Friday, December 31, 2010

There's a ZOMBY within our Borders!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dining out with ZOMBY!!!

At long last... ZOMBY!!! gets gory

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

ZOMBY!!! goes to the bank (or something)

A ridiculous post about fortune cookie messages



I am pleased to announce that I have made a delightful discovery about the messages contained within fortune cookies. Of course, there is a longstanding comedic tradition of adding the words "in bed" to fortune cookie messages. And I will admit that this is indeed quite funny.

BUT!

Are "in bed" the only words you can add to your fortune cookie messages? To quote Senator Blutarski, "Hell, no!" Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I suggest that it is every bit as funny -- if not more so -- to add the words "and shit" to the ends of fortune cookie messages. Allow me, please, to demonstrate.
  • Old friends, old wines and old gold are best and shit.
  • Use your talents. That's what they are intended for and shit.
  • Don't wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it and shit.
  • You will spend old age in comfort and material wealth and shit.
  • Fortune smiles upon you today and shit.
  • How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes and shit?
  • Never bring unhappy feelings into your home and shit.

If you are so desirous, you can find these and many more fortune cookie messages at this fabulous website. (HINT: Just keep clicking "Open a Cookie.") And from there, you may feel free to add "in bed," "and shit," or whatever words you choose to the ends of these brief, hopeful missives.

PLEASE NOTE: When you are reading these fortune cookie messages aloud, do not place undue emphasis on the word "shit," because it changes the meaning entirely. The words "and shit" are intended as an especially informal way of saying "et cetera" or "and so forth." No scatological meaning should be inferred from these messages. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A sh*t ton more ZOMBY!!!

Yes, it's nothing but heartache and trouble for our luckless living impaired pal!

Whether he's looking for love...


Taking in a movie....


Or just doing his weekly grocery shopping...


It seems our boy Zomby will never overcome societal prejudice against his kind. Oh, well. There's always reincarnation. Uh... wait... never mind.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In case you missed it...



Yes, folks, I recently made a guest appearance on another blog!

Aaron of the always-astounding Zed Word Zombie Blog asked me to contribute some thoughts about Christmas, and I happily complied.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kittens shouldn't play....

A tribute to a classic...

A very ZOMBY!!! Christmas

In today's hi-larious installment of Zomby, we see that even Christmas can be less-than-merry when you're Living Impaired...


BLOGGER'S NOTE: Is anyone but me amused by this ongoing Zomby series? I wanted to build up this blog's readership or at least maintain a steady audience, and I figured one way to do that would be to have a regularly updated feature, like these cartoons, that people could check in on from time to time. As a longtime reader of the newspaper funnies, this kind of parody interests me... but I am here to serve your interests, not just my own! Please, use the comments section to tell me what you think of this blog and what you'd like to see in this space. Are there living-impaired-related topics you'd like me to cover? I'd really like to know.

Thanks,

Wayne

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yes, it's more ZOMBY!!!!

And now, for your dining and dancing pleasure, here are two more installments of America's latest cartoon sensation, Zomby...


Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Comics Feature... ZOMBY!!!

Hello once again, true believers!

Even after two years plus of appearing on the Mail Order Zombie podcast, I realize that the Living Impaired still have plenty of image problems. I sat down to think about how to solve this problem, when suddenly the answer came to me...

A lovable, cuddly living impaired cartoon character!

And so, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce ZOMBY! He may remind you of another Z-named comic character, but this one happens to be living impaired. Through the misadventures of little Zomby, you'll see the various heartaches, frustrations, and disappointments my people deal with on a day to day basis.

Here are a few samples:






So what did you think? Lovable, right? Adorable, right? I'm picturing a whole line of "Zomby" merchandise -- greeting cards, calendars, plush toys. Besides raising awareness of the plight of the living impaired, this little guy could be a cash cow.

Cha-ching!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MOZ rarity: a Wayne Kotke script!



Not to shatter your illusions or anything, but my segments for Mail Order Zombie are not being performed live as you listen to the podcast. No, they are scripted and recorded several days in advance. Normally, I do not save the scripts to my computer after the segment is recorded. Once the MP3 has been sent off to Brother D, I delete the script from my hard drive, figuring I won't need it anymore. But occasionally, I forget.

Here, then, is the script for my segment from Mail Order Zombie's historic 100th episode from December 2009. You'll remember that was their big Dawn of the Dead spectacular. My segment was done as a "break-in record," i.e. a phony news report with clips of famous pop songs. The script is actually a little different from what I ended up recording. I don't know why. Anyway, give it a read. Please note that these scripts are typed very quickly and contain numerous typos. I'm leaving them in for the purposes of historical accuracy.


[music: first 18 seconds of "Mr. Jaws"]

Hello once again, this is Wayne Kotke, president spokesman and founder of dead 2 rights an organization fighting for the rights of the living impaired. You've just heard a few seconds of "Mr. Jaws," a Top 10 hit from 1975 by Dickie Goodman. It's an example of a so-called "break-in" record, a novelty record structured like a news report and featuring cleverly-edited samples from various pop songs. Break-in records have been with us since the 1950s, and they've covered topics ranging from UFOs to politics, but as far as I know there's never been one about the George Romero films, particularly "Dawn of the Dead." So on the occasion of Mail Order Zombie's 100th episode, I thought I'd rectify that right now.

So with your kind indulgence, I'd like to present "Mr. Dawn," a break-in record by Wayne Kotke. Hope you enjoy.

[MUSIC: "The Gonk"]

ANNOUNCER: We are not going to interrupt THIS record!

[MUSIC "The Gonk"]

ANNOUNCER: Yes, we are. This is a special news bulletin. As incredible as it may sound, the recently deceased are returning to life as flesh-eating ghouls and are attacking the living. When asked for his assessment of the situation, President Carter said:

[MUSIC: Carpenters - "End of the World"]

["It's the end of the world."]

ANNOUNCER: Meanwhile, Pennsylvania governor Milton Schapp has issued the following statement:

[MUSIC: Shangri Las - "Remember"]

["Oh no. Oh no. Oh no no no no no!"]

ANNOUNCER: We take you now live to our on-the-spot reporter.

[SFX: Zombie growls in BG]

SNIPP: Hello, folks, this is Skipp Snipp, your on the spot reporter with all the news that is news, coming to you live from the parking lot of the Monroeville Mall, where the flesh-eating zombies have gathered in search of living victims. I wish you could see this, folks. There must be...

[MUSIC - Royal Guardsmen - "Snoopy v. red baron"]

["ten 20 30 40 50 or more]

SNIPP: I'm going to attempt to interview one of the ghouls now. Excuse me, sir, what's it like to be a zombie?

[MUSIC - Grand Funk - "Locomotion"]

[I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance now]

SNIPP: Well, I'll just take your word for it. But first...

[SFX: CHOMP!]

SNIPP: Hey, watch it, buddy! You just tried to bite me!

[MUSIC: J. Lennon - "Jealous Guy"]

[I didn't mean to hurt you / I'm sorry that I made you cry]

SNIPP: Well, folks, the situation looks hopeless. I guess we can just about...

[SFX: Helicopter overhead]

SNIPP: Waitaminute, folks. There's something flying overhead!

[MUSIC - Chubby Checker - "Let's Twist Again"]

["Is it a bird? NO! Is it a plane? NO! Is it the twister?"]

SNIPP: No! It's a helicopter! It's landing on top of the mall, and it looks like some survivors are getting out. Wonder how many there are?

[MUSIC - Any Ramones song - "1234!"]

SNIPP: I'm now inside the mall talking with the four survivors. Excuse me, sir, I see your a member of a SWAT team.

[Few seconds of SWAT theme]

SNIPP: can you tell me your name?

[MUSIC: "Peter the Meter Reader"]

["Hi! My name is Peter!"]

SNIPP: And Peter, what is your top priority while you're inside this mall?

[MUSIC: Bee Gees - "Stayin alive"]

["Stayin alliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive"]

SNIPP: What are you going to do first?

[MUSIC: Ike & TIna - "Finger Poppin'}

[I'm goin' shoppin / finger finger poppin on you!]

SNIPP: I'm now talking to Roger, another SWAT team member among the survivors. Tell me, Roger, what are you looking for in this mall?

[MUSIC - Clash - "Police & Thieves"]

[Guns and ammunition]

SNIPP: What kind of food have you found in this mall?

[MUSIC: "Long Tall Glasses" by Leo Sayer]

[There was wine and there was turkey there was caviar and long tall glasses with wine up to hyar"]

SNIPP: Besides the SWAT team members, there are two other survivors here, a lovely young couple, Fran and Steven. Tell me, kids, what's on your mind these days?

[MUSIC: Desi Arnaz - "We're Having a Baby"]

[We're having a baby / My baby and me]

SNIPP: Uh oh! It looks like Roger's become one of the zombies! What's Peter going to do?

{SFX: Bang Bang]

SNIPP: Any last words, Roger?

["Bang bang, he shot me down / Bang bang I hit the ground / Bang bang!"]

SNIPP: Well, those are the breaks, Rog. Life must go on. Oh, isn't that sweet? It looks like Steven is proposing to Fran. I wonder what she'l say.

[MUSIC: Human Beings - "Nobody but Me"]

[No no no no no no no no no]

SNIPP: I didn't quite catch that, Fran.

{no no no no nono no]

SNIPP: One more time.

[No no no no no nono]

SNIPP: Any response, Steven?

[MUSIC: "LOve Hurts"]

[Ooooohhhh, Love hurts!]

SNIPP: News Flash! THere's been a new development int he story! It seems some other survivors have broken into the mall. It looks like a gang of bikers! Who's that out in front?

[MUSIC: "The leader of teh pack. Vroom vroooooom]

SNIPP: Oh, dear folks. Zombies have overtaken the mall, and it looks like they've attacking Steven! Tell us, Steven, what's it like to be bitten by those things?

[MUSIC - Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke]

["You can feel it all over"]

SNIPP: Well, it looks like time is running out for our survivors. It looks like Peter is saying something to Fran.

["We got to get out of this place / If it's the last thing we ever do"]

SNIPP: And why's that, Peter?

["Girl there's a better life for me and you"]

[SFX - Helicopter taking off]

SNIPP: And there they go, headed off in the helicopter towards an uncertain future. I think we can just hear them singing a farewell song...

[MUSIC: Four Seasons - "Dawn Go Away"]

[Dawn go away I'm no good for you (repeat and fade)]

THE END

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Remember when you were destined to be ingested?

From time to time on the Mail Order Zombie podcast, Brother D plays the audio from the trailer for Destined to be Ingested, which you can see below:



I always wondered why the music at the beginning of the clip sounded so familiar to me. Then it hit me:



The similarity really kicks in at the 00:15 point in the Lennon song. Listen to both and judge for yourself.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Night of the Living Dead (1968): In defense of Barbara

Judith O'Dea as Barbara in George Romero's Night of the Living Dead

Never let it be said that I am less than chivalrous. I am stepping in to defend the honor of a lady -- namely the character of Barbara in George Romero's original 1968 Night of the Living Dead, as portrayed so brilliantly by Judith O'Dea. First, here's a quote from Danny Peary's classic 1981 book, Cult Movies which puts her character nicely into perspective:
"Barbara [is] one of the few movie heroines who is not required by cinematic convention to get over the loss of a loved one in five minutes of screen time."

Let us dwell upon a certain ugly truth about human nature: some people are just no damned good in a crisis. They panic. They shut down. They freak out. And I'm not just talking about in horror movies. I'm talking everyday life. I know because I'm terrible in crises. I panic easily and am quick to freak out even in relatively mild situations. I have not once had a successful public speaking experience, and the trauma I suffered during all-school spelling bees could keep a therapist employed for years. If shit ever gets real -- i.e. tornado, fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake -- I will be of no use to you whatsoever.

That's essentially Barbara's situation in Night of the Living Dead. Shit gets real, and she shuts down. Not because she's a woman. Not because it's 1968. It's just human nature -- specifically her human nature. Movie characters don't know that they're characters. They don't know they're being watched by us (the audience), so they don't give a damn about being our role models. Barbara doesn't stop to say to herself, "Hey, if my life is ever made into a movie, women in the crucial 18-49 age demographic wouldn't find it very empowering if I lost my cool right now. For their sake, I'd better get my act together." That would be bullshit. But I think we're so used to pandering, false encouragement from our entertainment that we can't quite process it when Barbara freaks out. I don't know how it happened, but somehow over the years we've expected movie characters to be not only our role models but our imaginary friends and idealized surrogates as well.

Female characters are especially tricky because they operate under what's called the "burden of representation." Let's face it -- most characters in American movies are straight, white, and male. For that reason, you can pretty much depict straight, white males any way you want. Positive, negative, whatever. Your choice. But for anyone other than that, there's the unspoken assumption that any female or minority character is a representative of his or her entire demographic. If Romero depicts Barbara freaking out, therefore, it's taken as a slander against all women. No wonder so many female characters get what I call the "female Rambo upgrade" in sequels. It happened to Ripley in the Alien franchise. It happened to Sarah Connor. It even happened to Princess Leia. And I'll argue that if you trace the progression of female heroines from Night of the Dead to Dawn of the Dead and finally Day of the Dead, you can see that they get progressively "stronger" -- which essentially means more masculine. Even Barbara herself got the "female Rambo upgrade" in the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead.

What makes all this necessary is the under-representation of women in film. There are (by far) fewer women than men in movies, so leading female characters especially have to try that much harder to be positive role models. This is a shame, in my opinion. I look forward to a day when characters of both genders are allowed to be themselves, to be human, empowerment be damned.

By the way, to illustrate how badly women are underused in film, I want you to look through your DVD collection and see how many of your favorite movies pass the Bechdel Test, named for cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Here are the criteria:

  1. Does the movie contain at least two women?
  2. Do these women talk to each other?
  3. Do they talk about something other than a man?

I don't know how well your movies did. Mine didn't do so hot.

Either way, here's the original Bechdel Test. Note the reference to Alien.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Remember... the eighth of December!


Zombie John Lennon
(9 October 1940 - 8 December 1980)
(9 December 1980 - ???)

Imagine there's no headshots.
It isn't hard to do.
No bands of well-armed yokels
Taking aim at you.
Imagine George Romero
Joining Dead 2 Rights!
You might say, "They're just zombies,
And they don't mean heck to us."
I hope someday you'll join us...
Or at least make out a check to us.




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Givin' the public what it wants -- zombie Justin Bieber!

Justin Bieber: He was, like, "Baby, baby, baby, NOOOOOOOOO1"

Looking over the always-depressing "stats" for my blog, I see that two intrepid individuals have found this blog by searching for "Dead Bieber images," possibly because of my references to Justin Bieber on Mail Order Zombie. Perhaps these were two separate people. Perhaps the same person tried it twice. I don't know. Either way, I'm all about giving the public what it wants. Here are your "Zombie Justin Bieber" images (none created by me):


Here's Justin Bieber as a zombie.

Here's Justin Bieber as a zombie.... again.

I trust these will suffice.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I got dem ol' post-NaNoWriMo blues again, mama!

My fellow citizens of the world,

So here we are, five days into the month of December. The glory that was National Novel Writing Month is now but a flickering ember. (You see? That's just the kind of hackneyed metaphor you can expect from us amateur writer types.) In case you were wondering: yes, I finished my novel, meaning that I limped across the 50,000-word finish line before November 30 and dropped to the ground, exhausted. Here, incidentally, is the cover I designed for my book:



The cover design was inspired by one of Andy Warhol's silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe:



As you can see, the novel I spent a month writing is called Perforated, and it is about the paper towel industry. Specifically, it is a "memoir" written by an advertising mascot named Thirsty Lad. (That's him on the cover.) Essentially, this book takes place in a universe in which advertising characters like Tony the Tiger or the Jolly Green Giant are real and live among humans, somewhat like the 'toons in Roger Rabbit. The book is really meant to be a parody of those quickie cash-in books written by B-list celebrities. I pass by a bookstore on my way to work, and I see these silly, disposable pseudo-books prominently displayed in the window each morning. I guess something snapped in my brain, and I felt the need to parody them as savagely as possible. But I didn't know if I could get 50,000 words out of that premise, so I made it the story-within-a-story. The wraparound story is about how the whole book is actually being written by an insane dentist whose crimes against society are so ghastly, so utterly horrific that they cannot be described. I don't know where the "killer dentist" plot came in, except that I'm afraid of dentists and I'd recently screened both versions of Little Shop of Horrors for an article I'd written on another site.

Anyway, I'm glad to have "won" NaNoWriMo this year, but I mostly learned what not to do if I ever try this again. For one thing, I'm not going to wait until the morning of November 1 to decide on the the subject of the book, and I'm not going to try to improvise an entire novel from scratch with no outline or even a basic game plan. Perforated is an awful mess, probably unreadable, but it does exist. Anyone who is interested in reading it is certainly welcome to do so. Is there some easy, convenient way to post an entire novel on the internet (preferably with formatting)? If anyone has a suggestion, let me know.

