Saturday, September 13, 2014

09/14/2014: This Week's Creepsville Page

As promised, while I continue working on the Collected Creepsville book, I'll post pages in order of the issues they were published in. This week has the next page (3) after last week's post culled from the first issue of my Creepsville comic book series. As always, click on the picture to see the larger version.


The artwork pretty much speaks for itself. My future postings may require some annotations, which I will do at that time. I can hardly wait until we get to Rugface...

Meanwhile, you kids get outside! It's a nice day out!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Welcome to Creepsville

I'm still at work on the Collected Creepsville book, but while that happens, I had also always intended to show bits and pieces of work along the way. It also occurred to me that a great deal of you who are reading this probably never saw the comic series.

Given that, I have decided to post at least a page a week (life permitting) of the Creepsville comic series that will be presented in its entirety in the book collection. That will also include 2 stories that have never been published.

Please allow me to provide some notes on the 3 pieces posted here.

The first piece, in color, was not done by me. On what was the cover for the first issue of the original Creepsville series was a gorgeous piece of art by Dave Dorman. Dave is a very good friend who is probably best known as the most popular Star Wars artist on the planet. His work on that cultural phenomenon has been on loads of comic books, novels, and prints. George Lucas likes Dave's work so much that he has bought many of the original paintings for himself through the years. I wouldn't be surprised if some of Dave's paintings appear in Lucas' coming museum of commercial art in Chicago.

To say the least, I was thrilled that Dave did this for me! I really love his take on Paul Blaisedell's Saucer Men.

This issue featured a parody of the classic AIP drive-in movie, Invasion of the Saucer-Men, but before that I did a short take on the cult classic Robot Monster. The title creature, whose name is Ro-Man, was played by a man in a gorilla suit wearing a space helmet. This particular story is the only time I used the actual title of the film I was taking loving jabs at in one of my Creepsville stories.

The reader is also introduced to the Malone family, who live in a town called Creepsville where all those goofy monsters from the movies actually existed.

Looking at this first issue, I noticed that Specs Malone is very prominent in introducing the family. I had created Specs before any of the other characters years ago while living in Los Angeles. The Collected Creepsville book will print some of the Specs solo stuff I did.

It becomes very obvious that the stand out stars of the series were the unlikely pair of Rat Malone and his buddy Percy... who is an homage to Ro-Man. As an artist looking at this for the first time in years, these first few pages feel primitive. With the Saucer-Men story in this same issue, I could see that I had quickly relaxed and was becoming quickly comfortable with how to present the characters. You'll see what I mean in the weeks ahead.

So, for those of you who wonder what I had been working on through the years in comics or what that Creepsville thing I'm always talking about is, here is the beginning. Much more to come in the weeks ahead.

Click on the images below to see larger versions.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Visual Non Sequitur: Stupid Foolish Scientists... and a Master Criminal?

This is a further obsessive follow-up to last week's rather weak posting of a frame grabbed from a movie which showed a man emptying his pipe into a handy ashtray. On Facebook, I gave a big hint on why the photo of the pipe was so important to the filmmaker (questionable and only using the word as a generic term) by revealing that person's name. It is Jerry Warren.

Well, here's 3 frame grabs from later in that spectacular movie.

I think I'm done with this movie, for now. Anyone who has been around me long enough may have been forced to actually sit and watch this flick. No, there is no woman disguised as a flying mouse.

Here are three more moments of zen... well, maybe just two. Have a good weekend, true believers.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

So Soon? Another Visual Non Sequitur?

This week I had to go down south to my parent's retirement home, their farm in Kentucky... to visit and do some repairs. Back at the Laughing Reindeer HQ, in the last moments of Saturday, I'm pulling another Non Sequitur up. This is the entire image, too. It's another moment of zen, kiddies. See you next week.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Visual Non Sequitur

Even though I'm working on the Creepsville book, when Saturday comes I still want to put something up on the Blog. Based on my experience so far, I can't always do that.

So, when I'm busy I will still try to post something related to what I'm working on that doesn't seem to be the case... or just a blatant non sequitur.

Meanwhile, my Blog devoted to such non sequiturs remains the Tremendous Thing site. Click in the link at the right margin and look at it... if you dare.

Back to Creepsville for me. Click on the graphic below "for your moment of zen."

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Da Hell Was This?" - A Creepsville Mystery

Over the years I have encountered a great number of people who enjoyed reading Creepsville and had questions about it, including elements in the stories, about creating comics, publishing and other things. There are also questions here and there regarding oddball things that appeared in those comics that command an answer.

One such item is this odd advertisement that appears in the first issue. The ad hypes an upcoming series of books based on the Creepsville comic, no doubt intended for younger readers, that would feature the children of the comics' teen characters years later.

So, you may ask, was I intending on doing these books? No. Honestly, I didn't know about them. The publisher, Steve Smith, was employed by another publisher who did teen novels. Steve thought there was potential in that market for these books. Maybe there was.

