Tentacle Tuesday: Git Outta Here, 2020!

May the gentleman octopus grant you a Happy New Year!

Greetings, pretty cephalopods and cephalopodettes! This is the last Tentacle Tuesday of the year, and as is my custom, I return to a sub-topic close to my heart: women entangled in tentacles. Nothing crass, mind you – we have our standards!

Original art for a cartoon published in Wham! (December 1954, Wolf Books). Art by George Wolfe. I imagine the three guys whose arms are grabbing her colliding with one another in the door frame…

As the signature attests, the artist is George Wolfe (1911 – 1993), who has had an illustrious, though mostly forgotten, career as a magazine cartoonist with published work in Esquire, Saturday Evening Post, New York Herald Tribune, etc. He also had a few syndicated comic strips under his belt, as well as winning several prestigious awards (namely, the Reuben, the highest award of the cartooning profession). Touring Tessie, created by Wolfe for Wolf Books (has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?), was the so-called hostess of this magazine, and its main attraction. Do yourself a favour and head over to The Wolves of Broadway VII: The Alpha Female to peruse more Tessie cartoons and learn more about just what kind of gal she was.

Tessie is one again getting entangled in the clutches of an octopus… this time a more literal interpretation.
The image used for the cover of Wham! (April 1954, Wolf Books). Another trained octopus – working for his own account and calling the shots!

From the cartoony to a more realistic approach –

Detail from the original cover art of Bold Men vol. 5, no 2 (March 1961, Cape Magazine Management). Bold Men is an “interest magazine focusing on pictorials and adventure stories”, explains mycomicshop.com, but with this issue featuring stories like How Nazi Bormann’s Cruel Lust will Betray Him! and The Deadly Blonde Witch of Waikiki! , I’m not sure that “bold” is the right word here.

The following three covers are from Storie Blu, an Italian erotic, science-fiction comics series published by Ediperiodici (also known as ErreGI), Edifumetto’s main competitor in the adult comics sector. Ediperiodici disseminated a huge number of erotic series running the gamut from A all the way to B in terms of genre: erotic… horror, western, spy, jungle, military, fantasy, etc. If you want to get an idea of what the stuff looked like, take a peek at Lucifera, Maghella (in-house favourite) or Messalina.

Storie Blu ran between 1979 and 1990, for a respectable 122 issues and two supplements (click here for a full list in Italian).

Storie Blu no. 28 (1983, Ediperiodici). Psycho-monsters, announces the cover!
Storie Blu no. 39 (1983, Ediperiodici). This cover is a good example of the “what the hell is going on here” approach Italian erotica often prefers – RG commented that the tentacled female must be the guy’s ex-wife, and his current wife is in the fish-tank. Anything’s possible! Cover is by Giovanni Alessandri (not the grammarian from the 16th century, as you may have initially thought!), who went under Aller.
Storie Blu no. 81 (1986, Ediperiodici). The cover story was scripted by Carmelo Gozzo and illustrated by Alberto Giolitti (who, I believe, also drew this cover) – you can read a synopsis and take a look at some art here.

Moving on to another European country… Gespenster Geschichten‘s sister publication Spuk Geschichten already has a Tentacle Tuesday: A Torrent of Teutonic Tentacles.

Gespenster Geschichten no. 948 (1991, Bastei Verlag). Cover by Turkish painter/illustrator Ugurcan Yüce, who moved to Germany in his 30s and contributed quite a lot of covers to publishing house Bastei Verlag, which published (and continues to) many highly successful popular pulp and comic series.

Just one more for the road, what do you say?

Painting by Rowena Morrill (whose name appropriately sounds like something out of some fantasy novel). This has been used as a cover for a German edition of Creepy… but I prefer to provide it sans captions or logos.

~ ds

Rick Geary and The American Bystander

« You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why —Santa Claus is coming to town. » — Haven Gillespie

Taking stock, I can’t help feeling that the singular Rick Geary (b. 1946) is a creative force that’s taken for granted. He’s been consistently chugging along at a dizzyingly high level of erudite inspiration and craft since the mid-70s. His work has been recompensed and saluted several times (an Inkpot from the San Diego Comic-Con in 1980; a Magazine and Book Illustration Award in 1994 and a Graphic Novel award in 2017, both from the prestigious National Cartoonists Society…) yet he’s remained kind of a well-kept secret, a cartoonist’s cartoonist. Even as he turned up in countless anthologies, in most cases, it felt as if he didn’t quite belong, didn’t exactly jibe with the respective audiences of, say, Dark Horse Presents or Pulse (on the other hand, High Times wasn’t a bad fit!).

Still, it’s fair to say that his following is one quite discrete from the comics mainstream. The Geary devotee must ever remain vigilant, for one never can anticipate his next move.

Which brings me to The American Bystander, which Newsweek deemed « The last great humor magazine », and to which Geary has been contributing since its second issue… and for once, it feels like home.

The Bystander, according to Wikipedia…

… features contributions from many notable comedy writers, illustrators and cartoonists. The Bystander is designed to provide a classic print humor magazine experience similar to that delivered by National Lampoon, SPY, Harold Hayes-era Esquire and many others in the pre-internet era. Yet according to The New York Times, The American Bystander “does not just belong to the tradition of defunct magazines like The National Lampoon and Spy. Its nostalgic, lightly witty style evokes influences that have been dead even longer, like the raconteur Jean Shepherd and the sophisticated stylist Robert Benchley.”

Mr. Geary’s magnificent cover for The American Bystander no. 9 (Fall, 2018). « Have Gun, Will Travel — Wire Santa, North Pole »

The Bystander‘s editor-publisher, Michael Gerber, exults: « In addition to his civilian fans, Rick Geary is one of those illustrators that other illustrators love, and I am with them all 100%. This drawing, entitled ‘New Mexico Christmas’, appeared in my inbox mere moments after I’d given Rick the assignment — which is why editors love him, too! »

While this ever-industrious auteur has produced graphic novels galore in the glorious Geary fashion, I remain fondest of his short-form pieces. Here’s a choice handful plucked from Bystander issues.

From The American Bystander no. 7 (Winter 2017).
From The American Bystander no. 8 (Summer 2018).
From The American Bystander no. 9 (Fall 2018).
From The American Bystander no. 10 (March 2019).

And while ’tis the Season, I would be remiss in neglecting to mention that TAB’s latest issue no. 18, is hot off the presses. More details here. And should you crave to sample the goods… gratis — that option’s on the table as well!

This is The American Bystander no. 18, boasting this festive cover by Rick Meyerowitz.

That said, Happy Holidays, everyone. Be merry but above all be safe!

-RG

Tentacle Tuesday: Doin’ the Watusi, the Frug and… the Tentacle Crawl

« The vibrating tentacles produce hypnotic music that people can’t resist! »

This is the last Tentacle Tuesday before Christmas, so wishing all of our lovely readers a splendid (and safe) evening, whether you celebrate Christmas specifically, something else altogether, or nothing at all.

As far as I’m concerned, one of the most important components to creating a holiday mood (aside from being with my family, of course) is music. If it’s played by an octopus, so much the better – and one not? Having a lot of arms is surely handy for playing many instruments at the same time. One must say this is a musical edition of Tentacle Tuesday – so put on a record, preferably of the old-school vinyl variety, and swing your tentacles (or whatever appendage you do possess) along!

Grumpy Shark (1946, Belda Record & Publ. Co.) Written by Bob Bellem and illustrated by Mel Millar, this comic is part of the Talking Komics series issued by Belda Record & Publishing Co., in which a record was sold alongside the comic to delight both eyes and ears of its young audience. I didn’t know octopuses had whiskers – live and learn!
These panels, which I have been seeing all over the place with no attribution of artist or issue number (tssk, tssk) are taken from Aquaman Meets Aquagirl!, scripted by Robert Bernstein and illustrated by Ramona Fradon, and published in Adventure Comics no. 266 (November 1959, DC). Of course Topo, Aquaman’s pet octopus, is adorable as well as talented, and probably deserves his own post… but in the meantime, he has to share space with Aquaman’s other tentacled encounters.