Thanks.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What are you doing here? There's a new GIRL TALK album! FREE!



Friends! Romans! Countrymen!

Once on Twitter, I said that America needed a new Girl Talk album. Well, America now has what it truly needs. The name of the new album is All Day, and it's excellent. And better yet it's free! Go get it!

If you don't know, Girl Talk is a DJ named Greg Gillis who takes snippets of lots of different songs and puts them together in a big bouillabaisse of musical awesomeness. And guess what song kicks in at about the two-and-a-half minute mark? That's right: "Teach Me How to Dougie" by the Cali Swag District, i.e. the song I just wouldn't shut up about this summer.

Christmas came early for Wayne Kotke. The rest of 2010 is downhill.

UNBELIEVABLY AWESOME UPDATE: If you want to know which samples are which, HERE IS A SITE WHICH IDENTIFIES THEM ALL AS THEY PLAY! Lots of fun to be had here. Though I must ask, why are there no Wayne Kotke songs in the mix?

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Brief Update on Why There Have Been No Brief Updates

Hello out there, blog reading public!

You may have noticed that this blog has not been updated since just before Halloween. What's my alibi? Well, it's that I have been doing NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month project. Essentially, in the month of November, you write a 50,000-word novel. I am trying to put every last scrap of creativity into the book I'm currently writing. So far, I am up to 30,000 words so the end is in sight.

My goal is to be the first Living Impaired American to complete NaNoWriMo!

Besides, I did so many posts in the month of October, I figure I was due for a break. If you have been listening to Mail Order Zombie, you know that I have still been doing my regular weekly segment, "A Few Minutes With Wayne Kotke," but I have not been doing the elaborate, prerecorded MP3 bits this month. I've just been calling in and leaving messages on the voicemail line. In a way, this is a return to my roots, because that's how I used to give feedback when I started contacting the show in September, 2008. If you heard my "Bottoms Up" song a few shows back, that was recorded the Saturday before Halloween. I wanted to make that one extra good, because I knew I couldn't do anything like it for the entire next month.

If you're wondering why I'm even writing these words rather than working on my novel, it's because I've already filled my 2000-word-a-day quota, and I felt guilty about not updating the blog in so long.

Once NaNoWriMo is completed, I will go back to doing my regular segments for MOZ and hopefully updating this blog a little more regularly.

Keep on keepin' on,

Wayne Kotke

Friday, October 29, 2010

Z is for Zany (Day 26)

This guy is zany.


I bet that's not what you thought Z was going to stand for. By the end of this book, I was really getting creative with the adjectives -- first "wacky," then "yucky," and now "zany." But hold on a second! What is this creature, this "guy" if you will, supposed to be? It looks like he started out as Frankenstein's Monster, but then somehow mutated into something else midway through. I only drew one neck bolt before deciding, "Screw it! Frankie's already been on the cover and two other pages of this book! Time to try something else!" So I colored his skin gray instead of green, mussed up his hair, and added some bloodstains to his outfit. You know what? I'm gonna call this guy a Living Impaired individual. With a single neck bolt.

And that, dearest readers, takes us to the merciful conclusion of My Halloween Dictionary. I will leave you with the book's back cover -- another charming flourish by the young author, who could've just as easily left it blank. I like how the smudged ink accidentally suggests the motion of the broom-riding witch across the night sky.

The back cover

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Y is for Yucky (Day 24)

Monsters are yucky.

Okay, okay... so I misspelled "are." I was obviously in a state of artistic frenzy, judging by the bravura depiction of the horror world's own Rat Pack here. We have Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Mummy, and... uh, The Ghost. Notice the bulbous nose and simpleton expression I've given to both Drac and his ghostly comrade. Frankie appears pretty blissed-out as well. Only the Mummy remains enigmatic, a mystery behind his shapeless blob of bandages. Keep in mind, this was all before The Monster Squad. For all I know, they ripped me off. It can happen! Did you see Big Fat Liar with Frankie Muniz and Paul Giamatti? No? Well, you should. It's actually kind of funny. Better than you'd think.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

X is for X-ray (Day 24)

Look at the monster's x-ray.

