Muffin drawing

I started drawing my Dogs in pencil, just as a way to get the pooches I was thinking about on to paper. I was really into a Dog named Muffin from a pet show I'd gone to, and had Muffin's picture around for years. When I got into the anthro idea, I'd imagine what all of my favorite Dogs would be like if they stood up on two feet instead of down on four, and if they had hand-paws and other features that people had.

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Muffin by Boomer August 1988 (click to see bigger)

I did a number of my Doggie favorites like this in the mid-1980s, and this was done in August, 1988. Others were the German Shepherd from the "Hero" Dog food ad, as a German Shepherd guy, and Marmaduke, plus Dogs I'd have dreams about and wake up to draw them, one being a Spaniel.

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That's the picture that my Muffin was drawn from. It comes from the front page of the Summer 1979 Humane Society 'Pets & People' newspaper, where Muffin was featured because he was Dogs Grand Champion. I liked how happy he looked, with those great big crazy ears and happy face, a winner surrounded by his owner and all of his friends. I imagined being a pooch like Muffin, named George and even had a dream about it, so the picture means a lot to me.

Boomer

Canine Carry Outs

My friend Ric and me went to the Arby's on Noblestown Road for our local meat lunch and a pack of 6 Boomer fans came in, saying hi from the counter. They left and went across the street to the Rite-Aid and crossed back to Arby's 5 minutes later, came up to our table and gave me a bag of Canine Carry Outs Dog snacks!

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Canine Carry Outs on table at Arby's in Greentree with Squeaky  (click for bigger)

How cool is that! I've gotten Dog food a few times at the radio stations I've been to as a Dog, something they have fun with on the air, but no one's ever gone and bought me Dog food like that.. It's the thought that counts.

I had my Boomer business cards with me, and luckily one was signed Boomer and had a paw pad on it, so I gave it to the guy who brought me the food. I should have bought a round of pop for all of them for that. I thought they were probably getting in some fun time before school has to start again, groan.. ;)

Canine Carry outs are meat, Arby's is a meat restaurant, and I did carry the treats out!

Dudes, awesome.

Boomer

Miles To Go

I was reading Ricochet's Junk Blog, with a post about his collection of pin-on buttons, including Garfield, and how he cut the weekday Garfield strips out of the newspaper to make a book out of them.

It reminded me of how I did the same thing with a comic called Miles To Go, which ran in our local paper in 1981-82. I had an empty scrap book with a green cover, and started to collect Miles strips.

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I scratch-wrote Miles on the cover  (click picture for larger)

I was also into Garfield a good bit, Marmaduke, Peanuts and Dennis The Menace because of his Dog Ruff, a big shaggy mutt. I didn't collect those, except for a few special ones with Dog humor or guest pooches to the strip.

Somehow I got locked on to Miles, I think it was the easy humor and storylines that appealed to me, plus the fact that it wasn't a really popular comic like the others made it kind of special, because not everyone was talking about it. It didn't hurt that Miles was a big Sheepdog type, and I liked shaggy Dogs.

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My scrapbook with some Miles To Go Sunday strips  (click for larger)

Miles was a full fledged comic, it ran daily strips and a Sunday story in color. The Sunday edition was the best, with room for more storytelling. Here's a favorite from Valentine's Day 1982.

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Sunday comic Valentine's 1982  (Click to see it bigger)

Phil Frank wrote and drew Miles, but he was probably better known for another comic, Farley. Miles was a character in Farley too, working at radio station KFUR, broadcasting to Dogs and cats. I don't remember reading the Farley comic, it might not have appeared in a Pittsburgh newspaper, or it was around before I was reading newspaper comics.

The daily strips were in black and white print, I saved them too.

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Some daily strips from October 1981  (click pictures to see a bigger Dog)
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My kind of humor, gone to the Dogs.. :)  (click pic to see it bigger)

When I'm looking at my collections of old things and run across this scrapbook, I'll read a page or two of Miles and remember how reading and collecting the comic was a fun little thing to do.

Boomer

References:

Ric's Junk Blog: http://ricochet.boomerthedog.net/blog/junk/   http://ricochet.boomerthedog.net/blog/junk/2016/01/button-panel-2.html

Phil Frank's official site: http://www.farleycomicstrip.com/

Phil Frank's comic, Farley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farley_%28comic_strip%29

Dog clothes

I've enjoyed dressing as a Dog for a long time, since early junior high at least, when I used Halloween grease pencil to paint a shiny black shoebutton nose and whiskers on my face. I made ears out of paper, flopping ones, and pointed German Shepherd ears from thin paperboard, with a thin strip between them as a headband.

Later on I found scraps of fur in the trash and cut ears out of that, and then found a discarded stuffed animal, a bear I think it was, and thought how I could make it into a Doggie head mask since it already had the shape and my head could fit in it.

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Boomer in an early Dog head mask  (Click on picture to see it bigger)  

After taking out the stuffing, I was left with just a furry bag as I recall, since the bear's features were just pieces sewn or glued on the outside and I had taken them off. I cut holes for the eyes and mouth, then started to sew, adding black thin fabric for a Dog's black lips, and making a nose with the same material and sewing that on too.

The eyes are special, they have plastic lenses in them. Like other floppy costume Dog heads, the open eye holes would collapse down as I bounced around, constantly covering my vision and I'd have to keep pulling my head up so I could see. To fix that I got some clear plastic sheet that was soft enough to take a needle and thread through it without cracking, cut it into circles and sewed it on the inside of the eye holes with loops of thread. That made my Dog head professional, since I thought that's how all mascot costumes were built at the time. It's still not ideal since the plastic has imperfections that cause the view to be cloudy, but at least I can always see!

The eyebrows and brown features were drawn on with magic marker, which wasn't easy with the curly and semi-rough textured fur. I'm sure that was a pretty stinky session when trying to draw all that on! Being an early mask, it was experimental, all of my masks were, but here's proof this was in the alpha stage.

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The back of Boom's early Dog mask (click for a bigger view)

It's another puppy face, just drawn on the back of the same mask! For this picture I just turned around and this is the back of my head. Yes, these are current pictures, taken yesterday. A friend of mine has started building Dog masks and made me think about the ones I used to make, so I thought to show and woof about what I did too.

How was it to put this on after years have gone by? Kind of odd, but the memories are familiar. For one thing the mask is harder to get on my head these days, though it had always been kind of tight. I remembered the scent of it so well when it was on, a mix of fabric and the magic marker.

I'd think about ways to be a Dog in school, then come home and put on a mask, and run around the house on four legs, playing pooch and admiring myself in the mirror, looking like a Dog.


Boomer

C.H.O.M.P.S. (Chomps)

One of the films in my top ten list of Dog movies is C.H.O.M.P.S., a fun summer movie from 1979. C.H.O.M.P.S. stands for Canine Home Protection System. Of course, any territorial Dog can be a home protection system, but this pooch is a robot Super Dog, the world's greatest crime biter! Think of half Benji, half Bionic Man, and you're on the right track.

A crime wave is hitting the city, and inventor Brian (Wesley) invents a stealth security system that looks like an ordinary Dog, but actually has super hearing, super sight, immense strength and the ability to run at high speed, with a device right out of Six Million Dollar Man: slow motion to suggest the idea of running at very high speed.

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C.H.O.M.P.S. stars Wesley Eure and Valerie Bertinelli, with Conrad Bain, Chuck McCann, Red Buttons and Rascal, the real live Dog that C.H.O.M.P.S. the robot is based on.

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This is a 'pressbook' for movie theaters and others to help promote Chomps when it came to town.

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I'm not sure how I found out about C.H.O.M.P.S. being in theaters, if I'd seen a commercial for it or my dad suggested to go, knowing I'd want to see any Dog movie like this. We went to a smaller neighborhood theater in McKees Rocks, a town about 15 minutes away down along the river. I was really into my portable cassette recorder at the time taking it to different places and capturing moments with sound, the way some might use a camera to take pictures.

I took my recorder to C.H.O.M.P.S. and recorded some of the sound of the movie, so I could listen back later and remember what it was like. I'd also recorded some from Superman and other movies around that time, making a sort of movie soundtrack mixtape.

I enjoyed the movie a whole lot, with the scruffy superdog and it's lively disco soundtrack by Hoyt Curtin, and that it was something special that dad and me did together. It must be in my top ten movies of a lifetime.

Here's an advertising photo I scanned, a glossy print that would have been used by newspapers and magazines to promote C.H.O.M.P.S. in their movie sections. I think newspapers got these photos weekly, which would have been a way to stay on top of an editor's desk.

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(Click for full size Rascal)

This is Rascal, inventor Brian's real Dog '.. in whose image a new super burglar alarm system is invented..'

Boomer