Saturday, June 27, 2015

Scary Night Time Stuff, Dream Comics & Still More...

I had a scary night last night. I was watching the old Hammer Films/Ray Harryhausen film One Million Years BC after a long work week.. I quickly dozed off (even lovely Raquel Welch's delightful curves couldn't keep me awake).

The next thing I know is that the dog is barking at the windows in the living room. Half asleep, I think someone's out there banging on the window. I have to admit, I'm spooked, but I hollar out, "Get outta here!" I wake up enough to get up, run to the door and turn the outside lights on. Nobody is there. I'm still shaking.. and think that this might be a prank. One of my brother in laws did the same thing last year wearing a gorilla suit. I scared him when I very quickly ran out the door and got ready to punch him. Instead, I tore his mask off.

Anyway, my wife Colette is out with her family, including the brother-in-law... so, I think I've been pranked. I call Colette on her cell and she says that they didn't do anything. I believe her. I think the dog actually got my brain working overtime, though later on Colette said there were kids riding around in the dark on their bicycles.

Speaking of scary things.. ot is it? Years ago, I had a very strange dream... Well, not scary but interesting. As luck would have it, a few days later I was at the San Diego Comicon for HERO Illustrated. I bumped into Roarin' Rick Veitch, who was publishing his dream comic, Rare Bit Fiends, at that time. I started telling him about the dream, but he stopped me. He handed me paper and pens and told me to draw it. I've posted here what I drew, which Rick included in his regular Road Bits section of the comic featuring people like me who had dreams to tell.

One odd thing here to note: I was once a student at Northern Illinois University and had a large class in a building there called Cole Hall. It had huge theatre seating to hold big classes. Many years later, a f*cked joker got into the building through the back and walked into a class shooting a gun. He killed a number of students and then did himself in. That must have been 10 years ago, at least, but I'm not sure. My daughter went to school there years later. I must admit that it made me worry for her.

On a much more upbeat note, as usual, I've also posted this week's Creepsville and Monster Patrol pages.

I think I just figured out what the dog was barking at... Our fridge is making a sound like an owl hooting, but very quietly. The dog walked into the kitchen and started barking. Two nights ago, she was barking at a curtain that was blowing a shape that looked like a small person. I pulled the curtain away from the vent. No little person...whew!

Until next time, I'll leave the lights on...






Saturday, June 20, 2015

On the Road to the Afterlife in His Or Hearse... Plus Frank Meets a Giant Skull & More!




So, you think this week's headline is odd, get a load of the goofus with the hobbit shoes above. If you look past the image of the rotting body of yours truly wearing t-shirt and shorts, that Skull-mobile was the wildest car at a local drinking and music establishment's annual Hearse Show. Yes, it moved, spewing huge flames out the back while popping wheelies. Truly a thing of beauty. Wait, there's more, but first...


Up again early, thanks to the pets. Two of them, Arial (the dog) and Sirius Black (the cat aka BatCat or KittyBoo) have been been constantly in battle, chasing each other around the house. They recently extended their play to all hours of the night. Obviously, I need my beauty sleep, which is difficult when there's a neverending Tom and Jerry cartoon going on.

Fortunately, this week I'm glad they got me up. I had lots of stuff to post this week that ties in with that Forrest J Ackerman style Blurb at the top.

Before you get to that, check out this week's Monster Patrol page. There are only two more pages to post before something else takes its place.. the previously noted Agents of Peril.

Meanwhile, the second issue of Creepsville's story "Party at Horror Beach" gets started today. After you read these two comics, there are loads of pix of a recent trip to a Hearse Show. What on earth is that? Check it out below. With these beauties on the road, you had best drive carefully.

Until next week, kiddies, keep your eyes on the road, your head out of the clouds and your hands to yourself.




Parking Lot of the Dead



 A week ago, I was coaxed out of the comfortable cold air of my Think Tank to see what is one of the few things that could revive this dead ass... a Hearse Show.

The event was this year's Hearse Show held at the Braurerhouse in Lombard, IL... also known as the far west 'burbs of Chicago where the Earth falls away into nothingness after the first row of corn.

Each year the bar holds this show in its parking lot, which brought out loads of hearses, motorcycles and some truly unique custom vehicles.

Svengoolie from WeTV was to be making an appearance at the show, but we were already gone before he got there... mainly due to my need for regular doses of arcane liquids that keep this body moving. We met a lot of great folks who had gifted inaginations as well as those who drive their hearses as their regular means of conveyence. Some of the cars were pretty wild, but I found the hearses that had been preserved with great care and respect for their woeful real world purposes rather moving.

Glom onto the following:



 In my opinion, and those of Roy Ware and Roy Ware Sr (who brought me there), this was one of the most beautiful hearses to be seen. That curtained sidepanel looked like it was actually made of wood.

 


Showing a variety of vehicles, this represented the world of real rather than just customized monster cars. This car was an old Chicago FD Vehicle, used to transpot the living and the dead. 


 





An additional point of interest to take note of was the fine detail work done inside of many a hearse, either in the front seat or the back for the boxes. One of the cars had a coffin with speakers nicely set into it.




 I really wanted to take these great musclecars transformed into hearses back to my home.. so I did. They're parked in my back yard right now. Don't tell anyone. Okay? My photo doesn't really show the fantastic paint job on the purple Bonneville justice. It was gorgeous. If I had it, it wouldn't be at my house... it would be out driving!


Old vehicles were there alongside more recent cars. Even the area of the lot used just to parking lot's regular parking had hearses in it. Overall, we had a great time there and look forward to going back next time.

All photos are (c) 2015 Franklin J Kurtz.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Disaster Strikes Creepsville!!! Kurtz Says, "...Only a Minor Setback!"

Once again the spectre of sinister junk computer equipment has risen to battle me, but it already lost. Hope is growing.

