cartoons

“When I’m Five Years Old…” Broccoli Edition

October 20, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF

It’s no secret that the struggle with our 4-year-old and food has been long, frustrating and fraught with many, many carbs. As with a lot of kids his age, tastes change as frequently as the Power Rangers’ uniforms. Sometimes it’s Banana Week, other times Apple Week. But it’s almost nearly never an Anything Green Week — which is surprising since green has been his favorite color since he could tell us so.

Yet as we near his fifth birthday, in addition to the personal goals, the promises are starting to pile on as well. Thanks to a book we recently read, Jon now knows that broccoli gives you gas, which elicited the expected glee (and gas). Seeing an opportunity to encourage some veggie digestion, I played up how fun it would be to eat broccoli and all the smelly farts he would have. Being my well-trained son, he of course took it to the next level, proclaiming…

When I'm Five Years Old - Brocolli

As long as he’s eating healthy, I suppose I can wear a gas mask during dinner. But I’m not holding my breath.

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Check out all the other installments of “When I’m Five Years Old…” and share your own child’s aspirations in the comments!

For more delicious fun (and the occasional fart joke), trot over to Facebook and like the Designer Daddy page!

“When I’m Five Years Old…”

October 13, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

It’s hard to wrap my head around it, but in just a few weeks I will be the father of a 5-year-old. The time seems to have raced past (oftentimes knocking me on my ass), but of course for our little big boy, it can’t go fast enough. Ever since Jon understood he was a certain number and that there were other numbers higher than his, he’s longed to be higher, bigger, older, faster… and just all around more. As if that were even possible.

Yet as he’s gotten closer to his quinquennial anniversary on Earth, the plans Jon has made for when that day arrives have grown more specific, more elaborate, and good god, more frequent. So between now and his birthday, I’ll be randomly posting a sampling of the things our ambitious boy has declared he will do/be/have when he turns five years old.

When I'm Five Years Old

But wait, there’s more! Stay tuned for further installments of “When I’m five years old…”

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Don’t wait for YOUR next birthday… pop over to Facebook and like the Designer Daddy page, join in the fun and share the love!

SuperLunchNotes: Back to School, or Why I Stopped Telling My Son I Loved Him

September 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Holy Time-loss, Batman! Has it really been a year already?! For the first week of school, I wanted to come out strong on the lunch notes, as this was the start of my son’s second year of preschool. So I went back to where it all started…Batman. His image is the most iconic, most adaptable, and rife with puns to be played upon. I threw in some other favorites (Cyborg, GL), Daddy’s favorite (Aquaman, duh) and a first appearance from Booster Gold, who we’d watched on an episode of Batman: The Brave & the Bold recently.

And finally, for good measure I added “♥ Daddy” as a signature. This was to be a short-lived addition…

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BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK-ish: August 28 – September 5, 2014

Batman  |  Green Lantern  |  Mr. Fantastic  |  Aquaman  |  Cyborg  |  Booster Gold

Designer Daddy Batman

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

SuperLunchNotes: I Know What You Doodled Last Summer

August 28, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

Before we’re all completely consumed with back-to-school madness, let’s take a moment to bask in the fading glow of summer…

My son’s preschool has a super-duper summer program. It’s similar to the regular school year, but loaded with extra helpings of sunshine, water and dirt. I continued the lunch note habit tradition all summer, and with each week of the program having its own theme, I had plenty of inspiration. Here are some highlights from SuperLunchNotes: Summer Edition.
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MARTIAL ARTS WEEK: June 9 – 12, 2014

Michelangelo  |  Pink Ranger  |  Iron Fist  |  Nightwing

SuperLunchNotes TNMT & MMPR - Designer DaddySuperLunchNotes Iron Fist & Nightwing - Designer Daddy

Jon attended a friend’s birthday party at a taekwondo studio, which helped kick off the start to an exciting summer.

The Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon has been a great way to introduce Jon to a few more Marvel characters. Some purists don’t like the teenaged versions of heroes like Iron Fist, but I kinda dig the 21 Jump Street angle of the show. Fun Fact: the actor who does the voice of Iron Fist also does Michelangelo’s voice on the current TNMT cartoon.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

SuperLunchNotes: RIP Robin Williams

August 12, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

This was today’s lunch note, in honor of Robin Williams’ passing. Jon hasn’t seen Aladdin yet, but he has an Aladdin book, so knows who the Genie is. We watched a clip of the song “You Ain’t Never Had A Friend Like Me” on YouTube this morning, and his one comment was, “He’s SO funny!” Truer words…

RIP Robin Williams

Robin Williams was known first (and most) for being a comedian — his rapid-fire delivery and over-the-top characterization knowing no bounds. Yet looking at his entire body of work, he found a way to come down from his seemingly endless zig-zag through space and make his roles relate to so many. Whether you were sailor or a fish-out-of-water; a soldier away from home or a homeless hero; an idealistic professor, a desperate divorcee or a frustrated therapist — he took us along for the ride and made us feel simultaneously at ease and on edge. Filling our hearts while never knowing what to expect next.

Not long after I came out of the closet, The Birdcage was released. Below is a clip of the most touching scene in the film:

At the time, I hadn’t yet met my husband, and gay marriage wasn’t even remotely an option yet. But as I watched (amidst a snickering audience), I knew this was what I wanted for my life. And that it was possible. Williams’ and Nathan Lane’s sweet, poignant exchange — smack in the middle of a hilariously madcap movie — felt real and meaningful, brave and hopeful. For that, and for many other laughs, tears and granted wishes, I say thank you.

