Tag Archives: Art

Hi, my name is Shawn and I’m a mechanical pencil nerd…

A couple weeks ago I shared my love for the vintage Mead Trapper Keeper folder system.  Well, writing that post reminded me that I also wanted to expose my slightly geekier side by talking a little bit about my nerdy mechanical pencil memories.  Though I’d hesitate to say that I enjoyed my time in elementary, middle and high school, I can say without a doubt that I loved “gearing up” for the new school year with all new supplies.  Of all this stuff, folders, figural erasers, writing instruments, and lunch boxes, my all time favorite school supply had to be mechanical pencils.

I was given my first “mechanical” pencil (using air quotes because these barely qualify) by my sister as a hand-me-down.  It was a strawberry-scented push pencil (I wrote about these a few years ago) that no longer had a berry scent and was missing some of the pencil tip nibs, so I had to stuff little wads of paper inside the barrel to get the pencil to work.  A little later on I remember getting my hands on a new one, Transformers branded that was light purple and covered in little Megatrons and Decepticon logos.  I was constantly losing the nibs though (they made great darts for my rubber-band slingshot), and had to make the leap to something a little more utilitarian for actual writing.  My mom bought me a package of Papermate Sharpwriters, those ugly yellow pencils where you’d twist the point to advance the lead inside…

7351713794_d3efe158e7_b

7166503883_b3bf26400b_b

Though the bland “useful” design kept me from wanting to tear it apart and play with it, I never really liked these Sharpwriters because the tips aren’t tight (by design) and therefore they’re a little awkward to write with.  Well, even though I didn’t want to play with it, as you can see in the picture above, I do have a predilection for taking these kinds of things apart, though as a kid it was so that I could try and figure out a way to make it feel a little more solid.  I remember that I was supremely frustrated when I discovered that once you remove the tip, the pencil is basically dead.  These are ultimately the most disposable mechanical pencils anyway, but after breaking it trying to fix it I knew I was going to begging my mom for something better and studier.  So sometime during the 2nd grade I got my hands on my first Pentel Sharplet-2…

7248014708_950ccbc560_b

This is truly where my mechanical pencil fetish began.  How can I adequately explain this discovery?  I think what really got me hooked on these Pentel pencils was the bright colors and the fact that they were built to be somewhat dismantled.  You could unscrew the tip to get to the lead-advancing mechanism inside, as well as remove the eraser cover to get at or replace both the erasers and lead.  It didn’t take me very long to find a couple colors I really liked that I could swap out the tips and eraser caps to make my own designer pencil creations.  In fact I seem to remember a bunch of kids in my class doing this and personalizing their pencils…

7166504439_5346da5b78_b

7351713060_53f997b331_b

These Sharplet-2′s were a revelation and a lot of fun, but as far as I know they were only available with two lead sizes, 0.5 and 0.7.  During elementary school 0.5 was what I loved because the lead was thin enough to always feel sharp and ready.  But by the time I got to middle and high school, I was yearning for something a little more versatile.  For one, the erasers were so thin that they’d wear out really quick and before I knew it all I had was the little aluminum eraser holder on the end.  Again, I’d have to wad up a piece of paper to keep the extra lead from falling out when the cap was off.  So by the time I entered the 5th grade I was upgrading yet again, this time to my favorite mechanical pencil, the Quicker Clicker!

7166504583_96b97691e7_b

Though I’m certain there are “better” pencils on the market, once I received my first few quicker clickers I was done searching.  Design, color, customizability, multiple lead sizes, these suckers had it all.  Not only that, but for the first time I had access to pencils that had super cool translucent plastic barrels, and much wider, more useful erasers.  The overall design of the quicker clicker, with its lead advancing button right at your finger tip, better erasers, and availability in a 0.9 lead thickness made then super useful for drawing (which I had taken up around that time.)  Also, I always thought the eraser cap looked a whole heck of a lot like Megatron’s head, which reminded me of my old push-pencil, so these sort of felt like a good replacement.

