Thursday, December 24, 2009

Excelsior!

One of my heroes, Stan Lee, reads The Night Before Christmas. Enjoy, true believers!

Hope You Were Good...

... 'cause a visit from Krampus isn't as fun as it looks.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cryptid Claus

Here's a nasty little holiday treat for you, with a warning from the film itself: "What you are about to see may traumatize you for life", especially if you still want to believe in Santa as a benevolent magical elf. Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander's short films Rare Exports Vol. 1 and 2 pose the awesomely bizarre question: 'what if Father Christmas was a rare species of cryptozoological wildman that had to be hunted, captured, and trained by specialists?' The resulting faux documentaries are sublimely disturbing, and, I'm happy to say, are soon to be reworked into a feature film! Be careful next time you sit on Santa's lap...

True Zombie Tales

Check out this amazing article over at Mens Journal about real Haitian zombies! From journalist Mischa Berlinski: "About a month after I arrived in Jérémie, a rumor swept through town that a deadly zombie was on the loose. This zombie, it was said, could kill by touch alone. The story had enough authority that schools closed." Forget the brain-eating undead of Zombieworld... this is the real deal. A fascinating and highly recommended read.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

European Saturdays

The coolest thing (to me, anyway) about this report at Kidscreen on the European roll-out of Secret Saturdays merch is the news that Rainbow Productions will be designing costumes for personal appearances. I'm going to need photos of these if any of you spot them, OK? From the report: "Rainbow Productions is constructing costume characters for meet-and-greet events and other promotional activities. Deals are also currently in the works for celebration cakes, outdoor toys, apparel and footwear in the UK and bags in Spain."
Yeah, baby... footwear and 'bags'! Are you excited?

Free Spooky

The Big Blog Of Kids Comics has three terrific Spooky Comics available to read. Classic stuff by Howard Post including an appearance by 'Bat Belfry'. Man, I loved Spooky when I was a kid! The 'tough little ghost' was always my favourite Harvey Comics' character.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Strange Tales #3 out now

I forgot to mention that my 4-page contribution to Marvel Comics' odd Strange Tales is on the shelves as of last Wednesday. Oh, and I did an interview for the Marvel website, too...

Monday, November 02, 2009

Saturdays Back On Saturday

Heads' up, Secret Saturdays fans-- the premiere half-hour episode of the new season will follow Batman The Brave and the Bold this Saturday, November 7th on Cartoon Network at the following times:
Eastern 9pm
Central 8pm
Mountain 7pm
Pacific 9pm
Hawaii 4pm

Friday, October 30, 2009

All Hallow's Oh-Nine!

Happy Hallowe'en everyone!

Maskatorium!

I am super jealous of this guy's amazing collection of masks! Looking through all these fantastic faces is a great way to kill some pre-hallowe'en hours.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Top Ten Tinglers

For your holiday viewing pleasure, The Horror Blog has asked various horror-related people to compile a top ten list of their favorite horror movies (me included). Check out the link above for all the lists, and compare against your own...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Scared Silly

Monsterama pal Paul Castiglia is launching the Scared Silly blog on Halloween as a lead-in to his forthcoming book (of the same name) about classic Hollywood horror-comedies. Scared Silly examines the popularity of mixing humor and horror-- which is precisely our purview here on Monsterama, so you know I'm excited! Castiglia’s blog and book will offer readers a fun overview of horror-comedy films spanning the 1920s through the 1960's, including films with Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd on through The Little Rascals and Bowery Boys, to Bob Hope, Abbott & Costello and Don Knotts. It's going to be great.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ghost Busting Book

Did you know that Dan Akroyd's home life was the inspiration for Ghostbusters? His Great Grandfather, Dr. Samuel A. Akroyd, was a Spiritualist Medium who held séances at the family home in the early 1900's. And Dan's father, Peter Akroyd, has written a book about those experiences and more in A History Of Ghosts; The True Story of Séances, Mediums, Ghosts, and Ghostbusters. From USA Today, Dan Akroyd says, "I remember when I was about 4 or 5 my grandparents and mom and dad discussing what went on in this room. It was all in hushed tones, as if I wasn't supposed to hear. It was about the séances that were held here."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Voices From The Netherworld

I get a lot of people asking me if they could do a voice for my show. Or, more realistically, asking if I could tell them how to get into the business of voice acting. Honestly, I have no idea. But I know someone who does. If you're really serious about it, there's no better person to post questions to than Cory Burton. Cory isn't only the voice of Argost and Van Rook for the Secret Saturdays-- as well as many many other animated voices-- he's passionate about the Art of voice acting, and extremely knowledgeable about it's history and craft.

