Monday, June 29, 2009

Custom Orders, Part Two

Last week's posting on custom orders was advertised in an email I sent out to the seven hundred or more people on my mailing list. I managed to get some interesting orders and the pictures of these items speak for themselves. Like I said last week, I have mixed feelings about these kind of orders. They are a lot more work than my standard items, but it's really fun to see what people come up with. And the people who order these items are really thrilled to get them, so it's fun to get the rave reviews. Sales are still pretty slow this year, so this is a good way for me to squeeze some extra sales out of a slow economy. If you like what you see here and want to place your own order, just check out the "custom items" section of my webstore. You might want to get your orders in before I raise my prices on this service. Our next kiln comes out in about three weeks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It's kind of like making custom birthday cakes, only on pottery.

My apologies to my faithful readers for my lapse in blog postings lately. I kind of dropped the ball on my blog last month and I'm finally getting back in gear here. This week I'm putting together a pair of email sales pitches to my retail customers and my wholesale accounts for a niche market I've been cultivating over the years: custom cartoons on pots. It's a service I've been doing for years, and we always get rave reviews for these items. It's always interesting to see what kind of designs people come up with. Last week, I received a great little cartoon for an order for a commemorative bowl for a dog named Toby who passed away this year. I'm looking forward to putting this cartoon on a salad bowl. To me, this is the perfect custom order: simple, fun to draw and very sweet.

Over the years, I've done dozens upon dozens of these kind of pots. Commemorative wedding gifts are a popular item. One of my all-time favorites had Wally jumping a Harley Davidson motorcycle over the wedding party, on the groom's side were scary biker types and on the bride's side normal middle-class people. It's a timeless story: the good girl falls for the bad boy. For some reason, I seem to have gotten a number of custom orders from Deadheads and Phish devotees. These cartoons are as cryptic as Grateful Dead lyrics: "Harry meets Sarah dancing in The Phil Zone". Unfortunately, I haven't taken many pictures of these items, but perusing my collection of pics this afternoon, I did find a good one that illustrates this point perfectly. If you happen to fall in love at a jam band concert and you want a commemorative item, I'm the guy you need to call, OK? !!!!!
So I kind of have a love/hate relationship with these pots. I've been known to grouse about how much work it can be to draw them. Those "Holy Shit! That's good coffee!" mugs are so easy to draw, I can do them with my eyes closed. Conversely, the graphics on these custom orders are a real challenge. And I don't charge nearly enough as I should for this service. Right now, it will set you back and extra five dollars for a custom order. Pretty cheap, huh? I suppose I should charge more. But when these pots come out of the kiln or when I get that glowing email telling me how the plate with the goofy cartoon made the birthday girl cry tears of joy, it makes me realize I can't stop making these pots for people. To order a custom item, you can go to the "custom items" section of my webstore.

Father's Day SHOUT OUT to Walter G. Edwards: My dad turns eighty this year and he was the early inspiration for my odd style of drawing. When my sister and I were kids, he would always leave us silly notes with lousy drawings on them. I'm pretty sure these lousy drawings were stuck in my subconscious when I picked up a glaze pencil back in the 1980s and started this line of work. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me how to draw like an eight year old!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Odds and Ends

It's been over a month since my last post and I apologize to my faithful readers for dropping the ball on my weekly blog like I did the past four weeks. I really didn't have much to write about as my pottery work was pretty much on hold due to a series of circumstances. And, in all honesty, I just haven't been inspired to write. But things are finally getting back to normal, and this week's post has some nice odds and ends to follow up on. Here goes:

Bo Obama's dog bowl is out of the kiln! The First Family finally got their dog last month so I was finally able to decorate a few of those blank dog bowls that had been sitting in my studio for many months. For the background on all this, see my post, "I'm on the Obama Dream Team!" Today I'm shipping this minor masterpiece out and my well-placed customer is going to hand it to her well-placed friend who will hopefully personally hand it to The President. I realize that it could blow the surprise for the First Family by posting pics of it on the web right now, so if you are friends with the Obamas, please don't tell them about it, OK?

New topical humor! Along with the presidential dog bowl, I came up with two new designs this week. I couldn't resist doing a swine flu joke, even if that topic is on the wane now. A few months ago, I received some emails from disgruntled Republicans urging me to come up with some jokes slamming the new administration. While this one is a far cry from a "slam", it does take aim at Janet Napolitano, one of the current objects of conservative disgruntledness. I have a very limited number of these available in mugs, plates and bowls in my webstore now, and I'm pretty sure they are destined to be collector's items.

