Thursday, December 31, 2009

Master of His Universe

The third, and main piece I created for "Under the Influence: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" show at Gallery 1988 was this one, titled "Master of His Universe" featuring Battlecat/Cringer.

The piece is larger and is a 3-D paper construction/collage consisting of four layers plus the character and flower elements.


The first of three pieces I did for the "Under the Influence: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" show at Gallery 1988, is this one called "Buzz-Off: Loose, Complete." There's a companion piece, "Evil Lyn: Loose, Complete" as well. Both pieces were done as cut paper/collage.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Under The Influence: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

I'm pleased to announce that I'm taking part in the "Under the Influence: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" show at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. The show runs from January 8th, 2010 - January 29, 2010. If you're in the area go check it out.

Tomorrow I'll post previews of two of the pieces I did for the show.

You can read more about the show at Gallery 1988's blog , i09 , Super Punch , Cartoon Brew and Geek Tyrant .

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

In Comic Book Stores Today

THE WEB #4 hits comic book stores today. In the back-up feature THE HANGMAN, the Hangman continues to take on human trafficking and the yokai, Umi-bozu. This story was written by me with stunning art by Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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

If you, or your child, still have not seen it, my first episode of SUPER HERO SQUAD, "Night in the Sanctorum" airs tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM (EST) on Cartoon Network. It features the Punisher, Dr. Strange, Baron Mordo and the Enchantress among its many guest characters.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ten Years of Mad Scientist

My congratulations to Martin Arlt on ten years of producing the outstanding magazine MAD SCIENTIST. The anniversary issue (number 20) is available now and has a fantastic wrap around cover by Pete Von Sholly and an interior collage by me.

You can order a copy, as well as back issues, here .

You can also see the awe inspiring complete mural of monsters by Pete Von Sholly that the cover is taken from by visiting here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Fun With Scissors Uploads

Here's another batch of "Fun With Scissors" posts that have had their images replaced. The following cartoon character cut paper collage portraits can now be viewed by clicking on them.

Riff Raff

Conjunction Junction

Droop-a-long Coyote

Rope Man

Mr. Limpet

Egghead Jr.

Jonny Quest


Alfy Gator

Barney Rubble

Huckleberry Hound

Ranger Smith

Secret Squirrel

Breezly and Sneezly

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Saturday on Cartoon Network

This Saturday, December 12, at 7:30 PM (EST), Cartoon Network will be broadcasting my second episode of SUPER HERO SQUAD. This episode, "Stranger From a Savage Land!," guest stars Kevin Sorbo as Ka-Zar who journeys to Super Hero City in search of his missing sabertooth tiger, Zabu. Don't miss it.

Still More Fun With Scissors reposts

Images of the following characters have all been replaced now as well:

I.Q. High

Meteor Man

Milton the Monster

Fred Flintstone

Daphne Blake


Slowpoke Rodriguez

Floral Rugg


Elmer Fudd

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In Comic Book Stores Today

A journalist tags along with the Mystery Inc. gang as they investigate a bizarre painting which seems to be coming to life and stealing valuable items from the stores around the gallery where it is displayed in SCOOBY-DOO #151, written by me with art by Fabio Laguna, Heroic Age, and John J. Hill. SCOOBY-DOO #151 can be found at a comic book store near you starting today.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

More Fun With Scissors reposts

The slow, tedious, and sporadic reposting of images of cut paper collage portraits of cartoon characters that I created on a daily basis for my "Fun With Scissors" series continues with just a handful more for today. The following images have all been reposted.

Squiddly Diddly

Mr. Magoo

Choo Choo





Penelope Pitstop

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Happy Birthday Walt Disney

Today is Walt Disney's birthday. The internet and blogosphere will no doubt be filled with posts to commemorate the occasion, most of which will be far more informative than anything I'm prepared to offer.

I'm a big Disney nerd, and have been for as long as I can remember. Through the various stages of my life I've admired various aspects of Walt's work and character for different reasons, but the thing I most admire about the man beyond all of the groundbreaking innovations he's contributed to art, entertainment and popular culture, are three things.

1. He never gave up on what he wanted to accomplish. Setting out repeatedly into uncharted territory that no once else believed would be anything other than a disaster, he stuck with it, proved everyone wrong, and then found a new frontier to explore. The fact that his company was on the verge of bankruptcy throughout his entire life never deterred him either. He never gave up and took a job at a bank instead. He simply forged ahead.

2. His notion that nothing he had a hand in could simply be good enough. It had to be the best possible product they could produce, and until it was released to the public, it could always be improved.

