A Pirate's Life for Me: Captain Scalawag releases new activity book for buccaneers

Mitch Prentice
Lake Sun Leader
The cover of Williams' published        pirate-themed activity book full of puzzles, pictures to color and        characters.

Every time Tim Williams, better known as Captain Scalawag, sails the high seas for his interactive pirate treasure hunt stage show, dozens of crew members tag along for an adventure down the Gravois Arm of the Lake. Taking off from Jolly Rogers Grub N Grog onboard the 65-foot Calypso pirate ship they’ll have to make landfall to hunt for buried treasure.

For nearly 20 years, Williams has been playing this character making appearances at local events, libraries, school assemblies, charity events and pretty much everything in-between. It all came to a standstill earlier this year due to COVID, so Williams had to think of other creative ways to continue to reach his audience and entertain fans.

With the help of his friend and award-winning illustrator Glen Mullaly (and Glen’s wife Joanne), Williams published a pirate-themed activity book full of puzzles, pictures to color and characters. “Captain Scalawag's Treasure Chest” can be found on Amazon for $7.95.

Williams is quick to credit Mullaly, saying the book would not exist without his contribution.

“Glen was kind enough to be willing to put together many of the illustrations he had already done along with some new pirate-themed illustrations and content,” Williams said. “I readily admit that the book would not exist if it weren't for Glen's talent and kindness in allowing this pirate to shanghai his work and to add a few ideas of my own. I cannot thank him enough.”

Mullaly has worked on everything from “Star Wars,” “My Teacher is an Alien,” “Sixth-Grade Alien” book series and “McDonald's Fun Times.” (Glenmullaly.com and on Facebook Glen Mullaly Illustration.)

“This has been an incredibly difficult and strange year, to say the least,” Williams said. “So while I wasn't able to appear and pirate (this year), I have never stopped looking toward the horizon. I hope somehow this book, so wonderfully illustrated by Glen, inspires children of all ages to use their imagination and their creativity, to hope for a better tomorrow and to look forward to many happy adventures ahead. As we pirates say, “Fair winds and following seas always! Now bring me that horizon!”

Williams has lived in the Lake area for most of his life, except for a few years going to college to earn a degree in television and film and working for a short time for the state of Missouri in the Missouri Film Office. Locally he has been seen performing for the Lake Area Performing Arts Guild’s stage productions, as the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz,” Lazer Wolf in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and Willy Wonka in “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka.”  

Q&A with Capt. Scalawag

What gave you the inspiration for this book, and why did you write it?

I always enjoyed books growing up, including coloring and puzzle books when I was younger. It's also really important to me that children learn to use their imaginations and be creative. The book was a way to blend those things together in that it is a coloring book, a sketchbook and a puzzle book all in one. Plus, it has pirate themed content, which is something near and dear to me black heart!

What types of things are featured in the book?

The book is filled with wonderful coloring pages, illustrated puzzles and brain teasers as well as guided sketch pages, allowing kids of all ages to use their imagination and draw something in the book. There is, of course, a Captain Scalawag pirate thread throughout, even showing you how to make your very own pirate hat. I'm also proud of the Captain Scalawag original poem “The Sea Beastie” that Glen illustrated so well. We tried to put something in the book for everyone to enjoy. As Glen so aptly put it on the title page, “A practical compendium of fantastical diversions, enigmatic amusements and hue-rrific pursuits!”

What are your future plans? Do you have other books in mind you want to complete?

I do have plans for a few more books. I have two pirate-themed storybook ideas I'm working on as well as a book of illustrated spooky poems based on characters from my “Castle Vlad” show. I also write, produce, direct, perform and edit an Internet micro-series called “Castle Vlad,” which is a fun-filled throwback to horror-hosted shows of the 60s and 70s. It's as if Vlad the Impaler of history is a vampire hosting a low budget TV show for KRYP-TV and trying to figure out how to navigate this century and eventually take over the world with his castle of monsters. It's a little spooky but also hopefully funny and for all ages. Find it on Facebook at Castle Vlad or on YouTube search Neatocoolville - KRYP-TV - Castle Vlad. And, it seems I'm always working on ideas, props and a script for the interactive pirate stage show and treasure hunt at Jolly Rogers. I write a new script for it every year.