Category Archives: True Life Tales

Memory Tricks Bun Toons! What?

Again?  I did one of these yesterday?

Again? I did one of these yesterday?

Didja read yesterday’s Bun Toon?  Didja?

It’s up there as a link to yesterday.  Read that and then come back and read this:

memory tricks websize coloursEnhanced Honesty Plus.  It’s not just for American Media any more.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Your Bonus Moment isn’t a happy one… A Bun Toon from a little over a year ago…

neighbourhood watchmen


For last week's haunting Bun Toon (co-created with the wife!), click here

For last week’s haunting Bun Toon (co-created with the wife!), click here

For the Archive (Yes, it needs updating!) click here.

For the Archive (Yes, it needs updating!) click here.

Comic Book Marathon Bun Toons! YAY!

First we toon.  Then we talk.

And thus, Canadian Splendor is born.  



Right now, in Toronto, my wife Keiren is at the COMIC BOOK LOUNGE AND GALLERY (387a College Street, at Clinton) presiding over yet another wildly popular COMIC BOOK MARATHON, for dozens and dozens of local creators to show off their skills and stamina.

marathon logo

When the art and stories come in from this latest one, we’ll put some of it up here and at the school’s website and all over the darn ‘net, don’t worry.

But the last marathon was the first time my wife sat down and participated, rather than just running it.  She produced about ten or twelve scripts for short autobiographical comic stories, most accompanied with simple artwork.  There was no talking her into running the strips with her original art, but she was willing to let me finish up one and put it up here.

I started with the one you just read because it was the shortest, but I’m going to do a few more over the next few months, just you wait.  I loved them.  I didn’t change anything, I just inked her drawings with a bold line and some minor details. There’s one about a road trip Keiren took in high school with her best friend that I will be doing finishes over her layouts for in the next few weeks.  I couldn’t do it today because it’s five pages long and I didn’t have that much time…but it’s great!  Some are funny, some are poignant, some are really personal.

Who knew I was married to Canada’s Harvey Pekar?

I’m wondering what she’ll be creating and bring back with her today!  If you’re in Toronto, head over to College and Clinton, bring a pencil and a sandwich, and see what new majestic tale Kerien and the rest of the cartooning legions of the Big Smoke are spinning now.


Ty the Guy OUT!

Comic Book Marathon Bonus Moment:

comic book marathon

The first person to tell me Mad Magazine isn’t a comic book gets punched in the throat.


cartoons of steel link

For last week’s MAN OF STEEL based Bun Toon, click the title above.

For the Bun Toon archive, click the Bunny Toon

For the Bun Toon archive, click the Bunny Toon

marathon logo

For some of the work produced at the big 24 hour marathon in January, click here.


I was Gumby. Now it can be told.

Long time readers of this blog might recall that I briefly played claymation superstar Gumby on a local TV show in Toronto back in the 80s.  At least I did until the Art Clokey Productions people got wind of the WAY I was playing Gumby on the air and eventually took the suit back and put a stop to it.

Pictured above: The REAL Gumby.

We were given the suit and paid a couple of bucks to promote the Gumby video episodes that were on sale at the time, but because I am who I am, I tended to make Gumby tell dirty jokes and claim that the books he liked to walk into were mostly pornographic, and the owners of Gumby took the suit away after about three weeks of this.  I like to think the time we rented a live horse to play our Pokey, and took it to a dance club where it shat all over the floor on TV might have played a part as well.

Anyway, I was at a birthday party for Bob Segarini tonight (the host of the show LATE GREAT MOVIES, where these appearances happened), and ran into someone who actually has video tape of this legendary time in my life, and promises to send me some clips to share with you guys.   In the meantime, here’s a screengrab from one of the episodes.  I’m the idiot in the suit to the right.


“I can walk into any book, so I have a house in Fifty Shades of Gray…What do you mean I’m fired?”

I’ll let you know as soon as there’s video.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Guy-In-A-Gumby-Suit moment:

Last year, someone in a Gumby suit tried to rob a convenience store in San Diego.   I have an alibi for the day, and police did not suspect me.

Moebius Bun Toons! YAY!

Darn it! Someone's let all the air out of my garage!

