Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rich Custard Dishes

Walter Windchill

Good evening to all my loyal listeners from North to South, East to West, up to down, and all points in between. This is Walter Windchill broadcasting live from Radio Station WOOPS in Toontown. 

Tart-tongued tell-tale
Rich Custard
The mystery of the moment gets even murkier.  As one of my reporters reportedly reported, box office bwana Gary Cooper and potentate producer Barney Sands were spotted bungalowing together at Columbia Studios.

I’ve got an update on that hush-hush get-together from my personal, private, and confidential source, tart-tongued tell-tale, Rich Custard.
According to Custard, this scoop’s both sweet and sour.  Coop’s up for a starring role in the new Barney Sands opus Hi, Toon!  It’s being filmed entirely in Toontown.  Unfortunately, there’s a villainous viper very, very high up the malevolent meter who doesn’t want this movie made. This shoe fly has threatened to boot Cooper to kingdom come if Coops sets foot in looney land.

According to Custard, second rate window peeper and third rate muscle Eddie Valiant is on the case, protecting Barney's asset.  Can Valiant do it?  Who knows.  The proof will be in the pudding.  Thanks, Custard, for serving us up this spicy soufflĂ©.

Keep listening, folks.  This story’s still hot and cooking.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What the Duese?

Good evening to all my loyal listeners from North to South, East to West, up to down, and all points in between. This is Walter Windchill broadcasting live from Radio Station WOOPS in Toontown.

Walter Windchill
Here’s a juicy tidbit a couple of little birdies told me.

Toontown’s flying fun flock, Woody, Heckle, Jeckle, Tweetie, and Donald, were winging their way South yesterday on their way to sample some of that potent Mexican bird seed they like so much when they photoed a doozy of a Duese parked outside Barney Sands's bungalow on the Columbia Studios lot.  Unless I miss my guess, and I rarely do, that’s a custom built 1935 Duesenberg SSJ.  What’s that I see when I study the bird brains' pic through a magnifying glass? Do I make out the name COOP written in gold on the door?  Indeed I do!
Cooper's Duese?

Only one COOP I know with the luxurious taste and legal tender to drive an auto of that quality out of a Beverly Hills showroom. That would be none other than current box office kingpin Gary Cooper. I’ve been hearing rumors that the cultured Cooper is going to star against type in a Barney Sands-produced screwball comedy called Hi, Toon!.  It’s going to be shot entirely in Toontown. I’ve also heard that his co-star is going to be none other than that bugsy bunny Roger Rabbit.

Stay Tooned, folks. This scoop on Coop's coupe is shaping up as a prime pip-a-rootie.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Re-Introducing.....Walter Windchill

How you doing out there, all you Toontowners?

By now, you’ve probably heard the exciting news.  There’s a new Roger Rabbit novel coming down the toonpike.  It’s titled Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? It will be published November 29, 2013.  

Last year, while I was hunched over the old Smith Corona hunting and pecking my way through the new book, a friend of mine Walter Windchill agreed to write my blog for me.  

Walter works as a gossip columnist for the Toontown Telltale.  He dishes the dirt about what’s going on uptown, downtown, and all round Toontown.  He’s a very nosey newsman.  Or maybe a newsy knows man.  One or the other.

Just in case you missed any of Walter's tiny Toonie tidbits, I'm going to repost them over the next few weeks.

Stay Tooned.  Walter's got the straight story on everything going on in Toontown.

Walter Windchill broadcasting live from Radio Station WOOPS

Good evening to all my loyal listeners from North to South, East to West, up to down, and all points in between. This is Walter Windchill broadcasting live from Radio Station WOOPS in Toontown.  Let's dish up another healthy heap of gossip.
Walter Windchill
First of all, you might be wondering.  What’s Windchill doing here? Where’s the howling and growling Wolf maniac who runs this web site?  Well, he’s off  promoting his latest Great American Novelty.  His third Roger Rabbit opus, a dipsy-doodled true crime adventure called Who Wacked Roger Rabbit? I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to read about what that boffo bunny’s up to this time.
In the meantime, I’ll be filling Wolfie’s eight and a half double E clodhoppers.
Here’s the first of the insights and outlooks I’m gonna be bringing you on a regular basis.
One of my spies in disguise spotted gumshoe Eddie Valiant scraping off a wad of his Double Bubble on the welcome mat of noted movie director Barney Sands. I wonder why a big deal film director needs a private eyeball? Could it be Barney’s having some trouble with that wacky-tabacky known as Holly-weed?  I hear that’s a big problem in La-la Land.  Personally, I’ll keep getting my illusions from the local joy juice, a heaping glass of Toonshine.
That’s it for tonight. Stay tooned, listeners. There’s lots more to come.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

How I Became A Male Model

I published the first Roger Rabbit novel, Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, in 1981.

