Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Ice Cream Man Commeth

I grew up in Iowa, right outside the city of Cedar Rapids.   And, no, not on a farm like you probably think. Not everyone who lives in Iowa lives on a farm, has a corn field, or has chickens and cows or maybe both. I didn't have any of that, but still our closest neighbors were about 1 mile down the road.
Living so far from others, you can understand that we didn't have garage sales or any block parties.

Now I live in Los Angeles, in a neighborhood where there is something I didn't get to experience when I was young.  I only got to see them on TV and man, I always thought they were so COOL!


Now that Springtime is here I am like a 10 year old [or maybe my brain stopped maturing around that age....] when I hear the faint sound of the ice cream truck music dancing in the air.  The little tinkling jingles it plays puts a smile on my face and a pep in my step.  :)   It's crazy. My wife would contest that she can tell me something a hundred times and the only response she gets is "What did you say"? ...But I can hear the dang songs of a truck serving frozen treats like no one else.  I have Superman's dog's hearing then.

The truck can be 3 miles away and I'll jump up and run to the window, looking down the street waiting for the glimpse of the one think that I dearly wanted when I was a little kid.  Ohhhh, yeah!  And,  our neighborhood not only has ONE, we have lots...and I LOVE SEEING THEM ALL!

Let's meet The Peddling Lords of Sugar and Cream, shall we?  :)

We have the Russian Green Machine...
We'll start with this guy first because he patrols our neighborhood the most. He drives a 1983 Dodge van with a conversion kit on the roof. It gives this Russian juggernaut more head room.  The paint is a very organic hand-brushed multi-layered paint of a very pleasant green pea color. With a nice array of vintage and antique ice cream stickers on the side that shows you what ice cram sandwiches looked like in the 50's. This ice peddler has a very colorful accent as you might have guessed.  As a matter of fact,  I love to order bomb pops just to hear him say "bomb pop" with his Cold War Communist accent. I tell you...a 10 year old's mind.  :)

• • •

Next is the Black Ice Cream Truck of Death...
This one is way upscale for serving ice cream to kids.  I mean, it's a brand new truck with brand new stickers. Verrry nice. It also has the sound system from the last Megadeth tour, I think.  I still have it ringing in my ears.... no wait, is it?.....Nope, false alarm.  It's also painted in a beautiful shade of Death Black...such a great color for hauling around sugary ice treats on a hot summer day for little munchkins. I mean, if they ever wanted to do a James Bond Movie here, this truck would be great as a henchman. "OK, Mr. Bond, The 5 tons of Rocky Road will cover your body...and you will freeze and sufficate all at the same time. BWAH HAH HAH!"  :)
I haven't actually gotten any ice cream from these guys yet, because they are always one step ahead of me. No, I'm not scared...but, they ARE always lurking.

Lastly, is the Little Truck That Could...
This one is, well, let's just say it's a couple years past its prime. This truck is super small. I mean it  could have been a delivery truck for the Keebler elves in a past life. This one is also hand painted in a very off white shade...and I mean VERY off white. But, I've got to give it to the guy who drive it. He probably couldn't afford any stickers, so he hand painted pictures of icy treats on the side. Michelangelo he is not...more like Pablo Picasso. The side also displays a colorful description of each item...but the descriptions are a muddled mess of something between English and Spanish. You sort of get the idea of what you are about to order. The easiest way to order though, is to just point at a picture and say "por favor".  I've only ordered from this truck once out of hesitant desperation. Hesitant because the pictures on the side kind of look like a cockroach enjoying a Choco Taco. Seriously, I don't know where he got the idea of that image from and I don't really want to find out.

• • •

Now, do you sort of understand how much I like the ice cream man?? I will end with this story...

One day in the mid-afternoon, I was at home working on my computer. My ice cream senses started tingling. The excitment started buzzing through the air like an electrical storm had just come into town. I ran to the window like it was the first snow on Christmas Day and Saint Nick just landed the sleigh on the roof.  I hear The Green Machine coming and it's almost ready to turn onto our street!

Imagine a  cartoon puff of smoke...a tornado whipping threw the house and off to the street corner as I leap to get some sweet treats for my sweetheat and me. All of a sudden, it was like a cheesy action film. I went to pull out some cash and a horrible feeling of forgetting my money came over me. I let out a moan... "OHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOO!"  It's all happening in super slow mo. Before you know it, I turn on the Super Speed and run faster then a speeding locomotive back to the house. I leap the steps in a single bound and sweep through the house in a "Hi Ho Silver". Then, before you know it, I'm back out to the curb before a single grain of sand falls in the hour glass. I did this entire action before The Green Machine even finishes his turn. I'm happy to say that my baby and I had a wonderful ice cold sugary Treat.

Like I say,...the mind of a 10 year old.  :)

I hope you have a wonderful summer!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Big Bad Wolf - Home INVASION on the UPRISE


                                                     ARE YOU READY??
Across the world, we have heard stories of the acts of furry home terrorism by packs calling themselves the Big Bad Wolves [BBW].

First there was the story of the sweet ole' Grandma that was fooled by a big bad wolf member that disguised his voice to sound like that of her cute little granddaughter in order to force entry.  Then, the case of "The Three Little Pigs" where almost everything was lost to one windy BBW member.  Also, if you remember the report on CNN, which issued a warning on a sheep herder that almost lost his entire flock to one disgusting crossed-dressing BBW member.
          I SAY NO MORE...

First, we have to familiarize ourselves with their tactics:
  • They have used sheep's clothing gain access to certain groups.
  • They are masters at disguising their voices and appearances.
  • They have extremely large lung capacity.
  • The have been known to have access to massive supplies of ACME goods and weapons supplied by the W.E. Coyote Extremist group.
  • These furry Ninjas are master stalkers.  
  • They are able to shape shift into young Hollywood types.
• • • 

    Now that we have a better understanding of the skills and tactics that these BBW members are equipped with, we can proceed to perfect our defenses. Following are recommended courses of action:
    •  Always live next to some sort of woodsman that will have accesses to an AXE.
    •  Always build your homes out of brick. Wood details are OK for trim only.
    •  Always check ID when someone knocks at the door.
    •  Befriend all talking rabbits and very fast birds with a limited vocabulary of just "BEEP BEEP". They seem to have an advanced knowledge of defense against ACME weapons.
    • Keep a stereo looped with Paula Adbul's song "Opposites Attract".  History has shown that BBW members cannot stop dancing to it.  This precaution should give you plenty of time to escape...or to shoot yourself because you had to listen to that song over and over and over....
    • Have lots of vampire friends. This should be easy since plenty of them have come 'out' of the closet due to the fact that it's trendy to be a vampire right now. 
    • Before informing authorities of any BBW attack, make sure it is true as you have limited amounts of reports. In legal terms, this is called 'Crying Wolf'.  
    • Keep at least 1 silver bullet or silver pointy object close, even though the price of silver prices is on a rise, this is a MUST!
    NOTE:  The BBW organization has recently been luring our young by using so-called 'hot' wolf members like Taylor Lautner. Now, I know some of you might think he looks appealing and would like to be visited by this member dressed in Wolf's clothing, but don't fall for it!  Me, I'd much rather be visited by the EyeCandy58 gang dressed in a bunny suit [...and I'm not talking about the type of bunny that eats carrots. ]   :)

    Just remember...a life of crime is not worth it!

    I hope I have helped you with preparations of any BBW assault...and now you are now more prepared to defend against this blight.


    Mikiep "The Silver Bullet"

    PS...  I hope you enjoy my new little illustration of Little Red Riding Hood [shown above.] 

    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    The Star WARs Nerd That I Am...

    Hello, everyone! It's me again, Mikiep. I know I haven't been blogging for awhile, but I wanted to tell you all something really important...

    **** I AM A STAR WARS NERD!! ****

    I know it is very hard to believe...and you might be thinking, "I thought this cat was cool.
    I mean, he draws a lot of Super Hero stuff and that's cool."

    All the popular guys like Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman are doing the super hero thing now. But Star Wars... OMG! (I dont really like to use those 3 little letters, but in some cases, they just fit.)

    Yes, Star Wars...that movie with the annoying gold robot, a 10' tall Teddy Ruxpin and the little green elf that looks like he needs a bunch of moisturizer . Yep, that's the movie.

    What kid from the 70's wasn't totally hooked on it? I mean it was like George Lucas took soda pop, a truck load of sugar and 60 nicotine patches, rolled it all up and put it on the big screen. We were all addicted! When I left the theater, I had a $3 habit. I just had to see the movie over and over. I had a Star Wars Monkey on my back and needed every single item that had to do with Star Wars. I had it all...bed sheets, pajamas, small figurines, big figurines, lunch boxes, comics, trading cards, books on every aspect of Star Wars...Hell, I even had the underwear.

    (Seriously, Mom and Dad, if you wanted me to mow the yard more often, you should have given the mower a name like the Millennium Falcon and put some cool Star Wars graphics on it. Bam! Little Mikie would have been mowing all the time.)
    I'm just saying...they could have wrapped up dog poop and called it 'Wookie Poop' and I would have had to have it.

    Thanks, George...for turning me in to SW junkie. Well, it could have been much worse. The title of this post could have been "I Am Addicted to My Little Pony" and I think we all can agree that's not cool for a guy.

    Wow, I feel 100x better that you all now know my little secret.

    So, next time you see me out at Home Depot and I'm sporting a Darth Vader outfit, you can just say "That Mikiep, what a Star Wars Nerd." :)

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Pooh And Friends

    My new illustration series features Pooh and friends.

    This series is very special to me as it was inspired by one of my favorite childhood illustrators, E.H. Shepard, with his delightfully wonderful illustrative style. It was also inspired by Alan (A.A.) Milne's whimsical stories of a boy, a bear and a supporting cast of cuties. These lovable fellows have made bed time so much easier for generations.

    Illustrators like E.H. Shepard are people with sheer talent that I admire. Each creates something out of a carefree sketch style that has so much emotion...simply GENIUS! :) ...someday I hope to achieve that talent as well with my own illustrative style. Thank you for the inspiration, E.H.!

    • • In memory • •
    Ernest Howard Shepard (1879-1976)
    Alan Alexander Milne (1882-1956)

    Saturday, June 26, 2010

    My New Little Guys


    Hello everyone
    I know it has been awhile since you herd from your buddy Mikiep huh :(
    Well I am back with a Marvel vengeance

    and here are 3 new little guys that I hope you enjoy :)
    (I put one little DC buddy in there just to keep the peace between the
    two worlds. )
    I hope you Summer is starting out to be a great one

    Thursday, March 4, 2010

    ****Where the Heck has Mikiep Gone ?****** has been a long time since I last picked up the old Blog Pen and posted anything...and I must say 'I am sorry.'

    **But I am back...and soon to start drawing some new
    illustrations for your entertainment. :)**

    ***In the meantime, here is a passage to go along with my newest illustrations...and it is really fitting.***

    "And he sailed off through night and day, and in and out of weeks, and almost over a year to where the wild things are."

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    Thank you Everyone :)

    And the winner is

    **Congrats Kate I cant wait to get started on your Illustration **

    ***Thank You, Everyone :)***

    ...For entering my "Mother of all Giveaways". I will be drawing a winner tonight, Sunday the 12th, so check back later for the winner.

    I wish Everyone GOOD LUCK!