Tuesday, December 30

There's Triffids among us!

I just finished reading The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. It is a story about a spectacular meteor shower that rains over the earth, causing blindness in the inhabitants who watched it. The is also, simultaneously, a race of carnivorous plants called Triffids that seize upon the natural disaster and attack the now vunerable race of humans. The few remaining people with sight find themselves in a strange new world filled with threats not just from the Triffids but other humans as well.

I've seen the original movie version of this story, made in 1963 (though it's been a long time since I last watched it), but had never read the book until recently. It was really good, and now I plan to dig the movie out and give it another viewing for comparison. I understand the BBC aired a television version of the novel back in 1981 as well, and it's available on Amazon.com. It is supposed to be a pretty good adaptation, so I might just pick up a copy.

I also just read that a new Day of the Triffids series is being made for television, scheduled for a 2009 release. It is, again, a British production, and according to IMDB is supposed to air in August next year.

You know, all this talk about killer plants has me in the mood for some vegeterian food - think I'll go get me a big salad for lunch.

Monday, December 29

One Last Christmas Gift


I got one last Christmas gift yesterday when the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets and got a playoff berth in the process. Amazing - to go from 1-15 to 11-5 in one year is just incredible! AND, best of all, this win not only got them a playoff game next week, but also knocked both the Jets and Patriots out of the playoffs in the process! Go Phins!!

Wednesday, December 24

The 13 Days of Christmas - Christmas Day

One Christmas Day my blue ghoul gave to me...

One very scary comic - Santa Claus Conquers The Martians!
That's right - it's a comic book adaptation of this crappy old movie, from Dell Comics - now tell me this isn't scary! It came with a record version of this movie, which is pretty wacky to think of. Who thought THIS would be a big seller?



If you haven't seen the movie, then here you go - Scary Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 23

The 13 Days of Christmas - Christmas Eve

One the day before Christmas we have the infamous Crime Suspenstories #22, published May 1954 by EC comics. This is the one that was particularly focused on in the congressional witch hunt, er, hearings on comic books that effectively put EC and many other publishers out of business. When asked whether this lovely Johnny Craig cover was in bad taste, EC publisher William Gaines responded no. Bad taste would be showing the head a little higher with blood dripping. That's tellin' em, Bill!

Monday, December 22

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 3

On the 3rd Day of Christmas we have a pair of young lovers - how sweet! Chamber of Chills Magazine #23, again 1954. These covers were simply awesome! Scary Christmas! 2 more days till the big Sandy Claws comes - He knows when you've been sleeping... He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good... Geez, no wonder so many kids are screwed up - that's creepy as heck!!


Sunday, December 21

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 4

On the 4th Day of Christmas, my blue ghoul gave to me...
a comic that's just crawling with suspense - this is Mister Mystery #11, from 1953. This is a book that really bugged some parents, I'm sure!

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 5

I'm sure this comic made a big splash when published - On day 5 we have Tomb of Terror #16, published in 1954. This beautiful cover is by artist Lee Elias, who you can read more about HERE

Saturday, December 20

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 6

On the 6th Day of Christmas, we have an explosive little cover - Tomb of Terror Number 15, from 1954, which seems to have been a really popular year for gruesome comic books. Awesome!

Thursday, December 18

The 13 Days of Christmas

On the 7th Day of Christmas, we have a fiend who obviously knows how to show a lady a good time! From 1954 this is Startling Terror Tales #10


Wednesday, December 17

13 Days of Christmas - Day 8

For day eight we have a delightfully violent entry - I had to give you something good, couldn't leave you hanging you know! You can always count on good ole EC comics, and they came through with Crime Suspenstories #20 from 1954! Love that Johnny Craig cover!

Tuesday, December 16

13 Days of Christmas - Day 9

On the 9th Day of Christmas, my grue love gave to me...
Black Cat Mystery #50, from 1954


Now THAT is an awesome cover!!

Monday, December 15

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 10

On the 10th Day of Christmas, my grue love gave to me...
a hot poker to the eye with Mister Mystery #12, from 1953. Boy they just don't make em' like that any more, do they? Bet there were some parents out there in 1953 who didn't approve of this cover!


by the way, it just occured to me I'm doing this 13 days of Christmas countdown backwards, from 13 to one, but somehow it just seems appropriate that way.

The 13 Days of Christmas - Day 11

On the 11th Day of Christmas, my ghoul love gave to me...


Chamber of Chills from Marvel comics, 1976. This is one I remember reading as a kid, and I still have this comic today. The 70s Chamber of Chills featured reprints from the Chamber of Chills magazine published in the 50s.