Speaking of Topo… he’s been getting some attention recently, and unsurprisingly his musical talent is involved:

Page from Heroes of the High Seas (January 2011, Picture Window Books), scripted by J.E. Bright and illustrated by Art Baltazar. « Capstone Publishers and DC Comics have joined forces to produce a new children’s books series, DC Super-Pets. The series will focus on the super-powered pets of heroes like Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Green Lantern… »
Page from The Swinging Superman!, scripted by Otto Binder, pencilled by Curt Swan and inked by George Klein, and published in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen no. 88 (October 1965, DC).

And to prove that octopuses dig LPs, too, I’ll include this nifty poster:

Poster by Sébastien Feraut (known as Niark1), a French illustrator. Visit his website!

On a connected subject, I heartily recommend this Soviet cartoon, which involves all manner of sea-creatures (yes, including several octopuses!) playing all sorts of instruments – don’t worry, it has subtitles in English.

Merry Xmas, folks!

A splendid seasonal piece by Taly Reznik!
And finally — hope you’ve remembered to mail out all your Unholiday cards! Never forget that the ever-vigilant Cyäegha has its eye on you! [ artist unknown… so far ]

☆ ds

Even More Playboy Cartoons for a Festive Mood!

« Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas. You know, the birth of Santa? » – Matt Groening

We’re back with another piping hot batch of Holiday cartoons from the pages of Playboy. I have striven mightily to represent most of the big guns (Kiraz and Smilby are among the missing — better luck next year, gents!) whilst keeping it to a tidy, cherry-picked dozen. One can only take so many ‘Randy Santa’ gags, even when they’re lavishly illustrated… that’s only a fraction of the culling process.

An early one by John Dempsey (1919-2002); it appeared in Playboy’s January, 1961 issue (what gave it away?)
Austrian master Erich Sokol (1933-2003) shared his playful erotic visions with the readers of Playboy from 1958 to 1975, when he returned to his homeland, and again from 1992 until his passing. This one’s pleasantly gentle and understated.
Readers of this blog will already know that Leo ‘Dink’ Siegel (1910-2003) is a favourite of mine. I showcased some of his Playboy work last year in Dink Siegel’s Swingin’ Roommates. Now *this* particular bit of impending marital strife and comeuppance appeared in the January, 1972 issue of the magazine.
Mighty Texan Rowland B. Wilson (1930-2005) was a dazzlingly-skilled illustrator and animator, as evidenced by this late-70s piece. His association with the magazine was long and fruitful. To wit, « on the day of his death, a sketch for a new Playboy cartoon still lay on his drawing board. »
Second only to Saucy Santa jokes were the Scrooge sex jokes. But Eldon Dedini (1921-2006) really nails this one, from the pages of Playboy’s December, 1980 edition. And for your further edification, here’s my co-admin ds’ fond salute to this lovely, talented man.
Sure, we love Bernard Kliban (1935-1990)’s cats, but I’m frankly more partial to his anarchic, surreal, free-form wit. This sweet slice of… well, just desserts saw print in Playboy’s December, 1981 delivery.
Hardly-frosty Ontarian Doug Sneyd (1931–) has his go at Charles Dickens’ moral fable, with pretty solid (or so Ebezener hopes!) results. Mr. Sneyd knows his antiques, that’s evident.
Dog aficionados everywhere best know Charles Barsotti (1933-2014) for his canine cartoons. This habitué of The New Yorker magazine (from 1970) also created several comics strips, was cartoon editor of The Saturday Evening Post, and generally a hard-working, genial man of tremendous talent. This lovely panel was buried near the back of Playboy’s December, 1982 issue.
Phil Interlandi (1924-2002) sold his first cartoon to Playboy in 1955, just a couple of years into the magazine’s existence. He soon had earned his permanent spot in the roster. Here he contributes his bit of Dickensian sauciness to the canon.
Among the Playboy cartoonists, Gahan Wilson (1930-2019) surely was the one most left to his own devices, and wisely so. He created scores of gleefully macabre Christmas cartoons for the magazine, but this one’s a real standout. Every element counts. Exemplary cartooning from the December, 1987 Playboy. And beware — more Gahan awaits you here.
Certainly a cut above the usual ‘Lascivious Saint Nick’ fare, this lush piece by Robert ‘Buck’ Brown came along in Playboy’s December, 1988 issue. Pray note the fretful reindeer peering over the roof’s edge. That’s cartooning!
While he’s mostly renowned for his work in The New Yorker (which continues to this day), Bill Woodman (1939 –) also contributed (this beauty, among others) to Playboy. From the December, 1988 issue. Yeah, our cats too.