My other new design has much better marketing potential. It's available in mugs only, and I really like the way it could be a joke gift given from a Republican to a Democrat or vice verca. We shipped out a bunch of these to my various accounts today, and I still have a few in stock and available in the webstore. I'm excited about coming up with more new designs later this month, and I should have another firing out in about three weeks.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


One of the things I like about forcing myself to write this blog every week is the fact that I'm getting some interesting and esoteric stories about my work loaded on to the the web where they will hopefully be archived forever. This will be a real bonus for the folk art historians of the future who decide to research my odd little niche in the crafts universe. Yes, I realize this sounds a bit egotistical, but when you see the photo at the end of this post, you will see why I'm feeling so full of myself today. The topic for this week is "Fan offerings and the fans that offer them: a trip down memory lane with the stuff people have sent me over the years". Enjoy!

The Tim T-shirt: This came to me from a fan who wanted to make a commemorative shirt for her friend Tim who was going on a trip to Japan. It was always fun for me to wear because people thought it was a typo that it said "Tim" instead of "Tom".

The Fred Babb original plate: Back in the summer of 1989, we had so many orders that there was a six week waiting list for galleries to receive their pots. Oh, those were the days! One of my best accounts was "What iz Art?" in Cambria, CA. It was owned by Julia and Fred Babb. Fred is an amazing artist and he is one of my true heroes and mentors in the world of crazy, fun and magical self-expression. When I told Fred his order was going to go to the back of the line just like everyone else, he sent me this plate as a bribe. It worked like a charm and I squeezed his pots in the next firing.

The silver Wally pin: A jeweler named Jewel sent me this a few years ago, and I love the way Wally looks in shiny metal. I used to do ceramic Wally pins back in the 1980s, and one of them was worn by Demi Moore in the film, "The Seventh Sign". Look for it in the chase scene where she is running through a church wearing a beige overcoat. Wally is right there on her collar!

The Wally Tattoo: This pic just came to me last week from a superfan via email.... really! I'm overwhelmingly flattered by it and I'm still kind of in a daze. It isn't finished yet, as the Wallys need to be colored in and the banner will have a phrase. The words have yet to be decided.... any ideas out there?

P.S. I just got a nice mention today on Check it out!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BJM tonight

Just a short little post this week as I'm not in the blogging mood. But I am in the sycophantic rock fan mode today because tonight I'm going to see one of my very favorite bands in the whole world, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Their sound is an reminiscent of The Stones in their psychedelic period, but they have pulled off an amazing feat by creating much more than just a retro sound. A few years back Robin brought home their double CD "Tepid Peppermint Wonderland" and after just one listen I was totally hooked. Their lead singer, Anton Newcomb, is one of the craziest geniuses in the rock world, and his live appearances can be really hit or miss. Check out the documentary, "DIG!" to get a good overview of his eccentric (i.e. borderline psychotic) personality. I was lucky enough to see them live two years ago and the show was near perfect and they played for almost four hours without a break. Other shows have clocked in at just fifteen minutes so it's a real crap shoot what you get when you see these guys. Whenever I see a band in concert, I always like to pick a song I hope they will play. My pick for tonight is "That Girl Suicide". Here's a ragged video of the song:

Post script: It was a great show and they did indeed play "That Girl Suicide". Here's a nice review in Denver

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

George Clooney Flavored Tofu Confirms My PETA Conspiracy Theory

This week I'm going to use my blog to expose something I've been wanting to expose for years: my sincere belief that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) simply has to be run by people who hate animals and they are doing everything in their power to make a joke out of the animal rights movement. This heinous subterfuge has been painfully obvious to me for a very long time, and I'm hoping that last week's ultra-wacky PETA news story will finally make my theory clear to the rest of the world. For those of you that missed it, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk procured a sweat-soaked towel used by actor George Clooney, and she is in the process of trying to develop a food product that will taste just like the academy award winning actor's precious bodily fluid. In a letter to Mr. Clooney, Ms. Newkirk wrote:

"The technology actually exists to take your perspiration and make it into George Cooney-flavored tofu (CloFu). We could do that and give the tofu away. Of course, your fans would swoon at the idea of eating CloFu, but what interests us most is that we would attract many people who don't try tofu because they worry that it would be bland or that they wouldn't know how to cook it."