Sunday, December 14

The 13 Days of Christmas

On the 12th Day of Christmas, my ghoul love gave to me...


Horrific Comic, issue 3 from 1951. Check out that Don Heck cover. Awesome!

Saturday, December 13

The 13 Days of Christmas!

We're in the home stretch now! For the next 13 days I'll be presenting a great old horror comic cover each day as a way of celebrating the Howl-idays. Enjoy - this one is a pre-code horror comic called Weird Mysteries #5 from 1953!


Friday, December 12

PSA Receives Accolade Award


Boy the awards keep rolling in!

The "Trash Day Of The Dead" PSA from the "Go Green With Dr. Gangrene" campaign has been honored with The Award of Merit from The Accolade Awards in La Jolla, California.

Here's the Press Release below:

Trash Day Of The Dead" was written & directed by Cameron McCasland and Produced by Michael Creason of New Valiant Productions. The Accolade is the latest in a host of honors poured upon the environmentally minded short which stars Dr. Gangrene (Larry Underwood) and his assistant Nurse Moan-Eek (Linda Wylie) as they battle against litter and zombies in downtown Nashville, TN.

"Trash Day Of The Dead" has gained notoriety nationally with wins at the Ava, AEGIS, Blingy, and Marcom awards this year, as well as receiving an Emmy nomination in writing for Cameron McCasland. The thirty second spot has also garnered praise from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, as well as other Tennessee lawmakers for it's call to arms in "Going Green With Dr. Gangrene".

The Accolade recognizes film, television and video professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce outstanding entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Information about the Accolade and a list of recent winners can be found at www. theaccolade. net.

Dr Gangrene, Physician of Fright, has haunted the scarewaves since 1999. Together with his faithful assistant Nurse Moan-Eek he continues to provide chills throughout Middle Tennessee on WNAB CW 58 Nashville, TN. For more information visit www. drgangrene. com

For more information on the Go Green With Dr. Gangrene campaign visit gogreencrusade. com

New Valiant Productions is based in Nashville, TN and is owned and operated by Michael Creason & Cameron McCasland. For more information go to www. newvaliant. com

Thursday, December 11

The Forgotten Horror Host - Vampirella!


Posting about Forest J. Ackerman yesterday got me thinking about Vampirella, a character he created that starred in her own magazine through Warren Publishing.

Vampirella is best known as the scantily clad vampire comic book character, the alien bloodsucker who haunted magazine racks for over 100 issues. But for the first 7 issues of that magazine, Vampirella joined the ranks of the horror hosts.

The magazine was patterned after fellow Warren Publishing books Eerie and Creepy, and Vampirella hosted an anthology of horror stories each issue, much like Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie did in THEIR magazines. The difference, however, was that Vampirella also starred in one of these stories, too.



It wasn't until Archie Goodwin took over editing that Vampirella became a regular headlining character, starting with issue 8. From that point on she starred in the magazine with feature length stories rather than hosting multiple short stories.

So here's to a little remembered Horror Host - Vampirella.

Tuesday, December 9

Dr. Gangrene Interview with Forrey Ackerman - Rivercon 2000

The recent passing of sci-fi icon Forrey Ackerman got me thinking about the time I met him. It was at Rivercon, in Louisville, KY back in 2000. This was actually the final Rivercon convention, and Forrey was the guest of honor. I had always wanted to meet Forrey, so I wrote him ahead of time and introduced myself, and asked if he'd mind spending some time with me doing an interview. He agreed, and Saturday morning at the show my wife and I met Forrey in the lobby and we had breakfast together at the hotel restaurant.

Before I go any further I have to mention that I had only been doing my show for a couple of years at this point, and was still pretty green around the gills. I got so excited about the interview and meeting Forrey that I actually drove all the way to Louisville before I discovered that I had left my camera at home! I was sick to my stomach - the main reason I decided to come to this show was to meet Forrey, and I really, really wanted to get an interview with him.

Well, I asked around Friday evening at the show and managed to find someone who graciously loaned me the use of his camera. So after we ate breakfast I found a quiet room in the hotel and the four of us, (Forrey, myself, my wife and the cameraman), all stepped inside to do the interview.
The cameraman (whose name I don't remember - but if you happen to read this blog please write me and remind me your name - I am very grateful) had a tripod as well as a camera, which was a good thing, since as soon as Forrey started talking he sat enthralled and didn't work the camera one bit - not a single zoom in the shoot, cut, camera movement, nothing. But you know what? I didn't care, I was just glad to get the interview.

