Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Tails of Whimsy!

From all of us at Tails of Whimsy to all of you and your sweet critters: Happy Thanksgiving!
We give thanks for kind-hearted people like you who rescue, foster, adopt, and love our beloved pets. Cheers to all you do for animals in need!
Illustrations by artist Daryl Slaton

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

It Takes a Village!

Tails of Whimsy has been blessed with friends and helpers as we move towards animation and publishing. We would like to thank a very talented bunch of professionals for their expert advice and hands-on work over the past, very busy six months. You are helping us move forward quickly with vision and a more assured footing than we could have believed possible.

Rob Pulleyn: A lunch with Rob awhile back gave me a bird’s eye view into the pitfalls of publishing Daryl’s storybooks and why getting traction in the field is like a slow ice melt. He inspired me and gave us the insight to move forward PLUS contacts right here in Asheville that might be willing to offer hands-on skills. Rob, everyone I met with mentioned how much he or she misses you and Lark Books. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and contacts with Daryl and me.

Joe Rhatigan: Former Children’s Book Editor at Lark, Joe is itching to get back into publishing full time. He continues to write, edit and package books of his own and/or others with a long list of credits to his name. Joe shares our passion for children’s stories and has worked with us on another round of edits for Scooter and Boots to the Rescue and The Mighty Machines of MackieMcKeens. He helped us prepare for our first showing at Book Expo America this year and to make (and meet) important contacts at in the industry. Most of all, he served as our “tour guide” as we ventured along aisle after aisle of writers, editors, publishers, printers, and booksellers at BEA. The new challenges of digital, print on demand, independent publishing and more provide new options for Tails of Whimsy to bring our books to parents, teachers and kids everywhere. We love Joe’s passion and unique, creative vision. And we love working with you. More at

Beth Sweet: More than the endearing name implies, Beth is a social media whiz with energy, vision and the organizational skills to get our stories out with special zing and on time! Beth inherited work on our Scooter and Boots Facebook page, with its fan base of 10,000+, when her friend and our former go-to Amanda Carestio of JB Media left on maternity leave and moved to Colorado. At Lark Books, Beth handled social media and marketing for their vast array of publishing pursuits. With Tails of Whimsy, Beth is helping us grow our social media presence using all of our character and storybook assets.  Though we continue to build Scooter and Boots on Face Book and Twitter, you will be seeing more about them as well as Mackie McKeens, The Book Mytes and Wundernauts in our blog posts, our upcoming E-News, and forthcoming retail sites for books and products. Beth, we love how you have acquired the “voices” of our characters. Keep on posting!!! 

Dawn Cusick: Inevitably, the magic of the trade show wears off and it’s time to buckle down to basics. Dawn, another Lark “graduate,” has helped us set a path to publishing, avoiding unnecessary steps that waste time and money. Dawn publishes amazing science books for kids through her independent publishing company, EarlyLight.  She has shed new light on Mackie McKeens as an editor and publisher and has encouraged us to take the extra step of adding supplemental educational pages to our book. This provides special value for teachers, librarians, homeschooling parents and others. Wisely, she has suggested that we minimize costs and maximize exposure as we expand our horizons. Thank you, Dawn, our special friend and advisor. You are an amazing teacher. Learn more at DawnCusick/LinkedIn.

Vicki Whiting: Following up on Dawn’s editorial suggestions for supplemental content, I immediately contacted the brilliant Vicki Whiting at KidScoop News to identify a clever and experienced curriculum writer for The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens. Bummer: She was leaving the office for a 10-day family trip. Miraculously, Vicki offered to do it herself while on vacation! Right on time, I received the most amazing projects for kids based on STEM core curriculum: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Vicki Whiting is president, editor and founder of Kid Scoop News, a monthly newspaper for children and KidScoop, a weekly newspaper feature geared to children ages 7 to 12, which appears in over 300 newspapers with a combined circulation of more than 7.5 million. If you teach children, home school your kids or embrace creative learning activities, you will love this resource.  And Vicki, we love you, your energy and vision for education.

Yes, we have so much to be grateful for at Tails of Whimsy. Thanks to our team and all our friends! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Happy Halloween from the Candy Witch!

