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Archive for September, 2010

Artist Chris Ryniak

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Ohio artist Chris Ryniak paints and sculpts incredibly bizarre and monstrous creatures.  Like many of the other artists I’ve been showcasing this week, wild teeth play a predominant part in his characterizations.  I’m starting to wonder if it’s the artists who are preoccupied with teeth, or if I am and that’s why I keep picking out monsters who seriously need to see the orthodontist.  Regardless, Chris Ryniak’s art interests me because it seems to take cues from the world of science fiction while also maintaining a unique style.

To see more of Chris’ work, visit his website.


Monster Accessories

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Monsters to wear and carry:

Monsters Made Me Do It knee high socks from David and Goliath for $8

The design on the Forest Oni Tote Bag won a contest to be produced by Green Eyed Monster and is available on This That or Other Things for $17.50

Matt Furie Wallet 1 from Poketo for $20

Do Not Feed Monster Backpack by Rainbow Swirlz on 1000 Markets comes in grey or pink for $30

Etsy seller Fairly Enchanted creates charming monster hats in sizes for babies through adults. This one is Zeppelin Hungry Hat for $32

Horror Monster Movie Hobo Purse by Uniquely Different on Etsy for $45


Monster Games

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Not being much more than an occasional visitor to the world of gaming, I need to call in outside assistance whenever I want to do a game post.  Luckily I happen to be related to an obsessive gamer who takes offense if I recommend any unworthy games.  I asked him if there were any games that would fit the monster theme I’m currently exploring, and what follows in italics is his response.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is the correct answer:

Betrayal at House on the Hill 2010 edition is available from Card Haus for $29.95

It’s been out of print for a while, but it’s getting a reprint (rumored to have removed the one genuinely creepy card) this year. I’m surprised you’ve never played it, I’ve had it for years.

[So you make me play that stupid train game, Ticket to Ride, but forget to show me a game featuring a haunted mansion.  The new edition of Betrayal at House on the Hill is being released on October 5.  Actually I don't see any monsters described in the press release of the game:

Betrayal at House on the Hill quickly builds suspense and excitement as players explore a haunted mansion of their own design, encountering spirits and frightening omens that foretell their fate. With an estimated one hour playing time, Betrayal at House on the Hill is ideal for parties, family gatherings or casual fun with friends.

Betrayal at House on the Hill is a tile game that allows players to build their own haunted house room by room, tile by tile, creating a new thrilling game board every time. The game is designed for three to six people, each of whom plays one of six possible characters.

Secretly, one of the characters betrays the rest of the party, and the innocent members of the party must defeat the traitor in their midst before it’s too late! Betrayal at House on the Hill will appeal to any game player who enjoys a fun, suspenseful, and strategic game.]

Other, less correct answers:

Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror is available from Dream Land Comics for $41.97

Very similar game built on the Lovecraft mythos filled with lovecraftian monsters. Personally I think the game itself sucks, here’s what I think happened:

1. Self-styled game designer who’s actually just a huge Lovecraft fan furiously masturbates onto the blank pages of “rulebook” with no thought for game mechanics or fun.

2. Nerds assume anything with Lovecraft’s name on it must be high quality because knowing about him puts you in some sort of counterculture, superbrain clique.

3. Game sells a million copies and 10 expansions come out.

[Okay, so we're not recommending Arkham Horror.]

Touch of Evil

I’ve never played this, but I think it’s exactly what you want. The setting is 19th century European hamlet and the players play scenarios that pit them against classic monster villains like Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, etc.

[This game sounds pretty cool to me.  Although I might rather be a monster than a monster hunter.  Here’s the description: A Touch of Evil, The Supernatural Game is a fast-paced game of fiendish creatures, dashing Heroes, and high-adventure. Each player takes on the role of a unique monster-hunting Hero, racing against time to stop the forces of darkness from claiming another foothold in the world of man. Only by investigating the town and building your Hero’s strength can you hope to hunt down the Supernatural Villain to his Lair and defeat him in an epic Showdown. Players can race Competitively to be the first to defeat the Villain and save the town, or they can work together Cooperatively to defeat a much stronger Villain.]

