For the Halloween Extravaganza I’ve done another sketch collection post. I was having some trouble deciding what to get from what artist since I planned to do a post for here and for Legion of Super-Bloggers…
But then I decided I needed a break from DC Comics because of their latest “Epic crossover” and the week-long depressive episode it instigated.
I wish that was a joke.
So every sketch this year is horror themed.
Last year I only showed you guys the Goosebumps and YA horror related sketches I bought, but this time I’m sharing everything. Not just YA stuff, but movies, TV shows, video games, and non-DC horror comics.
I only did three out of four days at NYCC this year, and I’m probably going to regret how much money I spent. Right now I’ve got the post-con blues and I feel bad I didn’t spend as much time with my friends as I could have. I do, however, have a fun Point Horror-related experience to share with you all.
I got to met Nola Thacker! Or as you guys might know her, D.E. Athkins/Tom B. Stone. She was speaking at a panel on queer YA comics during the first day of the con. I was SO relieved to confirm she really was the author of the “Graveyard School” series because I couldn’t find anything to verify those websites. I gave her a print out of my Jordie Flanders commission (which she loved), I got her to sign my copy of “Boo Year’s Eve,” my Ginger commission by Levy (which she also loved), and my copy of “Thirteen.” She signed the Graveyard School stuff as Tom B. Stone but “Thirteen” as D.E. Athkins. She said she had a lot of fun writing “Blood Kiss.”
I told her I was reviewing “Graveyard School” for Point Horror and she thought it was genuinely sweet someone remembered those books. I told her about how much everyone was loving the reviews, but don’t worry Dade I didn’t mention anything about her “Nightmare Hall” books. When I said I loved the Christmas books, she asked if I picked up how she wasn’t fond of the holiday. This has led me to believe “The Fright Before Christmas” was supposed to be satire. Oh, and apparently “Goosebumps” killed the series when the publisher was bought by Scholastic since they didn’t want “Graveyard School” taking attention away from “Goosebumps” or something.
I was sure to tell her I genuinely believe, for as much a Goosebumps fan as I am, I think her books are better. Because unlike the Goosebumps kids, Park, Stacey, and the rest are legit more likable and interesting as protagonists. She seemed really touched by the compliment. I hope to see her again next year to show her more of my commissions.
[Wing: I am so envious of this meeting! It sounds like she was a delight to talk to, and I love that she was speaking about queer YA comics. We may have some issues with her Nightmare Hall books, but the Graveyard School books are always a delight. As much as I love Goosebumps, I’m sad that it killed Graveyard School, because I could have read a billion recaps of those books.]
Now on to the art!
The Crawling Spleen from “The Angry Beavers” by E.J. Barnes
Last year E.J. did a “Goosebumps” sketch for me before NYCC began, so I decided to set up another from her because I enjoy commissioning her.
“The Angry Beavers” is one of the classic Nickelodeon shows from the 90s, about the misadventures of beaver brothers Norbert and Daggett. The beavers are big fans of black and white B horror movies, especially those starring… OXNARD MONTALLLLLLLLVO!
The Crawling Spleen is a spleen with a thumb attached to it. And for some reason it wants to crawl into peoples’ ears so it can eat their brains. It also made this really gross, splotchy noise when it moved. The Spleen was one of the earliest movie monsters Norb and Dag were seen watching, and had an appearance in the Halloween special where all their favorite monsters come to life.
E.J. drew it with the wires they used to make it move in the flick, along with a couple of severed veins where it must’ve been removed from a human body.
Jason Meets Stormer by Bill Walko
Crossover time! Bill’s a friend of mine and besides being a great artist, he’s a big fan of “Jem.” I’ve been trying to do a theme with Bill where he redesigns some of the minor characters (since he’s already been doing some great redesigns of the cast). This is my third Stormer commission from him.
Stormer is probably the most popular character in the cartoon, and with good reason. She’s easily the most complex character on the show, being a member of Jem’s rivals The Misfits but being the Token Good Teammate. Don’t get me wrong, she can be nasty if she feels like it, but Stormer tends to be the one who steps back when the other Misfits go too far. It helps that they’ve bullied her into thinking she needs them when she’s the one who writes all their songs and doesn’t get credit for it.
She’s helped out Jem and the Holograms a few times, like when she secretly cleared Jem of robbery, and had an entire episode that made it obvious she was in a romantic relationship with Jem’s sister, Kimber.
In the recent “Jem and the Holograms” comic from IDW, Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell were able to make them girlfriends for real instead of relying on subtext. [Wing: WHAT?! WHAT! I did not know this and must now buy the comic immediately.]
The joke here is Stormer’s voice actress, Susan Blu, played Amanda Shepard in “Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood.” Bill immediately knew what reference I was making when I proposed commissioning these two together.
I made sure to specify Jason should have the famous weed wacker from Part VII, and Stormer’s wearing the same outfit from “Starbright,” the three part episode where the Holograms and Misfits had to work on a movie together (hence why she has a script).
Oh oh! I almost forgot.
Bill did this amazing crossover piece between Jason and the New Teen Titans from DC.
[Wing: Oh my god, this is adorable.]
“She” from “The Dreaming” by Cat Staggs
This idea’s been stuck in my head for years and I finally took the initiative to make it happen. Cat was one of the first artists I commissioned at NYCC 2010, the year I REALLY began sketch collecting.
“She,” or “The Fairy Queen” if you will, is the starter villain of Queenie Chan’s OEL manga “The Dreaming.” It’s the story of twin sisters Jeannie and Amber going to attend the boarding school where their aunt works. A school deep in the heart of the Australian bush. A school that has a reputation for students disappearing. [Wing: OKay, I need to read this, because that setup is amazing.]
It all goes back to when the school was “Merriweather’s Finishing School for Girls,” a place run by a sadistic monster named Avril Merriweather. Avril had the other students help her punish and torment a young orphan girl, who one day wandered into the Bush and never returned…
Which is when Avril and the other students began to vanish until only one was left.
In the present day, “Greenwich Private College” is decorated with a series of Victorian paintings all done by the same artist. And all of them feature the same faceless girl hidden in the background. Except for the last one.
I couldn’t get the image of “She” doing the shushing motion but blank faced, and Cat delivered perfectly.
You can read the story and support Queenie Chan at her website here: https://www.queeniechan.com/?v=7516fd43adaa
Clarissa from “Goosebumps” by Simon Fraser
You guys saw the Clayface sketch Simon did for me in April. Well based on his artwork for the “Doctor Who” comics I thought he was a good fit for Clarissa.
She’s the, I guess you’d call her the “Monster,” of the 12th book, “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Protagonist Samantha Byrd finds a crystal that belongs to Clarissa, and helps her when she needs directions. Clarissa’s so touched by Samantha’s kindness she rewards her with three wishes. Unfortunately, they all backfire.
HOWEVER, Clarissa stands out from the other supernatural creatures because she’s not actively trying to wreck Sam’s life (which was already pretty shitty). She sincerely wants to help Sam and explains to her the wishes have to be thought out carefully. Problem is, Sam’s pretty terrified at this point and isn’t thinking straight.
I went with Clarissa’s appearance in the TV show, where she’s rocking that feather motif and which had a much better ending than the book. I was so glad Simon included a shot of her hands because those nails are amazing.
Phulk from “Leaving Megalopolis” by Duncan Rouleau
Years ago I got a quick sketch of a demonic Superman from Duncan, and this is the first sketch I’ve gotten from him since.
“Leaving Megalopolis” was a graphic novel created by Gail Simon and Jim Calafiore, which they funded through kickstarter. I was one of the backers and got a copy as a perk. It’s the story of Megalopolis, which used to be the safest city in the world because of all the heroes living in it. Then something turned the heroes into bloodthirsty monsters. They’re not letting anyone leave Megalopolis, yet for some reason they don’t want to leave either.
Phulk was one of the many background heroes who appeared at the end of the original graphic novel. He’s essentially a Hulk knock-off, which Jim acknowledges by the name.
I’m floored by how much detail Duncan put into a quick sketch, especially when he used color. I chatted with him about his work on the “Metal Men” miniseries from DC and brought up an old Poison Ivy idea I haven’t mentioned to anyone before.
Ariel Constellation from “Caught Dead Handed” by Bill Walko
Okay so I double dipped. Sue me.
After I picked up my truly outrageous commission from Bill I set up this head sketch from him. Ariel Constellation is a TV psychic who hosted WICH-TV’s “Nightshades” program in “Caught Dead Handed.” It’s the first in the series of “Witch City” cozy mysteries by Carol J. Perry. [Wing: Again, these sound adorable, and I need to track them down at my local library.]
Ariel is found dead by main character Lee Barrett, and after being hired as Ariel’s replacement she begins to investigate the psychic’s murder. Lee starts to learn that Ariel may in fact have been a real witch and was in the possession of a legendary spell book that might have been corrupting her.
Of course, the book does have some problems. Lee constructs a “Gypsy” costume for herself as “Crystal Moon,” and the big reveal of the killer involves split personalities and gender dysphoria. I’d be happy to have a discussion about it.
During her time on “Nightshades,” Ariel gave common sense answers by dressing them up in astrology jargon. She advised kids to stay in school, and told one fledgling writer not to quit his job until he got something published. Ariel also nudged people she thought were in abusive relationships to get out by “Foreseeing” they would be leaving. Even though Ariel only appeared after she died, I always loved her ridiculous appearance and the name itself. I just had to get a sketch of her to show you all because I don’t often talk about my interest in cozy mysteries.
Abracadaver from “The Powerpuff Girls” by Derek Charm
HOLY SHIT THIS MOTHERFUCKER.
Abracadaver is a one-shot villain from the original “Powerpuff Girls” series. In life, he was Al Lusion, a famous magician who was heckled to death when he fell backwards into a spiked coffin. After being accidentally set free from the coffin (which was apparently left in the abandoned theater where he died all those years ago) he wreaks havoc on Townsville and is set to murder one of the PPG in cold blood.
Abracadaver has legitimately terrified me ever since I first saw his episode back when I was 9 years old. I’m not being cute when I say this he really did scare me. [Wing: Ooof, that sketch is freaking terrifying.]
Derek worked on the Cartoon Network comics IDW published a few years ago, so I thought he’d be a fit for this PPG villain.
Mother Hubbard from “Scoop Comics” by Amy Mebberson
It’s always a pleasure commissioning Amy at these shows, but I feel like I’m always sticking my foot in my mouth and saying the wrong thing. Of course, she wouldn’t let me keep commissioning her if I really did annoy her, so maybe I’m overthinking things.
Mother Hubbard is a Golden Age heroine who fell into the public domain like so many other comic characters not owned by DC and Marvel. She was a stereotypical hag who spoke in rhyme and flew on a broomstick, but she used her powers to fight crime, Nazis, and baby-eating ogres. [Wing: I MEAN WHAT. That’s amazing.]
I was worried Amy wouldn’t like this character so I had back-up options prepared, yet was pleasantly surprised when she didn’t have a problem drawing her.
Reiko the Zombie Shop by Tim Smith 3
Tim’s another of my semi-con regulars. I regret to admit it’s been four years since the last time I got a commission from him. I made sure to limit my reference pool on Friday so I would definitely get this from him.
Reiko Himezono is the Zombie Shop, a necromancer for hire who revives the dead so the living can get closure. However, Reiko is all business. If she doesn’t get paid, the dead stay dead. And she has strict rules and guidelines for those who hire her. Hell, she won’t even give her close friends discounts. Reiko ain’t running a charity! She’s been around the block a few times and is smart enough to carry chains with her, knowing if someone died a violent death they WILL be unhappy about it if the perpetrator is nearby.
Too bad no one ever listens to her.
“Reiko the Zombie Shop” is a horror manga series written and drawn by Rei Mikamoto. Dark Horse translated the first six volumes but then stopped. There are four more books that have never been imported to English reading audiences. I bought the first volume back in high school, but it was so much gorier than I expected I kind of lost my taste for a while. The main villain of the first book is a serial killer who violently butchers little girls in their quest to find a replacement little sister. Mikamoto does NOT leave anything to our imaginations. [Wing: Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. I need this book.]
Yet I had to get another Reiko commission to make up for the fact the last time I commissioned her, it was by that racist troll Ethan Van Sciver. I SWEAR this was way before I knew he was an asshole. I’d sell the piece if I thought anyone would want to buy it.
Freddy Scooper from “Raw Toonage” by Jacob Chabot
Jacob’s yet another con regular I’ve been commissioning since 2011. He wasn’t at NYCC last year so I made sure to commission him on Friday.
“Raw Toonage” was an anthology cartoon Disney had in the early 90s. It featured appearances by characters from their other shows, and had a segment called “Totally Tasteless Video.” Each short was a completely different, self-contained story, which brings us to “A Nightmare on Rocky Road.” It’s the story of a boy who loves ice cream so much he wishes the world was made of the stuff. He falls asleep and dreams his house and everything in it has turned into ice cream.
Which is when he meets Freddy Scooper, who informs him there’s one thing that’s not made of ice cream…
Unfortunately, “Raw Toonage” has never been released on video or DVD, so the best we can rely on is this blurry Youtube link.
Freddy Scooper is probably the most endearing and amazing Freddy Krueger parody out there. I was worried Jacob would have trouble with the reference, but he was able to look up another sketch I own by James Silvani to help. Jacob’s colors are always a delight and I’m especially fond of the shadows on Scooper’s face.
Akira Toudou from “Higurashi: When They Cry” by Veronica Fish
Okay yes I included one of my heavyset commissions in the article. DEAL WITH IT.
“Higurashi” is a visual novel series made by Ryukishi07. Set in 1983, it tells the tale of a tragedy that destroys the village of Hinamizawa. It all has to do with the curse of local deity Oyashiro-sama and the string of disappearances and strange deaths that have occurred every year during the annual festival. [Wing: I have no idea about the source material, but he’s a cutie here.]
Akira is one of the main characters of “Onisarashi-Hen,” which translates to “Demon Exposing Arc.” It’s a special epilogue story that explores the ramifications of the Hinamizawa Disaster and how it changes the life of Natsumi Kimiyoshi, whose family originated from Hinamizawa. When horrible rumors begin to spread about people who either came from Hinamizawa or are related to those who live there, Natsumi struggles with her family’s happiness slowly eroding while fearing her classmates will ostracize her.
Which is when things get bloody.
Akira is Natsumi’s friend and eventual love interest, a refreshing change of pace from the usual idiotic jealous he-man boyfriends you find in anime and manga. He’s serious and quiet, but can get embarrassed, has a soft side and he makes it clear he reciprocates Natsumi’s feelings. He’s also fiercely protective of her. But is his support enough to save Natsumi from the tragedy that might destroy her life?
So besides his personality, he’s also a redhead and he has the looks of a late 80s/early 90s anime hunk. Naturally I get heavyset pieces of him. I really do love En Kito’s artwork in the manga and I would LOVE the chance to either request or commission something from her.
I went to Veronica for this piece after remembering her cover art for Boom Studio’s “Backstagers” series and the way she drew main character Hunter, who’s heavyset and genuinely handsome. Do you know how hard it is to find that in comics???
I’m really touched she didn’t have a problem with the subject matter since this was my first time commissioning her. I love I was able to get a background in this; I don’t normally have the option for con pieces.
Cagey from “Bizenghast” by Matthew Clark
I’d been discussing a con sketch with Matthew for a few months, but it was for a different character. Nevertheless I made sure to get one of my books to Matthew the first day of the show.
Cagey was the first ghost featured in M. Alice LeGrow’s “Bizenghast” eight book series from Tokyopop. It’s the tale of Dinah Wherever, a girl who can see ghosts and how she was contracted to help release the spirits of the Sunken Mausoleum. Alongside her best friend Vincent Monroe, Dinah sets to work freeing the tormented ghosts of the Mausoleum while also discovering the town of Bizenghast has a dark, dark secret.
“Cagey,” as the spirit is affectionately dubbed, was a young girl held prisoner by her grandfather before he murdered her under the idea she was a demon.
I’ve always loved her design (fuck, all of Mizz LeGrow’s artwork is gorgeous), and went to Matthew for this because it reminded me of a “Doom Patrol” character, Agent “!” Matthew worked on Keith Giffen’s DP run that ended in 2011 before the New 52 ruined everything.
Asahi Takiguchi from “Mahou Shoujo Site” by Fabian Lelay
I first met Fabian at last year’s Flame Con and haven’t commissioned him since. Since he worked on “Jade Street Protection Services” I’ve wanted to do a magical girl theme with him.
“Mahou Shoujo Site” is… dark. Incredibly dark. It’s a tale about girls at the lowest point in their lives. Abused girls, bullied girls, tortured girls, suicidal girls. Girls who’ve been raped, crippled, put through the wringer by life. These poor unfortunate souls are then contacted by a mysterious website that offers them “Magical Power” in the form of a Stick. The Sticks can be anything: a gun, a smart phone, a volleyball, a camera, etc.. But these Sticks each grant their owner a different power. The website tells the girls to use their new power however they please, and they almost always use it to get revenge on those who’ve ruined their lives.
What most of them never learn is the Mahou Shoujo Site is exploiting them to harness enough negative energy to bring the end of the world through something called “The Tempest.” In fact, the Site Admins often trick one girl into thinking she can survive if she kills enough magical girls and acquires their Sticks.
Asahi is introduced alongside many magical girls who are working together to defeat the Site Admins… and one of the only few to survive when the Admins get rid of them. Her Pendant Stick grants her super speed, which is one of the most practical abilities. Her symbol is the letter “H.” She intrigues me because she’s one of the most calm and rational magical girls in the series, and her backstory is the most enigmatic. I’m wondering what her deal is and I love how almost nothing fazes her.
Do not get me wrong, “Mahou Shoujo Site” is a very difficult read, even for me. There are only two known gay men in the series and they’re both rapists. Not to mention one of them’s the only Black man in the story, and he looks… y-yeah.
But anyway, the characters have me intrigued and I’m still trying to figure out where the story is going to go. It also has one of the most positive portrayals of a transgender girl I’ve seen in manga. Of course, who am I to talk about that?
Kay-Em 14 from “Jason X” by Simone di Meo
Virgin, I don’t know how you feel about “Jason X” so please don’t kill me. It was the first “Friday” movie I ever saw in theaters and I think it’s hilarious. [Wing: She won’t watch it until the end of 2019 at the earliest. Check back in then!]
Kay-Em 14 is a robot who gets an extreme combat makeover to take down Jason Voorhees, and she does a pretty good job of doing it. Well, until he got turned into Uber Jason by malfunctioning nanomachines.
I’ve long considered getting artwork of her at NYCC, and thought Simone’s style fit after seeing his artwork in the “Power Rangers” series by Boom Studios. I originally wanted this in my sketchbook before I switched to one of his so I could get other pieces. It was a good thing I did, otherwise some of the other pieces wouldn’t have happened. Bad for my wallet, good for this website.
Scarlet Helsing from “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” by Dan Parent
Does anyone remember “Archie’s Weird Mysteries?” It was the last direct TV adaptation of “Archie Comics” long before “Riverdale” was a thing. It was a horror themed cartoon that featured Archie, Reggie, Veronica, Betty, (Jughead, too!) getting involved with weird and strange shit going on in Riverdale. A cursed shopping mall, a living tapioca blob, giant bees, and an alien potato were just the tip of the iceberg.
[Wing: SHE’S SO ADORABLE.]
Yet strangely Sabrina the Teenage Witch never made an appearance.
They had a three episode story arc about vampires heading to Riverdale so they could bring about “The Eternal Night of the Vampires.” Scarlet Helsing appears to Archie in human form and manipulates him into helping her find a fabled sunstone amulet and the identity of the chosen “Ender” to make sure her master, Medlock, would be victorious. Who does the “Ender” happen to be? Veronica!
Or is she?
Because Dan has done so much work for Archie Comics, I’ve wanted to focus on a theme with the female characters exclusive to “Weird Mysteries,” and who better to start with than Scarlet?
Haloblades/Pinwheel by Will Rosado
Back in the 1990s, Marvel’s “Epic Comics” imprint did an ongoing series based on Clive Barker’s “Hellraiser.” Every issue had a rotating cast of writers and authors as it expanded the realm of Pinhead and the Cenobites. Issue #17 featured a story by rising superstar Alex Ross and a group of Cenobites dubbed “The Lucky Six.” One of them was called Haloblades.
Fast forward to 1996 when Alex Ross worked with Alex Ross to create “Kingdom Come,” one of the greatest DC stories of all time and one of the reasons why I ever got so involved with comics. One of the myriad of background characters was called “Pinwheel,” a “Leather-clad master of torture.” The kicker?
IT’S THE SAME CHARACTER.
I love it when artists do shit like this and I can’t believe Ross got away with it. I had to get a sketch of him, and I had fun talking with Will and Nik Virella about it.
Scary Godmother by Franco Aureliani
I always have fun getting these cute sketches from Franco and Art Baltazar, and this year I went with the legendary Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother. I even got Jill to sign it for me.
Both a fairy godmother and a witch, Scary Godmother is the ambassador of all things spooky and fun. Hailing from the Fright Side, one Halloween she comes to the aid of little Hannah Marie after her douchebag cousin Jimmy got his friends to terrify her. Scary Godmother shows Hannah how fun scary things can be and helps her teach Jimmy a lesson.
After that, Hannah gets to meet all of Scary Godmother’s awesome friends, like:
- Skully Pettibone, her “broommate” and the official “Skeleton in the closet.” Is super nice and fabulous as shit.
- Harry the Werewolf, a lazy braggart who spends most of his time either stuffing his face or getting in flame wars over his favorite “Skelevision” shows. He’s not so much a friend as he is… there.
- Count Max and Ruby, the happily married vampire king and queen of the night, and their son Orson
- Bug-A-Boo, a professional monster under the bed
If you guys can’t read the comics, you have to check out the two animated specials. That’s how I found out about Scary Godmother.
[Wing: Everything about this is adorable.]
Concerned Citizen from “Sundowners” by Guy Dorian
Guy’s another of my con regulars, and he said this character is by far the favorite of everything he’s done for me. I love the lines on this one and how much attention Guy gave it.
“Sundowners” is a comic series by Tim Seeley and Jim Terry, published by Dark Horse. It’s about Dr. David “Shreds” Shrejic, a disgraced psychiatrist trying to make a new name for himself with his “Sundowners Support Group.” That is, it’s a support group for people who think they’re superheroes.
The Concerned Citizen is “Bloodless” Joe Judd, a former boxer who now dons a mask and costume to do what he can for his community. He helps the homeless and stops petty crime wherever he sees it. Unfortunately, he also believes America is in the grip of a conspiracy run by “The Reptiloids.” Joe’s been diagnosed with “Pugilistic dementia” due to the head injuries he sustained as a boxer, and its effects ruined his marriage. Nevertheless, Joe means well and seeks only to help those around him. And it becomes increasingly clear that a lot of what he and the other Sundowners are seeing is for real.
Of course, you can’t have heroes without villains, which brings me to…
Wilhelm Scream from “Sundowners” by Jim Terry
She is Wilhelm Scream, she is the sound of fear. She’s introduced in the second “Sundowners” arc as a supervillainess working for a monstrous drug dealer named “Mr. Christmas.” She claims she is fearless because that was the gift Mr. Christmas gave her. He “Freed her from fear.” Or at least that’s what she thought, until Shrejic makes her realize Mr. Christmas actually destroyed her by removing her sense of self preservation and morality.
I absolutely loved her design and her name. For those who don’t know what the Wilhelm scream is:
I got Jim Terry to do this for me and then had Tim Seeley autograph it, just like they both signed the Concerned Citizen sketch.
Shivers the Butler from “Luigi’s Mansion” by Andy Price
Andy Price is always fun to commission and this is one of many pencil head sketches I’ve gotten over the years.
“Luigi’s Mansion” was one of the very first Nintendo Gamecube games, and practically one of the only games starring Mario’s brother Luigi as the main character. Luigi is told he somehow won a mansion in a contest, only to discover it’s a haunted house infested with a variety of ghosts. He meets Professor E. Gadd, an expert in ghosts who explains the majority of the entities haunting the mansion are “Portrait Ghosts.” And they may have kidnapped Mario!
Shivers is the 72 year old butler who has an obsession with the 26 year old musical genius, Melody Pianissima. Of course she won’t give him the time of day.
Because “Luigi’s Mansion” is one of my favorite video games of all time I’ve been trying to commission all the other Portrait Ghosts. But that’s been going pretty slow, unfortunately. I don’t focus on video games as much in my commission hunting.
Scarlett O’Hara(?) from “Uninvited” by Ian Dorian
I’ve been commissioning the Dorian brothers since 2011, and I’m glad I was able to get both of them at NYCC. Ian’s done some great horror-related sketches for me, and this one turned out amazing.
“Uninvited” is one of the earliest horror video games, a computer game where the player character must navigate a haunted house to find their girlfriend. At one point early in the game you encounter what looks like a Southern belle. But don’t click on her, because if you do…
You have to figure out a way to get past her without clicking on her. I’ve tried to play “Uninvited” online, but I haven’t had the focus to play through in one setting because it’s kind of complicated.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Agnes Garbowska
I’ve gotten some really adorable pieces from Agnes over the years. She’s super sweet and always a pleasure to talk to. I missed her last year so I was determined to get a commission from her at this NYCC.
Spookley the Square Pumpkin is a storybook about a square pumpkin who has trouble fitting in with his round friends. Until one day he discovers being square can come in handy. I never read the book when I was in elementary school, but I’d been aware of it for years.
And then a couple of Halloweens ago I saw the animated movie, which leads to…
The Honeydews from “Spookley the Square Pumpkin” by Art Baltazar
They did a CGI direct-to-video movie adaption of the book, and it… kind of went in a different direction. They added shit like Spookley getting bullied by the other pumpkins, brother and sister bats who argue about eating bugs, and the “Jack-A-Lympics” where a pumpkin is chosen as “Pick of the Patch.” Which essentially means a pumpkin’s chosen to get turned into a jack-o’-lantern. Somehow no one has any problem with what that means, which makes it come across as a kid’s version of Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”
The Honeydews are basically the singer characters. And for some reason have sunglasses. They sing the big “Transylvania Twist” song at the end of the movie.
Because Art and Franco often work together they share space at NYCC, so I usually get sketches from them at the same time.
Li’l Fear and the Blue Monkey from “Ghosts of Fear Street” by Jodi Tong
And now we come to the final sketch, a Fear Street one. I figured I needed to get one since I only got one “Goosebumps” piece.
I’ve been commissioning Jodi ever since I first saw her art at MoCCA Fest a few years ago. After doing a theme with DC’s Lian Harper I’ve branched out into other areas. You might remember the Kira commission she did for me last year. I got this from Jodi since she uses blue pencils for her sketch commissions.
I plan to recap “Tale of the Blue Monkey” next January as part of a fairy tale theme. It’s about a brother and sister who learn about a cursed monkey doll hidden somewhere in their new home. The doll was stolen by a little girl who was a member of the Fear Family, so the toymaker who crafted the doll put a bad luck curse on it. She’s never referred to by name, only “The little girl,” so I dubbed her “Li’l Fear.”
[Wing: Oh my god, no, too adorable.]
And that’s it for this year’s NYCC.
What did everyone think?
[Wing: There are so many adorable things in this, I think I am dying.]