Written/Created by: Matt
Originally posted on 8.28.02.

Musings:
This one isn't too old, but newer readers might've missed it. And somehow, I doubt our most popular search term is 'Wuzzles,' so if you're a recent X-E visitor, you probably didn't know that we've got around six million made-up Wuzzle characters on the site. Yes.

The article part itself is more goofy than anything else, but I loved the entries readers sent in. I never got into the typical website "send us content" contests, partly because I prefer to do everything myself, but mostly because those things rarely turn out well. This one did, though. I couldn't believe the amount of work some of the people put into these entries, and if nothing else, I'm glad to have given a group of readers something fun and juvenile to do. Why should I have all the fun?


Finally, the Wuzzles arrive here on X-E. It's a special day, almost like a holiday, only nobody gets off work and I don't get to make use of my swank refrigerator calendar with the erasable ink. It's still a big occasion, since as many of you know, we ran a contest to see which of you could come up with the best Wuzzle. I have to admit, while a lot of you guys went the MS Paint route, a good amount of the contestants obviously put tons of effort into their entries, and some of 'em are damn impressive. It's too bad there's no way to make a living drawing fake Wuzzle characters, but I guess that's just one of the drawbacks of living through a recession.

The beef of this article will be those entries - to tell you the truth, it took all day to put 'em all together coherently and there's just no way I can spend the next five hours writing about Wuzzles without the aid of something illegal or a constant background score of Buster Poindexter's Hot Hot Hot. Sorry, my stereo's broken.

Oh, oops, I guess some of you don't even know what a Wuzzle is. You poor uncultured wormfishes. Before we get to the contest, let's talk a little bit about the Wuzzles lore...

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Wuzzles were a line of stuffed animal toys shipped out to the masses in the era of Care Bears and Rainbow Brite - they're not particularly great dolls or anything, but the timing was right. The gimmick was simple: each Wuzzle was made up of two different animals, creating one mega mutant creature. For example, 'Bumblelion' was half bee and half lion, but 100% attitude. The toys were really successful for a while, something I attribute mainly to the commercials being played at a rate of eight times per half hour back then. Basically, if you were a kid who watched television at all in '86, you were doomed to walk around humming the stupid Wuzzle theme song for all of eternity. The only way it ever got off your mind was if a close family member died or a shark bit off your arm, so either you were gonna be in a really terrible mood, or forever humming a really terrible catchy song.


Wuzzles' massive takeover plot extended to a cartoon show and a series of storybooks. I never saw the toon, but I painted my walls bright pink and spoke of bear/eagle hybrids so people would think I did. They were quite popular in my elementary school days though, and it led to a pretty infamous experience in my personal life, which I'm going to share with you now because it's late and my higher brain function isn't working the way it does when I'm not sleeptyping.

I didn't have to enjoy Wuzzles personally to admire their theme - two animals mixed into one. I was fascinated with the idea, and spent many long nights drawing two animals merged together in the most impossible ways. I didn't quite grasp the concept, so my hand-drawn Wuzzles all looked more like two separate animals stitched together at the waist.

As it turns out, one of my grade school teachers caught wind of the Wuzzles craze, and felt it'd be a great way to teach the class about art and science simultaneously. So one afternoon, she instructed us to draw a Wuzzle. We could choose whichever two animals we wanted to base it on, all we had to do was make sure their defining characteristics stayed intact. The other students and I were overjoyed - school afternoons spent with the crayon box were second only to a snow day. I quickly began working on my Wuzzle, and ended up creating a Bat/Fish creature. Since I'm a packrat, I actually saved the school project from way back then. Here it is...


I know, I know. It's not much to look at. Hey, I was young and the class bully took all the good colors. If you look closely, you can sort of see where I was going with it. The bat's obvious enough, and if you look at it sideways, you can see the fish making up the torso. I handed in the project, expecting a decent, if not spectacular grade. Instead, the next day I was called into the principal's office. Was my Wuzzle that bad?

The principal was a tall, bald man who seemed to be a Wuzzle himself - the students swore he was half-yeti. I was absolutely mortified at the mere sight of the guy, so being called into his office was like a death sentence to me. What I didn't understand was why my Wuzzle was such a big issue. I mean sure, it's not exactly bursting with effort or creativity, but was this such a huge deal that he'd take time out of his busy daily routine of killing bad children? I was sweating bullets.

I found out that it wasn't my Wuzzle that he was upset over - rather the fact that I had doodled on the side of the paper. Apparently, it was a big no-no to doodle on your school assignments - which I understood - but he seemed a little too concerned over the whole thing. Soon the talk shifted to counseling, bringing my parents in for a meeting, whether or not I was happy at home, the whole nine yards. All this because I doodled a little on my homework? I just didn't get it. Here, see for yourself - here's the Bat/Fish Wuzzle project I made, complete with the irrelevant doodles off to the side....