You may have met the Candy Witch before. She’s one of Daryl’s creations, and she pops up in stores across the country, thanks to our licensee Raz Imports. Raz fell in love with Daryl’s Halloween characters back in 2012 when we showed at the National Stationary Show in New York. Their Candy Witch Collection comes with two funky figures to grace your front porch or for retail display. We are proud to say that they continue to sell each year having become staples in some stores. 
Greetings from the Candy Witches on our front porch
We generally put a big bowl of candy in our Candy Witch’s lap so that kids can pick their favorite when they visit our house. Daryl and our dog, Sheba, dress in costume for the occasion to welcome families into our neighborhood. And this year, our three year old grandson Leo will trick or treat with us as a fireman! 
As you may have guessed, Halloween is Daryl’s favorite holiday!

For more of Daryl's imaginative Halloween characters like Franken-Ape, Trick ‘r Tree, and Dracula, go to:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer in the Studio with Daryl Slaton

Licensing is a long, slow process, but when it gains speed, it’s like a tornado. Or, in the case of The Wundernauts, Daryl’s new graphic novel begun in July, it has meant a whirlwind summer full of work in his studio. 
Daryl at work in his studio, creating The Wundernauts
From research to concept development to creating characters and story, building a property of this kind in a few short months requires an intense creative focus. The Wundernauts, a new intellectual property for kids aged 4-8, will be submitted to publishers, studios, and retailers before Halloween. You should see graphic novels, plush, and T-shirts in the marketplace in 2016.

Here’s a good example of where Daryl’s ideas come from:

Over a breakfast in Vegas with our agent Leo Valencia of Quantarra and Radio-Days, Leo expressed interest in creating a new project for broad distribution that would combine futuristic elements with some down-home goodness. Now, Leo is kind of a Renaissance man, and besides being a brilliant licensee of well-known images, he is an artist, accomplished musician, and proud Dad to Savion. We met Savion at Licensing Expo, too, and he’s quite a charmer. He also shows signs of being a great character artist. Why not, thought Daryl, create a clever mash-up of classic and contemporary story elements with some of Savion’s monsters in the mix.

Scooter tells Savion a big secret at Licensing Expo 2015.
Check out this sneak peek at The Wundernauts! Savion's monster is on the sign.
Now, meet one of the Wundernauts: P.U.P, a strong and loyal Pumped Up Powerhouse! P.U.P. is one of a large cast of characters that you will meet when The Wundernauts show up in stores and on digital devices.
Meet P.U.P., one of the Wundernauts!
So here’s your very first look at P.U.P. and some of the many Wundernauts. Stay tuned for more! Books, T-shirts and plush are due in stores soon.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Meet Writer and Artist Meagan Meehan

Writer, artist and friend Meagan Meehan
We make a lot of friends at trade shows, but rarely do we meet anyone as creative, professional, and intuitive as writer Meagan Meehan.  Arriving at our booth at Book Expo America 2015, she absorbed all she saw in Daryl’s illustrations and quickly determined that our shared interests would make us “fur-ever” friends. 
As you might guess, Meagan’s love of animals rates high among her vocations and avocations. Meagan also loves stories, humor, pop culture, and art and combines then seamlessly into her writing and other varied pursuits. She contacted us for an interview shortly after our return to Asheville. 

Here’s what Meagan had to say about Daryl: 
“Daryl Slaton is rare in the media world since he can work in the styles of both illustration and cartoon. Additionally, as author and illustrator, he creates all the characters and stories that appear in the properties. His rare versatility and creative flexibility make his work attractive to publishers, studios, manufacturers, retailers and agents.”

Meagan Meehan is a published author of poems, short stories, novels, and articles in numerous publications. She is also a cartoonist and an award-winning abstract artist. We love her passion for children’s stories, art and education. She’s a tour de force with consummate passion, commitment and creative talents.  Watch for her award-winning features at Explore Meagan’s colorful art on the RAWArtists site.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Licensing Expo 2015: Follow-up

Daryl’s work really stood out at Licensing Expo 2015. We re-acquainted with contacts from previous shows and made lots of new friends, too. Though the summer is generally slow with the prerequisite recovery time from the trade shows, Tails of Whimsy is already getting calls about potential licensing deals. This was our third year showing in Las Vegas and here is what we have learned:

Mackie McKeens appeared to be the top favorite
at Licensing Expo 2015
  • If you want to make your intellectual property a commercial success, you have to learn the licensing trade (and lingo) inside and out and talk to lots of industry professionals.
  • Go to Licensing Expo in Vegas or KidScreen in Miami.
  • Industry trade shows are where you make contacts.
  • Exhibit more than one property or character. Build them each into a story.
  • Keep at it and learn that “no” now might really mean “maybe yes” at a later date! Be patient. Slow and steady wins the race.
This year, The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens (or M4) received the most interest. And lots of folks loved Daryl's new characters in The Book Mytes. This came from publishers and marketing agents looking for stories with edutainment value. These books and characters are age-appropriate for learning.