There are so many levels of bizarre and stupid in the above paragraph that it totally boggles the mind. Why would anyone be attracted to a food that tastes like movie star sweat? If she were pitching smoothies with the flavor of Angelina Jolie's breast milk, I suppose an argument could be made that there is a small niche market out there, but true CloFu aficionados are creatures so rare you will only find them described in abnormal psychology textbooks.

But the abnormal is the norm in PETA-land and to support my conspiracy theory I will list below some of their "greatest hits" stupid news stories over the past decade. These prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the people who run this left-wing organization are a cabal of right-wingers. And they are laughing their asses off as they do so.
  • January, 2009: PETA calls for fish to be renamed "sea kittens" so people will be less inclined to eat them. It makes perfect sense. We'll all stop eating tuna sandwiches if we just change their name to "sea kitten sandwiches".
  • December 2007: The "KFC blows" campaign in Thailand uses inflatable sex dolls to protest the fast food chain. Again, there is the subtle theme of perversity in this PETA protest idea.
  • February 2005: "The Fish Empathy Project" borrows the slogan "Fish are friends, not food" from the animated film Finding Nemo. This catchphrase is from that great scene in the movie where the sharks are in the mock-AA meeting trying to deal with their urges to eat fish.
  • June 2000: The CBS TV show "Survivor" was blasted by PETA protesters over an episode where the contestants caught, cooked and ate some native rats on a remote tropical island. For some reason. the TV viewing audience was unable to develop an empathy for rats.
The sad thing here is that the cause of animal rights is a valid one and PETA continues to make a mockery of the very thing it claims to champion. I've always felt that Greenpeace and PETA are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of smart vs. ridiculous media campaigns. Greenpeace seems to have its way cool public image figured out and the fights it chooses to fight are respectable and thought provoking. PETA on the other hand picks stupid issues. This George Clooney sweaty tofu story is just another example of how idiotic this organization has become. I do wish PETA would dissolve and get replaced by a group that the public can listen to without breaking into uncontrollable laughter. I'm half serious when I say it's a right-wing conspiracy. That's the only logical explanation here. Are there any investigative journalists out there that could prove my theory? I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out my joke was the truth and PETA's "truths" turned out to be a joke.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Long Lost Wallys

Every so often I get an email from someone who has searched for me on the web because their treasured Wally mug, plate or bowl has broken and they need a replacement. The most recent request came from Mark in Washington DC and the mug that broke was an old design that I vaguely remembered... something about smoking, nihilism and angst. For some reason I couldn't recall all the details of this one and a search through my filing cabinet couldn't produce a photo of the mystery design. Fortunately, Mark sent me a pic of the broken mug and a replacement is forthcoming in this week's kiln load. But the search for the "lost" Wally adventure got me thinking that I really should get my archival act together. So in the interest of posterity, I'm posting below a whole bunch of ancient Wally adventures. Folk art curators of the future take note... all of these are out there somewhere!

