Co-founder Maus Merryjest

Co-founder and Executive Artistic Master

Virtual portrait of Maus Merryjest
A virtual portrait of Maus Merryjest.

Maus hails from the exotic and beautiful coasts of sunny Ecuador, and on top of that, is a card-carrying member of the International ABBA Fanclub. Inspired by bookworm parents and music lovers, Maus is vastly multifaceted! He speaks four languages (his mother tongue Spanish, French, English, and Italian) and has debuted as an operatic tenor in lead roles. After pursuing fifteen years of secondary education, he has acquired a Masters in Vocal Performance, recognition as a CSU Presidential International Research Fellow, a Bachelor of Arts, and Certificates in Multimedia Technologies and Teaching English as a Second Language to Adults and Children.

Maus’ background is metropolitan Guayaquil in full swing of the neon vomit orgy known as the eighties. The era’s inventiveness inspired him to exploit his imagination fully. He often drew comics on perforated spools of dot matrix printer paper and played at being Wonder Woman or Mary Poppins. Contrasted against a background of a traditional Catholic population and cultural wasteland, Maus stood out early. Strange experiences and struggles with being different from the crowd rounded out his formative years.

Undaunted by convention, he was fascinated both by the old works of Le Morte d’Arthur, Italo Calvino, Disney movies, and other pop culture. American television was a staple in his youth. As he watched sitcoms like Susan Harris’ Golden Girls, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, Jim Burrows’ (et al.) Cheers, or Christy Marx’s Jem And The Holograms, he dreamed of bringing a little piece of that neon rainbow absurdity into the real world.

In his cosmopolitan lifetime, Maus has traveled to Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Colombia. He now resides in the United States. Before leaving Ecuador, Maus graduated from a Jesuit administered senior high school with a focus on philosophy and social sciences and studied two years of psychology at the Universidad Catolica. He also completed the Cambridge Advanced Examination at the Guayaquil British Council. He learned early to respect the wisdom that can come from years of hard-earned experience instead of discarding it as many are want to do.

Beauty is not a decoration, an adornment, but an essential fuel and refreshment for the spirit. The job of the artist is far more critical than many people realize.

Maus Merryjest

Maus realized the value of history from reading his grandfather’s old books. He eventually observed that we might enjoy and benefit from significant advances and novelties these days but tend to ignore their foundations. We discard or forget, to our increasing peril, profound conceptual systems constructed by classic thinkers. The words of Socrates, Xenophon, Aristotle, and Seneca ring with veracity even today. Renaissance intellectuals like John Milton, Erasmus of Rotterdam, or more recent Enlightenment writers like Adam Smith and Nicolas de Condorcet continue to offer significant insights. Modern thinkers such as Simone de Beauvoir, Umberto Eco, and Isaac Asimov provide new perspectives and integrations for the advancements of our time. All these philosophers have formed a timeless continuum responsible for shaping our modern world in terms of the creative spirit.

Maus’ greatest love of all amidst this sea of intellect is music. He especially adores the singing and legends of the international operatic stages. Maus eventually immigrated to the United States to pursue his singing and artistic career. His circumstances lend him insight into the struggles and situations under which many artists and opera singers find themselves suffering. Because they lack outside support or true independent economic self-sufficiency, outdated traditions and greed stymie their efforts to remain competitive and accessible in the available performance industries.

As time progresses, it’s ostensibly more likely that we would overlook historically uniquely dramatic individuals such as Carol Channing, Freddy Mercury, Bea Arthur, Luciano Pavarotti, and countless others. They do not conform to a synthetic and restrictive standard of marketable beauty. Maus believes the art world needs both Maria Callas’ and Florence Foster Jenkins’. Their grace is necessary because there is a virtue in perfect technique and construction and the inviolable individual artist’s unique specifics. While good craft more easily taps into the universality of human experience, it is character that creates the actual irreproducible expression of living. Both are necessary to form a full picture of the human being. In essence, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec complement each other. Maus’ artistic and entrepreneurial quest is to find the contemporary individuals who, with additional support, can bridge between the two. They can not only capture today’s zeitgeist but create it themselves.

If you’re into pop culture, retro history, philosophical analyses (particularly of pop culture historical artifacts such as the Ultima series; morality and ludonarrative mechanics anyone?), as well as good old fashioned reviews and retrospectives of hidden gems and forgotten treasures. Are game streams, podcasts, collaborations, glimpses of creative projects in the works (including his comic Grinners and Losers), and other miscellaneous eccentricities your thing? Then this is the media whore for you. Discover Maus’ voracious appetite for such media and an encyclopedic mind (plus just a touch of glib) at By Word of Maus.

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