Mackie and his sister Mika create astonishing machines of a Seuss-ian nature that help cities solve problems. Educators call this STEM: a concentration on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. M4 does it all but in a throughly fun and whimsical way. Think Richard Scarry with robots!
Two page spread from
The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens

The Book Mytes are a magical troupe of six characters in animal "jammies". The story unfolds in a bookstore at night where any story can be mixed up and made up with a few choice selections of words. These new words come from familiar books we all know and love, thus adding to the thrill of discovery. The power of words is the message in this book, and licensees took notice.
Meet some of the Book Mytes looking for words 
Stay tuned as our progress unfolds. Now, for some much needed vacation time!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Expo America 2015: Follow-up

Book Expo America gave Daryl plenty to think about
as Tails of Whimsy considers publishing options
Getting a book published is not for the faint of heart. Daryl has authored and illustrated three children’s storybook properties to date: Scooter and Boots to the Rescue,” “The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens,” and “Book Mytes,which is about 90% complete. Even with our wonderful agent Jeanette Smith of All Art Licensing, response from major publishers is excruciatingly slow on Scooter and Boots as are our pitches for the others. With additional publishing options now available, digital and print on demand, Daryl and I set out to find out if newer (and faster) opportunities exist to get our books to their target audience.

Therefore, this year, we put our characters and stories on display at Book Expo America, perhaps the largest of all publishing shows. Louise worked with our children’s book editor Joe Rhatigan to get lots of appointments with publishers and editors. And Joe, with his valuable industry experience, accompanied us to NYC to meet with publishing company contacts. We are grateful to him for serving as tour guide so that we can better understand how independent and digital publishing is impacting traditional print. Also, we gained insight into how Tails of Whimsy might restructure to include independent publishing onto our business mix.

Joe Rhatigan helped us meet, greet and pitch
at Book Expo in New York
We introduced ourselves as a full-service studio, so you may hear more about Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio. With Joe on our team, we are also available to help other writers develop their content and graphics as well as edit and package their books for print and distribution.

And, we introduced attendees to our new plush dolls of Scooter and Boots. They were shipped to us from our factory in Hong Kong, arriving at our hotel in NYC just as we did.

If you wonder what “independent” publishing means, it now extends to being a self-publisher, author-publisher, do-it-yourself publisher, or “traditional” publisher. Needless to say, Tails of Whimsy has lots to think about as we look to the future.
Scooter and Boots kept their eyes out for visitors
to the Tails of Whimsy booth.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tails of Whimsy Attends Licensing Expo 2015

The Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio is excited to be attending Licensing Expo '15! We're here to connect with people, publishers, and licensing agencies about three of our great properties:
Book Mytes
The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens
Scooter & Boots 

If you're here at Licensing Expo 15, we'd love to meet you. Come visit us at our Art and Design Booth G21 and shake Scooter's paw--he's been practicing his tricks.

Here's a bit more about the Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio properties:
Book Mytes
Imagine whimsical, cuddly critters that roam bookstores come twilight. They feast on good stories and play havoc with words through the magical world of artist/illustrator Daryl Slaton at Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio.
Using delightful illustrations and playful fonts, seven adorable costumed characters jump off bookshelves and into books, as they gather words and pictures throughout the store to create their own stories. Though words are few, readers see how one well-chosen word can make a world of difference, and how one sentence can change the adventuresome world of the Book Mytes!

The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens
Mackie Mckeens is a cuddly, industrious bear in green overalls. In his massive high-tech workshop he builds remarkable “mighty” machines for any use. Appealing to inquisitive children with imagination and whimsy, Mackie gets kids thinking early with his high-tech machines that solve problems with such efficiency that your immediate response is, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Helping him construct machines for land, sea and sky is his daredevil pilot Mika (his sister) and a crew of zany mini-robots.

