Tentacle Tuesday Masters: Hilary Barta

There are few things more satisfying than hitting two birds with one stone. Today’s Tentacle Tuesday almost, but not quite, coincides with the birthday of Hilary Barta, who was born on June 17th, 1957. As it happens, he is delightfully adept at depicting tentacles, and quite enthusiastic about it, too…. so it is my pleasure to combine tentacle festivities with a (hopefully) tantalizing sampling of a great artist’s work.

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All I could find about this illustration is that it was meant as a cover to a book. To quote from Rhine’s website, « writer R.S. Rhine and illustrator Hillary Bata will collaborate on the graphic novel (release 2005) ». Was it ever released? It doesn’t seem so.
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Art for The Black Flame no. 7, 2017. Art by Hilary Barta. So Black Flame is getting attacked by a bunch of drooling monsters and he’s victoriously brandishing… a small lizard?
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The published version of The Black Flame no. 7. I think this colour scheme works much better, actually.

There’s no mentioning Barta without perusing some of his Simpsons’ work, especially under the umbrella of that tentacle-rich (my favourite!) manifestation of the Simpsons, the Treehouse of Horror.

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P is for Portal! This « Lexicon of Lurid Limericks » was published in Treehouse of Horror no. 8, 2002. Art by Hilary Barta, colours by Dave Stewart. Moe is nonplussed, as usual… it’s going to take more than a few slimy tentacles and a big puddle of gore to shake him up.

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Barta can also channel Wally Wood with ease, and who says “Wally Wood”, says “tentacles”!

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Art by Hilary Barta for a promotional poster for the Lake Count-I-Con, Lake County’s 2014 comic convention.

(And this is what the actual poster looked like… at least they didn’t cover up too much of the artwork)

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It’s rare for me to post something published recently (my head is firmly lodged in the past), but this is a pleasant exception:

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Comic Book Creator no. 17, 2018. It just came out, actually, so you’ll still catch it on quality newsstands if you hurry.  Cover by Hilary Barta.

Don’t forget to visit Barta’s blog, Surly Hack Attack!

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Barta, looking at Professor Frink no. 1, 2013 (the cover has tentacles, by the way) in which he has a story titled « Frink Sinatra ».

~ ds

Tentacle Tuesday: tentacles, some fresh, some older than time

Welcome to Tentacle Tuesday! We now have an official logo for T.T., courtesy of my husband and fellow blogger. It’s brand-spanking new, so here it is in a fairly high resolution.

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Give him a round of applause… oh, what’s that, it’s hard to applaud with tentacles? Okay, a round of « squish, squish », then.

Let’s begin (proper) with « The Thing on the Roof », adapted by Roy Thomas from a story by Robert E. Howard. The latter was a member of the renowned Lovecraft circle, so the Chthulian vibe of this is no accident. It’s illustrated by Frank Brunner, who does a bang-up job – the man was asked to draw the love child of a dragon and an octopus, and he did not disappoint!

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The Thing on the Roof from Chamber of Chills no. 3 (May 1973, Marvel.)

Continuing in a similar vein (but fast-forwarding 40 years), here’s a terrific story from Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #19 (September 25th, 2013) which is so chock-full of tentacles that it could be a post all by itself. Written by Lovecraftian Len Wein and illustrated by Demonic Dan Brereton, it ranks as one of the top Treehouse comic stories as far as I’m concerned… but then I might be slightly biased. Or possessed by Chthulhu, whichever.

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I want a Lovecraft vacuum cleaner. *hint, hint*
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In this story, *everything*, animate and inanimate, sprouts tentacles.
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The dramatic/sublime/ludicrous wrap-up! Sorry to give the plot away. Yum, they even remembered to stick an apple in Milhouse’s mouth (it keeps him from screaming, I suppose). Did Lisa forget she’s a vegetarian?

I couldn’t help but post at least three pages of this story – hell, I was tempted to post it in its entirety – but I’ll let you do the work. Go read the whole thing here.

And to wrap up, let’s go back half a century or so, to the Miss Horrible Entity 1954.

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This striking cover is by L.B. Cole, who can always be relied on to provide us with some eye-popping colours. He’s also got a knack for depicting especially disgusting, moist and fleshy tentacles, don’t you think? Startling Terror Tales no. 10 (August 1954).

What I want to know is who, upon being startled by a cephalopod cyclops with vampire fangs and one very bloodshot eye, describes it as an “entity”? “Monster”, sure, even “beast” or “demon” or “creature”, but “entity” (defined as “a thing with distinct and independent existence” by Webster’s)? If you’re going to be *that* stuffy, maybe you deserve to get eaten.

~ ds

 

Hallowe’en Countdown, Day 1

« I’m being haunted by all the meat I’ve eaten* »

Welcome to our daily rending of calendar leaves ’til All Hallows’ Eve 2017 is upon us, all flailing fangs and claws…

We open with a salute to our kindred evil spirits, the ticklish rogues who bring us The Simpsons. Their Halloween Special / Treehouse of Horror episodes, by now numbering thirty entries, have done much to keep the torch of seasonal eeriness ablaze over the years.

The comic book spinoff series is none too shabby, either: launched in 1995, it also appears once a year, when noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay**. It shares its parent show’s penchant for references to comic books and magazines, toys and films and tv shows, some recent, some rather ancient, some known to all and some surprisingly (and wonderfully) obscure.

To meekly invoke but a few: Ba(r)t Out of Hell, The Thing With Two Heads, Famous Monsters of Filmland (down to the logo), War of the Colossal Beast, shock rockers Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie and Pat Boone (shudder), EC’s Tales From the Crypt, Mars Attacks, the Bride of Frankenstein, Gremlins, Ghostbusters… and these are just the covers.

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This is The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror no. 14 (Bongo Comics, Sept. 2008). Cover by Bill Morrison. Check out a gallery of the issues here!

*and pastries and snacks, et cetera. A quotation from Godley and Creme’s 1981 art-rap, Snack Attack.

**Ray Bradbury’s The October Country

– RG