A reading from my book, Snotgrass.
Maine Humor by J.E.Moores.
I always wanted to write a humorous memoir about growing up in Maine during the late 60’s and early 70’s, and so I did with my first book, Snotgrass. This is a reading from the first chapter in that book called, Meet The Flanders.
I was born in 1964. It was a really crazy time in history. Maine seemed isolated from the violence of the civil rights movement, the assassination of JFK, and the sexual revolution. Maine seemed more like Norman Rockwell’s 1950’s. An idealized world where kids still walked to school all by themselves, and played outside with other kids unsupervised until dark. We didn’t have seat belts, the internet, iPhones, or YouTube, and we were just fine.
I was in love with comic books, MAD magazine, Sid and Marty Krofft’s Land of the Lost, Godzilla, Planet of the Apes, building tree forts, and writing and drawing our own comic strips during study hall ~ or we’d skip recess like total geeks and draw in the school’s library! I still love to draw comics.
My grandmother supported anything to do with reading and writing, so she often took me to the Rockland, Maine Greyhound Bus Station to browse comic books and the sci-fi fantasy horror magazines. I have put together a ton of family photos from that time, and have mashed it all together in the video above for your viewing entertainment. Thanks again, Jay ~
Rattler #1 for you all to enjoy.
I have been an Arts and Crafts camp counselor since 1984. This past summer I thought it would be fun to make an underground newspaper with our campers age 8-15. I wanted to give our photo department a boost with a ‘zine project mixed with a class in making comics. This way campers could draw, photograph, write, and create games, and have it all bound together into our own magazine.
Our camp already has an official yearbook called The Tattler, so we called our project, The Rattler. Those that contributed became Vipers interviewing counselors at picnic lunch, drawing snarky cartoons during rest hour, and Photoshopping things that never happened. Here is our first fun filled issue from summer 2017.
I have been an arts and crafts camp counselor for most of my summers since 1984. Working in the woods and along the lakes of Maine during summers have been the best days of my life. I like working in the art room with kids so I can steal all their great ideas. Over time my own daughter became one of the campers, so here we are getting into two generations at camp.
On my way to pre-camp set up each season, I am busy getting the art room ready as my daughter and wife stay home until it’s time for the kids to arrive a week or so after me. This happens to fall on Fathers’ Day, so each summer as I pack up to leave for camp my family have a little Fathers’ Day celebration before I go.
In our kitchen there is a chalk board. I love to cook, but I’m a horrible namer. I like to write my horrible entrees on this chalkboard. My version of Emphysema Lambada is delicious, it just has a horrible name. I don’t go a week without making a big batch of Bodarg-a-larg. The kids love it.
Often, after a meal, I like to doodle on this same chalkboard. I like to make something kooky, so the last thing my daughter sees in the morning on her way to school is something fun and up lifting.
Well, on this fine evening I wanted to draw a new character. I remember it well. I wanted to make the simplest creature I could. Sort of a Yupapotamus mixed with a Swamp Bogger… but simplified until it was only what it needed to be. I started to draw a rectangle with a face, but I gave it four little stumpy legs.
Wiggly Loaf was born on our chalkboard, and we had our Fathers’ Day party and all went off to sleep so I could get up early for that long drive to camp. But you know what? By morning that crazy girl of mine had stayed up late and felted a nifty 3D version of Wiggly Loaf for me to take to camp. It was my Fathers’ Day gift so I wouldn’t be all alone my first week of camp. I now had Wiggly Loaf to keep me company.
When I got to camp I was so taken with The Loaf I decided to make “Don’t Get Weird” posters and put them up all over camp. In no time Wiggly Loaf was friends with everyone. Soon campers were making Wiggly Loaf comics, plush toys, necklaces, hand carved stamps, and screening T shirts. Sometimes I post Wiggly Loaf art up at: JEMTOY.bigcartel.com for those that love and celebrate the Loaf in their life.
During the winters I make memes, sharing them with friends from camp, and their friends. It doesn’t stop there. Getting Wiggly is for everyone, so I invite you to share, like, follow our social media pages, and post Wiggly Loaf Fan Art using: #wigglyloaf so we can all get Wiggly!
Kay Stephens was kind enough to photograph and interview Malaya and I now that we’re conducting book readings of Snotgrass. Check out the Pen Bay Pilot’s article! Snotgrass is available as a paperback book on Amazon for only $6.99 – buy several copies and hand them out to all your weirdo friends! Yeah!
My reading of Snotgrass at the Camden Library was completely taken over by the Time Brats! What a hoot it was to make so much noise inside a library. We all took turns telling strange tales of mythical Maine beasts. The night turned into all of us sharing stories told to us by our grandparents and elders. I heard about several old Maine story tellers: Buckwheat Shed and Frisco Ireland, strange tall tales of bear hunting at the Houlton dump, and how to catch Bigfoot using peanut butter. We made up a new local monster and called it the Camden Crawler. Here the kids display the handmade Swamp Boggers I brought along. Thanks one and all for coming out on a rainy Maine evening!
Check out the Camden Time Brats in action: