Monday, August 8, 2016

Different Eyes



    I recently enjoyed a lengthy visit from John Dusenberry, a very dear friend from the old days, someone I'd met in high school in North Adams. I was showing him some of my recent pottery work, and pointed out one piece I wasn't really happy with -- a two-handled mug made in my last hand building class. If memory serves, this was a coil-built pot. Coil-building is not my favorite technique -- the results are never (at least from my hands) quite as elegant as I would like them to be. And this pot was my least-favorite piece from that class.

    This particular mug body was somewhat misshapen and ugly, so in a desperate attempt to make it a passable piece, I quickly made two handles and attached them to the mug body, offset on opposite sides. I told myself it could be a mug for "two-fisted coffee drinkers'. 








    Yeah, right.

    So I was showing John this piece of pottery, and he looked at it, turning it around in his hands as he examined it with his artist/designer's eye. Then he did something unexpected -- grasping the mug by one handle, he held it out for me to take, which I did, grabbing it by the other handle. 


     And with that simple gesture, John pointed out something about this piece which had completely eluded me up until that point: Having two handles on a mug nicely solves the problem of how you hand a mug filled with a hot beverage to someone else. Think about it -- if the mug is hot, how does the recipient take it in their hands? It's awkward at best, and typically, the move is for the giver to set the mug down on a flat surface and turn the handle toward the recipient.

    With two handles, that awkwardness disappears. The handover of the hot beverage is accomplished with no muss, fuss or burnt fingers.

    As I pondered this, it occurred to me that it could pave the way for what I started calling the "Love Mug" -- if you were with a person with whom you were intimate, you could easily use a mug of this configuration to SHARE a hot (or cold) beverage, passing it back and forth with ease and comfort.

    Don't get me wrong -- I am not at all saying I came up with something completely new. While I have not as yet spent any time on the Internet searching for mugs of this type, I strongly suspect that other people have stumbled upon this same idea.

    The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes a fresh perspective, especially one from a discerning individual, can make all the difference, and allow you to see possibilities you had never imagined. Sometimes different eyes are all it takes. -- PL

Thursday, April 28, 2016

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Re: chance to bid on TMNT #1 first printing at Artrageous benefit gala


Hey!

I got an update from my daughter Emily today regarding bidding on the first printing of TMNT #1 which I donated to the Umbrella Community Arts Center for their fundraising gala event called "Artgaeous". Here's what Em had to say about how to bid on this item:

"To have the first opportunity to bid on this piece of comic book history, you'll have to either actually be at Artrageous or buy a ticket to the event. (Tickets to the event can be purchased at http://theumbrellaarts.org/event/artrageous.) If you are unable to be there in person but are interested in bidding, you can purchase a ticket and send Emily your cell phone number. You will get a unique bidder link to join the auction and can bid along with the other gala attendees. However, if the book doesn't sell on the night of the gala, it will be offered on eBay or another online auction website. If you have any questions about the auction, you can contact Emily at emily@theumbrellaarts.org."

So that's pretty cool! By the way, this copy of TMNT #1 first printing has been graded by CGC as a 9.6. A photo of the "slabbed" book which Em just sent to me is at the top of this post. -- PL

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ARTRAGEOUS! A chance to bid on a first printing of TMNT #1 on May 7, 2016!



     My daughter Emily works for a wonderful nonprofit arts organization in Concord, Massachusetts called The Umbrella Community Arts Center  (theumbrellaarts.org) and they are having their annual fundraising gala, Artrageous, on Saturday, May 7 at 40 Stow Street in Concord.

     There will be a silent art auction at the gala, featuring all kinds of cool things, including a lot of original artwork… and a mint condition first printing of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" #1 (the original Mirage Studios edition, published in 1984). This book has been graded by CGC at a 9.6, and I am donating this copy to the art auction from my small personal collection of TMNT comic books. All proceeds will go to The Umbrella.

     The starting bid on this rare comic book will be $5,000 (five thousand dollars), and I am also offering (if a buyer wants it) to personalize the book with my signature (and probably a small Turtle head sketch) inside the book or on its cover.

