News! Links! Thanks!: an update from the Summer of 2012
Well heya chums!
So I don't really know how many of you guys are still out there (and who could blame you?), but since I still get a fair amount of awesome emails and comments (and trust me, my perpetual amazement at the astoundingly cool readership of this this internet-ancient [not to mention "files deficient"] blog is a whole post unto itself), I thought it might be fun to do a little "not yet Halloween" type post.
What kind of post you ask? Well I dunno really, but I thought that since I've been sent and shown and run into so much great stuff over the last few months a mishmash of links might be nice, yeah?
(I mean sure, *ostensibly* my goal will be to share some links highlighting cool projects various "friends of Scar Stuff" have been doing, but secretly I plan on slipping in a few URLs that'll send you over to some junk I've been up to myself as well. Sneaky, right?)
So let's dive right in!
First up has to be Kirk Demarais' *fantastic* book "Mail-Order Mysteries: Real Stuff from Old Comic Book Ads!"
If you've ever spent more than 5 seconds paging through the ads of a comic book from the 50's to the 80's you're going to be familiar with the terrain here, and what Demarais (who among zillions of other things is also the proprietor of the truly rad Secret Fun Spot site , and creator of an absurdly cool series of Film Family Portraits that you might have seen around) does is as overdue as it is simple -- he compares the promise of the ads with the reality of the product. That's right! Page after page of revelations regarding the Moon Monster, the U-Control Ghost, the Hercules Wrist Band, X-Ray Spex and more! more! more! Seriously, check this book out. And hey! Here's a nice interview with Kirk as well. You rule, Kirk!
And while we're all thinking about comic book ads, I suspect that fans of the 1972 Gayle House classick "Invite your friends over for a Haunting" 7" will very much want to check out Peter Infelise's killer Gayle House Ghoul tribute mask. It's a brilliantly realized 3D interpretation of everyone's favorite comic book come-on monster, and he finds a home within the Devil's Workshop "Retro" line of mask awesomeness that Peter has created. Infelise's clearly a pretty busy guy, because he ALSO runs the super killer Blood-Curdling Blog of Monster masks, and a variation of his Gayle House Ghoul called the Blue Banshee can even be found within the Trick or Treat Studios line of affordable-but-excellent masks.
In! Fact! Let's just give Trick or Treat Studios their own section, huh? If you've been following the independent mask scene at all you'll know that ToT has been assembled a truly dazzling line of talent under their roof. Justin Mabry (Nightowl Productions), Aaron Lewis, Erich Lubatti, Kelly Mann -- the list of amazing artists at Trick or Treat is huge. These guys have sculpted and designed some of the coolest independent (and often limited-run) monster masks of the last decade, and finding them all together and producing such fantastic work at affordable prices is very much cause for celebration. If you dig the mask scene but find yourself either disappointed at the mass-market selection or balking at the boutique prices, Trick or Treat is your solution.
And hey! S-P-E-A-K-I-N-G of monster masks, here's something I do now & then that I've really been meaning to throw onto Scar Stuff eventually: it's a collection of Monster Mask photos that I cajoled photographer Jackie Alpers into taking. Because I'm lazy, here's a re-run of the description I posted on my JasonWillis.com site:
"Ostensibly designed to showcase some of the really cool work being produced by the independent mask making community, probably somewhat closer to the truth is that I secretly wanted a decent excuse to act out various scenes and situations involving my ever-growing collection of creepy latex heads. Awwwwwww yeah."
and just for good measure here's a direct link to the set on Flickr.
(I've got a ton more masks that I reeeeeeally need to add as well -- hopefully in a few months you'll be looking at more than 30 of these on display -- but for now: enjoy!)
While I'm talking photos-and-me, let me get this one out of the way too: This series of cubist-cum-collages that I started making with my iPhone last year is really what led me to come up with that stop motion Halloween short that I published on Scar Stuff last year. Much like the Monster Mask Series, I keep meaning to set up an "on-demand" type print option for the folks who have inquired about buying copies, but the business side of my brain often seems to head out for a stroll when I start conjuring this junk up. But hey! Until I get my act together, please feel free to enjoy the online gallery, eh? Heh, anyone want to be my agent?
So yeah, I hear what you're saying -- "Those monster mask pics are nice and all Jason, but they're really lacking something when it comes to the 'naked ladies' department." Well then! Why not check out Caleb Oglesby's "100% Not Safe For Work but Plenty Safe For Nightmares" series of Monster Girls? Pairing his amazing collection of monster mask latex with huge array of R-Rated models and settings, Caleb is clearly a man with a vision on a mission. Hi Caleb!
..and FROM the "men with visions on missions" dept, I'd be remiss if I didn't take a second here to spotlight my pal Mike Howlett's amazing Eerie Publications book once again. If you enjoyed my "Cast of Eerie Publications perform the Johnson-Smith Novelty Company 'Horror Record'" video from a few years back you probably already know about his gigantic and feverishly comprehensive tome "The Weird World of Eerie Publications: Comic Gore That Warped Millions of Young Minds", but what the hell -- here it is again! And for good measure here's his Facebook page too! Ch-ch-check it out!
Another pal of mine who is consistently doing swell stuff is Mike Plante. He's got a fantastic distro for independent, avant-garde, cult & underground films called "Cinemad Presents", and runs a regularly updated blog that sheds even more light on the same scene. FROM there you'll find podcasts, video interviews and a lot more -- Mike is clearly a busy dude & he's doing great work when it comes to the world of personal and unique cinema. Goooo Mike!
And hey! Speaking of cinema (okay, admittedly I'm being a bit generous in my use of that term) let's talk a little more about ME for a sec, huh?
Here's a short film I made back in June of 2012 that profiles the perils and pitfalls of, you know, catnip. ABOUT TIME, RIGHT?
So yeah, the video is called "Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?" and it's a faux 1970's drug educational short largely inspired by the amazing archives that have been unearthed by the fine folks over at Something Weird Video over the years -- for a totally ridiculous project I honestly had a very great time putting this together. If you've got about 7 minutes to spare, won't you please give it a look see?
(…innnnnn fact let me slip in a quick thank you to the cool people at Laughing Squid, Buzzfeed, I Can Haz Cheesburger, Film Independent and Metafilter for sending so many folks over to see it -- I really didn't expect such an overwhelmingly great reaction. Thanks again guys! Sorry to everyone I'm forgetting too!)
Ah hell, this is getting really long, isn't it? Tell you what -- let me just cram a couple of other little video shorts I've been doing in here as well and call it a day:
Here's a bogus "Old Timey" cover of MDC's 1982 hardcore classic "I Remember" that I did up in the style of the late 1920's vintage jazz/crooners -->
and here's a trio of time lapse setups that sorta represents a smattering of some of the junk I've been playing with in that arena -->
Okay is anyone still reading this? I should stop, huh?
Man! I swear that there are about 100 more things I want to share here (I'm making more & more music videos! People are hiring me to direct things! It's really cool!), but this is already about 5 times longer than I'd guessed at when I started typing. Much love to you all, and I hope to have one or two special treats ready for you come Halloweentime.
And seriously -- thanks again for all of the kind emails and sentiments over the years -- for a bunch of ghouls, monsters and banshees, you are also all truly, truly awesome.