7351713360_d88449818c_b

The 0.9 lead was a bit softer and would dull like a regular wooden pencil tip which made it really versatile for sketching and being able to vary the line width and contrast of the pencil work.  From 1987 until today, the Quicker Clickers have been my pencil of choice, with only a few road bumps along the way…

7351713166_b856dbf3fe_b

I’m not sure when they changed, but sometime after the year 2000, Pentel decided to alter the design of the Quicker Clickers to add a rubberized grip around the front of the barrel (around the lead advance button), as well as changing out the tip a bit.  It’s not a huge deal, but part of me had become so accustomed to the feel of the non-rubberized grip that this addition actually affected my drawing for awhile.  Though I’m a pencil nerd, and this change did bug me, I tend to obsess a little over using the same pencil. I guess it’s sort of like ballplayers wearing the same jockstrap during a good season (or career if you’re Cal Ripken, Jr.), so when Pentel switched to the new design I never thought to stock up on some back-up pencils in the older style.  Well, in the ensuing years the value of vintage Quicker Clickers (without the rubber grip) has skyrocketed.  A 0.9 lead QC in the original solid red or brown can cost as much as $50 on eBay!  As for the more standard translucent 0.5 lead versions in blue and smoke are almost non-existent on the secondary market.  Apparently though, recently a few boxes of old overstock 0.5 translucent smoke pencils have made their way onto eBay and you can get a package for around $10 to $15.  It’s still much higher than a mechanical pencil should cost, but it’s a lot better than what the standard vintage pencil scalpers are asking.

7175672878_b7dd749b2f_b

I couldn’t write about my favorite pencils without bringing up their constant companions, the Pentel Clic Erasers…

7166504105_8b530140b8_b

As most pencil nerds will attest, the idea of using the included eraser on the pencils is sort of frowned upon.  The eraser is more of a last ditch, backup incase your eraser of choice is misplaced or used up.  Besides, though you could adjust the eraser on the Quicker Clickers as it wore down (by pulling out the eraser and the little metal clasp that surrounds it and then pulling it up and snapping it back in), it made the eraser unstable and a little fugly.  For me, the eraser of choice has always been the Pentel Clic because it was long and for all intents and purposes it’s the mechanical pencil of erasers.  The material of the eraser is great for drawing too, soft enough to not tear up the paper, yet sturdy enough to erase most pencil lines (unless you’re a heavy-handed penciler.)

So that’s my nerdly little secret obsession, 30 year old mechanical pencils.  Anyone out there also a closet pencil nerd?  If so, what’s your favorite brand, color or lead thickness?  Anyone ever drop some serious money to re-buy a pencil from your youth, or is that just me…?

7351713590_0b331213d9_b

OMFG! voting for series 2, and the new S.L.U.G. minifigs!

Of all the toy projects I’ve come into contact with this past year, OMFG! (Outlandish Mini Figure Guys) has to be one of the coolest.  Not only is it independent and artist driven, but riffs on some of the cool toy lines from the 80s like M.U.S.C.L.E.s, Battle Beasts, and Monster in my Pocket.  I’ve written about series one before, but I wanted to make a note that voting has just begun for the second series.  You can participate by hopping over to the October Toys forums, registering and voting for 5 of the 461 new designs for series 2.

I’m pretty excited to see this project moving forward, so much so that I’ve thrown a couple of my own designs in the ring, Boombox (#55) and Killscreen (#57).  Just saying, my wife would kill for a Boombox figure.  Regardless if you dig my designs, if you have a moment, head on over and check out the other entries.  There’s a whole range of stuff, and there is some really killer ones in there.  I know I’m partial to the Puke Knight (#357), Thatman (#429), and Deadbeet (#144)…

  

Also, to tide us minifig collectors over until the 2nd series of the OMFG! get picked and hopefully produced, Jakks Pacific has just released a line of really neat collectable Zombie Minifigs called S.L.U.G.s (Scary Little Ugly Guys)…

Series one has just been released and so far there are 16 different little zombie figures available (though I’ve heard that there are 99 in the series.)  They come in packs of 3 (where you can see the figures you’re getting), as well as a larger 12-pack that comes in a really cool looking coffin…

    

In order to get all 16 you’ll either have to buy all four different 3 packs and the 12 pack coffin (there are 4 figures only in the 3-packs, and 4 exclusive to the coffin set), or hope you can find someone willing to trade their doubles.  The 3-packs are $4, and the 12-Pack coffin was $10.  As far as the quality of the concepts and sculpts, this set is pretty good.  There are a few duds in the set that either don’t really read as zombies (the boxer), don’t stand well (King Tut) or are kind of boring (again, boxer), but most of the figures are pretty darn fun.  My favorites have to be Rigamortis Lourdes, the cheerleading zombie (with severed head pom poms), Neil Armgone, the zombie astronaut, and the clever homage to Daniel from the Karate Kid, The Corroding Kid (who has had his leg swept but good.)

