monsters!

Beware the Blark-Blark!

May 14, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DAD STUFF, MAKING MEMORIES

Somehow I was able to convince Jon not to play outside after preschool yesterday. Both our allergies were killing us, and given the chance, he’d keep rolling around in the pollen-covered grass until his eyes swelled shut. I instead agreed to play Power Rangers upstairs after dinner. When we finished eating, I hauled my tired butt upstairs to our bedroom (AKA, Jon’s Playroom Annex), and fell to with the Power Rangers play.

I’m admittedly a longtime hater of Power Rangers, whether they’re Mighty Morphin’, Mega Forcin’, or Samurai Warriorin’. But if you’re going to play make-believe, the Rangers and their enemies make for some great inspiration. String together any number of nonsensical words, and you’ve got yourself a weapon, costume upgrade or villain that will fit seamlessly into the established vernacular of the never-ending series.

Case in point, meet Blark-Blark! A creature I made up on the fly, accessorized only by a pair of oven mitts. I’m not really sure of his origin, but his powers include stomping around yelling “BLARK-BLARK!”, shooting Blark missiles at random times/angles and of course, tickling.

blark blark - power rangers - dad

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And here’s Baby Blark-Blark. While his stomping may not be as loud or his tickling as effective, his Blark missiles are infinitely more deadly than his father’s, as they are infinitely more random in their aim and trajectory. Sometimes they don’t even come off, yet are still delivered with a forceful Baby Blark-Blark hand inside it.

blark blark - power rangers - jon

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What’s your child’s favorite form of make-believe play? Feel free to share your own creative ideas, as I’m always looking for more!

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For more fun and games, visit and Like the Designer Daddy Facebook page or follow along on Twitter!

SuperLunchNotes: RED WEEK!

February 14, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

I know I said I’d post a week’s worth of SuperLunchNotes the Monday after, but it’s Valentine’s Day and Papa has been out of town for a few days and won’t get back until late tonight and we’ve had a couple of snow days and I’m going nuts and need to spread some cheer.

Thusforth, I present “Red Week” in honor of St. Valentine’s Day. And maybe a little bit because of the Olympics being in Russia, and them being all extra communistic lately, in regards to the gays.

WEEK 27: Feb 10 – Feb 14, 2014
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Red Tornado: 2.10.14redtornado

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SuperLunchNotes: MONSTER WEEK!

February 12, 2014 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

I was thinking I’d probably save Monster Week for Halloween, but that’s a long way away, and JJ had rediscovered the cheesy late-70s Godzilla cartoons on Hulu. I say “rediscovered” because he’d devoured them all about a year earlier when they were on Netflix. If you’ve never seen it, at the very least you need to check out the epic theme song. At that age it must be fun for everything to be brand new about every six months!

There were a bevvy of monsters to choose from, so I’m sure I’ll be able to do a sequel down the road with Mssrs. Cookie, Grouch and Sully, among others. However, I draw the line at Godzooky. What a tool.

WEEK 26: Feb 3 – Feb 7, 2014
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Godzilla: 2.3.14
godzilla

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SuperLunchNotes: Godzilla!

February 3, 2014 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

godzilla

As I mentioned over in a post earlier today (ain’t I prolific?), I lead a workshop on blog design at Dad 2.0 Summit. While I felt relatively prepared, had a clear agenda, bugged Doug French until he scored me a monitor, and put together some pretty darn cool swag to hand out, the only thing I was not prepared for was Charlie Capen and Andy Herald from How to be a Dad coolly sauntering over (I hear that’s how they all walk in Cali) to the first of my three presentations. I’m pretty sure I gave them a look of “What are you doing? Go away! You’re intimidating me with your combined blogging/design prowess!” Yet I kept my cool until the end when I opened it up for questions about the design principals I’d just eloquently finished discussing.

Andy raised his hand, “Dude, why aren’t your superhero notes on your blog?”

Uh, what?

“Well, I have a couple of things on there about it, but they get posted to Instagram and Facebook every day,” I kind of stammer.

“Dude, they need to be on your site STAT.” I’m paraphrasing, except for the dude part. (Remember – from Cali)

Charlie said something in an attempt to help interpret the Andy-ism and I got a little confused about what was going on and said something about we can talk about it later, but I think Andy told me again to put it on my site.