Future Tut?

For the Tutenstein fans out there, looks like the new Hasbro Studios is starting to get serious! Anyone out there want to see all-new episodes?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I am a Wild Thing

Saw the film adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are on Friday, and thought it was a gorgeous little art film. Not for everyone, but I certainly loved it, despite the fractured family content feeling very close to home. It was, in fact, emotionally rough going for me, which is why it's taken a couple of days to post about it. As a single Dad mucking about in the aftermath of a failed family, I all too strongly identified with the Wild Things-- particularly Carol. Kind of poignant that the original Sendak book meant so much to me as a child, given to me by my Father after he and my Mum split up, and now the film resonates so clearly with me as an adult on the other side of the divide. Heart-achingly lovely. Thanks to all involved.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Secret Disguises

Anyone dressing up as Secret Saturdays or Tutenstein characters this Halloween? Please send me your photos, and I'll post them here on Monsterama! And if you're in the Philippines, I'd love some pics of the Secret Saturdays Pumpkin Party where "...Doc, Drew and Zak Saturday are giving out prizes to kids who can help them solve mysteries by identifying the disguised villains who are trying to sneak into their Halloween party."

Twilight Zoo

All this month, the little town of Elora, Ontario (just a short drive from where I live) will be full of freaks and frights as they kick off another wonderful Monster Month. As he's been doing for a decade now, local artist Tim Murton has covered the town's quaint old buildings with white creepy creatures in nightmarish proportions, called, appropriately, The Twilight Zoo. This year Elora is expanding their claim on the holiday by adding the first annual Monster March... a grand Halloween Parade through the darkened downtown streets. I will personally join in the March as my gruesome alter ego Prof. Primate, the Devolved Doctor on Saturday October 24th beginning at 6:00 PM. Please join us, won't you? Thanks again to Halloween Town for making it super easy to pull the costume together.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hollywood Hallowe'en!

Seeing as I'm in Burbank during the Hallowe'en season, it's only fitting to dedicate a post to the legendary Bob Burns. Bob is responsible for inspiring and directly mentoring some of the greatest horror FX guys in the business via his annual Hallowe'en 'shows', and he's got a gorgeous site featuring a documentary in four parts, with a new segment added each week leading up to All Hallow's Eve. Prepare to be blown away by some of the best private hallowe'en props and FX ever built. The film is riveting, and HIGHLY recommended Monsterama material. Jan Alan Henderson has an interview with the amazing Mr. Burns here. Thanks to Scott J. for the links!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Cover

Here's the second cover (Cartoon Network Action Pack #45) to the upcoming 2-part Secret Saturdays story, "The Lost King Of Africa". Shades of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...

Zombie Plague

They're going for the World Record of undead, so if you're in or around New Orleans on October 31st 2009, put your best zombie suit on and shuffle on down! From Humid Beings, "The multifaceted, ever evolving troupe, The New Orleans Bingo! Show is spearheading the attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records “Largest gathering of Zombies“. Up until recently, the USA held the record with 3,894 zombies in attendance. The record was recently topped at the Big Chill festival in Ledbury, UK in August with an incredibly close 4,026 people.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Saturday Morning Monsters

One of my favourite mags, the creeptacular Canadian publication Rue Morgue just put out their Hallowe'en issue, and the Secret Saturdays make an appearance. In an article called "TV's Coolest Cartoon Creeps", the Saturdays rank alongside such unforgettable animated freaks as Casper the friendly ghost, Milton the Monster, The Gruesomes, Groovy Goolies, Fangface, Beetlejuice, and Ruby Gloom... many of whom I've blogged about here over the years. I won't spoil the fun, though... you'll have to go dig up a copy to see the full list.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Hammerstad!

Seems like everyone's been blogging about the awesomeness that is Norwegian artist Kristian Hammerstad, but I couldn't resist the overkill, as his stuff is pure Monsterama magic. The work is decidedly Charles Burnsesque, but has a poppy gore charm all it's own. From Screamstress...“Some of my first memories of being awed by artwork was seeing skateboard graphics that the older guys in my neighborhood had.”

Potty Monsters

Loving the new kiddie book written by Kelly DiPuccio and illustrated by the brilliant Mike Moon, How To Potty Train Your Monster. The scans don't do it justice-- the art is shockingly day-glow! Mike is one of the few truly Creative Executives in animation. An Emmy-Winning Art Director (for Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends) and current VP of Animated series for The Disney Channel. From Line Boil..."...if a creative executive also happens to have some art chops, then by all means - hire that person immediately! And that’s exactly what Disney did several years back..."

The book would make a wonderful Hallowe'en gift for the pre-schooler in your life.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

D3 Saturdays Site

Check out D3's spanking new website for the upcoming Secret Saturdays videogame, Beasts Of The 5th Sun! Full of exclusive downloads and info on cryptids from the game...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Wolverine Vs. Wendigo

Here's a bloody drawing I did for a fundraiser for the non profit Joe Shuster Awards of Wolverine in his original costume attacking Wendigo. Since the awards are for Canadian cartoon talent, and it's Wolverine --the Canadian hero's-- 35th anniversary in print, he was choosen as the subject matter for the art auction. ComicArtFans will post the virtual gallery, and the ebay auction for this stuff will begin in the Fall. I loved Wolverine when I was a kid! And the Wendigo, both the Marvel Comics version and the real Ojibwe legend is one of my favourite monsters.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Skeletown

Check out the pleasantly postmortem world of Skeletown by Monsterama pal Rhode Montijo (who was, FYI, nearly the character designer for my show Tutenstein!), which he describes as "...inspired by the Mexican folk art of Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)-A holiday that celebrates the lives of those who have passed." Adorable stuff that continues in the grand calavera tradition of Jose Guadalupe Posada-- one of my all-time favourite graphic artists. Hurry up, Rhode! I can't wait for the book!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Couple of Saturdays Reviews...

One neat review from "Salt Lake City Paranormal Examiner", Steven Symes, about the Secret Saturdays' impact on Cryptozoology for kids, and another by Radical Raven at
ToonZone with a rather in-depth review of the Volume 1 DVD that includes the very kind sentence, "The show has the potential to become one of the best action shows on TV, and I eagerly await the second volume."

TKO!

Cartoon Network has just launched their online fighting robot game TKO: Titanic Kungfubot Offensive, and players can choose one of three Secret Saturdays character bots to do battle with. Check out the awesome designs for Van Rook, Zak Saturday, and Munya (above) by Vanhoozer Studios! Wicked!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

FanExpo 2009

Heads' up-- I'll be appearing at the Toronto FanExpo this coming weekend, August 28th-30th 2009. Come on by if you're in the neighborhood and chat me up. Other cool, creepy guests include legendary horror film stars Barbera Steele and Bruce Campbell, the King of B-Movies, Roger Corman, and Master of Horror Mags, Rue Morgue, with whom I've just talked to for a piece on creepy cartoons that will appear in the October ish. (above: cover rough for Cartoon Network Action Pack #44)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hype For Beasts

There's a nice article on the Secret Saturdays game over at Kidzworld that's of special note because it's got 3 mini-interview videos with Phil 'Doc' Morris, Nicole 'Drew' Sullivan, and Jess 'Piecemeal' Harnell! Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Scary Gary

I'm a fan of Mark Buford's daily comic strip Scary Gary. It's a creepy monster comedy with a dry, and often dark, sense of humor. I haven't seen a dud yet. The strip centers around Gary the vampire and his green, demonic, sidekick, Leopold as they try to adjust to life in the suburbs. There's also a nerdy ghost named Owen and a head in a jar named Travis. From Go Comics: "He's rather burned out on vampirism and is ready to hang up his cape... but Leopold keeps the neighborhood thoroughly terrorized."

Spook House Dave!

Once in a while something creeps on on me and blows my monster-lovin' mind. Spook House Dave! snuck up from Atlanta, a cute, creepy cross between Mad Monster Party and the Muppets, created by delightfully deranged puppet master Lucky Yates and Dragonfruit geniuses Melissa Honabach and Michael Koziol. I love it!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Caught in my Web

The jaystephens.com website is in the midst of a major, and long overdue, update. Check out the new Gallery images, updated Checklist, Bio, and more. I'll try and maintain it better from now on, I swear!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Out Now!