Thank you Michael for your input. Has anybody played these games? Can you think of a monster game we might have missed?


Monster Art by Dan May

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Out of Hand

Jacksonville, Florida artist Dan May’s monsters have a much dreamier feel than the other monsters I’ve been featuring. They don’t spring from the world of nightmares, however, but rather the melancholy daydreams of a dreary afternoon.  Dan’s beautiful illustrations show monsters interacting with surreal landscapes and an occasional person.

The Gift: Limited Edition, signed print of 50 available for $50

Stick 'Em Up

In the Still of Uncertain Streams: Limited Edition and signed print based on a collaborative painting by Jason Limon and Dan May for $65

The Weeping Tree

The Natural Warrior

To see more of Dan May’s work, visit his website or his webstore.


Vinyl Toy Monsters

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

If you collect vinyl art toys, I hope that you have some monsters like these in your collection:

Ooh la la... The Bride is an 8 inch vinyl figure by tattoo artist Joe Capobianco with Kid Robot. Released spring of 2010 and limited to 400 pieces, still available from Dragatomi for $99.99

Buff Monster's Destroyer Embrace the Darkness Edition is 14" high and has an edition of 399 from Loyal Subjects for $85

The Lake Monsters Dredge Split Personality Version is an 8 inch figure designed by Brian Morris and sculpted by Chris Ryniak and Joe Somers from Rotofugi for $60

Touma's Glow in the Dark Beak Falcon has a limited edition of 200 available from Neon Monster for $50

Dokugan Blobpus Toy Tokyo San Diego Comic Con 2008 Exclusive is 8" tall and on sale for $95 at Neon Monster


Monsters by Feltmistress

Monday, September 13th, 2010

This week is the continuation of two weeks of monster themed-posts.  UK soft sculptress Louise Evans, aka Felt Mistress, stitches one of a kind quirky monsters.  Working with a background in fashion design and millinery, Louise’s critters have been featured in exhibitions in the UK and internationally.  She also collaborates with her partner, illustrator Jonathan Edwards, and other artists such as Jon Burgerman, Jon Knox and Pete Fowler.

I love the gaping mouths and wild teeth on many of the monsters.

Pipe Smoking Kaiju

To see more of Felt Mistress’ creations visit her website.


True Blood Season 3 Episode 12

Monday, September 13th, 2010

I’ve had a little time to think about the season finale now and these are my conclusions.  Season 3 was not nearly as satisfying as seasons 1 and 2.  There were too many storylines pulling all of the characters in different directions and too many unexplained supernatural beings to keep track of.  Rather than resolving anything, the finale left everything to be continued in season 4.  This wasn’t a cohesive season.  That being said, I still look forward to each episode.  I still care about most of the characters and worry about what they’re getting themselves into.  I’m frustrated with the season because I want more than what the creators could fit into twelve one hour episodes.  Perhaps season 3 and 4 will make a more complete arc the way the previous seasons did on their own.

As I said, the finale didn’t resolve anything.  I’m still wondering what being half-fae (or fairy) means for Sookie; whether Jesus is good for Lafayette or bad; how the vampire hierarchy works; if Arlene is really carrying Satan’s spawn; and what werewolf Debbie has been up to.  Adding to questions I’ve had for awhile, now I’m also wondering if Hoyt’s mother is about to kill someone (hopefully not); if Russell can escape from the cement and heal in our lifetimes; and if Jason will ever see Crystal again (hopefully not).  But the biggest wtf moment for me was when Sam seemingly fired a gun at his own brother.

Sam, Sam, Sam.  We need to have a talk Mr. Merlotte.  First off, your family is bad people, but they did not come looking for you, you found them.  Then without being asked, you chased your parents away and promised Tommy a new life.  You gave him a half-assed chance to turn his life around, and then ordered him to leave.  Sure he stole from you, (money I thought you offered him anyway to go to college) but as he said, what is he supposed to do?  He revealed that he can’t even read because he was never allowed to go to school.  Instead of compassion (that could have been your fate if your mother hadn’t put you up for adoption!) you possibly shoot him down in the dark.  I’m very disappointed in you Sam.  In previous seasons you were always the knight in shining armor for characters who couldn’t fend for themselves.  Seeing the depth of your darkness is like finding out there is no Santa Claus.

