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Addams Family nesting dolls are too damned adorable
07.27.2017
08:44 am
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We’ve blogged often about various cool pop culture Russian nesting dolls here on Dangerous Minds before, but I think these Addams Family matryoshka dolls might be my very favorite. They’re just so lovely! The dolls are made by Mothmouth and it appears this set was a custom order for a client. Sadly, there’s no price. You can contact Mothmouth here to see if she can make more and check on pricing.


 
Since the matryoshka dolls by Mothmouth aren’t readily available, I did find another set of Addams Family nesting dolls by Bobobabushka. The handmade set of wood and acrylics sell for $210 on Etsy. I dig these, too.
 

 
h/t Coilhouse on Facebook

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.27.2017
08:44 am
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Strangely amusing (& slightly confusing) Japanese subway signs
07.26.2017
09:41 am
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“Do not rush onto the train!” A PSA-style poster that appeared on Japanese subway cars in April of 1979.
 
I love writing about Japanese pop culture, everything from obscure garage rock to game shows to that weirdo Japanese erotica stuff. While I’m not claiming to be some Japanese culture/sub-culture idiot savant, I am rather dedicated to continuing my exploration of a place I’ve sadly never visited. Yet. Today I’ve got something I know our readers are going to dig via of my favorite Internet spots Pink Tentacle—a collection of perplexing PSA posters that were displayed on subway cars during the mid-70s and early 80s. The word puzzling and Japanese pop culture often walk hand in hand, and these public service announcements are quirky, to say the least, when it comes to reminding train patrons to behave appropriately. And yeah, “manspreading” on the train was apparently quite the problem back in the day. How rude! Even aliens did it. Who knew?

Getting back to the posters, as you look through the images you’ll see that many of them use stuff borrowed from American pop culture—you know, like Jesus and Superman—to help convey their messages. There are also a few that are preoccupied with reminding folks riding the train to not leave their umbrellas behind or the perils of leaving your chewing gum on the subway platform for someone, like Superman (don’t laugh, it could happen) to step in it. Oh, the HORROR.
 

“Space Invader” March 1979.
 

“Three Annoying Train Monsters” October 1982.
 

“Don’t Forget your Umbrella” October 1981. I guess we finally now know what Jesus would actually do.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.26.2017
09:41 am
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In the flesh: The voluptuous models who brought the famous female vampire Vampirella to life
07.21.2017
12:25 pm
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Model Barbara Leigh as Vampirella on the cover of issue #78 (May, 1979.)
 
Comic book vampire/alien and femme fatale superhero Vampirella first crashed to Earth in her spaceship after departing her home planet of “Drakulon” (where instead of water the rivers ran full of blood) in the first issue of Vampirella magazine in 1969. The character was primarily created by Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine’s Forrest J. Ackerman—inspired by the formidable beauty of Italian actress Marisa Mell—and her look was designed by artist Trina Robbins. Robbins, a self-professed “school nerd” is also known for being the first woman to draw Wonder Woman. Originally put out by Warren Publishing in simple black and white, Warren would publish 112 issues of Vampirella before going under in 1983. From that point forward two other publishing houses, specifically, Harris Publications and Dynamite Entertainment would modify the character’s storyline, but not her look which consisted of a racy, costume-malfunction-waiting-to-happen blood-red monokini. You may not even be reading this right now because you’re still busy gawking the image of model Barbara Leigh at the top of this post wearing what amounts to a few yards of strategically placed cloth over her impossible body.

On that note, let’s get on with the task of checking out a few of the women who became the real-life character over the last few decades.
 

The very first living and breathing “Vampirella,” Kathy Bushman. This photo of Bushman was taken in 1969 at the World Science Fiction Convention in St. Louis where she caught the eye of Vampirella creator Forrest J. Ackerman (pictured to the left).

Apparently, the very first “live model” to wear the dangerous Vampirella costume was Kathy Bushman at The World Science Fiction Convention (known as Worldcon) in St. Louis in 1969. According to a fansite for the convention, Bushman made the costume herself by hand (since she didn’t have a sewing machine) and paired it with a short black cape and pair of pale blue kitten-heeled pumps. The costume won her an “Honorable Mention,” at the convention and she would go on to become an influential costume designer contributing prolifically to Worldcon for decades.

Barbara Leigh—a woman who probably guided her fair share of boys through puberty—was the first “real” girl to appear on the cover of the magazine starting sometime in 1975. The lucky Leigh would also sign on with Hammer Films to play the vampire vixen for at least six movies. Initially, the part had been offered to two Hammer girls—Caroline Munro and Valerie Leon who both turned the role down due to the nudity it required. Sadly the project never really got off the ground, Leigh decided to get hitched and promptly left show business.

