Calvin and Hobbes for the Season

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson is the greatest comic strip ever created. It somehow captures all of our imaginations while balancing adult themes such as war, death and love. 

One of the most iconic things about Calvin and Hobbes is the absolutely beautiful artwork by Bill Watterson. He has this way of capturing the ideal fall experience through the strip that makes you remember your childhood.

 The funny thing is not a lot of us have experienced the watercolors of fall that Calvin and his buddy occupy. However, when we read the strips we feel like we’ve lived it. And that’s the beauty of Calvin and Hobbes.

With wit and familiar scenarios, Bill Watterson gave us the definition of the Fall season. Here are my favorite C&H Fall time strips!

1. Candy Haul


We all had “the talk” by our parents after bringing home our well deserved loot. This is why I started to eat every bit of candy before heading home. Trick R’ Treating was always so sweet. 

   2. Pumpkin Surgery


If you haven’t pretended kitchen surgery to your jack-o-lantern than I know you’re lying. We all became doctor Halloweens dolor a few gooey moments!
3. Legend of the Leaf Pile Monster


I remember dive bombing into piles of wet leaves just to disrupt the neatness of said pile. But when I read this strip all that changed. Suddenly the innocent pile of leaves turned into a mysterious monster. So my assault on the piles in my neighborhood increased in order to destroy this nefarious leafy beast.

4. Why did you say that?!


I ways always that kid (still am) that would bring up or keep poking at scary things when the lights go out. After nearly dying from fright while washing The Exorcist I realized I love being scared. So I would often ask questions at the most inappropriate times. 

Bae- “Goodnight, babe”

Me-” Do you believe in the devil?”

5. Simply hilarious. 


This is simply the sharp wit of Wattersons mind. A self aware Calvin nails adult humor. 

6. This is FALL.

This is the ultimate vision of Fall. I do get a bit emotional when soaking this in. We all have our childhood memories of the past. We all have long lost friends and family that we shared such innocence with. And that’s what it is dear reader.

 Innocence. 

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Sad Dracula Finds Halloween Stuff!

What’s this? What’s this?! There’s something in the air! I beg thee do not fear. For Halloween is here!

And it is at this time that I would like to share, if you care, my finds so far of this most delightful season.

So as the Autumn clock slowly ticks, take a look at these Halloween pics!

99 cents for a new friend? Not bad!

Zombie hand gummy lollipop? Yes x100!!

I found this guy at Goodwill. It’s licensed from New Line Cinema. I think it was supposed to be a Freddy Krueger scarecrow!

Three 50 foot Bud Light cardboard banners and 4 Omega Virus board games. Life is good!

That horse mask is terrifying!

I found this across the street from my place. He wins Halloween

We all float at AMC Theater

The new Pennywise deserves this spot!

So happy to see that Leatherface is getting some shelf time.

My podcast partner and I found these awesome cardboard standees at an all night flea market!

The Munsters carriage was at the all night flea market as well. So freaking awesome

Well that sums up my brief Encounters with Halloween 2017. I’ll definitely be posting more pictures in the near future.

If you have the time I would love if you took a look at and followed me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I try to post a bunch of random stuff that hopefully will make you smile.

Also please check out the podcast I co-host, It’s Alive! A horror and nostalgia driven show where we discuss pretty much everything an anything spooky!

ITS ALIVE! Horror and Halloween Nostalgia show

Gremlins 2: Guess Who!?

A couple of weeks ago I bought Gremlins 2 on VHS. I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid. So when I popped in the flick I barely remembered anything. Sad!

 

Not really. The movie was totally written on cocaine. The god damn thing is bat shit crazy. Some of it works. Most of it is too damn random to really appreciate it as a sequel to Gremlins 84′. Be honest. Gremlins 2 is one terrible sequel when it comes to sequels.

Now, before you strangle me in my sleep let me say this: The New Batch is absolutely full of sweetness. It has scenes and situations that demand repeat viewing. The monster effects are superb!

But the one thing that really stuck out to me was the insane casting. I mean this freaking movie is filled with faces that you have seen but can’t name! It’s so fucking awesome that I had to share the golden casting nuggets of Gremlins 2: The New Batch.

Let’s do it!

Don and Dan Stanton (Martin and Lewis)  is also …

 

THIS guy from Terminator 2!

 

“Must be my lucky day”

Dick Miller IS….

 

THIS guy from Terminator!

“Wrong.”

Keye Luke was… Kato?!

OH MY GOD John Glover aka Mr. Clamp IS…

 

Dr. Woodrue from Batman and Robin!!

 

Kathleen Freeman aka the super annoying Microwave Marge was….

Sister Stigmata aka “The Penguin” from The Blues Brothers!

Raymon Cruz was that guy in Breaking Bad!

John Astin aka Sean Astin’s father aka Gomez Addams aka The Riddler #2 was The Janitor that is basically responsible for the Gremlins running wild!

 

The list literally goes on forever! For example, Mark Dodson aka Salacious Crumb voiced some Gremlins. Hulk Hogan, Dick Butkus, and a slew of others made awesome appearances. It’s rather sickening how many hidden faces are in this movie.

Oh yeah, John Capodice was the Fire Chief in Gremlins 2 but he was also Sgt. Aguado from Ace Ventura!

All in all Gremlins 2 is as wacky as it’s hidden face challenge. I’m sure I missed tons more cameos. I guess that’s one of the many, many appealing layers that TG2 has to offer.

With that said, I guess I should watch it just one more time.

The Mystery of Stanley Avenue.

Last weekend I decided to call off work and visit my favorite person in the world – my Grandmother. What was supposed to be a normal day filled with our usual platter of tasty conversation, in which we can (and often do!) discuss everything from current affairs to history, turned into a day brimming with unexpected mystery!

The day started with coffee and eggs at this very quaint little restaurant cleverly named, The Egg Beater Cafe. We gobbled up the most delicious eggs that I have ever had while discussing the troubles of the world. Our conversation seemingly was directed by the televisions hanging on the wall that softly spewed the news. Conversating this way is always a fun exercise. My Grandma and I are both chatty-cathy’s; so keeping whatever topic is at hand

Conversating this way is always a fun exercise. My Grandma and I are both chatty-cathy’s; so keeping whatever topic is at hand short is near impossible. Anyways, our bellies were full and the coffee was drunk in abundance. It was time for us to move on.

Somehow we both knew that the day was going to be one of exploration. Perhaps it was something in the cool September air that started an awakening in our bones. Whatever it was wanted us to find and experience the mystery that we stumbled upon.

Before our adventure began I needed to go to the library to attend to some personal affairs that required a printer. As we drove I asked Grams about a library she took me to when I was ten. I couldn’t remember what library it had been but I remember it was where she rented the Lord of the Rings audio tapes for me. We both scratched our heads in an attempt to wipe away the fog of the past. It was a lost cause. But at the last minute, she suggested two libraries. And at the last possible minute, we both agreed to set course for the Riverside Public Library. Unbeknownst to us, our choice would bring us to the mystery of Stanley Avenue.

We both scratched our heads in an attempt to wipe away the fog of the past. It was a lost cause. But at the last minute, she suggested two libraries. And at the last possible minute, we both agreed to set course for the Riverside Public Library. Unbeknownst to us, our choice would bring us to the mystery of Stanley Avenue.

Standing in front of the Riverside Public Library, I discovered that Grams and I shared an affinity for historic architecture.  As I write this I wonder if our trip to ancient England popped into her mind. I know it did for me as my eyes gasped at the enchanting library that lay before us.

libOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHogwarts much? Why can’t all libraries be this awesome? The modern library, though good for the community, suck when it comes to design. I would have totally lived in a library as a kid if it looked like it could be a place for wizards and witches!

The unknown ghost of exploration was at play. For when we looked at the stone block that contained the date the building was erected, it had ties to Grams! Construction of the library started in 1930. That’s the same year Grams was born!

After the library, we explored the little town of Riverside.  The town itself is a picture perfect town that belongs in a Ray Bradbury book. It’s seriously so tidy and American it started to feel weird. We loved it! Grams wanted to take me to this swinging bridge that passed over the Des Plaines River. I have never been on an actual swinging bridge! I was pumped!

Grams wanted to take me to this swinging bridge that passed over the near by Des Plaines River. I have never been on an actual swinging bridge! Grams hyped the hell out of the bridge. I was pumped!

Expectations.

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George Lucas and Steven Spielberg on the Temple of Doom bridge

 

Reality.

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H. Wallace Caldwell Memorial Bridge in Riverside, IL

I guess a guy and his Grandmother can’t get everything in one single adventure! However, this bridge is not insignificant to this tale.  It is rather crucial to this story. It was this bridge that led to our very most unexpected discovery!

After crossing the bridge and surviving the insane amount of weirdo bugs, we entered an isolated section of the Cermak Woods. A single paved road was our only path. The road was Stanley Avenue.

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As we walked further down Stanley Ave. something caught my eye. Now, keep in mind that we thought we were entering a forest preserve path. We did not expect to encounter what I am about to mention. It was simply beyond the realm of reason to think beyond the usual sights of a Forest Preserve path. So, dear reader, what my Grams and I encountered was an entire community of houses left abandoned. It was as if the people of Stanely Avenue simply just vanished.

So, dear reader, what my Grams and I encountered was an entire community of houses left abandoned. Windows smashed or boarded up. Clothing, garbage, and other items strewn about. It was as if the people of Stanely Avenue simply just vanished.

The following pictures will reveal these homes to you as we found them. In some pictures, you will see toys, bikes, and other signs of life. These items were strangely left behind as if the owners fled over night. I can’t stress that enough. It was so freaking eerie.

A little research revealed that every single home pictured was built in 1899. The only other bit of information I found was a newspaper article from 1969. The article calls attention to a major flood crisis that the community was forced to endure.

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The town was edged by the always flooding Des Plaines river. However, modern life has lived on Stanley Avenue since. What happened to these people? Why did they up and leave? It could simply be the effects of the 07’/08′ housing bubble. Or did they leave out of fear? Fear of something evil within the Cermak woods.

Before you wave that away let me tell you this: Grams and I found the remnants of an actual Ouija board! I shit you not. Don’t believe me? Take a look!

But as the great Billy May’s once said, “But wait! That’s not all!”

I decided to look further into the town of Riverside and the Cermak Woods. What I discovered was absolutely freaking eerie. I discovered that the town roots consisted of 8% Czech. Yeah? So? Let me tell you why this is so creepy.

What’s creepy is that the word ‘CERMAK’ is a Czech word used as a nickname for the Devil. Yup.

With that in mind, I will let you peruse through the photos I took. I tried my best to capture what I saw. However, my phone did die faster than expected while taking the pictures. I shit you not. The battery somehow went from 70% to 0% in a matter of 30 minutes.

Shall we begin?

 

 

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The First House We Found

 

 

When Grams and I explored the ruination of the first house we were completely in awe! The experience and discovery will be something that I will never forget. It was the total synchronicity of our emotions. We were both in a state of wonder of what lay before us. Sharing such an experience with my favorite person is simply special. But let’s get back to the creepy stuff!

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Grams raises her arms to push past the brush!

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House 2

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This was the house where we found the Ouija board box!

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We almost missed this because of the brush. A staircase that led to a secret garden and pond!

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This sign was nailed to the garage. WTF?

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Found at a dead end road.

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Halloween deco found in the woods that surrounded the home.

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A monster of a house hiding at the end of the road.

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Garbage was littered everywhere.

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Grass took over the brick pavers.

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Smashed window. What secrets lay within?

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Inside we heard a shrill beep, beep. We deduced it was a dead smoke alarm.

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It was as if the kids simply…vanished.

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The Devil in yellow. Do you see it?

 

What my Grams and I found on Stanely Avenue will be one of those stories that we will talk about every time we see each other. It was a day that was meant to be. So many little things fell together for us to have this adventure. I am so damn lucky to have a Grams that loves to explore and go on adventures such as this one. One thing is for sure, we will always wonder what happened to the people of Stanely Avenue.

 

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Halloween Costume!

I was dicking around on Instagram and I saw that Spirit Halloween posted a picture of a costume I never thought I would see on the officially licensed level.

 

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You now can be Krumm or Oblina (or both) from Aahh! Real Monsters. This is the first time I have seen Real Monsters getting this sorta love since the SNES game dropped those many years ago.

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If you don’t know what Aahh!!! Real Monsters is let me explain by using a sweet promo from Nickelodeon.

I’m betting that doesn’t explain much.

Aahh!!! Real Monsters is a Nickelodeon show from the 90’s. It was produced by Klasky Csupo who also produced Rugrats/Duckman and that show with the yellow characters that I simply do not understand.

I’m not sure why I’m surprised to see this show getting Costume love. It’s pure nostalgia for me. Which usually means the show aged poorly. I guess the show rode the 90’s wave as well. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since we live in the age of Man-Baby’s, as my friend always says. And dressing up as a Tim Burton looking dildo and a walking ballsack confirms this.  It’s good to be alive, folks!

Real quick! I found out something cool. The creepy creep below…

zimbo

…zimbo is voiced by non-other than…

penny

I hope that image wakes you up in the dead of night. Seriously. Imagine waking up and seeing Pennywise in the corner of your room. He’s just sitting on the floor Indian style while smiling at you.

Happy Halloween. Go by your costume. And Spirit Halloween needs to fix the title of the Krumm costume since it’s spelled like this: Aaahh! Real Monster. Humph!

-Sad Dracula

I bought a box of 26 year old Addams Family Cereal.

A couple of weeks ago I had a Tuesday off. I’m still adjusting to the rather random schedule of my e-commerce job but having a day off while the majority of the world works is a very bodacious thing.

The first thing I did was stand by my window, wearing my lucky Star Wars underwear, and laugh like Tim Curry in Legend as the sad-sacks outside trudged to work.

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That lasted for about fifteen minutes. But what could I do with the rest of my time off? Should I tighten up my personal financial reports? Should I continue plotting my screenplay? Or should I clean up my apartment and fight off the sentient broccoli instide my fridge? The world was my Oyster. I was going to use this day to better myself. So I went to my local antique Store and purchased a 26 year old box of Addams Family Cereal.

The world was my Oyster. I knew was going to use this day to better myself. I was going to fire up my inner Tony Robbins and kick the day in the ass.  So I went to my local antique store and purchased a 26 year old box of Addams Family Cereal.

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It’s been two weeks and I’m still not sure if I’m proud of buying cereal that’s 2 years my junior. A mystery that haunts the top of my fridge.

What drove me to this $4 dollar purchase was the fact I had no idea that The Addams Family movie dipped its toes in the cereal world. I was really freaking amazed.  Don’t be surprised by this. I missed out on a crap ton of cool stuff from the 90’s because of life. But that’s why I have this blog. To fill in the blanks. The Addams Family Cereal find will be one of many for me.

This awesome website – Mr. Breafast – gives a nice breakdown on the history and contents of this very cool cereal tie-in. Read all about it by clicking the link. 

Examining the box really made me miss how freaking awesome everything was back in the day. We can’t even get NEW Halloween cereal despite the fact that Halloween has never been hotter. Imagine if the new Ghostbusters movie or the Goosebumps movie had a cereal! I know Goosebumps did it before. Why not do it for the new movie?!

Missed opportunities, guys!

Just look The Addams Family Cereal box. Look at the design. I don’t know if the corporate fat cats from the 90’s were far more creative or gutsy. Whatever the X-factor they had needs to come back to 2017.

 

“THE CREEPY, CRUNCH CEREAL WITH THE GREAT TASTE YOU’LL SCREAM FOR.”

Even the catchphrase on the cereal is awesome. Not impressed? Check out the commercial!

 

Watching this really made me want more modern cereal movie tie-ins. I don’t care for the superhero stuff. I’m talking spooky movies damn it!

Just imagine if the IT movie randomly came out with a Pennywise themed cereal. It would be kinda like Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries. The various colored berries would be Pennywise’s balloons. The box would be white with his face dominating the entire front. The catchphrase?

The title: Pennywises Sugar Pops!

The catchphrase?

“It’s so good, you’ll float too!”   

And for the collectible?

A mini plastic Pennywise that changes his face when you press a button on his back!   

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Oh boy. Now I’m sad. Maybe I’ll just eat this 26 year old box of Addams Family cereal and think about what could be but never will be.

-Sad Dracula.

Halloween Treats 2017: Part I

In order to escape the insanity of the day I decided that Goober peanut butter and jelly was needed in my life. I am an avid consumer of the sandwich called PB&J. So when I get the need to feed, I jauntily head to my kitchen to consume. Today I really needed a fix. So you could imagine how fucking pissed I was when I found my supply of Goober was all but gone!

Beyond irritated (nothing new) I drove to my local supermarket in what I can only describe as fucking terrible weather. It was like living in a wet wool sock that was worn during football practice. Luckily the local Jewel was only minutes from my crypt.

Using a spatula to scrap my balls from my truck seat, I wandered into the nearly empty store with Goober on my mind but came out with something much, much more.

Yeah, I found the Goober goodness but I also found some freaking awesome Halloween treats! My head was so distracted that I forgot that the chances of encountering Halloween in the wild were pretty high since I personally started Halloween this year. You read that correctly. I found Halloween first. Let me have my childish statement, damn it!

So without further ado I present to you my Halloween Treats: Part 1.

 I’m not going to bore you with my play-by-play analysis  of this bologna. But what I will say is this – The color scheme of Halloween treats truly erases any negativity that surfaces in my pea brain. These packages and all that they contain is one of the many reasons why we all love Halloween.

