Happy 10th Anniversary ToughPigs!

Go and check out the extraordinary Muppet fan site ToughPigs who celebrate their 10th anniversary with an array of some extraordinary cool fan art. Lots of good stuff going on at the Muppet forums right now as we draw closer to the release of the new Muppets film. ToughPigs will head the coverage of this time of anticipation, I’m sure. Imagine running such an informative and entertaining fan site for ten years! I’m honored to contribute to this great event with this humble piece.


The Muppets T-shirt Design Challenge cont’d

After scanning the inked drawing I colored it in Photoshop. To create clean files ready for printing I used the technique described in The DC Comics Guide to COLORING and LETTERING Comics. For some reason I always preferred stylized shading when coloring digitally. Sort of like cel shading with sharp lines. I don’t like the airbrush look. However, I added a few gradients for depth.

chef & zoot color_blog

I just happened to have the very materials the muppets are made of at home – reticulated foam and antron fleece. I scanned these and added them as surfaces for the Chef’s face and Zoot’s skin.

chef & zoot color2_closeup_blog

As you may know, Jim Henson performed the Chef together with Frank Oz. One of Jim’s hands were in the Chef’s head, while his other hand and one of Frank’s combined to perform the Chef’s hands. I tried to mimic this by giving the Chef’s face an antron fleece surface, while the hands are plain [human skin]. Some incarnations of Zoot had him covered in antron fleece, while my favorite Zoot puppet had reticulated foam for skin (and a more greenish tone to it). Just to give you some measure of how nerdy I am. :) And as you can see I picked black for background color, thus adding a white contour to the drawing to make the lines come out.

chef & zoot color2_blog

I took the image to Illustrator and added the text. The type I used is called BattleLines. I think I got it from www.blambot.com.


The final step was to mount the design on an actual T-shirt by some good ol’ Photoshop magic. Photo by my Södra Esplanaden colleague Lasse Lazee Johansson. Then I registered for the competition and sent in my design. Go and check out the many cool entries at Threadless and keep your fingers crossed that they’ll accept my entry. If they do, I’m going to ask the whole world to vote for me. :)


To be continued…?

The Muppets T-shirt Design Challenge

I’m going to participate in the Disney/Threadless Muppets T-shirt Design Challenge (10 days left to submit!) for the upcoming Muppets feature film. Since it’s kind of modern to let people in on the creative process, I thought I’d post my way through the progression. Here we go.

The theme of the challenge is friendship. I picked two of my favorite muppets, Zoot (my fellow saxophone player) and the Swedish Chef (my fellow Swede). Perhaps not the obvious choice of muppet friends, but everyone else is going to do something on Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy, Gonzo and Animal, so why not? :)

I envisioned something fish eye-ish, that looked a bit like a record cover. Found this on the world wide web:


I used it as a starting point for skecthing.


I usually make a bunch of doodles before getting into the nit and grit of “real” sketch work.


The final sketch.  The reason it’s mirrored is that I use a light board and flip the drawing back and forth a couple of times, going over stuff several times to get the shapes I want.


I put ink paper on the light board on top of the sketch. In this case I used a steel nib for inking.

Next step is coloring. Stay tuned…

ToughPigs – Muppet Fans Who Grew Up

toughpigsOne of the most informative and dedicated Muppet fan site I’ve ever come across is ToughPigs, for Muppet fans who grew up. The slogan is perhaps a bit misleading. I’d rather say Muppet fans who NEVER grew up. Or maybe I’m just speaking about myself…

ANYWAY, I let out a spontaneous WOKA WOKA yesterday when I got mail from Joe Hennes, co-owner, senior contributor, and editor of ToughPigs. They made a spot for my Muppet fan art! It’s great to see the pieces displayed as a whole like that. Makes me want to make more. More I say. More! And I’d love to make a whole exhibiton of Muppet fan art sometime.


Thanks a million to ToughPigs for featuring my work on your great site, and special thanks to Joe for your support and kind words!

Karl-Alfred’s Julkalender, lucka 9: Poopdeck Pappy

My friend and colleague Jimmy Wallin recently started a brand new Popeye comic strip. It’s in Swedish, thus the name Karl-Alfred (Popeye). As December approached, Jimmy wanted to make a digital Popeye Christmas Calendar, so he talked some of us unsuspecting comic artist colleagues into making it for him. How could you say no to Jimmy Wallin? So, now the world gets one comic artist and one Popeye character a day until christmas. Isn’t that just terrific?

Today it’s my turn. I gave Poopdeck Pappy (as he was originally named) the digital treatment, something he wasn’t too happy about.


Even if you don’t read Swedish, you don’t want to miss the old black and white Fleischer cartoons from the 30s (in English!) posted at the blog. I can’t tell how much I love these! Today you can watch Popeye saving his dear ol’ pappy  from the land of the strange Goon creatures, in Goonland from 1938.