Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Current Monster By Mail Article

For those who are intensely interested, here is the transciption of the article that ran in the West Side Sun News last week and will run (hopefully) in the Lakewood Sun Post this week. Thanks to Nora for the transcribing work! BTW, I hope to have a new show this week. I sound awful if I talk for any length of time, but we'll see how it goes.


Artist’s fundraiser turns into monstrous business
By Lisa Novatny

What started as a fundraising effort for self-employed artist Len Peralta quickly evolved into a “monster of its own.”

Peralta, a Lakewood resident and the creator of monsterbymail.com, a Web site that delivers custom-designed monsters in the mail, erected the site after he and his wife found they were expecting their sixth child.

Envisioning pricey medical bills and multiple receipts for diapers and formula, Peralta made it his mission to raise some extra money.

Peralta got his idea to draw personalized monsters after witnessing a fellow artist successfully sell hobo drawings on the Internet. His love for drawing and his intrigue of beasts, superheroes and zombies, which stemmed from childhood, led him to his calling.

“I’ve always been a cartoonist,” said Peralta, who minored in art at Baldwin-Wallace College. “I’ve always enjoyed drawing and I always wanted to be an artist.”

With the help of web designer Dan Coulter, Peralta set up monsterbymail.com, opening it to the public on March 30.
The site allows monster lovers the opportunity to submit a name for their demon or brute then Peralta hand draws the 4-by-6-inch monstrosity.

Each drawing costs $20. For $30, you can purchase a drawing along with an art-in-progress video, and for $45 you can purchase a drawing, video and zombie T-shirt.

Peralta originally intended to create 150 monsters. Within a week though, he had sold out.

“I was flabbergasted, “ Peralta said. “I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. . . I’m an unknown artist. But people really took to it.”

In response to the site’s popularity, Peralta decided to create more monsters.

He again opened the site, this time promoting fictional monster movie drawings. Again, the illustrations sold like hotcakes.
“At one point, I was getting two to four orders per hour,” Peralta exclaimed. “It was ridiculous.”

The artists followed up a cryptozoology theme next. creating more than 100 drawings.

Currently, Peralta is working on zombie-themed drawings. From Vincent van Zombie to an undead Flaming Monkey Metal Guitarist, Peralta already has received more than 200 orders.

To meet demands, Peralta sometimes draws four to 12 monsters per day, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next morning, for two weeks at a time.

Each drawing is humorous and unique in its own way., Peralta advertised monsterbymail.com through his blog and his and his wife’s weekly podcast, Jawbone Radio, which was established in 2005.

Today, he receives orders from all over the world and even has created monsters for cryptozooligist Loren Coleman.

“The response to this has been so overwhelmingly positive that’s it’s been an inspiration to me to really keep going,” Peralta said. “I used to think sitting at home, drawing cartoons would be the best job ever. . . and you what—it is.”

Along with running monsterbymail.com and hosting his own podcast, Peralta illustrated a book titled ”Visual Things a Week: Art Inspired by the Music of Jonathan Coulton, “ created the Zombie Alphabet and runs his own advertising agency at home.