The letter X affords one very few choices in a project like this. I suppose "x-ray" was about all I could come up with. What else was there? Perhaps "The xylophone is memorably used to evoke the sound of rattling bones in Camille Saint-Saƫns' eerie Danse Macabre." But that would have been a little beyond me at that age, so I went with the tried-and-true "x-ray." As this drawing shows, my knowledge of x-ray technology derives almost entirely from cartoons.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

W is for Witch (Day 23)

See the wacky witch

An end is in sight, kiddies. And glory of glories, I start this one with "See" instead of "Look at." The witch design here does not seem terribly menacing. I must have been influenced by Broom Hilda or Witch Hazel from the old Warner Brothers cartoons. Serious students of the Halloween Dictionary will note that this depiction of a witch does not match the ones we've seen previously in this project like here or here. Before I leave, I must complement the younger version of myself on having great taste in adjectives.

Monday, October 25, 2010

V is for Vampires (Day 22)

I hate vampires.

Twenty years before Twilight, folks. I was ridiculously ahead of the Twilight backlash. Backlashes, of course, are the lifeblood of the Internet. We're all player haters at heart. I think a lot of the anti-Twilight sentiment is directly attributable to the fact that Stephanie Meyer is pulling in mad cash for her little vampire stories, and we all wish we'd thought of it instead of her. I've never read any of the books or seen any of the movies, so my familiarity with the franchise extends only to the way it has been discussed online. (Well, a little on TV.) I don't really even know if Kristen Stewart really is as hopeless an actress as everyone says. I do know I've seen many publicity photos of her looking hilariously blank -- conveying "nothingness" so perfectly that it almost seems intentional. Who knows? Maybe Kristen Stewart is actually a brilliant con artist having a good laugh at our expense.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

U is for Ugly (Day 21)

He is very ugly.

And you are very judgmental and shallow, sir. Aren't we being a bit prejudiced here? Well, he has dental problems clearly. And male-pattern baldness (the Daddy Warbucks/Kojak pattern, that is). Some surgical scars still clearly visible. And only three fingers per hand... with the nails on the wrong side... and in the wrong place. No neck. Little puppet arms. Flourescent skin. Prominent warts. Animal-like ears that stick out too far... and don't line up with each other. But do all these details really add up to ugly? Have you gotten to know this indvidual as a person? Did that even occur to you? Sometimes, the people who are "ugly" on the outside are beautiful on the inside and vice versa. I learned that from a little movie called Shallow Hal. Thank you, Gwyneth Paltrow in a fatsuit, for showing us the way. Again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

T is for Troll (Day 20)

Look at the ugly troll.

I would promise you that we're past the "Look at" sentences, but there's at least one more to go. And we're back to having one small character drawn in the middle of the page with the rest left blank. What can I say? To this day, I am not good at drawing backgrounds or props. But what of our troll friend here? This was before the Troll movies by a couple of years and well before the rise of the Internet troll, so the trolls I was referencing were the ones from fairy tales, specifically that Norwegian golden-oldie, "Three Billy Goats Gruff." Note that the troll here has terrible posture and must scuttle around like a crab. That's because he has to live under a fairly low bridge. Note, too, the troll's homeless-guy beard and tattered one-piece outfit. The latter might well be described as a gunny sack onesie.

Friday, October 22, 2010

S is for Spider (Day 19)

Look at the huge spider!

My teacher might have been impressed with the sentences the Halloween Dictionary, but I have some reservations. Nine of them -- about a third of the entries -- start with the words "Look at..." The legend at the bottom of this page is supposed to be "Look at the huge spider." But I think this is one of the better pictures in the book, if only because I decided to compose for the entire frame this time rather than making the rather over-generous use of negative space we've seen in previous entries. To this day, I still draw cartoony pictures on just about every piece of scrap paper that comes into my possession, and my drawing style is still astonishingly like what you see above. Those big googly eyes? Still a personal trademark.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

R is for Rabbit (Day 18)

Look at the magic rabbit.


One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small. And the pill that Mother gives you makes you hallucinate a glowing, Harvey-esque "magic ra[b]bit" who can conjure stars, planets, and comets with a mere wave of his forepaws. Misspelling aside, this is one of my favorite pages of My Halloween Dictionary. I'm not of a temperament to get a tattoo, but if I were... well, this is what I'd have permanently inked on some out-of-the-way, not-visible-during-a-job-interview section of my anatomy.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wayne joins The Zombie Mob!



