NATALIES: Natal Anniversaries for August 7, 2012

NATALIES! Today is August 7th, aka The Day of the Double Agent, Beach Party Day, Lighthouse Day, Professional Speakers Day, Raspberries and Cream Day, Sea Serpent Day, Canadian Heritage Day (varies), Fairies’ Smartest Leprechaun Eisteddford Holiday, Feast of ‘Aut-Yeb – Personification of Female Joy (Egypt), Feast of the Holy Name and Ivory Coast Independence Day, Mustard Day, National Night Out, Particularly Preposterous Packaging Day, Pea Festival Day, Smile Week, and the Feast Day of St. Cajetan.

This Day in Geek History! On this day in 1941, HERE COMES MR. JORDAN, adapted from the Harry Segall play “Heaven Can Wait”, premiered. The story of a boxer taken to the afterlife before his time, it was nominated for seven Oscars, and took home two, for writing. It was the basis for the 1978 Warren Beatty film HEAVEN CAN WAIT, which itself was the basis for the 2001 comedy DOWN TO EARTH with Chris Rock.

The first-ever computer chess tournament took place on August 7, 1970.

Heather Harbin Dye, Illustration by M Mrakota Orsman

Heather Harbin Dye, Illustration by M Mrakota Orsman

Today’s Featured Natalies include Clinical Psychology Consultant (and damn funny performer) Drew Fowler; insanely talented costumer Katie Kaufman; DYE CEO and movie fan Heather Harbin Dye; and Derby Hills secretary, and fellow St. Michael’s cantor, Devon Graf Packard.

They share their special day with Eric Johnson of SMALLVILLE; Cirroc Lofton of DEEP SPACE NINE; HAUTE TENSION director Alexandre Aja; Charlize Theron of PROMETHEUS and AEON FLUX; Vanessa Stacey of THE TRIBE, LORD OF THE RINGS and THE FRIGHTENERS; Hans Matheson of SHERLOCK HOLMES and CLASH OF THE TITANS; MAN OF STEEL’s “General Zod” Michael Shannon; Greg Serano of FRAILTY and DEADLY IMPACT; Harold Perrineau of the MATRIX films; David Duchovny of THE X FILES; Caroline Aaron of EDWARD SCISSORHANDS and PUMPKIN; Wayne Knight of TOY STORY 2, JURASSIC PARK, TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY and SPACE JAM; Alexei Sayle of THE YOUNG ONES and INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE; David Rasche of SLEDGE HAMMER!; John Glover of SMALLVILLE, SCROOGED, BATMAN AND ROBIN, and GREMLINS 2; Tobin Bell, “Jigsaw” of the SAW franchise; Science Fiction Writer Jerry Pournelle, Edward Hardwicke of Granada’s SHERLOCK HOLMES; Magician James (The Amazing) Randi; Rankin Bass screenwriter Romeo Muller of RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER, THE HOBBIT, ad nauseum; Our Gang member Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer; Humorist, advertising professional and voice actor Stan Freberg; film director Nicholas Ray; Billie Burke, aka “Glinda the Good Witch” of THE WIZARD OF OZ; accused spy Mata Hari; the “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Báthory; and American treasure Garrison Keillor.

Happy August 7th!

*“NATALIES” is a combined short form of the words NATAL (refers to birth) and ANNIVERSARIES… In other words, Birthdays. For the last year or so I’ve been posting these on my FACEBOOK page. I’ve been needing to start blogging more regularly, so this kills two Windows with one Linux… or something like that.

NATALIES: Natal Anniversaries for August 4, 2012

NATALIES*! Today is August 4, 2012 The Day of the Guiding Light, Backgammon Day, Chocolate Chip Day, Hooray for Kids Day, Mustard Day, Quotations Day, Quotations Day, US. Coast Guard Day, Blueberry Festival Holiday (Pennsylvania), Celtic Tree Month of Tinne (last day), Colombian Constitution Day, Constitution Day (Cook Islands), Fairies’ Drying-Out Day,Huancavelica Anniversary Holiday (Peru), Munchkins of Oz Convention Holiday and Nicole Robin Day (Caribbean) and the feast of St. John Vianney.

THIS DAY IN GEEK HISTORY! You’ve seen one of these charts…
Venn Diagram, courtesy Reddit
It’s called a Venn Diagram, and the guy who created it, John Venn, was born on this day in 1834.

Today is the 62nd anniversary of the day Norma Desmond became ready for her close-up. Billy Wilder’s SUNSET BOULEVARD opened on this day in 1950.

Amy Kuyper Stockton, illustration by M Mrakota Orsman

Amy Kuyper Stockton, illustration by M Mrakota Orsman

Today’s featured Natalies are my nephew the drummer Rick Macy (playing a benefit concert to help the Joyland Restoration Project today!), and high school classmate and Des Moines teacher Amy Kuyper Stockton. If she’s as dedicated an instructor as she was a stage manager back in the day, her students are lucky indeed.

They share their birthday with Greta Gerwig of HOUSE OF THE DEVIL; Abigail Spencer of COWBOYS AND ALIENS; ANGEL’s singing “Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan”, Andy Hallett; Stefan Brogren of BITTEN; Michael DeLuise of WAYNE’S WORLD; Daniel Dae Kim, of ANGEL and LOST; writer Dennis Lehane; voice actress Lauren Tom of FUTURAMA; CANDYMAN director Bernard Rose; Billy Bob Thornton of TOMBSTONE and BANDITS; Richard Belzer of HOMICIDE LIFE ON THE STREET; artist and actor Don S. Davis of TWIN PEAKS and STARGATE SG-1; voice actor Martin Jarvis; Scorcese regular Frank Vincent; Anita Page of WITCHCRAFT XI, THE CRAWLING BRAIN and FRANKENSTEIN RISING; poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and actor Donald “Ogre” Gibb.

May the fourth be with you!

*“NATALIES” is a combined short form of the words NATAL (refers to birth) and ANNIVERSARIES… In other words, Birthdays. For the last year or so I’ve been posting these on my FACEBOOK page. I’ve been needing to start blogging more regularly, so this kills two girls with one cup… or something like that.

Mirthquake Rumblings from around the Web.

Howdy Mirthquakers!

Been REALLY busy, I can hardly keep up! But here’s what’s shaking!


nullDid a poster for a screening of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (coinciding with George A. Romero’s birthday) at Pittsburgh, PA’s Hollywood Theatre, to benefit FIX THE CHAPEL, the grassroots effort of NOTLD fans to restore and preserve the chapel in Evans City Cemetery, a cinematic landmark from the George A. Romero classic horror film originally released in 1968. It’s an IMAGE 10 APPROVED OFFICIAL POSTER, and you can buy a non-screening-specific copy of the poster at the groups website at

You can also get a Mirthquake Designed full color Ultra-pro-style NOTLD Chapel Promo Card at participating pop-culture conventions (both made their debut this weekend at Cinema Wasteland). There are two available… the “Karen Cooper” card is the more readily available of the two. The “Ben and Harry” is only available with a minimum donation, or as a bonus if you win one of the groups eBay auctions.

I must admit, the thrill of these pieces for me is the fact that they were given the official “okee-doke” from the remaining living members of Image Ten, Inc, the ten members who put up money to make NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and in most cases worked on and in the film. I feel like I’m a bona fide member of the family!

Plus I’m honored to help preserve a piece of film history — the last surviving exterior location of one of the most famous films in history.


Nail Gun Massacre clamshellI also designed the packaging for inaugural release of the newly minted FRIGHTMARE VIDEO company!

A true direct to video release in 1986, NAIL GUN MASSACRE now gets a retro VHS clam-shell release complete with painted cover art never before available in the US!
Featuring an all new music video by old school death metal band “Nailgun Massacre” for their hit single “Nailed to the Wall”.

It’ll premiere exclusively at this spring’s Texas Frightmare Weekend, taking place May 4-6, where cast and crew will be on hand for a screening, Q&A and autograph session. (I’ll be around too…)

This was an interesting deal… the only good copy of the art we had available was an ultra high resolution scan from the overseas VHS packaging that Rotten Cotten had used for their official t-shirt. But it was, as you can imagine, all ben-day dots. So I took it into photoshop and literally repainted the art from those ben-day dots, to get a clear continuous tone image suitable for printing. Then I took that image and used it in a faux-distressed retro Clamshell design for this initial first pressing. I even got to design the 1980’s styled “Frightmare Video” Logo… weird going back to my Kaleidoscope/Popingo/National/Major Video store roots! Somehow browsing on Netflix just doesn’t have the same… panache. Kinda miss that.

If you pre-order the tape (shipping May 15 and priced at $32.95, though pre-orders are $26.95) early, it’s worth it; the first 25 orders will also receive the rare 2004 DVD edition released by Lofton. That’s kinda nifty.

But from what I understand, this is a movie best seen hammered

There’s so much more, but I’ll be adding on to this blog soon… stay tuned!

Bonehead Moves.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the Bantam Street Players. Led by writer/director/actor Larry Blamire, the troupe is responsible for such hilarious and spot-on gems as Trail of the Screaming Forehead, Lost and Stormy Night, the Web Series (and CathARTic fave) Tales From The Pub, and of course The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra and its sequels.

Well, Rondo Award winning artist Belle Dee was nice enough to invite me to participate in an online art show celebrating the wacky magnificence that is Cadavra. There’s a different artist every day, and I’m featured today!

Gaze at art now!

Unclogging the Blog!

The 2011 Texas Frightmare T-Shirt, art by Matt OrsmanMuch like the proverbial cobbler with barefoot children, I have been derelict in my blogging duty… I’ve been Busy!

  • I’m finishing up work on my very first children’s book! Hope to have it available in just a matter of weeks, so watch the Facebook page!
  • Speaking of Facebook, I’m giving away digital caricatures at benchmark “fan” numbers! I’ve done about 15 of them since I started that project, so if you want in on the drawing, become a “Mirthquaker” and “like” the page! As of this writing, we’re at 309 fans, and I’m drawing again at 350!
  • Been keeping afloat doing designs for WIREWAVES, a company that specializes in web applications and internet radio, but honestly we do all kinds of graphic media! From a basic website to your own facebook, we can do it for you! Go check the site for more information!
  • Doing some Illustration work for Karen Knotts for her one woman show about her famous dad, Don Knotts, called appropriately TIED UP IN KNOTTS! The next performance is in Tennessee on April 15th, so go check it out and see some Mirthquake action!
  • Been keeping busy with one of my other blogs… CathARTic Art and Film Events is doing weekly interviews with people involved in the film and art industries! Interviews include Ad Man and Film Producer Bob Walterscheid; Actor Brandon Slagle; Actress, filmmaker and film festival goddess Shannon Lark; world renowned Horror Photographer Joshua Hoffine, and this weekend, I’m posting an interview with Texas Frightmare impresario Loyd Cryer!
  • Speaking of Texas Frightmare Weekend, I’m also had the honor of designing the Official TFW2011 T-shirt and Program Cover! The shirts are being printed by Joe Garcia at Fast Custom Shirts in Corpus Christi, Texas! He’s got lots of cool indy shirt designs, so throw him a little business, and tell him “Mirthy” sent you!
  • And I’m also the official graphic artist for the Viscera Film Festival in Los Angeles in July! And yes, I actually hope to GO to this one!

So as you can see, my dance card has been staying pretty full. But I will try to stop by more often!

Building the Better Audience

I know I keep saying that I am going to post more, but I’ve been SO busy, that I just haven’t had the time.

“What have you been doing, Mirthy?”

SO glad you asked.

Among other things, I have been drawing and animating a cartoon for an upcoming product… and it really is cool. The product I mean. Not convinced about the commercial, yet.

Among other things, I have been drawing and animating a cartoon for an upcoming product… and it really is cool. The product I mean. Not convinced about the commercial, yet.

For it I’ve drawn caricatures of at least 75 people… several of which are among THE movers and shakers in the Internet Marketing world. Authors, copywriters, software gurus, affiliate marketing experts, philanthropists; they’re the ones featured.

But there is a huge background crowd scene, and for that? I picked interesting faces from my face book. I mean after all, isn’t that what it’s there for? LOL!

