I first became aware of Maynard in early January 1994. During a rainy day trip in the middle of the week to Disneyland, my friend and I had decided to get out of the rain by riding the Haunted Mansion. We both assumed that the ride would go as usual and we would be able to get dry in the process.
Well, everything went as it usually does, until we got to the “Dead End” of the ride. We were all set to charge out of the Doom Buggy when we both got a look at what was awaiting us there! I remember seeing a rather tall, thin, scary-looking individual who was just staring at us with this wild-eyed look. I tell you, it scared my friend and I! Then we both started laughing hysterically about being scared so badly. We got out of the car and rushed up the escalator but looked back to see what this strange man was doing. He was a worker there and was apparently there to giver the riders a scare or two. For the rest of the day, my friend and I couldn’t stop talking about that scare in the Mansion.
It was about a year or two later that my best friend, Pam, and I encountered Maynard ['s evil twin] again in the Mansion this time in the expanding room. It was a pretty sparse crowd that day and it was early in the day too. We came into the room and we saw him over in the corner with his “Psycho face” on again. I being pretty timid about most things, ran over to hide by the exit door, but my friend Pam is much braver so she stayed nearby watching to see what he would do. The Maynard ['s evil twin] started singing, “Rolling, Rolling, Rolling,” and started to do his little spiels. Pam kept yelling at me to come over and see, but I was going to escape when the door opened. So we watched and smiled and then as the door opened, we rushed out.
Finally, it was last year (1996) at the Mickey’s Halloween Treat, a few friends from out of town were visiting with me, and attending the Treat who had never been to Disneyland before—that I remembered the funny guy who worked in the Mansion. I decided to ask whoever was working the doors to see if he was there or not. I thought that my friends would get a kick out of seeing him do his funny little spiels.
My friends and I were dressed as cats from the Broadway show, CATS, of which I run a fan club for. Being in costume tends to bring out the hidden actress in me, so I felt much more brave to ask. We got into the expanding room and a kind worker there actually called Maynard in the other room to get him to come out and talk with us. So he did! And he did his spiels for us and named us the “Pretty Kitties!”
We went back the next day and he remembered us when we three yelled out, “Pretty Kitties.” He remember us and said, “I approve, I approve!” as we went by on the ride.
So I though nothing of this until a few weeks later. One day during my rather boring lunch hour I started sketching funny bird drawings, as I was working on some bird ideas for animatronic character for a bird show. Finally I came up with a rather weird looking bird character that looked good to me. I doodled some more, cartooning it more broadly and dressing him in costumes. After lunch hour was over, I went in to the VP’s office and asked him jokingly, what did he think of this? Well, he looked it over and laughed out loud and said—”That’s one insane bird you got there!” So I though nothing of it and I went back to my desk and put it away to work on other projects.
By the end of the day, I had finished and had nothing else to do, so I went back to this silly bird drawing and looked at it and said, “You know, Christine, your brain has been taking a day off today. Imagine, a bird in a suit!” Then I thought, “Hey, this looks familiar! Darn insane bird! You know that bird looks a lot like that guy from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland!”
So since that Treat I had been doing these little drawings of Maynard on my lunch hour to while away the lonely hours. Steve, the VP at my work loved the drawings so much he made a bet with me that I should go down there and actually give some of the drawings to Maynard! Well, to make a long story short, I did just that.
Well, I handed the drawing off to him as I entered the “Doom Buggy.” He lit up the Toy Story alien with the flashlight for me and said that you. (I think he was very surprised to get something!). So I visited a few times at the Spooky House that day and found out that he also was a professional cartoonist and that he was an artist too!
So that is the story of how this humble artist met Maynard. I hope that all of you will enjoy my drawings! Thank You and,