Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day 25: A Package from "CRPechonick" of Geek Show Ink!

So a... WHILE back... I won an instagram (...or was it Twitter? I don't remember now.) contest. And it was actually being done by an online buddy of mine "CRPechonick" (or Charles... or Chuck) who runs the Geek Show Ink blog and site, and whom I'm received goodies from before. He's an incredibly talented artist, and the prize he was giving away in his contest was a sketch card of any character you chose. I... being a Halloween fanatic, knew EXACTLY who I wanted featured on my sketch card. 

In typical fashion, Chuck sent me a whole box of goodies instead of just my prize... because that is just his way. He's generous to a fault. So let's take a look at what he sent me shall we? I'll show you the sketch card at the end (eagle-eyed readers may THINK they see the sketch card... but you would NOT be entirely correct...) and THAT will be what makes this post a part of my Halloween countdown!

To at least start us off on a Halloween-y note, I'll show off a couple of the movies he sent me! First up, the Gamera Trilogy, which begins with "Guardian of the Universe" from 1995. I had confessed to Chuck at some point that I was interested in kaiju films and had not yet really... seen... any. So he offered to send me some because that's how he rolls. Godzilla's revenge from 1969 makes this the perfect 1-2 punch of famous giant scaly guys.

MIGHTY BEANZ! I actually ended up giving these to my two sons to play with because they love both Star Wars and Mighty Beanz.

One of my FAVORITE things about this package? All the frikkin' BATTLE BEASTS!!! I had the beaver guy in the front when I was a kid, and he was actually one of my favorites!!! So glad to have another one in my collection! The others are all completely BAD-ASS as well. These are some truly cool Battle Beasts. I mean the frog? The tarsier? And ANY Battle beast with wings was automatically coveted by all when I was a kid. I like his leg hoses. Makes me think of Apocalypse.

Love Batman: The Brave and the Bold so receiving two of those toys really made my day... and the Brainiac is from some version of the Legion of Superheroes, I know, but I confess I'm not sure which version. Just FYI: The bat-s**t crazy concept that the Batmobile could transform into a mecha really pleased me. THAT is what you see crouching there in the middle. THE BATMOBILE.

Next up Marvel! In a way, Agent Coulson is directly responsible for me winning this prize from Chuck and getting me all this cool loot. My absolute favorite pieces in this little lot are the Sentinel and Iceman. But I'm a marvel guy, so I love it all.

Star Wars stuff! Two bobbleheads (technically R2-D2 is a bobble-body but you get the point) and an Angry Birds Star wars X-Wing pilot!

Yoshi in his Kart and the G.I. Joe Combat Heroes Duke notwithstanding, this batch of stuff seems pretty Halloween-y right? We have a Gogo's Crazy Bones minifig that looks like a cobra, a little pitchfork-wielding voodoo doll guy, and a SLUGS Zombies Sawblade Sampson figure (obviously an homage to Ash of Evil Dead). That beautiful ZBot in the center? The one who looks like a Jack-o'-Lantern carbed by H.R. Geiger? His name is "Jawbreaker" and he's from the Burger King set of 5 (of which I now only need 2 more to complete the set!!!)

AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN... The moment you've all been waiting for! The sketch card that Chuck Pechonick sent me!!! Take a gander:

When I made my request of Chuck, I asked if he could do two characters on the same card. I wanted a nice picture of Sam from Trick R' Treat and Jack from the Nightmare Before Christmas interacting in some way. And this was his solution: To heck with it, he'd just do two cards!!! Look at this thing! I love the idea that Sam is visiting Halloweentown and Jack is welcoming him in! I've decided I want to start collecting art from anyone who's interested in doing a similar piece (Sam and Jack together) because before I started requesting this idea (I have approached a couple of other artists as well) I found a disturbing LACK of art featuring these two characters together online. Doesn't it just seem like sort of a no-brainer? Anyway, if I get enough of these collected by next Halloween, I'm going to feature them all October long. I'd love to see these two balancing on a log Calvin & Hobbes-style, or sitting in a diner Norman Rockwell-style. Sam sitting on Jack's shoulders to watch a parade... or menacing terrified children on Christmas Eve! 

So there you have it folks! An incredibly generous package from an incredibly generous guy! Thanks to Charles Pechonick and be sure to check him out on Instagram  and Twitter and check out his site over at to see his blog, his art, and other cool stuff!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Day 24: More Brewer Finds

Another trip out to the Brewer Goodwill yielded a much smaller crop of Halloween goodies this time around, but some other great finds were made... so let's see what I brought home! 

At first, I couldn't figure out what these first two items were... and then it dawned on me that they were tiny cactus plants-holders! Someone had long-ago let the cactii die in them, and then donated them to Goodwill. Did NOT matter to me as I was more than willing to remove the remains of the long-gone plants and use these to populate my little Halloween village. The first one here features a skeleton and a gravestone for "Hairy Scary".

I much prefer this one though, featuring an evil tree hugging a terrified jack-o'-lantern. I want a hug too. I bet this guy gives out free hugs all DAY long.

The final genuinely Halloween-y item of this trip was this little ceramic tree complete with ghost and jack-o'-lantern. No cactus remains involved here, just a nice little addition to the Halloween village. 

Still half-in-and-half-out of Halloweentown, we find this copy of the Mad Scientists Club, which is a collection of short stories from the 50's and 60's that originally appeared in "Boys' Life" magazine, featuring the same group of boys each time. A strange sea monster appears on the lake...a fortune is unearthed from an old cannon ...a valuable dinosaur egg is stolen.... don't these all sound at least mildly Halloween-ish? Huh? Huh?

Before George Michael became a bathroom predator he put out some pretty great music. I grabbed a copy of "Faith" on cassette, and a copy of the Top Gun Soundtrack for my cassette collection!

A Mork and Mindy novelization to add to my collection as well! I have a Fotonovel already, and now I have a true chapter book about Mork from Ork!

I have gone on endlessly before about Rick Yancey's novels on the blog before. I already own a copy of this very book in fact, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp. I loved it. So when I found a copy of the book that is the same SIZE as the other two books in the series, I snapped it up. I actually am kind of vaguely sorry that this kind of symmetry even matters to me... but here we are. Anyway, this story has to do with a loser of a kid who finds himself plunged into a life of danger and intrigue because of a connection to a society descended from the knights of the Roundtable. It's all pretty awesome.

I bought this grab-bag pretty much just for Luigi in his Mario Kart... but let's be honest, I wanted the sailor cat with an eye-patch too, even though I know he's from a PBS Kids show. Cats with eyepatches are cool. I didn't mind bringing home a Battle-Shell Leonardo either, though I don't collect the Battle-Shell figures and would not have bought it on its own. Mike the Knight? I hate. He will be re-donated. Now onto the mega-exciting find of this trip:

Ta-da!!! The Fisher Price Play Family Sesame Street Clubhouse!!! Now... calm down. It had absolutely no accessories or figures along with it, and there were no bags with those in them anywhere in sight. There was only the play-set... but man is that enough for me!!!

Look at the artwork on this thing! Cookie For President? David + Maria? Bert loves pigeons!!!??? YES PLEASE!!! This thing is in desperate need of a cleaning of course... and I will be cleaning it throughly, believe me... but omigosh the FISHER PRICE PLAY FAMILY SESAME STREET CLUBHOUSE!!! This thing came out before they were even calling them "Little People" people!

C.T.W.!!! Oscar Loves Trash!!! The real joy of this thing is in the details on the decals.

And here behind the slide we can see the doors that surround Big Bird's home. Someone added a random bird sticker sometime long ago too. Now I just need to spend the rest of my life tracking down ALL of the Sesame Street little people (well, besides the ones my wife got me along with the other Sesame Street playset she got me for my birthday a while back...) that go with this thing.

Well, that's it for tonight kids! I'll be back soon with more Groaning Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day 23: More Bangor Finds!

So yet another trip out to the Bangor Goodwill turned up yet more fun and funky Halloween items! (We've been out to Bangor a LOT in the past few weeks because my wife has been doing some Color Runs out there and some other stuff). So let us see what the latest trip out to one of my favorite Goodwills turned up!

First up, I found this wolfman mask that I found to be extremely charming. Its made of some sort of rubbery, cheap foam that really wants to curl n on itself, which made getting a good photograph of the thing difficult. I love this thing though. The color shading, the snout and fangs and ruby red lips... it looks a little more Michael J. Fox's Teen-Wolf than Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolfman... but that is neither here nor there. As you can see there is a little bit of damage on it, but I don't feel this takes away from the sincerity.

Next up we have this Halloween kitty figure that I bought mainly because I thought my wife would like it, but also because I love Halloween black cat stuff. And this guy is pretty fun.

This candle holder holds one of those MASSIVE three-wick candles and has a  metal spider hanging off the side. How could I pass that up?

In the Halloween section I also found this book-on-tape that I thought would make a nice edition to my flourishing cassette collection. It's called "Creepe Hall" and is a story that sees a normal young man living in a houseful of monstrous family members. As soon as I have something I can actually play my cassette tapes on... I'm giving this thing a listen.

Here's a shot of the cassette tapes inside because I don't know why.