Luckily the bell rang and they had to leave. But I gave it a lot of thought. I had given it a lot of thought a lot of times before, but thought if I put it on my site every day it would be too much, or possibly force me to write more to fill in the other spaces, or maybe I could just do a week’s worth at a time. Mainly I just over-thought it a whole lot. Because really who cares as long as you get to see cute doodles of superheroes (and monsters), amiright?

So I did it and here it is (up there, top of the page). Now please like and share and come back every day and repeat as necessary. Oh, and please tell Charlie and Andy I did what they said. And also Stacy (the mother-flippin Editor-in-Chief of BlogHer and a great gal to do Jell-O shots with) because she also said I should do something with them. I’m a little fuzzy on the details. (Remember – Jell-O shots)

Okay, so I promise not every SuperLunchNotes post will be this long and annoying, but I thought it warranted some explaining.

Please tell me what you think. If you like, love, hate, meh — whatever your opinion, drop me a note.

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For more fun fatherly and frivolous stuff, visit (and Like) the Designer Daddy Facebook page!

Meet the Monsters of Dad Blogging at Dad 2.0 Summit

October 31, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF, LESSONS LEARNED

I’ve sung the praises of Cottonelle Care Routine — the wondrous wipes and the terrific TP — in both poetry and prose. I’ve regaled you with tales of toilet treachery. And if you’re still reading these rear-related posts from a certain group of blogging bums, it means you’re either stalking me (in which case, please buy a t-shirt!) or you’re really keen on going to Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans, Jan 30-Feb 1, 2014.

I know I’m extremely excited to be experiencing all kinds of firsts for those three days… My first time attending Dad 2.0 Summit. First trip to New Orleans. And my first time to meet many of my fellow Cottonelle Brand Bumbassadors that have been bombarding you with poop-tweets and judging your own poems worthy to be praised or flushed.

We’re going to be announcing our final two weekly winners on Monday, November 4, so do your doo diligence, and get to haiku-ing. Because you could then be the BIG winner of the trip to Dad 2.0, which we announce a mere two days after that, on November 6!

In the meantime, I thought I’d spend the last few hours of Halloween (OH MY GOD I’M SO EXHAUSTED MY SON IS FOUR AND WENT TO ALL THE HOUSES AND ATE ALL THE CANDY!) introducing you to our fine and fancy gang of fellows who’ve served as your judge and jury these last several weeks.

And YES, you too can meet us all live (-ish) and in person in New Orleans if you win the BIG PRIZE! That right there should be motivation to get off your bum and get to Twittering.

So here they are (better-late-than-never) THE MONSTERS OF DAD BLOGGING BRAND BUMBASSADORS:

JAY I WANT TO SOKOL YOUR BLOOD

(AKA @DudeOfTheHouse)

sokol-1 READ FULL ARTICLE >>

Frightful Family Fun at Kings Dominion

October 20, 2013 | By Brent Almond | THINGS DAD DIGS, THINGS MY KID DIGS

The last time I was at Kings Dominion was about a dozen years ago. I recall the faded Hanna-Barbera characters on the parking lot signs, a Nickelodeon play area for the kiddies, and a whole section devoted to the “Wayne’s World” movies. Having not been a parent then (and never a “Wayne’s World” fan) I assumed that was my final visit.

But then I got an offer for the whole family to check out King’s Dominion’s Planet Spooky Halloween shindig, and decided it was time to give it another try.

We met up with blogger pal Oren and his family and jumped right in to experience as much Planet Spooky as we could cram into a day.

SPOILER ALERT: Planet Spooky is really Planet Snoopy tarted up with all manner of Halloween goodies. In addition to the 18 rides normally found in the “world’s largest Planet Snoopy play area,” (There’s more than one? Who knew?) it features a pumpkin painting patch, petting zoo, foam pit, pedal tractors, a hay maze, live shows and more. We either participated in or passed by every one of those  except the “and more”… Unless the “and more” was winning a stuffed Rasta monkey while playing whack-a-mole. In which case we did do it all.

Here are the highlights, in pictures (and a few more words).

woodstock

Spinnin’ and smilin’

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Feeling Crabby? Get the New Halloweenie Tee!