   

I’m sure these will pop up in a few stores, but right now I’ve only seen them at my local Toys R Us.  Unlike the Trash Pack, all these new minifigs are really doing a great job of riffing on the whole M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in my Pocket toy lines.  What a great time to be collecting toys again!

OMFG! is pretty darn rad!

As a kid I completely missed out on the whole M.U.S.C.L.E. men craze as I was concentrating all my playtime and allowance money on Garbage Pail Kids stickers and G.I. Joe & Transformers figures.  It’s not that I wasn’t aware of them, or how cool the little rubber guys looked packaged in their clear trashcans and bright blue blister cards; it’s just that I was spread a bit thin collecting-wise.  “A kid can’t have everything…”, is a statement I heard my mom say a lot at the time.  So I satiated my young mini-figure cravings with Transformers Decoys, Smurfs, figural erasers, and the old Blackstar demon or Trobit.

Years later, after the majority of my toy collecting cravings have more or less subsided, I find that the one thing that I can’t bring myself to stop collecting are little mini-figures.  Whether it’s Hasbro’s mini Heroes lines (aka the Star Wars, Transformers, and G.I. Joe chub figures), vending machine toys (like Little Homies), or Lego Minifigs, I just can’t help myself if I find something particularly cool.  This past June I stumbled across the October Toys OMFG! (Outlandish Mini Figure Guys) project on Kickstarter and I was immediately hooked on the idea.  A bunch of artists and sculptors in the October Toys forum came together to hash out some ideas for a line of mini-figures riffing off of the nostalgia for old toy lines like Battle Beasts, M.U.S.C.L.E.s, and Monster In My Pocket.  Enough folks backed the project for it to be successfully funded, which was cool, but then began the wait for the figures to actually be produced…

I finally received my two initial sets from the Kickstarter project last month, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

    

There are five figures in this first series, Multiskull, King Castor, The Phantom Shithouse, Crawdad Kid, and Stroll, all of which have some excellent sculpting and detail work.  Again, though I never had any M.U.S.C.L.E.s growing up, I’ve seen enough of them to know that they weren’t rendered in this much detail.  The main set comes in a “flesh” colored PVC, but there was also a Kickstarter exclusive black set that I picked up as well.  The wife called dibs on King Castor and Stroll, but she doesn’t have any of the nostalgia or fondness for the pink fleshy figures, so black seemed the way to go.

Part of the Kickstarter campaign was the ability to help fund at a high level to secure a thousand minifigs in your very own color-way.  This was a great idea to get other small toy companies and stores in on the fun with the ability to sell exclusive color variants of the figures as an incentive for investing in the project.  There were four groups that chose this option resulting in a few exclusive colors including a mustard yellow (University of Muscle), a lime green (Little Rubber Guys), a true blue (Rotofugi), and a lighter “Glyos” blue (Onell Design).  There was also a sixth exclusive color-way/artist-proof, hot pink, that was split between the artists and sculptors that worked on the project.

Before Christmas, while waiting for the base and Kickstarter sets to be shipped, I noticed that the Onell Design light blue color-way was available for purchase.  Since I was champing at the bit to get my hands on these, I went ahead and splurged on this variant set.  Besides, I thought it would be fun to give a couple of the figures to my nephews for the holiday.  The Onell variants were my first taste of OMFG!, and I had a sneaking suspicion that even after I received the pink and black that it wouldn’t be my last.

Ripping open the light blue set I realized that the variant color-ways that the various companies chose didn’t seem to have too much thought behind them at first blush.  Granted, no one color would easily represent the figures, so this is hardly a complaint, just an observation.  Onell chose the light blue as it’s the first color they used when creating their own toys a while back, but for this set it really doesn’t fit with the design of the actual figures.  King Castor looks the best, as it has a cold icy feel that works decently with stones that make up the figure, and an argument can be made for Stroll being a “yeti” variation, but it’s a little off.  The flesh being an homage to M.U.S.C.L.E.s makes sense, but again it doesn’t really fit any of the figures.  The black exclusives, though cool, are almost too dark to really fully appreciate the detailed sculpting, and I began to wonder why each variant color was chosen.

