Monday, October 25, 2010

Glenn Strange again

Funny how Glenn Strange was one of the later actors to perform as Frankenstein's monster, yet his likeness was the one usually found on monster toys and memorabilia from the 60's on. Personally I feel Boris Karloff is the quintessential monster, but Glenn was next as far as how the monster looked. Unfortunately the scripts he acted in as the monster gave him little to work with. But he looked very cool doing it!

I'm also surprised at the affinity a lot of fans still have for his portrayal. Perhaps it's because of his image being the one on the toys they collected and played with in their youth. All I know is he's a lot of fun to paint!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arch Oboler

Funny how our culture elevates people not worthy of our time and effort, and easily tosses aside folks from the past who were truly artists. Well, maybe "tragic" would be a better word. Arch Oboler is a name from the past. I would guess the vast majority of people today don't know his name. He was an author, playwright, director and visionary. He was one of the first people who saw 3D as a viable way of viewing film. As popular as 3D seems to be today you'd think someone would mention his name.

I first became aware of Mr Oboler when I was about ten years old. I sent off for a cassette of some radio show called Lights Out. I wanted it because it starred Boris Karloff, one of my, and still favorite actors. Dramatic radio really appealed to me because it forced my imagination to engage. All the images had to be constructed in my mind. Oboler referred to radio as the "theater of the mind". He was right.

He wrote and produced many wonderful radio shows, some mediocre films, and authored a couple books.

I never really finished this portrait of him. I originally envisioned a skeletal hand holding an NBC microphone, as well as an old cathedral styled radio with tentacles oozing out of it. Maybe one day...

Friday, October 8, 2010


I've been a fan of the classic Universal monsters ever since I can remember. Since Halloween is coming up I thought I'd post this painting I did of Bela Lugosi and Helen Chandler from, for me the definitive Dracula film of 1931. I recall seeing this film listed in the TV Guide magazine, with the word "melodrama" after it. As a young boy I didn't know what melodrama meant. I'm still not convinced Dracula is a melodramatic film. Oh, well...

Halloween was a great time when I was a kid. We'd dress up in the afternoon, get our milk-boxes for Unicef and go collect coins for them. This allowed us to scout out the terrain prior to going for the good stuff: the candy!! I usually wore a Ben Cooper costume of whatever cartoon character I was fond of at the time. When I was around 11 or 12, my mom made me a Dracula cape!! That was big stuff!! A white shirt, black pants, some plastic fangs and fake blood and I was good to go.

I loved staying up late n Saturday nights and watching the Cool Ghoul from Cincinnati and Dr. Creep from Dayton. These were the only chance you had to see a classic horror film back then. Those days made for some very fond memories that endure to this day.