Yeah, that leap year thing can mess you up. What other date-specific slasher movies might be effected? Happy Birthday To Me, April Fool’s Day, Black Christmas, Groundhog Day? OK, I know that last one wasn’t a horror movie, but picture that furry little rodent with a big honkin’ knife. Box office gold, I tell ya.
I have stuff, and some of it is on my desk.
Action figures have sure changed from when I was a kid. I used to have the Mego super hero and Planet of the Apes action figures back in the day. They certainly lacked the intricate sculpting you get from the figures produced by McFarlane Toys, and the fact that Mego was working with a limited number of molds meant there was a sameness to many of the figures. And they lacked… what’s the phrase I’m looking for? Oh yeah, exposed entrails. Man, this guy is a showstopper, isn’t he? I’ve got half a mind to make an animated gif of him jumping rope with those intestines. This is the Bungee Walker from McFarlane’s Walking Dead line, and he came into my possession by way of a recent Secret Santa exchange (thanks again, Erik!). Click on the image for a closer look (you know you want to).
Curious about what else might be on my desk? Why wouldn’t you be? Click on over here to see the ephemera that impedes my productivity.
When I first saw Tim Paxton’s Monster! back in the early 90s it was one of those way cool photocopied and stapled by hand publications epitomizing the DIY zine culture that began to dwindle with the rise of the internet. The current incarnation of Monster! is a digest-size magazine usually in the 100-page range and available at an attractive price through Amazon’s print on demand service CreateSpace. It’s a great read for monster movie buffs with a strong emphasis on international horror and a strict “no slasher movies” policy. And for the last year or so I’ve had the pleasure of contributing the occasional drawing or film review.
I illustrated the contents page for issue #21 of Monster!, and this seems as good a place as any to show off my handiwork. You can buy that issue here, if you are so inclined. Some of the creatures I chose because they were featured in that issue, while others were just old favorites of mine. Most of these were drawn in pencil, scanned, then “inked” in Photoshop on a Wacom tablet. I will sometimes work entirely in Photoshop, but I find drawing with an actual pencil feels more fluid than the tablet.
Click on any of the images below for a closer look.
This is the final page as it was published.
Now let’s check these guys out one at a time.
Thanksgiving is upon us! It’s become a tradition at work for us to make hand turkeys this time of year (despite our status as full-grown adults). Here’s a retrospective of my work in the hand turkey medium. Click on any images for a closer look.
First up is this year’s homage to DC Comics’ Justice League:
Last year was my expose of how they really make smoked turkey.
And, yes, I’m aware they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan, but the wrath of Turkey-Zilla is a force of nature and cares not a whit about such things.
This guy is the latest addition to my collection of distractions. That’s the Funko Pop figure of Ash from the Evil Dead movies. I came upon this chainsaw-wielding bit of awesome not through luck but by demonstrating an actual skill. While attending a theatrical presentation of the original Evil Dead a few weeks ago I correctly answered that those who are possessed in the films are referred to as Deadites (though that term didn’t get used until the very end of Evil Dead II). Now Ash stands guard over my workspace keeping the forces of evil at bay with his chainsaw and his boom stick.
I’ve followed the Evil Dead saga since before the first film was even released. Stephen King mentioned it in an article in the November 1982 issue of the late great Twilight Zone magazine. He had seen the movie at a film festival, I believe, but lamented that it would probably never get any kind of theatrical release in the U.S. Evil Dead‘s tale of demonic possession and graphic dismemberment was so extreme, said King, it would likely be slapped with an X rating (NC-17 wasn’t used until years later), making it unmarketable.
Of course, this made me want to see it all the more. Evil Dead eventually did go out to theaters unrated, which occasionally happened back then with other gore fests like Dawn of the Dead, Zombie, and The Gates of Hell. I finally had a chance to see Evil Dead in ’83 or ’84 when it played on campus at the State University of New York at Oswego, but it was playing at the same time that I needed to pre-register for classes for the following semester. I got to the theater a good 30 or 40 minutes in, forcing me into the uncomfortable position of asking a complete stranger why that guy on the screen was vigorously dismembering someone with an axe. Fortunately, there were still lots of gory goings-on yet to unspool, and over the course of the next hour or so I started a decades-lasting admiration for the work of director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell.
Evil Dead II followed in 1987, managing to outdo the original in just about every respect. A third film, Army of Darkness, came along in 1992. It took me a bit longer to warm up to this one. While the first two films were unrated splatterfests, Raimi was required to deliver an R-rated film this time, so the gore was severely curtailed. I left the theatre feeling disappointed, but over the years Army of Darkness has grown on me.
Which brings us to today, Halloween, October 31, 2015. Ash Vs. Evil Dead, premiered last night on the Starz network, and I watched it this morning with my coffee and Cracklin’ Oat Bran. How times have changed. Evil Dead nearly didn’t see the light of day back in ’81 because of its extreme content, and now we’ve got a TV series that is (thanks to Starz’ status as a premium cable channel) every bit as violent as the original. Bruce Campbell returns as Ash, who is equal parts jackass and badass. Once again the forces of darkness have been unleashed thanks to our hero’s own stupidity, and he, along with some new sidekicks, must put things right. I can only hope the series lives up to the premiere episode, because it was an absolute blast.
Dare I say, it was groovy.
So, I feel like I’ve known Ash for a long time. And while he may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, he knows what to do when faced with Kandarian demons. That’s why I’ve charged him with protecting my Post-it notes. Those are the first thing monsters come for.
I have stuff, and some of it is on my desk.
Not so much on my desk as threateningly close to it, this morbidly meloncholy manservant has been scaring the bejesus out of my coworkers (and me occasionally) most Octobers for the last few years. He was originally a birthday present (thanks Shannon!) but he’s since become a Halloween tradition. Everyone gets used to having him around, but all it takes is one trip to the printer where you’re particularly focused on work (go figure), you turn a corner, and suddenly you’re confronted by this freaky little s.o.b. Bladder control is the name of the game, and you’d better have it if you’re going to work around this guy.
This year Creepy Butler Dude is joined by internet sensation and curmudgeonly cantankerous kitty Grumpy Cat (thanks, Sue!). Truly a match made in hell. Not entirely sure what their relationship is. One might be serving the other either as a minion or an entree. It could go either way, but the two combine to make a potent combination of festive morbidity and knee-jerk negativity.
Curious about the other Stuff On My Desk? Click here.