You’ve wandered into the topsy-turvy world of Tulgey Wood, the blog of writer and historian Jim Fanning. Tulgey Wood celebrates artistry and creativity (and sometimes just plain madness): movies, animation, TV, books, comics—and of course Disney, lots and lots of true-blue, through-and-through Disney, including D23 and Disney twenty-three Magazine, and Sketches Magazine and the Walt Disney Collectors Society. Tulgey Wood is so fun, fascinating and full of frolicsome photos and facts, it’s scary. So wander through the wonder of it all, and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Fllntsones Meet Frankenstein

The countdown is over and Halloween 2012 is here! I love cartoons and I love monsters so it would just go to follow how much I love cartoon monsters—so this Flintstones comic is a favorite of mine and I hope you find it a fun Halloween treat. It seems the one place you could count on meeting cartoonized ghouls and monsters was Bedrock, home to the Flintstones. Was there something about living in prehistoric times that meant one would meet monsters? After all, as mentioned here, the Flintstones lived near the Gruesomes.  (Samantha and Darren Stevens—Hanna-Barbera animated them for the famous Bewitched title sequence—also moved into Fred and Wilma's neighborhood in an episode aired on the close-to-Halloween date of October 22 1965—not that the bewtichingly beautiful Sam was a monster, but she was a witch, which certainly qualifies her honorable mention in this Halloween post.)  And in the Flintstones comic book, as seen in the images below, Fred and Wilma met Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman and the Mummy. In "The Flintstones Meet Frankenstein and Dracula" (from Issue 33, April, 1966 and written by Vic Lockman), the monsters accidentally time-travel to prehistoric Bedrock where Fred mistakes them for visiting cousins. Incredibly, Frankenstein and Dracula as seen in this comic are the Universal versions of these monsters (the Frankenstein monster certainly is), but there is no indication that official permission was obtained or an official licensing deal was arranged, so one wonders how Hanna-Barbera and/or Gold Key got away with this. Perhaps they were feeling monstrously audacious. (UPDATE: Gold Key comics expert Joe Torcivia informs me that Phil DeLara drew this Flintstones comic book.) This post marks the conclusion of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. Thank you to everyone who stopped by—be sure and come back often and discover even more madness here in Tulgey Wood. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nationwide Hysteria! For Halloween

Today, October 30, 2012, marks the 74th anniversary of the airing of Orson Welles' brilliant radio adaptation of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds on Mercury Theatre on the Air. A Halloween prank, as Welles referred to it, the radio production (written by Howard Koch, who would go on to co-write Casablanca, 1942) was dramatized and designed to sound like a series of actual radio broadcasts, and it succeeded all too well. One of the most famous (or infamous) radio shows in history, Welles' "War of the Worlds' caused panic throughout the U.S. as some audience members thought Earth was actually being invaded by hostile Martians. The story was well told in the February 1975 edition (issue # 5) of Gold Key's UFO Flying Saucers comic book, posted below (click on each image for a larger view),  drawn by Frank Bole. (The awesome cover, illustrating another story from that issue, is by Luis Dominguez.) This post is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Haunted Mansion Hauntings

One of the most fun and most Halloween-esque promotions for Disneyland Park's opening of Haunted Mansion in 1969 was this edition of The Wonderful World of Disney magazine (Volume I, No. 4, 1970), the famous publication offered by Gulf Oil to promote the Disney TV series of the same name, which Gulf sponsored.  The photos of legendary Imagineer Yale Gracey interrupted in his Imagineering by one of the Mansion's silly spooks is a classic, and inspired more than one young Disney fan to pursue a career in Imagineering or just plain Disney-ing...after all, working with friendly- spirited spirits looks like so much fun! This post is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon—be sure and stop by for more Halloween tricks and treats. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Hanna-Barbera Halloween (Or Close Enough)

There weren't a lot (if any) specifically Halloween-themed Hanna-Barbera comic books but there were plenty that fit the macabre mood, especially with Scooby Doo on board. Here are three favorites: the monster-movie themed cover from Scooby Doo Mystery Comics # 21 from October 1973 (from the Gold Key era; thankfully [and incredibly] Scooby Doo is still being published today); a tale of the Headless Horseman from the comic based on the underrated Funky Phantom show, issue # 2, June 1972; and Magilla Gorilla # 9 from October 1966.This Halloween post is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon, adding fun to your October festivities all month long.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Welcome, Great Pumpkin

The classic animated TV special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was first broadcast on October 27, 1966, making today the 46th anniversary of its first telecast. In 1968, as that Halloween cartoon treat was on its way to becoming an annual event, Hallmark released a whole series of Halloween "Plan-a-Party" goodies, including paper cups, napkins, a table cloth and centerpiece, and these invitations—all decorated with delightful Charles Schulz art of Great Pumpkin fanatic Linus and party animal Snoopy. These irresistible Hallmark goods undoubtedly helped many a host or hostess throw a Halloween hootenanny rivaling the one given by Violet in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie BrownThis Halloween post is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Early One October Morning In 1985...

