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Archive for the ‘1960s’ Category

VincentHouse

Funny, absurd, schlocky, at times horribly acted, and often downright creepy, William Castle’s 1959 horror opus, The House on Haunted Hill is all these things and more. Certainly my favorite of Castle’s filmography, House is also one of my favorite Vincent Price roles. Price seems to relish playing the ghoulishly smug Frederick Loren, and really, Price is the best thing about the film. His canny knack for pulling off even the most terribly written dialogue is something he brings to every role, and in House on Haunted Hill we see him at his smarmy best, delivering lines with that famous raised eyebrow and  slight smirk.

Above is my own take on a movie poster for the film, using the tag line of “the 13 Greatest Shocks of All Time” that can be seen in many of the newspaper ads for the film.

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October is finally here and that, of course, means a month-long celebration of all things ghoulish and creepy. This also marks the fourth year I’ve participated in the Countdown to Halloween blogathon. If you’ve never visited any of the blogs participating in this amazing event, this is your chance to spend time with some endlessly creative folks that put in a lot of hard work to produce content just for this time of year.

As far as the The Catalogue of Curiosities is concerned, I’ll be posting new illustrations as well as “digging up” some of my favorite pieces from the last four years. Also be sure to check out my Tumblr page which will have Halloween/Horror themed content all month-long.

And as always, stay tuned for more to come!

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ModernGangsterMolls

August 67 issue.

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DoubleAgentDanger

 Lobby Card for Il Mondo Misterioso Di Pericolo Double Agent

The Mysterious World of Double Agent Danger (1966) or Il Mondo Misterioso Di Pericolo Double Agent was director Vincent Puceli’s entry into the EuroSpy/Spy-Fi genre of the sixties. Previously Vincent Puceli had done mostly Giallo-type thrillers and a few comedies, but The Mysterious World of Double Agent Danger  was his first big success in Italy. This piece of Technicolor eye-candy was one of the most spectacular of this crowded genre. Full of gorgeous, flamboyant music and meticulous art direction, Double Agent Danger made its way to the international market quickly, becoming a huge hit in Japan and America.

Isabella Vitti played Daphne Danger, a super-spy who was it it for the glory of playing one side against the other in a sinister game of international cat and mouse. Daphne Danger is a rogue agent battling bizarre evil-doers like the Hypno-Skull and secret government agencies such as the Council of Cardinals. This Cinestat Films release spawned a series of movies as well as a bevy of paperback novels. The film was first released in Italy in 1966, then was dubbed in English in 1968.

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TheKillingKiss

It’s been awhile since my last art update and to kick off a new round of illustration work is my paperback cover for the trash thriller, The Killing Kiss (1963, by Robert Daly). This was the first novel in the Ginger North series of books. Ginger North, of course, was the sultry private spy/lawyer/CPA who had a knack for taking down Russian bad guys and throwing back a few Martinis.

Below is another version of the cover illustration…

TheKillingKissGinger

Ginger North, as a character, was loosely based upon British actress Diana Dors, particularly from the publicity stills below…

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TuraSatana

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DoomedRomance

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Invasion de los Marcianos

An illustration inspired by the Luchador film, Santo el Enmascarado de Plata vs La Invasión de los Marcianos (aka Santo vs the Martian Invasion), 1967. The above is also inspired, in part, by one of the film’s female leads, Belinda Corell.

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This post comes via Mark Christiansen’s blog as well as Yowp (both blogs are inexhaustible resources of 50s-60s era Hanna-Barbera). Apparently a mysterious stranger has recently posted black and white Hanna-Barbera show bumpers on You Tube. With layouts and animation by studio stalwarts like Ed Benedict, Art Lozzi and Ed Love, these bumpers are quick, funny scenarios, highlighting various characters in the Hanna-Barbera stable and packed full of great gags and wonderful compositions. Another highlight of these bumpers: the voice acting of Daws Butler, as everyone from Snagglepuss to Huckleberry Hound and Rojay North as the voice of Mr. Jinks*. Hilarity does indeed ensue.

*UPDATE!: The good folks at YOWP have informed me that it wasn’t Rojay North who did Jinks, but actually Daws Butler. What an amazing range! In fact, YOWP just posted an interesting article on some of the mysteries of who voiced who at Hanna-Barbera.

As a sidenote, I recently ran across the following model sheets that artist Bill Wray had posted, all of which were drawn by the incomparable Ed Benedict. I’m always astounded by Ed’s mastery of shape and design; everything is so thoughtful and pleasing to look at. Plus he indicates the thick/thin lines of the characters even at the pencil stage. The finished versions of the pencils are so clean; they could very well have been final inks.

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