  • "Wally descending a staircase" (a la Marcel Duchamp)
  • Wally gets an NEA grant to wrap himself in an American flag and sit in a vat of lemon jello
  • Here it is! The highly controversial Mapplethorpe portrait of Wally
  • Wally channels Andy (Warhol) and hits the party circuit
  • Wally still can't figure out the lyrics to "LA Woman"
  • Wally and Axl Rose do a killer cover version of "When I'm Sixty-Four"
  • Wally goes to a punk rock nightclub
  • Wally gets front row seats to a Morrisey concert and becomes celibate
  • Wally gets a B-52 to sing backup on his new album and has his biggest commercial success ever
  • New age superstar, "Walli" opens at a Yanni concert with his shimmering cover version of "Holiday in Cambodia"
  • Wally, the world-class charades master, plays a round where he must non-verbally communicate the titles of old Brian Eno songs
  • Wally convinces the Jerry Garcia band to do an eighteen minute cover version of "The six Finger Jingle" WTF! This is the most ridiculous and esoteric joke I've ever done! - Tom
  • Wally and Mr. Rogers become vampires and do a late-night infomercial
  • Most dogs simply eat grass.... Wally watches "Thirtysomething"
  • Agent Cooper notices a curious, distinct pattern in the donut scenes in"Twin Peaks"
  • Wally goes to Hell and listens to the same Barney tape forever
  • Wally casts Lorena Bobbitt in the leading role in "Edwina Scissorhands"
  • Wally stars in the low-budget sci-fi epic, "The Two-Headed Dog from Pluto"
  • Wally, the bravest dog on Earth, operates a leaf blower at Sean and Madonna's house at six in the morning
  • Wally takes The Pope to a rave
  • Wally attains cult status
  • A Wally cult member goes crazy
  • Wally's friends get worries when he becomes a complete Susan Powter fanatic
  • Wally humps a watermelon
  • Wally gets his watermelon a sexy new outfit
  • Wally gets kinky... menage a trois with watermelon
  • Wally's adventures with watermelons create a litter of little wallymelons
  • Wally lands his total dream job: product durability tester at Aacme Love Dolls, Inc.
  • Wally goes straight to the tabloids with shocking polaroids of hmself and Bill Clinton
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton gives Wally the job of enforcing her new health care program
  • Wally and Tipper Gore star in the environmentally correct remake of "Easy Rider"
  • Wally and Dan Quayle take the stealth bomber to Vegas
  • Wally and Dan Quayle fantasize about having a bloodless coup d'etat here in The United States
  • Wally bumps into Ted Kennedy and Pee Wee Herman at the all-night liquor store, porno shop and dog biscuit emporium
  • Wally and Al Gore go to a Marky Mark lookalike contest
  • Wally pulls quite a prank on Japanese Candid Camera
  • Wally deciphers Al Gores book and finds himself living in an old "Twilight Zone" episode
  • Wally's mother reveals that Bob Packwood is Wally's father
  • Wally and Godzilla get a great advertising gig for the Mothra Twins
  • Wally gets Tonya Harding a job advertising "The Club"
  • Wally's gay ski shop in Aspen goes broke and he is forced to burn his Barbar Steisand records for warmth
  • Wally and Mother Teresa blow off World Youth Day and hit the outlet stores in Silverthorne
  • Wally finds a miracle buffalo pie at the base of the Mother Cabrini Shrine.... is it the divine image of Elvis or Jesus?
  • Wally gets his very own cold war surplus MX missile
  • Wally and Joe Camel summon the spirit of Sigmund Freud
  • Wally gets Rush Limbaugh a date with a feminazi
  • In a shameless ploy for media attention, Wally agrees to a conjugal visit with Amy Fisher
  • Wally's bogus environmental organization raises enough money to sponsor a spotted owl driver in the Indy 500
  • Nike and The Grateful Dead hire Wally and Ken Kesey to promote their new shoe -I love this one.... Ken and Wally are saying, "It's a shoe and a bong! It's Nike's 'Dead Air"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Showtime!

The kiln is out, everything looks good and I seem to be spending a lot of time fussing with the pots today. Taking photos, assembling clocks, gluing magnets and putting together the consignment list has taken a lot more time than it did to ship out the regular wholesale orders I dealt with yesterday. It always amazes me how making your best pots is way less profitable than making your average pots. But it will be fun to have an opening and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of response these new pieces get.

I'm thinking about adding four pieces to the show that weren't done by Noah. Two of them were collaborations with Chris Smith and the other two were painted by John Lacey. All four are some of the most novel and ambitious pieces I've ever been a part of, and they have been gathering dust in my studio for years now. I've invested a fair amount of hourly wages in them, and it would be nice to recoup some of my investment. Also, I can put a high price on them and it will make Noah's "high ticket" items seem not quite so expensive. All four are posted below, and I think it would be nice to get them out of the studio. The first one, a shallow bowl entitled "Chris Smith is a Fucking Genius" took a total of eight hours to decorate. Let me see... with wages, withholding and workers comp, I've probably got close to $120 invested in this one. So if I sell it for $250, the gallery gets half and I make a cool five dollars profit. The other ones weren't quite so time-consuming to paint, but they do represent a high water mark for my art. Yeah... I can afford to get rid of them. It's time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Mud-Pie Dilemma Part 2

I'm not very inspired to post this week so I'll let the pictures do the talking. Noah has been in the studio painting like mad and the show pieces are done. My favorite ones are these plates. I think the colors will really pop when they come out of the kiln. Pricing is going to be weird as some of the mugs actually took longer to paint than these plates, which should fetch a higher price. For some reason, the public won't pay much more than $35.00 for a mug, but a nice plate could get twice that much. If we do another show, it might be best to do nothing but plates. The pic on the bottom are the refrigerator magnets.... too cool!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Mud-Pie Dilemma Revisited

The Mud-Pie Dilemma is the much-loved book for all of us baby-boomer potters.Written by John Nance, it chronicles pottery legends Tom and Elaine Coleman and their struggle to earn a living selling pots back in the 1970s. After observing the couple for a number of months, the author concluded that their effort to put together a showing of the best pots of their career netted them a sub-minimum wage for the endeavor. But the photos of the pots in the back of the book are to die for and this text was a true inspiration for me when I started making pots for a living over thirty years ago. Fortunately, Tom and Elaine are far more financially successful now, and their work continues to boggle the mind.

With slow sales in the Wallyware line, I've taken on a mud-pie dilemma of my own. I agreed to throw fifty pots in a collaborative show with Noah Van Sciver, cartoonist nonpareil, really nice guy and my oldest daughter's boyfriend. We've got a show lined up at the Earthwood Gallery in Boulder and the opening night is March 6th. Noah has been working on the pots for a couple of days now, and he should have them finished sometime next week. There are some really nice graphics getting painted on these pots. I was amazed that the very first thing he did in the studio was to decorate the two most ambitious pots of the series: a pair of vases. He knocked them out in a relatively short period of time and they are lovely. So it's going to be a fun show and we are in the process of trying to peddle our situation to various media outlets. It is a really sweet story: the potter/caroonist dad and the cartoonist boyfriend working together in the studio with the Brian Jonestown Massacre blaring in the background. Ahhh... the lives of a struggling artists!

But the finances of this gig are not going to be the best. I think we're going to beat Tom and Elaine Coleman in the profit margin category, but not by much. That's the problem with taking your time and doing your best work. It doesn't always pay off very well financially. But the pots are going to be cool... way cool!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

If you want me to re-enact the pottery scene from "Ghost", it will cost you extra.

I'm looking for a "real" job these days as my sales are way down and my inventory is way up. I've sent my resume off to a few interesting job prospects: 1) a dog toy factory looking for a customer service rep and 2) a funeral home seeking a funeral planner. The second one really captivated my imagination as it looks like a job that would have real meaning and it could be a satisfying thing to do for a living. I have a feeling I would be good at helping grieving people and it would be fascinating to have such a radical career change at this stage in my life. But neither of these potential employers have called back, so my life has yet to go off on a different tangent. Perhaps it's just as well.

A number of people have suggested that I teach pottery lessons and this is a good idea, of course, because I have the skills and the studio for this type of business venture. But I've always had an aversion to the thought of teaching people how to throw pots and I finally figured out why. On a recent episode of NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" the panelists were joking about a news story about British music teachers having to don protective ear muffs to save themselves from the sound of loud, poorly performed music. Host Peter Sagal quipped, "It's like forcing an animal lover to work in a slaughterhouse." This is exactly why I don't relish the thought of filling my kiln with a lot of beginning potters' work. I really love well-crafted pots and I think it would be tough to be involved in a money making venture where the physical byproduct is mediocre pottery. Call me a prima donna, but that's how I feel about it. I just don't have the passion to teach pottery.

The other problem with being a pottery teacher is the fact that most people's impression of throwing on the wheel is shaped by one movie alone: "Ghost". That sizzling scene with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze is still the image that most people conjure up when they think of my line of work. I suppose this could be a hook that I could use to make some real money. I could charge extra for the the "Ghost" experience... light some candles and play the right music. If I'm going to prostitute myself, I might as well do it right.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sinful Pottery

There are a lot of sins in my studio right now. The fact is,
I'm dealing with all seven of them: wrath, gluttony, lust, greed, envy, sloth and pride. The reason for this is I'm throwing pots for a collaborative show with underground comic artist, Noah Van Sciver. He suggested the sins as a take-off point for his comic art so I'm knocking out some mugs that will celebrate these seven defects of human nature. Noah is an emerging comic artist and my oldest daughter's boyfriend. I've lined up a showing at Earthwood Gallery in Boulder for these pots and it will be fun to see how they turn out. Sales are incredibly slow in Wallyworld these days, so it's a good time to do something new. I'm feeling particularly slothful this week, so I'll let the pictures tell the story for now.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm on the Obama dream team!

I realized this week that I am now a full-fledged member of a new national phenomenon: I want to get famous by getting noticed by President Obama. I say this in all self-deprecating humor because my little pipe dream has about as much chance of coming through as does a ticket to one of those idiotic multi-state Powerball lotteries. But like the people who own the Powerball tickets, I've got my little dream scheme and there's a small chance that it could happen. And I'm not alone. There are hordes of starry-eyed Americans out there with similar dreams and I'm pretty sure that the majority of these fantasies involve dogs and dog related items. As we all know, the very first promise the president elect made after winning the election was to allow his daughters to get a puppy. It was a brilliant political maneuver that made even the staunchest republicans say, "Awwwww... how cute!"

