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Christmas 2019 - In Loving Memory of Caroll Spinney

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Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa! May we never lose sight of the messages of love and joy we learned from a big, yellow bird.

After the saddening death of beloved Muppet actor Caroll Spinney, I knew I wanted to honor his memory. I think my favorite performance of his was from one of my favorite Christmas specials of all time: A Muppet Family Christmas.

A Muppet Family Christmas delivers exactly what it promises: a Christmas-themed get-together, featuring all the major Muppet franchises - the main Muppets, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Muppet Babies characters - coming together as a family. The TV screen in this picture shows off Big Bird's big scene with Swedish Chef. I don't want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it's one of my favorite Muppet moments ever, and makes this special a must-watch.

Big Bird's quote here is hardly profound, unlike other quotes I've used for past Christmas fillers. But like Big Bird himself or a good Christmas moment, what makes it special is its simplicity and its message of love. That's the kind of message I want to send this year.

I also went with a simple, quiet Christmas moment for this scene: Enticia/Rose and her family, just sitting together and watching a Christmas special together in their PJs.

Despite the simplicity of the concept and quote, drawing this picture wasn't so simple. I wound up using an online stock photo to pose my characters, and sketched it with pencil and paper (Which, admittedly, is often easier to sketch with than a drawing tablet) and e-mailed a photo of it to myself, which I then inked and colored digitally. I needed to go back and use a lot of references for the Greene family's designs/colors.
Gonna be honest; I forgot I gave Violet blue eyes. While her appearance was mostly inspired by Tyra Banks, I'm fairly certain her eyes are inspired by Kristen Wilson. Violet and Rose have the same robes they've worn in previous strips. Daisy's PJ's are a Christmas-ified version of her butterfly-pony nightgown. Leif's PJ's are loosely based on some of my own holiday pajamas.

I added an unlit Kinara in the background, as Kwanzaa takes place the day after Christmas, and therefore the candles wouldn't be lit yet.

Well, I guess that just about takes care of the commentary, minus an important closing... No matter how sad or stressful things get, there's always something good, pure, and magical at the heart of the season. While I hope you will take time to think of others this holiday season, no matter what you celebrate, I also hope that you will take time to slow down, enjoy the present, and be thankful for whatever you've been given in life. To all those reading this, I wish you peace, love, and joy this holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa!

Next week: My annual New Year's filler!

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