The world may have ended and civilization may be in ruins but that’s no reason to dress in rags. You’ve got to have style even in the last of times.
I’ve given away a lot of my drawings over the years. Friends will kid me that they are hanging onto them until I become rich and famous. Then they can cash out. Silly people. I’m pretty sure I was never on a path to fame, much less fortune.
Recently one of my more sensible friends sent me photos of some of my drawings from back in the day – the “day” being some thirty years back – sometime in Eighties, a time of big shoulder pads and nuclear holocaust. She said that she was reducing her possessions in advance of a move and some of the drawings were going to get reduced along with the rest of the stuff.
I’m fine with that.
The work I did before the Nineties has life and energy but a poor awareness of anatomy. I thought it would be fun to do new versions of some of the characters in those old drawings.I thought the two fellows above looked like they’d be good traveling companions so I worked up an illustration that featured them both.
I just noticed that the big mutant is lacking the earrings I gave his original. Aw well, I haven’t worn my earrings in years either.
Time passes. Memories fade. When human civilization goes, some of our books will outlast us. If they have been stored somewhere dry and comfortable. Our films? Our films will go when we do. Without the technology to play the film and the power to run the technology, a film is (most accessibly) just a spool with a sequence of images or (less accessibly) an obsolete digital file.
And we’re back to our regular schedule – a black and white illustration posting on Sunday with a color version posting the following Wednesday.
I don’t have any real nostalgia for drive-ins. They weren’t a significant part of either my childhood or my adolescence. If I had a choice I’d have rather seen a film in a theatre building rather than a drive-in. I know people often used the drive-in for activities other than watching movies but I’ve got a one track mind. I go to the movies to watch the movie. I only remember going once, to see a double bill of Godzilla vs. Megalon and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. I’m sure that I have more than that but none of the films have stuck in my memory.
I do have sympathy for ghosts and creatures who have outlasted their original era. Most of us become the latter and, eventually, all of us become the former.
The more I think about it, the less likely it seems that these folks would get together protect humanity from … anything. So what are they doing? Wilbur might still be interested in calling his “father” to Earth but I doubt that Frank (I’m just going to call him that – typing “the Frankenstein Monster” every time is tedious) or Helen would think that was great idea. Maybe they are planning a heist?
I didn’t plan to post this image on Christmas Day. I schedule posts for Sundays and Wednesdays. I finish coloring an image and then put both the black and white version and the color version into the queue. I finished coloring this one on November 7th. The next available slot for posting was today.
Three beings of improbable, one might even say miraculous, birth sharing fellowship. We are all monsters to someone. And we all need a place to call home, if only for moments. So, no, I didn’t plan to post this image on Christmas Day but it seems like an appropriate choice.
Merry Christmas to all you monsters. May you have rest and companionship today. Amen.
I designed these characters a couple of years ago for a possible graphic novel project. The project didn’t go much beyond the idea stage but I like these designs so here’s a new version of these two. They had names in the project but since someone else was writing that I can’t use those so they are currently (and perhaps permanently) anonymous.
With the exception of the Heap itself I used most of the colors from the 2013 mock cover to color this illustration. I made the Heap a darker green.
The Heap was the first swamp monster to have its own regular series of stories. PS Publishing recently collected all those tales in three volumes under its Roy Thomas Presents series. There are a few good stories in the mix but they are rare and mostly in the last volume. I suspect that my lack of enthusiasm is more the result of when I started reading comics than the stories themselves. They were written during the so-called Golden Age of Comics when comics were expected to be read by children and comics creators were really still learning the form. During its day, The Heap was a rare comic that featured a hero monster. When I started reading comics in the 1970s, monsters were everywhere. Man-Thing and Swamp Thing had adventures much weirder (and longer and better written) than those of their four color ancestor.
Oh well, the Heap is immortal and its legend may yet surpass that of its descendants.
A couple of years ago I did a mock cover for a Heap comic. I had fun but I wasn’t satisfied with the results. So here’s another image using the same characters.