    
I got an update from my daughter Emily today regarding bidding on the first printing of TMNT #1 which I donated to the Umbrella Community Arts Center for their fundraising gala event called "Artgaeous". Here's what Em had to say about how to bid on this item:

"To have the first opportunity to bid on this piece of comic book history, you'll have to either actually be at Artrageous or buy a ticket to the event. (Tickets to the event can be purchased at http://theumbrellaarts.org/event/artrageous.) If you are unable to be there in person but are interested in bidding, you can purchase a ticket and send Emily your cell phone number. You will get a unique bidder link to join the auction and can bid along with the other gala attendees. However, if the book doesn't sell on the night of the gala, it will be offered on eBay or another online auction website. If you have any questions about the auction, you can contact Emily at emily@theumbrellaarts.org."

So that's pretty cool! By the way, this copy of TMNT #1 first printing has been graded by CGC as a 9.6. A photo of the "slabbed" book which Em just sent to me is at the top of this post. -- PL -- PL

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not awkward, not weird, but definitely a "family photo". At least they got ONE thing right!

    Sometimes the Internet is just SO stupid. Or, to be more accurate and fair, it's the people who post certain things on the Internet…

    I heard from a friend today that she'd seen the following online at this URL (http://www.fizzdot.com/the-most-awkward-and-weird-family-photos-of-all-time/28/):





    … and she was wondering if she was mistaken in thinking that the guy in the photo was me. I replied and told her she was not wrong, and that this was in fact a photo taken back when the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was being filmed in North Carolina. Fellow TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and I had been asked to pose for some publicity photos on one of the movie sets with the actor who played Leonardo, garbed in one of the incredible Jim Henson Studio-created Turtle suits.

    Following that session, I asked if it would be okay if I got a shot of me and my wife and infant daughter (who were also briefly visiting the movie set) posing with Leonardo, kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The actor inside the costume (who, if I am remembering correctly, was named Dave, and who told us that he too had recently become a father) was very gracious in agreeing to take the extra time to do this, although he was sweating uncomfortably inside that heavy foam-rubber suit in the sweltering North Carolina summer heat.

    I've always considered this photo to be a cool artifact of that time and experience. I'm glad we got the chance to pose for it, and I wish I knew the photographer's name so he or she could get the proper credit.

    So, for the dumbass who posted this as supposedly one of "The Most Awkward and Weird Family Photos of All Time", here's a fact-check for you:

    1.) We (the people in the photo) love the "Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles". We understand that they are sometimes called by the more generic "Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles" title in certain other locations, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we've always preferred to think of them by the original title -- "Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles".

    2.) We didn't hire a Turtle for a day to pose with our infant. See above for the real story, not your invented nonsense.

    3.) The baby is not a boy, she's a girl -- my daughter, Emily, now 27 -- who loves this photo (even if she cannot, obviously, remember being there when it was taken!). She also did not grow up to hate the Turtles.

    So there you go -- wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    It's a useful object lesson, I think -- context IS important. -- PL

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tiny turtle

I was on a very pleasant bicycle ride with friends Gary and Rick today, heading down the bike path to Easthampton, MA, when I spotted something quite small moving at a pretty good clip directly across my path. At first I thought it was some weird-looking bug, but as I slowed to a stop to take a closer look, I realized that it was a tiny turtle!

I got out my camera and a quarter to indicate the size of the intrepid little critter, and took a photo...





... then gently picked up the turtle and moved him to the relative safety of the side of the path toward which he had been heading. -- PL

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A stealthy critter glimpsed

    This is one of the crappiest photos I've ever taken, but I was hurrying and shooting through a second floor window. As I was getting up today, and walking downstairs to eat breakfast, I paused on the second floor landing as some movement in the driveway outside caught my eye.







    It was a large wildcat, casually strolling across the driveway. I'd never before seen one of these beasts in the wild, and I wish I'd had a better camera at hand and more time to use it. I only managed to get this one shot, the blurriness of which unfortunately obscures many details. But you can get a sense of the size of the animal as it is passing in front of the plow on my white truck.

    Here's a cropped version of the photo showing the wildcat. -- PL




Sunday, November 29, 2015

What the -- ?!



This morning I was looking though "Signals", one of the many catalogs I receive in the mail, trying to get some inspirations for unusual Christmas gifts, when I stumbled upon this on page 17:




Here's the pertinent detail:




The word "Contraceptions" is what jumped out at me. It seemed very out of place in this catalog, and I didn't really think that the Lego company was branching out into birth control devices, but… you never know.

The mind boggles when considering what might be considered "Crazy Action" birth control. Can you imagine the possible function of the "Squeeze Claw Grabber" mentioned in the product description? 

It's probably best not to go there.

This may be the strangest proofreading error I've ever come across. One has to wonder what was going through the proofreader's mind at the time. -- PL