BOCA RATON, FL — When author and prominent attorney Kathy Johnson approached Dick Kulpa in 2009 to help develop her Starlette Universe, his initial inclination was to decline her offer, since this entailed drawing pretty teen girly-girls and not the macho super heroes he once aspired to.
The satirical aspect of the Starlette Universe grabbed him, however, and the rest is history. “Especially the parts with the flying pig. And a talking cow.” he quipped.
Starlette girls stymie a charging boar (who is really a shape-shifted Eva the Evil)…with puns!
Plus, these “Barbies” had attitudes, he’d soon discover.
“Kathy’s penchant for puns and poetry intrigued me to no end,” admits Kulpa, and to have a pageant judge coaching me — sometimes vigorously — as to the fine points of drawing glamorous, pretty girls proved invaluable.” After all, back in 1984 Marvel production guru Sol Brodsky advised Kulpa to learn just that.
The evil Eva is peering out a window in this Dick Kulpa-illustrated cover of Kathy Johnson’s Starlette Universe Book 2: Eva From E-VILLE. Eva was drawn digitally onscreen with a Wacom tablet.
“The Starlette Universe features six distinctively different teen girls and their”miss”adventures rivaling anything superheroes offer,” says Kulpa. Their chief nemesis is a jealous, demonic teen queen named “Eva” (the evil) who possesses the bizarre ability to shape-shift into any scary creature she chooses. “What cracks me up,” Kulpa says, “is when the Starlette girls confront adversity with a barrage of puns — and GOOD puns at that!”
The Starlettes also offer solid life lessons mixed in with their entertaining tales, something Kulpa embraces. “I have a long term history producing cartoons and comics offering added social benefit, i.e. the anti-gang “Gangbuster” comic book, as well as political cartoons, so that part is right up my alley.”
“Add to the mix that the author successfully raised a daughter to become a successful national beauty pageant contestant and now a highly respected attorney. Kathy’s record speaks for itself,” says Kulpa, who himself has no plans on entering beauty pageants.
Kulpa says he has to be in the right moo-ood to draw the udderly incredible Blossom the cow, provider of sage advice to the Starlettes — and for the young girl readers who read it.
The former CRACKED Magazine publisher successfully resurrected his artistic career in CRACKED’s aftermath with “Captain Cartoon,” South Florida caricature artist who’s drawn over 35,000 people since 2005. “Those caricatures are hanging around the world, from Moscow (Russia) to Mukwonago, Wisconsin,” he added. Kulpa’s also produced a coloring book, illustrated slide shows and several cartoon billboards among a variety of caricature and cartoon-based projects. Kulpa reveals he’s also written a book about his CRACKED adventure encompassing all points start-to-finish, but he’s declined to say anything further.
Kulpa has thrown his support to Kathy Johnson’s just-launched Starlette Kickstarter campaign, and produced a first ever semi-animated video on behalf of the Starlette Universe. “It highlights Kathy Johnson’s pun technique and even uses my own music as its soundtrack,” says Kulpa.
“This o-’puns’ up more opportunities,” he quipped. Kulpa also hints that he may include a bonus autographed CRACKED Magazine along with the rewards posted on Kickstarter for Starlette Universe support.
See Dick Kulpa’s animated video on Kickstarter (and throw some support to the Starlettes
Dick Kulpa’s blog: Starlettes Humorist Wants More Women as Comedy Writers
Dick Kulpa’s Parody & Cartoon website
Dick Kulpa’s caricature website