Thursday, April 24, 2014

A post of a different color.

So... onward!

During my time on sabbatical from this homely house of Hallowe'en hijinks, I found myself needing quite often to simply relaaaaaax.

Among the various distractions I have been enjoying lately, one of the greatest and most enjoyable has been a rediscovery of one of greatest joys of my young, creative Monsterkid days...


Now, waaaaay back in December 2009, I posted about how spoiled I was as a kid (speaking facetiously -- we were broke!) and in that long post, I mentioned the incredible coloring albums Monster Gallery and Science Fiction Anthology (both Troubadour Press, 1974) and how we adored coloring those books with real markers of a zillion hues, under our artist mother's supervision (which, I hasten to add, was not in any way about how we colored -- we were free to go crazy -- but only about keeping our kid hands, faces and clothes as 'unmarkered' as possible).

Well, sometime last Fall, I was proud and excited to be the recipient of a pristine 1974 edition of Monster Gallery (above). Now, I was never going to color it, to keep it pristine -- this and its twin sister Science Fiction Anthology command high prices nowadays. However... what I didn't know was that all the coloring illustrations in that book (by the marvelous Mark Savee) were reproduced, in fact the entire Monster Gallery book was reprinted/reissued in the early '90s as simply Monsters. And a pristine copy of that book came along with the original book! Surprise!

So I found myself  with a clean original to keep clean... and a real, heavy-card stock over-sized page Monster Gallery -- just under a different title! -- that I could color!!!

I made an excited trip to the craft store for a good set of 'real markers of a zillion hues', just like those we used 35 years ago.

And I began to color, for the first time as a grown up kid, all the pictures I'd never finished or colored all that nicely the first time around.

 I was so happy to finally color the Phantom 
a bit like the cover art -- I was never able to
as a kid, I didn't have the skill yet, and 
certainly didn't have the patience!

And of course, I finally got to really do my best
on one of my all-time favorite movie monsters, the Fly! 
I so enjoyed doing the eyes like I'd wanted so long ago 
but never could accomplish!

About halfway through the process of coloring all of the book -- I relaxed at night, and each picture took about three nights as I took my time to do it as best as I could, as a kind of loyalty to my younger self's wishes from long ago -- I had occasion to visit relatives in Los Angeles, and I took my Monsters book and markers with me, of course.

And my godson, my nephew Young Will, introduced me to a little bit of artistical paradise called brush markers

And my life changed.

These little art store treasures act like good watercolor brushes, with either water or alcohol based inks and an ability to blend and... oh! the desire to just work with them became an addiction, so smooth and satisfying did they perform their task!

I began hunting the internet for good monstery, Hallowe'eny coloring pages to print up on card stock and keep using those damned addicting brush markers!

I also discovered that Science Fiction Anthology is nearly impossible to find in clean shape for under $100, but lots of wonderful Monsterkids have posted good resolution coloring pages (again from Mark Savee) from the entire book online, and I've finally been able to color all of that book as well, something I was never able to do as a kid, but so desperately wished I could.

Frank Herbert's Dune, a real treat to color
with good brush markers to blend. Vivid and bold!

H.G. Wells' First Men In The Moon
Again, brush markers allow one to really
play with tone and shade.

And my favorite, Ray Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles.
For some reason, this one haunted me as a child, as the book
did then and now. I enjoyed coloring this so much I stretched
it out over a whole week of nights.

Of course, I have certainly found plenty of
other wondrously wicked b/w illustrations to use
as coloring pages, from all over the 'net.

A sampling...

 I do not know the artist of this coloring page, but
I so enjoyed coloring it, I've done it in different 
colors twice since this one was done!

 This Phantom as the Red Death is from a
wonderfully weird coloring book from the UK
in the 1970s, just called Horror.

 This and the next were taken from an awesome, very
collectable coloring album called 
Berni Wrightson's Monsters (Seuling, 1974). 
I never had it as a child, but wanted it then, and
it has been so wonderful to be able to just print them
up and use those amazing brush markers to make
them come to life! Look at the blending and
shading one can accomplish!

So listen, Monsterkids.

Get yourselves a set of brush markers, some card stock, and a good printer, and go online to search 'til your heart's content! 

It has been a true return to something I so dearly loved as a kid and hadn't done in decades.

And when you're finished, you will have some works of spooky, monstery art of which you can be quite proud.

In fact, I think I need to print something up for tonight...

It's nice to be back, dear S&Pbrains. Thank you for hanging in there with me, and for coming back to the ol' pub.

I promise to bring it back to life.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

It's been a long, long time...

... and I am sorry for the absence.

I have been living. Sometimes not so easily, but living my life... and finding time, and often even the inclination, to post here has been very sketchy for a good long while now.

I miss it. I miss all of you, who I am sure have given up and moved on to other Hallowe'en pubs... if, y'know, there are any other Hallowe'en pubs in the October Country...

I am alive and well, for the most part, and ready to return on a more regular basis. I am truly hoping to make it up to all of you who used to enjoy and visit frequently.

The Skull & Pumpkin will reopen soon.

Your humble pubkeep says so... it must be so.

I appreciate your patience, and your kind fellowship in this All Hallow's world of crazy Monsterkids here in the October Country.

Lest I forget...  say it with me now, and raise your glass high...

To the return of the S&P, as soon as can be...