Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm in Halloween Heaven after seeing the monster site that Steven Finch linked to in the comments. Check it out, it's terrific:


The guy who put it up is Pierre Fournier, surely a contender for the position of this generation's Forest Ackerman. He has another interesting site all about Frankenstein:


And here's one by another worthy blogger, Karswell:


'Never saw this film (above), but the poster's great...generic, but great nevertheless!

Fifties and sixties horror letterers were brilliant.

Is this (above) the famous Feldstein Frankenstein redrawn by someone else?

Nice, very nice!

Every cartoonist should know how to draw good runs (above).

Late 50s and early 60s were a great time for horror lettering. The styles manage to be modern and classically horrific at the same time.

Letters (above) leak their otherworldly plasma into the ether.

A forehead made for under lighting!

Doctor X (above) had some great moments, but it was uneven. They should have let the poster artists modify the script.

Harryhausen's absolutely brilliant design for a cyclops!

Nonga-nonga-nonga (gibberish to accompany me biting my knuckles)!

Be sure to click to enlarge this (above). When seen at the right size, this is one of the all-time great horror covers.

Nonga-nonga-nonga-nonga-nonga-nonga-nonga!!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe it's worth getting bitten sometimes.....

Monday, September 29, 2008


Halloween is only a month away!!!!!!! I'd intended to do a review of what's on display in the Halloween stores this year, only they're still putting things up, so I guess I'll have to wait. In the meantime, here's a few pictures.

Here's (above) my favorite,  an astonishingly beautiful, die-cut cardboard Moon and cat, probably from Germany in the 10s or 20s. Man, the Germans were good at this sort of thing! The piece is a work of art, yet you could buy it for the change in a kid's pocket! Is Halloween celebrated in Germany?

A vintage, paper-mache pumpkin (above), possibly also German.

This picture of a skeleton sitting on an old porch (above) reminds me of a job I had selling door-to-door in small, Sleepy Hollow-type towns in Pennsylvania at Halloween time. The towns were nestled in the hollows of hills and from a distance all you could see were old, wooden church steeples rising above mounds of  October-colored Maples and Chestnut trees. All the Halloween decorations on porches and windows were home-made.

A terrific pumpkin design!

Plastic and day-glow paint (above) made into an art form.

Soon we'll all have robotic Igors (above) to do our bidding. Maybe they'll rebel and turn nasty.

It's great to see designers turn their attention to the holiday.

What part of the body is this (above) ?

A mask (above) that looks like a zombie version of the lead singer in the band "Sha-na-na."

Siamese pumpkins (above)!

This (above) is only slightly more exaggerated than what you see on the street. Robert Crumb would love this girl!

Painterly paper-mache masks with oddball fabrics (above)...a delight for the eye.

Nice, very nice!

It's hard to believe that God isn't a cartoonist.

This (above) is the reason you don't see Wonder Woman on the street anymore, catching bad guys. She had an almost fatal attraction to Twinkies, and now leads a quiet life in a small town, eating Jenny Craig and watching daytime TV.

No comment!

Aaaaargh! Where's the eyewash!? 

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Get ready for a really creepy set of pictures. These are similar to the pictures I gathered twenty years ago when I was deeply depressed because I couldn't find work. I didn't really believe in luck, but somehow I got it into my mind that my luck had turned bad, that I was a cork on the waves of fate, that I was drowning with no rock to grab hold of. It's not a pleasant memory. Maybe I was flirting with a nervous breakdown and didn't know it.

Anyway, for a few miserable days I found solace in gathering together pictures on the theme of luck, and luck gone bad. I threw in a few disaster pictures too. I had the crazy idea that by hanging them on my bedroom wall, I'd derive some kind of wisdom from them. Fortunately I had the sense to realize that doing that would spook my family, so the walls were spared.

Actually the idea might not have been as crazy as it sounds. I've frequently been jolted out of depression by pushing whatever downer ideas I had to such an extreme that they seemed outrageous and even funny.

Images like these (above) from Hitchcock's "Spellbound" fit into that category. They're serious and scary, but somehow funny at the same time.

At first I confined myself to images of luck, good and bad, then I branched out to weirder stuff.

I've never been interested in tarot cards, but in my addled state I began to wonder if there was something about them I should investigate.

Like so many people before me, I marveled at the simple directness of the "death" card. Kelly says death might only mean the end of something, and might be a positive sign, but in my ignorance I interpreted it as literal death. No, I wasn't suicidal. When you're a family guy that avenue is closed.

I thumbed through Dore's depictions of Dante's "Inferno."

The idea of seemingly bottomless pits leading to a netherworld seems appealing when you're depressed.

I remembered Poe's story about a maelstrom which began with a description of a black sea hidden away from the world.

A storm at sea is the ultimate metaphor for turbulent thoughts.

Here's an oceanic vortex. Adventure stories I read when I was a kid frequently mentioned vortices and I got the idea that they were a frequent occurrence. "Moby Dick" contained a frightening description of one.

Anyway, you might be curious to know how I got out of this depression. Well one day, after months of shopping my portfolio all around town and being turned down, I actually succeeded in getting work. The moment I shook hands with my new employer every one of those weird thoughts flew out of my head, and never really returned. It's amazing how work can improve your mental health, almost overnight.

Years later, I read Knut Hamsun's novel "Hunger," which may be the ultimate story about going nuts from lack of work. I won't reveal the unforgettable ending, but I can recommend the story to people who feel they're at the end of their tether.

I hope I didn't depress anybody with this stuff. It had a happy ending after all.