We all lost one of the corners of the comic book sky last week:  The magnificent Jean Giraud (also known as Moebius) has died.  If you know him only as one of those two names, you’re missing half his career.  Giraud, or “GIR” was probably the best illustrator of western comic books ever to pick up the pen, and Moebius was certainly the greatest illustrator of Science Fiction/Fantasy comic books of all time.  Amazingly enough, they were both the same man, and both an incalculable influence on me since I can remember discovering ARZACH in high school, and Blueberry in college.

Besides losing a legendary comic artist, the world lost a lovely and whimsical human being when Jean passed away, and my first thoughts after I heard he was gone, were of a small moment I remembered from a meal we once shared.   I share it now, with you.

It helps if you remember that MARRIED TO THE MOB was a Michelle Pfeiffer movie from the early 90s.  I think it was out in the theatres when Jean made this joke.

Is this moment as important as the Airtight Garage, or The Incal or Metal Hurlant?  I don’t know.  But it was charming and human, and whimsical, and unwilling to be cross or annoyed at the world.   And who doesn’t treasure that?

There are four postcards of Moebius’ doodles that are stuck in the wall near where I draw.  They’ve been there for years.  Here they are:

Those are the wee bits of Moebius that greet me every day in my studio.   Charming, and human, and whimsical, and unwilling to be cross or annoyed at the world.

Ty the Guy OUT!


This month has also seen the passing of Sheldon Moldoff and Ralph McQuarrie.

Sheldon Moldoff drew the Batman I first encountered…he was the guy I THOUGHT was Bob Kane when I was a very young kid, because Bob Kane was signing his name to all of Sheldon’s work.

I cannot tell you guys how much I LOVE the 50s and 60s Sheldon Moldoff version of Batman, with ACE, Batwoman, Bat-Mite and the Flying Batcave.  I don’t see that stuff as corny or camp, I see it as the first version of Batman I ever saw, and my nostalgic affection for it is hard to hide.

Before there was ‘JOKER’S FIVE WAY REVENGE” and the dark, sombre Batman of Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil, we had “ROBIN DIES AT DAWN”, a comic that got under my skin and freaked me out when I was about six.  I recall it as one of the first comic books that had an emotional affect on me, and it still holds a special place.

I also remember reading a Golden Age Hawkman story in a reprint book from the 70s and being surprised that Sheldon Moldoff USED to draw like Alex Raymond back in the 40s.   Golden Age Hawkman stories became my Holy Grails.  I looked for them everywhere, and copied the line work and textures.

I saw this stuff before I saw the REAL Alex Raymond…or even Eisner, or Fine. Moldoff was the first Golden Age artist I specifically remember seeking out…the first one to convince me there might have actually been a Golden Age.


STAR WARS borrowed heavily from many influences:  E.C. Comics, John Carter novels, Flash Gordon serials and Moebius’ work in Metal Hurlant…but the one person most responsible for the look and feel of the movie of my lifetime was Ralph McQuarrie.

It started with his production paintings.  They were leaked to the world in an article in STARLOG magazine a few months before the movie came out, and those paintings were enough to get my little legs scurrying to the movies the day it opened.

Sure, it’s the robot from Metropolis standing on John Carter’s Barsoom…but that’s what makes it GREAT!  Ralph knew where this Star Wars movie was coming from, and where it was going, and he started it all with these paintings.  For making our lives a little more fantastic, I thank you, sir.


For last week's Bun Toon, that actually MENTIONS Barsoom, click above.

For every Bun Toon ever, click on the Jasoomian rabbit.

Halloween Photos.

I mentioned on the Bun Toons last week that my ten year old daughter, Kate,  was working on her Wonder Woman costume, and she insisted it had to have the Golden Age look to it, with the long pants and the golden eagle, etc.

There we go.

The pants are a teensy bit longer than the originals, mostly to combat a Canadian Halloween, and we decided on nothing off the shoulder for a ten year old in the cold, but the costume scored big with out daughter.  Her mother Keiren did most of the work on this wonderful custom job, I just drew in part of the bird.

But the costume wasn’t the HALF the fun for our Golden Age Wonder Woman…

It was the honour guard that accompanied her.

Steve Trevor,  Steve Rogers, and a gumshoe up to no good in a city that’s got friends in all the wrong places.

