Pumuckl und Ellis Kaut


Pumukel – პუმუკელ – Pumiki – Voroojak – hans Pilfinger – Frou Frou ΦΡΟΥ-ΦΡΟΥ – Pumukli – Pumuky – Pumuckl

Ein schwerer Monat für Liebhaber von Kinderliteratur, in dem wir von einer weiteren Autorin Abschied nehmen, der Erfinderin des rotschopfigen Pumuckl – einem frechen kleinen Kobold. Dieser bleibt in einer bayrischen Schreinerwerkstatt kleben und, nun sichtbar für den Schreinermeister Eder, muss er nach altem Klabauterbrauch dort bleiben und stellt dessen Welt gründlich auf den Kopf…


Turns out to be a rough month for children’s literature, as we wave goodbye to another beloved author who gave us flamy-haired Pumuckl, a cheeky little hobgoblin who get’s stuck on a pot of glue in the workshop of a Bavarian carpenter, thus becoming visible to this one human. Now they are stuck with each other, according to ancient goblin rites. The goblin moves in and shakes up everything around him.

Pumuckl’s temper ranges between good-natured and easily incensed. He is playing tricks all the time causing wrongs he then often tries to right, because at the bottom of his not so very dark goblin heart, he is a dear wee fella that simply has to learn what his behaviour causes for others. And all that without taking your eyes out with a big moral finger being pointed.

With children’s entertainment aimed to excite more than to illuminate for some time now, this simple method of storytelling may seem a little tame to some today. However, Pumuckl embodies the overboarding enthusiasm, naivety and charm of children, together with their selfish streak inevitably present in everyone, but never out of malice. He is left to express himself and explore his little world but also learns about consequences of his actions. As things unfold, matters are being explained and amends are being made, including nasty humans being scared, there is always something to be learned, always something to be taken on board. Not always easy for a former ship’s goblin.

Pumuckl is playing with words, too: Rhyming and bursting into happy songs horrible to behold, and swapping letters, mashing up syllables with his screetchy voice, while he is learning new words and things all the time.

He is probably the only children’s book character I know of, who combines hyperactive talking with a passion for words only rivalled by, possibly, Stephen Fry. Who is, of course, not a character from a book, but him and books, children’s books, audiobooks, words, letters and character simply go together. And if he did not exist, someone would have to invent him. We don’t have to, luckily, as nature was so gracious as to invent him for us.
And that is what Ellis Kaut, passed away now in her 95th year, did for us when she created her little flame-haired creature. Pumuckl has enriched the landscape of characters from kiddies books, and safe be he from diets and boring dialogue!
Go on, goblining!


22nd September 2015: WORLD RHINO DAY!

Today is WORLD RHINO DAY! Didn’t know there was any such thing? Me neither, until very recently.

WorldRhinoDay,   I blogged this before – but as today’s the day… here we go again. Hoping to upload an updated version before the day is out. Please enjoy and leave your comments!


Aware there was a charity supported by the likes of sourly missed Douglas Adams, who used to climb mountains in a rhino suit in order to raise awareness, and the thankfully still very much alive Neil Gaiman, I looked them up on the net.

So, on checking the organisations site www.savetherhino.org I realized the event was coming up in leaps and bounds, like a very, very enthusiastic rhino charging towards you.

I had so much fun drawing these characters and I believe it shows.

Chicken or Egg? – Huhn oder Ei?

Was war zuerst da? - Which was first?
Was war zuerst da? – Which was first?

Well, science – not having the answer to everything – has answers to a number of topics. And sometimes these answers are changing.
What is thrust at you today with utmost confidence may raise eyebrows or levels of hilarity of coming generations or just a few tweets away.
A little bird told me, it was the chicken that came before the egg.
This age-old enigma predating mankind itself, as it must have hatched together when the first little beak broke its way trough a calcium carbonate shell, and humankind was then yet nowhere to be seen on the horizon, has finally been unravelled?
Who was there to witness that crucial event? Sitting in a tree would have made it easier for early man to observe the hatching process and taking first bets on whether broiler or omelette had supreme rights to enter the food chain before the other. But we probably hadn’t shaken the dust off our shoes, or the mud from our fins, when that happened. Paleontologists will know better than me.
As with most things in life, it comes down to a simple ‘either – or’ scenario.
But even if the ‘chicken or egg’-question seems to have been resolved (for now), this still does not answer, why the chicken did cross the road. And the answer to this question could easily be personally motivated and is that much harder to answer.
Timewise, the crossing probably happened some time after the hatching, before a great keenness for infrastructure overcame us humans. Unless the chicken had put all its eggs into one basket. Still, the road would have had to be there first.
Very defining, though. Humans, we always got to find a way, don’t we?

And I need to find a way to show ideas in a way that portrays how, why and in whose company the chicken crosses the road in a way that seems strangely familiar, makes you smirk or chuckle and that does not make its carcasse stewing in a drawer for ages to come.
So, I am looking to find a way for a simple cartoon style with a point of getting an idea across and a more polished style leaning more towards illustration, that I can afford to lose myself in detail in for a while.
Either way, I hope you like what you see when crossing my path! The path being blaustift.wordpress.com

Expect to be waylaid by pictures and ponderings.
And if something coming towards you from an unexpected direction it is hopefully just a punchline.


sealions (922x1024)
Happy sealions

This is part of an illustration experimenting with a combination of materials and effects.

The quick sketch was drawn and base colour washes of blue ink applied, then refined using white couloured pencil for laying down highlights, the foreground was done using marker. The scan was then enhanced digitally, strengthening the highlights and adding the background.

For the time it took as an exercise I am reasonably happy, not quite as happy as the seals are..