Saturday, December 26, 2009

This Week's Agents of Peril Strip

I took a little break this last week because of Christmas to devote my time to family. Now, the good day has gone by again, family has returned to their various homes, the cookies are gone, and it's snowing outside like nobody's business.

It's also time to get back up on the comic making horse and ride this beast... which I'm excited about, because that's what this Blog is (mostly) all about.

Oh, and for this coming week, I hope to have something else to show for my work these last few months... in defiance of the delay causing -- frustration creating, now over virus war.

But that's for later, here's this week's Agents of Peril. As always, click on the image to see the larger version.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Remembering Made For TV Terror

Maybe it's just because I have a cold and couldn't sleep, but my headcold addled brain kicked in making me think of, dare I say it, the Golden Age of TV movies.

What's that I'm talking about? Way back when, I was a kid trying to watch anything that was remotely horror or terror, at times these TV network produced Movie of the Week flicks filled in the need for scares until the usual weekend monster flicks... in my case, in Chicago, that was Creature Features and Screaming Yellow Theatre (as well as the Saturday-Sunday channel 32 afternoon Sci-Fi slots, usually home to AIP flicks and their kin). This was in the days when everybody had less than 10 TV channels and the video tape recorder was something we couldn't even imagine.

It was, at least in the 70s, when network television realized they could churn out their own movies... which were definitely low budget and reminiscent of B movies in the 40s. The makers of these films seemed to do wonders with their meagre budgets, creating inventine and, at times, compelling and damned scary fare. The big thing, though, was due to the limited channels we had, just about everyone caught The Night Stalker, for example.

Now, I know I'm gonna miss some, probably some of your favorites, only because I'm talking about what I actually saw then, not later. Here are some of my faves in no particular order:

The Night Stalker (1972)
I was 11 or 12 when this hit our TV screens. You've all seen it , but maybe aren't aware what a groundbreaker this film was. I had seen vampire movies before, particularly the Universal stuff and some Hammer films, but this gritty vampire movie set in the underbelly of Las Vegas struck a cord. For years it was one of the highest rated TV movies ever... and it scared the heck out of me. In particular the ending wherein Kolchak (Darren McGavin, perfectly cast) goes into the vampire's house (alone! WTF!!!), bumping around, making noise... and then the blood sucker gets home. Is there anything more creepy than Barry Atwater's growling, inhuman vampire? Not on that night there wasn't.

Duel (1971)
Scary and still exciting after all these years. Back then, my youthful brain was trying to understand what bug was up the truck driver's ass. Dennis Weaver was great as a guy caught up in a deadly cat and mouse game with a monster truck (it was a monster, after all) and he was the mouse. Is it a happy ending when the film's lead goes coocoo, laughing in the desert dust?

Trilogy of Terror (1975)
I have very little memory at all of the first two stories in this film... but we all remember that crazy ass wooden doll (the Zuni Fetish) running around screaming his gobbledygook, chasing Karen Black with a steak knife. I had a hard time going to sleep after this one, my friends.

Moon of the Wolf (1972)
After a few of those TV movies that had a twist ending wherein the supernatural death dealer was actually just some crazy human killer, this flick had my young brain on edge. Squinty-eyed, seemingly digestive plagued, David Janssen, ends up being on the track of a real Lawrence Talbot-like werewolf. This film also deals out some anti-readneck angst, so popular in its era.

Gargoyles (1972)
Okay, maybe they spent some money on this one, with the budget going to make all those nifty gargoyle costumes. Cornel Wilde and his daughter are writing a book on the paranormal when he is drawn to a desert town (the desert is a strong factor in a lot of these movies) with some ding dang gargoyles hiding in the caves outside of town. Bernie Casey played the gargoyle leader, but Vic Perrin provided the dubbed in voice. Still a great, fun monster movie... though not as scary as it was when I was a kid. I dug this movie so much when I first saw it that I ripped off the gargoyle leader design and drew comics about him.

A Cold Night's Death (1972)
Nevermind the Beatles-inspired title... This flick is an almost forgotten gem that scared the shit out of me. Scientists Robert Culp and Eli Wallach are working on a project that involves using monkeys in a distant snow bound arctic base (and I lived in the midst of snow bound countryside outside of Chicago). Strange stuff starts happening and you begin to wonder if one of them has gone crazy killer nuts. The answer is provided in a single scary as shit final shot of a window on a door. Lemme tell you, kiddies, I had a very tough time going to sleep after this one. Damn, it still creeps me out!!! I only saw it one time, though. Anyone got this on video? [SPOILER ALERT: The video clip below does show the end of the film]

That's my off the top of my head, awake in the middle of the night list. Let me see yours.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Making Christmas: And Now For Something Completely Different...

Recently I had the opportunity to do a piece of artwork for my church's weekly bulletin pertaining to the season's Advent ceremonies (covering Joy, Hope, Love, Peace and the Birth of Christ). Before doing it, my mother-in-law, Ula, and sister-in-law, Chris, had mentioned Where's Waldo (as in find him or, in this case, the five aspects). So, I went... Where's Waldo... even including Waldo. If you're a Chicago area person, there's at least one gag that you might catch that others won't (I just thought of one that I wish I had used with Chelvaston the duck).

Anyway, I thought I'd post it here, too. What do you think, sirs?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Creepsville & Aztec Mummy T-Shirts

It's the holiday season and... you know that means some kind of plug. Okay, but this year you can give something that may well completely confuse someone you love. At the very least, they might say, "Where on Earth did you get that?!"

So, I'm serving up 3 swell shirt images to wear proudly: 2 different Creepsville designs and... dare I say it... yes, I'll say it... the Aztec Mummy. These shirts (and other stuff) are being offered through Cafe Press, which I've seen good work done with my stuff previously.

Click on the images here to see the larger versions. If you're interested in buying them, click on any of these links below.


I'm From Creepsville

The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy

Meanwhile, I'm interested in getting some feedback. The Laughing Reindeer is primarily a focus point for my creativety, but I also believe in the idea of "Find something you really like doing and then find a way to make a living doing it." Honestly, I don't think just selling t-shirts will do that, and I'm actually having some fun regardless.

Fear not, this page is not a catalog, but from time to time I will be serving up some other shirt ideas (among other things) I've been thinking about and put together.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"New" Agents of Peril Strips Begin!

I'm finally back after the battle of the computer viruses.

I'm also glad to say that with this posting I've caught up and surpassed where I was with my Agents of Peril rescans. This posting has the 7th installment rescan, which is the last of the replacement scans of the old low-res strips I had already posted here.

This posting also picks up where I left off with a new scan of the 8th installment, previously and only seen in a tiny scan years ago. Click on the images to see the larger versions.
Glad to be back, and I hope you enjoy them!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Are We Still Here...? War Is Over!!!

It took all day for it to finally happen. I took my antiquated custom created harddrive out into the cold, cold day. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating... it was actually nice and sunny but still a bit brisk. Anyway, forget the battles, it looks like the war has been won. Roy Ware (his excellent Black Sun Blogsite is linked in the right column) called me up and ordered me to bring my 'puter over and he'd take a stab at getting rid of pesky viruses.

I won't bore you will the details, but it worked! Okay, I'll bore you. We ran the machine through a number of anti-virus/anti-malware programs which took the whole day, because at first there were plenty. Soon enough though, there were none. No more virus problem. I was actually able to get back on my Blog again.

The war is over (crossing my fingers big time). A big thanks goes out to my buddy, Roy (Thanks to Don Simmons also, for his great information). Gotta get back to work!!!