The Building Blocks of Despair

If you drop in on our Twitter feed very often, you’re probably familiar with the mysterious Dave Kaleta — aka @KakaLeta. Dave's been on a wicked tear in recent weeks, creating LEGO versions of Gloom characters.

In hopes of un-mysterious-ing Dave just a bit, we sent him an email…

Who are you?

I'm Dave from Chicago, I teach kindergarten.

The Blackwater Family
What inspired your majestic Gloom creations?

Every year a group of LEGO builders that I collaborate with do a secret Santa exchange. This year I drew my friend Stacy, who is a board game geek and Edward Gorey aficionado — I knew exactly what to create for her! My intention was to build the Castle Slogar family for her and be done. But once I started to see these characters that I loved torturing (to death) realized in LEGO from, I couldn't stop!

These builds were done over the course of a few days, with each character taking about an hour. Turning two-dimensional black-and-white portraits into full color figures was both challenging and fun. I may have to make another set of Slogar family figures for myself so that I can play Gloom with the characters on the table!

Do you have a favorite card in the game?

My favorite card, by far, is "Was Pursued by Poodles." Some of the best stories come from imagining why this might happen to a character.

Do you have a favorite family to play?

I love playing as the Hemlock Hall family because they seem to have the most complex and twisted family history.

The Hemlock Clan
If you could have three Gloom characters over for dinner, which ones would you pick?

As dinner guests, it would probably be best to have Lord Slogar, Grogar, and Balthazar over, as they probably wouldn't complain much about my cooking.

See more of Dave’s epic LEGO creations at his Flickr site, and make sure to Tweet @KakaLeta to tell him about the time you yourself were pursued by poodles!

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