Thursday, February 03, 2011

Revisiting Those Basil Wolverton Reprints From the 80s

Former Swamp Thing artist and blogger extraordinaire Stephen Bissette just posted about the Basil Wolverton reprints from Dark Horse that he contributed cover art to (that's his awesome Wolverton montage to the right).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Customizing Your "Lost" Action Figures

This Lost action figure has been a fixture around the office for a few years. It recently was customized to reflect current goings on in this the final season of the show. Am I the only one who thinks there's no way they can wrap up everything in the few episodes remaining?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Elvis Costello on Black Velvet

I've been digging through some of my cartooning attempts from a few years ago. Thought I'd share.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photoshop Fun With "The Devil's Nightmare"

Thought I'd share a little Photoshop fun. I did a few sample magazine covers to show to a potential client. Click on the image for a closer look. What do you think? The original photo is from 1971's The Devil's Nightmare, one of my all time favorite Euro-horror films.

I scanned from a black and white image in a book, so it was already half-toned which created a few challenges. I scanned at twice the size and resolution then reduced to the target size and applied gaussian blur to soften the image closer to an actual greyscale. The black areas consist of two bitmapped images combined with a mask. The hair was achieved using a threshold layer. I brightened the levels for the skin-tone then converted to lined half-tone. I'm especially fond of the lined effect because it reminds me of John Totleben's drawing style in the Swamp Thing and Miracleman comics of the 80s. Finally, I manually painted in color using a Wacom tablet.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Monster Fan Club Ad

Anybody else remember this? This ad ran in damn near every comic book in the U.S. in the early 1970s. This particular version ran in Eerie Publications' black and white magazines, though there was a more chromatic take on it in the color comics of the time. Click on the image for a closer look.

My brother and I fired off a dollar for this. The "life size reproduction of a Movie Monster" was actually a poster of the critter from the ad. Cool but, despite his resemblance to the beastie from Curse of the Demon this guy never actually appeared in a movie. The 4x5 glossy photos were not in the slightest bit glossy and the bonus monster masks were printed on paper. Still, it was a pretty exciting package for a young monster fan.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WARNING! Avoid "Spirits of the Fall" Like it Was a Rabid Porcupine Telemarketer

Writing a negative review of a zero budget horror flick is kind of like punching a little kid. Sure it's easy and fun, but eventually your arm gets tired. Back when I was writing Killer B's on DVD over at, I reviewed some fun low budget flicks as well as some that were flat out excruciating. On a certain level you have to respect these auteurs for completing and distributing a film with next to no cash, so even with the worst of them I would strive to find something positive to say, even if I was panning the film.

I just finished reviewing Spirits of the Fall for The Phantom of the Movies Videoscope magazine, and the movie has stuck with me like a particularly tenacious intestinal parasite. Any sympathy for the small time film maker has evaporated. The film has zero interest in entertaining and consistently fails on every level both creative and technical. I won't review the movie again here, but I'm putting this out there as a warning: this movie does not deserve to exist. Please avoid at all costs.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Remember When Comics Sucked?

Kind of a loaded question really. For as long as there have been comics there have been crappy ones. The 1980s, however, saw the introduction of the direct sale market which made it financially viable for smaller publishers to get their comics out there. Spurred on by the success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which was a major success story for the small press, scads of comics which a few years earlier would have been lucky to make it into a xeroxed fanzine were popping up in comics stores.

The Stupid Comics section over at has several interesting sections for lovers of dreadful sequential art, but the 80s section is particularly horrific.

  • New Beginning is a particularly incompetent look at nuclear war with a disturbing wish fulfillment angle.
  • Sometimes I think I'm the only one who remembers Geriatric Gangrene Ju-Jitsu Gerbils and perhaps that's for the best, but here's a page devoted to the Gerbils and other Ninja Turtle knock-offs.
  • The Guardians of Justice and O-Force prove that even if you can afford color printing it isn't an acceptable substitute for a knowledge of perspective and anatomy.
  • For several examples of godawful self-published 80s comics, give this a spin.
WARNING: After viewing the above links crack open your copy of Watchmen to give the 80s a sense of balance and to hopefully keep you from sandpapering out your eyes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BLOGS THAT ROCK - Temple of Schlock

I can't believe it took me this long to realize Temple of Schlock has a blog. The Temple was the first film fanzine I remember ever seeing back in the late 80s and I discussed my fond memories of it and zines in general a few years ago. Temple of Schlock was born in Syracuse, NY in July of 1987 and was a cut and paste xeroxed affair, examining the best grindhouse swill of the period.

The blog version carries on that fine tradition with features like "Lost and Not Found" which covers exploitation flicks that have fallen off the map and "This Week on 42nd Street" gives a glimpse at what movies were playing on The Deuce thirty or so years ago. I particularly liked the piece on Twisted Nightmare, a slasher movie from 1988. Chris Pogialli reprints his original review and follows it with several paragraphs on the actual experience of going to see the film at The Harris in New York City. Great stuff.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Return of Cryptique!

Yes, the lovely Miko Macabre (who I first discussed here) and her acerbic but hilarious take on trashy horror films is back with a new episode of her show Cryptique. She's got a new look, better lighting and improved audio, though I have to say the editing still needs some tightening. Still, the show is a lot of fun and this time Miko skewers the Frank Henenlotter classic Basket Case. You can link directly to the Cryptique sight here, and check out the new episode below.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...