Monday, June 22, 2009

"Little Monster, Big Dreams" Sells At Halloweentown

This past weekend I was part of a terrific group gallery show at Halloweentown in Burbank. The theme was "Every Day Is Halloween," and I was joined by such impressive genre artists as Gris Grimly, Robert Lizzarado, Eric Pigors and many others.

My entry was called "Little Monster, Big Dreams," and was rendered in pencils. It sold early during the opening night party, to a vintage Halloween enthusiast. I was happy to see it go to a good home!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Delbert Winans, 1949 - 2009

I got home from dinner Monday night around 11 pm to find a message on my phone. It was from Scott MacQueen, asking that I call him upon getting the message. He sounded serious, so I called immediately, at which point Scott informed me that our friend Delbert Winans had passed away that afternoon. I gasped, because I had just received an email from Delbert earlier in the day, and had spoken to him on the phone the night before.

I have been working closely with Delbert for the past eight months, on the project Gary mentions above. Now it was called the MONSTER BEASTRO, and we were well along in it's development. It appeared that Delbert was finally going to see his dream come true.

I'm still in a bit of shock. He was so very happy with the artwork I had done, and how the website was coming. Not only that, but a major cable network was interested in filming the creation of the restaurant as a reality series. That he has left us now seems so unfair.

Delbert had a collection of posters and lobbycards that any genre fan would be envious of. Almost all of the ones on display in his office were signed by the original stars. He was so proud of them. He also produced a great number of spectacular sculptures, working with Henry Alvarez and many other talented artists. Many were created for Disney's catalogues.

Delbert was sweet, funny and very passionate about classic movies. He had made plans for us to visit with Ron Borst later this month. He was, indeed, a true Monster Kid.

I didn't know him for very long, but I know I will miss him for much longer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lon Versus Jack!

While appearing at Eliot Brodsky's terrific MONSTERPALOOZA convention last weekend, I was reminded of one my of my all-time favorite "Sketchy Things" caricatures. Ron Chaney (grandson of Lon Jr.) and his lovely family were there, and my friend Perry Shields performed his one-man show tribute to Jack Pierce, the Universal makeup genius who created the look of the classic monsters. All of this brought to mind the drawing below, which was commisioned several years back by Wonderfest Program Director Dave Conover.

Based on a famous "gag" photo taken on the set of FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN, it jokingly refers to the alleged combative relationship between Lon Jr. and Pierce. It still brings a smile to my face...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Havoc Swims Unpainted

HAVOC SWIMS JADED, by David J. Schow. A collection of short stories. David wanted something Black Lagoon-esque. My task was to create a cover image that evoked the essence of the Gillman's world without infringing on any copyright of trademarked properties.

The atmosphere of the piece was the most important element. We needed the gloomy, murky feel of an underwater lair, with just enough light to showcase the character. I used a combination of Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue and Viridian Green as the main colors, with Burnt Umber and Titanium White to bring out the darks and lights.

Keeping the Creature "soft" was paramount in achieving the ghostly quality of the painting. I kept most of the edges soft, picking only a few "hard" edges to define important areas.

Below is the final painting, which Mr. Schow has hanging in his home.

And here is the actual cover of the book...

Wonderfest 2009 Part 3

More fun than humans should be permitted to have...

...and big thanks to Eileen Colton, Terry Pace and Beau Kaelin for the great pix!

Here are three of my favorite people: Gary Prange, creator and curator of THE OLD DARK CLUBHOUSE, Joe Busam, the Rondo Award-winning producer of MONSTER KID HOME MOVIES, and Linda Wylie, everyone's favorite nurse. Here we drink a toast to good friends.

The Boys Of Wonder (fest) finally receive the long-deserved Rondo Award for Best Convention. John Davis, Dave Hodge, Dave Conover and Donnie Waddell. Congrats, boys!

THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN gang pose for a photo op. Frank, Jennifer, the Poster from the movie, Larry and producer Mike Schlesinger are happy to be anywhere, but especially happy to be in Louisville.

A mischevious prank unfolds during a post-convention dinner. Particpating in the hilarity are Jen, Melinda Angstrom (back turned), Frank, David J. Schow, VIDEO WATCHDOG'S Tim and Donna Lucas, Gary Prange and someone's nose to be named later.

The crowd begins to gather for the exclusive screening of THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN. The room would end up being SRO, and the crowd went nuts for the long-awaited sequel.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wonderfest 2009 Part 2

More candid shots of the frenzied fun that is Wonderfest...

David J. Schow takes in the splendor of THE OLD DARK CLUBHOUSE...

Joe Moe and Anita Pace become part of the FAMOUS MONSTERS SPEAK album cover art. Later that night Anita would be caught in a scandal involving myself...

...the lovely Sara Lattis...

...and the concoction pictured below. Kids, don't try this at home...

Bob Burns placates an alien in need of a root canal. That's WF program director Dave Conover at the podium.

Alexandra and Forrest Pace became best buds with "Animala" herself, Jennifer Blaire.

Still more to come... Thanks to Terry Pace for the usual awesome photos!

The Lost Skeleton Returns Again Poster

Here's a look at the latest super-cool poster for THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN, created by Production Designer Anthony Tremblay, with a hand from uber-artist Cortney Skinner and Larry Blamire. It's downright action-packed!

Channeling Mr. Poe Part 2

Once I was sure the Vincent Price caricature was working to my satisfaction, I began to address the background tones and the "ghost" of the dark poet. With Poe placed in the right spot, what remained was "pushing" and "pulling" the middle tones (the ones that create the most depth in a drawing) to acheive the maximum illusion of dimension.

Oh, and the moustache. Almost forgot the moustache.

Finally, the last details are added, including the very lightest and very darkest tones. This provides the extra "punch" needed to really bring Prince Prospero to life. By the way, the image of Price here is from THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, one of the best of Roger Corman's Poe films. Below is the final piece, ready to be matted and framed for display at the gallery show.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wonderfest 2009

This year's Wonderfest in Louisville, KY was the most fun ever. I was thrilled to be a part of this Rondo Award-winning convention. Here are just a few shots of the mirth and mayhem that ensued.

Larry Blamire, Beau Kaelin, Frank and Jennifer Blaire at the Sunday evening banquet. That's artist William Stout in the background on the left, and writer Terry Pace on the right.

Three great gals and Coffin Joe. The fabulous Nurse Moan-Eek, the exquisite Sara Lattis, the fiery Jovanka Vukovic from RUE MORGUE and the sinister Raymond Castile.

Larry and Frank crack up during the Q&A panel for THE LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN.

The zany Count Gore De Vol and Frank channel Bela Lugosi for the cameras.

Awesome artist "Belle Dee Bilbrey" stopped in to join the festivities.

More photos coming up soon. Thanks to Beau Kaelin for the great pix!

Channeling Mr. Poe Part 1

After a long absence from blogging (mostly due to a heavy workload and several convention appearances), I am back!

I recently participated in a group gallery show at Halloweentown in Burbank. The theme of this show was Edgar Allan Poe, and since I had already done a Poe portrait, I decided to do something a little different.

Here a step-by-step look at the creation of my pencil piece, a nod to both Mr. Poe and Mr. Price, who starred in many Poe-inspired movies for producer Roger Corman.

Starting with a simple sketch, the task is about building up tones, little by little: