Thursday, 25 December 2014
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Here's my final drawing for the #MakingCreepmas challenge then! Had a lot of fun doodling these pics....I might go back and do some of the ones I missed later in the month! :)
Merry Creepmas to all the other bloggers who have been taking part this year...and if you're not one of the other Creepers, click on the Creepmas badge at the side of the blog to get taken to the Creepmas hub, where you can find links to all the other freaky deaky blogs that have been covering the 13 days of Creepmas!
Saturday, 13 December 2014
I promised you something good yesterday and so hopefully this post will fill you with plenty of Creepmas fear, as I take a look at various videogame versions of Chris Colombus & Joe Dante's Gremlins movie in this Gruesome Games Special. There's a fair few games based on the crazy classic, so this will be split into two parts, with the second part appearing sometime this week...Might as well extend Creepmas even more towards Christmas like I did last time! ;)
1 :Gremlins ~The Adventure (ZX Spectrum) :
First up, we have Brian Howarth's Gremlins The Adventure, a properly licenced text-adventure which manages to stay very close to the source material! Starting in Billy's bedroom, the game has you immediately facing off against one gremlin who is throwing darts at your face! You'll have to quickly work out how to escape, or you'll be seeing the "Game Over" screen almost immediately!
Not to worry though, as once you're downstairs the game eases off a little, and gives you time to get used to the rather annoying problem of guessing which words the game will understand..I suppose this is a problem with a lot of text adventures, but having to type "Go Door" instead of just moving "North" through it is the bit that annoyed me the most!
But you'll eventually get used to it, and learn that with a PELTZER remote control and several PUSH BUTTON commands you'll be able to enjoy the great animations as you blend, microwave, behead and otherwise dispose of the ever-growing gremlin horde and stop them from taking over your town! The graphics really are the best thing about this title, and as you can see from the gifs posted here, do a fantastic job of creating just the right fun mood for a Gremlins game!
So yeah, ignore the fact the game won't understand you half the time and you should have a great time exploring Kingston Falls and saving Christmas!
2 - Gremlins (ZX Spectrum) :
The Adventure wasn't the only Gremlins game on the ZX Spectrum though...hidden away on cassette 2, side 2 of 60 Spectrum Games from Magnum Computing was this effort by a Stephen Nichols...Clearly unlicenced, it sees you taking control of Gizmo the Mogwai in his little car! You have to try and speed to the bottom of the screen and pull a cord to open the shop blinds so that light will stream in and melt the nasty Gremlins before they can jump in the fountain, and start multiplying!
For some reason, killer chainsaws are running rampant in little groups, and in another shameless rip-off (Frogger) you'll have to avoid these saws to get to the cord. That's it really...not a game that will see you play for more than a couple of minutes, but it's not without some fun. It's really not good enough to recommend you trying though.......
3. Gremlins (Atari 2600) :
Another game that borrows heavily from arcade influences is the Atari 2600 game, which in the first stage has you collecting Mogwai as they drop from the rafters and try to snaffle your hamburgers, clearly ripping off Kaboom! Should the little furry freaks reach the hamburgers, they'll turn into pods ready to transform into Gremlins. Miss all the Mogwai and it's Game Over....
The second screen has you shooting the Gremlins that have now hatched from their slimy pods, as they advance down the screen towards you, like Gremliny-Space-Invaders! Blast them before they reach the bottom, or once again the game will end.
Back in the day I don't suppose you would be too unhappy if you got this in your Christmas Stocking, but now it's only really worth playing for a few minutes if you happen to have them spare. At least the graphics are decent enough to let you know you are indeed playing another Gremlins game!
Anyway, that's enough for now, or I'll miss my deadline again! Don't worry if you are slightly underwhelmed by this lot...there are far better Gremlin Games to come in the second part, which should be appearing here soon...so long as some Gremlins don't get into the computer or anything....wait....what's that music I can hear? Sounds like Johnny Mathis....*gulp*...
Friday, 12 December 2014
I'm in a "can't be bothered" type mood today, and just seem to find myself staring at the PC not doing anything, so I'll just post this quick sketch I did for today's challenge, and promise to post something awesomely creepmassy tomorrow for the last day of Creepmas!