And that’s our crop for this year… hope your holidays are bright and merry, under the circumstances. Joyeux Noël, one and all!

-RG

Tentacle Tuesday: How Does That Grab You?

Today’s TT is like one of those 5$ grab bags: you don’t exactly know what you’re going to get, but there will at least one thing you’ll find amusing! Unless the store has cheapened out and stuffed it with nonsense nobody in their right mind would want. This offering, on the other had, is full of our favourite artists, and is not nearly as disparate as I first thought 😉

I don’t always have an over-arching idea for a post, inevitably ending up with plenty of odds and ends that don’t neatly fit into any one category. Actually, some of those “scraps” are the most enjoyable finds for me.

Feature Comics no. 71 (September 1943, Quality Comics). Cover by Gill Fox. The octopus-in-plumbing theme is an oldie-but-goodie; the undaunted housewife may yet regret her cavalier attitude towards the tentacled one, who probably wants to move in with his family.
Nicola Cuti‘s Weirdlings was a charming little ‘filler’ gag page designed and drawn by him. This one was published in Haunted no. 14 (Sept. 1973, Charlton).  I think the octopus, that appears to be still alive, would also prefer a good old PBJ sandwich.
Midnight Tales no. 11 (February 1975). Cover by Wayne Howard, who’s a Who’s Out There? (oh, all right, mine) favourite. Read my take on his art in Tentacle Tuesday: Plants Sometimes Have Tentacles, Too.
Archie’s Pal Jughead no. 77 (October 1961). Cover by, dare I say legendary, Samm Schwartz; revisit (or discover!) some of the nicest covers he has drawn for Archie Comics in co-admin RG’s post.
Al Jaffee Sinks to a New Low (1985, New American Library). Visit Al Jaffee: Snappy Answer to Many a Stupid Question for Who’s Out There’s take on this quintessential Mad Magazine artist!

= ds

Treasured Stories: “Christmas Dinner” (1979)

« She kept her ears permanently tuned to the chicken voices outside, so knew immediately when a coyote had crept into the yard, and barrelled screaming for the front door before the rest of us had a clue. » ― Barbara Kingsolver

Given how muted the holiday season is likely to be for most of us, and in light of how much our readers appear to enjoy our past Christmas offerings — (all year long!), I’d thought I’d get an early start on the festivities.

Here’s a fine, but truly obscure little Christmas fable. It was buried in the back of an issue of The Unknown Soldier, at a time when the DC war line was well into its final decline.

… as much of a ‘very merry Christmas’ one may possibly enjoy in the midst of war, far from home and loved ones, at any rate. I would have enjoyed seeing more of those two kind-hearted doofuses, Burf and Flaps… and their chicken mascot. I wonder what name they would have given her…

According to editor Paul Levitz, Christmas Dinner‘s script had been purchased six or seven years earlier by his predecessor Archie Goodwin but had lain fallow in the interim. It was written by one Janus Mitchell (his sole credit in comics, but we may be in the presence of pseudonymous shenanigans) and was finally assigned for illustration to Teny Henson (often credited in the US as ‘Tenny Henson, as he is here), one of my favourite creators from the ranks of the Filipino Komiks community. In America, Henson’s work mostly appeared in DC publications for about a decade (1974-83), beginning with the plum commissions of inking a returning Sheldon Mayer (post-cataract surgery) on his Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Limited Collectors’ Edition giants, and inking Ramona Fradon‘s pencils on DC’s underrated second revival of Plastic Man for a pair of issues. All in all, Teny flew under the fanboy radar, chiefly providing artwork for mystery and war short stories, and always at a high level of craft and inspiration.

I love the economy and precision of his line, his limpid storytelling, and his mastery of an aesthetic merrily at play in the sweet spot between the cartoonish and the representational. Fittingly, he went on to work in the animation field.

This is The Unknown Soldier no. 237 (Mar. 1980, so on the stands in Dec. 1979, DC), picking up its numbering from the venerable Star-Spangled War Stories; cover, of course, by Mr. Joe Kubert, though by no means among his finer moments — that ‘Nazis in ambush’ formula was getting pretty long in the tooth by then.

Watch for more holiday goodies coming your way!

-RG

Tentacle Tuesday: Ho ho ho, Mr. Lovecraft

Christmas is approaching fast, so naturally it occurred to me that I have never really done a proper H.P. Lovecraft Tentacle Tuesday. What, does the idea of a festive Cthulhu sound strange to you? But he’s the one who brings nameless horror… err, gifts to little children!

“For several years now, artist Amy L. Rawson has crafted a needle-felted Santa Cthulhu sculpture (often in collaboration with artist Brian East), changing the design each year.” Make sure to visit her website, all aglow with many more Santa Cthulhus and even a Mrs Santa Cthulhu!

I’d like to put us all in the proper chipper mindset, especially since cheer (festive or otherwise) is so hard to come by this horrendous year. For starters, I can make a few decorating suggestions. How about some Christmas ornaments with tentacles? Or perhaps a Cthulhumas wreath? You say your partner would most certainly object… Well, how about an ugly Cthulhu sweater to impress people at your next Zoom meeting? No, not your cup of tea, either? Some people are so hard to please! Well… in that case, let’s just check out some comics.

I actually think that there’s not much point in attempting to adapt Lovecraft stories into comics – it’s just too hard to do properly, and few (if any) people have managed it. How can you transform a description like « the words reaching the reader can never even suggest the awfulness of the sight itself* » into images on paper? Yet I can sympathize with artists who tried to do just that – the grandeur of Lovecraft’s visions is a compelling force. At the same time, he has become a bit of a ridiculous figure by now, his legacy awkwardly stuck between reports of his racism and misogyny and the current ubiquity of the characters he created. Oh yes, it’s tentacles all the way down for this father of our (nearly) collective tentacular obsession… down into memes and light-hearted pokes that abound online, spanning the range between ‘amusing’ and ‘blatantly stupid’. It is possible to buy a cuddly baby Cthulhu toy, for instance (and I would have purchased it, if it hadn’t gone out of stock).

*quote from At the Mountains of Madness. I recommend reading H.P. Lovecraft, the pioneer of being unable to describe the indescribable, for a clever discussion of « the collapse of language in the face of an emotionally unhinging reality », how Lovecraft handled it, and how a clever reader could employ his technique in the modern world.

First we’ll take a look at a few serious attempts to adapt HPL stories into comics… ones with tentacles, of course, as this is Tentacle Tuesday, after all. Let’s face it, there have been many, many comics series (and I do mean many) based on, vaguely or directly, on Lovecraft material… and the bulk of this has horrible (in my humble assessment) art, and stories to match. I’m really not interested in reading about how Lovecraft teamed up with Houdini to save Arthur Conan Doyle’s life, but it may be the coolest thing somebody has ever heard. Your own mileage may vary – for every Lovecraft fan who shudders at bad adaptations of his oeuvre, there’s one (or two) who just want to “get to the good stuff, not be derailed by a rambling description of the bloody countryside” (actual quote).

For a detailed look at comics adapting Lovecraft, head over to this Cthulhu Mythos Comics list.

I’ll begin with Tom Sutton visuals – after all, he’s one of our esteemed Tentacle Masters.

The Cover of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath: a Portfolio (1978), with Tom Sutton illustrations of this classic Lovecraft tale.
One has to admit that the sheer horror on the face of the man stuck amidst all these suggested-but-not-quite-clear monsters is supremely convincing!