While technically not a Halloween book, I am including Dinosaur Comes to Town in our yearly Halloween reading pile from now on. The animal inhabitants of a small wooded area near a town are all terrified and on the run because a "meat-eating dinosaur" is on its way.

I love the aesthetics of the book, and the design of the dinosaur, which is almost more dragon than anything.

The story is weird and has a surprising ending, which I found funny and I'm sure my kids will like it too.

Apparently Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's Witch saga has 7 books in it, and starts right here with Witch's Sister. You can't have Halloween without witches can you? Actually really looking forward to reading this one. I vaguely remember the book cover from grade school.

Probably my absolute FAVORITE find from this trip is this young-readers novelization of Gremlins. love Love LOVE finding novelizations of awesome 80's flicks for any aged readers.

Spook by Jane Little is a cute little chapter book. Something to read to the kiddos when they get a little older than they are now. It's a book about a dog who belongs to an evil witch, who would much rather own a cat... and his quest to find a home with a little boy who loves him.

And finishing off the Halloween items is this little craft book Homemade Halloween. This is a nice one again for someone who has kids and wants to do some spooky crafts with them. Which I do... and I do.

Drifting on away from Halloweentown, we have a couple of cassettes to add to my collection that are NOT Halloween related. Here we have:

"The Simpsons Sing the Blues" which was a CD I owned as a teen and because it had "The Bartman" and more importantly "Deep Deep Trouble" and MOST importantly, "Look at All Those Idiots!" which is a song I would like to have playing on the P.A. system at my place of employment on a loop.

And next we have Bruce Willis's "The Return of Bruno" which has the song "Respect Yourself" included. If you can see the picture of Bruce Willis on the right side of the liner card there... you basically know everything you need to know about this cassette and why I bought it. I swore I wouldn't buy anything ironically for this collection of cassettes. Only things I genuinely love. I can't say I genuinely love the songs on this cassette... but I can say that I genuinely love that it exists. Look at that man. Just look at him. He's so ridiculously happy.

And finally, I found myself a copy of the novelization for War Games! This was a pretty genuinely exciting find to make. As heavily as this film is referenced in Ernest Cline's book, Ready Player One, it can't help but have bloomed anew in my heart with all new levels of nostalgic love.

So there you have it folks! I'll be back soon with more Goosebumpy Goodwill Goodies. So until then, Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Countdown Day 22: How to Care for Your Monster

As I have done previously this season, tonight I will be featuring a Halloween-themed kids' book that I found at Goodwill. The book I'm featuring this post is Norman Bridwell's How to Care for Your Monster which is by the same author/illustrator of the "Clifford the Big Red Dog" books. 

This is a parody of the "care" guides put out about various different kinds of pets. Bridwell really puts a lot of effort into the text of the book, and goes to TOWN on the proper care and grooming of monsters. 

Where does one go about procuring a monster for a pet? Well... if you're lucky, and your town has a monster store, go there first!

If you DON'T have a convenient monster store around, you may have to get a monster by other means. First off it is important that making a Frankenstein monster is not a DIY endeavor. Ask your friendly, neighborhood Mad Scientist for assistance.

I included this picture because I love the idea of Frankenstein trick-or-treating in this terrifying "The Strangers" style home invasion mask.

To get yourself a Mummy, hire someone who's already desecrating Egyptian crypts and save yourself the trouble.

"No one likes a soggy mummy" indeed! If you need to clean his wrappings don't unwrap him too far! I also have to believe that the mummy on the right side has entombed someone's little sibling and this makes me smile.

The chapter on vampires is similarly entertaining. The method for catching your own vampire seems ridiculously convoluted however.

And the image of this thoroughly perforated family unit gives me the warm fuzzies. I love the fact that the vampire feels the need to salt Dad's neck before tucking in.

I love that if you want a pet werewolf you have to put up with the bald, middle-aged guy for the parts of the month that are NOT the full moon.

"They usually come back from moonlight romps with their clothes all soiled with mud and grass stains and, uh, well... other things." THIS IS MY FAVORITE LINE IN THE WHOLE BOOK!!! Because you know that the "other things" just have to be human viscera.

Above you see examples of well-kept and unkempt monsters, for showing. There are winners and losers for your reference. Don't let your monster be a loser! I love that Loser Frankenstein's Monster has a hand falling off, and that Loser Vampire and Loser Werewolf look like drinking buddies who probably have tiny apartments in the city and only see their kids on the weekends.

Gotta catch 'em all!!!

Happy Monster ownership everyone!

Well, that's all I've got for tonight kiddos! I'll be back soon enough with more Gloomy Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Haunting!
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