Tag Archives: The Simpsons

Halloween Bun Toons! YAY!

krabappel bun toons

Halloween is always  my favourite day of the year.  Better than Christmas because you’re not expected to get presents for cousins you don’t like, and you get to dress like a sexy badger if that’s your thing.

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day for Halloween all over this land, and many happy people showed up to their local comic shop to be converted to the love of the Hallow’s Eve with free comics and fun.

But it was not always this way….



This actually happened.

But yesterday, they showed up with happy grins.

Geek acceptance moves forward.

Ty the Guy OUT!

sad bart—————————————————————————————————-

For last week's tribute to Filmation, click the singing animation stars above

For last week’s tribute to Filmation, click the singing animation stars above

For the Bun Toon Archive (more than you could read in a LIFETIME!) click the bunny logo above

For the Bun Toon Archive (more than you could read in a LIFETIME!) click the bunny logo above

My latest issue of the Simpsons is out

Oooh, that's a quality comic book right there.

And of course, I expect you to rush to your local comic store and buy it.  If you can’t find a local comic store, simply find a local citizen with a copy, and steal it.   Yes, you heard me, steal it.  As long as you’re stealing it from a civilian, and not from a store, I’m fine with the process of how you acquired it.

The BONGO people have, again, given up the idea of having the creator’s names on the cover, so you’re forgiven if you didn’t know this issue was mine ( I wrote and drew it).  But now that I’ve alerted you, your excuses are over.

Fan out.  Get one.  Read it.  Live life to the fullest.

Ty the Guy


Don't be fooled. This is the wrong kind of evil.

It’s a big night in the world of cartooning…or sort of.

The new ADDAMS FAMILY MUSICAL is opening on Broadway this evening at the LUNT-FONTANNE THEATRE -205 West 46th Street (between Broadway and 8th Ave).  It follows in the footsteps of Annie, Superman, Charlie Brown,

I don't blame these people. They're doing honest work.

Li’l Abner and many others, translating the world of the cartoon to the world of the stage.

And it must be stopped.

It is unclean.

An abomination.

The ruination of Western Civilization.
Après ça, c’est la deluge.

See, I love, adore, admire, and devour the work of Charles Addams, one of the great satirists and subversive cartoonists of the 20th Century…and I saw a cast performance of a bit of this show on Letterman this week… and it’s so far off the mark, we should consider armed insurrection.

Addams is my favorite New Yorker cartoonist of their golden age, and that’s number #1 of a large and impressive list.  It if weren’t for his deliciously

Addams and wife Barbara, 1955. Be honest, this is EXACTLY how you pictured them.

macabre drawings throughout the forties and fifties (and well into the eighties, though he did slow down as time wore on…) we wouldn’t have Gahan Wilson, B Kliban, Edward Gorey, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Gary Larson, and probably most of the Playboy cartoonists of THEIR golden age, and those were the guys that made me want to do this cartoony stuff for a living.  So this guy CHAS ADDAMS was hero to my heroes….

Addams’ subject was always the same thing:  beneath the veneer of civilization is horror and chaos.  Death, despair, sex, murder, and shock are never further than around the corner, under the bed, or behind your back.  His imagination is a land of manners and politeness, filled with nicely dressed

Death ray? Fiddlesticks! Why it doesn't even slow them up!

businessmen, and boy scouts (lots of boy scouts), housewives and secretaries, cops and teachers, all ready to kill you or commit suicide, or betray society’s values in spectacular fashion in about two seconds.    What a HOOT.

And into this cynical cartoon world, Addams introduced his beloved family.  Slowly at first, in the late 1930s, we see a nameless emaciated woman in a gripping black dress who starts to show up with some regularity in his New Yorker cartoons.  She and her giant manservant are all we see for a while, but by the end of WW2, this still unidentified woman has a husband and two children around her, and this family, with extended in-laws and guests, became staples of Addams’ work for decades to come.

The family gets a new window

They were never the focus of what he did…he never gave up on his suicidal boy scouts, evil businessmen and rapacious secretaries …and in fact, he never named the family that appeared in so many gag panels until they became television stars of the Sixties.  But these upper class, Old World monsters of a decaying past showed up a lot, and were clearly his trademark.