Scooter & Boots 
Scooter the dog and Boots the cat are dedicated to helping homeless pets find forever homes. The Scooter and Boots brand was born in the licensing arena, and the engaging characters have already been warmly received by production studios as pilots for TV. Check out the Scooter News Network (SNN) for news segments on cooking, reading, animal rescue, crafts, and more!
And join Scooter and Boots on Facebook, where they shine a light on pet rescue, reading, and the awesome community of pet-lovers worldwide.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Make Handmade DIY Heart Stamps with Scooter!

Have you ever used celery (yep, celery!) to make handmade heart stamps? It's as easy as it sounds, and handmade stamps are an easy way to make all kinds of paper products fun. Join Scooter in his newest Scooter News Network video as he stamps paper plates and napkins for a party he's throwing for his friend Boots.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Get to know the Scooter News Network

So what is our Scooter News Network? Scooter News Network (SNN) is a series of children's television pilots featuring our beloved character, Scooter D. Pup.
the light gray puppet of Scooter from Scooter & Boots, wearing a red collar
"Hi! I'm Scooter (of Scooter & Boots)!"
What began as a lark at the 2014 Licensing Expo has turned into a pilot for children’s TV, and we've been gaining momentum for the past year! Scooter News Network (SNN) will be presented for the first time at Licensing Expo 2015 through a partnership between Tails of Whimsy and SaviRanch Studios. The TV pilot provides fun and factual content with puppet Scooter D. Pup as a news anchor presenting features and stories relating to animal rescue and care worldwide.

SNN’s format would be considered a cross between a nightly news cast combined with interview segments such as seen on the Today Show. Regular features include: Health, Sports, Celebrity Animal and Book Reports as well as cooking and crafts features, all with Scooter the puppet as news broadcaster and Roshelle Baier as co-anchor.

Check out a collection of some of our Scooter News Network pilots:

An Introduction to Scooter News Network

Book Report: Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light

Cook's Corner: Scooter Makes Hot Pink Hummus

Celebrity Repor: Cosmo the Dog Runs for President

Crafts Report: Scooter Makes DIY Heart Stamps

And if you'll be attending Licensing Expo 15, come find us at Booth G21. Scooter will be there, and he's eager to wag his tail with you!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Find Scooter at Book Expo America 2015

Scooter the pup is attending Book Expo 2015 May 27 – 29, where he and artist Daryl Slaton are looking forward to introducing their well-loved brand, Scooter & Boots BrokenHeart Pets Rescue, and the Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio to publishers!
We’re excited to offer our illustrated manuscripts as well as services to independents seeking:
Character creation
Editorial services

Meet some of our Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio characters:

Scooter and Boots
Scooter the dog and Boots the cat are dedicated to helping homeless pets find forever homes. The Scooter and Boots brand was born in the licensing arena, and the engaging characters have already been warmly received by production studios as pilots for TV. Check out the Scooter News Network (SNN) for news segments on cooking, reading, animal rescue, crafts, and more!
And join Scooter and Boots on Facebook, where they shine a light on pet rescue, reading, and the awesome community of pet-lovers worldwide.

The Mighty Machines of Mackie McKeens (M4)
Mackie McKeens is a cuddly, industrious bear in green overalls. In his massive high-tech workshop he builds remarkable “mighty” machines for any use. Appealing to inquisitive children with imagination and whimsy, Mackie gets kids thinking early with his high-tech machines that solve problems with such efficiency that your immediate response is, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Helping him construct machines for land, sea and sky is his daredevil pilot Mika (his sister) and a crew of zany mini-robots.

Book Mytes
The Book Mytes are little creatures who LOVE to read. They’re so tiny that they live inside books, and they borrow words from those books to create their own stories. From sailing moonlit seas to spelling with a T-Rex, the Book Mytes make reading an adventure. Ask Daryl and Louise about Book Mytes and where they’re heading next!

Meet the Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio leadership team:

Daryl Slaton is an artist with theatrical training and a great sense of humor. With years of work experience in all forms of media, Slaton embraces Tails of Whimsy with a full range of creative talents: art, illustration, animation, graphics and more.

Joe Rhatigan is a pro in children’s book publishing. With years of experience in writing, editing and book packaging, Joe’s talents range from finding just the right word to finding all the right words, from developmental editing to project management.

Louise Glickman is a writer and designer with a marketing background. Glickman also brings business management skills to Tails of Whimsy having owned a nationally known public relations company.

