Ride The Walrus!

Ride the Walrus!
Extreme Walrus Juice!

Made from fresh-squeezed walrus! Once again, graphic evidence that somewhere in the writing crew associated with Matt Groening’s various production companies – there is a fan of the walrus. This one’s from Futurama. A semi-interesting aside: When my son was younger and we were swimming, he’d yell out “Ride the Walrus!” and climb on my back to be pulled around the pool. I’ve only seen like 3 episodes of Futurama, but this must have been one of them. As far as my claim that someone associated with Futurama/The Simpsons is a fan of the walrus, allow me to link to my earlier post “Grand Theft Walrus!“…

Buy a T-Shirt with the Extreme Walrus Juice design from Zazzle:

Royce Cobblepot: Incredible Walrus “Furry” Costume

Walrus Furry Mask
Incredible Walrus mask by Northfur
Disclaimer: I am aware of this, but it may be unclear to the reader. THIS picture is not Royce – it is his mask. A smaller less clear picture of Royce is below, but I have since gotten better ones which will post in the future.

You are probably familiar with the pop-culture phenomenon knows as “cosplay” which is short for “costume play” and is a popular pastime for those folks who attend science-fiction/fantasy conventions. Basically, it’s the practice of dressing up as Anime, TV Show/Movie, Cartoon and videogame characters. Some of the costumes are very definitely home-grown and some are professional to a high degree.

There is another subculture of costume wearers out there called “Furries“. This term refers to the community of people who dress as anamorphized versions of animals, and then role-play in their “animal” form. Now beware before you Google this term, there is a strong sexual component to much of the content you’ll find at any “furry” link, and to many people, the term “furry” means those people that get off on that sort of thing.

Having said that, many of these costumes are incredible and some time ago while perusing random photos from some convention I’ve forgotten the name of, I came across this incredible walrus costume.

Royce Cobblepot Costume
Royce Cobblepot

This is the costume of a character called “Royce Cobblepot”, the creation of a fursuiter from Northern Virginia. And here’s the rundown of how the entire costume was made.

Head: The hat was from Party City (a Halloween vampire tophat). The head is a light, breathable latex/spandex mix, made by the friggin’ awesome guys at NorthFur. Visit their site at www.northfur.ca !!! They do an incredible job with everything, and they are wonderful people to work with, even from a great distance. Recently, I applied eye makeup around my eyes to blend my skin in better with the mask, and I think it works well. I still need to adjust the mask for a better fit on my head, but given other matters in my life, that’s taken a lower priority at this time. 🙂 Oh yeah, the glasses are older glasses that I had, which carry a slightly different prescription, so I can still see.
Body: Long-sleeved dress shirt was bought at Ross (oversized). Tie was eBay (Jeffrey Marlin series, I think). The coat is a woman’s long, heavy overcoat with tails from a thrift store. Underneath the shirt, I have layered (from bottom to top) a fake foam potbelly bought from eBay, a pillow wrapped across my chest (under the potbelly’s straps), a stretched undershirt, and the dress shirt. This hides everything nicely, but the fat distribution still looks odd and will definitely need some work later on. I also have an eBay-bought “Vote for Oswald” (from Batman Returns…The Penguin is supposed to be Royce’s long-lost brother) iron-patch on the coat, too.

Flipper hands: About half a yard of brown stretch velvet was cut into patterns that I drew up (I thought it was a crude sketch, but it worked!). A friend of mine sewed them together, and I stuck oven mitts inside, along with pieces of foam to make the flippers “puffier.” They work really nicely, I think, even if the foam needs to be redistributed occasionally. 🙂

Pants: Oversized trousers I found at a thrift store, that fit perfectly with the “fat.” 🙂 However, I need to use suspenders (thrift store again) for safety. The problem is, my shoulders are not broad enough to make sure the suspenders stay on…so dancing or moving wildly can cause them to slip and…*blush* They also are not long enough, so I am currently using “Napoleon Dynamite moon boots” to cover the bottom part of the leg. Spats are in the works.

Feet: Basically big swimming flippers that are snug on my feet (with socks, not barefoot). I cut out two large parts of stretch velvet from the rest of the yard that I bought, with a hole which which to put my foot in. After putting duct tape over the “hole” where the toes come out of the flipper, I covered the flipper with the fabric, then used Perfect Glue 1 (Liquid Nails brand) to glue the edges of the fabric to the bottom of the rubber flipper. THEN, I cut out a thin beige Wal-Mart car floor mat (had to use two separate pieces and “jigsaw” them on the flippers), used a toenail clipper to get rid of all the pegs, and used a 3M spray glue (I forget which kind, but it was COLD) to sandwich the fabric between the flipper and floor mat. I made sure to hold them in place for a whole day, and they seem to have held up perfectly since. Only time, dancing, and much more wild action will reveal how strong they REALLY are, but so far, they’ve been working wonderfully.

Here’s the gallery for the maker of the Mask, a Canadian outfit called “Northfur

Breaking News Update! Between the time that I started this post, and now, who should randomly post a comment on this site but Mr. Royce Cobblepot himself! I was thrilled to get a comment from a “celebrity”, and rather surprised that he should have stumbled across this site when I was literally in the process of writing about him. I’m hoping he’ll agree to a short five-questions interview, and if so I’ll post the results along with links to some videos of Royce in character and in action.

Breaking News Update Update! Royce has kindly agreed to an interview, and commented profusely on the blog! If things remain on schedule, the interview with Royce will post around October 1st or before. Stay tuned. Spread the walrus word and tell your friends about the World Wide Walrus Web!

Ponda Baba: Star Wars’ “Walrus Man”

Walrusman Action Figure
The Walrusman Action Figure package

“Walrusman” was one of the characters in the cantina scene in the Original Star Wars (that’s Episode IV, youngsters). You may not think you remember him, but here’s a clue. He’s the guy who confronts Luke at the bar and ends up getting his arm cut off by Obi Wan Kenobi. “Walrusman” is a nickname, which may well have been coined by Kenner for purposes of naming their action figure. According to online sources, the character wasn’t given a name, species and backstory in the Star Wars universe until 1989. Officially his species is “Aqualish” and the character’s name was “Ponda Baba”, but I’m just glad we have a walrus tie-in with Star Wars here on the blog.

Here’s the character info page on StarWars.com:


Walrus wear for tough guys and gals

Wanna profess your love for the tooth-walkers and still maintain your hip indie street cred? This shirt might do the trick. No one will mess with this walrus!

Voodoo walrus t-shirt
Voodoo Walrus T-Shirt Design

The Voodoo Walrus is a webcomic, which according to their site (and my experience) has “nothing to do with walruses and very little to do with voodoo, the design still remains surreal and iconic in its randomness.” Note that the Voodoo Walrus webcomic is an adult-oriented affair. This doesn’t necessarily mean “adult” in the nudity and cursing sense, but you don’t want to call the kids over…

Here’s a link to where you can buy the shirt @ Red Bubble.com

Very Worried Walrus

Very Worried Walrus Cover
Very Worried Walrus Cover

So I’m over at my girlfriend’s house the other night, checking out all the kids books she has on her bookshelf to see if there’s anything notable that I might want to snag for my son. Lots of random titles, lots of ones I knew and had read already, classics such as The Phantom Toolbooth – and then I came across a title that knocked me back full two steps!

Very Worried Walrus – part of the old Sweet Pickles series. It’s about a Walrus who uh… worries a lot. Didn’t see that coming did you?

First of all, I totally remember this series, since I was 11 years old in 1977 and have a brother that’s five years younger – not to mention a first-grade-teaching mom who’s probably GOT this book. However, that’s not the reason that this book came as such a surprise. For that, we need a short story.

You see, most of my family gives me a hard time about being “very worried” about most things, a trait I gleefully play up whenever I can. I totally identify with the concerns of Walrus related to biking, although I admit he takes it a bit far. It should be noted that he was right about hitting a tree. So I looked at Very Worried Walrus, to paraphrase the quote, and he was me!

Chumley The Walrus

Chumley the Walrus
Chumley the Walrus

So my first commenter, my friend Kristen, who co-runs the very nice boston-area foodblog North Shore Dish left the following comment:

Wow. Now all I can think of is Chumley the Walrus from the Tennessee Tuxedo cartoons. Love the site – nice and clean. Also, cracked up when one of the Google sidebar ads was for “need a carpenter?”

Well, Kristen’s only a year or so older than I am, but I had never heard of Chumley the Walrus, and had only a passing understanding of “Tennessee Tuxedo“, although now that I have the benefit of some Googling behind me, this Tennessee Tuxedo show sounds remarkably similar to my favorite cartoon of all time, “Help! It’s the Hair Bear Bunch

Chumley is portrayed as the dim-witted sidekick, in some ways the equivalent of “Botch” on Hair Bear, and looking at the voice talent from the two shows, the back and forth between the Don Adams-voiced Tennessee Tuxedo and Chumley must have sounded an awful lot like the verbal banter between Botch and Mr. Peevley, the zookeeper on Hair Bear. Although it should be noted that TT had a zookeeper and inept sidekick character as well.

Notable Chumley facts: Apparently Chumley is a South Pole Walrus, the only one of his kind if thats’ the case. Hence the friendship between Chumley and Tennessee Tuxedo I suppose.

What other cartoon Walruses am I missing out on  – I’ve discovered two more since drafting this post, and I’ll get posts up about them very soon.

I Mean, it’s an OK song….

I often have a Twitter search window open for the term Walrus, to keep an eye on topics or items for future posts. It is amazing to me how many times a day, an HOUR, that someone tweets some permutation of “I am the Walrus/koo koo ka joo”. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with the Beatles – but the staying power of that phrase among the non-walrus-blogging public is amazing to me!

The Walrus and The Carpenter: Yeah, I went there…

Like many of you of a certain age, I suspect, my first exposure to Walrus to via the scratchy illustrations accompanying the poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. I either didn’t know, or didn’t remember that this poem was part of “Alice in Wonderland” since that fact surprised me when I re-discovered the poem via Wikipedia when launching this ‘blog.

The poem is in the public domain now, so I’m including it in its entirety, along with the illustration of the mysterious walrus and the oh-so-morose carpenter. Enjoy!

The Walrus and The Carpenter
Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

Grand Theft Walrus

Grand Theft Walrus Screencap

So I’m sitting there innocently watching The Simpsons Movie when out of nowhere comes the greatest video game that never existed, Grand Theft Walrus! An instant classic, to be sure. Obviously not an Atlantic or Pacific Walrus, the Liberty City walrus is clearly on the fast track to nowhere. Here’s some links to relevant reference material, including the clip from the movie.

All this is copyrighted material of course – magic of the Internet at work, here….