Friday, April 20, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 15

Hello again, loyal S&Pbrains!

Still recuperating from a long two weeks' traveling and gearing up for performing two shows a night, five nights a week, for the next month.

I'll take the work, trust me. But it might be a little daunting.

At least at my age.

I am still organizing souvenirs and photos from my trip, and as I mentioned in my last post, my friend Adam Dougherty's table in the Monsterpalooza showroom was (probably) the coolest in the whole place, with its vintage Hallowe'en decor, and his incredible limited edition Hallowe'en Nightmare! series of model kits.

See for yourself...

He made that TV, too. 

Those kits just kill me. If the original Topstone Mummy, Ghoul, Melting Man and Shock Monster masks had actually been living, breathing monsters in the heyday of Monster Kid Hallowe'en nights, well -- it would've looked exactly like these scenes (as always, click to enlarge)...

Add to this brilliance the fact that the sidewalk and white picket fence look so exactly like the fence and walk around my Grandmother's house -- the scene of my Hallowe'en birth and growth -- and you have a perfect storm of old school All Hallow's LOVE churning through my soul.

Oh, and this li'l kit (called The Ghost!) is pure genius...

Brilliant work, Adam.

Happy Hallowe'en!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 14

I have been organizing my photos and videos from this past-a-palooza weekend, and I thought it was about time I started passing around some of that cool, cool monstery goodness I promised, it seems ages ago...

 Casey Wong's Frankenstein. The Monster is loose!

A modest tribute to the recently passed Henry Alvarez. Rest in peace, amigo.

 I loved this Aragon tribute to Jack Pierce!

 More of Daniel R. Horne's genius.

 Adam Dougherty's brilliant vintage Hallowe'en table -- this is getting
its own post soon. Way too much awesomeness to include this time around.

 Oh, here's another Dougherty masterpiece:

 Midnight Studios FX had their usual eye-catching booth.

 All I can remember about this guy is his name: Sam Hain. Cute!

 Another Midnight Studios FX piece.

 A superb mockup of Tony Todd's newly zombified Ben from the 1990 remake of
Night of the Living Dead, courtesy of Gotham FX.

 MacGee's Alien Warrior and Chestburster kept drawing me near...

Legacy Effects' stunning bust of Neytiri, in actual (enormous!) scale to the 
fictional species of Na'vi. 
This beautiful piece was just breathtaking, and I kept coming back to stare.

A splendid tribute to Ezra -- the head turned and it played 
Haunted Mansion music and dialogue all weekend long!

Such dark beauty.

There's more, especially about that vintage Hallowe'en-lookin' table up there...


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 13

Welcome, S&Pers, welcome!

Sorry for the dearth of posts from Monsterpalooza but I'm fairly certain I've been sleepwalking through much of the last 36 hours or so.

I am also fairly certain my legs have lost their bones. Wobbliness is next to Godliness, right?

So, after spending one more night with the life-saving duo of Henchman Henner and Mischievous Miranda that rapidly became a Post 'Palooza Pizza Party (so, so good!), I am convalescing at my folks' place, drinking plenty of fluids and trying to organize my photos of the monstery weekend.

I'm not sure where to start, but this might be about right:

Here's a bit of ol' Eddie Van B. as he looked Sunday morning. His replacement jaw servo worked like a champ, and his left hand, while still bereft of the graceful life it once had, has a bit of wrist movement again thanks to a coffee stirrer and gaff tape.

I... LOVE... gaff tape, by the way. Thought you'd want to know that.

I also love the friends I really only get to see one weekend out of the year. Monsterpalooza, for many of us who've attended from the beginning, is a spooky family reunion of Hallowe'en Monster Kids who still love the things that go bump in the night.

I am so happy I got to once again enjoy the company of so many fine people...

 Cindy and Perry Shields (and their daughter Kimmy) are hands down some of the
finest people I've ever known. They are all real theatre people -- acting, singing, writing, playing, the whole
shebang. All of 'em. And one couldn't ask for more sincere and loving friends. Such a pleasure
to know you guys.

Two of the finest artists I've the pleasure to know (and both awesome people): 
Kerry Gammell (L) and Bob Lizarraga.

My monster brother, actor Daniel Roebuck (L) and The Mask Doctor, artist Kelly Mann, whose 
thoughts on life and art are a rare treasure.

What do you say about pure kindness and good humor? You say
my friend, comics publisher and writer Sam Park.

A fine person and fun friend, with whom I didn't get nearly as much hang time
as I'd wished -- artist John Ulakovic. Dinner and drinks next time, on me.

Two more brilliant monster makers with whom I'd have liked to spend more time:
Casey Wong (L) and Darren Roberts. Some of the coolest, nicest guys in the

'Elder' Robert "Bobbo" Taylor -- yes, his awesomeness has earned him all
those names (Bobbo from Uncle Forry himself)! He's an historian, 
collector and dear, funny gentleman all in one.

Ron and Margaret Borst of Hollywood Movie Posters (seated at the organ); artist and puppeteer Bill Diamond (L) and make up/figural artist Cortlandt Hull, all pose for me in the Witch's Dungeon room.
Such kind, generous and welcoming people, all.

 L to R: Ron Chaney; his daughter Jaclynn; the sweet, beautiful and very awesome 
Grace (daughter of Daniel) Roebuck; Ron's daughter Jennifer; and actor/producer Chuck Williams.
The Chaneys are just plain fun people, warm and welcoming and I look
forward to seeing them every year. Chuck on the other hand... is really a
wonderful guy and very funny. A real bud!

Neither last nor least, the two without whom I cannot succeed at Monsterpalooza
(and apparently for whom I cannot ever take an unblurry picture!), Henchman Henner
and Mischievous Miranda. They did so much for me, and for Edward Van Bone, even while 
having to take care of their own daily ups and downs... 
well, I simply can't thank them enough. Pretty much ever.

As I wrote previously, Monsterpalooza is a family reunion for me, first and foremost. I cherish my fleeting moments with each of these people and many others, like Eliot Brodsky and his family who put this whole mad thing together every year, and artists like Brian Johnston, Jesse Gee, Don Lanning, Daniel Horne, Mike Hill, and so many others. 

I can have bad moments, I can gripe about servos and shipping and overpacked showrooms... but these friends, these Autumn People, are really why I keep doing this. I can be working on a raven's eyebrows and think Bob Lizarraga's going to like his style, or tousle the hair on Edward Van Bone thinking that Sam Park's going to giggle at how wacky it looks.

I love making monsters for any reason, you all know that.

But I labor much longer over my Monsterpalooza pieces because I enjoy their creations and camaraderie so much that I want them to enjoy themselves when they see my works.

And I honestly love each of them.

Pics of some cool, cool, monstery goodness to come. 

For now, a little more sleep.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 12

Fun to follow soon.

Just too tired.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 11 the 13th pt. 3

... and then, because I have the best henchfolk ever, and because I was smart enough to bring spare servos, we had him back up and running mostly right the rest of the night.

Tomorrow morning means early rising, just a bit, to get in there and really fix it all up for the long Saturday show.

Pictures and fun soon, I promise. It's been a long, wonderfully wacky day and night for this ol' Monster-Lovin' Kid.

Time to sleep, but no snoring anymore --


Friday, April 13, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 11 the 13th pt. 2

... and then his jaw servo stopped moving.

Onto repair.

Wow. The 13th.


Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. Eleven the Thirteenth!


Early morning. Early... early morning.

But entirely worth it.

Lookit what happened...

Go to KTLA's site to view the other video segments from this morning's shoot. Thank you Allie McKay! Much love to you.

And I am very glad we got the sign and the 'old' microphone put together last night -- this morning they really completed the look...

Another "I'm so glad" -- our little Edward Van Bone gets to do his thing right alongside the stunning masterpieces exhibited by the amazing multimedia artist, Daniel R. Horne!

It's truly an honor to be displaying right here, beckoning guests first to such artistic wonder as Daniel's. 

I am a lucky man.

Much more to come, I'm sure... but right now I think I need a na---*



Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 10

What a difference a day makes.

A blurry, over-exposed difference, but so needed.

Henchman Henner and Mischievous Miranda went above and beyond -- loading, driving, unloading, building, driving -- and even with some bumps in the road, they not only got things settled, they remained calm and positive, keeping me calm and positive.

OH, the value of that.

Edward Van Bone took to the stage this afternoon, thanks to them.

We also realized that ol' Eddie needed a few more props. First, a little signage, as I do every year:

Secondly, a microphone.

An old, springy, dirty microphone.

By tomorrow morning (yet another marvelous Allie McKay/KTLA-TV5 shoot from Monsterpalooza -- more on that tomorrow!), we needed a microphone on that little stage.

So what do you do?

Go shopping for cheap parts...

... grab a few wires, springs and some sink parts, a few screws, a drill...

... some wood doweling, a mic base, some cable, and a bit of spray enamel...

... and voila'! An old, springy, dirty old microphone!

All for about $12.

More to come, of course. Morning comes very early tomorrow. 

I must be ready for my close-up.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 9

He's here.

I'm here.

Henchman Henner and Mischievous Miranda have built this unreal stage/backdrop for him.

Clamshell footlights -- dimmable! -- and everything.

But UPS kind of messed him up, and I can't prove it. I can only spend tonight trying to desperately make it look 'passably' as cool as it did before I shipped it.

I had to repaint his chin and a few places on his nose and brow.

His poor left hand is kind of mangled.

I have spent way, way, WAY more time trying to repair his hand and figure out why his body is leaning backwards more than it did in my dungeon than I care to admit.

I can only say I am quite done with thinking it will be as good as I wanted it to be. Bye-bye, ol' concept.

But I am certain it will be good enough.

I am always okay with good enough. Okay -- but not satisfied.

Oh well. They can't all be Nevermore.

Onto tomorrow.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Long Live God.

Life renews.

Hope restores.

Love rejoices.

... and Nosferhoptu rules!

From the Skull & Pumpkin,
to each of you,
 a very
Happy Easter!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

On my way...

The ghoul is heading west, yet again.

Off to fly the spooky skies.

Hold down the pub while I'm away.

I'll write very soon-


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Ghost of the Ghoul Goes West, pt. 8


He's on his way.

Edward Van Bone is in a big ol' mannequin box (41"x14"x16") and on his way to creepy ol' Burbank, CA.

I can only hope -- pray! -- that his ride is safe, smooth and uneventful.

Otherwise... well, we won't tempt the Fates by pondering any other 'wises.

Now it's time for me to pack myself up.

Leaving in a few days.

Updates coming... and that radio's still hummin'. 



Monday, April 2, 2012


Aren't we all, at some point?

Sometimes, I feel like the king of the whole lot of 'em...

I suppose there are worse things to be than Fool Nobility. Being such a lordly fool, I am quite versed in spotting the foolishness in others. One might think this would help me avoid being fooled, but all it really does is help me make more friends and we can all sit around and enjoy our foolishness.

I think few changes of season bring about more lovely, blessed foolishness as does Spring; that the first of April is celebrated as a Fool's Day comes, then, as no surprise.

April awakens, arouses, and then perfectly befuddles the senses, so that perfectly sane people become insane with love, virile and passionate, in a dainty, pastel-colored madness to celebrate new life and the warmth of Spring.

And I love every bit of it.

How can I not?

So, new life and new music for a new month, fool that I am.

First up on the ol' player to the upper right over there, is a traditional S&P April offering, the classic ballad from Simon & Garfunkel, April, Come She Will, from their 1966 masterpiece album The Sounds of Silence. It isn't necessarily a happy first tune, but it's a good one.

Then, because I will be traveling soon, and because it means much to me to feel devoted to my love, I thought Joni Mitchell's All I Want (from her iconic 1971 album Blue) would be a nice dulcimer and voice addition to the player.

I wanna shampoo you, I wanna renew you again and again. Yep.

Next, from last year's April jukebox I give you the Paul Weston Orchestra's gorgeous, jazzy When April Comes Again, from his lush 1950 album Music For The Fireside. So pretty. So glad April comes again, every year.

Then I thought a little tribute to the sun rising on a warmer, livelier season was in order. Norah Jones' 2004 ditty Sunrise is a fitting tale of loving the lazy day with your lover, feeling the sun melt you together.

Of course, April is a month of changes, and it's not all sunlight and butterflies. From his gorgeous 1994 outing Bluesette comes the harmonica master Toots Theilmanns on the standard Here's That Rainy Day. "It's funny how love becomes a cold, rainy day," the song says. April can hurt, too.

Finally, I found a fun, flippant little waltz called simply Spring Waltz. I haven't any kind of information on this recording, save that it was part of a package of stock music from the '70s. It sure sounds like the '70s, with its electric piano, flute lead and three quarter wistfulness. I have always suspected it may be a Joe Raposo composition (he of so much wonderful music from Sesame Street and The Electric Company in the 1970's and early '80s) but I have no way of really knowing at the moment. All I know is that it just feels like a beautiful Spring day.

Well, we are halfway 'round the year from Hallowe'en, dear S&P-brains. And whether we are fools or not, we all need to celebrate and honor the renewal of life and love that Spring seemingly brings to all of Nature.

Blessed foolishness, indeed.

Monsterpalooza comes very soon. I'll keep you up to date.

Until then -- wait... the radio's crackling again...