We've reached the day itself—it's Halloween 2013! As one last treat for your goodie bag or plastic pumpkin, here's some mid-century artistry courtesy of Disney artist Paul Hartley. Paul was giving up Disney goodness for Disneyland projects at least through the early 1960s, but in the mid-1950s, he was also a contributor to Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Club Magazine. I don't have every issue of this periodical chock-ful of awesomeness, but I do have quite a few, including the Fall 1956 issue (Volume I, Number 4), from which this article emerged. Whatever you are doing this Halloween night, I hope you enjoy both this article and the art (click on the image for a bigger view)—and I also hope it's full of safe, spooky fun, frivolity and not too much (okay, maybe just a little too much) candy. This post marks the conclusion of the Countdown to the Halloween 2013 blogathon—it's my second annual participation and it was such fun to be part of it—remember to check out the other participants (over 200 of 'em!), too. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, especially those of you who wandered into this crazy corner of the internet for the first time—I hope you'll all come back throughout November for Mickey Mouse, the Muppets, some Thanksgiving goodness and more, and of course in December for the annual Tulgey Wood Christmas Extravaganza! But whatever the season, please visit often fort even more madness here in Tulgey Wood. Happy Halloween!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
For some Halloween fun, check out my triumvirate of D23.com articles, including an eerie insider's glimpse of those twisted sisters, the Sandersons, in "Tricks and Insider Treats From Disney's Hocus Pocus," written by Jim Fanning.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
The Countdown to Halloween 2013 blogathon marches on with more monsters. Who is monstrous enough to be named Monster of the Month in the very first issue of the Wonderful World of Disney magazine, back in 1968? None other than Mad Madam Mim, and that honor gained the old gal (in dragon form) a centerfold. For more on Mim, zoom over to D23.com for a fun feature on Mim, written by me. And while you're there be sure and click on all the images but especially the Monster centerfold for a glimpse of Mim in all her ghastly glory.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Over on D23.com, as part of my regular Muppetology feature, I've written up a salute to those fuzzy, friendly and not-so-ferocious creatures, the Muppet Monsters. Very timely for Halloween time, this feature (Members-Only, but you can sign up for a Free D23 Membership right there at the D23 website) features a gallery of those lovable Muppet monstrosities, so be sure and click on the photos to see them Monster-sized. In the meantime, here's a photo from Henson.com publicizing the wonderful Muppet 1971 TV special, The Frog Prince, in which Sweetums made his debut. Jim Henson poses with both Robin (also making his debut) and that huggable hulk, Sweetums. It's all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2013 blogathon.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Here's an unusual treat for the Countdown to Halloween 2013 blogathon. This may look like an authentic 1950s EC comic book cover but in fact it's a fabrication, a movie prop created for one of the favorite films here in Tulgey Wood. On October 26, 1985, Marty McFly, the time-travelling teen from Back to the Future (1985) arrived on November 5, 1955. There (or then), Otis "Old Man" Peabody made sure that this uninvited visitor vacated his property, convinced that Marty was a space invader, thanks to the comic book (created by Andrew Probert, Back to the Future production illustrator/storyboard artist) of his son. Mr. Peabody's son is named Sherman, in an often-overlooked salute to the classic Jay Ward cartoons, Peabody's Improbable History, starring those animated time-travellers, Sherman and Peabody.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Here's a classic comic cover for Halloween—it's Rocky and His Fiendish Friends, a play on the original title of the Bullwinkle Show, Rocky and His Friends. Included on this fun Halloween-ish cover complete with a creepy old house are Sherman and Mr. Peabody. Tune in tomorrow for an unusual and often unnoticed tribute to this time-traveling duo. It's all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2013 blogathon.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
This Halloween—as on the day itself, October 31, 2013, ABC will present the Halloween classic, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown—and paired with it, a Peanuts bonus cartoon, You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown, in which Linus runs for class president. This special presents one of the strangest stories in the annals of Peanuts televsion, for when it was first brodacst by CBS on October 29, 1972, it was entitled You're Elected, Charlie Brown. Since Charlie Brown is not, in fact, elected (he doesn't even run), viewers complained that the title was frustratingly misleading and made no sense. When the show was repeated, the title was changed (even though the lyrics of the special's theme song explicitly states, "You're Elected, Charlie Brown"). Today, some Peanuts fans cannot believe that the special ever had a different title; in fact, most Peanuts animation histories never mention this oddity. For those who are unaware of the original title below is the proof—the TV Guide ad from the special's debut. Does this strange piece of Charlie Brown history have anything to do with Countdown to Halloween 2013? Yes, for in the special, Linus almost loses the election by replacing his campaign speech with an impassioned preachment about the Great Pumpkin.