There was that stock ticker in the living room of their huge home, constantly printing out information about their constantly expanding holdings.  How vulgar and monstrous THAT was in a world of nouveau poverty.  And manservants when so many were unemployed? They were always living in a distant and discredited past. The mansion was conspicuously 19th century.  Their clothing was twenty years out of fashion (Fester dresses as though it’s the middle ages) and there was dust and cracks everywhere in their environment.  They represented the old ways during a time of jet aircraft and the promising future of astounding technology.
And, oh yes, they were murderers, ghouls and cannibals.
The point of the satire is hardly subtle.  The Addams Family is the broad stroke portrait of the worst of the American Myth:  That the upper classes are better than you.  They are not.  They are sociopaths and vampires.  But rather than making them simply repellent, which would have been dull work, Addams makes them a family which loves their kids, are generous and kind to neighbours and are exemplary people in all the ways “official” society asks them to be….except that they love death, decay and sadism.
Addams was speaking truth to power.   That’s what satirists do.
But this STAGE SHOW, opening tonight, is the exact opposite of everything Addams was doing.
I saw a performance of the cast on Letterman earlier in the week, and it was as wrongheaded a production as I’ve seen.   This is a nostalgia show, WALLOWING in the past, rather than making fun of it.   They want the audience who paid $150 dollars to see a recreation of a thirty-five year old movie (SPAMALOT) and a forty year old movie (THE PRODUCERS) to pay for a recreation of a forty-five year old TV series.  The jokes are ancient, and the dance number I watched relied on moves that are a distant memory to people who still have their own teeth.  A youthful culture making fun of the decaying relics of the past, this AIN’T.

It doesn't take much to collect a crowd in New York.

Secondly, this isn’t the Addams Family.  It’s a watered down version of the watered down version that was the TV series.  They don’t so much boil the neighbours and eat them, as make veiled references to it.  All cleaned up for the kids.    Don’t expect black comedy here–think vanilla comedy with lightly blackened sprinkles.  The two ADDAMS FAMILY movies with Raul Julia got much of the black comedy right, but that happy memory of those DECADES old films is exactly the nostalgia they’re hoping you will be feeling when you buy your tickets to this weakly brewed imitation. And this is being presented on Broadway, where the average tickets cost a

Remember how funny this was? Now give us a hundred and fifty bucks.

hundred dollars or more, in the middle of an economic disaster.  That means that the ones in the audience—the folks who can afford to blow a multiple hundreds of dollars for a few hours entertainment ARE the upper-middle and upper classes of New York who are the very people that the Addams Family is a portrait of.
There is no shock.  No satire.  No knowing understanding of the social lie that’s being punctured here.  It’s all just so much crap trotted out for the rubes.

Now, I know this is all about entertainment, and in the world we live in I shouldn’t get so worked up about this.  Who is being hurt?  Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth need to eat, and I’m sure no one involved is a bad person.
But they’re pissing on my turf.  They’re devaluing the original by turning filet mignon into McDonalds.   And as a purveyor and producer of comics, I hate it when they’re considered the disposable and forgotten version, especially in cases like this.

Envy me for my treasure. Bwah hah hah

Years ago, I was lucky enough to find a first printing copy of DRAWN AND QUARTERED, the first collection of Addams’ cartooning work.  It cost me less than ten dollars (although that was probably an oversight on the part of the bookstore), but I consider it one of my priceless treasures. And tonight and for the next few months,  you can throw away fifteen times that amount of money to watch a bunch of people prove how completely they misunderstand everything about the work contained in that book.




SOME FULL DISCLOSURE:  One of the producers of this show is an old friend of my wife’s.  He’s actually a terrific guy, and got me some great seats to a show or two when my wife and I were in New York.   And I’ve always had an unrestrained crush on Bebe Neuwirth, so I’m probably not as angry about this as I should be….
SO, no violent protests, please.  Instead of burning down the theater why not spend your money on this recent SIMPSONS book?

Am I still plugging this? Didn't I do this last week?!?

Considering it contains the work of Ty Templeton, a fresh young talent with a lot of promise, it might be worth reading!

Tomorrow:  The return of Hoverboy Fridays…the latest news about that Glenn Reid country music CD I designed the cover for, and performed on…and don’t forget:  ALL NEW WEBCOMICS on the weekend.

Okay...THIS is what you hoped Charles Addams looked like.

Ty the Guy



(sigh…yes, it’s true. An old buddy of mine is part of the production department. Actually, just “friended” me on facebook earlier this week. Don’t know his actual title for this show, and I’ve forgot what it was when he helped produce SPAMALOT a couple years  back. ..the show he got me tickets for when it came to Toronto, and I got to go to the Opening Night party and see Eric Idle. Thanks, Guy, for slagging that show, too.

Said friend did just announce on facebook today that he was off to an official opening for this new show.  So, thanks, honey–this will be the last time I get free tickets for anything!

Here’s hoping he doesn’t do any googling later…I’m off to see if he’s unfriended me, yet!



Yes, that’s right! I don’t sell out for anything! Or for my blog!

Ty the Guy

Wizard World Toronto, a little convention art, and the GREATEST CON SKETCH OF ALL TIME!

Uncle Ty's Convention Sketches. Ready in just FIVE MINUTES

I just got back from Wizard World Toronto, and boy, are my arms not tired.

Not because I live in Toronto (and the flight back wouldn’t affect my shoulders, get it?)  but because I spent the weekend, not sketching particularly much.  No more than thirty  sketches over a three day weekend, and at a big convention, I usually do fifty on the Saturday alone!   At first I

One of my less embarrassing con sketches of Kara Zor-el.

thought it was me…did I have a piece of meatloaf hanging off my face?  Did I wear my misanthropy on my sleeve too obviously, or was it the whiff of urine on my street clothes?

No, it was happening to almost everyone at Toronto Wizard Con, (other than Dale Keown and Richard Pace, who seemed to have a crowd around for a while on Saturday, and Adi Granov, who had a minor crowd on Friday).  The attendance was thin, and mostly wrestling fans there to see the Iron Sheik and his pals.  It’s always a bad sign when you start doing sketches for the other con guests or dealers because neither they, nor you, have anything else to do for the next ten minutes.

Too bad… The Wizard folks were nice to us.  LOVELY volunteers, good people…they set up my bootcamp lesson/con panel and promoted it (surprisingly well attended, thank you), and were handing out the water and smiles.   It was Wizard’s first big convention in Toronto, and I was rooting for them.  Let’s hope there’s a few tweaks

Fans love Batgirl. And a lot of fans like her bum. I do what I'm requested...

and fixes before next year rolls around, and the thing rivals San Diego in the future.

The low point came on Saturday when some douche-twerp couldn’t resist the demon on the shoulder telling him to pull a fire alarm.  It emptied out the convention center in the middle of Saturday afternoon—taking nearly an hour to sort out whether we were burning up in a fire, or doing the world’s biggest HOKEY POKEY.   Not everyone came back when it was over.   Hats off the perished souls of Wizard Con Toronto, 2010—you will be remembered.

Highlights include:   being seated next to Gail Simone and Her Mysterious Husband, with Dave Ross to my left, and Kent (Planet of the Apes) Burles to my right.  With things a tad slow, I got to hang with the legendary Gail Simone and Her Mysterious Husband, and  got to see Dave Ross’s new pencils for an amazing Star Wars comic he’s working on, and  laugh with the always

A very non-Adventures style Joker. Dig that crazy haircut.

charmingly French Canadian, Yanick Paquette, and drool over piles of just gorgeous AGENTS of ATLAS original art by my buddy Leonard Kirk.   Len is one of those illustrators I’m openly jealous of, partly because he does THE best convention sketches on the planet

The rule with me at a con is, you get the sketch for free, but it’s done in five minutes.  That way, everyone who wants one gets one, and I give back a little for the fans.  You guys deserve it.  But we artists rarely get to see our con sketches after we let you have ‘em.   About one out of ten, I pull one off that I wish I could hold onto…it captured just the right gleam in Joker’s eye, or the right gesture as Robin jumps off a building.  I sometimes ask if the fan could scan it for me and send me a copy when they get home, but after twenty years of doing this, I have less


than a dozen scans of con sketches to show you, and hardly the best of the best.

Zombie Homer is the only one from this year,  as I used to think my BONGO contract forbids sketching the Simpsons, but Ken Wheaton (fellow toiler in Springfield) informs me, I can doodle inside published Simpsons books, just not regular sketch books and on blank pieces of paper…  Ken had a PILE of copies of TREEHOUSE OF HORROR: DEAD MAN’S CHEST for people to buy, so I did more Simpsons doodles this weekend than anything else.

As promised, here’s my favorite con sketch of all time, and the recipient was lovely enough to send me one.

A once-in-a-lifetime-art team.

It was in Paris, and I was seated in between Bernie Wrightson, Neal Adams, and Scott Hampton.  A group of BATMAN artists were touring through Belgium, France and Switzerland and enjoying all the lovely sauces we got with every meal, when some Euro-fan asked if Mr. Wrightson minded inking

Another Paris sketch from '92, featuring Tintin and the original appearance of ELSEWORLDS T-SHIRT BATMAN, seen last month!

the Batman portrait/sketch I had just done for him.  Watching my meager sketch be inked by Bernie was mind blowing enough, but then watching Scott Hampton add those moody water colours, I came this close from stealing the image back for myself…I have the scan though, and I share it here with you guys…the word’s only Templeton/Wrightson/Hampton collaboration.

Neal Adams did not participate in the sketch, but I have something better from Neal…something I’ll show you guys in a future post.  I have to keep the suspense going SOMEHOW.

Ty the Guy

Oh, and PS:  This week, I’m promoting this new Simpsons collection, NOW ON SALE.  I’ve got a fun pin-up inside, and the rest of the book is okay too, I suppose, if you like hysterical comic books.

