Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Here's another monster advert from the pages of BATS. Brought to you by the team of Gladir and Busino. Hope you don't think it stinks...

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Trouble With Poltergeists

Boyohboy! Monsterama favourite, Matt Putnum-Puliot (of 'Little Daikaiju' fame) , has a new home for all his creepilicious strips called Dial K For Komics, featuring a wonderful new series called The Trouble With Poltergeists. Go check it out!

Cut Apart And Given New Life

Comic book writer John Rozum has an interesting side hobby. Late at night, he takes out his long, sharp scissors, and goes to work slashing pretty pieces of paper to bits, and then reassembling them into often monsterous works of art. He calls it 'collage', and says it's perfectly legal. His blog is full of these paper zombies, many done up to look like Hanna-Barbera characters like Big and Little Gruesome or the Scooby Doo gang, which suits Monsterama just fine. But if the cops come snooping, I never told you anything...

Eerie Emulsions

Hmmmn... I sure do love old style photographs. They're even better if they have aliens and neanderthals in them like these beautifully creepy prints by Stephen Berkman. His art objects are pretty icky, too. And I mean that in a good way.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Milton The Monster

One of my favourite cartoon shows is Hal Seeger's Milton the Monster, a half-hour anthology series that first appeared on October 9th, 1965 on ABC, and continued as re-runs of the same 34 episodes until 1968. It is often erroneously reported that Mr. Seeger was cashing in on the hot 1964 horror-comedy TV fad that included The Munsters and The Addams Family, but Milton the Monster had in fact been in production long before those two series aired and it was actually slated to debut in fall 1964 until various production delays pushed it back to October 1965. Milton was a Frankensteinish monster, created by Professor Weirdo and his strange friend Count Kook. As recounted each week in the theme song, Weirdo spoons in liberal doses of essence of terror and sinister sauce and is supposed to put in just a wee drop of tincture of tenderness so the monster doesn't turn right around and destroy him. But, OOP!-- his arm is bumped by Kook and too much goes in... Milton comes to life with gentle manners and a kind heart. Because of his goodness, Weirdo and Kook repeatedly try to kick him out of the mansion on Horrible Hill where all three reside along with fellow monsters Heebie (a skull-faced ghoul) and Jeebie (a shaggy, green cyclops). Milton and his friends definitely fell into the goofy rather than scary category, with some clever scripts by the team of Jack Mercer and Kin Platt, as well as Woody Kling. Bob McFadden provided the Gomer Pyle-esque voice for Milton, an 'Aw, Shucks' country bumpkin approach (McFadden was also the Karloffy voice behind Frankenberry!). Other than the wonderful Fearless Fly segments, none of the other backup cartoon shorts were very memorable... Milton being the best of the bunch. He even got a one-shot Dell comic book in 1966, excerpted here...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Mad Monster Plastic

Well, I got my new Funko set of Fantastic Plastic Mad Monster Party vinyl figures a few days ago, and I'm quite pleased. Despite Diamond Comics claim that the figures are based on drawings by "Jack Harris", they are, in fact, designed by legendary MAD Magazine artist Jack Davis... how a supposedly knowledgable comic book distributor could get that wrong is beyond me! Most of you know by now how fond I am of this 1967 Rankin/Bass feature, and, other than the Wolfman sculpt, I think these beauties come very close to capturing the chilling charm of the films stars. Funko also has great figures of the aforementioned Big Gruesome and Little Gruesome from Wacky Races, and an absolutely humongous, glow-in-the-dark Rat Fink! Dig it, fiends!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Gruesome Goodies?

Bless my delinquent grandparents. Not only did they let me stay up and watch late night movies like KING KONG and the INVISIBLE MAN, buy me comic books like SON OF SATAN and GHOST RIDER, and tell me personal family tales about hauntings and seances gone awry, they also bought my brother and I these 'playsets'! My god, what were the marketing folks at Aurora thinking?!? Retrocrush has a perfect little summary of the Monster Scenes product line and it's fallout, including a comic book promo that has to be seen to be believed! From the site-- "Massive protests against the kits came from religious publications and general newspapers, since they all thought that it promoted sex and sadism among children. All the negative publicity led to an immediate stop of production for these kits in May 1971, by the company which now had new owners: Nabisco Inc. The kits remaining on the toy store shelves led to new protests in November, this time outside Nabisco's headquarters in New York. These protests held by groups as: Parents for Responsibility in the Toy Industry, and National Organization for Women, resulted in a recall of the Monster Scenes kits from store shelves in the U.S." Despite all the fuss, I am sort of embarassed to admit that I loved those kits, and honestly wish I still had them (we never had 'the Victim', just so you know... just the torture chambers and death labs). Believe it or not, I didn't turn out to be a sadist. You can see what the sets looked like painted over at Cult TV Man... Rob Mattison has done a pretty decent job.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monster Fun!