After receiving the two additional sets from October Toys, it occurred to me that there might be some thought behind these choices after all.  The logo design of the series, the Rolling Stones-esque open mouth and tongue design is comprised of five colors (green teeth, pink tongue, yellow lettering, blue lips, and black outlines and fill in the mouth.)  Could it be that the colors were chosen to reflect the overall scheme of the packaging?  What with the two blues (the lips being offset by the blue of the background) and the two pinks (the tongue and the OMFG banner below the title), all of these colors were present and accounted for.  Could be a coincidence, but I thought it was interesting to point out.

Though I thought I would stop at the three sets, I soon found that I was really loving all the color choices (whether they made design sense or not), and I ended up picking up the green set, as well as the yellow and artist proof exclusive hot pink of the Multiskull figure (which is my favorite of the bunch.)  I even snagged a custom painted version of Multiskull that the artist (Charles Marsh) put up for sale a couple of weeks ago.  I had really wanted a version of the figure in white or grey, the traditional skull colors, and managed to score the NightFright custom which fills this gap in my collection quite nicely.  He even glows in the dark!

All in all I really love these figures and I can’t even being to put into words would cool it’s been to watch this project from design to fruition.  Seeing an independent artistic community come together for a project like this is rare, and seeing it come out so well done is even rarer.  October Toys and their forum are doing the initial prep work on a second series, and submissions for figures ideas are still open until the 29th of this month.  I have a few designs submitted (Boombox, Miss Pucker, and Killscreen), but there are all sorts of cool figures in the forum thread that would make an awesome second series for the OMFG! line.  Can’t wait to see how far the community will take this thing!

OMFG! Update and some creativity…

I have no idea where this week has gone too!  Well, I figured I’d through up a quite post to update on the progress of the below OMFG! Kickstarter project which just this morning crossed over the funding mark.  There’s still a good month and a half to go until the campaign is over so if you’re interested in helping fun a possible Series 2 and would like to get your hands on some cool toys in the process, head on over and make a pledge.  I’ve been pretty inspired by this whole community toy project that I threw my hat in the ring with a couple of designs for the 2nd series.  First up is a little guy I call Boom Box

The drawing is a little wonky, but the concept hopefully gets across.  He’s a little bit hip hop, a little Soundwave/Megatron mash-up, and a whole lot of Boom!  I’m thinking he also has an evil twin named Ghetto Blaster…

Next up is more of a silly idea that I had to draw once it popped into my head.  It’s Stripe the Gremlin wearing a Mogwai (read Gizmo) hoodie.  Probably a little too “brand” specific for the OMFG! minifigures, but I had a lot of fun drawing him.  Think I might take a crack at coloring him this weekend (And now I did, though only some basic colors)…

 

Anyway, if you’re at all interested in the OMFG! project, head on over to the Kickstarter page or the October Toys forums and get in on the fun and speak up about your favorite designs!

Monster in My Pocket + M.U.S.C.L.E.s = OMFG! Series 1!

If there’s one aspect of this site that I tend to neglect, it’s a lot of the more current news and interesting tidbits that are heavily influenced by the 80s era craziness I typically expound upon.  It’s no secret that in the past five or six years there’s been a huge resurgence in the popularity of the toys, movies, and music of the eighties, but for the most part I’ve always felt that there are plenty of other sites that address this stuff better than I’d be able to, particularly with keeping timely updates and such.  Lately though there have been a handful of things hitting my radar that are so cool, I’ve had to flip my perspective and look forward.  With that in mind I thought I’d take a second today to point towards a really awesome independent toy project I stumbled upon yesterday (thanks to Jason at Open Your Toys) that should be exciting to all those kids who grew up collecting and trading M.U.S.C.L.E.s and Monster in My Pocket mini figures…

Created by a community of toy enthusiasts and artists, and spearheaded by the fine folks over at October Toys, these OMFG! (Outlandish Mini Figure Guys) are preparing to descend upon nostalgic toy collectors everywhere.  The first series features five outstanding creatures including the king of bone-daddys, Multiskull, a swampy southern man monster known as the Crawdad Kid, the frontier’s worst nightmare, the Phantom Outhouse, a master of his own castle, King Castor, and a cryptid that would give the purple people eater a run for his money, Stroll.

