Oct 30, 2011

The Ultimate Yard Haunts

Bob Burns is a really cool guy. He owns the original armature for King Kong amongst tons of other important sciience fiction, fantasy and horror props. He's been a special effects artist himself and a gorilla suit actor, and when he puts on Halloween at his house he goes all out.

What kind of yard haunt can you put together when your friends include hollywood actors and Oscar winning special effects wizards? Take a look at this link and see for yourself. Bob has been posting videos of his Halloween shows for the past few Halloweens. Unfortunately, the older shows are no longer available to watch (though there are still galleries which you should check out) and these will be taken down in just a few days so make it a priority to go watch them. You won't be disappointed.

Oct 27, 2011

Forthcoming Halloween Related Graphic Novel

Please forgive me for a bit of shameless self-promotion here. The only reason I'm doing this is because I truly believe that this is something that will appeal to the majority of people participating in the Countdown to Halloween.

In February 2012, DC Comics will be releasing a trade paperback collection of Xombi, a six issue comic book series that I wrote for them, that was published serially through the Spring and Summer of 2011. The insanely gorgeous artwork was done by the incomparable Frazer Irving, and the series received overwhelming accolades from just about everyone who read and reviewed it, such as this one from Ain't It Cool News.

So what's it about, you ask? Xombi is about a normal scientific researcher who has had his body infused with microscopic nanomachines, following a mortal injury. The nanomachines repaired all of the damage to his body and continue to do so, keeping him perpetually in what they deem peak physical condition using material taken from outside of him and converting it into healthy tissue. He can never die. He can heal any injury, resist any disease. He will never age or lose his hair or eyesight. He never even needs to eat if he doesn't want to. It sounds like a really cool way to live, but it has its downsides. One of them is that because of the circumstances that led to his injury, he's also become something of a weirdness magnet. This comic book is full of people, places and monsters the likes of which you've never seen before. This piece I wrote for DC Comics  will give you a better sense of what I mean, as will this interview from i09 which also features the first five pages of the comic for you to check out.

Amazon.com has Xombi available for pre-order for under ten bucks.

If that's not enough, then try this...

Click on any image to make it larger.

Thank you for your time and indulgence. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Oct 23, 2011

Halloween Photo Contest

Fujifilm and Rite Aid Announce the Picture Perfect Halloween Photo Contest and Daily Giveaway
Enter to Win Fang-tastic Prizes Including a Grand Prize Trip to Hersheypark in the Dark Valued at $3,919*
Valhalla, N.Y., FUJIFILM North America Corporation and Rite Aid Corporation today announced that entries are currently being accepted for the 7th annual Picture Perfect Halloween Photo Contest.  From now through November 8, 2011, entrants can submit Halloween-themed photos and vote for their favorites in seven categories: Best Pumpkin, Cutest Baby Costume, Best Kids Costumes, Best Teens and Adults Costumes, Best Pets, Spooktacular Decorations and Best Make-up.
To enter, consumers can go to www.HalloweenPhotoContest.com to register and to upload photos from any personal computer; you do not need to be a Fujifilm or Rite Aid customer to enter. Enter as many as 70 pictures per household among the seven categories.
Consumers can also enter the Daily Giveaway to win thousands of prizes: picture frames and personalized photo t-shirts, puzzles, mugs, stickers, mouse pads, free photo prints, Freaky Monsters buttons and wet n wild Make-up items including, Tattoos, Bewitching Eyes false lashes, Ghoulish Glam liquid eyeliner, Mystifying Night Sparkling Lip Gloss, Kiss of Death Black Lipstick, Ghostly Nails Wild Shine Nail Color, Pretty Wicked Glitter Palettes.
HalloweenPhotoContest.com is also a destination for fang-tastic ideas to create a spooktacular Halloween. It is a one-stop shop for decorating ideas and party planning guides, printable jack-o-lantern stencils, makeup tips from wet n wild Make-up, crafts and recipes by Kraft Food and Hershey’s Candy, fiendishly clever party game suggestions, expert photo tips, digital scrapbooking kits, and more.
What’s in store for contestants?  The grand prize winner of the overall best Halloween photo will win a trip for four to Hersheypark in the Dark at Hersheypark, PA, including three days and two nights’ deluxe accommodations at Hershey Lodge, four two-day admission passes to Hersheypark in the Dark, four “Create Your Own Candy Bar” experiences at Hershey’s Chocolate World, four tickets for the town tour on the Hershey Trolley, $300 in Hersheypark “Chocolate Currency,” a Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR digital camera, a Rite Aid photo book and a HERSHEY’S chocolate gift basket.
First, second and third place prizes will also be awarded to the winning entrants in each of the seven categories:
• First prize: Fundamentals of Digital Photography course from the New York Institute of Photography, Fujifilm FinePix F300EXR Camera, $250 Rite Aid gift certificate, Hershey’s chocolate gift basket and Rite Aid photo book (retail value $1,217)
• Second prize: Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera, $150 Rite Aid gift certificate, HERSHEY’S chocolate gift basket and Rite Aid photo book (retail value $649)
• Third prize: Fujifilm FinePix AV100 Camera, Pinnacle 16x20” frame, $100 Rite Aid gift card, HERSHEY’S chocolate basket and Rite Aid photo book (retail value $354)
Full details regarding contest rules, prizes and giveaways are available atHalloweenPhotoContest.com. To keep up with the Halloween Photo Contest via social media, follow @MyWayPhoto and become a fan on Facebook.
About Fujifilm
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation, consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division sells consumer and commercial photographic products and services including film, one-time-use cameras, online photo services and fulfillment, digital printing equipment and service. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras. The Motion Picture Division provides motion picture film, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides binoculars, and optical lenses for closed circuit television, videography, cinematography, broadcast and industrial markets. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. markets a range of Fujifilm products and services. For more information, please visit www.fujifilm.com/northamerica, or go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, digital printing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was among the top 20 companies around the world granted U.S. patents in 2009, and in the year ended March 31, 2010, had global revenues of $23.5 billion. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visitwww.fujifilmholdings.com.

*Approximate retail value of the Grand Prize is $3,919. Actual value may vary depending upon timing and departure city.

Oct 18, 2011

Some more Indie Horror/Halloween Comics!

I thought I'd take a second to highlight a couple more Horror/Halloweeny comics anthologies that I've stumbled upon this season. First up is the second issue of the Strange Kid Comix Magazine...

This second installment is certainly seasonally appropriate and has a bunch of great comics and artwork by folks like David Hartman, Aaron Klopp, Andrew Barr, Brian Fyffe, Christine Larsen, Craig Collins, Glen Brogan, German Orozco, Keith Allen, Sean K. Dove, Neil Camera, Smo, Beans and Bueller and Zach Bellissimo. There are also interviews and some really fun paper project surprises inside!

Next up is a horror anthology from the folks at Wide Awake Press called 666. There are a metric ton of contributors in this volume, but there are a few that I'm particularly familiar with whose work I really dig including Justin Gammon, Brad McGinty, and Josh Latta. Also, Wide Awake is also offering up a really cool Mars Attacks homage trading card...

The best part? The card is free when you pay a small shipping fee ($2 gets you five copies of the card mailed to your door.) These would make great treats for the kids this Halloween as well as a fun piece of monster art to share with friends.

Oct 17, 2011

Special Offer to Countdown Participants

The fine folks at Crazydog T-Shirts have a generous offer just for people taking part in the Countdown to Halloween.  So whether you are blogging or just visiting the blogs you can enjoy $5.00 of your orders by using the code: SCAREME5 during the check out process when placing your order. 

That of course applies to any of their tees, but they wanted to also show off some of their newest Horror T-shirts for your consideration: 

Gettin Down on Friday: http://www.crazydogtshirts.com/servlet/the-2765/Get-Down-on-Friday/Detail
Haddonfield High: http://www.crazydogtshirts.com/servlet/the-2668/haddonfield-high-t-shirt%2C/Detail
Zombie Disguise T-shirt: http://www.crazydogtshirts.com/servlet/the-2829/ask-me-about-my/Detail

I have a couple of t-shirts from Crazydog and they are cool and comfy. You can visit Crazydog T-Shirts by going here.

Oct 11, 2011


With just under three weeks until the big day, it's time to get your candy plan in place for the hordes of trick or treaters that'll be knocking on your door or ringing your bell (of course, those kids dressed up as classic monsters, superheroes, or other geeky characters get extra candy, right?).... or maybe you just need to satisfy your own personal sweettooth!

Well, I have a place you can consider when getting your plan together... a company called Blair Candy, which contacted me last month with an offer to send me some free candy in exchange for posting about them here... well, they came through for me, and so here's the post! When I checked out their website to select what kind of candy I wanted them to send, I was kind of overwhelmed, because there was so much to choose from! I mean, there's all kinds of Halloween-specific candy there, from lollipops to candy bars and more, including stuff I've never seen offered in stores in my neighborhood! But where I think they really excel is in their nostalgic candy bars, the kind of stuff that we had as kids that you can't seem to find these days... Abba Zabba, Big Hunk, Black Cow, Clark Bars, Chick-O-Stick, Chocolate Ice Cubes, Necco Waers, Mallo Cups, Oh Henry, Sky Bar, Zagnut, Zero... and that's not all of them! Plus, they also carry candy with other themes, such as sports, plus there's categories for gluten free and sugar free candy, and you've got to check out their concession candy selections! It would be so easy for me to drop a lot of cash there getting goodies... and it's not all candy, either! You have a variety of shipping options to choose from, too!

Anyway, what they sent me to try out included a Witch's Finger lollipop (which was tasty, but I personally don't have the patience for lollipops), Fright Bites (chocolates shaped like a vampire's mouth -- pretty tasty stuff), and a mixed bag of Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers (love the former, will save the latter for when we're making Christmas cookies this year). So, yes, I did already get something out of this, but I'll tell you, the package arrived well packed, and it was a nice surprise to see what they sent me (as I said above, I was kind of overwhelmed at the variety, so I asked them to pick for me).

So go check them out, you hear?

Oct 7, 2011

Halloween Ornaments for Sale

Tom Taggart has a variety of ornaments for sale that are perfect for Halloween and for adding a bit of ghoulish fun to the Christmas tree. There are black cats, jack o'lanterns, skulls, monsters, and more. Each of them are about the size of baseball and can be purchased at Tom's etsy shop.

Be sure to tell him I sent you.

Oct 2, 2011

Halloween Hits 8

Why read through the Cryptkeeper's blogs in silence when you can be enjoying suitable music instead? Dan Augustine has made available Halloween Hits 8, his most recent hand-picked selection of spooky tunes for the Halloween season. If you've missed any of the previous seven compilations, don't fret because they're also available -- for a limited time. When the last Jack O'Lantern is blown out on November 1st, these compilations will disappear until next Halloween. Get them here while you can, and don't forget to send Dan an email thanking him for his generosity.

Independent Horror via Kickstarter...

First off, I wanted to let all you Boils and Ghouls know that the 2011 Cryptkeeper list is live and will be available all month on the sidebar to the right. As any new sites join we'll be adding them to both the main Participant List blog post (in case you want to link directly to that) and the sidebar so they should always be on the front page and linkable.

I'd also like to take a second today and bend your ear a little to a couple of really cool spooky and Halloween-y projects that are currently up on Kickstarter. For those not familiar with the service, Kickstarter provides a platform for independent artists of all kinds to fund creative projects by offering a portal to raise money in the form of a fundraiser. The projects have stated goal dollar amounts, and if in the time allotted the goal is reached then the project is funded and all the pledges will be accepted. If the goal isn't met in time, then all the pledges are canceled and no one is charged. Well there are two projects that caught my eye recently that I thought would be worth sharing here..

The first is a comics anthology called Dark Mischief that is using Halloween and horror as it's backdrop. The project is spearheaded by Jenni Gregory of Ka-Blam, and features a varied roster of talent from all over the country. What's unique about this project is that they aren't seeking funds to produce the anthology (e..g printing, etc.) They're using the Kickstarter platform to help secure advances for all the participating artists. From the project:

"So this Halloween will see the release of Dark Mischief Volume One featuring stories by Mitch Byrd (Starman, Predator, Starship Troopers), AP. Furtado (Heavy Metal), Dirk Manning (Nightmare World), Thomas Hall (Robot 13), Dani Jones (My Sister the Freak), Dave Flora (Ghost Zero), Sara Turner (Ghosts of Pineville), Kim Holm, Mark Rudolph, Cayetano Garza, Sam Kirkman, Pam Harrison, Wayne Spencer, Kenny Durkin, Thomas Florimonte Jr, and more."

I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of the folks involved with this project and their comics work is really top notch. So if you're interested in comics and horror, you might want to check out Dark Mischief Vol. 1...

The second project I wanted to spotlight today is called the Crania Anatomica Filigre by Joshua Harker, and is already well past it's goal and looks to be a huge success...

These skull sculptures are beautiful and draw a lot of influence from the Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skulls. From the Kickstarter campaign page...

"I’m introducing my new sculpture entitled Crania Anatomica Filigre & looking to Kickstarter to help get my work seen & collected by more people. The traditional way of communicating, exhibiting, & selling art is profoundly changing & I intend to embrace it. The idea is to offer my work for a limited amount of time directly without the extraneous exhibition costs & markups...a sort of pre-release. I will make as many as are pledged for in the next 45 days...be it one or a million billion. Assuming all goes spectacularly, I intend to offer all my work this way before it goes to a gallery or exhibition. This sculpture is simultaneously powerfully delicate, a great conversation piece, & completely bitchin cool."

There are a wife range of ways to support either project if you're interested, so check them out if you're thinking about picking up some Halloween-y art this month!