So now we have TV news stories every day showing us some dreamer with a puppy that would be perfect for the first family. My wife and I were out to dinner with a group of friends last week and our friend Mary has a foster puppy named Karma who would be perfect for the job of "First Dog". This pooch even has a blog aimed at pitching himself to the Obama family. And get this: the very next day Mary and Karma were on the local TV news telling the story of how Karma just might have the right karma to wind up with the name Karma Obama. (That name does have a ring to it, I'll admit!)

The Wall Street Journal ran a story last week on how the nation's capitol is besieged with left-wing dreamers and schemers hoping to get the ear of our new president with their various visions and ideas. It's natural that this happens every time we change the guard, but Mr. Obama's "we the people" rhetoric has exacerbated this phenomenon to dizzying heights. My favorite of the group was the guy who drove his schoolbus into town with an organic garden on top to encourage everyone to grow their own food. You gotta wonder what kind of gas mileage he gets on that mobile victory garden, don't you? I love the dark irony of calculating an environmentalist's carbon footprint.

So what's my dream? It's quite simple: a dog dish. I was contacted via email from a well-placed customer with an even better placed friend who will be meeting with the president this year and he wants to give the first family the gift of a hand-painted dog bowl. I realize that I might be totally jinxing it here by talking about it, but I believe in destiny, not jinxes. If I am meant to be, for the rest of my life, "that guy who made the dog bowl for The President" it will either happen or it won't. Odds are that I will get something in the middle. Yes, I will make that amazing presidential dog bowl and yes it will get sent to the White House. But I'm guessing the odds are that it will be just one of a horde of thousands of Obama dog bowls that will end up getting shipped off to a warehouse somewhere deep inside the Smithsonian Institution. Picture in your mind's eye that final scene in "Citizen Kane" where the Rosebud the Sled gets tossed in the furnace. Such is the stuff of dreams...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite Wally Adventures

I can't even estimate how many various adventures my imaginary dog Wally has had over the past twenty-five years. The total number is probably close to a thousand, especially if you count all the various custom orders I've produced. Wally has been commissioned to motorcycle jump over wedding parties and "wrestle" with Hillary Clinton, just to name a few. Today I'm going to take another trip down memory lane and present you with my top ten favorite Wally cartoons of all time.


#10: "Wally finds a way to secure increased funding for NASA". I really like the simplicity of this one, and it was a good simple political joke for the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion in 2003.

#9: Wally comes home to find his house completely redecorated and Martha Stewart waiting in a bathtub filled with whipped cream". When I first came up with this idea, I thought it was too racy to sell in stores. Wrong!

#8: "Jerry Garcia wills Wally the marketing rights to his obscure but memorable exercise video". I did a number of Grateful Dead jokes with Wally in the 80s and 90s, so when Jerry died I was compelled to commemorate his passing. This cartoon was printed in Bill Husted's column in The Denver Post in 1995.

#7: "Wally is diagnosed with a clinical case of caffeine dependency, thus enabling him to park in the handicapped spaces at Starbucks". I suppose the fact that this one is our #1 top selling Wally mug helps, but it's still a really solid joke. I've drawn it on pots well over a thousand times!
#6: "A 'Random Acts of Kindness' seminar inspires Wally to beat up a masochist". This joke was inspired by the witticism: "A masochist is someone who is kind to a sadist".
#5: "Wally makes the mistake of using George W. Bush for his lifeline on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionare". We made a ton of these five years ago, and I still really like the hook in this joke.
#4: "As luck would have it, Wally's trip to Disneyland falls on the same day as The Apocalypse". I love the premise of this one: the happiest place on Earth on the last day on Earth.
#3: "Wally guest stars in a 'Love Is' cartoon". I never could convince my wholesale accounts to carry this one, but I still think it's about as funny as it gets. Perverted, but funny!
#2: "Wally buys the 'Lost in Space' robot on eBay only to have it nag him about how much time he spends shopping online". If I could think of one joke as simple and funny as this every day, I could do a syndicated cartoon in the newspapers.
#1: "Wally experiences a blind date so bad, it causes severe psychological damages". I had a really great guy who worked for me for about a year, and his name was Kyle. One day he told me about a friend of his who took LSD and watched the movie 'Faces of Death'. Yikes! I just took that story one step further here, and I think it's wonderfully dark and weird.