Flashback Friday # 14

September is here and the football season is starting. Ah, reminds me of those glory days on the grid iron at ART SCHOOL. What, RISD had a football team? Well, sort of. We never had practice or a coach. But we had jerseys...

I don't remember who got this started, but I think it was one of those things were someone said it would be fun to have a RISD football jersey and it snowballed to around 25 -30 guys signing on making possible to be printed up in a affordable bulk order. We each got our name on it and picked our numbers.

We just wore them around campus feeling cool. We did play a football game at the RISD beach/farm one Saturday afternoon, but it was really an excuse to have a keg and BBQ party. I can't find any pictures of anyone wearing the jerseys. I think we took a team picture once but I may just want to remember taking one. I do have a video from the beach party (I should get all my old videos transferred to disc). I'll try to post it one day.

I still have the jersey though. It's a great thing to still have and never found at the RISD bookstore. I'm not going to try to put it on again, I just know it won't fit anymore.

My old friend and roommate Mike and I went to the COMEDY STORE one night when he was visiting in LA. The comedian on stage asked where we were from and we told him we were students at Rhode Island School of Design on vacation. He knew our school saying...

"Oh RISD... (to the audience) ...it's an art school. Their football team sucks but the banners look amazing!"

A good joke.

The Reality of Reality TV: 2nd season #2

If you read this blog regularly you might remember I wrote about never being called by my last name. Even in high school, playing sports or in gym class, I was always "Dave Lowe" and never just "Lowe". Nothing changes.

Here's part of an e-mail sent out by the production manager today...

It could of been... art dept, art director, Dave L., D. Lowe. or any crazy combination of. I'm not complaining. It makes me smile. I just wonder why people easily use my first and last name together?

Neighborhood Quality Control.

One night, a few years back, I was wearing my work worn paint stained clothes walking out of a Starbucks with my coffee. I saw someone leaving their parked car with the lights on. I started to tell them they had as they walked near me. They waved me off saying "I have no spare change". Realizing how I looked, I let it go.

Here's a new one...

Does anyone else have someone in the neighborhood that feels it's their job to be the quality control officer? This person came up to me yesterday while I was tending our front lawn. A blue Toyota Corolla that is a permanent fixture on the block was parked on the street. She said, pointing to it...

"Hi, See that disgusting car? It's always around. It's full of junk, it must be some "homeless" persons. I'd love to get it out of here or towed away. So if you ever catch the owner of it parking near your house you should ask them to move on."

"Yea, uh...that's my car." I answered.

I enjoyed the awkward moment that followed. "Oh, OK" she said and just walked away.

For 10 years my 97' corolla has been a workhorse. It was never expected to be a "pick up" truck. It bears the dents, scars and scraps from all my many jobs. It has hauled everything from fine china in the trunk to bails of hay tied to the roof. It was also a reliable, trusted friend traveling across the country ....

Often my car is hidden at the end of the driveway behind our homes 2 nicer cars owned by the fiancee and her sister. One day soon, I hope to get a brand new vehicle that is designed with space for all the props, tools and stuff I have to load up for work everyday.

Until then, I'm sorry Ranchito Avenue...my old Toyota will be a ugly blemish in the neighborhood when parked on the street.

Sunday Sketchbook

JAWS was on TV this morning. It's one of those few movies that's so good it pulls you in even after seeing 18 billion times. Doodling shark hunters while it's on gives you a legit reason to do nothing but sit on the couch and watch.

Saturday Morning Video

I love the Internet for finding proof that many of my hazy memories did happen. When STAR WARS first opened and took over the world, it was everywhere. I remember being excited to see DARTH VADER, C3PO, R2 and CHEWBACCA as guest stars on the DONNY AND MARIE SHOW one week. I also remember thinking how painful it was to watch.

You have to see this just for Kris Kristofferson as Han Solo, Redd Foxx as Obi Wan and Darth Vader being Paul Lynde's straight man (no pun intended). This is a memory that should be recessed...

Tenacious D(evin).

When my siblings and I were little kids, we'd always have some silly small variety act or skit to show off for the grown ups. With our cousins, Christine and Mary Alice, we performed full blown 4 act plays with an intermission in the living room. It was always charming and innocent. But kid's today are out of control. They walk right past Sesame Street to the mosh pit of the club around the corner...

It seems her dad Paul has been listening to the classic rock station a lot lately.

Halloween countdown #4

Year after year I just sort of throw the Halloween decor together. I've never really taken time to actually design it like a set as I would for work. Funny huh? You think I would. I always get caught up having fun in making new props for the space never thinking where they will go. This year will be different. I want to make the house and the whole area a character this year.

As I plan it out and imagine the bigger picture, one idea I started last year but ran out of time working on, was edging the lawn and driveway with an old cemetery fence. I hope to include it this year.

The plan is to make free standing pieces like this...

Because they will be out front, they should help tie the environment together and be a great place to showcase smaller details like crows and such.

I was lucky to get left over large chunks of bubble foam from working on DIY's Craft Lab to make the 4' stone columns with. This is were I left off last year, carving with a serrated knife and shaping with a heat gun...

The wrought iron gate will be really simple to do with inexpensive materials and a coat of paint...

OK, so now I gotta create a grand design to include the cemetery and some alien invasion stuff. The Fiancee also asked if a Hogwort's feeling was possible inside finding some fun "Harry Potter" themed food recipes she wants to make for friends and family stopping by to enjoy the night. Gotta love Halloween.

Star Wars - The Pigeon Menace

Just when I was starting to get the toy collection back to normal after niece Devin's visits...

I'm in my home office "hobbit hole" when suddenly behind me came crashing sounds and stuff falling everywhere. I spin around to see this ...

I let him calm down and settle. I had to snap some pictures. Have no fear animal lovers, I was able to gently grab him and set him outside. He was fine and flew away.

Maybe I should think about installing a screen door.

Halloween countdown #3

Ok, I've done up a temp. working plan for my H.G. Wells Martian lawn element...

Click on picture to enlarge.

I know there will be a lot of trouble shooting to do as it's made, but it's a start. There are a few rules I have for myself before creating it...

1) Keep it as lightweight as possible, sturdy and safe. Don't want it falling on anyone.
2) Budget: make it with as much of the "junk to make stuff" pile as I can with paint, etc. I already have trying not to spend any money on.
3) Remember to keep it sturdy and safe.
4) Big and imposing but fun.
5) Don't forget to make sturdy and safe.
6) Storage: try to make it so it can be disassembled and saved for next year.
7) Make it sturdy and safe.
8) Budget be damned if I need to buy things to make it sturdy and safe.

Halloween countdown #2

I've been doodling ideas for the lawn this year. The great thing about Halloween is it gives me an excuse to make stuff I've always wanted to. I think at least one 12' high H.G. Wells inspired Martian war machine might be needed. Haven't figured out how to make it yet, but I will.

Halloween countdown.

While sitting on the front porch, a Mom pushing a stroller and her 2 small sons walked by. The one older boy said to his brother

"There's the Halloween house!"

The younger boy answered in that kid way of whispering that's not whispering but talking in a deeper voice but he thinks he's whispering

"Yea , I think thats the scary guy who gives out the candy?"

The Mom smiled and waved at me knowing I was hearing this. The older boy said

"You were so scared of him"

"You were too" said the little boy and turned to his Mom "We're going to this house again on Halloween right?"

"Yes" she said. The two boys ran ahead of their Mom down the street. The Mom then said to me...

"They could not stop talking about your house last year!"

That makes me happy. I can't wait to get started decorating this year.

The reality of reality TV: Season 2

Well, now that the thrill of this week's cartoon contest is over, it's back to regular blogging.

Yesterday, I went to the beach. The second season of a "reality" show I worked on last season and I'm working on again started filming.

The show this week had a "pirate"esque theme with a map leading to a romantic picnic on the beach in Malibu. The highlight was finding a buried treasure chest. For the picnic setting, I tried to make it romantic with fun pirate touches without getting too crazy with the theme. Sort of a small comfortable spot a shipwrecked pirate interior decorator might create waiting for rescue.

The location really added to it. Funny thing is, it may look secluded on camera but 50 feet on either side are numerous people enjoying a day at the beach.


Congratulations PETE WHITEHEAD! Combining votes posted as comments and ones e-mailed to me, Pete won by a landslide with 3 votes ahead of all the rest. Brian Pepper (1) and Kirk Scott (4) tied for second place. Stef Gerard (5) , Mary Engels (6) and Chris Sullivan (9) tied for third place.