Neon Ghosts

Kyle Brown came home late one night tripping on mushrooms. These are not the mushrooms that you put in your salad, however you probably can do so. It would entirely depend on how weird you are.

The kind that Kyle Brown took were inter-dimensional. They’re the kind that make time deathly slow as you see everything in neon. It was on Halloween that he came home tripping on these shrooms.

Kyle reached for his doorknob and the doorknob glowed with a brilliance that he could not describe nor truly comprehend. So he laughed in euphoria and entered his studio apartment.

The single pumpkin light in the far corner of his studio glowed in a fiery orange smile much like it had done before but this time it was alive with color. This was no doubt the result of the drugs that he had consumed three hours earlier. With a swift twist of his wrist Kyle locked the door. He was safely inside or so he thought.

Kyle hummed to himself as he slipped off his tired loafers. That’s when he felt it. Something was clogging up the studio apartment atmosphere. Whatever it was Kyle did not like it. He slowly lifted his head up and scanned the room to see a neon glowing sheet ghost sitting on his sagging sofa.

Kyle could hear his heart howling to get out of his chest. He blinked and blinked but the classic sheeted ghost that glowed so brilliantly neon did not go away as hoped. It flashed orange, red, purple, green and blue. It was not in that order. It seemed to have no order in its display.

The ghost reminded Kyle of those freaky fluorescent flashing fish that hang out in the darkest depths of the ocean. The ones that they always showed on ocean specific documentaries for late-night television viewing. Television was something he could turn off. This was not something he could turn off or make go away. Without taking his spiraling eyes off the paranormal intruder, Kyle slowly reach for the light switch.

” DO NOT TURN ON THE LIGHTS!” said a soft childlike voice that slipped out from underneath the folds of the sheeted ghost.

“uh, why?” was the only thing his cosmic lit brain could think to say.

The ghost did not answer but instead swiftly and effortlessly stood up from its sitting position as if it was hoisted up by an invisible string. The ghost was nearly ten feet tall. It’s rounded head scraped the ceiling. The head slowly turned towards Kyle and revealed two black eyes and black moaning mouth.

“You dick!” roared Kyle as he fell on the floor in disbelief.

The ghost started laughing hysterically. He pointed at Kyle and buckled over in glee. Slapping his ghost knee he bellowed out, “I got you, you stupid dink!”

Kyle shook his head and stared at the laughing asshole.

“Booghoulie, I could fucking kill you!

“That’s what you get for doing shrooms without me.”

Kyle looked at his laughing ghost roommate with a face as cold as a tombstone. How could he hate this sad sack of a ghost? After all he was his best friend.

“Besides,” said Booghoulie. “I’m already dead!”

Kyle exploded in a fit of laughter at this obvious truth. The small, drab studio apartment was quickly filled with joy for nothing is better than having a best friend in life and in death.

Halloween is 100 Days Away.

STOP what you are doing! Halloween is 100 days away! This means we can officially start celebrating our most sacred Holiday!  

HOORAY!

I like to kick off my celebration by watching a couple of Halloween movies. However, their is a rule that I always obey- I will not watch the original Halloween until all Hallows Eve draws closer! This is fine with me because the franchise is filled with goodness. 

One of my favorites is H20. I already watched it not ‘so long ago but it has great rewatch value. Plus, the VHS has a killer CREED video at the end. Can you taste the 90’s.

Another thing I need to do is start tossing up some decorations. I’m planning on making my apartment into the coolest haunt this side of Instagram because I have no physical friends. I’m talking vintage spookiness mixed with a dash of blood, pumpkins and monsters galore.

I’m also working on a killer Spotify playlist that will bring out the dead. Music is super important to my resurrection of Halloween. It keeps the pumpkin blood flowing. Ya feel me?

So how are you getting ready for Halloween? What is the first thing you do to celebrate? Whatever it is I just hope you do it because ain’t nothing better than some HALLOWEEN. 

Moving forward The Graveyard Machine will be diving into all things Halloween.

 Now, let’s have some fun.

Halloween Delight

Upon the faces of those who fright

Ancient haunts will delight

Under witches moonlight.

All will giggle,

And all with glee

For something sweet and sugary

Skeletons in cobbed hats

silly little tykes dressed as bats

and very confused cats dressed as rats!

All are equal on this night,

When the pumpkins are a’ light

Boo! Squeek! Eek! Halloween Fright!