Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm Melting!

The Creative Engineering factory doesn't have air conditioning anymore. It gets sweltering hot inside in the summer. It is so hot that the rubber faces of some of the characters have started to melt. This poor moose's snout has melted away oozing down and dripping onto the TV below it. I returned many times in the heat because everywhere I looked was new and unexpected. These characters were part of a Country Bear Jubilee.

On the floor there were isolated pools of saw dust from termites that had infested the wooden beams. There were banks of 1980's computers many of them still operational. It reminded me of NASA's mission control. Yet here there was little to control, just the single band that Aaron used to program videos for You Tube. I'm not sure I fully appreciate the fan base. I never went to a Showbiz Pizza when I was a kid so some of that early magic is lost. On one of my sketching excursions I did bring a huge fan. Erika Wilhite grew up loving "Rock-afire Explosion" and she had a blast when Aaron gave her a tour of the factory.

Aaron is first and foremost an inventor. When he was young he invented an automatic pool vacuum and he sold it door to door. In 1974 when there was a gas crisis he created a small car that got 75 miles per gallon. Today he is dreaming of starting an algae farm that could possibly be used to create an alternative fuel. He feels fuel could be harvested drop by drop rather than being pumped from the earth. Although he has had reasons to be disillusioned, he still dreams big, and is eternally optimistic.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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