Well I’m dropping the Mike cause I just finished Inktober!
I confess based on the rules I cheated today the first scrap of paper I drew from the Inktober Tupperware was a centipede. I assume I meant some sort of badass youkai, or something like Toshiro Mifune‘s coat of arms in Throne of Blood, when I was doing the list but somehow it didn’t feel Halloweeny enough. But for the last day I figured I have a surplus of selections, try again. So after drawing Cerebus my second time drew Edger Allan Poe’sRaven.
The Raven is one of my favorite poems in or out of it’s spooky context ( I especially like it when Vincent Price reads it, (though Walken, Lee and Jones also kick ass.) It’s always fun to try to see of ways to visualize it. (in this version I’m not sure if it would be right to have Poe drinking in the poem but it certainly would be in character.)
Well today I got another from the kiddy list… a scarecrow.
Seriously though, I like scarecrows, though I have too much respect for crows to think they’ll ever work. There’s something a iconic about them that triggers fond memories of New England farms. Also thinking them as effigies standing alone in the field is pretty cool.
It’s been a bit of a pet peeve of mine for a while that in modern fantasy the troll has pretty much become just another word for ogre. And while in the original Scandanavian stories there are giant trolls who fit that description, that is just a tiny fraction of the varieties. So knowing this was coming up I was looking forward to trying to show this when I finally got my instructions from the Inktober Tupperware.
Regrettably I had overslept today because I got home at two o’clock in the morning after picking some friends up at the airport. So I didn’t really have a creative bone in my body.
So I went with one of the obvious choices and stuck one beneath a bridge.
Poor guy’s been having a bit of a goat problem since… the incident.
With the death of Christopher Lee earlier this year I finally was drawn to watching him along with Peter Cushing in Hammer Films Horror films’ versions of some of classic monsters. I’d been hearing about some of these for year about how the Hammer versions of Frankenstein and Dracula were darker and sexier (though I confess after seeing Curse of the Werewolf last year I was going in with some skepticism.
The first of the films, Curse of Frankenstein starts as a reimagining of Mary Shelly’s classic story though it deviates fairly quickly. Probably thanks to the Boris Karloff’s unforgettable performance (along with Jack Peirce’s makeup) Frankenstein is almost always mistaken for his creation. In the Hammer version there is no such misunderstanding. Here’ it is all about Frankenstein with the creature being a side detail. Peter Cushing plays the doctor as an amoral psychopath driven to create not letting anything or anyone get in his way. When the monster escapes to wreak havoc he regards it mostly as an inconvenience (a far cry from Colin Clive’s portrayal who I alway imagined needing a good slap.)
Lee’s monster has little to do in comparison, though Lee manages to give it interesting physical performance.
Horror of Dracula of the two was the film I had gone in with the highest hopes. I had heard many good things about Lee’s portrayal of the count as being far more physical than the Universal version. I ended up being disappointed. Lee’s screen presence as Dracula is amazing but he only has dialogue in his first scene and for the rest of the film he’s little more than a feral predetor.
Cushing does a good job as Van Helsing. But after Curse of Frankenstein it was a bit of a let down based on what I’d heard about it I’d expected something similar to Anthony Hopkins’ performance in Brahm Stoker’s Dracula a driven hunter of the most dangerous game who would do what it took to take Dracula on. Instead he came almost like a version of Sherlock Holmes trying to predict Dracula’s next move.
I knew I had to do one vampire this month but I didn’t want to fall into the trap of doing Dracula or someone young and sexy so when I was doing the Inktober list I deliberately chose Count Orlok from Nosferatu.
Today the Inktober Tupperware gave me the poser of doing a little know creature from Aztec folklore the Ahuizotl, a monster that I had first heard of from an episode of My Little Pony.
I’d been curious enough to look it up later on, finding the basic articles, Aztec sculpture and some very nice illustrations on Deviantart but nothing I’d call extensive research and unfortunately due to my rules for this exercise I had no choice but to work from the memory of what I’d looked at in passing.
For the most part I found myself drawn to the cryptozoological approach treating it as just another animal no scarier than a jaguar (yes I know I’d be singing a different tune if I found myself lost in a Mexican jungle.) If I had more time on this I think I would have gone more with having it being some sort of monster opossum rather than the catlike thing I did here because of it’s unique grasping tail (which leads to some wonderful questions about hypothetical large extinct marsupials that could have inspired these myths in the first place.)