Saturday, October 3, 2009

Creepsville, The Aztec Mummy, and the Comic That Almost Was

While digging through the tombs downstairs last week, looking for my Agents of Peril original artwork, I stumbled upon some interesting artifacts. Appropriately, there were some interesting items related to the Aztec Mummy and Creepsville. Therein lies a story of sorts.

Years ago, Greg Hyland (creator of the great Lethargic Lad comic strip) and I came up with a scheme. We both had an odd affection for a series of ultra low budget horror films made in Mexico about Popoca, the Aztec Mummy. If you haven't seen them... and you have an affection for atmospheric, creeky old black and white horror with some interesting dubbing... they're representative of how much fun Mexi-horror can be. Anyway, the plan was that Greg would have Popoca dragging his crumbly behind through a series of adventures in Lethargic Lad searching for his stolen gold breastplate. Eventually, his adventure there ran its course and at some point, Popoca would appear in the Creepsville strip continuing his search. We actually did this in our individual strips, with my Creepsville portions running for a short time on my now defunct Monster Shindig website.

Creepsville, for those who don't know my stuff that well, was my loving tribute to those great, old, low budget monster movies of the 50s and 60s, featuring the Malone family living in the titular town where all those monster movies really happened. I have a confession to make. For a period of time there, I was tired of drawing the comic, thinking I had run out of ideas, which in turn prompted me to create other comics like Agents of Peril and Monster Patrol. I simply stopped working on the online strip, and that was that.

It's weird how you can turn your back on something and then it comes back and kicks you in the butt. Creepsville did that to me. Years later, I was contemplating taking the Monster Shindig website editorial and doing a print edition one-shot, featuring articles and some comics. An idea popped into my head of doing a few pages of Creepsville, just for fun... and wait a minute... what about that Aztec Mummy story... and, hey, there's an idea that I hadn't thought of... what if Popoca fell in love with Betty Malone... I've gotta draw this. I penciled an 8 page story like that. I have to admit that the inking has gone very slowly, mainly because at the time I was struggling with a number of health issues. It's in the vaults, and I have it... and I'm planning on eventually posting the story here.

In the meantime, I thought I would not only post the old Creepsville strips with Popoca but also some pencil roughs I did for one Monster Shindig cover concept featuring the story. It's actually one of my favorite pieces, because rather than taking a shot at the typical cringing helpless heroine images of this era, my characters are just having fun. All of a sudden, I feel very Footloose.

And if you like the Aztec Mummy, there's more... aw, never mind. You'll see...

PS. After looking at the strips again, I have to mention that I was also doing parodies of Mexican wrestler movies and, in particular, a film called Ship of Monsters. The latter was never dubbed into English and is a monster, sci fi, comedy, western musical. Really!!! Check it out!!!

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