Wednesday, July 26, 2006
After a fairly long hiatus, my "Fun With Scissors" feature returns. For those unfamiliar with the previous entries, Fun With Scissors features a series of collaged portraits of various classic cartoon characters, and was originally posted on a daily basis for the first 100 entries (see the archives).
Fortunately, or unfortunately, I'm too busy with a number of projects to return to daily postings, but hope to be able to manage putting one up a week, probably on Wednesday since that's where I'm starting now. There will no doubt be gaps in the schedule, but I'll try to make up for those with the occassional extra post.
The majority of these pieces are available for purchase. Since this was begun as a quick exercise, and the average time it takes to complete one of these portraits is a little over an hour, they are also very affordable. If there are any characters you are interested, please inquire.
For the first entry in round two of "Fun With Scissors," I give you Secret Squirrel.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
As many of my editors can attest, my dream project is an ongoing comic book series dealing with pirates in the late 17th Century, which they all tell me is never going to happen. So with a love of pirates, a love of monsters, and a thorough enjoyment of the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie "Curse of the Black Pearl," I thought there was no way I wasn't going to love the sequel "Dead Man's Chest." I was wrong.
After a promising beginning, the movie quickly became tedious. The chemistry between the three main characters was nowhere to be seen (not surprising since they spent very little screen time together) and all of the characters had become pretty selfish and unlikable, even for pirates. Davy Jones looked great, but there was a bit of CGI fakery with the rest of his crew that was a bit hard on the eyes. Overall, my biggest complaint is that it wasn't all that much fun.
It did make me think about all the great "Pirates of the Caribbean" models that I had in the 70s. There were seven of them, featuring skeleton pirates in all manner of cruel predicament (as well as a pirate captain who could be built either with flesh, or bone features). They also features "Zap Action" a button triggered rubber band action feature which allowed the pirates to move in a limited replication of the animatronics featured in the Disney theme park rides. Cutlases could be swung, guns drawn, arms pulled off, etc. These things were great, especially with the meticulous paint jobs my father gave them.
Alas, my set of these is no more. My mother didn't throw away my comic books, but she did dispose of all of my models (though my Aurora monsters escaped). The loss of my Pirates of the Caribbean models still pains me today. Eventually I'll probably make the slow, expensive procedure of picking these up off of ebay, but it won't be the same.
In the meantime, all that survives of my own Pirates set is the promotional flyer included with each kit shown here, and the plastic piece of eight, Pirates of the Caribbean logo medallion, and this metal piece of eight medallion my friend Greg brought me back from a trip to Disney World back when we were in 5th Grade.
I've never experienced the ride myself. Every trip I've ever made to the theme parks led to the disappointment of discovering that the attraction was closed for repairs. For more on the Pirates of the Caribbean go here .
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
The bipedal mantis, Zorak, was a world conquering villain (voiced by Don Messick) on the SPACE GHOST cartoon show of 1966, and then later became an even better comic foil and blues singer (voiced by C. Martin Croker) on SPACE GHOST: COAST TO COAST and CARTOON PLANET (as seen above with the red background) during the 1990s.
While his voice and role might have changed in the intervening three decades, his look stayed the same. So, what gives with the Zorak represented in this artwork pulled from the first issue of the "Space Ghost" Gold Key comic book I found amidst my rubble? Published in 1966, when the original cartoon series first aired, the title of the opening story is "Zorak's Revenge" (no credits are listed for writer or artists. If any one has this information, please pass it along to me), which presupposes that it was published after at least one of the televised episodes featuring Zorak aired. But look at Zorak in the illustrations. Since much of the art on the inner and outer cover is taken from model sheets for Space Ghost, his teen-aged sidekicks Jace and Jan, and even Blip, their space monkey, I can only wonder if model sheets for the villains had been done at the point work on the comic book was started. As it stands it looked like someone asked what Zorak looked like, and was told, "some kind of insect person." He is somewhat interesting looking, but Zorak, he ain't.
Monday, July 03, 2006
I'd like to take this time to thank Martin Arlt for the kind words about me in issue #12 of his terrific fanzine, MAD SCIENTIST. It's especially cool for me as that issue also contains an information packed article on "Turok, Son of Stone" one of the biggest influences on me (something which will be brought to further light here in weeks to come).
If you're at all interested in classic horror and science fiction movies, comics, television, and games, MAD SCIENTIST is well worth picking up. Martin puts a lot of care into his insightful, informative and entertaining articles. MAD SCIENTIST also contains a lot of terrific art and is very nicely laid out. I've enjoyed every issue. A thirteenth issue is also now available, as are a few remaining back issues at the MAD SCIENTIST website Tell Martin I sent you.