H.o.p. at 14



December 2nd was H.o.p.’s birthday. We went out to eat at one of his favorite restaurants then enjoyed his cake with family. He had a great day, he says. And it looked to me like he did.

Portrait of H.o.p. and Aku, 2005

Portrait of H.o.p. and Aku, 2005
Portrait of H.o.p. and Aku, 2005
View On White

The devotion of a child to a toy is a funny thing. H.o.p. loved that Aku and did many drawings of it. When it broke (and he was careful with it, but the toy was fairly flimsy) we carefully glued it together again. When it again later broke we tried glue again. Eventually I remember his using Play Doh modeling clay to try to hold it together, and when that eventually failed he tried twine and glue.

2011 Dragoncon – Aaron with Owly’s Creator Andy Runton

2011 Dragoncon - Aaron with Andy Runton

Here’s H.o.p. with Owly’s creator, Andy Runton, who was extremely nice to H.o.p. and gave him all kinds of helpful advice.

Dragoncon ended yesterday and Aaron’s floating on Cloud 9 today. It was a great year with everything he learned from Bakshi and Runton.

Plus he got to hear Wil Wheaton and Slyvester McCoy yesterday and met Brent Spiner. Nothing to do with comics and animation but on the final day it was fun to just attend a few presentations only for entertainment’s sake and hear some funny stories. Wil Wheaton and Syvester McCoy were quite humorous (I knew Wheaton would be, I recommended they see him). They never got to see Brent Spiner at a talk but briefly greeted him at his table and Aaron was able to tell him how much he’s enjoyed his acting.

Special Moments at 2011 DragonCon

H.o.p. and Ralph Bakshi. 2011 DragonCon.

Long before H.o.p. was born I was taping those Ralph Bakshi episodes of “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse” to make sure I had them when they were no longer airing.

Then here was H.o.p. and it was obvious he was on the art track. I pulled out those Bakshi tapes and made them a big part of his animation appreciation from early on. I put them on. Said, “This, now this is some great animation, courtesy Ralph Bakshi.” And he loved them, memorizing all the episodes that I had.

This was H.o.p.’s third year at Dragoncon. And who was there this year? Ralph Bakshi. Talk about dreams come true. All H.o.p. could think about was how Bakshi was going to be there. Every day was planned around when Ralph Bakshi would be presenting. H.o.p. had me sit down and watch “Wizards” with him in preparation. He made it an official, totally devoted screening of “Wizards” so we could discuss it together. He wasn’t going to let me be distracted by anything else. And discuss it we did. He kept stopping it to talk about it.

He was determined to buy Bakshi merch, too, to help support Bakshi’s new animation. H.o.p. has seen how we try to support in our little ways what other artists do, and I don’t know if that’s influenced him or if he’s a natural for it but all he could talk about was wanting to buy Bakshi merch to help out.

He did a drawing for Bakshi.

H.o.p.’s going to remember 2011 Dragoncon for a long time to come, as can be attested by this photo of him with Ralph Bakshi.

I had no idea those many years ago when I was taping those Mighty Mouse episodes that one day there would be H.o.p. and he would be a Bakshi freak, would meet Bakshi at 2011 DragonCon, and that Ralph Bakshi would turn out to be such a fantastic soul!!!

Thank you to Ralph Bakshi for such great, educational presentations and for taking the time out to give encouragement to a devoted Bakshi fan and hopeful future animator.

Wish I could have been there but DragonCon is expensive so H.o.p’s dad has always taken DragonCon duty for some good father-son time. Maybe next year.

P.S. You can order Wizards through Bakshi’s website. And the New Adventures of Mighty Mouse is now available at Amazon.

H.o.p.’s 2011 DragonCon Costume

H.o.p.'s 2011 DragonCon Costume
H.o.p.’s 2011 Dragoncon Costume
View On Black

Yes, it may look like a cape/cloak and a felt top hat, but to H.o.p.’s mind, even at thirteen, it is so much more, and he spent at least a couple of months contemplating and planning his outfit, abandoning here and there an elaboration which he realized he wouldn’t be quite able to implement as he doesn’t have the know how, and I don’t have the know how. We finally purchased the cape from a woman on Etsy, and it turns out to be a very good and solid cape, very well made, and fits him so perfectly I doubt that he will be able to wear it past this year. H.o.p. had a cartoon figure in mind that he had hopes of decorating the cape and hat to imitate, but comprehending finally that the cartoon figure would never translate into reality, he settled on the staples: the hat, the cape, the white gloves. And he is happy with it.