Monday, October 30, 2006

The Ghost Ship....soon will be making another run

Here are illustrations from the Scholastic book, The Ghost Ship. These were drawn by Norman Nodel and I like them much better than the ones in Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. The red is a much better color than the yellowish brown of the Jeckyll/Hyde ilustrations. No other explanation is necessary. These are creepy and cool. My favorite is the skeleton.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dr. Jeckyll, I Presume?

I thought I'd post a few illustrations from the cool books I picked up in the early 1970s at a Scholastic book fair at my elementary school. Previously I posted the cover for Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. While the cover is amazing, the inside of this book is disappointing. Part of it is due to the drab brownish yellow color used in the drawings, but it is also because the illustrations in Dracula and The Ghost Ship are so fantastic, that these just don't compare.

These are the only two illustrations that I really liked in the whole book. The others just didn't do anything for me.

However, I was fascinated with Dr. Jeckyll's transformation into Mr. Hyde.
He goes from Christian Bale....

to Mr. Chugalug, Dean Martin....

to Rod Steiger.

I'll post some illustrations from the other two books, but these needed to go up first. If you see them after the other two, they're truly disappointing.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

They're Coming to Get You, Barbara

The living dead walk the earth...and we are there. This movie, while tame by todays standards, is still terrifying in it's premise.

Perhaps I have always had an overactive imagination, but if I were in a cemetery and a strange looking man was staggering in my general direction, I would make damn sure that I didn't come within 50 feet of him. After all, cemeteries are creepy and deserted. If the guy isn't a masher, he could be a corpse.

I found myself wanting to smack this woman in the head with a log to snap her out of her stupor. Then once she started babbling on and on about Johnny, I wanted to smack her in the head to shut her up.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Parlor of Terror

This is the type of ad which seems very appealing, but as with all ads in comic books, you're sure to be disappointed when it arrives. Well, except for the fake vampire blood as any kid is going to get excited about putting fake blood on the face and neck.

Any kid reading the ad would read the last line about how all the spooky stuff is in the package, and would totally skim over the first sentence where it says what you're really getting is a manuscript. And would little kids know what a manuscript was? I think not, oh evil comic ad of yore!!

Want a scary costume? Be a Norwegian Troll

When I was a kid my grandparents went to Norway and brought back this book of Norwegian Folk Tales. The stories are along the lines of the Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales, which means they can really creep you out.

I used to think of Norway as the land of Nordic blue eyed, blonde, outdoors-y, heathy youngsters with bright white teeth. Now when I think of Norway, I think of trolls. Trolls, trolls, trolls, and more trolls. They're everywhere and the Folk Tales are filled with horrible stories of youngsters being terrorized and eaten by trolls. Norway has to keep it quiet or else their tourist market would suffer.

The scariest story is about a kid named Butterball who is the target of a hungry troll. If you were a troll, wouldn't you pick the kid named Butterball? Sounds like good eatin'. But I digress... the thing that always freaked me out about this particular story was that the troll carried it's own head under it's arm. And the little things that look like sticks coming up out of the neck just make me queasy. Even now looking at them makes me feel slightly ill.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hey Kids, Give Us Your Allowance for Monster Products

These masks don't look like the goriest masks I've ever seen, but they are only $2.98 each. Unfortunately in 1973 my allowance was about 25 cents, and I spent it immediately. So goodbye any chance of owning a monster mask. The one thing I'm curious about is what type of mask you got if you ordered the one called "The Goon."

Monster Studios is a fantastic name for a business. You just feel like they're so dedicated to the monster concept that they must have tons of cool monster items. I find their monster picture more disturbing than the monster masks shown above. But I am enthralled by the notion of the monster himself sending me my free monster gift. Then again, I'm a little nervous that the monster would then have my address and could show up in the middle of the night by the side of my bed.

Vampire blood....what kid didn't want their own tube of vampire blood? Well I'm guessing the only one would be that kid who always threatened to take his ball home if you didn't let him be the pitcher. Yes, every child wants a tube of succulent bloody goodness to play tricks on their parents and friends, as well as doctor up fake wounds or bloody bandages. Yet wouldn't the ad be more effective to show blood dripping vampire fangs rather than the mystery scribble with the red dot?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's.... The Scarecrow!!

Another unfortunate gap in my posting. But how could I resist October, the month of ghost, creepy things, and candy? When I was a kid, I though the Wonderful World of Disney's The Scarecrow movie was spooky. The Vicar was nice, but those dark nights when the scarecrow and his henchmen rode around the countryside made me shiver. Could you make a kids movie these days based on a group of guys in olden times riding on missions through the dark night, shooting and fighting and wearing creepy masks?...and these are the good guys.

Even though some of it scared me, I did like the fact that the Scarecrow was out for justice. As this photo says about the man of two faces, "The Vicar... kind and benevolent, loved by all. The Scarecrow...a demon ghost, feared by oppressors."

There was even a Scarecrow comic based on the movie. These are all scanned from Scarecrow, no.3 from 1965. I think I saw this in the early 70s, at which time I thought it was a new movie. I do find it odd that the back cover of the comic is this illustration which is labeled as a pinup. The pinup is interesting, but it seems an odd thing for any kid to put on their wall.

While the scarecrow looked kind of scary, he was nothing compared to his henchmen. Holy moley! What the hell?! No wonder I was freaked out by this movie. The Scarecrow's henchmen are horrifying! Look at those masks. Kids must have been hiding under their covers for weeks after seeing this movie.

Good god! Hellspite looks more like a corpse than a scarecrow, and Curlew.... Damn it, Curlew has the head of a bird. How disgusting is that? Does he strap a real bird face around his skull? Is it an owl? What is it? It's uber-creepy. Oh I am going to have nightmares again after this.