Friday, October 18, 2013
When a witch was needed in Disney comics, the creators most often turned to Magica DeSpell (good idea) or the so-called Wicked Witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (bad idea), so it's a treat to see Witch Hazel from Walt Disney's Trick or Treat (1953) and the Carl Barks comic book adapation of the same name used in this issue (below) of The Beagle Boys. I guess the Beagle Boys were not as "terrible" as Uncle Scrooge thought for this issue, No. 2 cover dated November 1965 (and so would have been on the stands for Halloween) as this was the second issue in a row in which the look-alike thieves called upon a witch to help them in their crooked schemes. (Their first witchy accomplice was Mad Madam Mim in Issue No. 1.) For some reason, Witch Hazel is referred to as Wanda Witch in this story, but no matter, it's most definitely Hazel. The Halloween-like cover was drawn by frequent Duck artist Tony Strobl, as is the story which was written by Vic Lockman. This witchy (whether Wanda or Hazel) comic is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2013, all this October here at Tulgey Wood.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
The other day I posted about a vintage Archie comic appropriate for Halloween but here's one that's on the stands for Halloween 2013. This humorously horrifying cover from Betty and Veronica Double Digest No. 216 spoofs the famous Archie-Betty-Veronica "Three on a Soda" cover art that helped defined the Riverdale High triangle. And even though in a way it seems to be missing the point (in the original, the three teens are all sipping from the same soda) its monstrous twist is most amusing for this year's Countdown to Halloween 2013 here at Tulgey Wood.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
October 16 is Lost in Space Day—for on that date in 1997 (in the first episode of the classic TV, broadcast on CBS on September 15, 1965), the "Space Family" Robinson, the Robot and "reluctant stowaway" Dr. Zachary Smith blasted off aboard the Jupiter II—and were soon, well, lost in space. Can this wonderful TV series be considered part of Countdown to Halloween 2013? Of course, for it featured some horrifying space creatures (just ask Dr. Smith). To celebrate October 16, 2013, here is a intergalactic gallery of some ghastly outer space goons—plus the treat (no trick) of a CBS publicity photo of Will Robinson Halloweening with some classic Lost in Space creatures.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
This cover from the off-beat Archie comic book, Archie's Mad House, from July 1959, offers two of favorite subjects here at tulgey Wood, especially at Halloween time: Archie and monsters. Here, the classic comic book character meets (and in a twist typical of this Archie Comics Mad magazine wannabe, terrifies) the classic Universal movie monsters. It's all part of the October fun at the Countdown to Halloween 2013.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Since 1990, The Simpsons has featured a special episode for Halloween time, the Treehouse of Horror. One of this annual Halloween special's most fun and funniest aspects is the changing of the cereators' names in each episode's credits to add a spooky twist, such as Matt Groening being credited as "Bat" Groening and James L. Brooks as James "Hell" Brooks or even "Chains" "Hell" Brooks, an idea inspired by the EC comic books, which also helped inspire the entire Treehouse of Horror concept. The 24th installment is being aired tonight on FOX; the episode can also be viewed On Demand, if you have access to that service. Starting in 1995, Bongo Comics (publisher of the Simpsons comic books) has published an annual Treehouse of Horror comic. Here's a look at the 2013 cover, issue number 19, featuring those Treehouse of Horror perennials, Kang and Kodos (or at least Bart and Lisa versions thereof). Hope you enjoyed this post—be sure and come back throughout October for more Countdown to Halloween 2013 fun here at Tulgey Wood.
Monday, October 7, 2013
As I mentioned back here, the Trick or Treat for UNICEF campaign has enlisted some super spokespersons—but none are a super as the Man of steel himself, Superman. Below, in a promotional one-page comic from the December 1962 issue (which would have been on the stands in October) Superman-Batman comic book, World's Finest (#130), Supes swoops in to convince some trick-or-treaters to pick up a few "Pennies for Unicef." It's part of the Countdown to Halloween 2013 here at Tulgey Wood.
Friday, October 4, 2013
One of the most wondrous witch characters has to be Buelah Witch, mostly now forgotten, sadly, but once beloved as a top member of the Kuklapolitan Players, the puppet troupe on the Kukla, Fran and Ollie television series. Buelah was named in honor of the show's producer Beulah Zachary (though we can perhaps surmise from the difference in the spelling that someone wanted to be clear that Buelah the witch and Beulah the producer were two entirely different entities). Here is a classic TV Guide cover from October 30, 1953, celebrating Halloween with the one and only Buelah Witch (supported by Kukla and Oliver J. Dragon), which truly gives Buelah her moment in the sun (or at least a very autumnal sunset). It's part of the Countdown to Halloween 2013.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The Countdown to Halloween 2013 continues here at Tulgey Wood! Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip, for the groundbreaking, indescribably successful and beloved strip by Charles M. Schulz debuted in seven newspapers on October 2, 1950. How appropriate that Charlie Brown and his pals first appeared in October, for Peanuts has come to be an integral part of Halloween, right up there with jack-o-lanterns, costumes and candy corn. One central reason for that is, of course, is the wildly popular animated TV special, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (more about that later this month) but almost from the start, Halloween was a big part of the comic strip itself. (Needless to say, there wouldn't have been a Great Pumpkin television special if Schulz hadn't created the whole concept in the funny pages first.) In 2008, Fantagraphics (publisher of The Complete Peanuts hardcover book set) issued a mini-comic book reprinting some of Schulz' best Halloween themed strips. To help pass the time in the pumpkin patch, here's the wonderfully designed cover and one of the Sunday pages published in the mini comic. Remember to drop by Tulgey Wood throughout October (including more Peanuts) for more Halloween goodies—it's all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2013 blogathon.
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Welcome to the 2013 Countdown to Halloween blogathon! Regular readers are always welcome (thank you for being so faithful!) but I also hope that new visitors will find Tulgey Wood to be full of treats and only the best kind of tricks! To get things started, here is a salute to General Mills' Monster Cereals who as you can see from the nifty logo (and the badge at the far right) are the mascots for this year blogathon. FrankenBerry was of course a (very) cartoony version of the Frankenstein Monster—strawberry pink, (un)naturally, with a design as far away from Universal's famed version as possible to avoid any legal trouble (or licensing fees). Needless to say, the character spoke with an imitation of Boris Karloff's voice in the animated commercials (which began with the introduction of the FrankenBerry and Count Chocula cereals in 1971). Interestingly, FrankenBerry met up with Universal's classic Monster in an officially licensed cereal box-appearence from 1987. Enjoy this unique appearance of one of the Monster Cereal mascots below (as always, click on any image for a larger view), and be sure and stop by throughout October as we Countdown to Halloween here at Tulgey Wood.