So what was the problem?! I figured he was pissed because I didn't finish coloring the Grim Reaper's cloak, which I can only assume gave me the moniker of a 'quitter' in his book. Then I started thinking that the pools of blood were a tad off color from the real thing, indicating to the principal that I didn't do proper research.

Instead, he was concerned that I depicted my mother being crucified. Huh? That's what all the fuss was about? Well that changed things! I tried to explain that all this was very simple - my bitch cunt louse mother kept trying to feed me boiled sewage and didn't know her place. I told him that the doodles were really just a draft of a plan I was hatching, nothing to get all that excited over. He disagreed, especially when I referred to her as 'that fucking helldemon' who 'needed a fucking stab wound in both her eyes.'

Well, the meeting ended shortly thereafter, and I thought things were done with. Okay, the principal was a little upset...but we all overreact sometimes. I figured all this nonsense was in the past, but sure enough, no more than ten minutes later, he was in our classroom searching my desk. He was upset when he came across the bloody knife, but I reassured him - it was only my family dog's blood. I even made sure to tell him I only used the whip he found on the minority students. But just when things couldn't get any worse, he pulls out a sheet of paper from my desk and stands there totally aghast. Oh great. What now?


"Okay," I tried to explain, "..the Mets don't really wear orange uniforms."

He was more concerned that they were playing baseball with my mother's severed head. I didn't get it, what was the big deal? They're both relatively spherical, it's not like it'd be impossible to play baseball with my mother's severed head. It's like he thought I had committed this great blight against our national pastime by deviating from their usual choice of ball. What, there's no room for a little variety? This was a public school, why was the guy being so crazy and militant?

Making matters worse, he brought my poetry talents into question. I guess he didn't feel I was too great of a lyricist, and was worried that I was going to make a bad career choice if he didn't set me straight...


Well EXCUSE ME Mr. Principal! Didn't know you expected friggin' HAIKUS from a third-grader. I was suspended indefinitely, and ending up completing elementary school in a guarded counselor center. It really wasn't all that bad, but my old school had way better French fries during lunch. I was disappointed that the counselor center never heard of crinkle cuts. Oh well, I still graduated with honors, and they promised me it'd all be kept off my permanent record so long as I went to a therapist twice a week. I was only happy to oblige, because the therapist prescribed me valium and it came in handy when I needed to drug someone before bludgeoning their skull with a fireplace rod.

In effect, Wuzzles ended up changing the course of my life. Had it not been for them, I'd probably be a poet by now. And you know what, maybe I did suck at poetry. Maybe that principal did me a favor. I guess I have Wuzzles to ultimately thank for that. So to me, they're not just cute dolls, they're total salvation.

Now here's the X-E Create-A-Wuzzle Contest results and showcase...

X-E CREATE-A-WUZZLE

I had no way of knowing how many entries I'd get when I started the contest - who knew there'd be over a hundred people out there willing to devote time to creating a stupid Wuzzle? Indeed there were, and some of the entries were delightful. Some people forged comedic pieces, others took the project real seriously. One guy sent me a picture of a pony with antennae drawn on. He's why I needed the valium and the fireplace rod.

There was way more than four entries that really stood out to me, but here's the ones I'm having crafted in velvet to be placed over my mantle. I guess we should start with the contest's winner!


(click here to see the full-sized version)

Congratulations, Abby Perry, you are X-E's Create-A-Wuzzle contest winner! Abby will be receiving a mystery box full of old junk that's been sitting in the back of my closet. I'm not sure if she has any interest in my collection of Desert Storm cards or Captain Crunch cereal premiums, but hey, it's free right?

Honestly, the second I saw her entry, I knew we had a winner. "Gorito" is an amazing piece of work. I shiver thinking about what this girl can do with real projects. You know, things aside from website Wuzzle contests. Gorito is a gorilla/mosquito hybrid, drawn up and colored wonderfully, and as an added bonus, it's sucking Bumblelion's blood. I'm working on having the thing framed. Great work, Abby! Let's take a look at the runner-ups...


Mark sent this one in, and I'm absolutely obsessed with it. "Elefish" is a mixture of an elephant and a fish, which I'm sure you needed to know because the name and picture are pretty vague. Elefish is also currently my Windows wallpaper. Mark thought he was too late sending this one in, and didn't seem to think he had any chance at winning. Mark, believe me, if Abby wasn't psychic and didn't somehow know about this Wuzzles contest before I had the idea to start it, you'd soon be the proud owner of a box full of Golden Guides and rubber kidney toys. Maybe next time!


Scott K's Krang/Ivysaur is right up my pathetic alley. They're my two favorite people on the planet. Mixing them together would make choosing a spouse a lot easier for me. "Krangiesaur" may lack some of the pure artistic ingenuity of some of the other entries, but makes up for it by having Krang appear to hump Ivysaur. Kudos!


Finally, Jason Clarke chimed in with this one, the "Skeeta-Toad". The artwork is great, but the description might be even better. Thanks Jason!

Okay, now here's what you've been waiting for. Or at least, here's what five or six of you have been waiting for - the complete list of Create-A-Wuzzle entries! If you don't see your entry on here, it's either because I couldn't download it, or because you sent in thirty entries and I got tired of typing your name over and over. Some of these are very good, and believe me, picking out the top four was no easy task.

Click away, they'll all pop up in new windows. Each entry page includes the Wuzzle picture, creator's name, and any notes they sent me about the creature through e-mail. No popup ads on these either, so don't go running scared when you notice that there's 74 pages to wad through. Thanks to everyone who participated! I'm usually not a big fan of doing these types of projects or articles, but this was actually a ton of fun and I'm happy to see that a number of you had a good time with it. Enjoy!

Wuzzle Entry #5: Leechipmunk
Wuzzle Entry #6: Screechtapus
Wuzzle Entry #7: Cohn Jeremy
Wuzzle Entry #8: Wormalo
Wuzzle Entry #9: ANTelope
Wuzzle Entry #10: Tadpolope
Wuzzle Entry #11: Licecow
Wuzzle Entry #12: Beesting
Wuzzle Entry #13: Pikabuu
Wuzzle Entry #14: Terra-Pooch
Wuzzle Entry #15: Llamecko
Wuzzle Entry #16: Grimace Christ
Wuzzle Entry #17: Kanga-Rooster
Wuzzle Entry #18: Octoduck
Wuzzle Entry #19: Mr. McPlatypoo
Wuzzle Entry #20: Ewokgyver
Wuzzle Entry #21: Bunnybird
Wuzzle Entry #22: Chupatee
Wuzzle Entry #23: Reinbat
Wuzzle Entry #24: Hulkator
Wuzzle Entry #25: Buzzkitty
Wuzzle Entry #26: Liolilla
Wuzzle Entry #27: Tigo
Wuzzle Entry #28: Rabbat
Wuzzle Entry #29: Zantis
Wuzzle Entry #30: Wuzzlymatt
Wuzzle Entry #31: Ratroach
Wuzzle Entry #32: Monster
Wuzzle Entry #33: Dogma
Wuzzle Entry #34: Pthuku
Wuzzle Entry #35: Fleamur
Wuzzle Entry #36: Naked Moleprey
Wuzzle Entry #37: Sealaff
Wuzzle Entry #38: Thomba The Hutt
Wuzzle Entry #39: Camel Commander
Wuzzle Entry #40: Two-Roo
Wuzzle Entry #41: Ferretzilla
Wuzzle Entry #42: Sophinger
Wuzzle Entry #43: COWabunga
Wuzzle Entry #44: M.I.B.
Wuzzle Entry #45: Jackass
Wuzzle Entry #46: Turkduck
Wuzzle Entry #47: Bo-Shu-Daa
Wuzzle Entry #48: Pangomot
Wuzzle Entry #49: Birdamania
Wuzzle Entry #50: Tigershark
Wuzzle Entry #51: Elecat
Wuzzle Entry #52: Gorish
Wuzzle Entry #53: Gerbat
Wuzzle Entry #54: Cthulhudacris
Wuzzle Entry #55: Baloon Bear
Wuzzle Entry #56: Turtleshell
Wuzzle Entry #57: Kilyoda
Wuzzle Entry #58: Bee Arthur
Wuzzle Entry #59: Fred Willard
Wuzzle Entry #60: Cockadoodle-Poo
Wuzzle Entry #61: Slothrunner
Wuzzle Entry #62: Evil
Wuzzle Entry #63: Turtlebug
Wuzzle Entry #64: The Hock
Wuzzle Entry #65: G-Guin
Wuzzle Entry #66: Bulbamattasaur
Wuzzle Entry #67: Hemantaray
Wuzzle Entry #68: Sea Monkey
Wuzzle Entry #69: Yum-Licious
Wuzzle Entry #70: Girelephant
Wuzzle Entry #71: Rhinoseidon
Wuzzle Entry #72: Ribbitroar
Wuzzle Entry #73: Elehawk
Wuzzle Entry #74: Millaclam






 


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