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Back in October, I pointed you towards Hallowscream!, an annual horror comic put together by my brother and various other horror comic fans, now in it's 6th issue.....well, back in 2012, many of those fans also decided to put together a Christmas Special!
Again, you can download it via links on my brother's blog and enjoy a splendid, spooky selection of horrific holiday hi-jinx! And you may as well download the other Hallowscream! comics too if you haven't already!
Here's the full list of contents.......
Cover & Intro page by Malcolm Kirk (my brother).
Page 3 : Jolasveinar Story by Paul Bristow, Art by Andy Lee
Page 10 : Deadly Flue Story & Art by Gordon Innes
Page 13 : Reunion Story by Sam Larkin, Art by James Newell
Page 16 : Terrorvision Guide by Malcolm Kirk
Page 17 : Yuletide Fear Story by Oscar Maltby, Art by Matthew Herbert
Page 18 : Yeti Story & Art by Gordon Innes
Page 21 : The First Page Story & Art by Carol Kewley
Page 22 : The Fright Before Christmas Story by Tim West, Art by Christopher Geary
Page 28 : Graveyard Ghoul Pin-up by "The Gurch"
Page 29 : Good Will Story by Derek Hamill, Art by Jon Taylor
Page 32 : Red-nosed Skull by Malcolm Kirk
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
The last lot of toys I covered as Gruesome Gift ideas were somewhat expensive, and so for this next suggestion I decided to go a bit cheaper and cover something I managed to collect almost a full set of for £12!
Deadstone Valley collectables are exactly the sort of thing I would have expected in my Christmas stocking as a 10 year old kid! They're just the sort of slightly bad-taste, disgusting things I loved to collect back then like Madballs, Garbage Pail Kids, Rude Ralph, etc.
Each single pack comes with one of the characters, a coffin, a headstone with an "inscription" (basically a sticker stuck on) telling you about the figure and how they died, and a "burial plot" which is just a piece of cardboard, with a hole you can pop out and place the coffin and headstone in!
You'll also find a "burial code", which will direct you to the toy's website where you can give your character a proper virtual burial, and create your own ghoulish creations and bury them too! Originally £6.99 each, they're currently retailing on Amazon for £1.74 per pack, but I actually got mine for a pound each from Poundland! They were still selling them in there when I was in the other day, so if you have a Poundland store near you, pop in and see if there are any left!
The build of the toy is quite cheap, but for your money you do get something nice to sit on your shelf (or keep in it's box and pin it on your wall, like I did with mine!)...well, I say nice...but obviously these won't be perfect or appropriate for every child, just sick little freaks like I was as a kid! The coffins have a few nice touches like little rats inside, and you can swap heads between characters to create some weird combos!
Here's the characters and their tombstone text.....
Auntie Flo lays beneath,
She took a deep breath,
and swallowed her teeth.
Ballerina Matilda was dancing away,
she stood on a hairy spider
and died the next day.
Poor Sally lies here all alone,
After she choked at the wedding
on a chicken bone.
Here lies the body of Pirate Frank,
who died at sea
after walking the plank.
Poor old Gunslinger Joe,
He got shot down below
and died ever so slow.
This is the grave of Jailbird Suggs,
who's rotting away covered in bugs.
Poor Maizie The Maid.
Killed by a wooden stake to the head.
Here lies the body of Old Judge Wriggs,
laid to rest in his robe and wig.
Here lies scientist Hannah Batiste,
who was killed in her lab by a radioactive beast.
Here lies the explorer Terry Jones,
All that's left are his skull and bones.
Here lies Traffic Warden Fred,
Died after a parking meter fell on his head.
Here lies the wrestler Lucky McGraw,
Who was thrown from the ring and broke his jaw.
Like I said, I managed to get these for £1 each, but there are other packs to collect..like this one above that I've just sent for (about £3 from Toys 'R' Us) where you also get two grave diggers and the Undertaker. The most expensive one I've seen is about £14.99, and it appears to feature pretty much the same as the pack above but also has a poster and checklist and different packaging (see below)...
Still it's a pretty cheap thing to collect, so if you do have some poor disturbed creature who would like such things, young or old, then you'd do well to snap these up before they disappear for good!
Sorry for not posting over the last few days, ladies 'n' gents, but my father was rushed into hospital with heart problems last week, so it's obviously been a bit stressful since then and I haven't really felt like posting!
He's back out now though, diagnosed with a weak heart and with some drugs to regulate his heart rate and everything, and seems to be doing a lot better, so that's good! Anyway, here's a very, very quick sketch for today's theme (again, slightly late for UK time!) and hopefully I'll be back posting for Creepmas properly tomorrow!
Thursday, 4 December 2014
A bit late for UK time, but still enough time to make Day 3 of the Making Creepmas Challenge in the USA, so here you go! Check out #MakingCreepmas on Twitter to see everyone else's creations!
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Broadcast as part of the BBC's art program Omnibus in 1968, this film is an adaptation of the M.R.James ghost story "Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad"..it went down so well that it inspired a new yearly "Ghost Story For Christmas", with an adaptation of an M.R. James story being broadcast every year from 1971 - 1978...
This story was first published in 1904 in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, the first collection that James published of stories he had penned to entertain friends and students during Christmas, at Eton & King's College, Cambridge where he was provost. You could say he was one of the first Creepmassers! ;)
Anyway, the story tells of an introverted academic who decides to explore an old cemetery whilst visiting the East Anglian coast. He discovers an old whistle, which he cleans up and gives a blow, a rather silly idea if you've ever read a spooky story before...or..y'know...think about the fact you're putting something you dug up from a graveyard into your mouth! ;) Anyway, enjoy the spookiness, and I'll go get the next Gruesome Gift post ready for tomorrow!
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Something I've been interested in looking into for a while is the world of Kaiju/Sofubi....these figures from Japan are modelled on all kinds of weird monsters from cute looking little Godzilla-type creatures, right through to zombies and brain-oozing demons!
The one thing that's been stopping me from starting collecting these things though, is the price...most of the really cool ones are priced over £100, come in limited editions and are tricky to get a hold of, usually needing to be imported from the States or Japan......
Still, they're really cool to look at, and I thought that if someone was feeling particularly rich, they'd make a great gruesome gift idea for a freaky friend or themselves! The one's you're looking at here all come from a company called Cure Toys in Japan.
They have official distributors in America & France, so if you do fall in love with these creepy creatures, you might be able to pick them up from http://www.lulubelltoys.com/ or https://mishkanyc.com/ if you're in America, and the French store is at http://artoyz.com/shop/fr/ ! All of these links have lots of other cool toys to check out as well, although as I said, most are pretty expensive!
I only discovered this company by accident whilst browsing the web last week, and as the website is in Japanese, I still don't know much about them. I did find some info over at Man-E-Toys that told me about Cure collaborations with other Japanese companies, and more about the figures themselves, but I'm still too clueless to even attempt to make sense, so again if you're interested, take a look over there for more details!
I'll just continue to look at the lovely designs until I can find somewhere a bit more local and cheaper though! Anyway, I'll shut up now at let you just gaze in wonderment at the last few models! ;)
Groovy, eh!? Pity they're so damn elusive and expensive, but don't worry! If you're skint like me and can only scrape a few coins together, the next gruesome gift I look at will be more up your street! That post should be up in a couple of days or so, but in the meantime I'll leave you with a picture of a cute Frankenstein-style monster! Laters!
Monday, 1 December 2014
For years now, Christmas has been slowly creeping it's way towards Halloween, with retailers now putting out Christmas decorations on the shelves at the same time as the skulls, spiders and scary masks....so a few Halloween fans over at Creepmas decided to retaliate and got together to put the creepy in to Christmas!!
So for the next 13 days I've decided to join them once again in the good-natured push back at this retailer onslaught, and will be posting all manner of ghoulish gift ideas, creepy comics & other seasonal spookiness on the blog!
If you have a blog or website of your own and would also like to take part, or just want to have a nosey at what the other sites celebrating Creepmas are up to, just follow the link above or click on one of those CREEPER 2014 badges! At any time between now and next year, clicking the Creeper badge at the side of the blog will also take you over to the Creepmas site too!
It should be a whole lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to taking part and seeing what other freaky finds the others have in store...Oh, and there's an extra art challenge this year too, with every day having a different theme, so it'll be great to see what people come up with for those! Today's theme is ELF, and so I've done my own drawing of a scary Santa-helper that you can check out below! And check back tomorrow, when I'll hopefully have some gift ideas for you!