3. His sense of storytelling, even in the parks. The notion that everything that appears in a story has to have a reason for being there, that every item has its own story, and that it's about characters over laughs. This plus the way the audience is guided through a story in the same manner that the layout of the parks guides you towards the next thrill is something that over time has been completely ingrained in me and is often something I fall back on when solving problems in my own stories.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Hearse at Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion

In the 1990s a horse drawn hearse was purchased from an antiques dealer for use in a proposed Young Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show to be staged at Disneyland. When plans for the show were scrapped, Imagineer, Bob Baranick suggested the hearse be placed outside the Haunted Mansion. Following the philosophy of storytelling through the attractions, Imagineer Tony Baxter, inspired by the invisible dogs on a lease novelty items sold at the merchandise carts outside the haunted Mansion came up with the idea of having the hearse hitched up to an invisible horse. The hearse and phantom horse made its debut in September 1995 and proved popular enough to warrant adding this feature to the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

While untrue, the urban myth that this is the very same hearse that transported Brigham Young to his grave persist. Much has been made about this false, if more interesting origin of Disnaeyland's white hearse, while I've seen very little about the, also interesting, and factual, history of the black hearse residing at the Magic Kingdom.

The black hearse at Walt Disney World appeared in the 1965 film "The Sons of Katie Elder" which starred John Wayne and Dean Martin as two of the four sons who return to Clearwater, Texas to attend their mother's funeral. When they arrive, they find that their mother is revered with almost saintly status among the town's population. They also find a darker story about their father's murder and how their mother was swindled out of her property. The sons are determined to set things right, meeting opposition at every turn.

This is a well made, more or less by the numbers, western, direct by Henry Hathaway from a screenplay by William H. Wright, Allan Weiss and Harry Essex from a story by Talbot Jennings. It has a very good cast, believable in their roles, plenty of action, nice cinematography and a score by Elmer Bernstein. The real star of the movie is not John Wayne, or Dean Martin, but Katie Elder, who never appears in the movie. It is the black hearse from the magic Kingdom which conveyed Katie Elder to her final resting place.

The hearse makes it's first appearance at the 6 minute and 56 second mark in the movie, sitting on the street, hitched to a pair of very live horses as it prepares to drive to the cemetery with Katie Elder's body.

It can be seen again, very briefly, about 2 minutes later parked outside the cemetery.

The hearse gets a lot more screen time beginning at 30 minutes and 51 seconds, when we see it's wheels being cleaned by veteran character actor, John Doucette as Hyselman. John Wayne appears to pay for his mother's funeral, only to find out it's been taken care of. We find out that he and Hyselman have known each other for some time, but that Hyselman can't, or won't help him, with details about his father's murder.

Shortly after, the swindler's hired muscle, Curley, played by a menacing George Kennedy, goes to learn what John Wayne wanted with Hyselman. Curley's manner is not so polite, and fortunately, Wayne returns to rescue Hyselman.

The hearse does not appear again.

We can see some details about the hearse as it appears in "The Sons of Katie Elder" which have been changed for it's appearance outside the Haunted Mansion. The most obvious is that the black curtains with the gold tassled edging in the windows ofthe hearse have been replaced with black curtains with purple tassled edging for its' role at Disney World, while retaining the same design. Also the wheels have been replaced. In the movie all four wheels are the same size, while outside the Haunted Mansion, the front wheels are much smaller. The wheel rims themselves also appear a bit thicker on the current incarnation. The four decorative elements on the corners of the hearse's roof have also been removed, as has the railing behind the driver's seat, replaced by two lamps.

Interestingly the tack worn by the phantom horse appears to be close to, if not identical, to the tack worn by the horses in the movie, making me wonder if this was not also original to the movie and purchased along with the hearse.

Disneyland hearse image source

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Available Today

CARTOON NETWORK ACTION PACK #44 is available in comic book stores today. The Secret Saturdays return in part 1 of "The Lost King of Africa" written by me with art by Scott Jeralds and this great cover bt Jay Stephens.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Paul Naschy (1934-2009)

Paul Naschy , the Spanish actor, director, and writer, best known for his werewolf character, Waldemar Daninsky, whom he played in 12 films, died yesterday in Madrid at the age of 75, losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.

Naschy, born Jacinto Molina Alvarez, was something of a one-man Universal studios, creating movies which featured most of the classic monsters in a more garish manner. Not only did he write and direct many of these movies, but he also starred in them. Besides his famous role as Daninsky in the "El Hombre Lobo" series, Naschy also played monsters such as Dracula and the Mummy, and was often labeled as "the Spanish Lon Chaney."

His films are great fun, and he will be missed.

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.