In the 1990s there were a few notable IRL Vampirella’s—Penthouse Pet Julie Strain and Cathy Christian. The most famous 90s version of Vampirella is Talisa Soto. Soto starred in the 1996 film adaptation Vampirella (along with Roger Daltrey by the way) directed by Roger Corman protege, Jim Wynorski. Christian would be the first “official” Vampirella model to represent the legacy in the convention circuit in the early 90s, though she never appeared on the cover of Vampirella. She did, however, score a role as the model used by Topps for their very first Vampirella trading cards from 1995. Strain’s image, as well as illustrated versions of the bombshell, appeared widely in the magazine. Her portrayal of Vampirella was also used to create a small series of Vampirella-themed action figures put out in 2000 by Moore Action Collectables. The Images below are NSFW.
 

Kathy Bushman, 1969.
 

Barbara Leigh.
 

An illustration of Barbara Leigh as Vampirella by American artist Bob Larkin on the cover of issue #78, October, 1978.
 
More Vampy action after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.21.2017
12:25 pm
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Covetable action figures based on classic and obscure 80’s horror films up for grabs!
07.20.2017
09:17 am
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A custom action figure based on the 1982 slasher film, ‘Pieces’ by Dan Polydoris of Death By Toys. $40 (two available).
 
Dan Polydoris, the founder of Death By Toys, has been creating small numbers of action figures based on films from the 80s since 2010, showing a particular affinity for the horror genre. Polydoris’ plastic characters quickly became super popular with collectors, especially those who, like Polydoris, dig on the “strange, offbeat, and absurd.” For his latest batch of action figures, Polydoris focused on eight different films from the decade including things like 1980’s Maniac, the 1981 Canuck cult classic, Happy Birthday to Me, and 1982’s Pieces starring the great Christopher George. If you just said “YES” to all of that, then listen up because I’m going to tell you how you *might* be able to make one of Polydoris’ newest rare figures yours.

Starting today, Thursday, July 20th at 12:30 CST, a small number of the figures will be available for purchase at the Death By Toys online store, and when I say small numbers I mean really small numbers. For example, Polydoris only made two of the hilarious killer “Kebab Playsets” from Happy Birthday to Me which will run you 40 bucks each. The packaging is also pretty fantastic as it uses images from the original back-in-the-day VHS tape cover art. Nice. All eight figures along with their various prices posted below. Happy hunting!
 

The hysterical ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ “Kebab Playset.” $40 (two available).
 

My absolute favorite of the bunch based on the 1980 film ‘Maniac,’ the “Bloody Scalp.” 30 bucks each (five available).
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.20.2017
09:17 am
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Bieber cums, Oprah shits & the Cockmuncher gobbles in Joe Becker’s bizarre pop culture paintings
07.13.2017
11:36 am
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‘Justin Bieber says “I love you so much I fucking cum hearts”.’
 
Joe Becker is a Canadian artist who paints big bold canvases filled with the rich detritus of pop culture. Hellbound TV hosts, masturbating pop icons, cadaverous singers, cretinous comic book superheroes, ravenous cuddly toys, and deranged cartoon characters jostle for attention. His cast of Bosch-like figures can be seen performing strange, perverse, and often comic rituals which may once have had some sacred meaning but are now just empty responses against an ever-encroaching chaos. Others are full frame portraits of lovable furry creatures who look half-bemused by the attention they’re receiving as though such vanity was solely reserved for humans.

But Becker isn’t being cynical in his use of pop culture iconography from the ‘80s and ‘90s. These are characters to which he has a “generally honest and sincere” connection.

There is a sincere affection for some of the pop characters I paint. As a kid I was a weird little shit, I once individually drew every character from He-man, I then coloured them and then cut them out and placed each one in a heart shaped box, I still have it. Some people think that my paintings are fucked up or weird but I think the stuff I did as a kid is truly bizarre.

Oddly, some people find his work offensive. In particular, his paintings aimed at the cult of celebrity—Bieber cumming love hearts, Oprah taking a shit, Cobain after his suicide. These paintings may be “cheap shots” but Becker is serious in his “loathing” for the vacuous adulation of such “celebrities.”

I highly doubt frenzied 13 or 14 year old Biebettes or dippy North American white suburban woman who worship Lord Oprah are into emerging contemporary Canadian painters, so those two demographics will likely not be exposed to my work, but if they ever were and they were enraged by my work then fuck them. I have never received hate mail yet, and if I did I would print it out and frame it. What kind of an asshole gets mad at a static, silent work of art anyway?

Becker’s powerful, complex, and darkly comic canvases have been exhibited all across the globe with a selection of respected collectors snapping up his work as soon as its on the market. Understandable, as Becker is mining a rich seam of pop culture icons to create his challenging, beautiful, and subversive art.
 
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‘Kurt Cobain.’
 
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‘Cockmuncher.’
 
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‘Oprah.’
 
More brilliantly rude paintings by Joe Becker, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.13.2017
11:36 am
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Gavin Evans’ magnificent portraits of Bowie, Björk, Iggy, and Nick Cave
07.10.2017
11:18 am
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David Bowie.
 
The Monday morning mailbag arrived with its usual gifts of bills, party invites, ransom demands (which I really must get around to paying), and “Dear John” letters. I was about to tip all this largesse into the bin when I noticed a postcard from a dear friend Christopher. It was the usual greetings of “Having a lovely time” and “Wish you were here” kind of thing but what saved it from the trash was the front photograph of David Bowie by Gavin Evans.

Now we all have favorite photographers and one of mine is certainly Mr. Evans who has taken some of the most magnificent, gorgeous, and iconic images of the past two decades. The photograph of Bowie shushing with a finger to his lips like he did in the promo for “China Girl” has been used on numerous magazine covers, photospreads, TV documentaries, and pirated for Internet memes, urban graffiti, and even tattoos. Its ubiquity one would hope should have made Mr. Evans a very rich man—but somehow (sadly) I very much doubt that.

Another of Evans’ Bowie photographs—a color portrait in which he wore blue contact lenses—captured a vulnerability that I’d never seen before (see picture above). It was as if Bowie allowed his guard down for just a moment and had unknowingly (or perhaps willingly) revealed a more vulnerable and intimate side. The picture was taken in 1995 for a Time Out cover. A couple of years later, Bowie contacted Evans and asked for a print of this picture to hang in his office. Bowie explained to Evans that this was his favorite portrait.

That’s the thing I like about Evans’ work—he has an uncanny talent for capturing the very essence of his subject matter. His photographs make the gods flesh. Look at his portraits of Nick Cave which reveal something of the man behind the public persona or his series of photographs of Björk which capture a tender and humorous side sometimes lacking from more traditional photo shoots. Or just look at his portrait of John Hurt where you can see the pores of the actor’s skin and peer right into his soul.

Christopher’s Bowie postcard is now pinned to the wall. I browsed for more of Evans work and was happily surprised to find a selection of his most powerful and iconic work is currently on tour. Then something even better, a selection of Evans’ beautiful prints are availble to buy. Now every home can have a Gavin Evans on their wall.
 
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David Bowie.
 
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See more of Gavin Evans majestic photographs, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.10.2017
11:18 am
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It’s a rival vintage Addams Family and Munsters hand-puppet showdown
07.07.2017
10:44 am
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The Addams Family and The Munsters both ran for only two television seasons between 1964 and 1966. The Addams Family ran on ABC and (the higher Nielsen-rated) The Munsters ran on CBS—both shows airing for the same two seasons.

The cultural impact of both shows is astounding, considering they were both such short-lived programs. Legions of fans appreciate both shows 50+ years later, with individuals leaning towards one or the other as a personal favorite.

Me, personally, I’ve always been an Addams Family guy since religiously viewing both shows (in syndication) as a kid. My first crush was on Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams, and that crush basically informed my “type” until this very day. The Addams Family seemed relatable as a gaggle of offbeat weirdos with ghoulish quirks and passions—a concept which resonated with me, even as a child. The Munsters seemed like, well, some TV execs had a pitch meeting and said: “Wouldn’t it be CRAZY if a Dracula and a Frankenstein and a Wolfman LIVED TOGETHER?!”

Given the lowest-common-denominator mentality of most Americans, it’s not surprising that The Munsters was the ratings favorite.

Having a life-long obsession with all thing Addams, my curiosity was piqued when I ran across this 1964 vintage Addams Family hand-puppet.
 

 
These puppets were produced by the Ideal Toy company. Three puppets were produced in the line: Gomez Addams, Morticia Addams, and Uncle Fester. The Morticia is a bit odd with a strangely short hairdo. I guess Ideal skimped on the plastic for a full hair-length Morticia.
 

 

 

 
The rival show had a similar toy, produced by rival toy manufacturer, Mattel. Herman Munster was the only puppet produced for The Munsters, but the Mattel puppet had a string-activated voicebox, much like their G.I. Joe line. Frankly, the Herman Munster is the cooler toy.
 
