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The Ocean Shores Pirate Has Gone Batty!

Today is Halloween 2008! So that means it’s once again time to dust off (literally) our old friend, the Ocean Shores Pirate! Hey there, OCP, how are you?

Arr, I be just fine. It been a year, has it? Well, matey, let me be takin’ a look at yer website to see what all ye been doin’... Now, Mister Harris, I notice that ye only wrote one cursed article in 2008.

Well, yeah…

What happened ta th’articles section o’ this website? The Halloween 2007 article only be two articles ago! And Halloween 2006 only be a couple articles before that one!

I’ve been, y’know, kinda busy. I did write a bunch of movie reviews this summer.

Oh! OH! Ye wrote yer precious movie reviews! Tell me, mate, how many reviews behind are ye right now?

Um… five.

Five! FIVE! Huh! I see how it be. I’m s’pposin’ that yon movie reviews take precedent over these here articles, eh? We sorry lot what reside in this here reviews section be the bastard children of this here website!

Wow, OCP, you’ve really got your dander up this year. What’s up?

What be up, ye ask? I’ll tell ye! I be havin’ me “dander” up (as ye say) on account o’ the fact that I be having withdrawl! I done gone and got meself sobered up!

Wow, Ocean Shores Pirate, that’s amazing! I’m proud of you. How long have ye been sober?

13 God-forsaken minutes. It be more than I can handle! The shakes! I can’t stop the shakes!

Well, all right, let’s get on with this year’s Halloween project, shall we?

Arr, I gots me a project o’ me own. I call it hooch. Others may call it booze.

This year I’m gonna be teaching you all how to make good bat cut-outs to put in your windows or dangle from things. I find it remarkably simple, but some people have told me that they find it difficult.

Bats. BATS!? Ye gots t’be jokin’, matey! Ye dust me off fer gorram bats!?

Did you just say, “Gorram?” What, are you a Browncoat now? A space pirate?

Sorry, I were tryin’ ta curse with a bottle o’ rum in me mouth. Makes the words sound all funny sometimes.

You don’t actually have to know how to draw a bat to make a good bat cut-out. You just need to know how to draw HALF of a bat. There are some tricks I’ll teach you, but first let’s look at what a real bat looks like. Here's an image from our good friends at Enchanted Learning:

As you can see, bat wings are really just the hands of the bat. Their fingers are just really long and webbed. They have a little hook “thumb” on the upper part of their wings, then they have four fingers, just like you and me.

Not me, matey. I don’t have hands at all. I be a piece o’ balsa wood!

So how can you drink a bottle of rum if you’re just a piece of balsa wood? How do you pick it up? How do you drink it? Your mouth is just a swath of paint.

Wait, wait, ye be wantin’ logic with yer painted piece o’ balsa wood? NOW is the time when ye be questionin’ the logic o’ this whole situation?

Anyway, the skin flap from the pinky finger of the bat connects to the ankle of the leg, right above the five-toed foot. Then more skin stretches from the foot to the tip of the tail.

Arr… that be a lot o’ skin. Y’know what body part I got that has a lot o’ skin?

Is this a dirty joke?

Nay… nay. It were GOING to be a dirty joke, but then I don’t have nary a scrap o’ skin to me name, so it just made me sad. More rum’ll solve that.

Making a realistic bat cut-out would be kind of complicated, so we’re going to simplify it quite a bit: only two fingers and no legs.

Har har! It reminds me o’ this one scallywag I knew. He were a damned lousy sailor until AFTER he lost his legs an’ fingers in a fight with a barmaid and her shark boyfriend. Har har! Good times.

The barmaid had a shark for a boyfriend?

Aye, that she did. A right honorable fellow, but ye didn’t ne’er want ta cross him! So many teeth!

So let’s begin. Get some black construction paper and fold it in half. Start by sketching out the basic area that the bat will fill. I generally use either a triangle or a quarter of a circle.

Now start with the bat’s head. It should be flat for just a bit and then go up into a pointy tip of the ear, which should touch or just about touch your top line.

Go straight down from the tip of the ear about twice as far as the height of the ear. When you’re drawing the head, keep in mind that this is only HALF of the head, so don’t make it too wide or your bat will have a fat head.

FAT HEAD! HAR HAR! Ye gots a fat head, matey! Yer head be as fat as a whale what ate a fat piece o’ bacon and then got fat! HAR HAR!

Okay, that’s enough rum for you. Gimme that.

HEY! Nay, don’t be takin’ me hooch away! I be NEEEEEEEDIN’ that!

You obviously can’t handle it right now!

That’s because I lost me tolerance when I went sober. Now if’n I drink nary but a drop then I become as souced as a souced soucer.

You were only sober for 13 minutes!

It seemed an eternity. Or forever. Whichever is longer. *HIC* Gorram hiccups.

Now draw a line from the nape of the bat's neck up to a point about halfway down the top line, where the bat's "thumb" would be (we're not actually going to draw a thumb, though). This line can be straight or curved. Then draw a line from there to the slanted edge of the triangle, to a point about level with the nape of the bat's neck.

Arr, I'll nape yer neck if'n ye don't gimme back me hooch! How'm I s'posed t'be a pirate without me hooch!? *HIC* Gorram hiccups.

Now mark a point about halfway between the tip of the wing and the tip of the tail. Draw two curves connecting all of these points.

Now just cut it out and unfold it! Voila (look there), you've got yourself a pretty decent bat!

Once you've got the hang of it you can experiment with different wing heights and angles, and whether or not the tops of the wings are curved (and in which direction they're curved) or straight. There's no end to the possibilities!

So there you have it. Hmm... Ocean Shores Pirate, you've been quiet for a while. What's up? Did you pass out from drinking again?

Nay, ye took away all me hooch! And let me tell ye somethin', matey. I never this much sober before in me entire life! As soon as I were borned I started suckin' rum from me mum's teat!

Augh, OCP, I did NOT want to hear that!

And e'er since then I been havin' at least one shot o' the good stuff restin' in me belly or runnin' through me veins. But now... I be clear-headed for the first time! I actually LISTENED to yer instructions this year!


Aye, really! While ye were busy yammerin' on, I took yer instructions to heart and discovered that not only can ye make great bat cut-outs this way, but ye can also carve bats inta yer punkins! Like I done here; take a look:

Hey, that's a GREAT idea, OCP! And that's an interesting variation on the bat design; a little bit flatter and with lower wings.

Thanks, matey! While ye were lookin' at that punkin, I done carved another!

You... wait, you carved a pumpkin in the time it took me to LOOK at that previous pumpkin?

Right-o! Take a look:

Nice! That's another good one. Wow, you should really stop drinking more often. You're a machine.

Hmm... something seems familiar about these bat designs, though.

Arr! This be amazin'! I done carved ANOTHER punkin while ye were lookin at that one:

Hey, now wait a minute! I know I've seen that before! That's the symbol they used in--

HAR HAR! I carved another one in the scant few seconds that passed since I carved the last one!

Okay, now knock that off! That's Batman's bat-symbol! In fact, ALL of these pumpkins are various Batman symbols. That first one is from the late-90s "New Look" version of Batman: The Animated Series. The 2nd one is from Batman Beyond. The third one is from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight (the movie). And that 4th one is the classic symbol-in-a-yellow-oval bat!

Ocean Shores Pirate, you've used up all my pumpkins and made me look like a complete Batman nerd!

Arr... well, it be lookin' like I can work really fast when I'm sober, but I can't come up with an original idea ta save me life. All I can do is copy. Well, hand me back that bottle.

All right, OCP, here you go. Wha'd'ya think of this year's Halloween article?



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