Monday, December 19, 2011

Where Justin Bieber Fans Come From?

If you ever look at, say, a rabid Justin Bieber fan and think, "I wonder what she (or he, I guess) was like 5-6 years ago," wonder no more.

I'm not sure if it's a gene or a developed trait, but our older daughter tends to get a little fanatical about, well, whatever it is she happens to be fanatical about.  For a long time, it was Tyrone from "The Backyardigans."  Tyrone was the subject of most of her sentences, most of her artwork, and most of her stories.  Her fanaticism shifted to "Bunny," the name of her most treasured stuffed bunny.

These days, Mario is her "Justin Bieber du jour", and what follows is a small sampling of the fruit of her attention.

First up is a list of book titles involving Mario.  I'm not sure if these are books that currently exist in her imagination or that she just thinks would someday make great, real, books.  I think at least a couple of them are variants of titles that are actual children's books.  Here's the scanned list with my typed version to follow (which may add some capitalization and punctuation to The Hungry PK 1's original list).

"Mario and the Princess"
"Mario and Mary Get in a Fight"
"The Two Marios"
"Water Mario"
"Mario is Silly (Silly Mario)"
"Mario and the--'Yuck!  Uh, I Don't Want to Finish"
"Mario and the Egyptian Ruins"
"Mario and the Bad Bike Crash"
"Mario and the Hick Up" (I think it would be "Mario Gets the Hick Ups") [I'm interpreting the 2nd part of this to be her voice second guessing the original title, and not part of the title; contra the "Yuck!"-title above, which I believe is all part of the suggested title proper -THP]
"Nobody Likes Mario"
"Muddy, Sticky, Cruddy, Wet Mario!"

Not to boast, but I gotta say this is a pretty impressive list of made up book titles.  Lots of variety in both title structures and themes, which would seem to include, for example: conflict resolution, history, bike safety, and follow-through on tasks.  The targeted age range also seems to vary, from infant ("Muddy, Sticky, Cruddy, Wet Mario!") to toddler ("Mario is Silly [Silly Mario]") to pre-school ("Mario and the Princess") and on through grade school ("Mario and the Egyptian Ruins") and junior high ("Nobody Likes Mario"--or was that just me?).

So if other options stall, Monkey 1 definitely has a future in book title authorship.  Or...  perhaps even as an actual book author.  What follows is an actual book, written by Monkey 1, that I scanned page by page.  I'll provide a little clarification on the plotline after each page.

"Mario's Bad Bad Bad Bad Bad Bad Bad Life"

Based on the title alone, the Coen brothers have already expressed interest in acquiring the movie rights.

"Ouchy, morning hurts!" / "It's dark in here."

LEFT: Mario wakes up so suddenly that the alarm clock bounces off his head and flies out the window.
RIGHT: Mario gets up on the wrong side of the bed and is afraid because it's dark.

"Um, I'd rather wear Baby Marios!" "Wear yours!" / "Mom, my cereal is mean!" "That doesn't make sense."

LEFT: Mario's clothes are too boring, so he says he wants to wear Baby Mario's.  His mother replies to this with "Wear yours!"
RIGHT: Mario's cereal tells him that he is dumb.  Mario tells his mom, who tells him that that doesn't make sense.

"I'll take care of it." / "Achooooo" "Sorry"

LEFT: Baby Mario had been crying, and Mario's mom tell him that she'll take care of it.
RIGHT: Mario leaves on his bike and kicks up some dust in the face of his friend, who sneezes.  Mario apologizes.

"Go!!!!" "Go Mario! Go Mario!" / "Whoops" "Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!"

LEFT: Mario goes to practice for the bike race on Saturday.  He gets off to a good start.
RIGHT: Mario accidently drives off a cliff into some lava.

"This race is no match for me!" / "Oops" "Uh oh"

LEFT: Mario confidently tries again.
RIGHT: Mario misses a jump and lands in lava again.

"Woo Hoo!" / "Oops" "I hope he's okay" "Silly Mario"

LEFT: Mario makes the biggest jump on the track.
RIGHT: Mario misses the landing and ends up in lava again.

"Who turned out the light?"

LEFT: In mid-jump, Mario's bike turns into a long cart that can hold a lot of people.
RIGHT: Someone turns out the light, and Mario gets scared.

LEFT: Mario practices some more, and things go well.
RIGHT: Mario's name appears on his bike.

LEFT: Mario lands in lava again.
RIGHT: Somehow, Mario manages to win the race, and is hoisted in the air by his friends, trophy in hand.

This is a slightly happier piece of work: Mario giving Luigi a flower.

Prose?  Check.  2D art?  Check.  3D art?  See below.  The figure below is Mario.  In the first photo, he's standing, supported by a chain of beads.

At the puppetmaster's decree, Mario "falls", at which point his head lines up with the pre-arranged talking bubble which, of course, reads "Ow!".

The puller-of-strings can then make Mario stand up again.

Finally, here is a picture of Monkey 1 herself, modelling her new favorite shirt that, when she received, she immediately put on over her Christmas dress.

So is this the picture of a future teen-idol fanatic?  We'll find out in a couple of years.  In the meantime, I'm going to work on channeling her focus towards curing cancer or stomping out world hunger.  Though I will probably settle for cleaning her room.


Updated, 5/26/12:
Monkey 1's Mario fanaticism has waned ever-so-slightly in the last few months.  Or maybe not.  It's hard to tell.  But there are a couple of artistic highlights that she created that are post-worthy.  However, creating an entirely new post of Mario art seems excessive to me.  Hence, an in-post update.  Enjoy!

The girls received an easel for Christmas which, of course, meant bigger Mario pictures.  

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Luigi & Mario; Mario & Peach; Tall Mario

Any artist worth their salt has used the medium of Pixos.  Monkey 1 is no exception.

But tapping into the tradition of more classic media--like mosaic--is a surefire method of inspiring art aficionados everywhere.



  1. That is quite creative, I have to say. I laughed pretty hard at the mean cereal page. That's an impressive use of dramatic irony. Thanks for posting, Rob!

  2. I can't get over the list of book titles. What an imagination!

  3. I think her artistic abilities surpass my own by far! :) She has such a great imagination! I love it! - Niccole R.