Tag Archives: Ethan Hurd

Airbrush that Minivan, Please

OK, since the last photo got lots of comment, I can’t resist adding this one. Again, it’s my son and his daughter in a museum. Right after the photo was taken, they were told “you can’t do that” by a guard. Ethan, my son, puzzled a moment and asked why not. “This is a museum, not a playground,” was the answer.

“In our family we ________(fill in the blank).

We can fill in the blank, because we’ve all been told that in our family we do certain things in certain ways. I’m assuming the guard’s family only has fun in appropriate places like playgrounds. The danger is that once we’ve decided what it is that we do, as a family or an individual, we resist other choices.

I have a good friend who never-ever thought of herself as the tan-minivan-type. When she had three kids under the age of seven and the only car she could afford was a used tan-minivan, she seriously thought about not leaving her house for the next five years. Her solution?

She scraped together enough cash to have flames airbrushed on the sides of the minivan and then drove it until it had to be towed to the junkyard because, by that time, she had become known as the cool mom with the flaming van.

Story has a powerful hold on us. We expect our lives to turn out like the stories we’ve heard. If those stories don’t include clowning in museum or driving a dull car, we won’t.

How do you______ (fill in the blank)? Is the result freeing or restrictive?


Filed under Family Stories, Funny story, Story Motif, Story pegs, Why Stories?

Comic Books–Don’t Knock ’em

My younger son, now the father of two daughters,  just booked his room for this year’s Comic-Con. He goes every year for the pure love of it, always has, but, these days, he also counts it as a business expense. Animation is his game and he has managed to build an impressive filmography. Google Ethan Hurd. 

I wish his fourth grade teacher could see him now. 

At a parent-teacher conference, she criticized me for letting my son waste so much time reading comic books. Feeling defensive, I remember saying “at least he’s reading something.”  No good. She insisted that he didn’t “read” them, he “looked” at them, and if he was going to succeed in life, he needed to be doing better things with his time.

Back at the house, I asked him to read one of his comic books to me. Teacher was right. He wasn’t reading the words, but he was excited to share how the images worked to create a story. The more he talked the more I realized that he understood the graphics in ways I’d never noticed. In fact, I was blown away and immediately doubled his comic book allowance. Although I did suggest that, maybe, he shouldn’t take them to school.

He’s still teaching me about how images can create wordless stories. He just forwarded this video as a prime example. It’s wonderful!!!! Enjoy.

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.


Filed under Family Stories, Funny story, Uncategorized