Some are friends I talk to every day, some are co-workers, some are High School friends, others friends of friends, some I know only online (though I’m working on that.)


This will hopefully be the first of a series, and as I get better at this, I’ll be cracking these out faster, and with more realistic movement. But I have to admit… I spend SO much time on the computer that it’s been nice to put pencil to paper again to do these sketches.

I’ll drop in a link to the video here as soon as I get it up online.

Lemme know if you are interested in seeing the original sketches, and I’ll see about posting them in the gallery.

Taking a “Stand” (& Stupid Branding Tricks)

I met a ginger-haired lady from the Dallas area at the used bookstore this past weekend. She is the librarian for our local Air Force Base, and she was picking up books for the AFB library, as they have no funding from the base itself. Everything they get is through donations, or the librarians buy them themselves.

That could be the story in itself, but it’s not. She used to live in Maine years ago, and would attend open houses at Stephen King’s house. She had met King’s wife Tabitha on many occasions, and her prized possession was a personally autographed copy of The Stand. Or at least it was her prized possession, until it was stolen right off her bookshelf by a close family member… and sold for drugs.

So, for a woman I don’t even know… didn’t even catch her name… I’m going to see if there is any way that I can get that book back for her. Chances are it won’t be the same copy, obviously, but it just seems wrong to me that someone who puts as much of her own time and money into making sure there are books for our heroes in the Military to read, and not have an autographed copy of her favorite book herself.

And if I can wrangle donations for the AFB library in the meantime, bonus!

Any interest?

DIsturbing branding trends of the week

I just found out this week that Pizza Hut, having expanded their menu well beyond the scope of PIzza, will now be known as The Hut.

Also, noting the declining sales of actual radios, and the strong influx of wIreless technology they are selling, Radio Shack will now be known as The Shack.

What next, I ask?

Will Village Inn be known as simply “The Inn?”

Will Pottery Barn become “The Barn?”

Will Waffle House and IHOP go to war over the right to be “The House?”

I mean heaven forfend you should tell people what you sell in your name, right?

Oh, well. It could be worse. They could just rebrand for the internet/texting crowd.

That being said, I’m going to go back to watching Syfy with a 2-liter of Mtn Dew. OMG!

RETWEET! 10 quotes from around the web.

OK, it’s been too long since I blogged. So I’ll just let everyone else write this entry. Here are various quotes found at random on the web.

  1. They don’t know what it was like to watch “Thriller” for the first time, are so used to the Moonwalk that they have NO idea what it felt for the entire WORLD when it was premiered during Motown 25… They don’t know any of this. Half of them never heard of “The Wiz.” They don’t even remember when he was black. All of that is ancient history to them.

    They only know him as the weird hermit who looks like a monster, has a kid named Blanket that he dangled off of a balcony in Germany, used to be somebody, and fucked children. The fact that he was acquitted — an act that used to MEAN something in this country, damn it, before the Court of Public Opinion got so fucking big — means absolutely nothing to them. Many of them were happy that he died, because now the world is a safer place. —Joe Berenato

  2. i once telepathically informed a wasp that I was about to hit it with a newspaper… the wasp spoke to my mind, “I’m not the wasp you want” pesky Jedi wasps, with their mind control Must Open Fanta..aah it’s happenin again —Bill Bailey
  3. Just got a call from the Red Cross reminding me of my double-red donation tomorrow. Wish I could also donate my love, because I feel that my love is overflowing, with wonderful-ness. I am so very much in love! —William Sparks
  4. the key to a woman’s heart is waffles. —Brea Grant
  5. Hope everyone is having a fine day full of fine things that are just fine in those fine things on this fine day. If you’re having it. —Larry Blamire
  6. Hope everyone is having a fine day full of fine things that are just fine in those fine things on this fine day. If you’re having it. —Larry Blamire

