''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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Monocle Video Outtakes

One more thing about the Gentleman’s Monocles project I mentioned the other day!

Here is a behind the scenes/outtakes video:

If you want your own monocle(s), there are a few days left in the Kickstarter!

I thought it ended today but that’s because I…didn’t do math right? It actually ends Wednesday morning. I have no stake in this project, I’m just really proud of the video and think it’s a neat thing!



Gentleman’s Single-Use Monocles

Recently I was asked by fellow cartoonist Zach Weinersmith to help on a project!

He has created the Gentleman’s Single-Use Un-Lubricated Monocle:

FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY

I did the package design (the wrapper, above, and the box, below):

a full supply for a busy evening

And I also directed the Kickstarter promo video!

We made a silent film about a gentleman’s pressing need for monocular protection, with the assistance of 5 Second Films’ Ben Gigli, SMBC Theater’s James Ashby, and my own The Audience team member Rachel Parker. I’m super happy with it!

I've got my eye on you

You can get your own monocles on Kickstarter now. But hurry: the campaign ends on Monday Wednesday!



Roll-a-Sketches from Seattle! + Convention Schedule

Here are some Roll-a-Sketch drawings I did the other weekend in Seattle! Roll-a-Sketches, of course, are drawings whose subjects are randomly chosen by the throwing of dice — or, as the ancient Romans used to call them, “Bones-a-Etches.”

Thanks to those of you who came and said hello at the booth, either to grab a book, or a sketch, or maybe pick up your Wondermark jigsaw puzzle! It was nice to see you all.

Click any image for an arguably too-close look at any image!

ASTRONAUT + SAMURAI + LAWN MOWER + TRUCKER:

one small step for dad

TOUCAN + DINOSAUR:

high high higher than higher than high

LADYBUG + SKUNK:

-spits on the ground- WHAT YOU LOOKIN AT

SAMURAI + TEA:

i had a hat like that once

ASTRONAUT + DRAGON + LAWN MOWER + CARNY:

i'll take a dozen!

BARBARIAN + SKUNK:

smells like VICTORY

My current convention schedule for the rest of this year, so far, is:

MAY 15-17 : Maker Faire Bay Area, San Mateo : I’ll be in the Bazaar as usual!

MAY 23-24 : Vancouver Comic Arts Festival : Looking forward to a triumphant return to BC

JULY 8-12 : San Diego Comic-Con or whatever

JULY 30-AUG 2 : Gen Con Indy : I might try to host a playtest of a game this time around!

AUG 19-23 : World Science Fiction Convention / Sasquan, Spokane, WA : I missed last year, but I’m coming back, and I’m bringing Dave Kellett with me!

That’s it for the spring and summer. Maybe one or two more in the fall. Hope to see you at one of them!!

Daily Roll-a-Sketch drawings continue at rollasketch.com! Oh yeah and we got coloring books too!