Hugh sends us this "beautifully made mashup video of the Republican candidates as Munsters." Read the rest
Cartoonist Winsor McCay was best known as the creator of the hallucinatory Little Nemo in Slumberland and Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend newspaper comic strips. Fewer people know that he was also the creator of the first animated dinosaur to appear in the movies (Gertie the Dinosaur, 1914). But hardly anyone knows that when McCay died in 1934, he was at work on a new comic strip called Dino, about a dinosaur that awakens after sleeping for 65-million years and befriends a young girl and her brother in New York City.
One person who knows is McCay historian Ulrich Merkl, who has put together a massive, astounding book about McCay and his influence in depictions of rampaging dinosaurs, robots, apes, and monsters in popular culture. Every page is loaded with eye-popping art from the early 20th century, much of it never reprinted before now. People of that era were just as hungry for city-destroying cinematic behemoths as we are today, and Merkl convincingly makes the case that it was McCay who whetted our appetite for them. If you like illustrations from the 1900s, you will go ape over Dinomania.
Dinomania: The Lost Art of Winsor McCay, The Secret Origins of King Kong, and the Urge to Destroy New York
by Ulrich Merkl
2015, 304 pages, 11.9 x 15.9 x 1.2 inches
Screen Novelties' Witch Doctor kickstarter is looking to raise $60,000 to finish a gorgeous-looking, tiki-themed stop-motion black-light movie inspired by classic dark rides. Read the rest
Meet Pentecopterus decorahensis, the creature that would have eaten you were you a tasty fishy 460m years ago: “It was obviously a very aggressive animal. It was a big angry bug.”
Those are the words of James Lamsdell of Yale University, author of a study on the nasty thing.
The creature grew to 170 centimtres (5ft 7in) and had a dozen claw arms sprouting from its head, as well as a spiked tail. Geologists at the Iowa Geological Survey found 150 pieces of fossils about 18 metres under the Upper Iowa river, part of which had to be temporarily dammed to allow them to collect the specimens.
Scientists at Yale University determined they were a new species from about 460m years ago when Iowa was under an ocean.
The study was published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. It's like reading about a very complex fossilized puzzle.
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Despite the fragmentary nature of the material, the comprehensive representation of the morphology allows Pentecopterus to be reconstructed (Fig. 20). The taxon bears a number of similarities to Megalograptus, including the typical megalograptid guttalate ornamentation and a number of features of the prosomal appendages, notably the randomly-oriented armature on the distinctly swollen podomeres of appendage IV and the narrow gnathobase bearing multiple rows of small teeth on the coxa of appendage V…
The newly described eurypterid Pentecopterus decorahensis from the Winneshiek Lagerstätte is the earliest described representative of the group, pushing our knowledge of Eurypterida back some 9 million years to the Darriwilian in the Middle Ordovician.
If you are traveling through the San Francisco International Airport during the next four months, don't miss the exhibit Classic Monsters, featuring fantastic items from the collection of Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, on view in the Terminal 2 gallery of the always-fascinating SFO Museum. The artifacts include vintage movie props, toys, and original paintings by Basil Gogos that appeared on covers Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.
Above: Vampire Armand Tesla’s head before and after it melts in The Return of the Vampire starring Bela Lugosi, 1943.
Below: Frankenstein toys and memorabilia c. 1960s–70s; Wolf Man makeup test bust made for Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein starring Lon Chaney, Jr., 1948; Dracula toys and memorabilia c. 1960s–70s; Mummy painting c. 1969 Artist: Basil Gogos.
Mars Attacks! was a lurid, horrifcally gory series of Topps bubble gum cards produced in the 1960s. Makeup artist Marla Malone created this wonderful face painting tribute to the genius of artist Norm Saunders, who painted the Topps Cards. Watch the video below.
Stefano Prima is not content to make rings and stalks sporting everyday taxidermy eyeballs -- rather, his pieces sport fanciful reptile irises, vertical goat-slits, terrifying basilisk pupils and even square pupils. Read the rest
In 1966, Topps issued a series of "Frankenstein Valentine Stickers" that have only improved with age. Read the rest
Hollywood Makeup Lab is not a beginner’s monster makeup book. The projects are mainly for people with experience making molds and prosthetics, and who are familiar with airbrushing and different kinds of makeup. But a beginner who wants to make a killer Halloween character can learn a lot from going through this book, which covers color theory, bruises, burns, zombies, aging, hair, bald caps, fangs, and tattoos.