Take a Studebaker Cruise to Bugsport!
Everyone knows that Studebakers were well ahead of their time design-wise. Many have even referred to Studebaker styling over the years as "out of this world".
Well, Canadian artist, illustrator and animator Ted Bastien has taken the "out of this world" Studebaker relationship literally.
You see, some time back Ted created a cartoon series he named "Bugsport". The story is about a fellow, whose name is, er, Ted, who moves his family to the country and ends up in an unlisted town called Bugsport. Its exact location is kept secret because it turns out that Bugsport is where the government relocated the aliens that had landed near Roswell, New Mexico back in the 40s! In each weekly episode, the story reveals how Ted and his family adjust to life in Bugsport and become friends with alien neighbors, Don and June Nelson. Bugsport is humorous, interesting and creative, and really shows off Mr. Bastien's considerable talent.
But, you ask, what has Bugsport and its alien inhabitants to do with Studebakers?
That connection is evident the moment you see the "out of this world" vehicles Bugsport residents drive. There are spacecraft that look like Hawks, Bulletnoses and Avantis! They even have a Studebaker dealership in town!
Ted's penchant for incorporating Studebaker styling into his spacecraft is not accidental.
"I've always liked the design of the Studebaker cars", Ted says. "As a child growing up, they were the first cars I remember. Both my parents and grandparents were loyal Studebaker owners. I watched the premier of 'Mary Poppins' in my pajamas while standing in the backseat of my parents' Studebaker at the drive in. I believe it was a Lark."
Ted says that his mother's first car was a Hawk. "Even though she owned the car, my grandfather was so concerned about her safety that he wouldn't allow her to drive it alone", he said. "Grandpa would sit in the passenger seat as she drove to work, then he would drive the Hawk home. After my mom had finished work he would drive back to her workplace and let her drive the Hawk home."
Ted says that his mom finally got up very early one day and stole her own car and drove to work by herself. "Grandpa didn't talk to her for a few days after that!" he laughs.
Ted Bastien's continuing interest in Studebakers is understandable, as many of us have had similar memorable Studebaker experiences in the past. But, how did Ted come to create Bugsport?
First, Ted honed a natural artistic talent into an accomplished illustration and animation career by attending the classical animation course at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. He's been working in the animation industry ever since he graduated. That, coupled with an interest in science fiction, eventually led him to do the Bugsport series.
Today, Ted resides in Toronto with wife Rose and son Phillip (who also appear in Bugsport) For the last 20 years, Ted has worked in television cartoons at Nelvana, a prominent animation company in Toronto. In addition to Bugsport, which Ted admits is a labor of love, he has worked on many popular animated programs and films such as The Magic School Bus, Gargoyle, Braceface, and Babar: The Movie.
Bugsport has captured the attention of a growing number of fans, including the members of the Studebaker Drivers Club. Fans anxiously await each weekly episode that appears on Ted's website at www.tedsstudio.com. We Studebaker enthusiasts revel in the creative way Ted works in Stude style and routinely gab about each episode on Internet forums. In fact, there's been some speculation on how Ted chose that name for his fictional town. Well, Ted says it has nothing to do with Volkswagons or sports!
"For the last several years my family and I have been taking our vacations in Maine, near a town called Bucksport", Ted explains. "Because of the many (and large and hungry) mosquitoes that seem to vacation there also, we nicknamed it 'Bugsport'."
Ted says that Bugsport will continue for some time and we can count on seeing more Studebaker flying saucers in upcoming episodes. He's also working on plans to develop Bugsport into an animated series for television. As SDC members and Studebaker lovers, we all hope that Ted succeeds!
Even if you are not a hard-core science fiction fan, you'll certainly get a big kick out of Bugsport. Check it out at, www.tedsstudio.com. For those who have never seen Bugsport before, be sure to click on the link that lets you start at the very beginning.
If you're worried about the prospect of aliens living among us, you can at least take comfort in that they are all driving Studebakers. And in our book, that makes 'em nice folks. And we have Ted Bastien to thank for that.
NOTE: Ted Bastien and Bill Glass (aka BondoBilly) are offering a series of BUGSPORT shirts. Several designs are available. Bugsport shirts can be seen and ordered online from www.bondobilly.com or www.thestudebakerstore.com
Modeling one of the new BUGSPORT sweatshirts in the photo on the right is Jane Ash, Membership Secretary of the Ocean Bay Chapter.
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