I was also a little appalled by Sookie.  I hope she’s just suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome because watching her laugh maniacally as Talbot’s remains went down the garbage disposal was disturbing.  Seeing her yell at Bill about betraying her for the umpteenth time when each time he has to explain that he was pretend-betraying her was also rough.  Even if he did intend to procure her for Queen Sophie Ann, he never actually did.  The allowing her to get beaten up so that she would drink his blood thing is pretty bad.  And I’m not sure Bill tried to kill Eric to protect Sookie as much as to keep them apart because he’s afraid she might have feelings for Eric.  But still, they should be able to work it out!

This is the first season finale where we didn’t lose any major characters (with the possible exception of the luckless Tommy).  I have a feeling Russell will be back a lot sooner than Eric anticipates.

Luckily after a few humorless weeks, this episode brought back some of the classic light moments.  My favorite came during a staring contest between Bill and Alcide.  ”Well, if you two have finished eye-f—ing each other,” quipped Eric, “can we go?”

I also enjoyed Russell’s interjection when Alcide flirted with Sookie. ”I can’t help it if I’m a good guy,” Alcide said.  Russell snickered. ”Yeah, every full moon he turns into a wolf and kills and eats his prey.” ”Rabbits and squirrels, not people,” Alcide shouted back. ”Details,” Russell replied.

And Hoyt’s mother’s ill-conceived intervention was fun as well, especially when she pushed the shamed guidance counselor out of the group hug at the end.  However, it did not prepare me for her buying a gun with a determined look that could only mean she’s going after Jessica.

I was also unprepared for Sookie joining the other fae people in the graveyard and vanishing in the final moments of the episode.  I do want more insights into her people and history, but I’m not sure how she can abandon Bon Temps like that.  Also, I don’t want to have to watch a bunch of scenes of fae dancing and cavorting about because that was one of my least favorite spectacles this year.

As I’m wrapping up my coverage of season 3, I want to take one more moment to honor my fallen friend, Franklin, who I will greatly miss in the coming seasons.  The scenes he was in are still my favorite of the disjointed season.  I hate that I have to wait the seven or eight months until season 4 starts, but only because I love the show so much (even when I complain, it’s from a place of love).

So, what were your conclusions?  Who doesn’t have long to live?  What couples have a chance at a happy ending?  What story line are you most anxious to see continued?


Swamp Monster and Sea Monster Costumes

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Looking at the photo above (via Nola Nate’s Flickr), it’s harder for me to imagine that there aren’t swamp monsters lurking in the depth than that there are.  I expect a green scaly arm to burst through the placid surface at any moment.  And you already know I think a lot of the stuff living in the ocean is terrifying.  Given my fears, I thought it would be appropriate to do a roundup of swamp monster and sea monster costumes for Halloween.


Swamp Thing costume via Kowabunga (from a 2005 con)

This is so fantastic! Sea Monster by Shit-face-sheree via Deviant Art

This makeup would be perfect for a swamp monster. Amazon by Shelly Raven via Deviant Art

Swamp Thing via Mikey Brick's Flickr

To make the costume on the right, rip strips of green cloth in various hues and affix them to green clothing. It would look even better with some face paint. I thought these were both swamp creatures, but the caption says the one on the left is Chewbacca. from Mare 22's Flickr

If I was going to make a sea or swamp monster costume, I would start with a base of black, green, blue or purple, preferably something with spandex in it that had kind of a slick, shiny, wet-looking surface.  Then I would go crazy draping tons of stuff over it to make it look like I’d just wrestled my way out of the water.  Go to a craft store and collect: strips of fabric, textured yarn, cloth leaves, shell beads, vase fillers and stick on crystals.  If you’ve got mad skills, you might consider creating tentacle armatures with wire, stuffing and fabric.