In hardcover. Kirby says: "Don't Ask! Just Buy It!"


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Powdered Toast Man

Reaching into the wayback machine, I pull out these gems of forgotten yorePowdered Toast Man (for those old enough to remember horse-drawn carriages) was the super-hero character in The Ren & Stimpy Show (one of the best cartoon series of all time!).  This also happened to be the first time I’d ever worked with my off and on again partner in crime, and wonder-writer, Dan Slott.

Ty the Guy

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When I was trying to type up a Powdered Toast Man entry last night,(Ty was off teaching and had left me unsupervised), I gave up…and emailed Dan.  It’s hard for me to remember that far back–Dan has a few less children, one less cat, doesn’t actually have to live with Ty, and doesn’t drink as much as I do, so it’s easier for him.

Says he,

“Working with Ty on The Powdered Toast Man Special was one of the highlights of my life.  I’m making that an absolute statement that will hold steady for the remainder of my time on this earth.  So screw you, future-birth-of-my-first-born, SCREW YOU!  All I’m trying to say is, The Guy makes one HECK of a comic.” Dan Slott

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

So, I’ve still told you absolutely nothing about the history of the project…but hey, you know the artist/writer had fun. (Although I do remember many conversations the two of them had about how much each wanted the other’s career at the time–Dan wanted to write superhero comics (like the Justice League stuff Ty had done) and Ty wanted to be able to do the funny stuff (like Ren & Stimpy and Mighty Mouse, as Dan had done).  Now, when they call each other up and try to solve problems with each other’s stories (something they both do, at least once a week), Ty’s talking about the Simpsons he’s working on, and Dan is doing Avengers/Spiderman plot for that month.  It’s all come full circle.


New Comics Day!

After being trapped in my studio for months, working on the new Dexter: Early Cuts animated webisode, and some Simpsons stories, I’m finally free enough to go to a comic store for New Comics Day…something I’ve not done since November of last year.    They still have comics on Wednesdays, right?

For those of us in the biz in Toronto, heading to my local comic stores (the Silver Snail in Toronto, and Altered States out here in the suburbs where I live) It’s a little like going to CHEERS and having everybody shout “Norm” when you walk into the room.  It recharges the batteries and reminds me that I actually LOVE this job…and it inspires a competitive attitude in me to see all the great work coming out week after week.

Imagine:  We have Bryan Hitch, Michael Lark, Howard Chaykin, Alex Ross, Butch Guice, Ed Brubaker, Art Adams, Alan Davis, Kyle Baker, David Finch, Stuart Immomen, Leinil Yu, Danny Slott, Mark Waid, and HUNDREDS of other top flight creators making comics art for us RIGHT NOW.  Not at some nebulous, nostalgic time where everything was better…but right NOW.  Covers, scripts, full issues…all flowing from an overwhelming group of creators, and I’m only scraping the surface of Marvel and DC type folks.  When you look at the panoply of available comix  out there in the indies, the self publishers, IDW, Dark Horse,  the online stuff…why don’t people call THIS the golden age?

My friend and co-conspirator in the Toronto Comics Workshop, Walter Dickenson, was with me at the last convention I attended, and he saw me heading over to the tables where they sell comics for a dollar, usually something from the last decade a dealer has overstocked.  When Walter saw me returning with about a hundred “dollar comics” he asked me why I bought them and I pointed out copies of Greg Land Ultimate FF comics, Jackson Guice issues of RUSEBusiek ASTRO CITY DARK AGE stories, Jerry Ordway’s RED MENACE, Warren Ellis Cliffhanger miniseries….all for a DOLLAR?   He asked me “What are you going to do with all those comics, Ty?” and I got confused by the question.

“I’m going to read ’em, Walter….and have a great time in doing so.”  Apparently, I’m like the last working pro who STILL can’t get enough of these funny books.  Does that make me sick?

Ty the Guy.  Smiling with anticipation at what glories the day might bring…

(Ty challenged me to hyper-link the bejeesus out of his entry…I hope you’re happy, Guy!  And I’m aware that Ty’s episode of Dexter: The Early Cuts is online…for various reasons, we are not linking to it at this time, but will at a later point).

(you never know who you’ll run into at your local comics store…like Jimmy Olsen.  Yes, that’s our son, Kellam–he’s a member of the clan, god help him.)

New Pages…

coming soon.  Ty’s been crazy-busy with work (Dexter: The Early Cuts, and the Simpsons: Love Potion Numbs Her Mind) and I’ve been equally so, doing some colours for the Dexter panels.  But, he tells me that he’s scanned a bunch of new pages, and I should be getting them on the site tomorrow…some new Spideys, Mad Dog, and others.