Cece & Sam’s Halloween Day 31 – CONTEST – win a Cece Bell original


Happy Halloween, folks!

We’ve had a great time this month (click here to see previous Halloween posts) and hope you’ve gotten in the proper Halloween spirit by now.

If not, maybe you better head on over to Plastic Pumpkins to see what his Halloween month finale is. He’s had some great stuff this month! Plus, he has a story arc going! Man, I didn’t even think of that.

Anywho, let’s celebrate Halloween by GIVING AWAY this lovely Sock Monkey Halloween drawing from the lovely hand of Cece Bell herself.

To enter, send an email to sam (at) riddleburger (period) com suggesting a name for this brand new, just carved pumpkin, also by Cece Bell. Enter as many names as you wish to increase your chances of winning….


Whatever his name is, he bids you and this Halloween month a fond farewell. Thanks for reading….


Baconburg Horror Week – Wolf-o-lantern


 Here it is folks, the incredible Baconburg Horror Pumpkin*:


*Okay, fair enough. It’s NOT the Baconburg Horror. It’s actually the werewolf from “I was a Second Grade Werewolf.” Also by Pinkwater and clearly drawn by either himself of his wife Jill Pinkwater. The book doesn’t say. I’m leaning towards it being a Mr. Pinkwater production, but the werewolf does seem to have some Jill-ness about him.

Oddly, if you go a’searching on Google for the cover of “I was a…” instead of finding a picture of the werewolf, you find this guy:

Cece and Sam’s Halloween – Day 30


Baconburg Horror Week – Finding the Dickensian in the Pinkwaterian

 I’m not a big fan of analyzing books or “taking the fun out of reading” as it’s also known.

However, sometimes it can add to the fun if your thesis is (a) crazy and (b) maybe, just maybe correct. (Perhaps you’re familiar with my theory that The Hobbit and LOTR are basically The Pickwick Papers.*)

Today we compare two other Great Books: Bleak House and The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror.


To keep things straight, I’ll refer to Bleak House as B.H. and the Baconburg Horror as B.H.

* Both BH & BH switch between first person and omniscient narration.

* Both feature multiple, independently operating detectives zeroing in on the same mystery.

* Scott Feldman and Mr. Guppy share many similarities: They are not evildoers, yet the main characters despise them. They have misplaced pride in their attire. They suffer embarrasing attachment to a parent. And have hopeless love for the heroine. Furthermore, I conjecture that had there been a BugWorld in London, Mr. Guppy would have shopped there.

* Lastly, both books feature a major league pig-out in the BOOTH of a diner. Yes, each author clearly paints the picture of a booth. And it’s a feast with a plot-rattling conversation, to boot.

 Let’s compare: 

Dicken’s characters chow down at place called “slap bang:”

Chick [young Smallweed], out of the profundity of his artfulness, preferring “veal and ham and French beans–and don’t you forget the stuffing, Polly” (with an unearthly cock of his venerable eye), Mr. Guppy and Mr. Jobling give the like order.  Three pint pots of half-and-half are superadded. 

Pinkwater’s characters eat a spot called The Deadly Nightshade Diner — We Never Close:

“Gus — a triple order of borgelnuskies, if you please, and topped with confectioner’s sugar, pinapple slices and instant-whip as usual!”


Which man wrote the following sentence?

“Quickly the waitress returns bearing what is apparently a model of the Tower of Babel but what is really a pile of plates and flat tin dish-covers. ”

Yes, it’s Dickensian, but it’s also Pinkwaterian! The answer?

B.H., of course.

*By the by, if you took my book The Qwikpick Papers you could find many such similarities between BOTH the Baconburg Horror and The Pickwick Papers.

Cece and Sam’s Halloween – Day 29

I’ve been saving these for near the end, because they are SO great! These are the last batch of drawings I’ll feature from Cece’s Sock Monkey Halloween Card.


This was made more than 10 years ago, I think. Long before the books came out. Maybe even before she had thought of the first book. Cece makes stuff like this for her friends all the time. (If you’d like to get in on the action, join the Sock Monkey Fan Club in time for this year’s Christmas Card. It’s going to be a good one!)

Cece & Sam’s Halloween – DAY 28! Turn away!

Where’s the picture?

It’s here: hall28.jpg


It’s so horrible, so terrifying, so flesh crawling, so awful that I can’t just post it without warning you first.

Remember that button-eyed Other Mother from Coraline?

She doesn’t hold a candle to Inside-Out Mustache Doll Head.

From somewhere I got several mustache doll heads. These seemed to be girl doll heads with a mustache painted on them so they could be sold as man heads.

One day an ancient evil possessed me and a voice said “Sam… Sam….  turn the head inside out! In return I will help you write the greatest book ever written (The Qwikpick Adventure Society, as it happens) but first you must turn the head inside out.”

It wasn’t easy, but I did it and now you can see the horror that I’ve let loose upon the world. (I’m talking about the doll head, not Qwikpick!)

Let Baconburg Horror Week Begin!


In accordance with Halloween protocol, we hereby devote this week to the greatest Werewolf story ever told.

Do I refer to Lupin? No, but that is a great story.

Do I refer to a werewolf walking through Soho in the rain looking for Lee Ho Fook’s? No, but that is a great story.

Do I refer to the Thundarr the Barbarian werewolf battle? No, but that is a great story.

Do I refer to Teen Wolf II? No I do not.

Of course, I refer to “The Snarkout Boys and the Baconburg Horror.”

(Yes, True Snarkout Fans, yes. I know you’re raising a technical objection. To mention it here might be something of a spoiler, so let’s just drop it, okay?)

My plan is to celebrate the week with brilliant commentary (anyone care to write some?), culinary delights (anyone have the recipe for Borgelnuskies?), fan art and, of course, end up with a little poetry for Poetry Friday.

 And, I’ll try to score an interview with Daniel Pinkwater.

Let’s start off with something from the book’s opening. Words from the werewolf himself:

“Few creatures, and fewer humans, dream that I exist — and those who know me, know me only as a frightened dream, an imagined flitting dark moment….

 The moon is well into the sky now. The light(s) in the houses are going out. It is almost time for me to begin my running. I tear my civics testbook in two. The binding makes a satisfying snapping sound. I distribute the pages into the night air. They flutter toward earth….

 I rise up on my haunches and announce myself to the night. I give the ancient cry — the howl of the wolfman.”

The next line opens chapter two and was not written by the werewolf (or was it?):

“For more than a year, my friend Winston Bongo and I have been snarking out together.”

If you want to join in the fun, read along with me. If you can’t find the book in stand-alone format:

…you might have an easier time getting your hands on “4 Novels”

….a great Pinkwater collection, that also holds Yobgorgle, which might just be NEXT halloween’s theme.

Cece & Sam’s Halloween – Day 25

I just finished another album cover for The Black Twig Pickers.

I didn’t do the art this time, just the design.

But in honor of that AND Halloween, here’s a rejected album cover from a few years ago…


Halloween Kidlit LOLcat!

Richard Scarry was way ahead of the game when it comes to LOLcats (and OMG Owls).

Here’s one in old-school Golden book style:


Cece & Sam’s Halloween – Day 23

Sock Monkey is furious about the use of that Moldy Sock Monkey Pumpkin a couple of days ago. Sorry, S.M.! Here’s the pre-mold version, carved by Cece, of course:


 Now back to our regular scheduled program, here’s Sock Monkey’s pick for all-time best homemade costume….


We don’t know who this kid is, but I imagine we gave him lots and lots of candy.