The latest issue of Cartoon Network Action Pack (#39) is on the shelves, with a story described thusly, "The Secret Saturdays discover a strange and ancient relationship between a cryptid and an Italian village". It's a good one! And next month, in issue #40, "The Secret Saturdays get to the bottom of a mystery involving a strange species of cryptids called Flying Rods"... featuring the return of Piecemeal!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Goodbye John A. Keel

Loren Coleman at Cryptomundo has reported that eminent Cryptozoologist John A. Keel passed away on Friday, July 3rd. Keel was a controversial and influential writer and investigator, best known for his work 'The Mothman Prophesies' about a cryptid sighted in West Virginia in the late 1960's, that was later made into a Hollywood film of the same name. Keel's theories about cryptid sightings, which combined other paranormal and occult areas of study with cryptozoology, influenced the creation of The Secret Saturdays. As a tribute, I recommend checking out one of his many weird, wonderful books out from your local Library. See you on the other side, John.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

July Is Saturdays Month...

... and not just because that's our month on the CN 2009 Calendar (check out that sasquatch Nood above!). July is also the month we launch the Toy line... all this cool stuff is out now, so do me, the series, and cartoons on Cartoon Network a big favour and support the Secret Saturdays! Later this month (the 21st) will see the release of the first Saturdays DVD, too, and the second one has just been announced. It's starting to get exciting!

Friday, June 26, 2009

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

I was 12 years old when the mind-blowing video for Thriller was released. It's an understatement to say that this 14 minute horror musical, with it's zombies, werewolves, and Vincent Price narration, did more to popularize the horror genre for folks my age than any single film from that period. Michael Jackson and John Landis created lasting horror-pop with this video that influenced and inspired a generation. Monsterama gives props. At the other end of Michael Jacksons' career, we have the mysterious, long-haired, masked weirdo, who lived in a twisted theme park with a mansion full of the world's oddest curiosities (like the skeletal remains of Joseph Merrick, the 'Elephant Man'). No matter how horrible he became, he retained a legion of fans, many of whom actually enjoyed reading about his latest bizarre exploits. It ought to come as no surprise that the character of Argost from my show The Secret Saturdays is partially inspired by this late-period Jackson. From the Jackson 5 songs of my youth, to the eccentric stranger of recent years, I own Michael Jackson a great debt for the inspiration received.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Doc Talk

Newsarama has posted a wonderful interview with one of my favourite people, Phil 'Doc Saturday' Morris. The talk is primarily about the Brave And The Bold show, but leave it Phil to make sure the Saturdays got some mention! From the link--
NRAMA: ...any favorite cartoons?
PM: Jonny Quest was absolutely huge, which is why I’m so glad to be playing Doc Saturday on the Secret Saturdays. It’s very much like Jonny Quest meets Herculoids...

Monday, June 08, 2009

Strange Tales

Not sure which issue of Strange Tales my four-pager featuring Morbius and The Beast will appear in, but I'm sure glad this stuff is finally seeing print! And check out that cover by my pal Pope on the first issue-- excelsior!!!

Saturdays Hype

Here's a little hype about all the wicked Secret Saturdays merch heading your way this summer. The cryptids are taking over the world! (Saturdays computer screen image by Geno)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Cute and Really Creepy

Monsterama is all about cute creeps. I'm a big fan of scary stuff aimed at children. But I'm noticing a cultural trend towards exposing kids to the genuinely terrifying that puzzles and interests me. I mean, as a parent, I'm not sure I get the idea of gross-out kiddie cars, or making kids believe they are being attacked by a zombie. Not that I don't find it fascinating to look at. The awesome band MGMT really captures this vibe in their new video for Kids. What's going on, here? I'm interested in your opinions...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beasts Of The 5th Sun

Check out the exclusive preview clip of the Secret Saturdays console game, "Beasts Of The 5th Sun" over at kidzworld! Looks awesome! From the site: "... players will take control of multiple characters that include the entire Saturday family... and some select Cryptids to fly, swing, pole vault and battle enemies. Players will adventure through 10 action packed levels in amazing environments from dangerous jungles to lost undersea cities to collect and interact with more than 50 never-before-seen Cryptids. Along the way, players will record the details of each find in their very own Cryptipedia. Fun puzzle elements allow players to locate hidden Cryptids and discover new paths as they fight recognizable enemies from the show including Van Rook, Piecemeal, Munya and the evil V.V. Argost.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Episodes

The new 10 episodes of the Secret Saturdays are shaping up very nicely. You'll have to wait until the Fall to see what I mean, but here's a little teaser image of just a few of the many cryptids that will be making an appearance. That's the Lake Van Monster, Xing-Xing, Arabhar, Vltava River Sprite, and a new Naga...