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!
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Among many other accomplishments, the great Jack Davis was known for his fun take on monsters. Here's one of his most elaborate, amusing pieces: the cover for the LP album Monster Rally. Take a look at this delightfully frightful art for this 1959 RCA release, the audio of which does indeed show off "Living Story" with many a fun track featuring the considerable talents of Hans Conreid and Alice Pierce.
Friday, October 20, 2017
The shops and windows of Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure are charmingly decorated for Halloween Time. I love the classy, retro feel, making for an October worth ogling.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
For our Countdown to Halloween 2017, Tulgey Wood offers the October Guidemaps for both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. For the first time, Halloween Time has taken over Disney California Adventure, primarily on Buena Vista Street and in Cars Land, and it's a lot of October fun.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
The Harvey comics are a rich source of Halloween fun. Even aside from the supernatural characters (Casper, Spooky, Wendy the Good Little Witch) that were a to-be-expected tie-in, the Harvey roster boasted several child stars who too were naturally interested in the horrific holiday. Here's Little Dot, obsessed with polka-dots just as Little Lotta was preoccupied with food and Richie Rich was always ported having fun with cash and jewels. While another trick-or-treater is scared off by the ghost, Little Dot seems delighted, not frightened. And why should she be scared? The emerging phantasm is plastered with Dot's favorite decoration, polka-dots. This cover of Little Dot Dotland (no. 16, cover dated 1965), so enchantingly evocative of a fun evening of trick-or-treeing, is part of the Countdown to Halloween 2017. Be sure and check back through October for more spooky season shenanigans.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Today marks the 80th anniversary of that terrific trio, Huey, Dewey and Louie. As they made their October 17, 1937, debut not on the movie screen but in the Sunday comics (their "Unca" Donald was the star of the Silly Symphony Sunday comic strip at the time, drawn by the future artist of the Donald Duck strip, which debuted just a few months later in February 1938), it only seems appropriate to feature the ducky triplets on a comic related item. So here's the cover of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #315, drawn by the masterful Carl Barks. This Halloween-worthy cover was among the last drawn by the great Barks. Under his writing and drawing, the nephews had long since evolved from troublemaking tykes into level-headed adventurers, but they never lost their prankish side, their proclivity for which coming in handy for the spooky season—This issue is cover dated December 1966, meaning it was most likely on the stands for Halloween—and for the Countdown to Halloween 2017. When you are done gazing upon this spooky (to Donald at least) story, waddle on over to D23.com to see a new article written by me all about Huey, Dewey and Louie. Click here for a free view of the article about Donald's nephews.
Monday, October 16, 2017
As mentioned earlier, the D23 website is throwing a Fanniversary celebrating Epcot at 35. When Epcot (or EPCOT Center as it was originally called) opened on October 1, 1982, one of the most popular elements to emerge was Figment from Journey Into Imagination. This delightful dragon has ever since been a fan favorite. If you've ever wondered why Figment wears that yellow-and-red sweater, it's because Kodak, the original sponsor of the attraction, wanted their signature colors to be incorporated into the character. Does Figment fit into our Countdown to Halloween for 2017? Of course--he is a monster of sorts, being a dragon.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
for the Countdown to Halloween 2017, here's another charming seasonal cover from the Disney Catalog. These wonderful covers, and indeed the Disney Catalog itself, are much missed. The storytelling graphically achieved in this delightful Disney art makes for a merrier Halloween Time.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Back here, Tulgey Wood presented the Addams Family on the cover of TV Guide—so it's high time we gave TV's other classic monster family their day in the sun (or in the full moon). This TV Guide cover is from July 1965, a year after the previously featured Addams cover. Though there certainly was Addams Family merchandise, it seems to me there was more Munsters memorabilia. At any rate, Herman and Lily, TV's creepiest charming couple (in color), are here just for Countdown to Halloween 2017.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Ever since its debut on CBS in 1969, Scooby-Doo Where are You! and the many iterations that followed has provided plenty of Halloween-esque horrors, even though the Mystery, Inc gang usually uncovers (or unmasks) the terrifying threat to be a decidedly down-to-earth plotter. As with all Hanna-Barbera hits, Scooby-Doo has been heavily merchandized, resulting in such spooky season-worthy treasures as these two vintage puzzles.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
