Category Archives: Halloween 2009

31 Days of Monsters: A Full Recap!




Well, I just wanted to do a quick re-cap of this year’s Halloween Countdown.  I hope everyone enjoyed the 31 Days of Monsters, I know I enjoyed putting it together.  Though I kind of want to take a little breather, I can’t help but think about what I’m going to do next year.  Hmmmm.  Anyway, enjoy the monsters!


   


   


   


   


   


   


   


   

Now I kind of want to take a 31 day nap!

31 Days of Monsters: #31, Oh the Horror!




Welcome back to the final day of my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!  I can’t believe the month is over.   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 today, All Hallows Eve.


Today’s monster was voted the creepiest by my lovely wife who just couldn’t stand the look of it.  This one is a Class 4 free floating spirit of some alien origin and in the episode, the Ghostbusters have to shuttle up to a space station to fight it…





I believe this is the sort of monster that falls into the category of a horror.   It’s all teeth and tentacles, eyeballs and biting mouths.  Sort of like the Blob, this kind of monster doesn’t seem all that scary until it starts to grow and the next thing you know there’s just no running from it.  I guess it’s a bit of fear through suffocation, and this guy is a bit more than I’d bet even Steve McQueen could handle.   Lucky for us the Ghostbusters were on the job.   If nothing else this monster is colored perfect for the occasion.





As for this particular cel, it’s kind of neat because it’s part of a scene in the episode where this monster is obscured by the gang of Ghostbusters who are trying to battle it.  So this is the first time that most of this art has seen the light of day (not that you couldn’t see similar shots in other scenes…)  Here’s a couple screen grabs, the first on the left with my cel, and a second which is a more natural shot of the creature on the right…


  

So that’s it for the 31 Days of Monsters here at Branded in the 80s as another Halloween has come and by tomorrow morning it’ll just be a great memory.  There was a lot of great stuff posted around the internet this year, so if you want to find your way to a lot more content you can head 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.  If you’d like to read more Halloween-y goodness from me, you can also click on the Halloween Archive link to the left (the orange banner with King Kong.)  I don’t know about all of you, but I plan on kicking back and watching scary movies with my wife all day and into the night.  Here’s hoping we get a good lot of Trick-or-Treators, and I hope every one of you has a great Halloween.  Thanks for stopping by!

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31 Days of Monsters: #30, Weird Green SpiderDogCat!




We’re down to the second to last day of 2009′s spooky event, the 31 Days of Monsters Countdown to Halloween.  It’s the eve of All Hallow’s Eve I guess, and I have my second to last set of monster cels to share.  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 Halloween day.


Today’s cel is a really fun one that falls into that category of a more finished image.  The monster is from episode 53, "The Scaring of the Green."  Typically, most background elements are separated out onto a layer of their own, be it a painting on paper behind all the stacked cels, or on a cel layer if there’s movement involved in the BG elements.  This cel featuring a huge green saber-toothed cat-like bog hound monster (with super creepy spider-esque eyes) chasing Mr. Venkman is a bit of an anomaly in that the BG elements, as well as both main foreground characters are all painted on one layer…





I can see this presenting all sorts of problems in the process, most involving either syncing up the artwork in the various cels in the sequence to make sure the animation isn’t so bumpy and making sure the cels are painted in the proper sequences so that everything is colored correctly and overlaps properly.  Maybe the animators were going for something more crude in a chase sequence like this and any jarring jumps between cels would work towards the tone of the sequence.  Either way, when taken out of context like this it works very well as a stand alone piece of art.



I do think the hunter green which was chose as the color of the beast was a little unfortunate as it blends in to the black line-work enough to make the shape and features of the creature a little hard to distinguish.  Luckily I have the pencil under-drawing for this piece, thought it was a little damaged by the cel (the paint on the back of the cels sometimes bonds with the paper drawing underneath, probably in the years that these were stored in warehouses.)  You get the basic drift though…





Apparently, the notation NR-5 refers to leaving paint off the cel as it’s transparent on my copy of the finished cel.


I was also lucky enough to find a second cel from the same episode featuring this huge bog hound that shows it with a little more definition in the final cel…





I also dig this second one because of the little bits of light yellow green paint illustrating the creature being sucked into a ghost trap.  It’s just a nice juxtaposition of a slight painterly style mixed with the clean cel art…





As weird as it might have turned out, I think maybe his spots should have been rendered in another color to help give him some more overall definition.  Anyway…

Also, for any of you Real Ghostbusters fans out there that haven’t picked up any of the new DVDs, I’ve decided to give away a copy of the Volume 1 Steelbook edition of the show!  There are only two days left to enter, so get to the typing…



This 5-disc set contains the first 25 episodes of the series (including the 1st thirteen episode Saturday Morning run) as well as some fun special features.  So what do you have to do to win this beauty?  All you have to do is send me an e-mail (or click on the Creature From the Black Lagoon monster in the sidebar) and make sure to include the following:

-Please put "The Real Ghostbusters Contest" in the subject line.
-List your favorite monster/ghost/creature from the series.
-Include your name.