On the other hand, Richard Corben opted to for clearly defined monsters when he illustrated Dagon:

Page from Dagon, a Lovecraft story adapted and illustrated by Richard Corben, published in Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft no. 1 (August 2008, Max Comics). I like Corben’s art much, much better in colour, so this leaves me rather cold.
Art (once again by Corben) that was used as a cover illustration for Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft no. 1. Read the issue here.
Lovecraft: The Myth of Cthulhu (2018, IDW). Cover by Esteban Maroto. Maroto did a very nice job of depicting out-worldly creatures in stark black and white, with just the right proportion between the well-defined and the merely suggested – have a look at the inside of this book over here.
I’ll quote the artist, Richard Svensson:  « This is actually a panel from my 10-page comic version of H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”. I did it for a small-press Swedish (mostly humorous) comic book Lovecraft anthology. Since there aren’t that many images around showing Wilbur Whateley’s mostly-invisible twin I thought I’d post my own attempt at portraying the unnamable.» A pretty good job, I think!

I don’t actually like Svensson’s art that much, with the exception of this comic, but I dig his animation work, for which he builds monsters out of clay! Watch Out of the Old Land, his latest from September, 2020.

I mentioned earlier how the Great Old Ones have been repurposed as butts of jokes and tropes for memes. Well, I’m not here to share memes (other than very occasionally), but I do have a few nice illustrations-cum-cartoons to share.

Matchbox design by Chet Phillips (2000); he has a done quite a few, and sells them as prints in his store. I haven’t really witnessed the age of colourful, stylish matchboxes, but I understand the people who collect them! It’s a very quaint and romantic topic.
A very relatable cartoon by Pavel Lujardo (2019).
Instant Cthulhu by Christian Krank (2018).

Readers, do you have any favourite comics adaptations of Lovecraft?

~ ds

Welcome, One and All, to the Alphabet Soup Kitchen!

« What’s a soup kitchen? » — Paris Hilton

While concocting a post on a favourite oddball obscurity, the one-shot Alphabet Soup Kitchen (1990 Jabberwocky Graphix), I decided to reach out to one of its co-creators, the dapper Wayne ‘Wayno’ Honath, to see if he could shed some light on this delightfully batty project of yore. And did he ever come through!

Wayno’s lavish wraparound cover features most of the issue’s cast, and was coloured by ‘guest Boho Bro’ and publisher Brad W. Foster.

In one of those happy cases of talent and perseverance rewarded, Wayno® nowadays splits creative duties on syndicated strip Bizarro with its originator, Dan Piraro (since 2018, though he’d been part of team Bizarro going back to 2009), with Wayno® ably handling the dailies and Mr. Piraro the Sundays. It’s a fact: Wayno®, thanks to his crisp visual style, sharp gag writing and encyclopedic grasp of cartooning history and archetypes, was just the right ink slinger for the task.

Without further delay, I cheerfully yield the floor to Wayno®, his superbly lucid recollections, and some choice letters from the Alphabet Soup Kitchen!

Sure, I remember doing Alphabet Soup Kitchen! Ted Bolman and I had traded minicomics through the mail, and appeared in some of the same publications. We may have collaborated earlier, but I don’t think so.

I don’t recall whose idea the book was, but it sounds like something I’d have done. I liked to define parameters or constraints for projects, and then work to complete the parts. We split up the alphabet so Ted would do the first half of “A,” then I’d do “B,” and we’d alternate to the end. We sent the pages to each other by mail.

There were two different printings. I printed it as one of my “No Way Comics” minis. The interior was black & white, and the wraparound covers were brown ink on an off-white textured stock. I used a local printer for my minis, and most of them were offset printed, not Xeroxed. (I did several “secret” publications in editions of 50 or fewer, and those were Xeroxed.) They’d offer a free ink color once a week, and that’s how the brown ink on the cover came about. I drew the inside cover endpapers.

After my minicomic version was published, Brad Foster contacted me about doing a larger reprint under his Jabberwocky Graphix imprint. I drew a new wraparound cover featuring characters from the interior. I included a photo of two men wearing some sort of jaw-braces to represent the Boho Brothers, and also drew these guys on the cover. I can’t recall whether the endpaper drawings were included in this edition. I have a copy somewhere, probably in my office/storage space. I believe that Brad Foster may have done the color work on the cover. Yes, just confirmed that on the Poopsheet Foundation webpage (a good source of minicomics images and info).

