Coming up with a character profile for a puppet

Michael MensaWhen I get a new puppet I have to decide on a name, a personality, mannerisms and a voice. Sometimes I also have to decide on what the puppet will wear also – particularly if it is a people puppet that came with no costume. Sometimes it all comes together effortlessly. Winchester Wolf was one of those. The name, his “good-old-boy” personality and his voice (“Mr. Haney” from “Green Acres” TV show) just clicked right away. There are also times when I have everything figured out before I get the puppet and then I go look for a puppet to fit. Driving home one day from work I thought Bill Clinton’s voice would be fun to use as a puppet. Thinking over what sort of puppet, I decided on a donkey (well, he IS a Democrat after all) and went online to find one (and ended up with a great Folkmanis puppet again).

Other times it isn’t so easy and I debate back and forth. Take my Michael puppet. He is a young black male puppet. Now I can’t do a good Samuel L. Jackson voice or a Morgan Freeman voice. What I CAN do is a Michael Caine voice so I decided to name the puppet Michael Mensa and make him a boy genius and use a British accent. But then I sometimes worry that some one in the audience might be insulted and think I believe black people are only smart if they have a British accent. Probably that’s just a case of over-thinking something but that’s the process I go through.

By the way, that shirt on Michael is a size 18 months that I got at a store – good guess on my part as that seems to fit well!

Advertisements

New Puppet Comic Book

Image

Decided to make my first self-published comic book to go along with my current puppet shows an illustrated version of one of the more popular puppet shows I do. “Pester Spends the Night” is a show I have done at several Fall Festivals and churches and is about a nervous mosquito (Pester) spending the night at his friend’s house (Rocky) and learning to deal with fear.  The plan is to have the small (three 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages folded in half to make 12 pages) available at future shows for people to have. I will change the characters a bit in cartoon form from the actual physical puppets (to avoid any possible copyright problems) but the story will be the same. I’ve done a rough sketch of the cover showing Pester in bed with the blanket pulled up as visions of ghosts, werewolves and other creepy things float about. I’ll also make copies available to friends and relatives once done and printed up. I have always wanted to make comics to share with others (rather than just for my own enjoyment) and this is a good opportunity to merge puppets with comics! Not the first time I’ve done comics based on my puppets – here is a photo of the cover of one I did way back in 1988!

What to do, what to do

  The problem with having so many interests is that it is hard to concentrate on any one at a given time! Do I work on my puppet business or do I work on my novel or do I work on my non-fiction book or do I work on my comic book or….so many projects to choose from and the problem is that I often end up working on none of them at all! Or sometimes  I will spend some time on one and then wonder if I should have spent part of that time working on one of the other projects!

    So I’ll keep moving along and try to discipline myself to at least keep working on each project and try to figure out some sort of schedule and a way to divide the week up so I at least touch each one in a consistent manner! Well, at least I did work on my second blog this morning!

First Blog about This and That

Howdy to anyone out there! This is my first blog and I hope it leads to many others. Topics that I plan on covering will range from everything from puppets to comic books to writing to creation and lots of strange stuff in-between!
Puppets: I have been writing my own puppets shows for over 25 years as well as performing with stage puppets. My characters use humor to get their points across. I use voices that are celebrity impersonations for the puppets and I perform at events and churches.
Comic books: I grew up and have a collection of Silver Age comics (mostly Marvel) that I still enjoy today. I also grew up writing and drawing my own comic books and I am currently working on one that I hope to hand out at future puppet shows!
Writing: I have always written something ever since I can remember! Currently writing a novel I intend to finish this year. Then I will look into getting it self-published.
Creation: I am a firm believer that there is a Creator and that we are not here by accident!
So, those are some of the things I will hope to share in future blogs!

Take care!
Matthew