Showing posts with label The Secret Saturdays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Secret Saturdays. Show all posts

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gift Suggestions

If you are looking for some holiday gift suggestions, I have a number of things available right now.

Bottleneck Gallery is having a sale on art. They still have a few pieces I did, which would be perfect for the movie/pop culture fan on your list. Art prices are 30% off through December 31st, 2013.

Gallery 1988 is also having a 30% off sale on most art through December 31, 2013. There are still a few of my pieces available here from Disney's The Black Hole and The Edgar Wright Show.

For some inexpensive art featuring animated cartoon characters both classic and modern, check out my own store by clicking the button to the right. Free shipping on all orders over $50.00 through January 31st, 2014. There are lots of Adventure Time characters at very affordable prices as well as characters from The Flintstones, Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera shows.

Be sure to check out my other store for all of the books and DVDs I've written, or contributed to. There are lots of graphic novels for both adults and kids, and plenty of kids superhero DVDs to look at. I think everything there is available for less than $20.00

Saturday, October 26, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 26

Monster: Acephalite

Appearance: "Sticks and Stones" Cartoon Network Action Pack #32. February 2009. 

Will Sweeney: Penciller, Mike Manley: Inker, Randy Gentile: Letterer, Heroic Age: Colorist, Rex Ogle: Assistant Editor, Elizabeth V. Gehrlein: Editor

Also referred to as Blemmyes by Pliny the Elder, this mythical race of beings was said to inhabit Libya and had no heads. Instead their facial features were embedded in their chests. The Acephalites were depicted in numerous tales including a mention in Shakespeare's Othello, and were often found in Medieval bestiaries, including Schedel's Nuremburg Chronicle depicted above. 

The above taken from Cosmographia by Sebastian M√ľnster,  depicts a monopod, a cyclops, a conjoined twin an acephalite, and a cynocephalite.

The Acephalite in my story, featuring The Secret Saturdays,  was treated as more of a body guard, or enforcer, for series villain, V.V Argost, so was depicted as being bulky and menacing. 

The Acephalites/Blemmyes also made an appearance in "Here There Be Monsters - Part 4: Ribiero" in Midnight, Mass. : Here They Be Monsters #4. June 2004. They are part of a sequence depicting the story of what happened to the monstrous races as human beings spread themselves across the globe. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 23

Monster: Atmospheric Life Forms

Appearance: "Night Lights" The X-Files #18 and #19. June 1996. "Meal Worms" Cartoon Network Action Pack #40. October 2009. 

Charles Adlard: Artist, John Workman: Letterer, Digital Chameleon: Color Design & Rendering, Jim Salicrup and Dwight Zimmerman: Editors / Scott Jeralds: Penciller, Mike Manley: Inker, Heroic Age: Colorist, Travis Lanham: Letterer, Sean Ryan: Editor. The Secret Saturdays created by Jay Stephens. 

I became interested in the idea that flying saucers might actually be living, atmospheric jellyfish-like creatures when I discovered the above comic as a kid. The idea stuck in my mind somewhere and resurfaced when I was hired to take over the writing chores on The X-Files comic book series and wound up being the basis for my second storyline. 

The history of this intriguing concept is recounted in this two page sequence:

My story combined the atmospheric lifeform concept with the unexplained phenomena known as the Brown Mountain Lights, unexplained luminous phenomena spotted on Brown Mountain in western North Carolina. Meteorological researchers were inadvertently attracting one of these atmospheric lifeforms through transmissions used to track weather balloons. The life forms, here depicted as something of an electrically based phenomena, would then devour the researchers. 

Years later the idea came back to me when I was writing The Secret Saturdays about a family of cryptozoologists. Atmospheric jelly fish had already appeared in a central role on the television episode "The Swarm at the Edge of Space" seen below. 

In my story the atmospheric jellyfish were reduced to a supporting role as the Saturdays investigated a cave full of flying rods (a phenomena of flying insect like rods with multiple pairs of wings caught on video tape that has been disproven, although I pretended they were real for the purposes of the story). The Saturdays, and the villain, Piecemeal, soon discover that the rods are the natural prey of the atmospheric jellyfish, but that they'll happily eat other things too. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 15

Monster: The Thetis Lake Monster

Appearance: "Attack of the Lake Monster" Cartoon Network Action Pack #47. May, 2010.