The publisher asked me for a book jacket photo for the inside back flap.

For my science fiction novels I had done a variety of poses.  The kinds of poses writers were doing back then.  Me out in the woods looking ethereal in long hair, scruffy beard, and a turtleneck sweater.  Me wearing a cowboy hat, bush jacket, and my military medals.  Me slouching insolently against an alley wall wearing my leather Air Force flight jacket, white T-shirt, and shabby blue jeans.

For the Roger Rabbit novel I wanted something different, something more in keeping with the premise of the book.

I arranged for a toy company called Kamar to do me up a rabbit based on my description of Roger in the book.

I put that toy rabbit into a trench coat.  I wore what Eddie Valiant wore, a shirt, tie, trench coat and period hat.

We shot the photo looking at me over the toy rabbit's shoulder.

The hardest part of the photo shoot was holding the lighted cigarette.  This was way before we could add that effect with Photoshop.  We had to do the action for real. I’m not a smoker.  I kept coughing because the smoke was drifting up my nose.

I sent the picture, which was black and white, to the publisher.

They got very excited.  They said the pose would be perfect for the book jacket.

They hand tinted the picture to give the scene a period look.

They used the photo on the cover of the book.

The flap jacket copy says “The detective on the book’s jacket is portrayed by Mr. Wolf.”

I was a very happy guy.

Doubleday brought out a hard cover book club edition.

They changed that edition to an all-artwork cover.  They drew Eddie Valiant as I had described him in the book, a craggy, clean-shaven, Robert Stack-type.

Except they didn’t change the flap jacket copy.  That still said “The detective on the book’s jacket is portrayed by Mr. Wolf.” Which of course it wasn’t.  Not even close.

When I do autographings, I still get copies of that book to sign.  The owner always looks at the cover then looks at me suspiciously.  I can tell they suspect I’m an imposter.

I do always draw a beard on that artwork Eddie after I sign one of those book club editions.  That brings him a little closer to me.

We continued the Censored tradition with Who Wacked Roger Rabbit?  Once again, the detective on the book’s jacket is portrayed by Mr. Wolf.

As an interesting sidelight, ever since the Wacked cover got released, I’ve been getting calls from Abercrombie & Fitch.  They want me to be the cover boy on their next catalog.
I’m gonna decline.  They want me to take off my shirt, pull down my pants, and show my underwear.

I’m sorry.

I’m just not that kind of guy.

At least not anymore.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thank Goodness For The Buddhist Monks of Burma

I’m deathly allergic to cats.

Always have been.

I can walk into a house that has a cat and within minutes my eyes are puffy and watering, and I’m sneezing uncontrollably.

I always regretted my allergy.  Cats are wonderful animals. I always wanted to have one for a pet.

Thank goodness for the Buddhist monks of Burma.

They developed a breed of temple cat called a Birman.  Birman’s resemble a long-haired Siamese. Except Birman’s have a very laid back, live-and-let-live temperament.  Like the Buddhist monks they lived amongst.  Like me!

Best of all, Birmans are non-allergenic.  I can snuffle a Birman up close and personal, and not sneeze a whit.

Plus, the cats come with that most appealing trait of all, especially to a writer.  A good backstory.

According to legend, a pair of Birmans, a male and a pregnant female, were given to the World War II Flying Tigers as a reward for defending a Temple from a hostile force.
 These two cats were flown to France.  Eventually, the breed made its way from there to the U.S., and eventually to my living room.

I have two Birmans, Boris and  his mother Natasha.  Boris weighs in at 18 pounds, Natasha at a svelte 6 pounds.

They’re good company for me when I write.  Natasha stretches out on my lap.  Boris helps me type.  He’s gotten quite good at it. I’m thinking about getting Boris his own iPad and seeing what he comes up with.

Hey, I write about a talking rabbit.  Not much stranger than a typing cat.