King Black Walnut
The last several months have been focused on big projects that have died to soon or been meet with an underwhelming meah.
Early Riser got the meah, so that is that, off to the digital flat file it goes.
Insert Charlie Brown Sad Walking Music Here
Early Risers Episode 12 “Evil Reside Here”
The morning rush is just ending as the last customer is seen leaving the Early Risers Root Juice Truck. The celebratory sounds of woops and high-fives can be heard coming from the truck as Pennington, Clarence, and The Sweater Vest begin preparing for the lunch rush. Each one dives into their respective tasks while singing made-up songs filled with make believe words and rhymes.
But as happy as they all seem to be, Clarence is feeling a little disappointed that his new flavor Kale Beet Spinach Squash Radish Kale Again (or “KBSSRKA” for short) was greeted with little fanfare by the masses.
On the counter sits a dog-eared copy of “How To Succeed at Everything” by H. Ekate. The dejected and now easily-influenced Clarence picks up the book and peers curiously inside. Once he does, he is suddenly enveloped by a sinister green mist that billows forth from the book, which quickly transforms him into the true personification of evil - Normal Adult Man! The fiend is well dressed in suit-and-tie with a shiny pair of sensible shoes, and is smartly accessorized with a nametag that reads “Evil,” and of course, the obligatory pair of horns on his head.
“The good times are over!” Shouts Evil Clarence, opening his brief case and releasing the Scourges of Boringness: plain cheese sandwiches, chores, bath towels, eating utensils, hangers, ice cube trays, toe nail clippers, and anagrams. Aarrgghh!
Energy crackles in the eyes of Evil Clarence, manifesting as bolts that surge forth and strike an innocent transistor radio, transforming it into an angry substitute teacher who swiftly begins nagging the preoccupied Pennington and The Sweater Vest about their poor posture.
Without warning, itchy, ill-fitting polyester uniforms and names tags materialize on Pennington and The Sweater Vest, as Evil Clarence howls “Conform, boys! Conform!” seconds before he turns the substitute teacher into a papasan chair and sits down. Evilness can be so exhausting.
Pennington seems rather pleased with the new look until he notices The Sweater Vest uncontrollably scratching at his neck from the coarse, ersatz fabric. Gaagghhh!
From there it’s all down hill as Evil Clarence uses his powers to turn a penny jar into a “Gimmie a Nickel” jar, and swiftly revamps the menu to begin charging extra for straws, double extra for cups, and triple extra for cups without holes. Finally, he distributes the gazillion-page employee handbook, “100,000,000 Rules to Follow Before Lunch - Learn Em and Live Em”.
With each Draconian change however, Pennington remains slightly optimistic, saying, “Well, it could be worse,” as he futilely attempts to adjust the collar of the uniform now chaffing his neck.
Meanwhile, Evil Clarence quickly becomes bored with these pedestrian acts of evil and turns his wrath onto a pair of customers: bolts of energy surge forth from his penetrating eyes, strange incantations are spoken, and Blammo! Just like that, several customers are transformed into lumpy cheese fondue sculptures.
“Yeech - these taste like pure evil!” Pennington cries while licking one of the cheese curds, tears welling up in his eyes. Knowing this utterly unharmonious rampage has to end, Pennington and The Sweater Vest prepare to fight back.
They bump fists, clearly expecting a big magical superhero transformation to take place, but - nothing happens. “OK – let’s try Plan B,” The Sweater Vest says. The two friends make tough guy faces and begin mercilessly pummeling the Evil Clarence with all things cute and good: a dolphin, unicorns, bacon, bacon cupcakes, penny farthings, abstract shaped topiaries, and so on.
At first it seems like Evil Clarence may be weakening, but he is in fact merely annoyed, and he quickly regains the upper hand by unleashing a mind-numbing lecture on the importance of 30 second hand-washing complete with accompanying graphs, pie charts, horrific pictures of fingernail fungus gone wild, and a guest appearance by the very unexciting Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. Gaaggghh!
Exhausted and plumb out of cuteness to hurl, Pennington and The Sweater Vest have their backs to the wall. Things are truly looking grim in this, their darkest hour.
Suddenly, Pennington has an idea: he looks to The Sweater Vest, then to a red button on the wall that reads “Never Push.” Ignoring the warning, he hits the button as The Sweater Vest nods approvingly. Deus Ex Machina, baby. Deus Ex Machina.
Instantly, a tiny wrestling arena lowers down from above. Pennington steps forward, and boldly demands a winner-take-all Texas Thumb Wrestling Steel Cage Match.
Before a flummoxed Evil Clarence can even respond, the thumbs of both Pennington and The Sweater Vest, now adorned in masks and capes,
pop up inside the ring. They begin taunting Evil Clarence with cries of “Bwaakwk!“ and “Chick Chick Chicken!”
Much thumb wrestling, ligament-bending, sweat-beaded brows, and fake drama ensue, as the amazing tag team powers of Pennington and The Sweater Vest ultimately defeat the thumbs of Evil Clarence. Owwieee!
Rejoicing, Pennington and The Sweater Vest perform the “Evil is Vanquished!” dance as Clarence returns to his former slightly crabby self.
And once again all is well in the world, as the two lump cheese curd sculptures step up to the counter to place their order: “Two orders of KBSSRKA, please.”
The last six months or so of creative juice have been dedicated to a PUNY project. The bulk of the work is done and I feel like I’ve come out on the other side a better artist. These are just two of the 58 backgrounds completed for the the projected and they are all gold.
Custom covers for a few copies of “Everybody Takes A Turn”. Bye Bye little books I will miss you dearly.
Still a handful left and available here
Work, Work, Work, finally calms down for a minute allowing me to turn my attentions to things less important.