October 4, 2013 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

Feel that chill in the air? Yeah, me neither. It’s freakin’ HOT around these parts. Yet the Halloween candy has been on the store shelves since the final fireworks fizzled on July 4th, so if you’re not in a spooky mood soon, maybe you need an original Designer Daddy HALLOWEENIE TEE!

All your old faves are still lurking in the store…
CANDYCORN SKULL OF DOOM!  TARANTULA POP!  BEEWEAR THE ZOMBEE!

halloweenie tee shirts

And introducing a new design to the bunch this Halloween…

CRABBY APPLE!

crabbyapple halloweenie tee

All designs are available for both kids and adults up to 3XL. And if you don’t see a style or size you want (long-sleeve, hoodie, onesie, etc.) let me know and I can special order one for you at no extra cost.

Click the big STORE button on the right hand side of the blog, or you can click HERE too. Happy Halloween!

***Send in a photo of you or your kids in a Halloweenie Tee and I’ll post it right here on the blog!***

 

Happy Halloweenie!

October 31, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

This photo was sent to me by awesome moms Holly and Carrie of their boys Zeke and David, sporting their Halloweenie tee shirts in front of a pumpkin patch. Way to get into the spirit, and thanks for being such great fans!

And oh yeah, you can get these shirts (plus a bushel more styles) at the Designer Daddy Store. Have a Happy, Happenin’ Halloween everyone!

What’s the Buzz? A New Halloweenie Tee!

October 24, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

I had originally intended* to do a whole new line of Halloweenie’s tee shirts for the DD Store, but once again reality bit a big, bloody chunk out of my grand scheme. However, I did manage to squeeze out one little doozie of a doodle just in time for the horrific holiday…**

Beware the ZomBee!

The Undead Insect! The Eater of Brainzzz! BEElzebub!

Below are a couple of different shirt styles, some come with “ZomBee” and some without, each in several colors. There are short and long sleeve tees for kids and adults, and even onesies! Please buy many, many of these — tell your friends, create some buzz — all proceeds go to the JJ College Fund!

And of course, all your old favorites are still available, too! So flit on over to the store and stock your hive with unBeelievably awesome… Sorry, I got out of hand with the bee puns. Just please buy my shirts. Thank you.

*It’s amazing how many of my posts these days start, “I had originally intended to…” or a variation on the theme.

**Also excellent attire while viewing The Walking Dead, currently on AMC.

DDQ&A: Steve Spatucci

June 24, 2012 | By Brent Almond | DESIGN STUFF

I was introduced to Mr. Spatucci by Rob Kelley (AKA: Keeper of The Aquaman Shrine), who noticed I was profiling various designer dads and thought his friend Steve would be a good guy to blog about. Hailing from the great state of New Jersey, Steve is a fellow comic book fan nerd and an awesome illustrator! He also has a darn-tootin’ cutie of a son. (Ask him to see pictures—he posts them weekly!)

Q&A with designer dad Steve Spatucci

Tell me briefly about your design business: how long in business, what kinds of clients you have and/or work you specialize in.
I started doing freelance illustration back in the early 90’s, after I’d graduated from college. In those pre-Internet days, I’d do sample black and white illustrations, which I’d make into little photocopied booklets. I’d look through magazines, local newspapers and publishers at Borders and Barnes & Noble, compiling my own contact list, then I’d mail the books out. My first professional job came from one of those mailings. The art director for a gem and jewelry magazine, Lapidary Journal, liked my style and hired me for an editorial illustration. I wound up working for them off and on for almost ten more years.

I got a website up in 1997, and started doing more freelance design (mostly for print) and logo work as well as illustration. As Flash developed, I started using it for animation, and by the early 2000’s I’d learned to program in ActionScript and started developing games and interactive demos. I also started doing more website design. I incorporated my business, Plasmic Studio L.L.C., in 2003. I continue to do all of those things – design for print and web, identity, illustration, animation, online demos and game development. I’ve also done voiceover work, music composition, video editing and writing. I love the variety of work, and I really love a project that lets me incorporate those multiple disciplines. I do a lot of work for startups now, but some work also comes from larger, more established businesses that might need an updated identity, an interactive demo or some other type of creative project.

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