Aby-a-Day – 28 April 2020: The Maltese Dashiell (Cartoon Tuesday)

Today I finished that special portrait of Dashiell I started almost a month ago. Because Dash is named after the author Dashiell Hammett, who wrote The Maltese Falcon famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the film version, I had an idea I wanted to make real. Above is the fur texture layer along with a neutral grey background.

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Then I added a shadow of the Maltese Falcon based on one of the two photos of Bogie I used as reference.

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Of course, Sam Spade needs a dashing fedora.

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And a trench coat.

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Then the final touch, to give the portrait a real Film Noir feel…the shadows.

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But something was bothering me. I went back to my other Bogie reference photo and realised what was missing: There is a dark shadow of his hat, and the original background had a shadowy texture. I went back and fixed those two things and…voilà!

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However, I generally crop my drawings to a standard size, but I draw on a larger canvas. This is the full-size version. Not really different, apart from the proportioning. It’s such a great feeling to finally get the image out of your head so others can see it.

Aby-a-Day – 19 Juli: The Singa King (Photoshop Friday)

Tonight, Björn and I are going to see the new live-action Lion King movie. We have been watching the trailers for months now, and one thing about them has really struck us.

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Yep…

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There’s definitely a similarity there. And it’s not just Izaak, you know…Millions of innocent cats have been held up in the air because of The Lion King.

Aby-a-Day – 23 April: Release the Flerken! (Cartoon Tuesday)

Warning…this post contains spoilers for the film Captain Marvel. However, if you have read the comics, it’s not really that much of a spoiler.

I am not a huge fan of superhero comics (I’m more of an Archie’s Gang kind of girl) or the “Marvel Universe.” I enjoy Deadpool (because he’s funny) and I love Big Hero 6 (because Disney animation and because San Fransokyo is awesome). And it’s kind of cool for me that I used to work with Chris Evans’ mother’s sister (she lived in Somerville) and now he’s Captain America…but by and large the who Avengers/X-Men/Spiderman movie monopoly just leaves me feeling…meh.

Until I discovered Captain Marvel. Of course, I had heard of her, but didn’t know much about the comic. Then I discovered that she’s a Red Sox fan and she has a cat. So of course I had to see this movie, right? Well…in the movie, she’s in LA and the desert and someplace in the South, and there is no mention of baseball or the Red Sox, so it was a bit of a let-down on that front. But the cat…oh, the cat more than made up for it!

Goose the cat (a female, but played by four cats, mainly a boy tabby named Reggie, along with Rizzo, Gonzo, and Archie) is easily the best part of the film. Goose even has her own poster!

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For years I avoided Funko Pop! figures when I saw them in stores, because they are a) cute, b) have something for EVERY fandom you can think of (I am not kidding…they even have a figure of Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes!), and c) they are exactly the kind of thing I could get totally addicted to. But after seeing The Last Jedi, I had to get a Porg figure, because the Porgs in the movie reminded us so much of Logan

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And now, I have Goose the cat and Goose the Flerken figures.

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Aren’t they cute?

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But wait, there’s more! The Flerken version is swallowing a blue glowing cube called the “Tesseract”…which glows in the dark! There’s also a third version I like to call “The Slurp” with Goose retracting her tentacles. I haven’t gotten that one yet…but I will.

One last thing…movies like this almost always have a special extra scene after all the credits have rolled (and which most people miss because they leave to early). About halfway through the film, I knew what the bonus scene would be…and if I was wrong, Marvel would have missed the best opportunity for a joke ever. I was not wrong, and I was not disappointed. Here it is if you would like to see it (yes, it’s sideways, but it’s apparently the only one on YouTube):

Aby-a-Day – 6 Februari: Wordless Wednesday (Emma, Lorelai and The Lego Movie)

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Aby-a-Day – 14 Januari: Lorelai vs the Thing (Movie Monday)

When Lorelai was a tiny kitten, she was fascinated with the television. These photos are from 22 May, when Rory had been with us for about two weeks.

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She really got into trying to interact with the people on the screen! She’s since outgrown her interest in the TV, but it was awfully cute (and not a little bit annoying) while it lasted. Also, if you look closely at the second photo, you might notice some previous Miniature Monday post subjects.

Aby-a-Day – 28 March: Zootopia (Miniature Monday)

I saw Zootopia a little while ago, and I LOVE it. I really can’t wait to see it again in the theatre. Yeah, it’s that good.

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I mean, how often do you see a movie that addresses racial issues, stereotypes, discrimination with witty but insightful commentary and has cute talking animals? Not to mention a few awesome inside jokes.

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The main protagonists, Judy Hopps the rabbit and Nick Wilde the fox are among some of the best fictional characters I’ve ever come across.

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I think Mini Jacoby has a little man-crush going on with Nick, actually.

Abys are Everywhere: Television and Film

We all know that The Cat From Outer Space was an Aby (I’ve posted about that movie many times, and Jacoby is partially named for the titular Jake)…but did you know there were other Abys (and Somalis) in space?

The first time Data’s cat, Spot, appeared on Star Trek: The New Generation, he was a male Somali cat. In later appearances, he became a female shorthaired tabby

Then, in the 1994 film Stargate (which I haven’t actually seen yet), there’s time travel to ancient Egypt, and you know what that means…Ra’s cat makes an appearance. I don’t know anything about the Aby who acted in this movie…I wonder where he’s from?

Finally, my favourite Abyssinian cameo is in the CSI episode “Jackpot” (Season 4, Episode 6). In this episode, Grissom is working solo in a little town called Jackpot (which actually exists), and while working the case discovers a banded, tri-colour hair.

Here’s an exerpt from the script:

GRISSOM: Hey, Doc, take a look at the scope, will you?

(DALE STERLING moves around GRISSOM to take a seat at the table to look through the scope.)

GRISSOM: I found some hair in Ross Jenson’s shirts.

DALE STERLING: That is cat hair.

[SCOPE VIEW: HAIR]

DALE STERLING: Tricolored. Probably … Abyssinian.

GRISSOM: You wouldn’t happen to have any Abyssinian patients?

DALE STERLING: One.

(DALE STERLING walks over to his wall where he has pictures of his patients. He takes a particular framed photo down.)

DALE STERLING: Uh … ah. Here she is. Isis.

(He shows the picture to GRISSOM.)

DALE STERLING: Her owner has allergies. He needed an aggressive, shorthair mouser.

(The picture is of LELAND BROOKS and his cat.)

Later that night, Grissom goes to Leland Brooks’ house, and, lo and behold, sitting on a chair on the porch is Isis, a blue Aby.

Oddly, while the cat they used is clearly a blue Aby, it seems to have a stumpy tail…When Grissom gets too close, she jumps off her chair and you can see her short tail. I don’t know anything about this Aby, either. But it’s always cool to see a random Aby while watching a favourite TV show. If you remember, I also found an Abyssinian in an episode of The Office!