31 Days of Monsters: #29, Cthulhu, eat your heart out!


By Shawn Robare




Welcome back to my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!  We’re into the top three.  Again, as I’ve been reiterating all month long (imagine I’m saying this next bit super-fast like John Moschitta in a Micro Machines commercial), in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Ghostbusters franchise, not to mention my love of 80s animation, I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  These animation cels are culled from my personal collection, and my wife and I tried our best to put them in a not-so-scary to really-freaking-creepy kind of order with the creepiest falling on All Hallows Eve. Whew…


I was thinking that yesterday’s flying toothy head monster would have been my top choice, and it probably would be if just on the frightening scale, but today’s is the one I think might take away the award for the coolest.  I’ve mentioned on the this site before how much I like cephalopods, and even though I haven’t really gotten into H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos all that much, I do love squid monsters…





When I first came across this guy it was after finding the cel that’s below this one, the close up of a similar creature’s face.   So I was so happy when I found this zoomed-out view of one of the other spawn of Cathulhu to give the whole thing a bit more definition.  Also, how cool is it that I found a cel where the squid monster is getting his arm blown off!  As you can see from the pencil under-drawing below the destruction is being caused by a proton pack blast…




In the original animated sequence this blast is obscured by another creature in the foreground, so it’s kind of cool to finally get a clear view of this type of action in the cartoon.  Looking a bit closer at the pencil drawing you can see where the animator did a bit of a test with the image by using an exacto knife to cut out the lightning-like charges that surround the blacks from the proton packs.  My guess is that it was testing the backlit animation process, but I can’t be sure…





As I mentioned, I first came into contact with this guy when I found this cel below.   At a distance the create looks a lot less alien, but when you do a super close-up it gets very weird looking indeed…




These are both from one of my most favorite episodes of the series, #41 "The Collect Call of Cathulhu." 



It was also written by one of my favorite animation writers, Michael Reaves, who has provided some of the best episodes in cartoon series such as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Dungeons and Dragons.  I love that for some reason or another he ended up adding the "a" to Cthulhu to differentiate it.  The episode is about as steeped in H.P. Lovecraft mythos as a 30 minute syndicated cartoon could possibly be with all sorts of refrences to the world of Cthulhu like the Necronomicon, Miskatonic University, and the ficticious city of Arkham, Massachusetts.  Just great stuff!





Once again, if you’re enjoying these daily Real Ghostbusters monster posts, make sure to come back tomorrow for another installment and tell a friend about the 31 Days of Monsters.   If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the banner with King Kong), as well as heading on over to the Countdown to Halloween to check out lists of a bunch of other sites participating in this year’s Halloween blogging event…

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