Bee Happy coloring page by Mark Neeley

Bee Happy coloring page by Mark Neeley

We are thrilled to share this exclusive coloring page drawn by Cincinnati author/illustrator Mark Neeley:  (click on image and print out)

Bee Happy coloring page Mark Neeley

Mark has been a friend of ours for several years and we are honored by his wonderfully playful art of the Wump Mucket Puppets.   Please visit his website www.MarkNeeley.com to learn more about his books and art projects.

Be sure to share your finished coloring page on our Facebook page too!

Book review of The Punch & Judy Show

Review of The Punch & Judy Show: History, Tradition and Meaning by Robert Leach

I have been reading books about puppetry almost as long as I have been interested in puppets.  Did I ever mention that two of first words that I learned to write on my own are the words puppet and circus?  I remember sitting at the kitchen table, asking my mother how to spell these words.  I guess I wrote them so often I was bound to become either a puppeteer or an elephant trainer in the circus (I LOVE elephants!).

Puppeteer Terrence Burke of Wump Mucket Puppets with Cyril the Sea Serpent

Terrence Burke reads "The Punch & Judy Show" to Cyril

The Punch & Judy Show: History, Tradition and Meaning by Robert Leach (1985 University of Georgia Press ISBN 0820308005) was a true delight to read and learn about Punch and his “professors” who have been delighting audiences for hundreds of years.  The author’s research is simply amazing, and follows Mr. Punch from his Italian roots to the streets and village fetes of England.  The show’s tradition has changed with the times, moving from the hustle and bustle of the street, to the Victorian drawing rooms, and finally to the holiday beach resorts.  Forever changing, yet forever part of the culture.  How many puppets can make that claim?  If you are interested in puppetry’s history, this is a great book to learn from.  I am fortunate to have found it among the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County since it is out of print and rather pricey.

Cover of The Punch & Judy Show by Robert Leach

Cover of The Punch & Judy Show by Robert Leach

Reading about Mr. Punch and his poor wife Judy has inspired me to come up with my own variation of this time tested puppet play in the future, with a 21st century American twist of course!  My wife Lara has even expressed interest in helping perform it!  Be sure to check back to this blog for future developments of the Wump Mucket Puppets version of Punch & Judy.  Keep in mind that originally Punch was a street show and very adult in content.  We shall see what we come up with.  A puppet slam piece?  Perhaps something for a Fringe festival?  Maybe we’ll just busk our merry way through the streets of Cincinnati.

Mister Punch picture by The Owl

Learn more about Punch & Judy: www.punchandjudy.com

Don’t swallow your Swazzle!

Happy Birthday Andy!

Today is my youngest brother Andy’s birthday!

Happy Birthday Andy from Coleman and Wump Mucket Puppets

Did I ever tell you about my brother Andy?  He’s a puppeteer too!  Not only is he a puppeteer, but he often works with very large parade puppets.  And if puppets weren’t enough to keep him busy, you can sometimes find him walking on silts or playing drums.

Andy Burke and his One World Puppets

My brother Andy Burke with a few of his puppets

In celebration of Andy’s birthday, I am dedicating today’s blog to him.  We’ve had our differences over the years, as many siblings do, yet as our hair gets grayer and our backs ache a bit more we find that it’s best to agree on the things that we agree on, and button our lips when we need to on other topics.  Let’s stick to things we agree on, most importantly… PUPPETS!

Andy Burke's puppet Kuumar

Andy Burke's puppet character Kuumar

How we both ended up puppeteers as adults I am not sure.  We both watched many of the same television shows as children, so that may have something to do with it.  Regardless, it’s great that Andy creates his own puppets and performs them at fairs, festivals, and concerts.  Keep rockin’ the puppets Andy!

Have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANDY, from you big brother Terrence

For more info about my brother’s puppetry check out the One World Puppetry and Performance Art Facebook Page

June is going to be H-O-T!

At last, a bit of time to update our friends and fans before we start our BUSIEST month yet!  Wump Mucket Puppets will be performing 6 shows during the month of June 2012, and we couldn’t be happier.  Well Coleman is a little cranky, and has asked for a second air conditioner for his trailer,  maybe next year “furry guy”.

First a little recap of our May shows!  Free Comic Book Day at Maverick’s Comics in Finneytown was a BLAST!  Thanks to all our super-fans who came to the show to hear Coleman “sing” the Batman theme song.  WHAT!  You missed this historic performance?  Fear not good citizens, we have been asked to return for Free Comic Book Day 2013!  So mark your calendar right now for Saturday May 4th 2013!  Ka-Pow!

Coleman in a pile of Wump Mucket Puppets mini-comics issue 1

Speaking of comics, we are nearly out of the first printing of issue number 1 of our very own mini-comic.  If you would like a copy for your comic collection, send us a message from our contact page.  We’ll let you know how to get a FREE copy.  The comic has been so well received by our fans, issue 2 is in the works.  It tells the soon to be legendary tale of how a certain Sea Serpent and a Sasquatch first met!

While we are on the subject of art,  Wump Mucket Puppets very first fan (really gang she’s been here since the start!) Eleanor Burke (age 7 1/2) has created the concept for our special Summerfair Cincinnati coloring page.  She has been watching her daddy draw his puppets and came up with this very cool (and colored!) piece of artwork!

Art is Fun! by Eleanor Burke

Come see our show at Summerfair Cincinnati  on Sunday June 3rd at 12 noon for a coloring page version of this original piece that is now part of the Wump Mucket Puppets art archives.

Our May performance at Julian’s Deli in Loveland was lots of fun and we had a ball meeting new friends and fans.  We hope that you’ll come see us there on July 15th at 2 PM.  Performing in the city of the legendary Loveland Frog has inspired the “puppet construction department” to begin sketching ideas for a new puppet character to join our little troupe.  What would YOU name a strange frog-like creature?  Ribit!

Finally, work on the video starring G’Wazzl for our artist pal Andy Finkle is making progress!  We think that you will really get a chuckle out of this one and we’ll upload it as soon as it’s finished.

Cyril says PUPPETS ROCK!  We hope to see you in June!

The creation of our new Autumn coloring page

I am very happy to tell our young fans that we will be offering a new Wump Mucket Puppets coloring page at our Northside Farmers Market performance tomorrow (Oct. 5th) at 6 PM.

Before I give you a sneak peek, here’s a look at the original idea that was drawn by my almost seven year old daughter Eleanor:

Eleanor Burke's Wump Mucket Puppets Autumn coloring page

Eleanor Burke's Wump Mucket Puppets Autumn coloring page.

 

 

I love how she came up with an Autumn themed coloring page that features all of the Wump Mucket Puppets characters.

 

 

 

Next we have the rough draft,  drawn by my very artistic wife Lara:

Wump Mucket Puppets Autumn coloring sheet rough draft

Lara's rough draft for the Autumn coloring page

 

Lara expanded on Eleanor’s idea of the puppets popping up out of a pile of leaves.  Did you ever do that as a child?  Or perhaps you still do.  Go ahead, admit it, leaves can be fun.

 

 

 

Finally we have the finished coloring page:

Wump Mucket Puppets Autumn coloring page 2011

The finished Wump Mucket Puppets Autumn Coloring page by Lara Rumizen.

 

I added the Wump Mucket Puppets logo so our friends, new and old, will remember our little puppet troupe.  I am very lucky to have two very talented ladies in my family that help make the puppets look great.

 

 

 

We would love to see your completed Wump Mucket Puppets coloring pages!  We’ll even add a few to our fan page of the website to share with the world.

Parents, email a photo of your child’s completed Wump Mucket Puppets coloring page, along with your child’s first name and age to wumpmucket @ fuse.net