Thanks again to all who entered and thanks to those who played along in voting. This was fun!

Cartoon Contest VOTE

All the entries are in. Time to vote! Anyone reading can vote (you did not have to enter) Pick at least 2 entries, no more, no less. Then post your choices as a "comment" or you can e-mail them to me (dcldesigns@aol.com). The polls will stay open until Friday midnight PST. I'll announce the winner Saturday 8/18

Thanks everyone who entered and good luck! Here's the cartoon again followed by
all the choices.

"You may look better, but you sure don't smell better."

2) Rex's first day of Tran-species modification training:

"A couple of up front rules: 1) tongue stays in the mouth. 2) Nose stays out of other peoples crotches, 3) everything stinky isn't a food group, and most important of all, 4) even though you CAN, you shouldn't lick the nether regions, ever."

3) Pussy Whipped

"And you're still wondering why a canine was never "King of the Jungle?"

4) Marcellus Washington, as a cat...

"The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride ****ing with you. **** pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps. "

5) Grover contemplates why his owners just didn't get another cat if they were going to dress him up as one.

"It's simply amazing what Vickie can knit up with my hairballs!"

6) As Waldo tried on his new back-to-school outfit...

"...your tail doesn't match."

7) Getting the cat's fantasy all wrong...

"...but it was supposed to be like Princess Leia in a gold bikini, not gold fur..."

8) At first, Waldo tried to be friends with the cat...

"...you want to chase me...you want to eat me...you can't catch me..."

9) "Nice costume dog, now which one of us gets to maul that freakin magician ROY?"



- Create your own funny words for the blank spaces in the above cartoon. It's OK to just have a caption or just a word balloon. You don't HAVE to add both. But you are limited to that, the dog can't say anything! You can enter as many idea's as you want and the contest is open to all, so tell a friend.

The WINNER gets "bragging rights", the cartoon re done with their words and a caricature or cartoon featuring you by me! It will be a simple one but full color! I can't offer hours of time spent creating a portrait to go over your mantle, but I'll send you a high res file of it. Don't worry if we never met, you can send me a photo if you win.

- Submit your ideas as a "comment". Just click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post.

- Any anonymous comments will be disqualified. You must leave your name (or a nickname) with an E-MAIL address (at least in the body of the comment) so I can identify and contact you if you win! Your E-MAIL will be confidential and not be posted (unless you want it to be)

- Deadline for entry is Monday 8/13 at midnight PST, so you have plenty of time to think about it and add another entry if you get inspired.

- All entries will not be posted till Tuesday 8/14 for everyone to vote on (you don't have to enter to vote). Details on voting will be spelled out then. So if you don't see your entry in the "comment" box, don't think I didn't get it. I'll e-mail you that I got it (another reason to add your e-mail address).

- Adult and "toilet" humor is OK, but my Mom reads this blog so try to keep it PG-13 rated. Anything crude just to be crude and not clever or funny will be censored.

That's all, I think it's pretty simple but feel free to e-mail me (dcldesigns@aol.com) or leave a comment if you have questions. Remember...Monday midnight PST is the deadline and check back Tuesday to vote!


Tomorrow... Thursday, I'll be having a "you write the cartoon contest"! The winner will get their very own cartoon/caricature drawn by me! Here's how it works, I'm going to post a cartoon with an empty word balloon and/or caption box. You leave your funny dialogue as a comment to the post. Then readers will vote. So check in tomorrow. COMPLETE CONTEST RULES will be posted then!


Well, I had so much fun drawing Norman Bates today, I went straight into doodling up another horror movie character. I imagine Damian from THE OMEN had private tutoring after his first "show and tell" day in school.

Click picture to enlarge.


I watched PSYCHO III on TV last night. I'd not seen it in years. Not as bad as I remember it being, but not much better either. It gave me inspiration for a quick "artistic" workout today.

Click picture to enlarge.


Having a new dog in the house makes me aware of odd things, as in...

Click picture to enlarge.

Saturday Morning Videos

Yes, more Indiana Jones stuff. I should just make this blog a complete Speilberg/Lucas fan site. Here are some moments of Indiana Jones nostalgia covering 25 years. To bring it full circle, I've added a video from Comic Con this year of Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) being announced as a retuning character (if you haven't seen it, it's a fun one)...

