Tales from the Theme Park

Tales from the Theme Park #5

December 26th, 2013 | Posted in Tales from the Theme Park

Technically this isn’t from a theme park experience but it’s close enough‚ and it’s got a Christmas connection. Back when I was going to art school in St. Paul, MN, circa 1986-1989, I did caricatures at bars and nightclubs on evenings and weekends to make some extra money. For a few years during the Christmas season I set up a booth at an event called “A Victorian Christmas”. This took place on evenings, weekends, and full time between Christmas and New Years, at an upscale shopping center called Riverplace. Riverplace was located on the Mississippi overlooking downtown Minneapolis and its existence as a retail center… READ MORE

Tales from the Theme Park #4

December 12th, 2013 | Posted in Tales from the Theme Park

This tale took place in my first year of drawing caricatures at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL, in the summer of 1985. Disclaimer: This was before I’d met my future wife, The Lovely Anna. This was only the second year that the company I worked with, Fasen Arts, had the concession at this park, which was one of the biggest in the Six Flags family at the time. Fasens originally were from Minnesota and had an operation at Valleyfair outside Minneapolis, so their venture into the Chicago area park was staffed with nothing but artists from Minnesota. They transplanted us down there for… READ MORE

Tales from the Theme Park #3

November 21st, 2013 | Posted in Tales from the Theme Park

I know I just told this story last year here at some point, but it’s a good one and I wanted it part of the series. This one happened about 20 years ago when I had a run in with a theme park manager . . . I was working at one of my theme park concessions in 1992 when one of the newer members of the park’s “management team” came up to the booth and asked if I was the owner. “Yes,” I told her. She pointed at one of the many examples up on the wall, one I had done, and told me… READ MORE

Tales from the Theme Park #2

October 25th, 2013 | Posted in Tales from the Theme Park

Time for another thrilling tale of yesteryear from my days as a theme park caricature artist! I know… you are overwhelmed with anticipation. Try to stay calm. When you draw caricatures from live models for enough years, you are bound to have some moments where you do something dumb and embarrassing with the drawing because you just weren’t paying attention. Those types of things can happen on really busy days when you are going at high speed and are distracted by your environment‚ or just plain not being attentive. There is a certain subset of these instances that I like the call “missing missing limb”… READ MORE

Tales from the Theme Park #1

October 8th, 2013 | Posted in Tales from the Theme Park

So in this very occasional feature, the idea for which was stolen from writer extraordinaire Mark Evanier’s terrific blog, I will recount some thrilling tales of yesteryear from my days as a theme park caricature artist, which I did full time every summer for over 20 years. This first story is a gag I pulled more than a few times at the parks that I was reminded about from a comment that was made on my Facebook wall where the commenter said he “wished I wouldn’t draw people drooling.” This incident happened when I was managing the caricature art concession for Fasen Arts at Six… READ MORE

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New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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