One of the most enduring of the McDonaldland characters is the Grimace, Ronald's good-natured if dimwitted pal. We're so used to seeing Grimace (pictured below on one of the delightful McDonaldland "Action Glass" premiums from my collection) as a friendly, helpful, huggable sidekick that it's easy to forget that he's a monster. And yes, he's a friendly monster, but that was not always so. Grimace was introduced into the McDonaldland family of characters in 1971 as the Evil Grimace. (I think there's even a commercial where the mailbox at his cave says "E. Grimace.") This purple monster started out as even more of a monster, complete with an extra pair of arms that enabled him to snatch up many milk shakes (officially known as Triple Thick Shakes) from the children, just as the Hamburgler stole hamburgers. Soon, however, the Evil Grimace morphed into lovable, non-evil Grimace (which is still a monstrous type name when you stop and think about it) and lost his extra arms in the process. Mad Matt at one of my favorite sites for Halloween fun (and other terrifically written madness), Dinosaur Dracula, reports on the strange evolution of the Grimace. Unfortunately, Dinosaur Dracula is not part of the Countdown to Halloween blogathon, which seems a shame because I think the Countdown was how I discovered the site several years ago. At any rate do visit this very special site (but be aware the site contains strong language and other material that may be sensitive readers). And also visit the many bloggers who are part of Countdown to Halloween 2017.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
65 years ago today, on October 10, 1952, Walt Disney's Trick or Treat was released to theaters. Over the years there have been several tie-ins with this classic cartoon. One of the best came over twenty years after the animated shorts: an LP album from Disneyland records. One of the best (and most unique) elements of thus album were the two masks included, one of a jack-o-lantern, the other of the cartoon's star (sorry, Donald), Witch Hazel. To discover more about this animated film favorite, be sure and click here to see Did You Know? 8 Frightfully Fascinating Facts About Trick or Treat, written by Jim Fanning (that's me) for D23.com. Full of fun facts and fascinating photos (there's even more about the LP record album), this D23 article is a fun way to celebrate this spooky step along way to October 31st, as the Countdown to Halloween 2017 continues.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Casper has made a return to comic-book stores and stands, thanks to American Mythology Publications, a publisher that's bringing back a number of licensed favorites to the funny books. This Halloween-worthy title has three variant covers. Of course, in honor of Halloween, I have the so-called Spooky cover, drawn by Mike Wolfer and Ceci de la Cruz, shown below. (Hot Stuff makes a guest appearance, but Spooky [the tuff little ghost] is nowhere in sight.) As a bonus, my dear friend Barbara Layman of Universal/DreamWorks Publishing, as well as Corinne Combs and Steve Behling, is acknowledged on the credits page, as is Harvey Comics expert Mark Arnold, This Issue #1 (let's hope there are many issues to come!) includes both new and classic material. Also, Casper is part of Halloween ComicFest 2017. And (super)naturally the Friendly Ghost is a friendly part of the Countdown to Halloween 2017 here at Tulgey Wood.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
One of the original attractions in Epcot® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort on its Opening Day, October 1, 1982, Kitchen Kabaret was an Audio-Animatronics® show—there were 25 characters in all, making up “the most unusual cast of incredible edibles this side of the refrigerator"—at The Land. Does this well-remembered attraction (it closed in 1994) fit in with our Countdown to Halloween 2017? Just take a look at the mutant monsters on the cover of Disney News magazine, Winter 1985. Actually, this is the Colander Combo and Fiesta Fruit combo. Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit, anyone?
