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FOTO PHRIDAY: Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Try for the things you only let yourself dream of before.

(Mr. Ugly-Man is taking my advice!)

Mr. Ugly-Man puts the moves on Harley Quinn. But she ain't havin' it. Watch out for that bat.

Mr. Ugly-Man puts the moves on Harley Quinn. But she ain’t havin’ it. Watch out for that bat.

 

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From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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I <3 Koala Yummies

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Koala Yummies have been around for a long time. So long, in fact, that their name has since been changed to Koala’s March. They are delicious filled cookies and used to be hard to find, but in recent years they are stocked in the cookie aisle of all major grocery chains.

They come in packaging shaped as a hexagonal prism. The shell of the cookie is thin and tastes a bit like a sweetened cracker. It has adorable pictures of cartoon koalas stamped on it. The inside has a chocolate fudge filling. They are made in Japan by Lotte, so they have a cute Kawaii appeal. (Kawaii means “cute” or “adorable”. Think Hello Kitty—it always makes me happy when I think about her!) Apparently the cookies are also available in strawberry, but I can’t recall ever sampling that variety. I usually only buy one box at a time as I tend to inhale them. But on the occasion I took this picture, I bought a family pack.

Koala's March, formerly Koala Yummies

Koala’s March, formerly Koala Yummies

I learned something from the Koala’s March website that I never knew before. Koala’s March supports the Australian Koala Foundation, a conservation group. Unfortunately, it doesn’t say whether buying more boxes will increase the support they receive or not. But, buy more anyway because they are delicious.

Koala’s are super cute, but if I ever have the means to support a threatened animal Down Under, I would choose the dingo because my dog looks like one.

My wild dingo, the first day we got her back in 2004.

My wild dingo, the first day we got her back in 2004.

Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
When You Least Expect It CLICK HERE TO WIN!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

JEM is Truly Outrageous

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Jem is awesome. It is a cartoon rock’n’roll soap opera from the late 80’s. It has everything a pre-teen girl in the 80’s could have wanted: glamor, glitter, fashion, fame, exciting adventure, a boyfriend with purple hair and eyes to match. *sigh*

I remember I used to come home from school and watch Jem. A lot of days I would go over to my asbestos friend’s house to watch it with her. Although she was always grounded and not allowed to watch TV afterschool or have me over. (Her mother thought I was a bad influence. Maybe she is right. I did get my asbestos friend into blogging-hehehe.) I remember one time when her family’s floor model TV was dying. The whole picture showed up in one tiny strip across the center of the TV, maybe only two or three inches vertically. But we watched Jem on the distorted TV anyway.

Jem and Hannah Montana have a little in common. Both are series about pop stars with secret identities. Miley Stewart is to Hannah Montana as Jerrica Benton is to Jem. Jerrica turns into her rock star alter-ego Jem with the help of a hologram from super-computer Synergy. Jerrica had special earrings that allowed her to speak to Synergy whenever she needed. (By a total coincidence, I happen to own earrings that are very similar to Jem’s.) Jerrica as Jem gets her sister and foster sisters together and they start a band called Jem and The Holograms (get it?), in an effort to make money for Starlight Music which will in turn support the Starlight House, filled with foster girls. The Holograms are Aja, Shana, and Jerrica’s sister Kimber.

My “Jem-like” earrings


Every episode featured three mini music videos. Some of the songs are actually quite good. I used to tape them using my cassette recorder. Some were sung by Jem and The Holograms, some by their rival band, The Misfits. The Misfits are very bad. In many episodes, they literally are trying to kill Jem. My husband has seen bits of a few episodes and he is like “they would be so arrested for that.” But, somehow, they never are. The Misfits are made up of Pizzazz, Roxie, and Stormer. Stormer isn’t actually bad. She just has no backbone to think for herself, therefore she follows. Later, both bands would get an additional member.

All the Holograms know about Synergy and that Jerrica and Jem are one in the same. Too bad Jerrica’s boyfriend Rio doesn’t know. He is the long suffering Starlight House maintenance man, Hologram’s roadie, engineer, bodyguard, and Jem’s personal guardian angel. He doesn’t get paid enough. He deserves better. Rio is supposed to be Jerrica’s boyfriend, but then Jerrica as Jem is always hanging all over Rio, confusing him. Rio looks pretty much exactly like a Ken doll, but with purple hair. But it suits him. I am rewatching episodes on streaming Netflix now, and I do not think Jerrica ever tells him the truth about Jem. What a bitch.

Rio with Jerrica


I really liked in the third season when the writers added a third band. They were called “The Stingers” (bad name). They feature a male lead singer named Riot, along with rocker chicks named Minx and Rapture. It was nice to have more testosterone on the show, along with Rio and evil Misfit manager Eric Raymond, to balance out all the girl power. And it was nice to have some songs sung by a guy. Of course, Riot created love triangle with Rio and Jem. If you count Jerrica, that makes it a love square. The Stingers definitely were not good, but they weren’t always evil either like the Misfits. They sort of just played every situation to their advantage. Jerrica was such a goody-goody. Boring. Always keeping everything organized. Jem enjoyed the spotlight and let herself get swept away sometimes.

This was one of the cartoons of the 80s that Hasbro used to sell toys (Transformer, anyone?). I never bought any Jem dolls. Now I sort of wish I had. Although I remember them as not really looking like the cartoon characters that much. But that was the amazing thing. Although the writer, Christy Marx, was told to make a cartoon to sell a toy, she went way beyond that. She created Starlight Music, Starlight House, and all the various relationships between the interweaving characters. Even the Starlight Girls had a bit of screen-time and well-developed personalities and some back story. I am saying don’t dispell this as just a dumb fluffy cartoon. It has real heart and stories. (Just don’t keep count of how many times Rio has to rescue Jem from an avalanche;)

The fashions on the cartoon are so…80’s. I think the only way to really know what that means is to have lived through it. Stripes, polka-dots, ruffles, bows. Big, colorful hair. You name it. All on the same outfit. On the same person. The makeup is also crazy. Just random streaks of makeup across their cheeks, like little kids would do to dress up like an Indian for Halloween.

I liked how everyone’s nickname told their profession. Video made the videos. Danse danced in them. Techrat knew technology and had the personality of a rat.

How Synergy could create holograms around the world, I will never understand. Or how no one realized Jerrica & Jem were the same person. Apparently changing your hair from blond to pink is the equivalent of Superman removing his eye glasses. I mean, both women hung out with all the same friends. You would think that would be easy to figure out. Maybe Jerrica wasn’t a bitch, maybe Rio was just really dense. He also should have dumped Jerrica for never putting out.

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My Fake Family

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Growing up, I was the only child of a single parent. I was creative with a very good imagination. So naturally, I always imagined having a large family. The earliest imaginary family I can remember, I had six sisters (Brady Bunch influence?) and one brother named Hellmann (Yup, like the mayonnaise). All the girls lived in the attic together (Boy, would that be totally NOT fun in real life!). Hellmann would come up and run through the room very fast and we would all spin around and our belongings would fly every which way (Yes, just like in a cartoon) and we would all yell “Hellmann!”

There were various other imaginary families after that. But once Punky Brewster debuted on NBC, it was important that I somehow work her into all my imaginary adventures. (In case it isn’t clear, I viewed myself to be Punky:) So, here is the Brewster family I created. There were so many kids with so many names, I had to make a cheat sheet family photo. Then, because I lived to draw, I made many, many family photos. I think part of it may have been to see if I could draw the same people over and over to look the same each time, like Charles Schulz did with his characters. All these pictures have just been sitting in my file cabinet for like 28 years (Yes, I save everything). In the real world, my mom is a hermit and not big on keeping in touch with family. That means, at a point in time, I knew more about these imaginary people than I have ever known about some relatively close member of my own real family.

Family Photo with names and ages.

House Floor Plan. Wow, 4 bathrooms! Must be David & Sheri got married if they started sharing a bedroom!


So, here are some pictures of my fake family. I drew them when I was young. Yes, some of the names are badly misspelled. The fashions are very 80’s. You probably can’t tell from the scan, but from the info on their T-shirts, the family seems to live in Greenville. Greenville: where families have a mom and a dad, older brothers have a nice, pretty girlfriend, younger brothers are always covered in mud, people have look-alike cousins, newborn babies eat cookies, ponytails are sideways, both grandma and grandpa are alive, and houses have four bathrooms. The burning question that remains in my mind, looking back on these pictures so many years later—why the fuck didn’t this family have a dog?!!

Oldest brother David’s girlfriend Sheri. Notice how she signed AND kissed the picture;)


Newborn picture of youngest sister “Mealisa”. I even did this picture on an index card, so that it would look smaller, like a real picture. Notice she is holding a rattle AND a cookie.


Petrisa “Punky” (me), look-alike Cousin Ann (equals twice the fun), and friend Prisilla


Older sister Julie going to a dance. Awesome 80’s fashion. Truly outrageous.


With Grandparents


Dad macking on the oldest son’s girlfriend. More awesome fashion.


Family at the hospital for birth of Mealisa.


One more. This picture is incomplete, but I felt it necessary to show that imaginary Mom could get dressed up and look damn good:)


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Mr. Ugly-Man

Mr. Ugly-Man is the cartoon character I created myself. I can draw him very quickly, like when I would see Charles M. Shultz draw Charlie Brown or Snoopy. Mr. Ugly-Man has no TV show or movie. Yet.

This is my most favorite Mr. Ugly-Man pic.


Mr. Ugly-Man was born in a 9th grade Algebra class. The teacher (who, by the way, was the worst teacher I ever had) had hung up a sign by the door. I think it said “Free Books” or something. So, in the double O’s, I drew eyeballs and evil eyebrows. The face, hair, and body all came later.

I love Mr. Ugly-Man. I have always dreamed of getting him put on a T-shirt. When I used to make mix tapes, I would use the name “Mr. Ugly-Man” for my make-believe production company. Hasn’t everyone considered what their make-believe music production company should be named? (Oh…You say you haven’t? Uh, never mind.) I wanted Mr. Ugly-Man to become a cultural icon, like Fido Dido. (Oh…You don’t remember him? Uh, never mind.)

As I have never before had a platform to introduce Mr. Ugly-Man to the world, other than meeting doodles, I figured I would feature him in my blog. Enjoy*

*And don’t steal him, or I will sue your ass.

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