Disney story artist Clio Chiang isn’t the only talented member of her family. Her sister Connie is a makeup artist, so she and a friend dressed up for Halloween this year as a Lichtenstein painting. However you feel about couples’ costumes, this one gets points for originality and execution. Continue Reading »
Early this month, comedian, actor and occasional comics writer Patton Oswalt issued a call for help on Twitter: His 3-year-old daughter wanted to dress as Spider-Girl for Halloween, and insisted “Daddy has to be Doctor Ock-a-pus.” The problem was, he didn’t have time to make the required costume. Who should come to Oswalt’s aid but Adam Savage, veteran special-effects designer and co-host of Mythbusters. The delightful results can be seen above.
“As sometimes happens, I just immediately saw in my head how to make a really easy-to-wear, inexpensive, fast-to-build Doctor Octopus costume,” Savage explains. How inexpensive, and how fast to build? Well, he constructed the costume in just four hours using off-the-shelf crafting materials. See how in the video below.
Here’s a Halloween treat: Feast your eyes on this amazing pumpkin sculpture of The Joker by ace pumpkin carver Andy Bergholtz. It took him eight hours to do, and Yahoo has a short video of the creation process (below). DC Comics commissioned the pumpkin as part of its Super-Villains Month, which also included an invitation for fans to vote for the ultimate super-villain team; The Joker was the runaway winner.
Courtesy of Victor Quinaz, Brent Schoonover and Archaia Comics, we’re pleased to share a Halloween-themed comic strip by the creative team behind Archaia’s Mr. Murder is Dead, starring the story’s main character, The Spook. Click on the image below to check it out:
Digital | Comics by ComiXology has topped Apple’s charts as the top-grossing iPad application for the last six Wednesdays. ComiXology cited the launch of DC’s New 52 initiative, as well as many other comic companies moving to a same-day digital release schedule, as reasons for its success. “When have comic books, not comic book movies, not comic book merchandise, but the actual comic books been #1 in anything, much less high tech?” comiXology CEO David Steinberger said in a statement. “Being the number one grossing iPad application six Wednesdays in a row isn’t just a huge milestone for comiXology, but a huge milestone for comics as a medium … and we could not be prouder.” [press release]
Creators | An auction for the naming rights to a character in Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons’ The Secret Service raised $5,100 for St. Bartholomew’s Primary School, where Millar attended. The money will be used to pay for field trips for the school’s students. “I’m a former pupil at St. Bartholomew’s and have so many great memories of the place,” Millar said. “I know there’s not a lot of money in local government at the moment and I was sad to hear that the annual school trip for the children had been cancelled. By establishing this fund, I hope to have a pot the head-teacher can dip into every Christmas and take the entire school to a pantomime every year.” [Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser]
Chris Schweizer is too busy to do a lot of Halloween sketches, but his take on Frankenstein’s monster as a work in progress is too good to pass up. Click the link for a scary story about Schweizer’s own Victor Frankenstein experience.
When he’s not busy running the Stumptown Comics Festival, Indigo Kelleigh draws comics, and he has come up with a cute mini-comic to hand out to the lucky kids who knock on his door this Halloween. Seven Little Monsters is a spooky riff on the Five Little Monkeys tale, done in a slightly retro pen-and-ink style. He posted the whole thing online for those of us who won’t be trick-or-treating in his neighborhood, so go, take a look.
Getting into the Halloween spirit, Lucy Knisley has posted a terrific two-page comic called “Scaredcited,” a crowdsourcing experiment. “I asked my twitter followers (LucyKnisley) to send me a deep fear of theirs along with their photo in order to incorporate them into the second page,” she writes. “It’s sort-of auto-bio-for-everyone. [...] One thing that struck me as I was drawing out the page was that so many of us share specific fears. Drawing everyone in a place where we all faced our fears was really comforting. At least we’re all in it together.”
Diamond Comic Distributors announced at Thursday’s retailer breakfast at New York Comic Con that it will add another Free Comic Book Day event, set for Halloween 2012.
ICv2.com reports that while the traditional FCBD will still be held May 5, 2012, Diamond found interest from publishers in supporting a second, similar event on Halloween, “which has become, next to Christmas, the holiday with the most retail impact.”
Many retailers already hold kid-focused events on Halloween, with some giving away comics left over from Free Comic Book Day. Diamond has in the past encouraged stores to give away themed kid-friendly minicomics as “sugar-free safe bag stuffers.” This year’s selections include 16-page issues of Scary Godmother, Archie’s Laugh Comics, Donald Duck and The Smurfs. However, next year’s offerings will be part of a full-fledged Free Comic Book Day event.
It’s 80 degrees and sunny here on the East Coast, so getting into the Halloween mood is a bit of a stretch. Chris Cantrell’s webcomic The Deadlys, which just celebrated its first anniversary, is helping, though. It’s a gag-comic riff on the scary-family theme, although this one goes a bit farther than the Addams Family: Dad is a masked chainsaw murderer, mom is a vampire, and daughter Morgan is a teenage girl. It’s a four-panel gag comic with minimal continuity, so you can read it a bit at a time or binge as if it were a bag of Halloween candy. To sweeten the deal a bit, Cantrell is celebrating the comic’s first birthday with giveaways and extras, including a video of him drawing the comic.
