Monster-in-Residence #2 David Hendrix Shovlin

Stick and Balloon have been busy doing spring cleaning, clearing up the mess made by our very first Monster-in-Residence Pang Ren. It took a while for us to chase the previous dude out of the house (he started moving in, bringing furniture, carpets, his mum’sphoto, etc). So it took a while.

Now it’s spanking clean just for you!

Balloon: *Claps hands* “Quick, a fresh bag!! Bring me a fresh bag!! And new drips, damn it, they’ve been sucking up the drips along with the caffeine! *ahem* Yes, hello and welcome David Hendrix Shovlin to the House of Stick and Balloon! We’ll get the ‘Feine dripping right before you can say

— ah! there we go!

Ballon: So welcome to the Monsterhood! What’s your first reaction to the house and the hood??

David: You have to understand that most houses make me nervous. Too many walls and ceilings, you know. They always get in the way of walking and flying. . . especially flying. More architects should adopt your “windows only” approach. Sunshine and caffeine have made me the monster I am today and there’s plenty of both to soak up here. All in all, I think it’s just what the world needs.

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Balloon: Now that you’ve been enlightened to your monster-iness, tell us, in exactly 108.333333~ words.. what sort of monster are you?

David: I’m just the sort of bouncy, feathery, strung-out, scatterbrain the teaming masses have cried out for, and because of. I’ve got something in the area of 236 eyes and at least half of them are usually bloodshot from staring into film projectors 25 hours a day. Many of them, as I’m sure you have noticed, shoot laser beams, but only on Wednesdays when there’s nothing else to do. Speaking of which, how on earth did it get to be Friday. I suppose time does fly, or perhaps we’re flying and time is standing still. When I stand still (which is rare but not unheard of) I try to do so in a warm place, preferably one where I am liable to catch fire. I’ve never been a friend of the cold and it’s never seemed to care for me either. I usually carry a bottle of tobasco sauce on me just in case. You wouldn’t think to look at me (being only three and a half monster feet tall) but I weigh over five billion tons and have my own system of planets. Before I moved here, I lived inside of a backpack. I also laugh in my sleep.

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Balloon: What sort of monster habits have you in your trade? Rampaging and pillaging? Terrorizing colonies of shrimp and plankton while you plan your attack on the great holy mountain? or do you take particularly to generating bumps in the night?

Stick thinks the question sounds porn (bumps in the night…).

David: Oh you know I get so caught up in rampaging that I forget to pillage. I never forget to burn though. The plankton and I have come to an understanding and the Attack on the Great Holy Mountain has been rescheduled for a warmer month of the year. The generation of bumps, both at night and throughout the day, is a pastime that I will never tire of. As a result of this, those around me can neither fall asleep nor stay awake. These activities can be tiring and I often find myself retreating to my backpack to smudge crayon marks onto great flat pieces of tree. I also frequent shadowy places where I can be seen trying to push my highlights further and vice versa. I rarely associate myself with midtones without immediately proceeding to one or both of the former. I have also found that an hour or so of Thoreau-esque sauntering every day keeps the mind fresh and the talons sharp. My activities throughout the last 72 hours can easily be deduced with a glance to the smudges on my face an pants (if I happen to be wearing pants). You should never trust someone who isn’t smudged with something.

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Balloon: No, seriously, tell us all about it. How’d you end up being the monster you are today?

David: I guess you could say that I was a monster from the very start. I was clearly not one of the usual children, whom I was known to hurl chairs at in my youth. Luckily I found my place among other monsters shortly afterward. Like I said before, the sunshine plays a big role in monsterhood for me. The first word I ever squawked was said to be ‘light’ but, in spite of this fact, I don’t think I would consider myself much of a lighter in the three dimensional sense. One day I, like many a monster before me was taking in the splendor of several works of the Saturday morning variety when I was struck by a lightning bolt. “I must do this” I exclaimed to myself and have walked the path towards animation ever since. While my love is for animation, the static image remains my oldest and fondest friend and I will never outgrow the habit of compulsively dueling canvasses wherever I see them. “When one makes war upon the canvas, one must be mindful of the light, it’s direction, it’s intensity, it’s temperature. Knowledge of these will assure you victory.” A wise monster told me that once. Maybe it was Vermeer or Caravaggio. Or maybe I just made it up. I can’t really remember. In any case, I’m still discovering the meaning.

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Balloon: What in the name of helium filled latex is that smell?! Hey! We’d love to see that trailing bag of stuff you’ve brought with you! What’s in it?

David: That, dear hostess, is the aroma of sweat and linseed oil. I also may have left the pizza in the oven for too long. I come before you bearing treasures both new and ancient. I’ve also got a brand new never-before-seen ultra-caffeinated digital painting made just for you!

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Balloon: Here’s a trick question: Stick or Balloon?

David: Why both of course. The stick gives you a distinct advantage over other ballooners.

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