This community toy jam has been gestating on the October Toys forums for the past four months or so and has culminated with the launch of a Kickstarter fundraising project to make these little guys a reality.  If you’re the type of guy or gal that’s interested in collectable vinyl figures, nostalgic relaunches (like the Transformers Classics and the 25th anniversary G.I. Joes), or you’re still teary-eyed because your parents gave away all your M.U.S.C.L.E.s to the little brat down the street when you were off at college, then you might want to head on over to the OMFG! Kickstarter campaign and make a pledge today!

Wanna help me and one of my favorite local bands The Serenaders?!?

For the last couple months I’ve been working with my favorite local Atlanta band, the Serenaders, on their new album My One and Only You (the album cover is featured above.)  I’ve been doing a bunch of graphic design and illustrations for their CD and vinyl LP, as well as on some record release party flyers and posters.  I’ve been super psyched as this stuff has been coming together at the same time as they’ve been hard at work recording the album and I can’t wait to see everything done and in print.  I’ve gotten a chance to listen to a bunch of tracks off the album and they are really nailing the sound without losing any of the intensity of their live show.

The album is set to be released on May 24th, but in the interim the band is looking to raise some additional funds to help promote the record and to get it out into the hands of the public.  So they’ve begun a Kickstarter campaign to help out and I really want to help get the word out about the band and their music.  If you’re unfamiliar with Kicksterter, it’s basically a pledged fund drive, but instead of simple donations there are a bunch of tiered rewards that people receive for their pledges.  So it’s not charity, but a way to help the band while buying copies of their record, T-Shirts (featuring the above heart illustration I did) and gig posters, win-win.  But they have to make their projected goat of $6500 in order to receive any of the funds or all of the pledges are cancelled.  I’m also super excited about this since I designed and illustrated the album art as well as the artwork for the T-shirts and posters, so I’d love to know that this stuff was getting out there.  So, help the band out with a pledge today and you can get your hands on some awesome music and some of my artwork.  There are 42 days to go and they still have a ways to go, so if this sounds like something you might want to help support, please head on over to their kickstarter page, watch their pitch, and listen to some of their tunes while you’re at it!  Thanks for taking a gander…

Also, if you live in the Atlanta area and want to attend the Serenaders record release party, it’s being held on May 28th, at 8:00pm at the Goat Farm.  Admission is $10, and with that you get a complimentary copy of the CD, so again, win-win.  Go on over and RSVP to the event today…

459 square inches of Awesome…

I’m a bit late in getting to this before Christmas, but I wanted to take a second and point to one of the coolest things I received during this past holiday season.  I’ve been reading Roger Barr’s I-Mockery site for years, in particular during Halloween because he always has a plethora of hilarious thoughtful and in-depth commentary on the season and its swag.  The site also has a bunch of swell games and articles.

In addition to the fact that I-Mockery is an interesting read, Roger & the resident artist Pox have been putting together some super awesome pixel art posters in the past couple years.  Basically they’re 8-Bit style art jams featuring 6.2 million pop culture, gamer, comics, and cartoon icons culled from the 80s through today, and both of them are a real treat for the eyes.  Honestly, I spent a couple hours pouring over every square inch of these prints picking out characters I knew and trying to figure out the rest…

The best way I can describe these prints is they’re like when you were a kid in the doctor’s office painstakingly looking for all the wrong stuff on the back of an issue of Highlights, except everything on these prints is right!

The prints are very attractively priced as well and the quality is pretty top notch.  The wife and I are getting ours framed for our home office as I type this.

If you dig pop culture as much as I do and have spent any amount of time playing any old school NES games, I suggest heading on over to I-Mockery and taking a gander at these fine pieces of art…

**Update** You can see a pretty cool interview with Roger and a bunch of other artists from the Gallery 88 show that these pieces were created for over at Coin-Op TV!

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 31: The one, the only, Boogieman!

Well, we finally made it to monster number 31 and Halloween day!  Today’s big-headed bad guy is probably one of the most feared villains in the Ghostbusters rogue’s gallery (coming in just a hair below Gozer), the Boogieman!

That’s right, the one and only feeder-of-fright, the bane to children and Egon’s everywhere, the big B.  This is the ugly dude hiding under your bed at night.  He’s the one casting creepy shadows on your wall when you think it’s just a tree.  The Boogieman is also apparently the one using up all your mom’s lipstick and hairspray and then hiding the empty containers in your room so that you’ll get blamed!

Seriously though, along with the Sandman and Sam Hain, the Boogieman is probably one of the most evil foes the Ghostbusters have faced in their animated form.  I can say that his huge head and little goat-like legs freaked me out as a kid…

I also think it’s kind of neat that the two cels I managed to score also come from both of his appearances int eh series.  The wicked closeup up top comes from episode 81, The Boogieman is Back, and the cel of big-headed B coming out of the door is from episode 6, The Boogieman Cometh…

I was so overjoyed to get a hold of these two cels this past year as this guy is one of my all time favorite monsters from the series.  The only hole in my collection right now is Sam Hain, but then as I came to discover when I finally scored a set of series one Garbage Pail Kids, completing a collection can be quite the downer.  I think I’ll be okay looking out for that last Real Ghostbusters cel for awhile…

   

So that does it for another Halloween season here at Branded in the 80s.  It was my fifth year celebrating, and the second great year for the Countdown to Halloween hub site.  Once again, like in most years past I’m about ready to go into hibernation, but then again I have the first Up! Fair coming up in 19 short days.  I think I need a nap…

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.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Twitter del.icio.us Reddit Slashdot Digg Google StumbleUpon

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 30: Demon Ruler of Toyland!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel 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.

We’re almost there folks.  All Hallows Eve eve, or some such junk.  It’s been a fun counting down these monsters for a second year and I wish I had more cels to stretch this out for a third year, but I guess I’ll just have to come up with something else to write about.  Anyway, today’s penultimate monster is probably one of the better villains from the waning days of the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  By this time it was already re-branded Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters, and it was in store for a truly disappointing end.  But before we got there we got a chance to sneak a peek at this Toyland demon from episode 126, Busters in Toyland…

Pretty gnarly looking, right?  This demon was actually much more Gremlin-like in appearance (see the screen shot below).  The crux of the episode revolves around Louis Tulley’s spoiled nephew who seems to have all toys in existence.  Louis, trying to wow him on his birthday ends up buying some spectrally possessed action figures (one of which I shared earlier in the month), which kidnap his nephew and steal him away to Toyland.  There a demon ruler tricks the boy into accepting the mantle of ruler so that he can be free and leave the realm. A fter the switch of power he reveals his true form, the crazy spiked demon wyrm you see above…

   

I was really happy to get my hands on this cel because it features Louis, one of the last “main” characters I wanted to have from the show.

Well, one last time I’ll make the call to come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I complete the countdown towards my favorite character from the show!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  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…

Return of the 31 Days of Monsters, Day 29: the Ghosts of Warduke & General Kael!

For all of those joining me for the first time, welcome to the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters Halloween countdown here at Branded in the 80s!  I had a blast last year, so again I’m counting down 31 of my favorite monsters from the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.  All of these monsters come straight from my vintage animation cel 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 spooks are so much ghosts as they are physical manifestations based on dreams that are under the control of one of the Ghostbuster’s coolest villains, the Sandman!  These guys hail from episode 7, Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream…

I have to admit that I’m a sucker for skull-related iconography.  It has to be one of the basic building blocks of a human’s fear, mixing both the finality of death (how else are you going to see a real skull) and the mysterious unknown inside each and every one of us.  So whenever I stumble upon something creepy, imposing and with a cool skull thrown in for good measure, I quite easily fall in love…

   

I think I also really dug these two because they remind me of two similar villains from my childhood, General Kael (from the much underappreciated Willow) and Warduke (from the Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon and toy line)…

   

Come back tomorrow for another Real Ghostbusters monster animation cel as I count down towards one of my favorite on Halloween day!

Also, if you feel inclined, I would love everyone to spread the word about the Return of the 31 Days of Monsters countdown, so hit up those social networks and tell a friend (my twitter handle is smurfwreck, and I’m on the Facebook as well.)  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…