Username:

Password:

Fargot Password? / Help

Tag: Halloween

0

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Blue Moon Studios! Check out our Halloween-related posts from the last four years...

0

TothPix: Rude Awakening

Just a few days before Halloween, a perfect time to feature an Alex Toth horror story! Rude Awakening originally appeared in Creepy #7 (Warren), in 1964; Toth was 36. The story was also reprinted in an All Toth issue (Creepy #139). Toth opens the proceedings with a nice rendition of Uncle Creepy, the ever-present narrator. I love Toth's upper/lower-case lettering here, and his signature. Why does a little thing like a nicely-done signature make me so happy?

But it's a pretty stupid story, really. One expects more from writer,  Archie Goodwin (for good reason). It's a trifle, a knocked out circular tale of a guy having hallucinations. There's not much point to it. Despite this, Toth finds interesting ways to tell it, with cool shots like this:

Hmm. "I feel terrible...not sleeping well...nerves shot!"
I can relate! Can't we all? (Or is it just me?)

Toth reinforces the off-kilter sensations of the main character with wild, angled panels throughout. Not one to stoop to tricks and snazzy layouts, Toth does so here only when there's a reason. The panel below displays typical Tothisms: spotted blacks; shadows; varied characters and expressions; foreground elements for framing and depth. There's a visual sweep from left to right as one guys leans to grab Mr. Asher's jacket sleeve, creating horizontal folds. Nice grey washes/tones and textures in this frame and the story in general.

Having done so many comics for Dell using their 6-panel grid (which he came to enjoy), it must've been liberating to go to town and experiment, no more so than in the page below (page 4). Asher is paranoid, nervous and disoriented, being haunted, chased. Toth smartly uses the perspective in panel 1, extending the angles to form the borders of the four panels below it. What cool page composition! All that black negative space is creepy, indeed.

Things don't end well for Asher, as he throws himself out a window, landing in a position not unlike so many characters in Family Guy are shown. Still breathing?! Looks pretty lifeless. But that body has much life!

This weird guy with the Hypno-glasses has been after the poor guy the whole story. Even a 3-story fall couldn't save him.

0

TothPix: Witches in Black & White

Another Halloween approaches, so we feature a Toth page and panel in black and white of the Witching Hour witches!

It sure looks as though he lettered and inked these himself. I like how he varies the word balloon shapes here. Swirls of hair, folds of ragged cloaks and crazy cropping create clever compositions weaving our eye about the frames.

Nice action, spotted blacks and squiggly textures and fun stars in that last panel (above). Figures, folds and the broomstick direct us sharply through the frame. Boiling Bats of Beelzebub, indeed!

Great design in the final frame (below) as Toth varies textures, shapes and angles in this creepy close-up!

0

Bonedance!

I'd been wanting to do this piece for a good long while.

0

Happy Halloween: That's My Boy

Back in 1986, I was but 22 years old, and with my high school pal Scott Beaderstadt had just launched our own comic book, Trollords under our TRU Studios publishing banner. We were early to catch a wave of black-and-white comics, and did better than anticipated. We also met other self publishers, one being Ken Holewcynski of B-Movie Comics in Indiana. Ken invited our Trollords editor, Brian Augustyn and myself to contribute to a story to their horror anthology, and Brian came up with this sweet little tearjerker called That's My Boy. You can read it in its entirety in our Toons section of the site - just scroll down a bit. The panel above is my favorite, as it came out pretty much exactly as I'd envisioned, which doesn't usually happen. This story was a change of pace for me, as Trollords was mostly lighter in tone. But like Trollords, this was to be printed in black-and-white, so I wanted to utilize a variety of crosshatching, sweeping and squiggly lines to set the mood and add a creepy, curdling texture to the proceedings. In some cases, I find it still to be successful, tho if I were to draw the same story today, I'd approach it in an entirely different manner. If it were to be printed again, I'd probably fix a few things having to do with shadows, the cock of a gun (all wrong!) and the splash panel of the house on page 1, and there's one bit of continuity I'd want to make more clear, something pointed out in a review of the book by Don Thompson in The Comics Buyer's Guide (not that I'm holding onto anything...). Who knows, maybe Brian and I will have that chance sometime soon... In the meantime, please give this ol' horror comic a read, and...Happy Halloween!

0

A Pumpkin and His Zombie

Halloween's awful fun when one's kids are little and they're really into it, but it's a blast when they get older, too, cuz they can do all the planning and work themselves! So much easier for the parents, and a blast to see what these creative kids come up with!

The best of pals

Oh, and I borrowed the title of this post from Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog.

0

It's a Mummy, Baby!

Another in a series of mummy sketches. I slapped a little color on this one. Boy, I like that Photoshop chalk brush.

2

TothPix: Witching Hour - "...Toil and Trouble!"

To wrap up Toth Halloween month, I've cleaned and collected a series of panels & pages from batches of Witching hour issues. These are in no particular order, chosen randomly, which either set the tone for the stories to come, or are great shots of the Three Witches, crone Morded, mother Mildred, maiden Cynthia.

Have a Happy Halloween, everyone!

0

I Love Laura's Mummy

I really do! After 21+ years of marriage, I love my wife more than ever - she's a peach! But I also love this mummy my daughter, Laura drew last night. Thoughts of costumes, decorations and Halloween creepies are in the air, on the mind.

Sure, she swiped the brush I use for work from my drawing table (that's supposed to be off limits), but when she produces a cool, crazy mummy like this, who can get too mad?

0

TothPix: Bubble, Bubble...

Kicking off Toth Halloween month are a couple unrelated pages featuring the Three Witches from DC's The Witching Hour. Rather than drawing a full story some issues, Toth did the intros and framing pages between stories, the three witches functioning as hosts and setting the tone for the tales to come...

I'm not sure who designed these three, but Toth's take on them is my favorite - big surprise! The colors above are fun and comic-booky, especially effective with the last panel all black and orange. The writing and Toth's art engage and draw in the reader - it's almost interactive!

From another issue, the page above again sets the tone, with coloring mostly more subdued, the witches' faces and clothing draped in shadow. The composition of this page flows very smoothly, Toth creating interesting black/negative shapes throughout. And it's immediately apparent how distinct the three are from each other, with varied face and body shapes and features. Fun stuff!

More Halloween Toth next week...!