Who was that masked man?
Posted on 05 April 2012
About two years ago I was back in Chicago and found myself in one of my all-time favorite stores, Uncle Fun. It's packed with all sorts of amazing junk, from Mexican wrestler masks to 80's movie trading cards with the gum still inside. I was rooting around when I came across a penguin mask that somewhat resembled my logo, which, for reasons lost to time, isn't even a mockingbird. I was going to pass it up, but my wife goaded me into buying it, and I reluctantly parted with the $2. The wife, she's a goader.
I took the mask home, painted over the white patches and painted the beak black. It's almost completely impossible to see out of, and when you wear it for more than 5 minutes you are drowning in sweat and your whole head smells like wet socks. We took the mask to traveling shows; it was good for creeping out strangers and made for some interesting photo ops.
The mask became our mascot. We brought it to the mask-iest place on Earth: Comic-Con. Christian took the initiative decided he would be the Mincing Mockingbird, and he wore the mask around the show floor. People loved it, even though they were confused as to who or what he was supposed to be. They took pictures with him. He danced. He became the Mincing Mockingbird, whatever the hell that was. People were digging it.
Kim and I stayed at the booth, as the Mincing Mockingbird patrolled the show floor. At one point in the bizarre and colorful parade that walked by, two guys walked by dressed as Bert and Ernie. I had to admit, I'd seen better costumes.
Later, Christian was riding up in the elevator to our hotel room, and the other two people in the elevator were Bert and Ernie. Christian mentioned it to us but we didn't think too much about it. After all, I'd seen better costumes. Then, a couple of months later I was reading an article in Esquire about Justin Timberlake.
The article details how Timberlake went undercover as Ernie, accompanied by the writer Chris Jones as Bert. Timberlake had a fantastic time that day, telling Jones, "You're witnessing one of the most memorable days of my life."
Near the end of the article, Jones began detailing the elevator ride with Christian. Here's the excerpt:
"I took off my head to get some air. Timberlake kept his on. In the corner stood a man dressed like a penguin. He had the head of a penguin, at least, and the body of a man. He looked around the elevator, his beak pointing in one direction and then another.
'This is a very strange scene,' the penguin said.
Dude, I thought. You have no idea.'"
We'll be at the 2012 Comic-Con! If you're there, stop by our booth in the Small Press area and say hello. And who knows, you might just see the Mincing Mockingbird dancing in the crowd!