Kid tested, mustache approved! The UHF art and movie screening Kickstarter!

UHF FINAL KS CROP

Should I keep my different projects separate?  Should I keep the Franks and Beans blog un-despoiled by non F&B items?  Here’s an idea, faithful reader: why don’t you watch your stinkin’ mouth?

Ugh, that was harsh.  I’m sorry, guys.  This is an especially egregious error as I am trying to raise a little bit of money to show “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1989 cult classic film “UHF” at a local theater on May 31st of the year.  What was I thinking?  Please, forgive me.

Here’s the details: I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help offset the licensing and rental fees associated with the screening.  The film will screen at Latrobe 30 Theatre & Cafe, and it will take place the same day as Al’s Greensburg, PA “Mandatory Fun” tour date.  The theater is fewer than 10 miles from the concert venue, so I’m hoping that fans and those attending the concert will want to see the movie earlier in the day.

Weird Al UHF Kickstarter rewards

I’ve got a whole lot of rewards to offer up to anyone who pledges, from 11×17 prints, to pins, to shirts, to a gigantic, movie poster-sized print that is the official image of the campaign and screening:

Weird Al UHF Kickstarter movie poster

You can even get tickets to the show if you live in the area (or feel like a road trip), though you don’t have to attend the movie to get the other items!

I just announced that anyone who pledges at the $10 level or higher will get a Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies inspired sticker at no extra charge!

Weird Al UHF Kickstarter sticker

So if you enjoy Franks and Beans, you’re a fan of Weird Al, or if you’re just a nice person who would feel bad if this dang thing doesn’t succeed, I hope you’ll click the following link to read more about this UHF movie screening Kickstarter project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeffmcclelland/uhf-movie-screening/

Even if you can’t pledge anything, I hope you’ll decide to share this project with people that you know.

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Franks and Beans: Media Moguls

Tick Free Comic Book Day 2013 cover - Duane Redhead Bob PolioIf you watch Franks and Beans, you are distinguished by two factors: first, you are our best friends.  Second, you’re part of a rare group.  We’ve been doing a little bit to try and change that lately (the rarity part…not the other one.  You will always be our best friends.  FOREVER!) by trying to get the word out in places other than on our other blogs.  Perhaps you, crafty consumer, have seen some of these mentions in the wild over the past few weeks.

One of my greatest achievements in life (I’m serious) has been in writing the Tick comic book for New England Comics.  To date I have written…ONE ISSUE!  But oh, what an issue it was (and there are more on the way, by the by).  Who knows when the ride will end, but in the meantime, I might as well plug Franks and Beans if I can.  Proof of life:

Tick Free Comic Book Day Franks and BeansHooray!  Who would have thought it was possible?  But here we are.  This particular comic was the Free Comic Book Day issue, so there were literally tens of thousands of these out and about, to my delight.  Hopefully enough people read the text page to get a least a few new viewers.

Journal of Venture Studies vol 2 coverNext up we have the latest issue of the Journal of Venture Studies, which was put out in conjunction with Adult Swim.  The new season of the Venture Bros., one of my favorite shows of all time, is on the air starting tonight, as it so happens, and I was lucky enough to get a chance to write an entry in this faux journal.  I got to write a mini-bio at the end of my article, and they let me sneak in a quick F&B reference:

Venture Studies Franks and Beans screen shotDouble hooray!  This reference requires just a bit more diligence on the part of the reader as someone would actually have to go to Google and painstakingly search for this website, but hey, there’s always hope.

You can find my entry and the entire journal by clicking on this link: http://venturestudies.com/volume2.html

Franks and Beans Magic Bullet adAnd lastly, I showed off this new ad in the Magic Bullet paper a little while ago.  I might as well show it again, because it’s great.  But I also got a card in the mail the other day from the editorial staff:

Magic Bullet Franks and Beans thank you 01This in itself is cool, but opening it up we find that someone actually had to write out the phrase “Dear Franks and Beans”.  Someone took the time to do this!  That’s funny.

Magic Bullet Franks and Beans thank you 02As you can see, we’re on our way to being really super popular.  Once that happens, you can act all indignant and tell everyone that you knew us before we were a household name.  I’m pretty sure that this will happen.  Yes.

Blog 42 – 666

666 screen shot

Hey, everyone.  Who here likes the devil?  Now, I don’t mean you LIKE him like him, but just that you see him as more of an abstract concept, or a silly cartoon character, like a skinny guy with a goatee, painted red skin and silly horns, and you think, “hey, I like the Devil.  He’s funny and I bet he’s pretty misunderstood!”  Well, according to beloved author C.S. Lewis, you’re going to Hell.  No two ways about it!  Really, just punch your ticket now, bucco.  You should probably be ashamed of yourself, but since you’re already on a one-way trip to eternal fire and torment, I suppose there’s really no use in it.

While you’re there, taking part in having your teeth smashed in with a lava rock, please ask the Devil (he’ll be the guy in charge) what he thinks about episode 40 of Franks and Beans, the aptly-named “666”.  I’ll bet he just looks at you and spits snakes into your eyes or something, but what if he was like “Franks and Beans?  That’s a great episode!  I love the chaos montage!  They’re performing over in subsection five, right before we force them to eat their own intestines stuffed with razor blades.”  And then you could both laugh and laugh, and maybe Hell would be just a tiny bit more tolerable at that point.  But probably not, because, you know, Hell and all.

666 is a higher-concept episode than usual, with a lot of buildup and an immediate callback that, on a lot of levels, really works for me.  It does take a moderate-sized leap of faith in that we’re apparently professing that just saying the phrase “666” brings forth demonic possession and wild spasms of uncontrollable rage, but once you’re there, everything else falls into place.

If I had to change one thing about this episode, it’d be to add just a little more buildup.  I think that we would have benefited in taking things a bit more slowly; specifically, I wouldn’t jump right into the gravely “666!!” line right away.  Instead, I’d add up the numbers and say something like “and that comes to…six hundred and sixty-six dollars even.  Six…sixty six.”  And then pause for effect, look up to Larry, and THEN launch into the “SIX SIXTY SIX!” tirade.  I think that would have sold the joke better than what actually transpired, but overall I think it worked out fine, and hindsight is a tough sonofagun in any case.

666 screen shot 03

Here’s an amusing anecdote that should possibly make you sad and a little ashamed to know or even know OF your pals at Franks and Beans: it took both Larry and I several times to figure out how to subtract $6.66 from $10.00.  At first I embarrassed myself by saying $4.44.  In the editing process, Larry’s Mom (“got some mail for you”) pointed out the obvious flaw.  Contrite, we re-filmed the scene and I instead said “$3.44.”  This is ALSO incorrect, but we were lucky enough that you never see me saying it – so I just recorded myself saying the correct numbers (whatever they are) and we slapped it in.  This is what an educational system that doesn’t put enough emphasis on science and math produces, world!  What a damn shame.

666 receiptA few months ago, I went to the store and bough, apparently, three squeeze pops.  The price of three squeeze pops, plus 6% sales tax, some out to exactly $6.66.  This was a fun coincidence, and I took full advantage of it by looking at the cashier and saying “666!” in a gravely voice before gesticulating wildly.  The cashier didn’t enjoy the reference, as she perhaps hadn’t yet watched Franks and Beans, but I’m sure that has been rectified in the time since the encounter, because who ignores a sign like that?

666 Lion-O screen shotOur “NO!” ending features another of Larry’s many costume changes.  Since we’ve slowed down in filming episodes lately, it seems that all of the endings are just Larry in various Halloween costumes, but this one here is memorable for sure, as Larry had some fleeting Internet fame (that is, other fame than what is allotted to us from Franks and Beans, which is considerable) in the same outfit.

Around the time we filmed this episode, Larry and I went to the New York Comic-Con, where Wagon Wheel Comics had a booth for one of the first times ever.  On the Saturday of the show, Larry dressed as Lion-O, and everyone loved him.  LOVED him.  It was something to see.  In face, searching for “Lion-O NYCC” on Google shows that Larry is still well remembered:

Larry as Lion-O Google screen shotHe’s got the first five slots!  Wow.  It was like walking around with a celebrity, and I was just a hapless member of the entourage.

Larry as Lion-O at New York Comic-Con NYCC Hellboy Larry as Lion-O New York Comic Con NYCCLarry even campaigned for America’s Libraries…apparently.  While we were at the show, we actually sold a few Franks and Beans DVDs, which, of course, requires photographic evidence to be believed:

Franks and Beans - New York Comic-Con NYCC

Look at that exchange of money for goods!  After the show, we took the parade to the streets of New York:

Larry as Lion-O New York Comic-Con NYCC TImes SquareNice photobomb, kid.  Later that evening, Larry made the front page of IGN:

IGN ScreenshotAnd a fun time was had by all, until Larry had a terrible reaction to the cat-eye contacts he was wearing.  And by that time, everyone was cranky anyway.

This blog took a strange turn.  Perhaps the Devil made me do it.

Franks and Beans alternate reality merchandise

Heinz Frank and Beans shirt

If there truly are parallel universes as some claim, that means that somewhere out there in the vast expanse of the unknown there is a world, at least one world, where Franks and Beans is so beloved that it has its own merchandising arm, where throngs of adoring fans can spend their hard earned money (or whatever passes for money on alternate Earth – tree sap, perhaps) on the newest products and wearable garments.

One such garment might look like the above picture of a retro-looking Heniz shirt, except that “Frank” would have an “S” added to it, and also we would be selling these things instead of buying them at Old Navy, budget friendly though they might be.

Of course, there’s always the chance that we can dutifully recreate this alternate reality merchandise with some fabric paint and a well-honed sponge and wear it around on THIS earth until we are eventually hunted down by some authority tasked with keeping different versions of reality separate, which might look something like this:

time variance authorityAnd wouldn’t THAT be fun?

Franks and Beans comic book ads

Have I ever mentioned that I sometimes write comic books?  Even in passing?  Ever?  Probably not, as I rarely self aggrandize or post meaningless links to other projects that aren’t innately tied to Franks and Beans.  I’m much too classy for that.

In any case, I do write Teddy and the Yeti, a comic with great intrinsic value that will perhaps one day spawn a cartoon series and various merchandizing opportunities, and I take every chance I get to advertise for my other great love (besides Funyuns), Franks and Beans, and I thought that it would be at least a little bit interesting if I posted the various F&B ads that have taken up residence in Teddy and the Yeti comics throughout its publication history.

At the top of the post, you’ll see the very first Franks and Beans ad, appearing in the pages of Teddy and the Yeti #1, and perhaps you’ll notice how quaint and simple it is.  This is because everything must start somewhere, and also because I was still learning how to use Illustrator at this point (not that I’ve mastered it in the time that followed).  Still, we did get the slogan that adorns this website, a bastardization of the Kix cereal slogan.  It replaced our previous slogan, “Better than anything YOU could come up with”, which I’m sure will one day make a comeback, as all things trite and spiteful do.

Next up is a familiar image, as a colorized version of it serves as the background of the official Franks and Beans YouTube page.  The ad showed up in a black and white version of Teddy and the Yeti #2.  This photoshoot was a fruitful one, as we got two ads and a background for our business cards this day.  Born from this ad was probably our best slogan ever, “comedy worth fighting for”, which also finds itself on the YouTube page.  I should/will put this day’s photoshoot online at some point.  There were some good shots taken this day by friend of the show Mitch Mitchell, who just so happens to have a really nice DSLR camera.  And we take advantage of that whenever we can.

I’m fairly sure we stole the background image from this ad from Google (take that, Internet!), before we realized that we could just take our own damn picture of baked beans.  The ad itself refers to the “Franks and Beans Beans and Franks” episode at the end of season two, and we keep the label facade up with our own mock nutrition facts.  This ad appeared in Teddy and the Yeti #3.

Space was tight in the tiny Teddy and the Yeti’s Back! promo issue, so the Franks and Beans ad had a minimum of space to work with.  The end result, though, might just be our best ad yet, in which both Larry and I are perhaps about to have the life crushed out of us, which is always good for a laugh (a literal side-splitter).  This was from the same photoshoot that begat the “comedy worth fighting for” ad.  I particularly enjoy seeing the very top of my Thing shirt as well as my apparently stroked-out face.

Lastly, we have the newest Franks and Beans ad, straight from the inside back cover of Teddy and the Yeti #4.  This image comes from the still promotional photo for the “Double Delivery” episode and features obvious worldplay and also mustaches.  When people see these ads placed in my comics, I’ll bet that they nearly kill themselves in a desperate attempt to locate a computer and access this very website.  Who knows, maybe putting these ads online for all to see will draw the masses to this site, where they will laugh and laugh their lives away.  I’m about 85% sure that this will happen.

So there we have it – Franks and Beans comic book ads.  So why don’t I just use the same one all the time?  Why make new ones for each appearance?  I do it for you, loyal readers.  I do it for you.  And also me.  Perhaps the next one will feature one of my cats.  Only time will tell.

Franks and Beans: The Comic: “Artistic License”

I’d say that it was fairly inevitable that we would come to this point.  With my stubborn insistence that I keep trying to work in the comics field (dear comics: notice me, dammit!), the limitations of a single camera, no-budget production and a desire to promote ourselves a little bit more, thus is born Franks and Beans: the comic.

Putting a comic together is similar to filming, in that it usually takes more than one person to put together a complete product.  This short, two page story took efforts from a few folks new to the Franks and Beans world but not to that of some comics that I’ve worked on before.  Pencils and inks on this story are by Alan Gallo and colors are by Michael Wiggam, both of whom I’ve worked with on Teddy and the Yeti and a couple other projects.

Alan took on the difficult task of drawing likenesses, which is a challenge not many are up to.  Add to the fact that Alan had to draw four distinct individuals and I think it’s easy to see what a task he had before him.  Given all of this, I’d say that he did just a great job.  On an unrelated note, here’s a little known Franks and Beans fact for you – Larry when on a diet after this comic first showed up and he lost like 20 pounds.  I don’t know why I mention this here, but it was something that just stuck in my head for some reason.  I did not start working out, if anyone is curious.

As with any neurotic comic book fan, you might find yourself thinking, “where does this story fit into Franks and Beans continuity?  Does it fit into the established storyline?”  The answer, of course, is yes, valued viewer/reader.  Everything that happens in anything Franks and Beans related goes into the F&B universe as cold, hard fact.  This, of course, changes the whole tone of Franks and Beans, as it now becomes a show about a man who dies over and over again, only to find new life and new, strikingly similar situations.  Or perhaps it’s an alternate universe Jeff, I don’t know.

This comic, which, if it had a title would be called “Artistic License”, features several references to previous Franks and Beans episodes, including “Sandwich”, “Tree Hugger” and “Milkshake”, as well as showing off in no subtle manner nods to other F&B staples like the Dukes of Hazzard, Thundercats and He-Man.  How do we work in so many nods to previous episodes and themes?  One can only wonder.

This comic will live, perhaps forever, long after Larry and I are dead and our bones decaying under the soft earth (or maybe I’ll just get cremated, who can say), in its own tab at the top of this page and on the Internet, leaving people to ponder deep questions like “what the hell is Franks and Beans?”  The question, then, becomes if we will ever have another Franks and Beans comic to marvel at.  The answer is not clear, but let’s say that I have no immediate plans for one, though I do sometimes get anxious and have a desire to spend my money on comics that will never see the light of day other than on my own websites.  So you never know!!

This posting marks a milestone in this website’s history – it’s our 100th post to the site!  Let’s take a look at our running tally of blog posts to date:

Jeff: 100
Larry: 0

So it’s still neck-and-neck and anyone’s game at this point, which I guess is obvious.  Be sure to check back later for more of this exciting competition!