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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Minions #295 - Cold Blooded Killers (plus a free ebook!)

Well, kids, I can't believe this, but I just screwed up and reused a cartoon I'd already posted earlier in the month.  Sigh.  I'm on this.  Here's a brand-new and absolutely never-before-run cartoon.

And in case you came in following an earlier promo post and DIDN'T see this cartoon before, here' it is again.  (Free ebook info follows!)
Click Cartoon for Fluffier Cushions!

Greetings, Armchair Minions!

Happy Halloween, or as the Minions down at the lair like to call it, "recruitment drive."  Oh, sure, most of the ones that show up at the door are kind of young, but they're used to funny costumes, are willing to work for stale candy-corn, and are at just the right age to cart off to "Minion Academy."

Oh, yes, there's a training school for Minions!  It's just like Hogwarts!  Except of course that it's a cold, drafty, dangerous castle full of death-traps where most of the faculty, alumni and your fellow students are trying to kill you.  Oh, wait!  It's just like Hogwarts!

And hey, it's a great time to get your holiday season off to a creepy start with a free flash-fiction ebook written by your Minion Master!  You can download it for free for your Kindle compatible reader, device, or app!

  Also available on Nook, Smashwords, and in most other major ebook stores!

Enjoy, and we'll see you back here next week!

         - Chair-master Steve

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Minions #294 - Bar for the Course

Click cartoon discretely for secret bigness!

Greetings, Broken Hipsters!

Wish I could say things were getting back to normal here at the lair, but I'm quickly forgetting what normal (or what used to pass for normal around here) is like.  In recent months, friends, acquaintances, and family members have shown a distressing tendency to drop dead and end up in hospitals or emergency rooms in bizarre and unusual fashions.  So I'm going to take the unusual step of sending some shout-outs to various friends-of-Miniondom.

In no particular order, wishes of cheer to artist friend Jonathan Kort, who just lost his grandfather and also tried (unsuccessfully) and remove his thumb with a sharp chisel.  Hang in there Jonathan!

Then some free-better-and-stay-that-way wishes to writer buddy Nathan Meyer (go check out his books and buy a few, why don't you?) who, even though his dance card was already pretty full recovering from a major illness, decided he could engage in a little bacterial research by trying out a nasty and rare new strain of pneumonia. Points for initiative, Nate, but really, I think everyone would be happier if you left the research for the CDC.  Glad you're finally home, and feel better soon!

And a special very-cautious-Minion hug out to long-time Minions-supporter Rose Prescott, who suffered a bad fall while visiting New York, managing to prang both arms, break her nose, and do something nasty to a toe just to have an even number of injuries.  And a bonus shout-out to husband Sean, who has been there for all her hospital adventures, and now has to get her home to Oregon in her battered condition.  We just feel terrible, guys.  Safe trip home!

Everybody out there, please take care, give your friends and loved ones a hug, and keep yourselves safe.  Remember, we're professionals here.  Let trained, professional Minions do the prat-falls off cat-walks into molten lava, play mumblety-peg with death-lasers, and battle disease germs the size of Chevy Tahoes.  It's what we're trained to do, and it's not for amateurs!

 We damned well better see you ALL back here next week!

                    - Minion Safety Master Steve

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Minions #293 - Disincentive

Click Cartoon for Larger Image!  (Whoops!  You missed!)

Greetings, Human Targets!

Well, even though this cartoon is based on a library shot, it's at least totally new today and up on time.  This week has still been a drag.  I keep waiting for "normal" to kick in, but I've kind of forgotten what normal is!  I did get some cool new set pieces this week (which required some work to make useful for shooting) so you will be seeing some new "looks" in future lair sets that will break things up some.

Maybe some of you don't know it, but except for a few outdoor shots, pretty much all of our Minions at Work cartoons are shot on a 2 x 4 foot workbench, with a plastic-pipe "lighting grid" over it used to hang lights, backdrops, and overhead props and set pieces.  That means I have no room to leave sets assembled for any period of time.  Each new photo session requires me to tear down the set and start over (or at least modify what's already sitting there).  I've got hundreds of large set pieces (wall flats, columns, cardboard "blocks" that are used to make walls, corridors, doors or platforms, etc.), hundreds of pieces of furnishings and furniture, and literally thousands of small props, not to mention the dozens of action figures that make up my regular "cast," and the hundreds from my larger 1/6th collection that I draw upon for special our one-shot characters.

