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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

Finding Beautiful Beasties in Video Games

on April 8, 2009 - 1:45pm

Secret World Monster
Despite the glitches I've been encountering on twitter (like waking up to find all my previous posts have vanished), I still think it's a great resource. For example, I never would have encountered King Unicorn, and I would have completely missed his tweet this morning linking to this trailer for the new Secret World video game.

I'm not too interested in the game, but King Unicorn had promised inspiration waited at the end of the link and he was right. That's where I saw this beastie (pictured right).

Nasty little devil, isn't he? What a great face.

I shouldn't be surprised. If anyone knows creepy creatures, it's King Unicorn.

The Underbiters: Gruff

on April 8, 2009 - 9:15am

The Underbiters: Gruff
I honestly don't know much about Gruff. She's the most elusive of all The Underbiters I've encountered thus far.

I get the sense she doesn't approve of the others revealing their existence to me, and she was one of the last ones in this group to do so.

The only reason I know about her is because she likes to gloat. She'll wait for me, perched on the overturned bag of garbage in the kitchen.

Or she'll sit at the end of the hallway, metal screws poking from her mouth; screws that no doubt belonged to a hinge somewhere in the house. She likes taking the ones from the hinges because I get mad when the cupboard comes off in my hand or the front door won't open properly.

Knowing how much she loves the taste of metal, I have to admire the fact that she's able to sit there in the hallway for so long with the screws in her mouth. Such self-discipline.

The Underbiters: Twitch

on April 7, 2009 - 4:28pm

The Underbiters
So what are these Underbiters?

Have you ever been surprised to find a hole in your sock, or tears in the garbage bag, or frayed wires for your stereo speakers? Before you blame bad luck, poor craftsmanship or the family pet, consider the possibility that you have Underbiters living in your house.

This group of generally benign creatures are a band of mischief makers with a penchant for chewing.

While they prefer to avoid humans, they are drawn to our belongings (which may explain their migration from the forest and countryside to urban dwellings). Tree branches might offer a solid crunch and leaves vary from velvety to crisp, but there is a certain satisfaction to chomping down on the manufactured products of man.

Barbie: Graceful Under Pressure

on April 7, 2009 - 8:41am

Alfred Hitchcock Birds Barbie
Many of you have already seen the Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Birds' Barbie. I know it's old news, but I still wanted to talk about the finer points of the doll.

My favourite aspect of this toy is how Barbie seems unaffected by the brutal attack of crows. She's in a stylish pose, her hair is perfect despite the ordeal and she's even managed a half smile for the camera.

Is she waving at us or trying to get the bird off her head? I swear she's waving. It's like she's pretending the birds are accessories she picked out that morning. "Oh hi! Just on my way to get some milk. What's that? Oh the birds! Yes, yes. Doesn't their licorice black colour just pop against the green material? Gotta run!"

Dave the Dead has Arrived in Cyberspace

on April 6, 2009 - 9:59am

The Hatchling by Dave the Dead
I am pleased as poisoned punch to announce Dave the Dead - whom I've blogged about in the past - finally has his own blog. It's called The Shadow Farm, home to the most wonderful creatures.

Most of the handmade haunting props in his yearly display would be equally at home in an art gallery. Dave is a modest artist brimming with talent:

I have been an avid Halloween yard haunter for many years. As my hobby has grown, I have developed a taste for eccentric characters and deep backstories. I have learned a ton since I first decided to build my own scary stuff, and have attempted to take my building to a new artistic level with each new piece.

If it were possible to run on the Internet, I'd tell you to hustle your way over to his blog. You won't be disappointed. And tell him I sent you. *wink*

He will quickly become a household name amongst horror fans and dark artists.

Everyone Say Cheese

on April 5, 2009 - 3:50pm

Here's the first group of Underbiters, waiting for touch ups before they are given a protective coating. They turned out differently than how I first imagined, but that's usually how it is with my creations. I might begin with certain plans, but they always end up telling me where we're actually going in the design process.

Besides, these guys were the test group for me to experiment on. No wonder they ended up looking like a gang of misfits.

When they are finished, I'll properly introduce you to each one individually. For now, I hope you enjoy the group shot.

By the way, getting them to line up nicely was a nightmare, but hearing them all say "cheese!" at the same time made my heart melt.

The Obscure Hollow

on April 5, 2009 - 8:45am

Obscure Hollow logoFaithful friends and online followers know I love creating an atmosphere. I think details are often overlooked even though it's those small elements that bring a bigger picture together.

The Obscure Hollow is a website that celebrates the unsung hero of horror: the setting. From vintage film to photography, you will find one of the best collections of images highlighting not just things but places that go bump in the night.

Overdose: Group Art Exhibition

on April 4, 2009 - 9:00am

Overdose Art Exhibit
Some people make dream lists for football teams. I make mine listing artists. The Hi-Fructose "Overdose" group art exhibit has almost the exact lineup I would have come up with.

There are so many artists in this show whom I've blogged about, I couldn't fit them all in my tag list for this post. In addition to those great artists, you'll also find Brandt Peters and Travis Louie, and many, many more.

It will all take place at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California. Far, far away from my city of Toronto.

To rub salt into the wound, they're having some fantastic happenings within the show:

Hi-Fructose Magazine and Copro Gallery are proud to showcase an incredible array of artists in 'Overdose' the Hi-Fructose group art exhibition at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica. Hi-Fructose Collected Edition box sets will be available in limited quantities at the show and Greg Craola Simkins, Gary Baseman, Joe Ledbetter, Brian McCarty, Attaboy, and more special guests will be signing them. Brooklyn's own, 'Hearts Challenger' the guerilla style good-time ice cream truck will be on hand to give out free ice cream and candy and Hi-Fructose Vol.11 will premier at the show before the issue goes on sale in stores or online. Limited numbers of free issues and a free poster will be available at the show only! More surprises TBA

A Good Friday for Ghoul Friday

on April 3, 2009 - 12:27pm

raindrops by leocubThe rain poured down so aggressively this morning it woke me up. Glad that Yetch and I had taken advantage of yesterday's sunny afternoon (and equally pleased in the knowledge there's leftover barbecue nosh in the fridge), I got up to face the drastic change in weather.

Grey. Pouring. Cold. Windy. Migraine pending.

I shuffled into my home office, determined to check my work emails first but as always I went straight for my Ghoul Friday Inbox.

Nothing too exciting. Better check the spam folder just in case.

And there it was.

I am happy to officially announce that I will have a table at Rue Morgue's Festival of Fear, Canada's largest Horror event and part of Hobby Star's Fan Expo. It takes place August 28 to 30, 2009 in Toronto.

Alex McVey

on April 2, 2009 - 10:29am

Alex McVey Trolley No. 1852
How I would describe Alex McVey: fine artist, talented, dark, and elusive.

Why elusive? There is very little information to be gleaned on the Internet when it comes to this illustrator from Texas. Sure, he's famous and many a horror fan starts salivating just at the mention of his name, but the details of the man are hard to track down.

I did find out he has been illustrating since 2004.

His work has been featured on everything from comics, to album covers, to high-end limited edition books.

On his extensive list of clients, you'll see the names of people such as Stephen King and Edward Lee (you can see McVey's cover art for Lee's "Trolley No. 1852" pictured right).

And most importantly, he likes banana shakes (ok, I made that part up. But I felt the post needed more insider information).