Hello to one and all. Just a friendly word of warning: your humble blogger, Wayne Kotke is a guest on the latest episode of the Zombie Mob podcast. In this episode, I join McPierce and Phoenix Magnus to discuss the finer points of Lucio Fulci's Zombie 2.

Listen to the entire episode here!

Q is for Queer (Day 17)

Look at the queer monster.

Who knows what goes through kids' minds? I sure as hell don't. If I did, I'd write a book on the subject, promote it on the daytime talk shows, and make a fortune from frustrated mothers across the country. I can tell you, though, that the word "queer" merely meant "unusual" to me as a kid, so no subtext can or should be implied. As for this creature's passing resemblance to Lord Vishnu, I can tell you with some surety that Hinduism was well beyond my ken at that age. Perhaps I'd seen a picture of the deity, and it had made an impression upon me. Draw your own conclusions. And your own pictures for that matter.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

P is for Pumpkin (Day 16)

I like to carve a pumpkin.

And just like that, we're on the back half of the countdown. Ain't that something? Truth be told, I was not all that into pumpkin carving as a kid. When you're that age, you can't really do the cutting by yourself, so your "job" mostly consists of scraping pumpkin guts out of your would-be jack-o-lantern. I've had better times than that. But, still, this is a nicely creepy, sorta John Carpenter-ish image, isn't it? Aw, what the heck do you know?

Monday, October 18, 2010

O is for Ogre (Day 15)

Look at the ogre

Or "ogar." Whatever. Keep in mind, this was about 7 years before William Steig's book Shrek! came out and a good 18 years before the Shrek movie came out. Put simply, ogres were not at the forefront of popular culture yet. You can see that by the basically humanoid character design here. If anything, this guy looks like the giant from "Jack and the Beanstalk," what with the green Robin Hood-esque outfit. Dig the pointed cap with the feather! I know I've already started a lot of sentences with "Look at..." But here it's good advice. Look at that ogre.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

N is for Night (Day 14)

Halloween is at night.

Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.

The similarities are staggering, right? Anyway, Halloween was indeed "at night" when I was a little kid. I can certainly remember being out past dark. But now it seems like the kids go trick or treating at dusk or even earlier, and the whole thing is basically over by sundown. Damn you, slow decline of civilized society!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

M is for Monster (Day 13)

Look at the ugly monster.

This page reminds me of an old Basil Wolverton cartoon of a creature with incredibly stumpy legs and just as incredibly long arms. I don't know if I'd seen that cartoon by this point in my life, because it was in an issue of the comic book Plop! I don't think if I'd gotten into vintage comics yet at that point in my life. More precognition? Anyway, I'm not sure why I made this monster blind or why there is a stick of dynamite on his head or what those things are coming out of his ears. That's all lost to history.

P.S. And, hey, whaddya know? If you do an image search for "Basil Wolverton Plop," that cartoon I mentioned is the very first thing to come up. In fact, it's used to illustrate the Wikipedia entry for Plop! Enjoy...

Basil Wolverton's cover for Plop.

Friday, October 15, 2010

L is for Look (Day 12)

Look at the monster roar and rage!

Examine the work of any artist or author, and you are bound to see patterns. I was no exception. The picture for this entry shows the young man's continuing obsession with bear-like "monsters", and the text is yet more elementary Dick & Jane-ery. But I still like this page quite a bit, not least for its use of the word "rage" and the feral quality of the illustration. Yep, I was one disturbed kid.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

K is for Kettle (Day 11)

Look at the witch's kettle.

The print is a little smudgy here, so I'll transcribe. Look at the witches kettle. Again, it should be "witch's." Again, I was eight. My prose here is not too terribly impressive. I was overly influenced by Dick & Jane at this point in my career. But the facial expression on the witch is, if I must say so myself, pretty damned amusing. "Me? A witch? Don't be silly!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

J is for Jack-O-Lantern (Day 10)

The jack-o-lantern was very big.

If you're wondering why I would spend the month of October meticulously scanning and then commenting upon a school project I did as a small child, well, this is it. I did it for pages like this one, in which a giant jack-o-lantern terrorizes a group of trick-or-treaters, including a witch, a ghost, and (my favorite) a pitchfork-wielding devil. It's such a "kid" idea, the kind I'd never come up with now that I'm grown. Incidentally, Austin, TX comic book artist Brad Neely has a good slang term for carved pumpkins. He calls them "Jackie-O's." Wish I'd thought of that.