about your inner border collie made me laugh out loud. It IS a great visual. Thanks for this post. It fits perfectly with this season. Love and hugs.

  3. Awesome... childhood memories of sunday evenings spent watching the muppets and recording the show off tv on my cassette player so that I could listen back to it during the week. (the days before the video recorder)'It's not easy being green' is still a saying in our house whenever we do something dumb. Do doooo dooododo....menumm menumm...

  4. Oh, I KNEW you all would 'get' it. :-)