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Stickers: Famous Monsters

15 May

As I mentioned in the post “Princess Lovely’s Doctor Beautiful Dream Bride Pretty Set” there is a wonderful store on Church Street here in Toronto called Ontario Specialty Co. that has an awesome selection of vintage toys, sunglasses key-chains, purses, stickers and more, from what must be a large hoard of deadstock merchandise.  I buy many thinks from this store, and though the items are vintage, the stock changes regularly, so you must snap up the things that catch your fancy quick or you’ll be disappointed.  I got a taste of this a little while ago when I bought just one set of these amazing horror stickers, foolishly thinking that I could come back for more later.  But alas I was not the only one who fell in love with these retro monster “puff” style stickers, so they’ll be no”‘tradesies” for these awesome ghouls, not for “Mello Smello” scratch-n-sniffs or anything!

The Mummy

Wolfman

The Skull

Frankenstein

I feel like there must have been a fifth sticker of Dracula, but if there was, I guess I must have lost it.

I found this great cheap paperback from the 1970s at Value Village thrift store called “Great Monsters of the Movies”.  It had cool pictures and information on many classic horror films and the monsters that were their stars.   These stickers looked a lot like some of the monsters in these films:

Cheap paperback book entitled “Great Monsters of the Movies, By Robert K. Davidson. This edition copyrighted 1977

Frankenstein’s monster, from the 1931 film Frankenstein

Compare that to the Frankenstein sticker; same scar on forehead and jawline, but sticker has poutier lips for some reason.

Mummy from “The 1942 film “The Mummy’s Tomb”

The Mummy sticker looks like the Mummy monsters from “The Mummy’s Tomb” and “The Mummy’s Hand”, which was released two years later,  in its similar wrinkled and dry appearing face.

The skull-looking monster from 1973’s “The Abominable Dr. Phibes”

There’s no movie in the book with “The Skull” in the title, but this gross thing from “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” sure looks like the sticker.

From “The Wolf Man”, 1941

I don’t know, the wolfman sticker kind of seems more like a cross between this incarnation of a canine-man monster, and the giant ape in King Kong (1933)

Is it just me, or are these old monsters way freakier than the new CGI crap they churn out now?  To punctuate this point, check out these horrifying creatures from two other classic films:

Monster from “The Phantome of the Opera”, 1925

Gah! Isn’t that way scarier than the stupid asymmetrical white mask wearing goon made famous by the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical?

And look at the weird visage of the murderous snake in “The reptile”, who, despite the obvious phallic association and symbolism, is a woman:

From “The Reptile”, 1966

Frightening, no?

Monster stickers purchased at Ontario Specialty Co., 133 Church St., Toronto

Great Monsters book purchased at Value Vullage, 1319 Bloor St. W., Toronto

Compare and Contrast: Art Dog

7 May

I am very fortunate to own such a beautiful dog, a very fancy chihuahua named Pixie La Rue.  Of course everyone thinks their dog is the cutest dog, but Pixie is something special.  Not only is she quite pretty, she loves to pose for pictures, and the camera loves her face.  As my fellow photographers can appreciate, it is an inspiration and a pleasure to work with a beautiful model, especially when they themselves have an appreciation for the craft and an ability to draw on the history of art in honing their skills, and Pixie has done her research and has her modeling style down pat.  But don’t take my word for it, her work speaks for itself:

Pixie, in repose

Ingres “Grand Odalisque”, 1814

Bravo Pixie, Bravo.  She really gave me something special during that session, although, the caliber of her work is quite high to begin with.  Let’s take a peek at her portfolio, shall we?

Pixie, luxuriating in bed, radiates a content and relaxed air. Despite having a difficult day, Pixie is a professional through and through, and never allows her personal upsets to come through in her work.

Pixie, in a more risque bedroom photograph, pushes through the distraction of a cheese sampler on the craft table, to deliver some of her best work.

And finally, despite her trepidation at working with a mannequin hand, Pixie keeps her cool so we can finish the shoot.

I mean, how can other dogs expect to compete with that?

Compare and Contrast: Tammy and Dolly

19 Apr

Compare and Contrast:

An antique doll that once belonged to my mother

Tammy Pierce, the grotesque, boy obsessed, fashion challenged heroine of Esther Pearl Watson's brilliantly funny graphic novel Unlovable

If you are not familiar with the Unlovable books, and therefore do not get the serendipitous and hilarious good fortune of my owning the above doll, you are missing out, no lie!

Dime Store Books

2 Apr

I like to collect vintage books that have well illustrated covers for inspiration.  As an artist and collector  I think that it is important to one’s art practice to keep interesting objects in one’s living environment.

Both of these books were bought in the one dollar racks outside BMV Books at 2289 Yonge St. (and others) in Toronto, a great place to find vintage books, art books and comics at low prices.

BMV 2289 Yonge St

The first book is an awesome science fiction novel called Survivor by Laurence Janifer.  The colours are just fantastic, wouldn’t you agree, dear reader?

Our hero, Gerald Knave

When I looked carefully at the handsome, manly face of  ‘Knaves’,  the book’s hero, I couldn’t help feeling that he looked somehow familiar.  Lets take a closer look, shall we?

                                          

Those small squinting eyes, that smug, smiling toothy face…so familiar…  Then it hit me, it looks much like a character Daniel Clowes would draw.  Does anyone else see it?  Take a look at a couple of examples, maybe you’ll see the resemblance.

                    

      Perhaps I just have Daniel Clowes on the brain, as I love his comics.  Stay tuned for more cheap discarded items that remind me of his work!

The second pulp novel I found had this amazing illustration:

          

This book, entitled Nightmare Alley, By William Lindsay Gresham, promises ‘occult depravity’, and also boasts a succinct review by The New York Times: “Hundred Proof Evil”.   Tantalizing, no?