This was a time when the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles were hot stuff, with their licensed images everywhere. Steve was hoping to catch that same lightning in a bottle with Creepsville, but it was too
early and, without me, was not going to happen.

I seem to recall that the two names on the project were real people working in the teen books market, and they hadn't been asked to do any work on it yet. Thank goodness. I never met them. Nothing against them.

As a strong supporter of creator owned comics rights, I was underwhelmed. Steve and I discussed it and, it never happened (thank goodness). Unfortunately, the first issue went out with the ad that had been created to hype a series. Steve's heart was in the right place, and this brand new venture for the two of us working together publishing Creepsville included a few bumps we hadn't expected... but nothing harmful.

To see Steve at his best, check out his upcoming Alaxis Press graphic novel, The Leaning Girl by Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters. The book is gorgeous! Click on this link []!

-- F Kurtz

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Creepsville Progress Report (Plus Tidbits)

Things are moving along nicely on the Creepsville book. Very soon now... wait, I've got to stop saying that. It won't be very soon and it's not the artwork that's holding it up. It's the writing, scanning and putting together the whole book. Still, even the original comics must be scanned again, followed by lots of new stuff. When I talk about very soon, just pretend I'm Video Watchdog honcho Tim Lucas talking about his Mario Bava book. That took a long time, but it was worth it.

When the time is right, I will start posting material from Creepsville #6, the Christmas issue that was never published, right here in this blog. Soon afterwards, I will be offering the collected book for sale. I'm also hoping that it will be carried in local comic and book stores, of course.

Right now I'm debating on showing the whole story or just a good sized chunk of it. I'm leaning towards the latter. I change my mind on this point all the time. Initially though, I was strongly leaning on giving it away. If I choose to do that, odds are I will also serialize a page each week.

It may be a bit early saying this, but after I do whatever I'm going to do with the 6th issue contents online, I'll also post some material from what I've been calling the 7th issue... though it isn't really that. I'll explain when it goes up.

Besides those original stories, there are loads more materials (artwork, notes, etc.) created for or had inspired Creepsville all along the way. This will mean lots more scanning on my part. I'm also hoping that the finished book will also provide at least a glimpse on the creative process of making comic books (at least my creative technique). Maybe I sound a bit pretentious, but I'm honestly trying to make this more than just a collection of back issues.

To say the least, I have my work cut out for me.

That gets me to the "Tidbits" of this Blog posting. While I've been digging through art, I have found what I consider interesting bits and pieces of artwork, some of which will make it to the book while others won't.

For the moment, I thought I would put a few pieces up that you might find interesting. The first two items are covers for a modest publication I was going to call Ruckus, a name I've been wanting to use for a long time.

Besides Creepsville, I also created a fun concept that I called Monster Patrol. I have a full length first issue done and pencils for the second. While I was thinking about what I would do with it back when I got that issue done, my good friend Chris Ecker contacted me, asking me if I'd like to do an 8 page back up story for Big Bang Comics, which was published by Image. I've told the origin story of this team before on this blog. Read it if you haven't by looking through the subject list on the right side of the screen and click on "Monster Patrol."  

So, I still had a full length first issue and didn't know what to do with it. For a short period, I was toying with breaking that story down in to a 4 or 5 part adventure in Ruckus, in a 8 1/2" by 5.5" mini-comics size. Perhaps I was influenced at that time by a visit to my house by my friend John Porcellino, creator of King-Cat Comics. John had stopped by one night while he was going on a cross country tour.  [Check out John's blog; MAYBE BLOGGING WILL HELP at]. He has links to his online store, too.

Doing mini-comics is not alien to me. In fact, years ago I had done mini-comics featuring several characters who ended up in supporting roles in Creepsville.

I also wanted to try something that I had seen on other mini-comics... my plan was to present covers with interesting images that might not suggest anything in particular specific until you actually read the comic. I wanted it to be unusual, a little mysterious, and deliberately vague thus the cover doesn't say Monster Patrol. Eventually, I held off doing it because I had determined that Monster Patrol is a comic about giant monsters. I wanted to see those creatures presented big.

Monster Patrol will be back... Sounds very James Bond.

The third piece here is artwork I forgot about which looks like it was intended for a set of buttons. There were 3 buttons each for Creepsville and Agents of Peril. I'm only showing Rat and Percy right now. I'll get the others scanned and up on this Blog soon. Oh, and the Agents of Peril story will be back and will actually come to an end... though I have plans for at least two more stories after that. I will be working on these forever...

As usual, click on the images to see larger versions.

Also, please let me know if you enjoy this sort of stuff. I have quite a bit more I can show you all.

I've spent a lot of time writing the blog this week but have plenty more work to do right now on the Creepsville Collected book. Until next time, back to work... and "Toodles!"

-- F Kurtz