The deadline for entries is October 31st at Midnight eastern standard time.  I’ll be drawing a winner at random from the e-mails, and will respond to the winner via e-mail on November 1st.  Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the 31 Days of Monsters countdown and the contest, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck)!


Once again, if you’re enjoying these daily Real Ghostbusters monster posts, make sure to come back tomorrow for the last 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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31 Days of Monsters: #29, Cthulhu, eat your heart out!




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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31 Days of Monsters: #28, Roller-Coaster Dragon!




We’re really getting down to the wire here, and imho these monsters are getting pretty messed up, especially for having aired on Network television in the mid 80s.  My 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown only has three more ghoulish creeps to unveil!  For those joining the party late, 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.


Today we have one of the creepiest bar none.  This probably would have been my pick for the last monster, but my wife is really a better judge of what’s creep-tasitc.  Ever since I saw my first Friday the 13th jump-scare back in the mid 80s I’ve just never been all that afraid of all things horror and monster related.  I also started reading Stephen King and Clive Barker at a pretty young age, so I think I was tempered on the scary.  That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the genre, in fact I love it to death, but I’m very rarely scared or really creeped out (giant spiders, anthropomorphized food products, and multi-armed ghoulies do a pretty good job…)





I’m finding that a lot of sharp teeth, especially ones at weird angles are also one of my soft spots.   I think, like most people, I don’t like the idea of being bitten, but being torn to shreds while being bitten seems so much worse.  This guy looks like a giant shark with wings and a really flat snout, and I’ll bet it would be pretty ugly of you stuck your hand in that gaping maw of his.  Sort of like that scene in Jaws 4 at the beginning when the family’s youngest had his arm bitten off and he held up the tattered yellow rain slicker all wet with blood and gore.   I love that I also got a chance to slip in a bit of Peter and Egon before this list came to an end, especially when they’re clearly frightened out of their gourds.

This monster is actually a converted set of roller-coaster cars.  It was the handy work of the Boogeyman, one of the Ghostbusters most famous villains.  He hails from episode #81, "The Boggeyman is Back".



As for the cel itself, I was a little bummed that the black line-work on the photocopy portion of the cel has faded so much over time.  Again, not to harp on the quality issues as it worked at the time and for the the purpose it was made for, but as a collector these overseas produced cels just don’t last.  In part I’m glad I have a site like Branded to preserve what is left of some of these cels so that I can at least get a digital copy that’ll serve as a record frozen in time for anyone who might be interested in cel animation for years to come.


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.  Also, 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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31 Days of Monsters: #27, Red & Handy!




Welcome to day 27 of my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!  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, (is anyone even reading this first paragraph anymore?) 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.


Today’s monster comes from episode 57, "Janine’s Day Off", and is just downright weird, red and, well, handy.  There are way too many hands on this guy.  Between his finger goatee, the spider-like fangs coming out of his nose, his two bottom rat teeth, and the extra pair of hands coming out where his ears should be, it’s just capitol F-reaky…




This monster is actually made up of a bunch of little red gremlin-like devils that were besieging the firehouse while Janine was trying to teach a temp how to take care of the guys.  Peter, in his infinite wisdom, decided to reverse the polarity on his proton pack and he blasted the creatures causing them to bind and morph together into huge handy here.



Yeah, I don’t know what else I can say about this guy besides the fact that I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley without a proton pack strapped to my back!


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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31 Days of Monsters: #25, Famine!




Well, we’re into the last week of the Halloween festivities here at Branded in the 80s; there are only seven entries left in my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown.  As I’ve been reminding you all this past month, 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.


Today’s monster has a classic design, the ectoplasmic wraith…





I really like the simplicity in this cel, so much so that I don’t even miss any additional layers of shadow in the coloring, which is something I tend to prefer in well done cel animation.  This is also, for all intents and purposes, what I expect to see if I ever encounter a ghost, and I can tell you right now that I’d poop myself twice if I do see something like this.  I can only imagine the wailing moans that would come out of those decomposing lungs.  I’d like to note that the cel above and the drawing below were both slightly damaged.  There’s a bit of a krinkled warp to the cel and the paper where the wraith is reaching out.

Though I like the simplicity of the one-color palette of this cel, I do sort of lament the nixing of suggestions made by the animator that penciled the original key pose below…





When the pencils were done I think it was the artist’s intent to have the eyes and inside of the mouth around the tongue either different shades of green or in other colors (I’m guessing by those area being highlighted in colored pencil, something I’ve noticed in other cels and their accompanying drawings.)   I think those additions would really have made this cel pop.  Who knows, maybe the overall use of mint green was an error.   Taking these cels out of context as individual pieces of art has it’s drawbacks as they weren’t intended to be viewed as such, but it’s the most visceral connection I have to the cartoons I grew up loving, so that’s what I’m going to do…

Anyway, this is actually the spirit of Famine, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  He appears in episode #49, "Apocalypse – What, Now?" As you can see in the cel below he’s riding a steed and is carrying a scale (as used during times of famine to measure out portions of bread.)  Unfortunately he’s not riding a black steed, but honestly I’m surprised that this sort of content made it to air on an 80s cartoon in general.  I’d love to find some close-up cels of the other riders, War (I’m assuming the blue horseman in the middle), Pestilence (that yellow-orange guy on the right), and Death (following up the herd.)




