To greet the great and ghoulish day, here are two favorite things—Ray Bradbury and Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom—in one October 31st post. A little known treat at Disneyland Park is hidden in plain site in Frontierland: the Halloween Tree. Decorated each Halloween season with glowing orange lights and tiny jack-o-lantern, the Halloween Tree is inspired by the book of that title by Disney fan and Halloween fan Ray Bradbury. It's the perfect merrily macabre mash-up to end our 2017 Countdown to October 31st. Thanks to all trick-or-treaters who rang the doorbell, whether this was your first visit or your 500th. Be sure and sop by Tulgey Wood through the next two months for some Thanksgiving feasting and Christmas gifts, as well as some miscellaneous madness. And today, be sure and check out all the other Cryptkeepers who participated in the Countdown to Halloween 2017 blogathon. Hope yours is a hauntingly and horrifically happy Halloween!
Monday, October 30, 2017
Here it is, the eve of All Hallow's Eve--and our seasonal favorites, those classic Archie comics are here to make us feel all spooky and silly. The Archie comics gloried in the monster craze of the 1960s, as you can see from this Jughead cover. Ol' Juggy doesn't mind giving up the spotlight to his monstrous co-star, the Creature From the Black Lagoon.
Sunday, October 29, 2017
The little-known ABC Tv anthology series Off To See the Wizard (1967-1968) inspired a fair amount of merchandise, and one of the rarest items is the Scarecrow Halloween costume. I almost wonder if the example here is from a reissue of the costume for an October after the show was off the airwaves. It simply seems odd that the character should be referred to as the "Straw Man" (not the Scarecrow ) and as being from "The Land of Oz" (as opposed to Off To See the Wizard), so a safe bet is that Ben Cooper (the costume company) was distancing itself from the defunct show. Anyhow the "Straw Man" is here to help us along the way of our Countdown to Halloween 2017.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Walt Disney's "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" is a spooky tale from Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (Part 1 aired on February 9, 1964, opposite the Beatles US debut on The Ed Sullivan Show). Below is the 45 rpm single of the unforgettable theme song by Terry Gilkyson that helped make this haunting adventure tale so memorable. To discover more about the Scarecrow for our Countdown to Halloween 2017, take a look as the article I wrote for the D23 website (thats where the image seen below came from, straight from the vaults of the Walt Disney Archives) all about the mysterious midnight rider who sought justice for the poor. by striking terror in the hearts of their oppressors.
Friday, October 27, 2017
In honor of the date, October 27, 1966, on which It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown debuted, here's a vintage Halloween artifact for our Countdown to October 31st. Though this unique item (actually designed to be a deluxe greeting card) is not a direct tie-in to the classic Peanuts TV special, it might as well be. First issued circa 1965 , this Hallmark-produced Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols was reissued with different art and in a variety of styles over the years, indicating its popularity was strong across the decades—undoubtedly buoyed by the annual airing of the beloved animated special.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
As part of the annual Countdown to Halloween I traditionally include a Back to the Future artifact on this date. After all, Back to the Future has the ingredients for a good horror movie. Below is one of the lobby cards from the original 1985 release, showing Marty "Future Boy" McFly meeting for the first time in 1955 (in November, not October though October 26 was Marty's starting point-in-time) a mad scientist he already knew in the future. Note "the two Bobs" (director/writer Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale) gave the 1955 version of Doc Brown an apparatus and other equipment that would be right at home in a 1950s sci-fi/horror movie. We're still counting down to Halloween 207, so come back for more Halloween treats--and don't forget to check out the blogs of all the other participating Cryptkeepers.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
This past year we lost artist and illustrator Basil Gogos, acclaimed cover portraitist for the fan-favorite Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. With a name that somehow suggests he was born to paint monster portraits, Basil Gogos first provided the cover art for the monster mag in 1960 (no. 9, seen below), just a few years after the magazine was founded in 1958, and went on to paint over 50 more eye-catching, blood-curdling master masterpieces. You can see more about the master of monster art at the Famous Monsters website.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
On November 12, 1964, the Gruesomes, those soppy stone-age monsters-next-door made their debut on Hanna-Barbera's The Flintstones. For our Countdown to Halloween 2017, here's the cover of a rad coloring book celebrating the creepy Addams Family-like clan that moved into Bedrock, giving Fred Flintstone (and monster kids everywhere) thrills and chills.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Just in time for our Countdown to Halloween 2017: In the latest issue of Uncle Scrooge (#31, but really #435), the tightwad waddler finds himself in a battle with not only Magica DeSpell but also two other classic Disney witches. As you can see from the cover (drawn by Disney comics greats Ulrich Schroeder and Daan Jippes), Madam Mim and Witch Hazel zoom in to try and zap Uncle Scrooge out of his Number One Dime. Be sure and snap up this new Halloween classic comic story (drawn by Sander Gulien, with translation and dialog by Jonathan Gray from Jan Kruse's original script) at your favorite comic shop or online dealer. And please check out my D23 online articles about Madam Mim and Witch Hazel by clicking here and here.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
As our Countdown to Halloween 2017 continues, Mad Madam Mim is here to wreak sucked havoc. The wacky witch from Walt Disney's The Sword in the Stone (1963), this deliciously demented diva is showcased on the cover of the Disneyland Records release, the Story of The Sword in the Stone LP album. This unusual record album was released as one of the few in the Disneyrama series, featuring storybook pages that actually open into pop-up dimensional dioramas. You can discover more about Mim in the article I wrote for the D223 website, She Takes Delight in the Gruesome and Grim: It's Mad Madam Mim. Be sure and check it out, and also be sure to click on the final image in the article. This will enable you to see Madam Mim's "centerfold" in all its gruesome glory!