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A few months ago, our good friends Erik and Robyn gave Grey and West (but let’s be honest, it’s really for me) an amazing gift.

In 1981, Colorforms released a set of Muppet Shrinky Dinks. I assume everyone reading this is familiar with Shrinky Dinks, but just in case (as I recently ran into three people who had no idea what I was talking about), here is a description from the Muppet Wiki:

Shrinky Dinks are craft kits that consist of several sheets of flexible plastic, printed with coloring-book style line drawings. Young shrinkers cut out the pictures and color them in with colored pencils or markers. When the pictures are baked in an oven, the plastic pieces shrink down to make small, hard plastic curios.

You can learn more about the set I’m about to reference here. It’s the second set listed—the Muppets Play Set—not the Piggy/Kermit set listed at the top.

Anyway, Erik found someone online who was selling the lot of original artwork from the set. Like, the actual drawings and paintings the set was created from.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

It’s a massive amount of artwork. Here are a few pics.

These are the actual (I assume) gouache paintings of the character sheets:

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Also included were the paintings of the stage set and theater:

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

The lot even included original art from the packaging, like this “how to” painting.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Some of the artwork came with parchment layovers that had handwritten instructions of how to most accurately match colors and print plates.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Also included was a large mockup of the box.

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

There is so much cool art in this set (it’s gonna be a bitch to frame), but this is my favorite piece:

Original artwork from the 1981 Muppet Play Set by Colorforms' Shrinky Dinks.

Keep in mind this artwork was created when I was just four years old. Insane.

Thanks for the thoughtful and generous gift, Erik and Robyn. Here’s hoping Grey and West like the Muppets!

They better if they know what’s good for them,

-Shady

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It's the Muppet Show... on that guy's back.

I want a Fozzie rug,

-Shady

I came across it a few weeks ago while looking for header images for The Blarg.

1981 Hallmark Muppets advent calendar!

It was amazing how I instantly recognized the illustrations of the Muppets. In a flash, it all came flooding back to me.

Five-year-old Justin loved this thing.

Someone is selling the calendar for $80 on eBay. I don’t want it that badly, but it was cool to stumble across a bit of my childhood after all these decades.

Advent calendars are now filled with chocolate,

-Shady

I AM A PRINCESS!

…for these sheets of awesome birthday stickers.

They include a ton of poop stickers, “PRINCESS JUSTIN IS TURNING FORTY” stickers, “40 AND STILL SMOKIN’ HOT” stickers, “480 MONTHS” stickers, and stickers with three Muppets and Elmo wishing me a happy birthday on it.

Thanks, guys! A lot of these are already stuck to things.

Sticker sucker,

-Shady

Shit.

And it’s not even noon,

-Shady

Animal - Arm = Def Leppard

Pour some sugar on mahna mahna,

-Shady

This week, I decided I would no longer be publishing “dead” posts on “The Blarg.”

Over time, I’ve come to feel those posts are too easy. That, and a shitload of people have been dying recently, and I’m nervous of “The Blarg” becoming an obituary site. I decided that the Phyllis Diller post would be the last of its kind; I figured she was a good one to go out on.

And then yesterday, legendary Muppet performer Jerry Nelson died.

So instead of ignoring Nelson’s passing, I’ve decided that every once in awhile, when the situation warrants it, I’ll handle “dead” posts like this.

Nelson was the hands beneath and the voice behind many of the Muppets greatest characters. On “Sesame Street,” he was the Amazing Mumford, Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, Snuffleupagus, and (probably his most well-known character) Count von Count. On “The Muppet Show,” he was Robin the Frog, Camilla the Chicken, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Uncle Deadly, Lew Zealand, and (my personal favorite) Sgt. Floyd Pepper. And for “Fraggle Rock” fans, he was Gobo.

Nelson was a Muppet original. Sadly, there aren’t very many of them left.

Back in December 2001, some friends, my sister (to be clear, my sister is also my friend) and I had an opportunity to meet Jerry at a Muppet convention in Los Angeles. (Don’t judge us!) It was very brief, but at the end of it I got an autograph from him. That’s somewhere in a box back in Los Angeles (I’m writing this from San Francisco), otherwise I’d scan it and show it to you guys.

But who needs an autograph when I’ve got a little piece of Jerry Nelson right here on my arm?

That sounded gross, but you understand what I mean.

Every time one of the Muppet Men go it bums me out, and Jerry Nelson was one of the best. The Muppets were different after Jim Henson and Richard Hunt died. Somehow, today, the Muppets are different than they were yesterday.

He’ll be missed.

One! One amazing performer! Ha-ha-ha,

-Shady

PS: Listen to Jerry doing the Count on this commercial.

Spot on,

-Shady

…be sure to check out “The Muppet (Art) Show” at the Rogues Gallery in Packrat Comics in Hilliard.

The show will feature work from a bunch of artists who each contributed their own interpretations of the Muppets. The best part? A bunch of my friends are in it!

Jeremy R. Scott created this gem…

Dwellephant contributed numerous pieces to the show (this being one of them)…

…as did the event’s organizer, Josh Peters.

Other artists include Joel Jackson, Alex Clare, and Timberlee Myers, among others.

The opening reception is this Saturday, December 3rd at 7:00 PM. The gallery will also be open during Packrat Comics’ regular business hours.

Learn more about the event and see more pieces here on Facebook, and here at the Rogues Gallery blog.

It’s time to play the music,

-Shady

I’m a dork for both,

-Shady