What am I babbling about. Well, yesterday I came home and found one of my external hard drives not moving, its light off, not a sound to be heard. My computer no longer showed it. It sure looked dead.

So, I journeyed over to my brother, Dave's house where we attempted to revive it, but we failed. Dave is a big shot tech guy for a rather large very well known company that I will mention only if he calls me and asks me to mention where. The Bad news is that drive, which never had any problems before held a lot of the full color Creepsville pages I've been working on. The Good news is that it didn't hold them all. 

Dave hasn't given them up yet and will place the driver into... well, it's too gruesome to tell here.

Okay, no crying in our corn flakes. This time I begin posting the pages from the second issue of Creepsville featuring 'Party at Horror Beach!"

I wamt to take note here that my good buddy Mark Nelson, (he always calls me Buddy, too) did that gorgeous cover featuring that story's creepy underwater characters on the prowl... under the sea. Mark is probably known best in the comc biz for his Dark Horse Comics Aliens work, but he produces so much more truly incredible pieces, it makes me wonder when he sleeps.

I'd also like to mention that when I was working on the second Creepsville comic series, I did the coloring of those covers at Mark's house in his Mark-cave. while he occasionally would look over my shoulder. He helped me a lot with what was my first computer coloring attempts. Again, after all these years, thanks, Mark.

Let us not forget that Monster Patrol is here, too.

Meanwhile, I'll keep an eye out for living dead hard drives. Brrrrrrrrrrrr



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Creepsville Trading Cards!? You Bet!

If you happen to have any of the first 4 printed issues of Creepsville V1, then you have seen these. For the first 4 issues, we did something that was unusual and loads of fun. The Creepsville trading cards were a dream come true for yours truly, who not only read comic books and monster movie magazines since the dawn of time but also collected non-sport trading comics.

Upon deciding to publish Creepsville, Steve Smith, owner and publisher of GoGo Comics was hard at work getting things together to make the comic a desirable item for comic book readers. His was not a simple job. Among his duties, Steve dealt directly with the talented artists who created the cover art for the first four issues as well as making sure everything got to that printer... and then getting me to look over the blueline printed pages and make necessary corrections.

Before the first issue was out, Steve threw in the idea of doing Creepsville trading cards and binding them in with the comics. My immediate response was, "YES!"

It would have been too much for our budget to actually cut the card sheets we printed into 6 individual cards and put them in a wrapper. BInding a small packet in would have been cost prohibitive. Very early on, it was determined that the cards in each issue would be presented as 6 cards printed on a single large sheet. You could leave the cards in the comic or carefully pull them out and cut them into normal sized cards.

With this new task, I gladly got to work. I decided the first 6 would introduce the 5 members of the Malone family as well as Rat's buddy, Percy. After that issue, I added a few new character cards, but the remaining cards had a very brief story on each of them. Meanwhile, Steve did the art for the backgrounds on the cards around the texts.

The cards actually helped me kill two birds with one stone. I could use them to introduce new characters that I planned on bringing into the stories in future issues. At least one of them was inspired by a strange dream I had. I'll get to explaining those cards as I bring them up here in the Blog, between the issues I post. In addition, I have been coloring the cards, which I intend to put up on the coming Creepsville Collected book.

As usual, this week's Monster Patrol is up, too! Have a great week, kiddies.





Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Mysterious Return of the Amazing Mystery Me...

Sorry for disappearing, but the last couple of weeks were somewhat overwhelming. Last weekend, we went on a road trip to Ohio to take part in the wedding of the son of one of my wife's cousins. A lot of family was there and we had a great but exhausting time. When we got back, I realized how tired I was and took this one week break.


Months ago, I had told you all that I was at work on the Creepsville Collected book. I am still hard at work on that. It's a lot more work than I expected... though it's also a lot of fun. One facet of it I can be more open about is that I'm not as fast as I used to be. I've been coloring a lot of art, which gives me lots of time to think. I've decided to make the effort to show some Sneak Peeks from the project here and there. Still, I must admit that I tend to be a bit secretive of things I am working on. It's sort of like a superstition I have where I don't want to say too much about what's coming while I'm working on it, with a fear of my giving specifics will result in my pulling a project to do some additional tinkering. I have done that before.

Still, even though Creepsville continues to move forward, I will also continue to post original comics strips/stories here. I mentioned a few weeks back, that Agents of Peril will soon return and will continue until that first story is wrapped up.

Last Halloween, I had a great time finding material that resonated with that unofficial holiday and put them up here. A lot of you really seemed to like that crazy stuff. Believe me, I have lots more that I will be showing here.



Creepsville #1 ends today, by the way. Before #2 starts, next week I'll talk about the trading cards that were bound into the first four issues. Can you dig it?

Oh, and go Blackhawks!


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Creepsville #1 Just About Done... and Monster Patrol Winding Down, Too

Time does fly, kiddies. I think that sometimes I scan with my brain in a pause mode, meaning I don't pay attention in particular to the page numbers. As usual, I was awake too early this morning to put up my posts and realized that the reprinting of the first issue of Creepsville on this Blog is almost finished. What will I do now?

As I have mentioned before, I'll begin posting pages from issue #2, but in addition to that, I feel like showing some of my new stuff. I have lot done, and even more crazy ideas beyond that stuff. Also, I will be bringing back my Agents of Peril strip. Because it has been a long time, I'm going to be redoing some of the old scans, which will be posted 2 pages at a time.

In addition to that, I want to get back to showing some intriguing bits and pieces from works in progress... not to forget my obsession with junk culture, monster movies, hot rod hearses, wild eyed women and much more.

The little cat is waking around meowing. Can trouble be far behind? Better go! Have a great week, kiddies.

Here's this week's Creepsville and Monster Patrol pages: