Happy, Happy, Golly Gee, Glad Game

My friends and family are typically in awe of me. Every so often, someone approaches me and says, “You’re the nicest designer in the business.” Or a friend may read something that says that I’m the eternal optimist, always doing good for the industry. They aren’t in awe because they are impressed. As I’ve been told at family dinners, “Really? Really? People actually think you’re nice? That’s unbelievable.”

Yes, there is a side of me that tries to play the “Glad Game” from Polyanna, but I’m not a blithering idiot. I don’t walk around the world with a smile on my face and only good in my heart. I admit it here. I can be cranky. I sometimes like off-color jokes. I have a twisted sense of humor. At last year’s Academy Awards there was a salute to horror films. When a gruesome and violent scene from Halloween was played, I laughed. When Bette Davis was kicking Joan Crawford, as she lay helpless on the ground in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, I laughed. Unfortunately, I was the only person laughing. Angry glances were sent my way from others in the audience.

Therefore, it is logical that I love, love, love the title cards for Pendleton Ward’s Adventure Time. One of the absolute smartest people in the world is Fred Seibert. Yesterday, Fred sent me his new book, Original Cartoon Title Cards: From Frederator Studios (Volume 1). There are too many fantastic images to share at once, so I am starting with the Adventure Time cards. How can you not love the sad evicted characters lost in the cold, the disemboweling of a cartoon character, or the aftermath of an angry tantrum? Disturbing and wrong, yes. Genius.

Making Halloween Real

One of my friends recently told me about a neighbor who lured children into her home at Halloween. She told the kids who were Trick-or-Treating that the candy was in a bowl in the closet. Of course, children are easily led astray with promises of snacks, so they would all go into the dark closet looking for the candy. She would then shut the door and leave them in there. Fortunately, she opened the door after a few seconds and let them leave with the candy.

Some of you may be saying, “That’s kidnapping.” Maybe it is. But, if the spirit of Halloween were to scare children, I’d say it’s a successful trick. In that same vein, I’ve decided that this year I’m going to up the terror level at my house. Rather than simply handing out cute little Reese’s packages, I’m going to only give away candy and fruit that looks suspicious. I plan on buying some wonderful red apples, and slicing each one open a bit, just to make sure they are fresh. Then I’ll open each and every candy bar to make sure they’re safe, but I’ll tape them all closed again with some big Scotch tape. And, I’ll probably hand out little Ziploc bags of assorted loose candy like candy corns.

I know it’ll play out like this: the kids will take everything. They rarely pay attention to the “tampering” issue. At home, the parents will panic, there will be drama, “Where did you get this? Who gave this to you? No, put it down! I don’t care, it’s not safe!” I doubt the kids will remember that the items came from my house, and if they do, they probably won’t bother me next year. This is the true spirit of Halloween, and I’ll have succeeded at scaring parents, while making sure the candy is good for the kids.