Bloodsucking Oddball Monster Cards!
By Kurt Kuersteiner ©2011 Monsterwax Monster Trading Cards for The Wrapper Magazine
It was just ten years ago that Halloween was haunted by the (then) recent attack of the 9-11 terrorists. Being the tenth anniversary, this season is also awash in the memories of that terrible event. But at least this time around, we have the satisfaction of knowing the mastermind of those murders is scuttling along the bottom of the ocean, inside the bellies of various invertebrates. So expect lots of “Osama with a head wound” masks this Halloween.
You can also expect plenty of other monsters, including my personal favorite, oddball monster cards. (Especially here, at the 19th Annual Oddball monster card review.) So lets dive into the latest odd and interesting monster cardboard creations:
First and foremost is a set I mentioned in the previous article on Ray Ferry. Unlike the color Freaky Monsters magazine cover cards, this is a 37 black and white card set of classic Shock Theater movie stills. In fact, it’s called Shock Theater Classics. There are also three color stickers (a Dracula and Frankenstein movie poster, plus the premier Shock Theater Classics magazine cover image). The fronts feature a tag line within a white oval near the bottom of each photo, and the backs have serious commentary and facts about the film. The 37th card is a color cover card which is usually packed at the front of the clear plastic containers that the sets are sold in. These sets generally retail for $25 plus postage at the filmlandclassics website. According to Ferry, the Shock Theater Classics magazine is still planned for release around the beginning of the new year.
Everyone knows one of the cheapest Halloween get-ups is going as a vampire. All you really need is a pair of fangs, or if you want to go all out, you can add some blood and a cape. Yet vampires remain popular despite their bland costumes. The big exception is Vampirella. Her costume (what little there is) is anything but bland. Let’s just say that Victoria’s Secret has nothing on Vampirella when it comes to seducing the opposite sex.
Breygent is the latest company to tap into the Vampirella market with its apply named Vampirella trading cards. The 72 card art set was painted by a variety of different artists, a list that (if one includes all the sketch card contributors) tops 90 different names. Artists obviously enjoy drawing seductive women in bathing suit type costumes, almost as much as horror fans enjoy ogling them. The mid 1990s saw a big spurt (no pun intended) of Vampirella sets, but this is the first new series since 1997. There are also a variety of chase cards to encourage buyers to keep buying more than one box. The way sex sells, Breygent is probably laughing all the way to the blood bank.
Speaking of Vampy vampires, here’s a sexy series that goes back 1 ½ decades, but remains under the radar because of all the nudity in it. Vampire Lust was published in 1995 by Studio E, a company that specializes in Adult Entertainment cards. It’s actually two series (1 and 2) of color photograph cards telling the story of vampire women who seduce and suck their men dry (of blood). They retail for $20 per series, which is rather pricey considering there are only 24 cards (plus 3 chase cards) in each series. The backgrounds look almost as skimpy as the outfits the women aren’t wearing. The company also published a three part comic book series that continued the Vampire Lust stories as well.
Here’s another oddball set by the team at Studio E: The Monster Art of Mike Sosnowski. According to NSU, it premiered in July at the Comic-Con International. This is a 36 card factory set, sold with one sketch card, and autograph card, and two inserts (out of six). The original artwork has a cartoonish style to it, which some may feel is at odds with the horror subject matter. Yet Sosnowski infuses a funny sense of humor in his horror. My personal favorite is called “Martian in a Mousetrap”, which shows a small frog-sized Martian being rewarded for his long journey to Earth by being killed in a crude rodent snap trap. 400 sets were supposed to be produced.
Now it’s time for this year’s über Oddball monster card Winner: The Simpson’s “Marge Attacks” Comic cards. Any Mars Attacks fan will find these parody cards interesting, especially if you’re also a Simpsons fan. These are four card images printed on a flimsy insert inside The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #16 (© 2010). The fronts are cartoon parodies of classic Mars Attacks cards (including “Destroying a Dog” and “Beast and the Beauty”). The faux ad blurb on the top portion of the pages says they are part of a 55 card series, but that statement is presumed humorous, as no mention of the series has surfaced since. The four cards are numbered 3, 9, 22, and 46—using the same saucer silhouettes as the original Mars Attacks set. However, it is mentioned elsewhere that the format for the cards was identical to another faux card on the back cover of Treehouse of Horror #2, which featured card #27 from a another parody series of cards, “Rigel-4 Attacks”. I haven’t seen that issue, so I can’t comment on if the card is standard size, or if it also has a reverse image on the other side of the cover (so it could be cut out to look like a real card as the insert in issue 16 can, but based on the advertising fees they collect for the inside covers of popular comic books, I would assume not. Either way, it’s a fun spin of a popular sci-fi/horror set… even if it’s just four or five different cards in scope.
That’s it for this installment of the Oddball Monster Card Review. Remember to stock up on cheap packs of monster cards to give away this Halloween for trick or treat. It’s our duty to introduce the next generation to the hobby of non-sports cards… even if we have to CRAM it down their candy-filled throats! Happy Halloween!
Oddball Monster Card Article Index
The Non-Sports Trading Card Article Index