As I noted back here, the date of October 26 is writ large in Back to the Future lore for, according to the classic 1985 comedy-science-fiction-fantasy-action-adventure-suspense film (heck, it's almost a musical!), that was the day on which high-schooler Marty McFly (brilliantly played by Michael J. Fox) accidentally time-travelled to 1955. Marty did so of course by means of a DeLorean time machine and posted here as a Back to the Future treat are the schematics, as published in the movie's "Official Collector's Edition Souvenir Magazine." (Click on the image for a larger view.) Can this post really be considered a part of the of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon? Given its sci-fi/fantasy elements and its very own "mad" scientist (Doc Brown, superbly played by Christopher Lloyd) and even its "horror" overtones (what's more horrific than watching yourself being erased from existence?), why not? At any rate enjoy, and be sure and come back for all the fun still to come for the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Harvey Halloween

Casper the Friendly Ghost was the cornerstone of the Harvey comic book empire and their friendly flagship phantom inspired some Halloween worthy covers. Here are just two examples: Casper, #101, dated January 1967 and Little Audrey  #73, dated December 1967. (Both of these comics were obviously intended to be on stands for Halloween 1966.) Judging by Playful Little Audrey's reaction it's fairly apparent that she never had much interaction with her Harvey neighbors such as the Ghostly Trio, Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost or even Wendy the Good Little Witch or Casper himself (all characters pictured on the Casper cover shown below ...otherwise wouldn't she be more inured to this sort of thing? This post is all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. Come back for more Halloween fun all this month. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Pajama Party With Annette!

Today, October 22, is Annette's birthday and in celebration of Walt Disney's most beloved Mouseketeer, here's the front and back cover of one of Annette's top-selling LP albums. Annette's Pajama Party, as you can see here, is "The Original Soundtrack of 'Pajama Party.'" Pajama Party (1964) is my personal favorite of the films the lovely Annette made for American International Pictures,   one reason being Miss Funicello's leading man is her frequent co-star from her Disney films, Tommy Kirk. This soundtrack album was released on Disney's prestige Vista label, of course, as that was Annette's home label. To celebrate Annette's birthday with both style and substance, visit her official website and please consider making a contribution to combat MS. (There's more information here.) In the meantime, Happy Birthday to this classy and courageous Disney Legend.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Oreo! Yo-ho-yo!

I saw this Halloween salute to The Wizard of Oz from Halloween Oreos in the October issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine, which I was leafing through while in a waiting room, and just had to post it here for you all to enjoy as part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Casper Explains It All (About UNICEF) To You

As mentioned on my previous post about Trick or Treat for UNICEF, Casper the Friendly Ghost was a spokesperson (make that spooks-person) for that October 31-centered program. As a follow-up, here's a   1973 comic-book giveaway in which "the friendliest ghost you know' explains how donations helps kids (or as Casper of course calls them, "friends") all over the world. I wondered whether I should post this or not as part of the Halloween Countdown 2012 as its about UNICEF in general and doesn't even mention the Trick or Treat campaign... but then I realized Casper is just naturally (or supernaturally) about Halloween. He's a ghost, for pete's sake! Enjoy (the first page/cover and the last page of this four page publication are below), and please continue to visit as Tulgey Wood continues its participation in the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

That's One Kooky Costume

Who wore this costume for Halloween 1961? Eggheads, smarty pants and of course fans of all-around expert on everything, Ludwig Von Drake. The garrulous quackster had been introduced just over a month earlier on September 24, 1961, on the premiere episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. The costume is just one of the many pieces of primo Von Drake memorabilia issued to help promote the newly introduced character. (Note that the costume is labeled as a masquerade, not Halloween, costume so that variety stores, five-and-dimes and toy stores wouldn't put these gaudy get-ups out just in October—though perhaps the orange-and-black color scheme of the packaging indicated that Ben Cooper knew which season filled its treat bag.) I unfortunately don't have the tunic-like part of the costume but here's the mask, which as you can see is quite authentic. While this mask is probably a little too small for most of us to slip on we can still imagine what it might be like to go trick-or-treating as one of the most merchandised Disney characters ever. In the meantime be sure and check out the article about Professor Von Drake I wrote for the D23 websiteThis post is part of the big Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon—be sure and check out the other blogs that are counting down to the 31st too!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gruesomes! Meet The Gruesomes!

To capitalize on the 1960s monster craze, especially as embodied by The Munsters and The Addams Family television shows, Hanna-Barbera added a monsters-next-door clan to The Flintstones. Introduced in the episode originally broadcast on November 12, 1964, this weird but friendly family, consisting of Weirdly and Creepella and son Goblin, also appeared in the Flintstones comic book, their first appearance being in issue #24 from 1964, the cover of which is seen below. Check back on October 31 for more monster fun, Flintstones-style. It's all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2012 blog-a-thon. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Can You Survive The Horror of...Countdown To Halloween 2012?!

I have the honor of being added to the spectacular Halloween-themed blog-a-thon Countdown to Halloween 2012, hosted by John Rozum. My official "Cryptkeeper"badge is at the top of this blog and pays tribute to one of my favorite classic-style horror, The Thing That Couldn't Die (1958). This annual marathon of bloggers focusing on any and every aspect of Halloween features over 220 varied blogs of every spooky size and shivery shape, including a few of my usual recommendations here on the right. Be sure and visit the Countdown's main page and check out the many choices open to you. (Some of the participating blogs are devoted to the gorier, more horrific side of Halloween with occasional less-than-family-friendly language so reader discretion is advised.) And be sure and check back here often as we continue the Countdown to Halloween 2012!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Witchy Woman

Angela Lansbury birthday is today, October 16, and as I noted back here, October seems to be a significant month for Bedknobs and Broomsticks—and that seems entirely appropriate for this musical fantasy featuring witchcraft, black cats, ancient spells and, yes, broomsticks. The amazingly talented Ms. Lansbury—she is the recipient of an incredible five Tony Awards (including one she was awarded in 2009), six Golden Globes, not to mention numerous Oscar and Emmy nominations—stars as apprentice witch Miss Eglantine Price. Miss Price is, as producer-co-writer Bill Walsh explained, a "typical" English witch: "Not hags with pointed hats, but little ladies who live quietly and grow roses and don’t make a big thing about it. There’s kind of a nice, homey, folksy quality about an English witch.” Pictured here is one of the splendid lobby cards from the film's original 1971 release and it shows the spellbinding Angela Lansbury as the spell-casting Miss Price to bewitching effect. For more info on this   enchanting film, be sure and check out the article I wrote all about Bedknobs and Broomsticks for the D23 website. One of the subjects covered is the October significance for Disney's big screen movie-musical, starring the always entrancing Angela Lansbury.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Big Frankie, The Friendliest Monster In Town

Introduced in 1962, the Frankenstein Monster was the first of the now iconic Aurora Movie Monster Model Kits, and quickly became a sensation.The overwhelming success of the Frankenstein model meant the Aurora company had to add plants that operated 24/7 just to keep up with the demand, and of course led to the other classic Universal monsters such as Dracula and the Wolfman being added to the line. Frankenstein's monstrous sales led to the release of a new Frankenstein product in 1965, Gigantic  Frankenstein, as seen in this print ad. You can read for yourself about this oversized model yourself, but one intriguing note is the portrait of the monster on the cover of the box. It's intriguing that such a disturbing artwork was used for what is actually a rather whimsical (though some would say disturbing) plaything. The Frankenstein portrait was put to a more appropriate use (and indeed may have even been created for) a hobby-shop banner promoting the Aurora monster-model contest I wrote about here. The banner is shown below for your Halloween chills and thrills.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Wonderful World of Disneyland Showtime!

Here's a tantalizing artifact promoting The Wonderful World of Disney TV show for the spring of 1970  from The Wonderful World of Disney (an apt title) magazine, 1970, Volume II, No. 2. This marvelously produced publication was available at Gulf service stations because Gulf Oil was the sponsor of (wait for it) The Wonderful World of Disney TV show. One of the most intriguing Disney episodes spotlighted here is "Disneyland Showtime." Broadcast on March 22, 1970, this very special episode is prime Halloween viewing because of its focus on the newly unveiled Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park and Kurt Russell's fun and informative behind-the-scenes tour thereof. If you haven't already done so, be sure and check out my blog entry from Halloween, 2007, about the show entitled "Haunted Mansion Horror: Disneyland Showtime."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trick Or Treat For UNICEF!

Did you know that in 1967 LBJ proclaimed October 31st "National UNICEF Day" in perpetuity? And here you thought it was just Halloween! What with Walt Disney's it's a small world, Danny Kaye, Audrey Hepburn and all, UNICEF is a real favorite here in Tulgey Wood...and one of the biggest reasons for that is Trick or Treat for UNICEF. This annual campaign began in 1950, and over the years it has had some fun spokespersons. Lassie hosted the first television appearance of the campaign when she carried one of the trademark orange collection boxes on her Sunday night show. Casper the Friendly Ghost was a spooks-person one year, and in 1969, Bewitched devoted an entire episode entitled "To Trick-Or-Treat or Not to Trick-Or-Treat" to the campaign on Halloween Eve, October 301969. This year, UNICEF has eschewed the traditional orange on their collection boxes in favor of some delightfully childlike designs featuring the faces of monsters, witches and other Halloween favorites. Posted below is the box from a few years ago which was distributed by Hallmark. For more information on this fun and helpful Halloween tradition visit the Trick or Treat for UNICEF website