Saturday, October 7, 2017
As part of our Countdown to Halloween 2017, we turn to the bewitching witchery of Bedknobs and Broomsticks. As noted here, October is Bedknobs month, and Disney's musical fantasy premiered on this day, October 7, in 1971. Below is the interior of the elaborate quasi-parchment-like invitation to the pre-release screenings, (This particular screening was held in Atlanta, Georgia.) The art was adapted from the film's titles, designed by David Jonas based on the famed 11th century Bayeux Tapestry. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
Friday, October 6, 2017
Cover dated November 1937 (meaning it was on the stands for Halloween of that year), this issue of the classic Mickey Mouse Magazine features one of the Three Little Wolves, introduced in the Silly Symphony of that title released in 1936. Sons of the Big Bad Wolf, the smaller members of the predatory pack inspired one of my favorite Disney characters, Li'l Bad Wolf (who of course is actually a very well-behaved and kindhearted little wolf). This little wolf may be bad but he's pretty good at using autumn leaves to decorate both his pumpkin and himself. Hope this festive fall cover puts you in a October from of mind. It's part of the Countdown to Halloween 2017 blogathon here at Tulgey Wood.
Thursday, October 5, 2017
The Countdown to Halloween 2017 continues: Home to such questionable characters as the Hamburgler and Captain Crook and such don't-get-too-close landmarks as Triple Thick Shake Volcano and Filet-O-Fish Lake, McDonaldland is the natural habitat of some Halloween horrors—but in the gentle spirit of this fast-food fantasyland, it's all in silly fun. The McDonald's publication, McDonaldland Fun Times (A magazine Especially for Children) celebrated the spooky season in 1984, with Ronald, Birdie, one version or another of the Hamburger and the Goblins gathered around a glowing jack-o-lantern. A version of the magazine is still being published today. Below is the Halloween issue from 2016. It's a nice publication but wouldn't the times be even more fun if it included the original McDonaldland characters?
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Here's a tricky treat I picked up at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Park, which does tend to have some nightmarishly delightful Halloween merchandise. On one side of this Mickey Mouse door-hanger banner is Merry Halloween Mickey in jack-o-lantern orange wishing everyone "Happy Halloween". On the other side, the dark side, is a extra-spooky Personally, I display the orange side October 1-30th, and turn the banner over to its purple side on October 31st. Either side displayed at any time is a Halloween winner,of course, because you can't go wrong with Mickey. Come on back to Tulgey Wood for more Countdown to Halloween 2017 fun all through October.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Creepy and comical, sweet and spooky, the Monster Cereals have made their return for Halloween 2017. There's no classic "retro" art from the original cereal boxes as seen on the editions first released in the 1970s (Count Chocula and Frankenberry were both introduced in 1971 as General Mills's answer to Quaker Oats' Cap'n' Crunch and Quisp/Quake line) nor are Fruit Brute nor Yummy Mummy anywhere to be seen, but we'll take what we can get. The cereals were first spotted by Madd Matt at Dinosaur Dracula on August 5, 2017. Now that's getting a jump on Halloween! One of the most fun aspects of General Mills' 2017 campaign is the inclusion of the other Big G cereal mascots like Lucky the Leprechaun from Lucky Charms getting in the October spirit by dressing up in costumes for the Monster's Bash. Check out the delicious photos ( loaded with "sweeties") below; the first one in line is courtesy of Dinosaur Dracula, meaning that I stole it). They are all part of the Countdown to Halloween 2017 here at Tulgey Wood.
Monday, October 2, 2017
This spooky-season Tony Strobl cover for Disney's flagship comic-book title, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (# 278, October 1958) utilizes a favorite Halloween theme in a unique way. And Donald's frequent comic-cover co-star, a certain trio of identical ducklings, are conspicuous by their absence. Pop by for more jack-o-lanterns and other October delights all this month in our Countdown to Halloween 2017.