Sunday, March 10, 2013

No Frills? No More! Part II

Look up in the sky!  It's a bird, it's a plane, its .... 

As will come of no surprise to many of you, there is no such thing as "many of you." That's because my blog Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute (NOFC) continues to have all the popularity of a firmly hooked brassiere during spring break. 

Frankly, if you took all the fans of NOFC and laid them end to end, I'd have just lost those few fans I have because you had to take them and lay them end to end
!   So don't do it, schmuck! 

Several months ago I decided to spruce up the appearance of my blog in the hopes that cuter looks would better lure readers to the land of the formerly cute. I began to experiment with the shape, format, and colors of the blog site itself, but the results proved disappointing.  In the all-important demographic of "Those Breathing," NOFC's ratings were recorded at a point/share ratio of 0/.0107, indicating that the only people tuned in were those being subjected to political torture in foreign countries.

Next, I looked at the verbiage in my blog header to see if it could perhaps be punched up a bit:

Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute
Celebrating Infrastructure! Yes, this blog is dedicated to those organizational underpinnings and foundations upon which real estate development may be judiciously analyzed and calibrated. We  HEART! water supplysewer systems, storm runoff plans, septic tanks, and the myriad zoning regulations, ordinances, and variances that inexorably and forever inhere and appertain thereto!" 

Nope, no problem there.

Turning my attention to the appearance of the header, I wondered if the words alone --- scintillating though they were --- failed to reach full potential without pictures or graphics.  So I experimented further with a variety of visuals.

I tried Art.

Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute

But I simply couldn't get The Scream to stop screaming for hours afterward.

I tried Great Historical Figures. 

Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute

But Dolores Kearns Goodwin nixed this, concerned that the implication that Abraham Lincoln would ever have associated with me would so diminish his reputation they'd re-award credit for ending slavery to the guy standing closest to him in 1863.

I tried a combination of Art and History.

Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute

At first this header proved truly inspirational, but my continuously coming on to Liberty while she was trying to lead the People finally forced the People to hire former Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid to lead them in her place.

I clearly needed help, so I reached out and found a talented artist and cartoonist in the Philadelphia area named Matt Andrews.  I explained the Baby Boomer concept of the blog to Matt and asked if he could design a cartoon version of me -- a doppelganger, if you will, only this time with black sketch lines outlining my entire body. In real life, of course my body is outlined in purple.

"I'd love to try!" said Matt. "Can you send me a more recent picture of yourself than your avatar?"

"Umm, what makes you think my avatar is not current?"

"The reference to Matthew Brady in the lower left hand corner."

The first few drafts by Matt were not exactly what I had in mind, his comprehension of a Baby Boomer perhaps a wee bit skewed. But over time, he developed the near perfect header for this very imperfect blog.  And in a couple of weeks, the final drawings were completed and officially installed on Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute at a formal stained tie ginger ale reception.     
And now please, everyone, Look up in the sky! Or at least to the top of this blog. It's a bird, it's a plane, it's ... 

It's the new Cartoon Me!  I'm in typical pose under attack by the demon calendar trying to drag me into the days of my dotage while I battle tooth (those that I have left) and nail to return to the days of my youth. But no matter how it all comes out, thank you, Matt Andrews!  

That is, for minimizing my nose.

Has Cartoon Me and the new blog header made any difference?  Nah, NOFC still has all the popularity of a firmly-hooked brassiere on Mindy from Scarsdale during the last day of spring break.   But at least things may be looking up for Cartoon Me.

Lately The Scream's been coming on to him. 

Can Liberty Leading the People be far behind?



June O'Hara said...

I don't need a cartoon picture of you, Perry. You're cute. I don't care what you say.

Perry Block said...

Thanks, June! But check out this post before you say that

Matt Andrews said...

Hey, Perry! Thanks for the shout out.

I think the important take away from this post is that when doing a caricature, you need to contract an artist of unparalleled skill and draftsmanship. A human with such artistic vision that even Da Vinci would break his brushes in despair, and start selling Amway.

And when that artist isn't available, you call me.

Perry Block said...

Wait a minute ... Before I hired you, you told me that you were an artist of unparalleled skill and draftsmanship and had such artistic vision that even DaVinci would break his brushes in despair and start selling Amway.

You mean that was just a joke?!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love! :) Regardless of what you say, I love your blog & sense of humor and liked you having your photo. Now, I can add... love the new cartoon header, as well. ;)
Wishing you much success with your blog. You deserve it.

Perry Block said...

Thank you, Bellanda. You are my favorite American in Paris since Gene Kelly!

Nah, I like you even better!