''Is it...silent?'' ''Well, there's a percussion track''
#991; The Chipmunks, and What Came After

It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I realized the Chipmunks (which I had always known as cartoon characters from my childhood) were actually, as pop-cultural entities, much older — dating back to their eponymous novelty Christmas record in 1958 or, arguably, the “Witch Doctor” song all the way back in 1952. There was a short-lived cartoon in 1961, but the Saturday-morning cartoon that I and people of my generation are most familiar with didn’t come around until more than 20 years later (1982-1990).

The audio trick that creator Ross Bagdasarian used to create the sound of the Chipmunks’ voices was so simple, and the resulting songs so popular in the late 50s and early 60s, that I figured they must have spawned some knockoffs. Sure enough — enjoy the squeaky sounds of:

The Nutty Squirrels (singing “Uh Oh”)
The Grasshoppers (singing “Shortnin’ Bread”) (More info)
The Three Happy Crickets (“We Wish You a Merry Christmas”)
Woody Woodchuck’s Christmas Sing Song (info only)
Sing Along with the Busy Beavers (album download)
BONUS LINK: The Happy Hamsters sing “Ghostbustin'”, a few decades later. Full album here.

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MISSIVES. (see all)

THIS WEEK: San Diego Comic-Con!

THIS WEEK: San Diego Comic-Con!

It’s time once again for Comic-Con! This year I’ll be sharing the TopatoCo booth (#1229) with old pals Sam Logan and Kory Bing.

I won’t have the newest Wondermark collection there — it’s not quite finished being printed — but I will sign a sticker you can take home and put in the book when you do get it! Or any other book you own, or whatever!

I’m not doing any panels this year, so I’ll just be at the booth the whole time, staring quietly into the middle distance until someone calls my name three times with increasing sharpness. Hope to see you there!



Video: The Last Spaceplane

Here’s a Wondermark puppet animation that I made a while back but never posted online for some reason!

It is an ACTION STORY about a SPACE EMERGENCY.

It was written by Zach Sigelko, and performed by Zach and myself:

THE LAST SPACEPLANE

Over on Patreon I’ve posted a link to an enormous folder full of more experimental puppet videos that Zach and I made!

The above was basically the culmination of this period of experimentation. The archive videos chronicle the early beginnings of our efforts as they gradually grow more refined.

Video: The Last Spaceplane

Zach also guested on the latest episode of Malki on the Mark, in which we discuss these puppet videos, and why we made them, and so on.

It was chatting with Zach for this podcast that reminded me that I never really posted many of these online. So thanks, Zach!



Check out: My interview on the ComicLab podcast

Check out: My interview on the ComicLab podcast

I was pleased as punch to be invited to yammer for an hour on ComicLab, the making-comics podcast hosted by my pals Dave Kellett and Brad Guigar.

Here’s a direct link to the episode on their site! (And on Overcast.)