  7. I love it when the circus comes to town. I automatically resort back to being a child- pushing people younger than me out of the way for a spot in line, riding roller coasters and urinating in outhouses. It brings back such a nostalgic feeling for me. It’s almost as good as sleeping on a dirty mattress in an abandoned crack trailer. Except that experience wasn’t always accompanied with pleasant feelings, so I don’t actively look for it. —Shannon Lark
  8. She googled “amazing sex beast” and came up with JackKnight. She came. She saw. I conquered. —JackKnight
  9. I’m all for off-color humor and thumbing your nose at the PC police. But I really would like it to serve the story. Michael Bay is famous for pointless asides, and this time he has a solid hour and a half of story telling, padded with absolute bullshit. —Harry Knowles
  10. Just woke from a fitful dream about writing a long, sweeping novel with a hundred and forty different characters in it. Then I got the pun. —Teller
  11. I love this. Nothing jarring. Nothing boring. Gr8 music Internet-only Radio Station Wichita, Kansas —Kathy Hadley

What? You thought I was going to let a blog go without a Wichita Breeze plug?

Incendiary topics on Pentecost.

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, the fiftieth day past Easter. It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and is considered by many as the “Birthday of the Church”.

It’s traditional to wear red on Pentecost Sunday. But in a small Lutheran church in Wichita, that was taken all too literally.

Yesterday AM, someone murdered Dr. George Tiller as he greeted friends and members of his congregation as they arrived for church services.

Dr. TIller was renowned throughout the United States as one of the few physicians who performed late term abortions. He and his clinic had been the targets of several attacks over the years, and were the focal point of the “Operation Rescue” demonstrations here, back in 1991.

The subject of abortion is a hot bed of controversy here in Kansas, and suffice it to say, that as a Democrat and a Catholic in a largely Republican state, I definitely hear both sides of the argument…

The subject of abortion is a hot bed of controversy here in Kansas, and suffice it to say, that as a Democrat and a Catholic in a largely Republican state, I definitely hear both sides of the argument…

Just yesterday, on his facebook account, a very good and very well educated friend of mine made a blanket generalization that all “Pro-Lifers” were murderous hypocrites. (A sentiment that even *I* may over-generalized —due to faulty memory, rather than any attempt at spin— as the post has since been deleted.)

Well, I kinda take offense at that. If you were to ask me what side of that fence I fall on, my knee jerk reaction would be that I *am* a pro-lifer, but a pragmatic one. I do believe that abortion is the taking of an innocent life. I believe it is a tragedy that should be avoided at all costs, not only because of the death of an innocent, but because of the strong emotional trauma that it puts on the would-be-mother. But I also know that there are times where it seems that such drastic measures may be necessary.

But I do not and cannot condone the cold blooded murder of a physician any more than I condone the killing of innocent children. It is an appalling and unnecessary display of violence that not only leaves family and friends mourning, but further polarizes the argument.

People are fighting for a woman to have reproductive control over her body, and calling it pro-choice. They can “choose” whether they have a baby or not. It seems that in many cases (rape and incest excepted, obviously), they had already made that choice. Using abortion as a means of birth control is frankly wrong, in my opinion.

They “chose” to have sex. They “chose” not to use protection. And as our parents taught us, and we are instilling in our children, if you are going to play grown-up games, you have to take grown-up responsibilities. No one said it was easy.

If there was a medical reason that an abortion might seem necessary — and I say “seem” (twice now) because as as parents, my wife and I have agreed we’d rather give the baby a fighting chance to live, even if it is without a mother — that is a choice as well. And no less hard.

If there is a life altering choice one has to make, pray that it’s the right one either way.

Someone “chose” to murder Dr. Tiller in cold blood. That was a choice, too: A heinous, grievous choice to be sure, and certainly not one that I or anyone I know would consider a “pro-life” one.

I suppose “pro life” and “pro choice” are misnomers in my book. I’m pro-responsibility. Responsibility for one’s own actions no matter what they are.

To Dr. Tiller’s family, friends and supporters, I am praying for you in your time of mourning. May justice be swift, and your memories be kind.

Potential parents-to-be, who have to make those tough choices, I pray that you find the strength to follow your resolve, and live a life without regret.

I may not have said all I meant to on this subject, and I’m sure that someone may call me to the carpet for something I may or may not have written. I’ll be glad to address those comments as they come in.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.