Thursday, April 28, 2011


by Heywood McGillicuddy, Company Chair:
Becky's old car
Out with the old...

The Sweetie Pie Press' kickstarter fundraising campaign closed yesterday, and we're pleased to report it's success. Through the miracle that is the internet, and the collective goodwill of friends and strangers alike, the Sweetie Pie Press 2011 Summer tour is back on track.

Becky's new car
... In with the new.

The Misanthrope Specialty Co. officially tips its hat and twirls it moustache at those who purchased the Company-made goods donated to the cause. All of the Unflattering Portraits, the original illustrations, and many of the limited edition prints were promptly scooped up almost as quickly as they were offered. We thank you for helping us help the Sweetie Pie Press help itself.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011


by Talullah Lastname, Company Clerk:

Not long ago, on this very web log, the Company reported on the Sweetie Pie Press' recent loss.

Detail from "3 151 445 km"
"315 144.5 Km" by the men and women of the Company

The demise of Becky Johnson's car had taken an unexpected and sizable bite out her budget, putting her summer touring plans in jeopardy. Determined, she launched a fundraising campaign through the Kickstarter website.

In the hopes of raising the $6500 needed to get the show back on the road, the Sweetie Pie Press is offering a plethora of rewards incentives in exchange for pledges. The principal is not unlike PBS' sponsorship pledge drives, except that what the Sweetie Pie Press is offering in exchange for your support might be a little more appealing than Coronation Street tote bags or Dr.Who coffee mugs.

Unflattering Portrait
(Unflattering couple's portrait by Reverend Aitor)

As a matter of fact, the good Reverend Aitor has come out of hiding to offer up some very special incentives of his own.

Two lucky sponsors can opt to receive an 8 x 10" single Unflattering Portrait for a pledge of $50. Given that the starting price for a 4.25 x 5.5" portrait is $35, the Company feels this is a particularly good value. Also on the table, for a pledge of $100, is one 8 x 10" couples' portrait.

Perhaps of added interest to some is the fact that Aitor will undertake the portraits himself. He's been pulling back from the portraiture game, and turning down most requests for Unflattering Portraits since franchising the project to the M.S.Co. last summer.

"But Wait There's More"
"But Wait; There's More" by the Misanthrope Specialty Co.

After a little further deliberation at tonight's meeting, it was decided that the rest of the misanthropes would not be shown up by Aitor's goodwill gesture. Most of Company is very fond of the Sweetie Pie Press, and empathetic Ms. Johnson's cause. That's why the M.S.Co. is attempting to repay some of its karmic debt by donating some original artwork to the campaign.

illustrations for sale
Available for purchase via the Sweetie Pie Press' Kickstarter
Campaign. Please click on the image for a larger view.

Rust In Pieces, Boris Carloff and 315 144.5 km are both 21.6 x 27.9 cm gouache and ink illustrations, commemorating the death of Ms. Johnson's 1987 Pontiac station wagon. They are each available for respective pledges of $89.99. The Company has also officially licensed a limited run of twentyfour signed and numbered prints of each for $24.00 a piece.
Please bear in mind that this fundraising effort ends on the 28th of April.

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Number of illustration initiated: 30
Number completed: 17
Number inducted:6
Carried over to next week: 2

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011


by Heywood McGuillicuddy, Company Chair:
"Rust In Pieces, Boris Carloff"
"Rust In Pieces, Boris Carloff" by the Misanthrope Specialty Co.

He was a veritable Frankenstein monster. A 1987 Pontiac 6000 pieced together out of other dead cars -- and therefore christened Boris Carloff. He served the Company well, and he will be missed.

outside douglas 003b
Boris in Arizona during the 2008 Sweetie Pie Press/Misanthrope Specialty Co. tour.
(photo courtesy of Becky Johnson)

Boris may not have been an official member of the M.S.Co. fleet, but he put in far more time and covered much more distance in the Company's employ than any one of the misanthropes' vehicles. He belonged to the lovely and intrepid Becky Johnson; proprietor of the Sweetie Pie Press, invaluable ally of the Misanthrope Specialty Co., and sweetheart to the Company's impresario, Reverend Aitor. Becky and Aitor toured North America on joint Sweetie Pie/ M.S.Co. ventures long before the days of the Company convoys.

poor boris handle
Boris' door, paralyzed ever since his altercation with a drunk driver
in Chicago.
(photo courtesy of Becky Johnson)

Despite the fact that he'd been running around with a bashed in door for years due to a scarcity of replacement body parts, Boris has been a real trooper. In all his years of faithful service, he rarely complained, and refused to show his age. Last summer, some of the misanthropes had the privilege of watching Boris' odometer turn over to 300,000 km on the way from Albuquerque to Los Angeles. It was a metric milestone, and heartily celebrated. But Boris was ailing.

albuquerque to los angeles (167)b

albuquerque to los angeles (168)b
Boris turning 300,000(photos courtesy of Becky Johnson)

Boris was finally showing signs of fatigue. He may only be twentyfour years old in human years, but that's closer to one hundred in car years, and seven years of crisscrossing the continent have taken their toll. Every effort had been made to keep him healthy and running. Had a fantastac mechanic looking after him. But now his oil tank keeps filling up with coolant, and the old boy just won't hunt anymore. It's time to put him down.

craft car 002b
Outside of Kansas City, on the 2009 tour. (photo courtesy of Becky Johnson)

This sudden loss has come as something of a blow to all who loved him, but especially, both emotionally and financially, to Ms.Johnson, whose 2011 touring plans are now under threat. Having to purchase a new vehicle significantly ups the startup costs of embarking on another four-month roadtrip. But Becky Johnson doesn't take things lying down. Just ask Aitor.

The always resourceful Sweetie Pie Press is taking its campaign to the online funding platform known as Kicktarter, and you can be a part of it.

No donation is too small or too great. All manner of crafty rewards an incentives are being offered up to those willing to donate, and help raise the seed money needed to kick off this summer's Sweetie Pie Press North American expedition. The Company urges you to find out more about it by visiting the Sweetie Pie Press Kickstarter project page. And if you're somehow unfamiliar with the Sweetie Pie Press' escapades, Becky chronicles her travels on her blog.

midwest driving
Driving through Pennsylvania, or maybe Indiana. (photo by Reverend Aitor)

Becky and her blog have been an inspiring resource to many an aspiring craft-making bindlestiff. She has personally been a great help to the Company on its own travels. The misanthropes would probably never have begun their extensive touring had it not been for the example she'd set, lessons she'd passed on, and contacts she'd shared. We will not allow this bump in the road keep her from satisfying her raging wanderlust.

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