It is amazing how much healthier he looked a mere 8 years ago. He really went downhill fast once he got sick. At 84 he was still spry enough to flirt with my wife and speak Esperanto to her when I left the table to head back to the breakfast bar. Forrey did two interviews with me that morning, and I just sort of let him talk and tell some of his favorite stories. He was still full of puns and Forrey-isms, and you just get the feeling that some of these stories were ones he had told a thousand times before.

But I thought you guys might like to hear them once more time, so I dug out this interview and posted it on youtube. Here it is below ...


Ghoul's Night Out rocks!


Here's a pic of me and the gals from Ghoul's Night out that I ran across on the web recently - this is from a show at The End a couple of years back. They are a terrific band out of the New England, MA area. They really need to put out a second cd - their first one rocks! Myra, guitarist/singer for GNO, also plays in one of my favorite surf bands, Gein and the Graverobbers, who have also played here in Nashville too, a couple of times. http://www.ghoulsnightout.com/ for more info.


Friday, December 5

Farewell Forrest J. Ackerman

It has been confirmed that Forrey Ackerman, Mr. Sci-fi himself, has passed away at the age of 92. Forrey was the founder of Famous Monsters Magazine and an inspiration to legions of horror and science fiction fans worldwide. I had the pleasure of interviewing Forrey for my show back in 2000 - he did two separate interviews with me where he sat down and told some of his favorite old stories. I think I'll dig up that interview and post it online sometime soon. Goodbye Forrey, and thanks for the inspiration!

here's a link to a story about Forrey's passing:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081205/ap_en_ot/obit_ackerman_7

Thursday, December 4

Trash Day Of The Dead Takes Top Prize At Ava Awards

Received some good news last night - Our multi award winning PSA, "Trash Day Of The Dead" received top honors at the International Ava Awards! The PSA from the "Go Green With Dr. Gangrene" campaign took home the Platinum Ava Award in the Television/Public Service Announcements category.

"Trash Day Of The Dead" has been on a roll with wins at the AEGIS, Blingy, and Marcom awards this year, as well as an Emmy nomination for writing for Director Cameron McCasland.

The Ava Awards are administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. The international organization consists of several thousand creative professionals. The Association oversees awards and recognition programs, provides judges and sets standards for excellence. For more information visit avaawards.com

Wednesday, December 3

Doc Gangrene mentioned in Nashville Scene article


Doc Gangrene was mentioned in the Nashville Scene newspaper today in an article about the Batpoet telethon that took place at the CH19 studio last Saturday evening. The article was written by the one and only Jim Ridley - Doc G. is mentioned several times throughout the article, most especially here:

"If you mention 19 to someone, they go, 'You mean The Bat Poet Channel?', " says Larry Underwood, who, as horror host Dr. Gangrene, is regarded with awe by fellow Channel 19 vets for landing a Saturday-afternoon slot on The CW—the equivalent of a sandlot player getting called to the bigs.

here's the link to the entire story on the Nashville Scene website...

http://www.nashvillescene.com/2008-12-04/news/health-woes-have-the-bat-poet-down-but-he-s-not-forgotten/

By the way, Jim modestly refers to himself here:

the only "civic luminary" the show could dredge up was a visiting drudge from the Scene.

Well, that dredge was Jim himself, who was the highlight of the evening in a rant about why the batpoet should return to the airwaves and what has happened to the streets of Nashville in his absence. Hilarious stuff, Jim!!

Dan the Man Johnson

Wanted to take a minute and point viewers to Creature Feature staff writer Dan Johnson's homepage.

Dan is a busy guy - in addition to his writing duties for us here, he also is a professional comic book writer. At left is his latest graphic novel, Herc and Thor, from Antartic Press. He also writes for various magazines and other projects.


Dan also writes strips for the Dennis the Menace cartoon. I have posted one of the most recent below.
Thanks again Dan, for all your hard work!





Tuesday, December 2

PSA recognized by City Council

I went to a Nashville City council meeting last night along with Nurse Moan-eek (Linda Wylie) and director Cameron McCasland. This was a local district 28 meeting held at the police precinct on Harding Rd. in Nashville. At this meeting the District 28 Councilmember Duane Dominy (pictured here) presented the Go Green with Dr. Gangrene psa and showed the "Trash Day of the Dead" psa videoprojected on a large screen there. They wanted to recognize the campaign, and councilman Dominy plans to present this to the entire Nashville Metro City Council at the next meeting for special recognition there. Thanks so much, Councilman Dominy!

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