Find Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio -- and Scooter the puppet! -- at BEA Booth 760.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day from Scooter & Boots

We here at Tails of Whimsy Storybook Studio wish everyone a very Happy Memorial Day, and we celebrate the lives of the men, women, and animals who have served our country with great honor.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Make Hot Pink Hummus (yes, pink!) with Scooter

Who loves hummus? Scooter does! Join Scooter as he makes pink hummus (yes, pink!) for his good friend Boots in this latest Scooter News Network video. With just a few simple ingredients, you (and your kiddos) can whip up this recipe in no time. Hello tasty puppy platter – er, we mean party platter!
Here’s the recipe for Hot Pink Hummus, which Scooter made from Barbara Beery’s cookbook, “Pink Princess Party Cookbook." Learn more about Barbara Beery at Foodie Kids.
(Psst: Tail wag alert -- this hummus recipe is gluten-free and vegan, which makes it fun AND healthy!)

Hot Pink Hummus Recipe – makes about 2 cups
2 cups canned chick peas, drained and rinsed
2-3 medium sized beets, cooked or roasted, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Garnish: Olive oil and flat leaf parsley
1.Place chickpeas and chopped beets in the food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, and water. Process mixture for about one minute. Add more water if needed to form a smooth and creamy consistency.
2. Add cumin and paprika and blend another 30 seconds to combine all ingredients.
3. Garnish with oil and parsley. Serve with sliced cucumber, carrots, or other favorite veggies.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Daryl Slaton's interview with All Art Licensing -- What's Next for Scooter and Boots?

Daryl was recently interviewed by J’Net Smith, the ART licensing coach behind All Art Licensing, and he enjoyed talking about the origin of Scooter & Boots, how our concepts have evolved, and where Scooter & Boots are heading next. (Spoiler alert! We’re developing a storybook studio and getting into children’s publishing!)

J’net Q: Many of my readers are interested in developing characters and character-based properties. I have been representing the publishing aspect of BrokenHeart Pets Rescue. Can you tell us a little bit about the characters?
Daryl A: Scooter, the dog, and his sidekick Boots, the cat, were once homeless but have now found loving, “fur-ever” families. They wear a broken heart emblem on their chests in solidarity with other homeless animals and their whimsical stories focus on ways to rescue and protect them. I have written the story and created the character art. My partner (and wife) Louise Glickman is a writer and designer with a public relations and marketing background, and also brings business management skills to Tails of Whimsy.

Q: How did the concept for Scooter and Boots get created?
A: Louise is from New Orleans and, though we now live in Asheville, NC, we had both given time to saving animals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The head of the non-profit Louisiana SPCA and hundreds of volunteers developed ways to save over 9,000 pets and were able to return over half of them to their original homes! We were honored when they asked us to create something “special” to thank the volunteers for their efforts Christmas of 2005. Thus, Scooter and Boots first appeared as animation on the Louisiana SPCA's website. However, they didn’t surface again until we needed one extra banner for our Licensing Expo booth in 2013!
Q: How have you developed the market for two key characters?
A: It feels like Scooter and Boots have become late-in-life children for us. We talk about them daily and have been fortunate enough to tailor them into a portfolio of products that bring their stories to life.
In January 2014 we decided that we needed to test market them by building a fan base on social media. We had Scooter made into a puppet and began posting images of him around town as well as creating cartoon posts of both characters. We now have over 10,000 Facebook fans and remain active on Twitter, LinkedIn and on our blog.

Q: How have the characters and story evolved based on your ideas vs market needs?
A: After exhibiting our first time at Licensing Expo 2013, our initial feedback was that our story of homeless pets was “just too sad.” People loved the characters but despite repeated attempts to show the upbeat side of the Scooter and Boots’ back story, licensees and publishers remained unconvinced.
At Licensing Expo 2014, we brought puppet Scooter to “meet” visitors to our booth. The truth is, you can get away with a whole lot when you speak through the voice of a puppet.
On a whim, Scooter did a short interview with ArtMoose, a production studio. I was curled up under the desk performing as Scooter, but I’m not a puppeteer. For a first time try, we got a huge response. A group gathered and applauded when the interview ended and an entertainer with her manager came by and asked Scooter to come to Sacramento for a show (which he did last August). But best of all, we partnered with ArtMoose to create a TV pilot called “Scooter News Network.” It’s ready to show to networks, sponsors and underwriters at Licensing Expo 2015. Scooter will be also doing “live” broadcasts this year at the ArtMoose booth.

