Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
A very happy Maybon to all you beautiful wiccans, druids and witches out there. For the uninitiated, Mabon is the Autumn Equinox, which divides the day and night equally. Time to take a moment to pay our respects to the impending dark and give thanks to the waning sunlight. The Druids called this celebration Mea'n Fo'mhair, and honored the The Green Man by offering libations to trees. So go pour some Budweiser onto the roots of the nearest Oak tree and say 'Cheers!', why don't you. Or better yet, build and burn a Wicker Man!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Monsters is a nifty 1965 storybook with severely abridged retellings of the tales of Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Despite the appearance of the Mummy and Wolfman on the cover, that's all they had room for. Other than the obvious, what I really dig about this book is the distinctive art by Tony Tallarico. Tallarico is rather infamous for his depictions of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Werewolf, but it isn't this earlier, rather nice-looking book that ties his name to the characters. Oh no. Tony Tallarico is well known in certain circles for one of the weirdest pop culture mash-up's in history... the superhero versions of the three monsters done by Dell in the mid- '60's. The swingin' '60's version of Count Dracula saw the modern 'descendant' (didn't know the dead could conceive, did you?) accidentally drinking some "Bat Derived Healing Serum" he'd been working on, giving him the ability to transform himself into a bat. In issue four he got a female sidekick with the same powers named Fleeta. You know, like 'fliedermaus'? Yuck! The Werewolf was actually the codename/ supersuit owned by former U.S.A.F. pilot-turned-Super-Spy Wiley Wolf. His sidekick was a wolf named Thor. Ahwoooo!!! But my favorite of the three is the all-new Frankenstein, mostly because he's not all-new at all. That's right, this is the original Monster, who is reanimated when a lightning bolt strikes the ruins of Castle Frankenstein. For some reason he is dressed in a bright red leotard, tight blue trunks, and a belt with an 'F' logo on it. All he needs now to be able to go out and fight crime like the others is a secret identity. Oh! I know! How about 'Frank Stone'? Brilliant. This stuff was obviously hacked out at top speed by the creators... Tallarico's linework doesn't come close to his illustration job for Wonder Books. But it's sooo awfully conceived that it succeeds as Camp at it's finest. I'll let these sample pages speak for themselves.
Despite a few shudders over the materials used for such anomalies, I have a soft spot for Fortean taxidermy, as anyone who remembers my post on Jake, the Alligator Boy can attest. Juan Cabana is a talented modern practitioner of this dark art, with some very classic specimens on display. For a modern, rock n' roll approach, check out the grim works of local (Guelph) fiendster The Great Orbax. Lovely things, these.
Friday, September 15, 2006
During the height of the Monster Kid craze, every pop culture character from Fred Flintstone to the Pink Panther was expected to host some spooks now and then. This gorgeous Ponytail cover by Lee Holley captures that period perfectly. Starting out as an assistant to Hank Ketcham, Lee eventually created a syndicated panel of his own about a (then) typical Teen-Age girl named Ponytail, which became quite successful. What I find even more inspiring is Holley's business savvy. Realising that his income from the fickle world of comics wouldn't last forever, he began investing in Real Estate at the height of his career, and is now a very wealthy man... not from the comics, but from his investments. Pretty smart for a cartoonist. Anyway... back to the monsters, no? The title 'Monster Mash' is more than a little misleading, as the Lurch-ing character appears only on the cover and title panel. What we do get, however, is a charming Haunted House tale, complete with a wager to stay the night, attempt at trickery, and real ghosts at the end. Here are a couple of pages...
Monday, September 11, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Praise the Spirits! My favorite Dark Ride of all time has some stunning Halloween merchandise for sale! Yup, I can now get a glowing Ezra, Phineas, Gus, and the Bride from Disney's Haunted Mansion (the cool ride, not the poopy movie) from this Disney Shopping site! I can't wait to... $169.00??!? What are they, nuts? Sigh... I'll probably end up buying some anyway. I think I'm an addict.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The previous post about my dear, old Make- Up Monsters book really seems to have struck a chord with you weirdos! Many of you wrote to wax nostalgic about these spooky old face concoctions. Here's a photo of me in the Werewolf make-up. Apparently everything in the '70's was brown, as this snapshot has the same diarreah tone of the book cover. The black cape at left was my kid brother as Dracula, but the '70's also had crappy cameras, and a lot of these photos came out with half the picture blackened. Dracula didn't make the final cut of this one.
One of the contributers to the Wide Awake 666 anthology mentioned below is the lovely and talented Pat Lewis, responsible for loads of funnybook goodness including the Monsterama-relevant PROWL, and ABOMINABLE (about an apathetic ex-scientist named Lisa who saves the day when an unfrozen yeti stalks the halls of a shady research laboratory. Creepy and funny. My favorites!). This is cool, too...
This anthology of creepy cuteness looks very promising... here's the sales pitch from the site: "This October you’re in for a real treat! Prepare to savor every gooey drop of this deranged collection of drawings, comics and stories from some of your favorite indie artists. Wide Awake is a horror-inspired comic anthology sure to chill you to the bone (well, maybe the funny bone)." Mmmmm... very interesting indeed. And I do so like the inspired minds behind The Students Of The Unusual.