Sunday, November 29, 2009

Karloff in Photos

For my last post in the Boris Karloff Blogathon, I decide to just share some photos of karloff that I really like. There are many traditional portraits of the legendary actor that I also like, but wanted to stick with the more playful aspect of Karloff that dominated my other entries. Not all of these are lighthearted moments such as the one of Boris clowning around with his co-stars on the set of "Tower of London" or "Comedy of Terrors," but still show the man behind the monsters he's come to be associated with.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Web #3

With Thanksgiving preparations I forgot to announce that THE WEB #3 is available in comic book stores as of last Wednesday. The back-up feature THE HANGMAN was written by me with art and lettering by Tom Derenick, Bill Sienkiewicz, Guy Major and Travis Lanham.

In this issue the Hangman investigates a mysteriously drowned illegal immigrant and uncovers a empire built on human trafficking and something very unexpected.

Boris Karloff and Jack Pierce

Jack Pierce (1889-1968) was the legendary make-up artist responsible for devising and applying the make-up creations for Universal's classic monsters of the 1930s and 1940s. These include Dracula, The Wolf Man, the Mummies, Werewolf of London, Bride of Frankenstein, Ygor, the Man Who Laughs, and the iconic Frankenstein monster.

While there are plenty of comedic behind the scenes photos of Pierce mugging with later Universal horror star, Lon Chaney, Jr., there are very few of the make-up artist clowing around with Boris Karloff. Most of the publicity shots featuring the two of them are straight forward shots of Pierce applying make-up, or at least pretending to, such as the two top photos here.

There are a handful of stills of the great actor and the make-up maestro showing some levity behind the scenes as can be seen in the following photos.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Boris Karloff: "My Life as a Monster"

Here is an article written by Boris Karloff himself about his roles in horror movies. The article was originally published in "Filma and Filming" (London), November 1957 and reprinted in "Castle of Frankenstein" #14, 1969. It comes to you here courtesy of Exclamation Mark.

Karloff also talked about his more famous horror roles on the record album "An Eveneing with Boris Karloff and Friends" scripted by Forrest J Ackerman. The album can be downloaded here .

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Karloff In Collage

Since I was unable to get a new collage portrait of Boris Karloff underway in time for the Boris Karloff Blogathon I thought I'd post some I did in the past.

The above collage was one of a pair presented to Sara Karloff at Monster Bash a few years ago on behalf of the Yahoo Karloff group led by Mike High. While I wasn't present, Sara was apparently very pleased with the gift.

I do not have a readily handy file of the companion collage which depicted Boris at about age twenty, but by clicking on the following links you can view collage portraits I did of him as the Frankenstein Monster , the Mummy , and the Grinch .

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Karloff as Captain Hook

Besides appearing in movies, Karloff also acted on stage, including the original production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" in which he played a murderous gangster who was often mistaken for Karloff. Another role, for which he seemed perfectly cast was as Captain Hook in "Peter Pan" opposite Jean Arthur, Marcia Henderson and Joe E. Marks. The play was directed by John Burrell with music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein. A track of Karloff singing "The Plank Song" can be found on the CD "The Bernstein Songbook."

A version of the play was produced as a children's record with Boris Karloff and Jean Arthur and can be downloaded here .

Monday, November 23, 2009

SUPER HERO SQUAD - "Night In The Sanctorum" Airs Again

"Night In The Sanctorum," the first episode I wrote of SUPER HERO SQUAD airs for the third time tomorrow morning at 8:30am EST on Cartoon Network. If you, or a kid you know, likes Marvel's super heroes, action, humor, and belching, then set your alarm clocks.

The Karloff Blogathon Begins

Today is the first day of the Boris Karloff Blogathon . It is also Boris Karloff's birthday. To mark the occasion of both, I was hoping to have a new collage portrait of this great actor completed and ready to post, but alas, my schedule is too full with other commitments, mainly work related, and this did not happen. Instead, through the run of the blogathon, I will be posting some of my favorite images of Boris, as well as some links and observations.

