Tuesday, May 30, 2006

R.I.P. Alex Toth

One of my biggest heroes passed away this weekend. Alex Toth was a giant in both comic books and animation, a genuinely unique talent with a gorgeous drawing style. Toth's smooth, inky minimalism looks so effortless, but, as I discovered myself aping Toth's Superfriends designs in Evan Dorkins Worlds Funnest project, and his Scooby Doo monsters for a video game project, it ain't as easy as it looks, folks. How obvious is it that I like his monster designs? Since my inlaws all speak Hungarian, I'd like my final words will be in Toth's native tongue... Nem nehéz kitalálni, honnan kaptam az én inspirációm… köszönöm szépen, Alexbácsi.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Homer The Happy Ghost

What do you get when you cross the talents of Marvel Comics maestro Stan Lee (co-creator of Spiderman, the Hulk, the X-men, Fantastic Four, etc.), Archie Comics legend Dan DeCarlo (creator of Josie and the Pussycats, Sabrina, etc.), and the runaway success of Casper the Friendly Ghost? Why, you get the best Casper imitation of them all, of course... Homer! Yeah, it was a blatant rip-off, but it's not like Casper was all that original to begin with. Instead of 'Friendly', Homer was 'Happy'. Instead of a tough, streetwise pal with a bowler hat named 'Spooky', Homer had 'Dugan', the Dead-End Ghost. Instead of a witch pal named 'Wendy', Homer had 'Zelda' (who would later show up in almost identical form in DeCarlo's Sabrina the Teen-aged Witch). The only relatively new addition was Melvin the Mixed-Up Ghost... a complete idiot with consistantly annoying behaviour. I really like Melvin a lot. Homer The Happy Ghost debuted in 1955 and lasted 22 issues, plus two issues of an offshoot series, The Adventures of Homer Ghost... a very good run for a monster kid book, actually. 'Stan and Dan', as they billed themselves on these stories, were already really strong talents, and the stories have a lot more pluck than the decidedly insipid Harvey originals. This Robot cover from 'Adventures of...' number 2 (1957) is one of my favourite covers ever! Inside, Homer and the gang battle Doctor Doom and his sinister robot assistant, Monstro. See for yourself... (click to enlarge) For another story in which Homer battles a robot, check this out.

Doubly Diabolic

Speaking of monster cards, it's been awhile since I first brought your attention to the macabre Diabolic Monsters blog by 'R', and I think you ought to check in. Especially if you like unlicensed pics of Darth Vader with blood pouring from his mouth (#41. "Robot Galactico").

Monsters Unlimited

Here's a really great scanned collection of all 50 Monsters From Outer Limits bubble gum cards. Do not adjust your set.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Transylvanian Tourist Trap

Anthony de Mariaffi, my Transylvania born Father-In-Law, is always a little irked by the indeservedly ghoulish reputation of his homeland... though he certainly enjoys terrifying kids with his Lugosi-ish accent come Hallowe'en. This great 'ad' from Bats is exactly the kind of thing he finds offensive. Of course, some of the childhood stories he tells are weirder than anything I've ever read in a comic book... not that he would ever admit that Transylvania's reputation might be based on more than a little fact! When I was last over there, I wasn't the least bit dissapointed by the wild countryside or vast hillside castles.

Future Fiends

This site has a bunch of 'Monster Pals' (like Jeremy's, at left) created by Chicago gradeschoolers as some kind of pen pal project. As 'Kathy' says: "To make my monster you must draw an egg for the head. In the head near the bottom you must draw a curved line going down. Next, you put two tongues in it so it can look like a mouth. Then, at the top draw an eyeball, just one. After that, you draw one string of hair." It looks as though this is a growing phenomenon... kids everywhere are getting into the 'Monster Exchange' program. This 'Licorice Pirate' was created by Mohammed from New Jersey. Cute? A little creepy? Yes!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wilder Things

Where The Wild Things Are had already earned our beloved author Maurice Sendak an all-time top slot on Monsterama's 'best ever' list, but now the man is doing a Universal Horror Pop-Up Book! My brain is going to explode at how cool this is! Mommy? is loosely based on the play It's Alive, also by Maurice Sendak. After so long in the works, Mommy! is wending it's way towards an autumn 2006 release from Scholastic Books. In time for Hallowe'en, I'm sure!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Cute Zombie Attack

Declan Skwarczek is the spawn of Eat Your Lunch. Declan is also the creator and star of the must-see short, Zombie 2: Darkness Of Dead. Mind blowingly cute undead film in the grand tradition of Monster Kid home movies. His dad tells me he's a big Tutenstein fan, too... awww...