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Swell

For any Monster Kids and their friends of the 1960s who wanted to make their own monsters (or creatures or things), Mattel's Thingmakers sets were the very, well, thing. No set was more Halloween-orific than the Creeple Peeple set from 1965 by which miniature monster makers could make miniature monsters with a specially outfitted Thingmaker ("your own toy factory!"), some Plastigoop and your own pencils.  Take a gander at this pre-Christmas print ad (click on it for a larger view)—it gives a glimpse of the Halloween-type fun to be had making the Mattel brand of monster known as Creeple Peeple. (and while your at it, take a peek at the ever-popular Creepy Crawlers).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All Human Beings Are Eligible!

The 1964 ad seen below, widely printed in comic books and in Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine (of course), promoted Aurora's popular line of Universal Monster Model Kits with a frighteningly fun contest. It was actually diabolically clever for entrants had to purchase (that's right, purchase necessary for this contest) an Aurora Movie Monster Model Kit and create (Kreate?) a Kooky Konstruction using "a little nerve and a lot of imagination." Young monster makers were encouraged to "Build a bizarre Frankenstein" or "Put together a phrightful Phantom," with such terrible touches as real wires and bolts for the Frankenstein monster. As you can see from the ad, the grand prize was an apperance in a monster movie to be made in Hollywood, and one wonders in which monster movie the winner appeared, though we can safely assume it was a Universal movie. (Just in case you are tempted to take up the "dare" by entering the contest yourself, sorry—it came to "a horrible end" at midnight, on April 30... April 30, 1964, that is.) This was a pretty cool contest, and was held as a pretty cool collaborative effort between Aurora Plastics, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and Universal Studios. What better way to promote the Aurora Monster Model Kits than a trip to Hollywood to appear in a monster movie? After all, these are movie monsters. (Be warned—more Universal monster movie madness to come this month, so be on the lookout!)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Trick Or Treating (But Mostly Tricking) With Mr. Mxyzptlk

Here's a fun Halloween comic-book treat... or is it a trick?  Cover Artists Todd Nauck (Penciler) and Larry Stucker (Inker) created this cover art for the December, 1998 issue of Young Justice (#3), with Robin masquerading as Batman, Superboy (punk version) costumed as Superman and Impulse as the Flash. (Cute, right?)  Imagine their horror when the doorbell was answered not by the friendly neighborhood grandmother-type with fresh baked cookies but instead Mr. Mxyzptlk. (Don't say that out loud!) If there was ever a perfect character for Halloween mischief, it's ... well, you-know-who. Check back here at Tulgey Wood for more Halloween tricks (and treats) all month.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

You Can Never Have Too Many Monster Models

This scarily spectacular comic-book ad from 1964 promoted the new additions (namely King Kong and  Godzilla) to the already popular line of Aurora Monster Model Kits (the first, the Frankenstein Monster, was released in 1961 and it was a, well, a monster hit).  If you look closely you will note under the feet of Godzilla not Tokyo but the Universal Pictures copyright notice. This is a clue as to why these monster models are as cool and as collectable as they are—they are not cheap knockoffs but rather fully authorized replicas of the most famous movie monsters ever. (Of course, neither Godzilla nor King Kong were Universal properties but that's beside the point.) Check in here at Tulgey Wood for more Universal Monster madness in these October days leading up to Halloween itself...and on the big day I'll have a particularly fun Universal Monster-related surprise.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Trick Or Treat With That Twickster Wabbit

Halloween month is here, so like pieces of candy corn scattered through a treat bag, Tulgey Wood will be featuring some comic-book eye candy throughout October...including but not limited to Bugs Bunny. To start off this spook-tacular, here is a hauntingly good painted cover (front and back) from Bugs Bunny Halloween Parade #1 (1953).

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Vision Of Walt's Final Vision

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of Epcot (then called EPCOT Center) on October 1, 1982. It was a realization of Walt's final dream (or at least as close as Disney could get without Walt). The booklet below which celebrates in lavish style the "Dawn of a New Disney Era" was handed out to all Disney cast members. The dedication, which was actually read a few weeks later, was designed as a tribute to the man after whom the Walt Disney World Resort, the home of Epcot, was named:

To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.

Epcot Center is inspired by Walt Disney's creative genius.  Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the wonders of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.

May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire.  And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere."

E. Cardon Walker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walt Disney Productions, October 24, 1982

For an in-depth look at the creation of Epcot be sure and check out Micheal Crawford's extensive multi-part article on the D23 website.