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Papier-Mache Monsters


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About the Author

He lives in Seattle, Washington. Learn more secrets at


For lovers of the truly grotesque, Reeder (Make Something Ugly for a Change) provides detailed photo instructions for large figures constructed of clothes hangers, newspaper, and glue. Cloth skin, teeth, and slathered-on paint finish them off. The toothy dragons are particularly effective.

--Roy Futterman, Advertising Director "School Library Journal/ Library Journal" (10/19/2009 12:00:00 AM)

I first met Dan Reeder over twenty-five years ago, while strolling through an art fair in our shared hometown. I was, I remember, bored out of my mind and heading back to my car, when I suddenly caught a glimpse of something out ahead of me, hanging high in an artist's booth. My adrenalin started flowing. Boredom had morphed into pure desire. I could have knocked someone down as I made my way toward the object of my instant affection, and when I finally stood almost directly under it, I found myself gazing up at a large ochre-colored, multi-fanged, drool-festooned, wall-eyed dragon. Be still my heart. And as I looked around the booth, I saw other humorous-but-also-edgy-looking beasts. I had entered the world of Dan Reeder, and I suppose, looking back on it now, it was inevitable that we would quickly become good friends. (I think Dan and I make each other feel normal.)

Fast-forwarding to the present time, I initially thought Dan was a little crazy for writing a how-to book that reveals all his secrets on how to make such unique creatures from such un-unique materials. (Personally, I would never show anyone how to draw a cow--the udders alone took me years to master.) But he assured me he really wanted to do this. I guess it's the teacher in him. And, in truth, I'm not one to argue that the world doesn't need more monsters, be they made of papier and/or cloth mach , as demonstrated in Dan's entertaining new book, or flesh and blood, as demonstrated by the one standing behind you right now.

(P.S. Yes, I bought the dragon.)

--Gary Larson, Farside Creator "Farside" (10/23/2009 12:00:00 AM)

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