Q: Why do you think your characters are different and unique?
A: I have thought long and hard about the voices of Scooter and Boots. To our knowledge, there isn’t another whimsical property that is so focused on finding homes for animals and on care and conservation worldwide. The trick has been to keep their humor and character intact, delivering their targeted message but still staying funny and fun. They are more entertainment than education and we always have to balance their voice carefully as well as keep it focused on our target audience of children 3-9.
Between 5 and 7 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year, and only 1 out of 10 dogs born ever find a home. Stray cats alone may be as high as 70 million annually in the U.S.

Q: What has surprised you both most about this journey?
A: Two things, really.
First and foremost, how long it takes to monetize a property after you’ve developed a character. A good part of my commercial art career was built on my ability to create characters for corporate branding and that I was an early champion of doing this digitally. I’m very quick and experienced at adapting them for illustrations, ads, trade show displays and animation. This comes naturally to me but creating the character is the simplest part of the licensing and publishing game. What counts most is what you do with them and how you can market them to publishers, agents, studios and distributors. Also, staying focused on your audience and message.
Secondly, and speaking broadly (there are always exceptions), characters are virtually nothing without their stories. Even though I’ve had a bit of success in licensing some character art (without a story), the biggest responses have been to my story-driven characters. Basically, if you have a story to tell then publishing goes hand-in-hand with licensing. Even with our positive response at Licensing Expo and sound advice from agents and consultants, we’ve had to learn two industries from the inside out! For the first time, we will do both Book Expo America and LicensingExpo this year. We’re keeping our fingers crossed to get noticed, get published, and get signed contracts!

Q: Why do you keep persisting to get more exposure and fans for Scooter and Boots? What drives you both?
A: We love Scooter and Boots and our other properties, too. But we have to prove their commercial viability to get a deal. Publishers, licensees and manufacturers insist on credibility and exposure before they are willing to commit to new licensors. In discussions and proposals, I want to show that I am more than just a character designer and storyteller. My wife has a marketing background and we have resourced additional talent to our company who bring editorial services and social media skills to our mix. In this respect, we want to make publishers and licensees aware that by working with Tails of Whimsy, they are getting art, stories and savvy business partners.

What drives me? This is what I do. I love creating characters and their stories. It’s that simple. I like the idea of making people smile.

Q: What’s the most important piece of advice you have received regarding Scooter and Boots’ BrokenHeart Pets Rescue?
A: Be patient and stick with it. To get from character to contract in licensing, it takes a whole lot of drive as well as financial commitment.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Scooter and Boots send big wags and purrs to Fur Moms (and aunties and grandmas and fairy godmothers and stepmoms) everywhere -- Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Scooter Moves to Live Action

From Cartoon Character to TV Pilot

What began as a lark at last year’s Licensing Expo has turned into a pilot for children’s TV. Scooter News Network (SNN) will be presented for the first time at Licensing Expo 2015 in Las Vegas and Book Expo in NYC through a partnership between Tails of Whimsy and Savi Ranch Studios. The pilot provides fun and factual content with puppet Scooter D. Pup as a news anchor presenting features and stories relating to animal rescue and care worldwide. It is an extension of Scooter and Boots' BrokenHeart Pets Rescue books.

How is it that a young company like Tails of Whimsy determines to bring print characters to life as puppets? A little over one year ago, Daryl and I decided that in order to attract notice on social media, we would have to show the audience more than cartoon characters. No matter how cute Scooter and Boots are, you just couldn’t “hear their voice” or message about rescuing and caring for animals. So we asked the fabulous Lisa Sturz of Red Herring Puppets in Asheville to build us a puppet.  The puppet was to be used for on-the-street interviews in video and photos to post on Face Book.
The Scooter puppet was designed and produced by
Lisa Sturz of Red Herring Puppets
We knew that the cost of the puppet was nothing compared to hiring a professional puppeteer every time we used it. So we have started with Scooter but Boots should be coming sometime later this year.

Marc Garabedien, the brain behind Savi Ranch, built his own studio last year at Licensing Expo 2014 at the request of Advanstar, the company that manages the trade show. This was a savvy step to bring added marketing value to Art and Design exhibitors like Tails of Whimsy who show at LE. Daryl was interviewed on air about Scooter and Boots seeking their fur-ever homes. Then, Tails of Whimsy challenged Savi Ranch to actually tape an interview with Scooter the puppet presenting “himself” as a character and property. That’s Daryl, under the desk, performing as Scooter!
Scooter's first interview at Licensing Expo 2014

Scooter proved to be very popular, gathering a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers and loud claps when the interview was completed. The spirited on-air exchange between Scooter D. Pup and interview co-host Roshelle Baier brought discussions post-show as to ways to capitalize on this lively and unlikely coupling of person and puppet.        