Set pieces tend to fall into "families," though there's some overlap.  My first, and maybe biggest, family is the "retro-futuristic" family.  Silver, black, and chrome are the dominant colors, and you'll see elements of "Googie" diner architecture from time to time.  It's modeled on the lairs from early James Bond films.  I've got lots of consoles, view-screens, laboratory benches, and "large, glowing devices of uncertain purpose" to dress up these sets.

Then there's the "nature" family.  I use granite, marble and wood-grain contact paper for much of this, covering boxes (or set pieces custom made from cardboard), large cardboard tubes, etc, to create a set of giant building blocks that I can make most any kind of dungeon, palace, or tomb, or industrial building.

There's the "warehouse" family, consisting of crates (I must have thirty or so miniature wooden crates alone), boxes,  and barrels used to create warehouse and storage room settings.

There's the "exotics" family, which has lots of brass, gold, wood, bamboo and silk.  I can use it to create throne rooms, tiki bars, Asian restaurants, and ornate Overlord living quarters.

There's actually an entire "food service" family used to make the infamous Minions bar, restaurants, lunch rooms, fast-food joints, parties, etc.  Not to mention just keeping the Minions set for random snacks, drinks, and lunch breaks.

I've also got a small but-growing "steampunk" family, mostly used for scenes on Cap'n Rehab's submarine, the Naughtyless.

Newest of all is the "Gothic" family, a lot of which has been assembled from various modified Halloween decorations (and so this is obviously the time of year for upgrades).  A key acquisition I made a few weeks ago was a set of HUGE plastic columns intended to support wedding cakes.  I quickly repainted them in a dark, faux-stone finish (I think they look pretty awesome), and you've seen them a couple of times already in my "throne room" sets.  With this family, I'll be able to do more "old-school" castles than I could with just my "nature" family, as well as mad-scientist labs, evil temples, and take things in a darker and more (funny) horrific direction that I've been able to do so far.

That's probably more than you ever cared to know about the behind-the-scenes here at Minions at Work, but I just thought that, although it probably often looks like I just threw a given cartoon together, a lot of work, though, and resources goes into every one of these silly things.

Anyway, see you guys here next week!

        - Minion Master Steve

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Minions #292 - More than a Paradox

For future bigness click cartoon now (or even sooner)!

Greetings, Doppelgangers!

Sorry this week's cartoon is a day late (and we're ALWAYS a dollar short here, thus the "donate" button below).  If Minion No. 1 hadn't run down the battery on the time machine, we could just go back and post this on Monday, but no such luck.

Speaking of Minion No. 1, follow him on Twitter for weekly reminders of our new cartoon, and occasional fun posts and links relating to super-villainy in the media!

See you guys next week!

- Minion Master Steve
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Minions at Work delayed this week

Well, more likely, later this week.  Due to our attending an out-of-town memorial service for a family member this weekend, we're going to be delayed this time around.  Hopefully we'll feel like being funny in a few days.  Stay tuned.

- Sorry!
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Monday, October 03, 2011

Minions #291 - Butting out

Click on Cartoon for Bigger Butt!

Greetings, Cheeky Monkeys!

I really had intended to put these throne room cartoons into inventory so that I could spread them out.  But several things happened.  First, I keep finding cool me props to att to the room, both statues (thank you Halloween supplies!) and those columns (thank you somebody's giant wedding cake, Goodwill, and spray paint!).  So I kept fiddling around with the set instead of tearing it down and shooting something else.

Now I confess that while I think these cartoons may look pretty good, they may not be the funniest thing I've ever done.  I've got to admit that it feels like the humor-bones are a bit creaky after my enforced layoff.  But as with all things, it gets better with practice.  Who knows, maybe by next week, I'll have build a different set (still want to incorporate those nifty columns though) and maybe it will inspire me to something more clever.

- Out of Practice Minion Master Steve

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