This short-lived (72 issue) British comic series by Fleetway was chock full of fun strips themed around monsters, spooks and freaks... not unlike the publishers' previous effort Shiver And Shake (more on that later). The creepy wisecracks in Monster Fun still hold up, and I'm a fan and collector of these musty old mags and Annuals. British comics are funny in that they seemed to be always merging and mutating... a sort of survival-of-the-fittest strips. The first Monster Fun Annual appeared in late 1976, about the time of the comic's merger with Buster, and in spite of the loss of the weekly publication, the annuals were produced until 1985. Go figure. Some of my favourite strips here are Draculass (by Terry Bave), about a fiendish little bloodsucker who lives with a regular English family, and can't seem to catch a meal to save her unlife. Another beautifully bizarre strip was Thomas Williams' Creature Teacher, who was a big bug-eyed mass of monster gelatine created by the Science Teacher at Massacre Street School to teach the unruly members of Class 3X... a weird and wonderful cross between The Bash Street Kids and Big Daddy Roth! Kid Kong (by Robert Nixon), the son of you-know-who... was a big, dumb, lovable, 'nana-gobbling ape with a heart of gold and a child's view of the world. After escaping the circus, Kid came to live with Granny Smith, a shortsighted, half-deaf biddy who mistook him for an overgrown child and treated him as such. I also liked Gums, a very au currant (circa 1970's) comic about a great white shark who keeps loosing his false teeth! The very best, though, was a strip that had been around since 1964. Frankie Stein started out at rival publishing house Odhams, which was later bought out by Fleetway, who first gave Frankie a spot in the aforementioned Shiver amd Shake before his move to Monster Fun. This silly take on Frankenstein's Monster starred a fun-loving, kind-hearted Frankie who lived with his mad scientist father Professor Cube at Mildew Manor. Poor old Frankie didn't know his own strength and constantly ended up trashing everything around him. He was also blissfully ignorant of the fact that 'Dad' was forever scheming up ways in which to rid himself of his infuriating 'offspring', plans which inevitably backfired with chaotic results. Kid Kong's Robert Nixon did a wonderful job in popularizing Frankie during his Monster Fun run, but I still prefer the look of the original strips by artist Ken Reid. You can read the very first Frankie Stein strip by Ken right here at Comics UK. I'll leave this looong post with a fabulously freaky Ken Reid monsterpiece from 1973... sleep tight! Much of the background info reported here is from the indispensable Toonhound

Wacky Paper

Feeling restless? Up all night and raring to go, Daddy, go? Here's something to busy those idle claws... a downloadable Creepy Coupe papercraft! Have a mini Wacky Race right on your own slab. Too bad there aren't any Big Gruesome and Little Gruesome cutouts to play with. The old plastic model kit shown here had 'em, but who can afford these old collectors items? A free papercraft is definately more within my price range! For those of you unfamiliar with the show,Wacky Races was a very popular Hanna-Barbera cartoon series from 1968, and still has a loyal following. From this nifty site you can see that the Gruesome Twosome were pretty decent drivers... finishing in the top five most races. Thanks, John!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jelly Terror

Anyone know what this little metal pinback is, exactly? I've had it since I was a kid... it's my initial... and I assume there must have been a whole alphabet of these little freaks. Anyone have another letter?

*** UPDATE***
Monsterammer Tim has identified this as a promotional pinback for Lyons Ice Cream circa 1973! And check out their Haunted House Ice Cream... very gruesome!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Nobody Was There!

Dearest fiends, please be patient as I upgrade my infernal machinery. I am currently unable to provide the garish illustrations you have grown accustomed to, and for this I must appologize. Brand new monsterworks lurk just around the corner.... stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Bite Of Biskup

I've been thinking it might have been a little presumptuous to name-drop the great Tim Biskup as off-handedly as I did recently, but I was on my way to L.A.-- the centre of the 'Pop Surrealism' movement, and I guess his work was on my mind. But, I mean, there might be a few readers out there who don't know who he is, right? Well, he's one of my favourite artists, and a definate Monsterama fit. I mean, just look at all the cute creeps! Check out this great interview over at Fecal Face (with lots of images) where Tim talks about his Baroque Modern style and it's relationship to so-called 'modern art'... "Every time I meet someone that has just discovered this new art world it reminds me of how universal the appreciation of visual art is & how completely lost most people feel when it comes to the art world. It’s gone so far away from, dare I say, “entertainment” for so long that most people don’t even seem to see going to a gallery as an enjoyable experience. It’s like walking into a research laboratory. It may be interesting (or even fascinating) if you read about it or if someone explains it to you, but a pile of broken light bulbs & sand is just not going to make most people feel anything." Amen Mr. Biskup! Toys, shirts, and postcard prints of monsters... now that's Art!There's another short Q&A at Thunder Chunky. I'll leave you fiends with another wicked Tim Biskup print of the skull-faced hero, Ogon Bat. Mwa Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Haaa!