To kick things off, the above image of Boris in drag as Mother Muffin with Stephanie Powers (april Dancer) and Robert Vaughn (Napoleon Solo) comes from THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E. (a spin of show from THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.). The episode "The Mother Muffin Affair" featured Karloff as the villainous Mother Muffin and aired in September 1966. One of the things I always appreciated about Boris Karloff, especially in his later years, when he was sometimes appearing in less than stellar films, is that he always seemed to be having a good time. Other actors of his generation who found acclaim in big studio productions in the 1930s and 1940s, tended to fill later, less rewarding roles with the contempt they obviously felt for the material. Not Boris. Even with health issues that limited his mobility, he seemed game for almost anything, whether it was appearing as a villainous old lady as seen here, or appearing as a recently deceased con-artist who has 24 hours to redeem himself without leaving his tomb in THE GHOST IN THE INVISIBLE BIKINI .

Celebrate Karloff's birthday by visiting the other blogs participating in the Boris Karloff Blogathon by clicking the above link, or the Karloff Blogathon button at the upper right of this page. Then finish the day with one of his movies.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Preliminary Model

For a 3D collage I'm currently in the middle of, I made, what turned out to be a completely unnecessary thumbnail model. The model was done really quickly and measures about 3" x 2"x 1/2". It's composed of layers of crudely cut out penciled copy paper, and was meant to give me a sense of how the various layers of the collage would come together dimensionally. I didn't really learn anything I hadn't already figured out from my quick 2D sketch. Thankfully it took less time to make than it took my to put together this post. I'm a nerd for preproduction models for movies, and for artists to use as an aid in rendering their own work, so I thought I'd share it here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fun With Scissors Updates 3

More cartoon collages have been replaced:

Gravity Girl

Yogi Bear and Boo Boo


Beaky Buzzard

Daffy Duck

The Little Man


Kwicky Koala

I'm Featured at Cryptomundo

I was recently honored to have my recent visit to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine reported on Cryptomundo .

Cryptomundo is THE online resource for up to the minute news and analysis of all things cryptozoological. My thanks again to Loren Coleman for the mentions, and for welcoming us to his museum.

You can read about my visit here and here .

Fun With Scissors Updates 2

The following cartoon character images have been replaced now as well.

Wally Gator



Jezebel Jade



Henery Hawk

Wilma Flintstone

Fluid Man

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fun With Scissors updates 1

The slow, tedious, and sporadic process of replacing all of the image files in my "Fun With Scissors" posts has begun. As of today, the following cartoon characters have all had their images replaced and are ready for viewing:

Hardy Har-Har

Baby Huey

Olive Oyl



Alan Chan

Fancy Fancy


Miss Prissy


Pixie and Dixie

George of the Jungle

Chilly Willy


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fun With Scissors - part 121

A few years ago I began a series of quick collages of various cartoon characters under the banner of "Fun with Scissors." The last entry was posted at Christmas 2007. I'm not continuing the series right now, though I do plan to revisit it again in the future. I'm posting this portrait of Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, which was created as a commission a couple of years ago, because I discovered by accident that some of my collages have been floating around the internet with the watermarks removed. I then revisited a couple of the original posts to discover that when I'd eliminated by Transmit account, the files I stored there were removed as well, and now the original posted images don't link to anything. Starting now, as time permits, I will begin to replace those thumbnails and the corresponding dead links with larger images which will all include the watermark.

I don't have a problem with people using these collages. One of the reasons I started doing them was that, for some of the secondary characters, there are no quality images available on the internet. Use them, but please let me know, and please give me credit when you do so. Removing the watermark is about as uncool as you can get.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The International Cryptozoology Museum

Yesterday, my son and I drove just under three hours up to Portland, Maine in order to visit the just opened International Cryptozoology Museum . Located at 661 Congress Street, the small museum was a real treat for my son and I. Containing the collection of renowned cryptozoologist, Loren Coleman, the museum, even in its formative stages had some really cool pieces, including a 5 1/2 foot mounted coelacanth, dozens of casts of sasquatch foot prints, yeti and orang pendak prints, models, a what cryptozoology ISN'T display and Loren Coleman himself.

