Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fun With Scissors - part 106

Here's Speedy Gonzalez's cousin Slowpoke Rodriguez.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Monsters From The Vault #22

The new issue of Monsters From the Vault is available. While I didn't write any articles or reviiews for this issue (my presence is still there in spirit) I wanted to take the time to impress upon anyone interested in classic horror cinema, that this magazine is a must have. Well researched and written by the leading scholars in the field, it's also magnificently designed with a wealth of rare photos.

If you have a Tower Records nearby, you can pick up an issue there. Otherwise I recommend Creepy Classics my favorite source for classic horror DVDs and magazines. You can also get a copy direct from the source at Monsters From The Vault where subscription information is available.

Please tell either of these merchants that I sent you.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fun With Scissors - part 105

Here's Tornado Man from "The Mighty Heroes." You can tell it's Tornado Man because he has a big yellow letter "H" on his chest.

In Comic Book Stores Today

One of the questions I'm asked most often is which of my comic book stories is my favorite? I don't have any definite answer to that, though I can usually manage to name a handful of which I was pleased with the outcome.

One of them is a short Dexter's Laboratory story called "It Lurks in the Night" which is something of a tribute to late night horror hosts and the days before VCRs when you had to wait for a movie to show up on television (on one of 6 channels) if you wanted to see it. If it was on in the middle of the night, you set your alarm clock. if you were a kid, you had to be sneaky, too. I'm convinced that this phenomenon is my generation's equivalent of walking two miles to school everyday, uphill in both directions through three feet of snow.

"It Lurks in the Night" is available today in CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY #24.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

H.P. Lovecraft

Today is the birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). Lovecraft is best known for his Cthulhu Mythos concerning the Great Old Ones, tremendous, monstrous god-like beings from beyond space with names such as Shub Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Dagon, and Cthulhu. These gods are not our friends. Most of what we learn about them is discerned from the musty pages of "The Necronimicon" a fictional book created by Lovecraft and attributed to the mad Arab, Abdul Alhazared. "The Necronimicon" is a musty old tome filled with things man was not meant to know, and usually locked away in the deepest archives of old scholarly libraries, including those in Arkham, Massachusetts.

While some may argue that his writing style is somewhat lacking, there is no doubt that he remains one of, if not the, most influential horror writers (or writer of weird tales)of all time.

Celebrate today by reading one of his stories , or if you are in the Austin, Texas are, you could attend the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival .

Personally, I highly recommend the short, silent film "The Call of Cthulhu" made by members of the The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society available through their website or through Lurker Films. Both places also have all sorts of other cool Lovecraft items for sale. If you order, feel free to get me something too.

Phn'glui M'gl wna'f Cthulhu R'lyeh Wgha Nagl Ftaghn

Friday, August 18, 2006

Illustration Friday - Play

A week late, here's a piece I put together for last week's Illustration Friday topic, "play."

I don't normally use representational objects as themselves when I collage, but just decided to go with the grass as grass. I think it worked pretty well. I don't know what happened with my scanner and the upper right corner. i guess it's time to think obout putting that tempermental piece of machinery out to pasture. In actuality the blue is all one uniform color.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fun With Scissors - part 104

For the SCOOBY-DOO comic book, when dealing with the character of accident prone, Daphne Blake, I always gave her the task of asking any questions that weren't of a technical nature (questions Velma or Freddie would ask) during an investigation-- reporter questions; who, what, where, when, and how? She also tended to be the empathetic one, comforting and reassuring the victims of the ghosts and monsters.

This isn't to say that I didn't embrace her ability to trip into a trap door at a moment's notice. I even had one story in which the Mystery Inc. gang couldn't find a secret entrance, so Freddie purposely bumped into Daphne, so that thrown off balance, she'd stumble onto the hidden switch which opened the door.

I'm not sure how I feel about her hair, so any feedback on that would be welcome. Using real red hair for the character of Gravity Girl worked great, so I thought I'd try it again here, but I'm not so sure. I may just redo it with plain orange paper.