Star Wars Saga - The 5 year old Special Edition

This is an addition to my Two Monsters post earlier this week. My niece Devin was over to visit a few days ago (babysitting while her parents were busy). I love any time spent with her. My workshop (as Devin calls it) is fun for her because of the toy decor. Star Wars toys are the main theme. She wanted to play with my collection again. I wrote about her first Star Wars toy play time last month as one of life's little jokes. Click on the previous purple words to read those posts. This week's visit was almost the same.

Devin climbed on the couch reaching for characters in a new adventure...

Before she destroyed my entire display, I thought I'd be clever this go round. I asked if she would help me clean and re arrange the toys (they needed it). She loved the idea.

Devin sat with feather duster at the ready. Everything went great. Starting with my RETURN OF THE JEDI shelf, I would hand her a figure to clean as she asked about the character. I was soon giving her them in order of appearance in the movie, telling the story.

It was a lot of fun until we got halfway into the tale. She got confused over Princess Leia and Luke being siblings and Darth Vader their Father (if you don't know what I'm talking about, please re watch the movies). I over explained the story to Devin. I started taking toys from other shelves trying to help her make sense of it all. She was into hearing it but I was now going backwards. Every action figure was being used to tell the saga. The clever idea backfired. I was wrecking my entire toy display myself ! I summed it all up telling her Princess Leia won in the end. It made her happy. We then focused on putting stuff back on the shelf. I tried telling her where it all went. She didn't listen and did her own thing.

I've argued with network execs over designs. I've stood toe to toe with well known designers debating ideas. I've fired assists who don't listen to me. No experience has come close to working with Devin. She listened to me but countered every time saying...

"Wait, I have an idea. Let me just do this."

I'd set something up, she'd take it apart and re do it. I've quit jobs before being so micro managed...she was lucky I still had to feed her lunch and be there when her parents came to pick her up. Otherwise I would of had a dramatic blow up and stormed out!

She wore me down and I gave up, letting her go at it. I stepped back to watch. She took long pauses thinking her ideas out. It must of had meaning. I guess she was telling her version of the story. Here is...

Devin's Star Wars Saga Special Edition

Attack of the Clones - Padme and Anakin stop off at Cloud City for gas on the road to rescue Obi Wan on Geonosis. They visit the carbon freeze chamber. "Look I'm frozen! Take my picture." Padme loved tourist photo ops...

Return of the Jedi - Jabba's dancing girls had cramped dressing rooms under the main stage...

Star Wars (A New Hope) - Luke met a crazy old wizard named Dr. Brown at the cantina on Tatooine. He had a time machine. Luke brought his Mom back to the future. He confronted Vader..."Turn the Death Star off man or I'll cut her, I'll do it... I will! I've got no memory of my mother so I don't care! It's not impossible, I've cut womp rats from my t-16 back home!"

Return of the Jedi - Jabba hated "Stairway to Heaven" and warned all the bands that played in his palace that he would drop a rock on their heads if he ever heard it.

At the end of the day, the RETURN OF THE JEDI toy shelf was bare with most of the action figures scattered on the desk, coffee table, floor, outside and places yet found.

Toy collection + little kid = playtime.

As it should be.

Summer Bugs

As August begins, more bugs have come out to play and often invade our home. I want to be nice to all the creatures on earth, but giving flies and spiders stern lectures asking them to leave does not work. My frustration has found an outlet drawing these below, it's a work in progress...

Top 10 Reasons to go to COMIC CON next year

Photo by Kevin Baird

10... slave Leia
9... slave Leia
8... slave Leia
7... slave Leia
6... slave Leia
5... slave Leia
4... slave Leia
3... slave Leia
2... slave Leia
1... the odds are good the Fiancee will never come with me


Disclaimer: This post is for entertainment purpose only. Dave Lowe would never find any strange woman in a "slave Leia" costume attractive. There is no woman more attractive than a wholesome girl from Baltimore who reads books and has cats...lots of books and lots of cats. Dave Lowe is blind to any woman who was not educated early to be a lady at the Bryn Mawr School. "Slave Leia" costumes are attempts by women to gain quick and easy attention from people. It's so sad they don't realize their mind should be the most attractive part of them.