I didn't take very many pictures because I ended up spending most of the time talking with Loren who was very gracious with his time, even signing my son's own bigfoot cast, and taking our picture with the lifesize sasquatch model in the lobby. I didn't take many pictures myself, and should have handed the camera over to my son who devoured the place down to the minutae while Loren and I spoke.

The slightly fuzzy photo my son took of Loren Coleman, myself and bigfoot. I think that cryptids have an innate power to make photos of them appear slightly out of focus.

Some of the many models and figures on display of extinct animals still being sighted today, as well as representations of former cryptids now proven to exist such as the giant panda, gorilla, komodo dragon, okapi, and giant squid. The large pteranodon was a prop for a movie. I can't recall which one.

As you can imagine, dedicating a museum to cryptozoology provides a bit of a conundrum. When the animals remain unproven, it limits what you are able to display. Obviously you can't have a mounted Loch Ness Monster, or Yeti on display, so these unproven animals are represented by many many models, figures, and tourist souvenirs as well as by plaster casts of footprints, hair samples, and paraphenalia from expeditions which found convincing evidence.

Various lion skulls and models. The saber-toothed tiger, the American lion, and the African lion.

There were also some Jenny Hanivers on display such as jackalopes, furred trouts, monkfish, and fiji mermaids including an impressive prop from tv biopic "P.T. Barnum" (1999) which starred Beau Bridges.

Along with all of the various casts, there were also hair and even fecal samples.

One of my favorite items at the museum was the lifesize model of the dead Cadborosaurus which was removed from the inside of a whale in October 1937.

The trip was well worth the drive and Loren was a wonderful host. My son, the amateur cryptozoologist was definitely thrilled by the museum, and in meeting "THE cryptozoologist." I can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Watch 'Super Hero Squad - "Night In The Sanctorum"'

For those of you who missed my first episode of SUPER HERO SQUAD - "Night In the Sanctorum" it is being rebroadcast on Cartoon Network tomorrow morning at 8:30 EST, or you can watch it here .

Be warned. It's aimed at boys ages 6-9 meaning that there are several scenes of belching.

The Brave and the Bold: Milestone

Available to pre-order for sale in February is THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: MILESTONE, a trade paperback collection of last summer's pairings of Milestone characters with DC heroes in issues of "The Brave and the Bold." The collection also includes issues of comics starring the Milestone characters from the mid-90s. I wrote the two XOMBI stories. This book makes a great read. If this book is successful, it could lead to the reprinting of the entire run of XOMBI.

Stop by your comic book store to order.

Here's DCs solicitation information:

Written by Dwayne McDuffie, John Rozum, Kurt Busiek, Matt Wayne and Adam Beechen; Art by Denys Cowan, Howard Porter and others; Cover by Howard Porter

Don't miss the first meeting of Static and Black Lightning, Blue Beetle and Hardware, The Spectre and Xombi and more titanic team-ups from THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #24-26, plus stories from HARDWARE #16, STATIC #12 and XOMBI #6.
DC Universe 160pg. Color Softcover $17.99 US
On Sale February 10, 2010

Monday, November 02, 2009

Available For Pre-Order

Available to pre-order now for purchase in January, is CARTOON NETWORK ACTION PACK #45 which features the second part of "The Lost King of Africa," a THE SECRET SATURDAYS story I wrote. Also for purchase in January is THE WEB #5 with the back-up feature I write, THE HANGMAN. This issue the Hangman encounters the Jackal, a villain who will cause him some major trouble over the next few issues.

You can pre-order these now by visiting your local comic book store.