RIP Robin Williams

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SuperLunchNotes: The Powerpuff Girls

July 25, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, POP CULTURE

I’m taking a quick break between all my conference goings-on at Blog-Her’14 to post the final Girl Power Week SuperLunchNotes — THE POWERPUFF GIRLS! They’ve getting a makeover soon, but nothing can top the originals to truly capture their cuteness, energy and ass-kicking ability!

superlunchnotes - powerpuff girls

Speaking of cuteness, energy and ass-kicking, I’ve already had a chance to reconnect with many of the wonderful women I met at both Dad 2.0 Summit and SalonLGBTQ, and have much more connecting, reconnecting, learning and a bit of drinking (and perhaps karaoke) to do before Saturday night rolls around. More to come…

Have a great weekend, and be sure to tell the powerful women and girls in your life how much you appreciate them. They are NOT to be messed with.

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Sugar, spice and everything nice — that’s what you get when you like Designer Daddy on Facebook and follow SuperLunchNotes on Instagram!

Which Kids’ Movie Song From The Last 12 Months Is The Best?

June 17, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

With the release of The LEGO Movie on DVD/Blu-Ray, it’s got me reflecting on all the great music to come from kids’ movies in the last year. Three songs in particular have delighted children and adults alike… that is, until they bored holes into our brains from repetition. I’m of course talking about “Everything is Awesome,” “Let It Go,” and “Happy.”

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During the Disney renaissance of the late-80s/90s, songs from the Mouse House’s animated films were all over the radio and the charts. “Beauty and the Beast,” “A Whole New World,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” all cracked Billboard’s top 10; and between 1989-1999, 15 songs from Disney films either won or were nominated for Oscars. Yet since that heyday, I don’t recall a time when songs written specifically for kids’ movies have had such an audible impact as the three in question.

So… between “Everything Is Awesome,” “Let It Go,” and “Happy,” which one is the best? Or perhaps a better question, the least annoying? I decided to break it down scientifically to give you an objective, definitive and 100% fact-based answer. I took into account several factors, then gave points for each category to reach my accurate, foolproof, final results.

READ FULL ARTICLE >>

SuperLunchNotes: Week 3

March 3, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

My only regret about these early weeks of SuperLunchNotes was the bad lighting and soft focus filter I put on them. What is this, Prince of Tides?
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WEEK 3: Aug 26 – Aug 30, 2013
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Krypto: 8.26.13
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READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Saving the Day with Superhero Lunch Notes

November 14, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, THINGS MY KID DIGS
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click to super-size!

My son started preschool this year, and I wanted to do something special for his first day. I’m no master chef (and he’s a notoriously picky eater) so a super fancy/fun/creative lunch was out of the question. And he already had his Spider-Man backpack and Superman lunch bag and Batman t-shirt — so he was set accessory-wise. Yet I wanted to do something truly, uniquely* Designer Daddy-ish to celebrate this milestone.

That first morning was pretty hectic, as it was a new schedule for all of us. Between making breakfast and getting JJ dressed and brushed and toothbrushed and backpacked, all I ended up having time to do was write “Daddy Hearts U,” on a Post-It note, added a quick doodle of The Flash and snuck it into his lunch bag. I pictured him discovering it at school, being reminded of his dear, old Dad, and bragging to all his new toddler pals how cool I am. Or more likely how cool The Flash is.

the first note

the first note

He loved it. And so the next day I did another, thinking I would do one each day of his first week and leave it at that. However, if you’ve ever had a preschooler, you know how THAT turned out. Toddlers are not known for their flexibility with a routine.

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So here we are… 68 or so days later, and I’m still getting up a few minutes early each day to make JJ a note. But I gotta admit, I’m having a blast. It’s a great way for me to hone both my doodling and pun-making skills. It’s also been pretty cool having JJ’s teachers tell me how thoughtful and creative I am. But really — and not to get too heavy here — it’s all about my legacy. I’m never going to be my son’s sports idol. I don’t have vast carpentry or mechanical or bronco-busting skills to pass down to him. What I have is my love of superheroes and my talent for doodling. This is my way to instill in him a love of those things, and to keep being his superhero for as long as possible. Or until all my Sharpies run out.

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You can view all 68 (and counting) superhero lunch notes on Instagram. I’ll also be mixing them in on Facebook and Twitter, so be sure and let me know where you see them, and which are your favorites!

*While I haven’t found anyone else doing this particular thing, I would be remiss if I didn’t give props to David Laferriere, whose awesome series of sandwich bag doodles definitely inspired me.

DDQ&A: Evan Spiridellis

July 10, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, THINGS DAD DIGS

Like most of the world, I was first introduced to the work of Evan Spiridellis (the designer half of the humor site, JibJab) through the still-hilarious lampoon of the 2004 presidential election, “This Land.” In 2011, he and brother Gregg launched StoryBots, an awesome online land of apps, videos, books and activities for kids (and parents). As a longtime fan, I was downright giddy Evan agreed to a DDQ&A!

Q&A with designer dad Evan Spiridellis
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LOGOS

Tell me briefly about your design/illustration career.
My brother and I started JibJab back in 1999. Early on we supported the studio by doing service work for clients like Disney, Scholastic, Kraft and Sony — but the goal was always to build a new kind of entertainment company. So we would take on enough client work to pay the rent and our team, then we would turn down commercial projects until the coffers ran dangerously low. Nowadays, JibJab supports itself by selling our products directly to our audience without commercial interference. We much prefer this approach :) READ FULL ARTICLE >>

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