Scott Jeralds: Penciller, Scott Awley: Inker, Rob Clark, Jr.: Letterer, Heroic Age: Colorist, Sean Ryan: Editor, The Secret Saturdays created by Jay Stephens. 

Thetis Lake lies within conservation land outside of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. In August of 1972, two local teenagers claim that they were chased by a man-like creature covered in scales with a monstrous head. It was described as being about 5 feet tall with three webbed fingers on each hand and three webbed toes on each foot, and barbed fins on its head, arms and legs. The boys also said it had a point sticking out of its head and great big ears. It's color was a silverish blue. One of the boys even claimed that the creature slashed his hand. 

The Canadian Mounted Police felt the boys were sincere and took the investigation seriously, though they turned up nothing. Four days later two men reported spotting the creature rising from the water, looking around, and then returning to the water before they ran off. 

This is not the only man-fish reported throughout the world. Other cultures have their man-fish, too. I thought the Thetis Lake Monster would make a good cryptid to feature in a Secret Saturdays story that addressed the impact of human populations and global warming on ecosystems. The story wound up being about a pair of these creatures whose attempts at breeding have been thwarted due to a combination of factors; humans using their once secluded habitat as a recreational area, and rising temperatures in the lake. 

The difference between the Thetis Lake monsters in my story and the one reported in 1972, is that I treated mine as actual existing creatures. In real life, an attempt was made to connect the sightings with an escaped Tegu lizard (which in no way resembles what was described). The real explanation? "It was just a big lie." Russell Van Nice, one of the teen witnesses eventually came forward to say that the other boy, Mike Gold, just concocted the whole thing in an attempt to get attention. 

While general descriptions of the Thetis Lake monster suggest a similar appearance to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, it turns out the boys were inspired by a much different movie that they had recently seen...

...The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965)

Thursday, October 03, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 3

Monster: The Cacus

Appearance: Cartoon Network Action Pack! #39 "The Cave of the Cacus" September 2009
Will Sweeny: Penciller, Mike Manley: Inker, Heroic Age: Colorist, Travis Lanham: Letterer, Sean Ryan: Editor

The Cacus, whose name means "wicked" is a monster from Greek and Roman mythology. The offspring of Medusa and Hephaestus/Vulcan, it's described as having a huge spherical, spider-like body, long legs like tree trunks and three fire-breathing human heads emerging from a single neck.

This depiction is probably meant to be interpreted as some sort of hideous bi-pedal giant (or a regular giant as depicted above defeated by Hercules in Bartolommeo Bandinelli's statue located in Florence), but for the purposes of The Secret Saturdays, which treats it's cryptozoological creatures as more biologically plausible, I went with the idea of the cacus being a huge three-headed hunting spider. Like it's mythological counterpart, the cacus here also resided in a cave from which it would spring forth to catch an unwary sheep as prey. The Saturdays, upon investigating, find that the cacus has only recently been terrorizing the local livestock, and that for previous millennia, it had been watched over and fed by an assigned caretaker. the recent caretaker had died without placing a successor, leaving his secret charge to fend for itself.

The cacus of mythology who would venture forth from its cave above the River Tiber to devour either livestock or human prey. It was eventually slain by Heracles/Hercules while watching over Geryon's herd.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Oeuvres Incompletes

DC Comics has been developing a database of their published comic books including categories by creator. This is far from a complete list, but if you want to see some of the past work I've done for them this is a good place to start.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cartoon Network 2-in-1.

Available today at a comic book store near you (and next week elsewhere) is the Cartoon Network 2-in1: Ben10: Alien Force/ The Secret Saturdays trade paperback collection of stories collected from the Cartoon Network Action Pack comic book series. This book contains all but three or four of the published The Secret Saturdays comic book stories, almost all of which I wrote. 

The book is full of great art, writing,  action, adventure and more monsters than can hide under your bed. It makes a swell gift for that kid you know who loves comics, cartoons, cryptozoology, or any of the elements mentioned above. All for $12.99. You can see the front and back covers at the top of this page.