Those are her brothers Sean (as the flyboy that looks suspiciously like MacArthur), Taylor (as the two bit cop with a chip on his badge) and their friend Josh (as the proud infantry man ready to mix it up).

The whole 1940s effect was pretty darn cool, if I might say so myself, and as they went from house to house, they  got a lovely reaction.

Who says this isn’t the Golden Age of Halloween Photos?

Our eldest son, Kellam and our daughter in law, Jessica came over and brought fantastic Halloween cakes and cookies that looked like pumpkins and ghosts.

 Beat THAT, Christmas!  You Suck.  Halloween ROCKS.

Ty the Guy OUT!!!

Here now, your BONUS Templeton-Smith Halloween Moment:

Behold the Family Pumpkins! And take note of the smattering of blood up by the door. Attention to detail.

True Halloween Bun Toons Extravaganza, YAY!

BOO! (True story!)

Around this house, Halloween is better than Christmas, and more fun than Birthdays.  You get to wear a disguise and see inside your neighbour’s front door.  We rarely do that on Christmas.

As always, every word of this is true, we didn’t even change the names of the innocent.  Screw the innocent.  What did they ever do for me?

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Bun Toons Halloween Moment:  From last year’s epic Halloween Bun Toon.


For last week's equally true Bun Toons, click on the Rabbit

For every Bun Toon ever, click the Rabbit again!

Real Life Super-heroes

This blog has mostly focused on my connections to the comic book industry, and for the most part, the biz tells stories of super-heroes…larger than life characters who do the right thing, often bravely, often with personal sacrifice.

Today, I offer up tributes to a couple of real life people who earned our attention and thanks.

First up:  Sergeant Shamar Thomas, USMC.  

His speech to the NYPD on the streets of New York on Saturday after seeing some of their fellow officers brutalize OWS protesters is one of the most touching speeches I’ve seen.  I’ve watched it three times, and it makes me choke up.  He knows the way America is supposed to work, and watching it malfunction in front of him, pulls this moment of rage out of him.  This is the real life Captain America speaking his mind.

Check out the expressions on the faces of people listening to him, both cops and citizens.  As a civilian, it’s not my place to salute him, but I wish I could.

NEXT UP:  Zachary Quinto, our new Mr. Spock.  

Zachary came out as gay this week.  Even though we’re living in the 21st Century where this sort of thing isn’t supposed to matter, the sad thing is still does.   He said he couldn’t keep quiet about it any more after the tragic suicide of a young man named  Jamey Rodemeyer.  I’d rather he explain it to you than me, so the link to his blog is here.

Zachary stepped into the shoes of one of the 20th Century’s most beloved fictional characters, playing the new Spock, a difficult situation under any circumstances, and this might make his road ahead a little more difficult with a small, moronic section of his audience.  He felt he had his reasons to keep his private life quiet up til this week, and now he came out because he thought it would help other people in difficult situations.  A brave sacrifice for others.  The definition of a Super-Hero.

This is Quinto’s “It Gets Better” video.  Powerful stuff.

Last week, I STUPIDLY said that Leonard Nimoy was the only Spock for me.  Today I offer Zachary a Vulcan Salute and a sincere apology.  Good man.  You earned your ears.

Well earned.

Lastly:  A good Samaritan named Jordan (last name withheld).

Yesterday, I was on my way into the city to teach my class when my car choked and died by the side of the highway.  By a stupid oversight, I did not have my phone with me, and my wife and I had no way to call a tow-truck, and more importantly, had no way to contact my school to let the students know I couldn’t make it in to teach class.

Artist's rendering. This is not my car.

In the middle of rush hour traffic, a man named Jordan –  a total stranger –  pulled over, leant me his phone, and DROVE ME TO MY SCHOOL, MILES OUT OF HIS WAY!!!   He felt the students didn’t need to have the class cancelled if he could help.  Who DOES that kind of thing?!?

I have Jordan’s phone number and email address, and he’s getting a big basket of thanks in a couple of days.  The world needs more of this kind of guy.

I love that I get to tell the stories of super-heroes in the pages of the comics I work on.  I hope these comics inspire people to do the right thing.  Personally, I get inspired by the three guys you read about above.  Even in these difficult times, the world has great people in it.

The glass is half full.

Ty the Guy OUT

Here now, your Good Samaritan Comic Book moment:

There’s a comic book for EVERY character.