Here is a seriously cool sea monster makeup tutorial:

YouTube Preview Image

Costumes and Accessories for Sale

Swamp Monster Ghillie Suit from Airsoft Atlanta for $69.99

Swamp Thing Costume comes with woodland camouflage ghillie suit and face paint and black jungle boots from Army Navy Deals for $218.50

Deep Sea Creature Mask available for $74.99 and Webbed Gloves available for $34.99 from Meijer

Sea Creature Shirt Adult Halloween Costume (One Size Fits Most) from Amazon for $28.95

Creature from the Black Lagoon Feet available for $23.40 and Hands for $28.80 from Halloween Costumes 4 U

Swamp Monster Mask from Brands on Sale for $29.99

Sea Creature Halloween Mask from Amazon for $30.75

I don't know why this mask is so cheap, makes me a little nervous about quality, but it fits the theme so: Squid Vicious Mask from Grim Reapers for $14.99

Creature from the Black Lagoon Mask from Fantasy Festival for $119.72

For the Ladies:

Bet you didn't think I'd find a sexy Sea Monster option, this Latex Applique Tentacle Fetish Dress is seriously cool and custom made to your size by Collective Chaos on Etsy for $750

Use this as a base. Cotton Spandex Jersey Unitard from American Apparel comes in swamp and sea monster appropriate colors such as Forest Green, Navy and Eggplant for $32

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing green leaves and silver venetian style mask by Lady in the Tower on Etsy for $45

Sea Monster Earrings made from faux leather come in three colors by HashAndCheeze on Etsy for $12

Deceptions' tentacle earrings come in lots of colors like these black and green toxic avenger for $19

feathered green eyelashes

Feathered Green and Black Eyelashes from My Diva's Closet for $9

Hair Falls

Set of Four clip in Extensions in Mermaid Blue by Leper Queen on Etsy for $20

Neon Green Knotty Hair Falls from Mt Coffinz on Ebay for $40


Lisa Petrucci’s Monster Art

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Seattle painter Lisa Petrucci paints her twisted lovelies on souvenir wood plaques.  Her work has a frothy, retro feel so it’s no surprise to learn that her influences include Kimba the White Lion, Josie and the Pussycats, Liddle Kiddles, Barbie, Sid & Marty Krofft, and The New Wonder Woman comics of the early Seventies. Lisa is also a co-owner of a nostalgic adult mail order video company called Something Weird Video.

Frankencuties 1, 2001

Liddle Ghouly Girl, 2005

Lisa Petrucci’s Lil’ Miss Monster Vinyl Figure from Amazon for $12.99

To see more of Lisa’s work visit her website.


Mattel’s Monster High

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This summer Mattel launched a new line of fashion dolls that not only sport alternative fashions, but are actually inspired by classic monsters.  Since I associate Mattel with Barbie, a convenient scapegoat for the limited beauty ideals in this country, I was pleasantly surprised by the news.  Even if Mattel is just trying to capitalize on the horror-mania by finding a way to market it to tweens, it’s still nice to see a different interpretation of cute.

The six dolls introduced so far all attend Monster High School.  Each doll comes with a mini-pet, a personalized Composition notebook, and a background story.  For instance, Dracula’s daughter, Draculaura, is actually a vegan who faints at the site of blood.  She’s probably going to want to move out of her father’s castle as soon as she’s eighteen.  Students at Monster High play “casketball” and cheer for the “fearleading squad.”

Draculaura and Count Fabulous Pet for $16.99. I'm coveting her tall pink boots with corset lacing.

Frankie Stein and her Watzit for $16.99

Monster High Doll Gift Set includes Cleo de Nile and Deuce Gorgon for $29.99

Clawdeen Wolf and her pet cat Crescent for $16.99

Lagoona Blue and her pet Neptuna for $16.99

The shoes that come with each doll are my favorite part of their fashions.  I don’t love the mini-skirts and booty shorts on dolls intended for young girls (hey, I do have a conservative side, who knew?), but I can live with them.  I probably would have loved these dolls as a child.  They’re available at major retailers such as Toys R Us and through Mattel’s webstore.

What do you think?  Are they just for kids or will you be collecting these teen monsters?