I also included copies of my original printing in one of two multi-packs I offered for sale. This was in a set called THE NO WAY MINICOMIC FUNBAG, which included Boho, Uncontrolled Copy, The World’s Most Dangerous Animal, and one bonus minicomic from my backstock. They were packaged in a plastic bag with a wraparound cover.

Incidentally, the title is an example of a form of wordplay I still use from time to time in Bizarro. I couldn’t find a good descriptive name for this, and I coined the term streptonym, which still hasn’t caught on. I first blogged about it here: https://waynocartoons.blogspot.com/2011/08/whatchamacallit_11.html

That’s as much as I can come up with off the top of my head!

Watch the brief, eerie documentary entitled… Göring’s Ghost.
Nuns with rulers? A classic theme! “The nuns who smacked me and my friends at our small elementary school in New Jersey were Sisters of Charity, a cheap bit of irony that always draws a chuckle when I talk about being on the receiving end of those holy rights and lefts.
To join the Roy Orbison Fan Club, the line forms here.
Perhaps you’d like more details on Tyrone’s rather swanky tie? Say no more… here you go.
In case you doubted it (for shame!), yes, there *is* such a thing as Yiddish Yodeling.
Zachary the Zombie’s version hasn’t been committed to tape, I’m afraid, but here’s a rendition of Less Than Zero by its composer.

I mentioned to Wayno® that I enjoyed his cover work for Dana Countryman’s Cool and Strange Music magazine (28 issues, 1996-2003), to which he responded:

Cool & Strange Music was great! I’m still friends with Dana Countryman, and I still admire that he was able to continue self-publishing it for so long, and always on schedule, and he always paid for the art. He was more reliable and professional than a lot of bigger mainstream publications I worked with!

This was the first issue I chanced to get my mitts on. Some back issues of this most excellent publication are still available (at most reasonable prices!) direct from the publisher. Tell Dana we sent you!

Once more, three cheers and my most heartfelt thanks to Wayno® for his generosity and kindness. Best of luck with everything!

-RG

Tentacle Tuesday Masters: Kellie Strøm

One might call the illustrator and comics artist Kellie Strøm a bit of a cosmopolitan –  born in Denmark, he grew up in Ireland and, in adulthood, made London his place of residence. He has accomplished much, but seemingly obtained little recognition for it – his graphic novel (The Acid Bath Case, 1992, published by Kitchen Sink), a collaboration with Stephen Walsh, seems to have been lost in the rivers of time, despite being a striking showcase of Strøm’s black-and-white, precise-yet-graceful style. He also has a great eye for colour, as becomes evident from a quick glance at Star Wars comics he’s illustrated (but does anybody read Star Wars comics?), or, in a much more pleasant and hopefully longer-lasting and farther-reaching vein, his paintings for children’s books. 

A panel from The Acid Bath Case (1992, Kitchen Sink). These may not be tentacles per se, but as far as I’m concerned, they qualify!

Personally, I have a soft spot for his illustrations in glorious full colour – I believe that it’s a rare skill to be able to use a full rainbow palette and not end up with gaudy or downright ugly results. Let’s have a look!

That thing is soon growing up to be a tentacled monstrosity, but right now it’s all pretty colours!

The following are pages from Fortune, Fate, and the Natural History of the Sarlacc, written by Mark Schultz and published in Star Wars Tales no. 6 (2000, Dark Horse). Watch an unfortunate victim plunge into the gullet of a merciless tentacled beast!

For comparison purposes: this is the original art…

And the following are pages from the printed comic:

I also mentioned Strøm’s career as an illustrator in children books. The results are beautiful, and, I sincerely hope, well-remunerated.

Panels from Het Zeemans – ABC (2008, Rubinstein Publishing) – or, in other words, Sailors’ ABC:

I didn’t have the heart to remove the copyright from this image! Visit Strøm’s website here. Look how many delightful tentacles one can squish into one panel!

2014 saw the release of the tentacle-wealthy Worse Things Happen at Sea (Nobrow Press), in which « historical ships are attacked, enveloped and engorged by monstrous sea creatures surfacing from the deepest depths of the darkest oceans. » Must be Strøm’s Nordic roots re-surfacing, though apparently he cannot swim!

~ ds