I also scanned Daphne before I glued her hair on so you can see what she'd look like with Bettie Page black hair.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


This past Friday I was able to check off another item from my wish list of cultural experiences as I encountered the Weinermobile.

Weighing as much as a million (presumably Oscar Meyer brand) hot dogs, this baby sits on a Chevrolet W4 chassis, runs on a V-8, 6.0 liter 350 vortec 5700 engine and has a 32.1 gallon fuel tank, which isn't all that great since one of the hotdoggers accompanying the Weinermobile informed us that it gets about 10 miles per gallon.

The Weinermobile also boasts gull wing doors, mustard and ketchup colored seats for 6 passengers, a blue sky with clouds ceiling, and a GPS navigation system on a hot dog shaped instrument panel. Take the virtual tour and see for yourself.

As you can see in the picture of the cabin, it's pretty futuristic looking, circa the early 70s--somewhat reminiscent of the G.I. Joe Mobile Support Vehicle that was my pride and joy as a child. If they ever decommissioned one of these babies, it would be pretty cool to take on a cross country drive with some white pajama-type uniforms. I think they should remake "Damnation Alley" or "Ark-2" with the Weinermobile as the main vehicle.

The hotdoggers were also handing out these little plastic weinerwhistles.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Cat In The Hat

To accompany the installation piece previewed in the previous post, I've also decided to do some collages of scenes from iconic children's books, which will be hung in the children's section, and will be offered for sale.

My initial thought was to more or less reinterpret the scenes and and character designs through my own sensibility. Since I've been doing dozens of collages of characters from classic animated cartoons, where I adhered exactly to their established look, I wanted be less literal here. I then realized that they'd be more likely to sell if they actually looked like the characters as established, than alternate interpretations of them.

For the Cat in the Hat, I stuck to the layout and design provided by Dr. Seuss, but veered away from the restricted color palette of the original, and tried to give the character and objects a little more dimension and texture. In the actual collage, you can see all of the ball. Unfortunately my scanner was not large enough to accommodate the full image, cropping it down to essentially the same layout as seen in the book.

Installation Piece

Aside from some writing projects, I've also embarked on a couple of art projects for the Shaman Drum Bookshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The first, as noted in a previous post was creating a series of thumbnails to serve as visuals for a number of book categories for the store's website. There will be 15 of these when completed.

My larger project is an installation piece for the store's children's section to make the section more inviting, and hopefully, a bit more magical for that section's intended audience. It's a huge undertaking which I'm hoping to have completed and in place by the end of August. So far things are progressing without incident, and I may actually manage to meet this self-imposed deadline.

Here's a sneak peek of a portion of the piece. I've tried to document ever step in constructing this work, and once it's completed, I'll begin posting the complete process until enough of you scream out with boredom, begging me to stop.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Batman Update

I've received a bunch of inquiries about my forthcoming Batman work, so I'll try and answer everybody here.

While I'm not willing to give plot details yet, I've written the first half of a two-part story that will upgrade one of the classic Batman villains. My script for the first issue got a thumbs up from the editorial department, and I'm just awaiting their notes before I begin writing the second issue.

I don't when my story will be run, but it will appear in DETECTIVE COMICS in the near future. I also don't have solid information yet on who's handling the art. As things progress I'll be able to provide less vague information. Thanks for all the interest.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fun With Scissors - part 102

Here's Breezly (the bear) and Sneezly (the seal), a variation on the Yogi the Bear formula set in the arctic, which was originally aired on "The Peter Potamus Show."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Lane Smith

A few days ago I received a nice email from Lane Smith complimenting the collage work seen in the art section of my website, particularly the Karloff pieces. This was a thrill for me since Lane is one of a small handful of children's book illustrators that I revere the most. I can honestly say I have all of his books, (and even have most of them signed) and always look forward to what's next.

Lane is probably best known outside the children's book arena as the character designer for the Henry Selick movie adaptation of "James and the Giant Peach." If you're not familiar with his illustrative work, I encourage you to pick up one of his books right away.