In the episode, Peter inadvertently wins a mystical book at auction that contains the trapped spirits of the 4 Horsemen.   While looking for some light reading during lunch, Janine unwittingly sets them free to wreck havoc on New York.







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…

31 Days of Monsters: #24, Ghoulish Gloopy!




Welcome back to my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!  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.


For today I offer a portrait of a monster in transition, well sort of…




This ugly mug hails from episode 27, "Doctor, Doctor", and is one of the weirder in the series.  Basically, this is the more or less final form of a hybrid creature.  While fighting a specter in a chemical plant, the Ghostbusters inadvertently create a new creature though they don’t realize it at first.  The "thing" is actually covering all of the guys up to the neck like a huge glop of red goo (reminding me a lot of the imagery in GBII.)  The guys are admitted into the hospital and while there the goo on each of them starts morphing.  One gets an eye, one a nose, one an ear, and one a mouth.  Eventually the glop slides off of them and forms into a single creature, the disgusting monster you see above!



I find the idea of creatures like this that seem to be made from monster putty are kind of freaky because it would be really hard to dispatch them if the need arose.   I mean how do you stop a hulking brute of a creature when you can punch right through them and it doesn’t phase him in the least?  You have to resort to trapping them at that point, luring them into a place where they can get zapped by a downed power line or tricked into falling into a vat of battery acid or something.  When you can’t just stop them with a shovel to the face then the whole thing becomes a heck of a lot more daunting…


As for the cel itself, I really like the little details; the bits of leftover hair, the gross bubble of goo in the right ear, and those gnarly teeth.  Just plain ghoulish!





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…

31 Days of Monsters: #23, Bony Slug!




Welcome back to my 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!   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.


It’s day 23, and this monster is one of the few that really grossed my wife out…





There’s just something unsettling and sickly about his slug-like body, the ultra creepy bone spikes for legs, and the puffiness around his fangs.  I’d hate to see something like this crawling around in my garden. 

This cel also marks the 2nd appearance (3rd if you count the preamble post last September 25th) of slimmer on the countdown, though the one on the Stay Puft cel was so tiny you could have missed him.  I didn’t really want to add a cel of slimmer as a stand alone monster since he’s really an ally of the Ghostbusters in the cartoon, and honestly, it just seemed a bit obvious.   But I couldn’t keep him off the countdown altogether. 

Actually, this really isn’t Slimer, but a doppelganger from the containment unit limbo world.  I didn’t realize this until I recently watched this episode. I had noticed that there is kind of a weird aspect to this particular drawing of "Slimer".  I didn’t remember him every having claws in the cartoon.   I know he has fingernails in the movie versions, but it’s kind of weird to see him drawn like this in the cartoon…




When I popped in this episode to get a screen capture for reference, I realized that this wasn’t actually Slimer.  So there, it doesn’t even really count towards another Slimer on this list!





Contest Update!  There are only 8 days left to enter to win a copy of the first volume of the Real Ghostbusters steelbook set!



This 5-disc set contains the first 25 episodes of the series (including the 1st thirteen episode Saturday Morning run) as well as some fun special features.  So what do you have to do to win this beauty?  All you have to do is send me an e-mail (or click on the Creature From the Black Lagoon monster in the sidebar) and make sure to include the following:

-Please put "The Real Ghostbusters Contest" in the subject line.
-List your favorite monster/ghost/creature from the series.
-Include your name.

The deadline for entries is October 31st at Midnight eastern standard time.  I’ll be drawing a winner at random from the e-mails, and will respond to the winner via e-mail on November 1st.  Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the 31 Days of Monsters countdown and the contest, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck)!


Also, 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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31 Days of Monsters: #22, Squid Alien!




Well, we’re entering the top 10 of the creepiest monsters on this 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown!  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.


It’s day twenty two, and I have to say this is a crazy monster.  I’ve got the feeling that this is an alien, what with all the tentacles and that dome-like shape to his noggin (I haven’t had a chance to watch this episode yet if you can’t already tell…)





The aspect that really creeps me out is the sideways slit of the bottom portion on his mouth.  It’s sort of like the mouth on the Predator, only with more protruding teeth/fangs.  Again, like back on day seven with the Devil, I’m really enjoying the use of aqua blue and orange.  As opposite colors go they tend to remind of me of sports team logos, but I think it works well in this floating tentacled monstrosity.  I also think it’s a hoot that he’s chucking bowling balls (I’m assuming) at the Ghostbusters.   On top of all this is his general squid-ness, which I always respond to in monsters.  Seems like a perfect time to show off the awesome commission my wife had Mark Rudolph draw for me this past summer…





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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