SNN’s format would be considered a cross between a nightly news cast combined with interview segments such as seen on the Today Show. Regular features include: Health, Sports, Celebrity Animal and Book Reports as well as cooking and crafts features, all with Scooter as a puppet and news broadcaster. Roshelle Baier will co-anchor.
Scooter with co-host Roshelle Baier in their studio at
Savi Ranch Studios in Anaheim

Scooter and Boots’ BrokenHeart Pets Rescue has extended its brand this past year to books and an animated TV series in addition to the live-action SNN. It is well positioned for licensing and is actively seeking licensees. Publishers, network and entertainment reps are particularly welcome to Tails of Whimsy’s booth at G21 in Art and Design and at Booth 760 in the Publishing Discovery Zone at Book Expo to personally meet Scooter and his energetic “handler,” artist and creator Daryl Slaton.

For a Sneak Peek at Scooter News Network, a portion of the TV pilot may be found at:    
Scooter hosts Scooter News Network. The intro gives
background and other reports follow: Health, Sports, etc.

The Segments:
Opening & Intro, 0-2:38
Health Report, 2:39-5:45
Sports Report, 5:46-8:22
Happy Dance, 8:23-closing

Tails of Whimsy Booth G21  Licensing Expo  June 9-11
Mandalay Bay Convention Center   Las Vegas

Booth G21 at Book Expo America
May 27-29  Javitz Center   NYC

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Speaking for Animals Who Have No Voice

Daryl met one such dog many years back at the Asheville Humane Society in Asheville where he went to photograph for a poster he produced to raise funds for shelters. As he approached this pup’s cage, the dog gently raised his paw, not exactly a “high five,” but enough to say,” Help me. Hold me. Adopt me,” with his soulful eyes. Feeling heartbroken, Daryl reached out and touched his paw Thus, Scooter and Boots’ Broken Heart Rescue was born. This instant connection lives on in "Asheville Serenade," an illustration that has been used at auctions to raise money for rescue shelters. He’s the black dog with the fiddle and hopefully, now he resides at his fur-ever home. The first Scooter (the dog) and Boots (the cat) cartoons emerged on this poster, too. Can you find them? 

Scooter and Boots first come to life in Daryl Slaton's 
illustration "Asheville Serenade"

Scooter and Boots grew in Daryl’s mind (and heart). He animated them to help the Louisiana SPCA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Then, they appeared on a banner at Licensing Expo in 2012, basically as an “add-on” to enhance our Tails of Whimsy booth space. Their appeal was immediate, and licensors and publishers began to ask us about our brand. Huh? What brand?

Daryl shows off Scooter and Boots at
Licensing Expo in Las Vegas

But we didn’t let on how much we had to learn. Daryl returned from the show to write a manuscript and proposal for a series of ten books featuring Scooter and Boots: Brokenheart Pets Rescue. This is now our brand! 

Fast forward, and our company Tails of Whimsy has a collection of over 300 images, about half featuring Scooter and Boots. We have agents in discussion with publishers for a book and production studios for a movie. We’ve partnered with Dog Tag Art to create our own collection of BrokenHeart Pets id tags. We have our own studio partner, Savi Ranch in Anaheim. Together, we will be pitching our new TV show concept reel to networks, underwriters and sponsors. 

Yes, we’ve been working hard. Scooter News Network (SNN), the concept for network consideration, is a cross between your nightly newscast and interviews on the Today Show with added humor. His humor reflects Jimmy Kimmel and his persona channels Mr. Rogers. Scooter is a puppet who lends his voice to all animals, still delivering the same message of love and support for those that need homes. Segments run the gamut of features found on news shows and for our first reel, we offer reports such as sports, health and politics. Politics? That’s right! Our friend Cosmo (the dog), also illustrated by Daryl, has thrown his collar in the ring for president! Cooking segments and children’s book reports are also in production! 

Scooter the puppet anchors SNN News with co-anchor Roshelle Baier
Thanks for following and supporting our dream… and helping us give a voice and home to animals in need! 

Here's an introduction to Scooter News Network: the kind of content we'll cover, how we'll work to promote animal rescue, and why Scooter loves cheeseburgers so much.

Louise Glickman and Daryl Slaton

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