Friday, October 31, 2008

Vote NOW and I may win a CRAGGY!

Reposting an earlier post for an award I'm nominated for, and for which VOTES ARE STILL BEING ACCEPTED. (That is, until Nov.1).

I got some good news recently-- I'm nominated for a Craggy Award!

What's that, you say?

Well, it's an award voted on by listeners to Cult Radio-A-Go-Go! That's an internet radio station that features music for people with strange tastes! (Like me.) And live interviews with people who do strange things-- like make cult movies, or macabre art or music, or any number of things out of the mainstream! (Such as writing oddball blogs like this one.) I was the guest on one live segment last April, and was nominated by listeners for the annual gargoyle-shaped award that CRAGG hosts Terry and Tiffany Dufoe confer on the winners of the vote. (I need more gargoyle tchotkes in my home --I really do, I love 'em!-- so vote for me.)

Gotta admit I'm up against some stiff competition: writers Rich Scrivani and John Stanley, artist Frank Dietz, and filmmakers Ted Newsom, Don Glut, and Kevin Sean Michaels. And others. But Rich, Frank, Ted and Don are all people I know and talk to, and like very much. (So please give them reason to be both shocked and jealous when they next talk to me-- and give me your vote!)

Here's an excerpt from an e-mail announcement sent to me:

"Final voting to elect the winner of this year's CRAGGY Award for Best Independent Artist is going on now and will be open for voting through October 31st. On Saturday, November 1st during Cult Radio Live, we will announce the results and crown the title winners for this year. Winners in each category will receive a CRAGGY Award, a gargoyle statuette in the image of our mascot CRAGG the Drive-In Movie Gargoyle... plus they will have the compliment of knowing that the listeners voted for THEM as the award winners are completely decided by the public!"

"To vote, all people have to do is visit and click on the CRAGGY Awards vote link at the top of the page!"

This award will fill an existential void in my life. Really. I'm on bended neck, asking for your vote. There are tears in my eyes as I peck the keyboard keys with my nose. Vote for me-- give me the sweet taste of hope that I so long for-- today.

So long for today.

Well, did you vote yet?

31 Days of Halloween: Feels like Halloween! (Pt. 2)

When I was a kid, I always wanted Halloween to have the cache of Christmas, and as many traditions as Christmas. So I was thrilled one year in the ' 70s to get a book of carols to sing at Halloween-- The PEANUTS Book of Pumpkin Carols.

It featured some appealing Halloween themed art emphasizing gift-giving--

And sending cards to friends to celebrate the season!

Just like Christmas.

In my post 31 Days of Halloween: Feels like Halloween! (Pt. 1) from a couple of weeks ago, I'd groused that I hadn't really truly been in a Halloween mood.

Then, in the same week, I got Halloween cards from friends AND "Monster Mash" by Bobby Pickett was played on a local station! ("Monster Mash", though I've heard at least 40 different covers of it and heard the original a hundred times or more-- hell, I even sang it in a stage musical back in the Nineties-- is the "Jingle Bells" of the spooky season. I need it to kick off Halloween.) It felt like Halloween!

I send out cards when I can for the holiday to those friends I think might like them. I try to send out as many as I can afford-- but my house-hunting (Jane and I have bought our first home) has put a crimp in my Halloween plans, time- AND money-wise. Still, Jane and I sent out a good number, and we got many cards as well. Here they are (below), ranging from cute, to creepy, to crass, and I celebrate them all.

Of course, we got a card that was the same as one I sent (I won't say which one). That happens every year at Halloween and Christmas, and amuses me every time. The fact that this year I got only one means I found some less common ones for my friends, I'm happy to say.

Of course, the Voodoo Queen and I exchanged Halloween cards and gifts. I bought Jane a cat-themed card because, well, she likes cards with cats on them.

And she bought me a cat-themed card, because, well, she likes cards with cats on them.

Our thanks to all of our friends who sent Halloween greetings-- Dixon, Jeff P., Jeff C., Sara, Jill, Rob, Raymond, Eyrdie, John C. (whose wonderful card was too big to scan), John R., Polly, Craig, Jim, Dale, Nancy, Karen, Lee, Brian, Mirek, Gary, Gord, Dave, and my family.

Now it's time to go be with my wife and enjoy the holiday AND our anniversary. YOU have a happy Halloween, whatever you are!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween: Assorted associations

One of the best things about Halloween in the blogosphere is seeing the variety of what people post, and how it reminds you of similar things you've seen.

My first example-- over at the Sailormoms' blog you can download a virtual video slot machine game with a horror theme called "Scary Slots." That reminded me of a real world pinball machine with a horror theme called "Scared Stiff" that I saw last week. It was based on Elvira's TV show. Here are some pictures:

My friend John Rozum features great Halloween-related covers of The New Yorker at his blog, and that reminded me of a recent horror-themed New Yorker cover that I thought was an instant classic:

The current financial crisis as the Red Death, featuring Lon Chaney's Red Death costume design from The Phantom of the Opera. Beautiful.

Here's an attractive autumnal New Yorker cover done by Gahan Wilson in 2002:

From last year comes this great Dick Cheney jack-o-lantern cover:

Which one "pieplate" has turned into an actual jack-o-lantern:

You can see more photos of this Cheney carving on Flickr.

Finally, here's classic art created by Charles Addams for an October New Yorker issue cover. Look closely at the jack-o-lantern in the foreground:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cookies with bite!

At the X-rated Porn Bread site, where naughty baked goods and desserts are on display along with the recipes to make them, I discovered that they have "vampire vagina cookies" as a Halloween offering. Embedded candy corn serves as fangs for the toothy treats. (Best use I can think of for the nasty things.) Other spooky sweets include "Halloweenies" (phallic Jack-o-lantern-- or perhaps 'jack-o-latin'-- cookies) and cupcakes called "Witch's Tits" (good for a cold night, I suppose.)

The idea of a toothed snapper (known scholarly as vagina dentata) has appeared in cultural myths around the globe. Learn more about it here.

Perhaps Poe was haunted by dreams of vagina dentata when he wrote Berenice.


I've seen some pretty cheesy Frankenstein items in my time.

And there is concern by some environmentalists about the creation and sale of "Franken-foods."

But this is the cheesiest Franken-food I've ever seen!

From the October-November issue of Taste of Home magazine comes this picture of a Frankenstein-shaped cheeseball. Perfect for guests who come over to watch Frankenstein Meets
The Space Monster

Below, you can read the recipe for this creepy cheesy comestible by clicking on the photo to enlarge it.

At the Taste of Home website, you can also see their online Halloween articles here, and read Christy Hinrichs' recipe for making "Dracula cookies" here.

Bone appetit!

Halloween: Bloody Magic Screw

The best stuff for Halloween can often be found at independent "dollar" stores. (The "dime stores" of my childhood.) They often get cheap but garish stuff not found elsewhere, or get old stock from warehouses that chain discount stores don't get.

Sunday, Jane and I visited "It's A Buck" and found in the Halloween section two "arrow through the head" type prop gags. They were okay novelty items, but I bought them for the cards they came attached to. There was funny text on one, and good (bad) art on the other. And Frankenstein was on both!

Two wrongs don't make a right, but apparently two bolts make a magic screw. (I like the name "Bloody Magic Screw"-- sounds like a name for a cocktail!)

The text slays me. You can "LOOK REAL" (At last! I'm always being accused of looking imaginary!) And you can "FOOL YOUR FRIENDS"! Not like an unconvincing fake cast, or phony scar, no sir! Everyone will think YOU have two big bolts penetrating your skull!

Poor Frankenstein. He always seems to have trouble with fire, doesn't he?

Now let's look at KNIFE THRU HEAD.

This looks like crappy poster art for some old Euro-trash horror movie. I'm actually thinking of framing this card back, which measures around 8" x 12". So wonderfully garish! (Even has the silhouette of Dracula worked in.) Looks like something from the '70s. A time when I was a kid, and every Halloween was eagerly anticipated. I would have loved this art back then, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All together in one place!

Where can you find Swamp Thing, the Headless Horseman, and a zombie all in one location? Right here, my friends!

Driving Sen. Obama to Drink

(Or, What Barack is Grateful to Me For)

I ran into Sen. Obama today at a campaign rally I'd organized for my supporters. (He was in Pittsburgh for his own rally earlier in the day.) He came out to see, he said, "just what kind of voters could conceive of voting for a severed head and a brain in a jar for the highest offices in our great nation." (Yeah, he really does talk like that.) But he was kind to Allen's Brain and I, and we noticed he really is as clean as Joe Biden said he was. In fact, he smelled really nice. (I think he wears Old Spice, just like my dad used to.)

He and I were both shocked at my supporters' response to his presence. One man screamed "Irishman!" (I think he thought Obama had an apostrophe between the 'O' and the 'b'), and another yelled "We don't need 'the troubles' here!" Yet another waved a sign that said "No potato eaters in the White House!"

Many of my supporters aren't very bright.

I tried to tell the crowd that although he was my opponent, Sen. Obama was a decent family man, and an American patriot. But they just yelled he was "Black Irish" and should "go back to Belfast."

I took Sen. Obama out for drinks later at the Two Party House, a bar I like. The Senator got pleasantly buzzed, as you can see:

Here he is counting the number of double Zombies he'd had. He was off by two. (Maybe he couldn't use all his fingers to count on; I noticed bruises on his knuckles from where people had been fist-bumping him all day.) I bested him by one double Zombie, heh heh.

He promised to keep me and Brain perched on his desk in the Oval Office when he's elected, but he was plastered when he made the remark, so I don't expect him to keep his word. But he was funny and friendly with me after he'd had a few under his belt. And I tried to hug him after I'd had a few, but of course had no arms to do it with. I just got my nose caught on one of his sleeve buttons.

You probably need a drink, too, waiting for this campaign to end. So here's the recipe for the cocktail that knocked me and Obama for a loop:

1 part (oz.) white rum
1 part golden rum
1 part dark rum
1 part apricot brandy
1 part pineapple juice
1 part papaya juice
1 part lime juice
Half-part 151-proof rum
Dash of grenadine
orange juice

Mix ingredients except for the 151 in a shaker with ice. Pour into glass, fill with orange juice, and top with the high-proof rum.

Halloween: Pumpkin Sex Toys

Since my last post was about someone hitting my blog while looking for porn, I'll do all like-minded readers a favor and post a link to a website that shows you step-by-step how to make sex toys from pumpkins.

It'll blow your... er, mind!

Better than a Falcon, or even a Bippy

Yesterday my blog got a hit from someone in Malta looking for "severed head porno."

Hey, I NEVER let anyone videotape me! I just can't be put through the hell Paris Hilton went through!

"The Maltese Drunken Severed Head-- the stuff nightmares are made of."

Monday, October 27, 2008


If you live in or near western Pennsylvania, I urge you to tour CASTLE BLOOD, a top-rated Halloween attraction that puts the emphasis on macabre mystery and memorable weird characters-- and it has many more props and scenes than other attractions its size. Click on the image below to go to the Castle Blood website, where you can see and hear more. Open through Nov. 1rst!

Jane and I will be taking the trip to experience the haunted horror of CASTLE BLOOD-- join us!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Telco Motionettes Catalog 1988

Courtesy of Raymond Castile, a fellow loyal soldier in the Universal Monster Army, come these scans from the 1988 Halloween catalog of Telco Motionettes. Hard to believe these moving figures first appeared 20 years ago! Wish I'd bought a Frankie then!

(To see photos and video of another classic Frankenstein Telco Motionette, go here; the photos are from the collection of UMA member NecroDave.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

To Be Haunted Is A Riot

Or, I'm desperate to post something and found some covers I liked and thought I'd put them up...

Weirdest political tchotchkes!

Other than THESE cool items, the oddest political items I've seen this year are these Obama and McCain gargoyles available from Design Toscano:

The caricatures certainly aren't perfect. Obama's face looks a little like Jimmy Carter's, and McCain's looks like Carter's opponent in 1976-- Gerald Ford. If Ford had a case of the mumps.

My head on a gargoyle body would be more appropriate. Scarier, anyway!

Giant Jack

A mammoth jack-o-lantern spotted on top of a barn silo while Jane and drove across country recently:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

31 Days of Halloween: Vintage mag art

Hey, there. Nice to be back in Pittsburgh and off the road.

Because I was out of town-- and also am busy now buying my first house (yep, all set to haunt a place of my own!)-- I haven't been able to put up a Halloween post every day like I'd planned. So today I'm posting Halloween-related images from old magazine covers and pages. Some are from kid's magazines and some from magazines for those all grown-up-- and all are presented without a theme or commentary. Sorry! Today the pictures will have to speak more loudly than words.

The page below, scanned from an October 1961 issue of Jack and Jill, comes from the Flickr Halloween set of nemo_54.

His set features images of the sort of Halloween stuff I pored over as a kid. Go take a look.


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