Happy Halloween! We round out our series of posts on what comics from the past or present left various creators shivering under the blanket until the sun came up. To see the previous posts, go here and here.
Fred Van Lente
I had the oversized MARVEL TREASURY EDITION of MARVEL TEAM-UP when I was a kid. The panel in the Spider-Man & Ghost Rider story in which the Orb removes his helmet and shows how hideously scarred he is scared me so bad I actually cut out a square of black construction paper big enough to tape over the panel to cover it so I could read the rest of the comic without looking at it. I couldn’t have been much older than seven.
Fred Van Lente is the co-writer of Marvel’s current event series Chaos War. He’s also written Action Philosophers!, Iron Man: Legacy and Shadowland: Power Man, among other titles. If you’re looking for something in the spirit of the season, check out his Marvel Zombies work.
My Distinguished (and Ghoulish) Colleague said Thursday that “there is a fundamental tension between the horror and superhero genres.” Or, as I see it, when Superheroes and Horror room together, one of them winds up taking up the living room. Mania.com went further and compared the horror comics of Marvel to those of their Distinguished Competitors. They came to the conclusion that DC has a stronger horror line, mostly because of the Vertigo imprint. “We don’t normally associate Marvel with horror comics”, said Chad Derdowski . “When you hear the words ‘Marvel horror,’ you probably have to scratch your head and think about it for a bit and nearly everything you come up with is ultimately going to fall into the superhero category.”
Which is probably the best argument for Marvel having just as strong of a horror element in their titles as DC. Because let’s face it: what scares you? The idea of ghosts and goblins, or that drunk driver swerving uncomfortably on the road in front of you? What terrifies you more, the dark thoughts of a killer or the threat of unemployment? There’s horror, and there’s personal horror, and both are frightful.
Last year for Robot 666 Week we had a lot of fun putting together our list of six comics that scared the $#!@% out of us. So this year, we thought we’d broaden our scope and ask a few comic creators what comics scared them. Here’s the first batch; check back tomorrow and on Halloween for more!
That’s an easy one.
In 1973, I read a short story in the black and white Monsters Unleashed magazine by Thomas Disch, adapted and illustrated by Ralph Reese called “The Roaches,” about a bug-infested apartment and the woman in it…all I remember was it was illustrated in such a creepy style and all those bugs…
At the time I was living in a basement of a house that had some of the little critters from time to time, and the story freaked me out to the point I couldn’t sleep, knowing the bugs were out there ready for me to fall asleep and crawl into my ears, mouth and nose. Now that I’m talking about it, it’s creeping me out all over again.
Jimmy Palmiotti is the co-writer, with Justin Gray, of a ton of comics — Jonah Hex, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, Time Bomb and many more. If you’re looking for a comic to read this Halloween, The Last Resort is a fun, over-the-top zombie comic.
There is a fundamental tension between the horror and superhero genres. Clearly the two aren’t incompatible, but in the stories which blend them, often one genre will dominate. At the risk of gross oversimplification, there’s no guarantee of a horror story having a happy ending; whereas superhero stories are generally about saving the day. Put another way, superheroes generally stop monsters.
Such was the case with 1991′s graphic novel Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, in which the Lord of Vampires comes to Gotham City. Red Rain was written by longtime Bat-scribe Doug Moench, boasted the distinctively eerie pencils of Kelley Jones, and polished off its sinister, downbeat mood through Malcolm Jones III’s inks, Les Dorscheid’s colors, and Todd Klein’s letters. SPOILERS FOLLOW … but is not much of a spoiler to note that Batman defeats Dracula, because a) that is what Batman does, and b) Tomb of Dracula notwithstanding, that is how Drac usually winds up. Furthermore, Red Rain was far from the Darknight Detective’s only run-in with more malevolent creatures of the night, because he’d been fighting vampires and werewolves as far back as 1939′s Detective Comics #30.
No, what makes Red Rain and its two sequels different is their overwhelming sense of doom. Red Rain is a superhero horror story which eventually turns Batman’s world inside-out more than any traditional deconstruction ever could.
Something spooky this way comes: Over on the Fantagraphics website, you can find previews and pre-order info for a pair of creepy kids comics from European comics superstars. First up is Toys in the Basement from Blab! mainstay Stéphane Blanquet, about a kid who shows up for a friend’s Halloween party in an embarrassing bunny costume, only to get stranded in the basement with a secret society of very pissed-off toys. Fanta puts it this way: “Imagine Toy Story as reimagined by David Lynch and Charles Burns and you’ll have a good idea of what this story is like. And yes, it is for kids!” Sold!
Next up is The Littlest Pirate King by Epileptic genius David B., adapted from a story by Pierre Mac Orlan. In this tale, a baby is adopted as the mascot for a crew of undead pirates, but things change as he grows up. Fanta notes that this will be David B.’s first full-color graphic novel to be released in English, and that alone makes it worth the price of admission even if you don’t enjoy pirate skeletons, in which case I don’t wanna know you anyway. All-ages meets All Hallow’s Eve!