A couple years ago, ┬áI posted about the creative failure that is the set of blank nesting dolls that has been sitting in the back the closet for over a decade. Then last year, when I had way too much to do and absolutely no free time to myself, I got a random bee in my bonnet. So I hauled my ass to Michael’s craft store and came home with $40 in cheap paint and brushes. Six or so months later, I have my own little monster family of hand-painted nesting dolls.

What is that you say? It’s a little odd for a 36-year-old man to paint himself some wooden dolls with which to play? Just wait until you find out that I named them and gave them all back-stories as well.

Milford’s just a working stiff. He’s got a wife and four kids to feed, after all. He hates his boss and he carries the lunch his wife makes him to work in a pail every day. Milford is just a nickname, though. It was secretly given to him by his seemingly unassuming wife, who lovingly refers to him as her M.I.L.F., where the “M” stands for “Monster” rather than the more-commonly-used “Mother.” His real name is actually Mumford. So he likes coming home to Ethyl.

Ethyl might look meek and slight in demeanor, but she rules the roost. Don’t mess with Ethyl. Also, she’s clearly a dynamo in the sack. She wears her kerchief as a homage to her Russian heritage.

Junior is either the waddling toddler of the family or the mentally-deranged uncle, depending on my mood. Either way, a lot of drool is ┬áinvolved, and the shenanigans always start when someone’s watchful eye is distracted long enough for him to sneak out the porch door and terrorize the neighborhood.

Missy is sixteen. She’s hot, but she knows it, so she’s also a bitch. Which is why she’s named Missy. All Missys are bitches, hot or not. She’s grounded right now, and her boyfriend is the boss’ son. He’s a buffoon but at least it irks good ol’ dad.

Ethyl’s mother is just visiting from Scottsdale. Milford can’t wait for her to leave, but Missy likes having her around, because she pays for fast food and takes Missy’s side on everything. Little does Missy know that there will be no trust fund for the kiddies, though. She’s left all her monies to some conservative church that hates abortion.

Pete’s a brat with a Justin Bieber haircut. No one pays him enough attention, what with that bitch Missy, her non-stop drama, and a baby in the house…

Ruff and Mee-Yow
Ruff and Mee-Yow are the family cat and dog. Their back-stories mostly consist of eating the local wildlife and pooping in weird places.

Sweet-Pea is the newborn baby. His back-story also happens to feature pooping in weird places, but he’s also the reason Nana has come to visit, which is the only reason Milford can tolerate that woman’s presence for more than five minutes at a time: at least he can get a solid 5 hours of sleep every night with her help, ferchrissakes.

Skull exists only because I don’t have the skill or dexterity to paint at such a small scale. But I imagine he makes a fun chew-toy for the dog and cat.

So now I can check that task off my list once and for all, and finally open my closet door without the looming judgement of a blank set of nesting dolls. Phew.

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  1. #1 by poodletail on February 23, 2012 - 7:33 pm

    Who knew a monster family would lend itself so well to Russian nesting dolls? Or the other way around? Brill!

  2. #2 by nadine on February 23, 2012 - 9:27 pm

    These are AWESOME!

  3. #3 by Bonnie on February 24, 2012 - 8:51 am

    FANTASTIC. I love them.

  4. #4 by babar on February 24, 2012 - 9:49 pm

    Fantastic job. You’re incredible…

  5. #5 by Lisa on February 27, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    Holy crap I’d love to be as artistically gifted as you! If I only had a quarter of your talent, I’d be happy. I absolutely love these!!

  6. #6 by ray on March 9, 2012 - 10:54 am

    You have some skills Dan.

  7. #7 by alicia on March 29, 2012 - 1:13 pm

    Fabulous. I would buy the crap out of those.

  8. #8 by Kristi on April 14, 2012 - 8:33 am

    These are absolutely fantastic! I kind of want to copy you now and find some blank (or cheap) Russian Nesting dolls to paint in some sort of awesome theme – maybe give them away as gifts. Very inspiring!

  9. #9 by C on May 11, 2012 - 1:46 pm

    I think you have a future in selling RND’s with various odd, but awesome paint schemes.

  10. #10 by Radha on September 24, 2012 - 11:16 am

    I have a theory that you did these dolls on photoshop. I mean you can’t be that good at photoshop and real art?! It’s just not fair in life.

  11. #11 by steve t on October 13, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    about time for some halloween costumes, is’nt it?

  12. #12 by Kylee Benaszeski on November 15, 2012 - 9:34 pm

    I have a slight feeling you probably won’t see this, but I miss your blogs! I don’t care if there’s now a billion other blogs out there, yours by far is my favorite. If by some chance you do see this….would you consider blogging again? Pretty please? I miss planet Dan :(

  13. #13 by Beezus on November 16, 2012 - 3:36 pm

    Oh Dan, we internet strangers miss your humor! I really hope you’re not dead.

  14. #14 by Rob on November 20, 2012 - 11:47 am

    Dan, I’m assuming that since late February, when we last heard from you, you are studiously compiling KickAss Christmas 2012 edition. One can only hope.

  15. #15 by dan on November 20, 2012 - 12:14 pm

    You are correct! KAX 2012 is coming soon! Probably late this week or early next week.

    Sorry I don’t post much anymore, or ever. Just been really busy and suddenly feeling like my life is not interesting enough to document. Maybe someday…

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