Monkey Puppet is a fun website project from Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales. He’s partnered with Focus on the Family to create online daily episodes combining animation, puppetry, and live action to present Biblical concepts to kids in fun and entertaining ways. Sort of like a Christian Sesame Street. It’s really fun stuff!

Much of the site’s content is populated by puppet characters. Recently Phil hired me to create a new monkey puppet for a bit he was working up for the show. He sent me some rough thumbnail doodles and photos of the two puppet characters the monkey would be interacting with. My job was to work up a final design for the puppet, one that would look good next to the other two puppets and feel like it came from the same “puppet world” that they inhabit.

I started with a round of rough thumbnails, playing with various shapes and proportions without deviating too far from the rough design I was given:

Phil picked a design he liked and I sent him some possible color choices. After a few emails back and forth I worked up this final turnaroud for the puppeteer:

Phil recently sent me a photo of the final puppet, and with his permission I’m posting it here:

I don’t know when the episode will go live. When it does it will likely only be available to Jelly Telly subscribers. But if I can get permission I’ll post a screen shot or two.

VeggieTales Creator Launches New Series (Video Trailer)

A few days ago I blogged about a new series from the Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, called “What’s In The Bible?”. Here’s a short video introducing the series:

I’ve had the honor of doing some animation work on the series (including the puppet choir shown in the video). Volumes 1 and 2 will go on sale in Christian bookstores on or around March 1.

You can get the latest info, as well as follow “What’s In The Bible?” on Facebook and Twitter, by visiting the official site.

“VeggieTales” Creator To Launch New Series

VeggieTales is the best selling direct-to-video series of all time. Phil Vischer, the guy who created VeggieTales, has partnered with Focus on the Family to create a new DVD project rolling out in March called What’s In The Bible? The official website has just launched, including a video teaser.

What’s In The Bible? is a multi-part series that will walk through the Bible from cover to cover using a combination of puppets, animation, and live action to answer such questions as “Who wrote this book?”, “How did we get it?”, “Why do we think we can trust it?”, and “What difference does it make in my life?”   The first two volumes, “In the Beginning” and “Let My People Go”, will be available March 1. Look for them in your local Christian bookstore. I imagine you’ll also be able to order them online.

I had the privilege of doing a bit of animation for the series. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some of that work here in the future. I can’t reveal much about it yet but the segments I worked on were very entertaining and smartly written, presenting substantive content in amusing ways. It was a lot of fun to work on and I’m really excited about the potential of this project.

For the latest info visit the official website. You can also follow What’s In The Bible? on Twitter and Facebook.

EDIT: Here’s a short video introducing the series…

Happy Easter!

Today is Good Friday, the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. “Good Friday” seems like an odd name one of the most bloody and tortuous executions in human history. How could such a horrific event be “good”?

Because Jesus suffered and died for your sins. He paid for your crimes, then rose from the dead. He can forgive you, cleanse you, and give you eternal life. And that’s good news!


A couple of years ago I illustrated a cartoon gospel tract to help explain it. So far about two million copies have been printed and its been translated into eight different languages. The tract is copyright-free (I make no royalties) so you can read it for free online. (If you know a ministry that would like to print and distribute the tract, or would like to help with a translation, click here.)

Good Friday is about death, but Easter is about resurrection. If Jesus died and stayed dead, then Christianity is a joke and we might as well close the church doors. But if he did rise from the dead, then his claim to be the Son of God is really true. For you skeptics out there, you may be surprised to know that unlike ghost stories and fairy tales, there is strong, intelligent evidence that the resurrection really did happen. I challenge you not to dismiss Jesus and his claims until you have checked out all the facts.

Thanks for indulging this “preachy” post. Now go eat some jelly beans and have a happy Easter!


Some freelance projects have tight deadlines. Others move at a slower pace.

Way back in Spring of 2005 I was contacted by a publisher to illustrate a series of children’s books designed to help kids understand various Christian concepts. Since there was no real rush our understanding was that I could set it aside to work on other more urgent projects when necessary. It was nice to have a large project that I could work on at a somewhat relaxed pace, and the client was terrific to work with.

The first book, What Your Nose Shows, was about Creationism (or Intelligent Design, if you will). The author, Ray Comfort, wrote a some rhyming text about the nose and how it’s very existence points to a Creator.

A few months after finishing the first book I was hired to start a second one. Scratch and Sniff was about a cat named Scratch and a dog named Sniff. The lesson had to do with disobedience (sin) and our need for a Savior. We decided it would be fun to make this an actual “scratch and sniff” book, with a different scratchable scent on every page.

Eventually it was decided that since the first book was about the nose, it should also be scratch-and-sniff. So after completing the second book we went back and re-worked the first one to incorporate smells into the story.

Finally, after over a year-and-a-half both books were ready to go to the publisher.

Printing with scratch-and-sniff inks turned out to be a complicated process and resulted in several more delays. Eventually the books were printed overseas and now, nearly three years after the project was begun, the books are finally available for purchase. (Click to buy What Your Nose Shows and Scratch and Sniff).

Here are the covers and a couple of sample pages from each book. They are taken from different parts of each book so the text won’t make sense, but you can get an idea of what the art looks like: