Attack of the Oddball Monster Cards !
By Kurt Kuersteiner ©2010 Monsterwax Monster Trading Cards for The Wrapper Magazine
They say that when you're 18, you're finally an adult. And while this is the 18 th annual Oddball Monster card article, don't start shopping for caskets just yet. Monster cards are one of the best anti-aging antidotes around. They are practically guaranteed to make you feel like a kid again! So with that in mind, let's open up this year's bag of trick-or-treats and see what's lurking within.
First up on the chopping block is a real cool set of monster cover art paintings from Bill Chancellor. These colorful images appeared on spooky magazine covers like Cult Movies, Scarlet Street, Screem, and Forrest J. Ackerman's Spacemen . Bill has published a 33-card set of his original artwork (sans the magazine logos, etc) in a series called The Horrific Art of Bill Chancellor. It features classic Universal monsters, as well as Zacherley (the cool ghoul), Dr. Zaius (the ape), Mr. Spock and more. The series is limited to 1,000 sets and they're available directly from the artist for $15 plus $5 postage. (Write Bill Chancellor, 1428 Backus, El Paso TX 79925). You can see more at: www.artbybillchancellor.com
Very weird indeed is the psychedelic set of Monsters, Weirdos & Creeps. This 27 (flimsy stock) card series is by Sean P. Äaberg and published under the name brand of Goblinko. They bill them as "classic low brow trash culture that will put hair on your teeth!" (And who am I to argue?) The backs are puzzle backs and the colors are limited to basic colors only, but the price is certainly cheap. They are $2 for the first pack by mail, and $1 for each additional pack postpaid, or get a 20-pack box for $20! You can email Sean for more info at email@example.com
Talk about oddball, I recently found some movie promotion cards for Pet Sematary I & 2, plus Friday The 13th part VII. The cards were put out by Screamin' Traders in 1992. I could only find cards 11 - 14, but back in the day, you could complete your set by sending $1.95 to Screamin' in California. What a pity they don't seem to exist anymore. Although the backs are pretty basic, the full color fronts are really cool!
If you like cover art, you're almost certain to get a kick out of the new Dark Horse boxed series of 50 Creepy Magazine covers. Creepy (along with its sister publications, Eerie and Vampirella) were horror comics created by Warren Publishing in 1964. They continued publishing until 1983. They were marketed as magazines, so as to work around the restrictions of the comic code authority (which had sucked all the frights out of comics like vampires draining their victims of blood). I kept a couple of boxes of them in my closet and my 12-year-old nephew found them. He read them without asking and they caused him terrible nightmares... (Heh-heh-heh. Mission accomplished!)
Many of the Creepy artists were famous vets of EC horror comics, including Jack Davis, Johnny Craig, Al Williamson, Wally Wood, and Frank Frazetta. Creepy lasted a total of 145 issues, so there should be two more sets printed eventually. The first series starts with #1, but then skip numbers up to 137. The backs provide a basic index of the stories and the artists from each issue. Let's hope they get around to doing Eerie as well!
Dark Horse has another boxed series of comic cover cards out this year as well, and what makes it particularly interesting is that these covers are all original. Turok, Son of Stone was a very real 1950s comic book series about an American Indian named Turok, who (along with his younger brother) become trapped in a lost valley of dinosaurs. This series of 50 cards consists of "re-imagined images" of covers that were never published, but were lovingly painted by Pete Von Sholly. Sholly also wrote the backs, which give some background about the stories he envisioned. All of the creatures painted and discussed are accurately portrayed, even if modern scientists don't believe they existed at a time when humans did. One such creature is the Guanlong, a recent discovery in China. The vicious predator is thought to be an ancestor to T. Rex, and was probably covered with feathers! Turok is a set filled with angry dinosaurs hungry for Indian take-out, and any dinosaur student or Dinosaurs Attack fan would enjoy it.
And now for this year's super oddball monster card winner, a rather primitive style series that came and went under the radar screen nearly twenty years ago . They're called Monstruos Diabolicos. Being a foreign issue in Spanish, verifiable information is scarce. One collector recalls buying them in Spain around 1987. There are at least 80 different flimsy cards, each one with perforated edges from where they were torn out from pages or strips. It included all sorts of bootleg/unlicensed paintings of famous monsters and demons, with a terse title under each face shot. The backs are supposedly blank (although I've only seen copies of the fronts) and the size is uncertain as well. You can also see 55 cyber cards (on-line only) inspired by this series at http://diabolicmonstersredux.blogspot.com
That's it for this edition of the Oddball Monster Card collector. Have a great Halloween and remember to include monster non-sports cards in your trick-or-treat tray!
Oddball Monster Card Article Index
The Non-Sports Trading Card Article Index