See the Herman Munster toy in action, after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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07.07.2017
10:44 am
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Manson, Larry Flynt, Abbie Hoffman, O.J. and other infamous folks depicted by court sketch artists
06.23.2017
06:04 am
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Abbie Hoffman’s Viet Cong flag tug-of-war with deputy marshal Ronald Dobroski during the Chicago Eight trial as depicted by Howard Brodie.
 
Courtroom sketches in the United States date back to the 17th Century Salem Witch Trials, and were a necessary staple of reporting on court cases up until recent years when the courtroom was off-limits to photographers and television cameras. It wasn’t until 2014 that all 50 states allowed cameras in the courtroom, though by the late ‘80s most states already had. 

As portraits that exist solely out of the necessity for historically documenting legal proceedings, such sketches have never been considered high art, but a current exhibition of sketches housed at the Library of Congress shines a spotlight on some of the talents behind these documents.

The Library of Congress’ exhibition, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations,” features a selection of the Library’s collection of more than 10,000 courtroom drawings, many of which were donated to the library by the estates of the artists themselves.

From the Library of Congress’ website:

The exhibition begins with the work of Howard Brodie, who popularized reportage-style courtroom illustrations with his documentation of the Jack Ruby trial in 1964 for CBS Evening News.  Brodie supported and encouraged the first generation of artists who created the artwork for television and print media.  Brodie donated his trial drawings to the Library of Congress, which spurred the development of the courtroom-illustration collections.

In addition to Brodie, the artists represented in the exhibition include Marilyn Church, Aggie Kenny, Pat Lopez, Arnold Mesches, Gary Myrick, Joseph Papin, David Rose, Freda Reiter, Bill Robles, Jane Rosenberg and Elizabeth Williams.

The exhibition is being held in the South Gallery on the second floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building and runs through Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. It is free to the public.

Enjoy, below, a gallery of some of the more interesting pieces in the collection:


The New York Black Panther trial as depicted by Howard Brodie. Twenty-one members of the New York Black Panther Party faced charges of conspiracy to bomb several sites in New York City. They were acquitted of all 156 charges on May 12, 1971.


Bobby Seale, sketched by Howard Brodie, taking notes while bound and gagged at the Chicago Eight trial.


John Hinckley, failed assassin of Ronald Reagan, shown by artist Freda Reiter in front of a television broadcasting his obsession, Jodie Foster.

Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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06.23.2017
06:04 am
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Old-school action figures based on ‘Motel Hell,’ ‘Creepshow,’ ‘Salem’s Lot,’ ‘Heavy Metal’ & more!
06.22.2017
01:16 pm
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Four action figures from the1981 film ‘Heavy Metal’ of ‘Taarna,’ ‘Harry Canyon,’ and two ‘B-17 Gunner’ variants made by hand by Aaron Moreno of Retroband, 2015. You can get a little better look at them, here.
 
So I’ve been laid up for a couple of weeks and have been watching entirely too much television—most of the time turning back the clock to eyeball what I consider a “comfort food” of sorts—vintage horror films and old-school 80s flicks. 

While my love of horror cinema spans the decades, I usually end up digging through my go-to big three—the 1970s, the 1980s, and the 1990s. On a recent, particularly tough day, I watched the first two seasons of Tales from the Crypt which, if it’s been a while since you’ve seen it, still holds up in my rarely blinking eyes. Now that you know this, I’m sure you can understand my sheer fucking delight when I became aware of a toy company called Retroband that makes some pretty incredible action figures based on characters from notable horror and cult films. Such as 1980’s Motel Hell, the 1979 television miniseries based on author Stephen King’s 1975 novel, Salem’s Lot, and the terrifying character “Bobbi” from the 1980 film Dressed to Kill.

Before you start screaming “shut up and take my money” it’s best that you know that Retroband’s covetable figures, which are made by hand by Retroband’s owner and creator Aaron Moreno, sell for several hundred dollars apiece when and if they ever pop up on auction sites like eBay. For instance—and because it was the first one I looked for—the figure of “Bobbi” from Dressed to Kill was listed for a whopping $299.98. Figures based on the 1981 animated film Heavy Metal, which made their debut back in 2015, will run you a hundred bucks each. If you can find them, that is. I’ve posted images of Retroband’s awesomely eclectic, highly collectible action figure line below.
 

‘A bloody version of ‘Vincent’ from the 1980 cult-horror film, ‘Motel Hell.’
 

‘Bobbi’ and her trusty switchblade from the 1980 film ‘Dressed to Kill.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.22.2017
01:16 pm
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Laser-cut jewelry based on ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ Siouxsie Sioux’s ‘eyes’ & other pop culture icons
06.19.2017
09:36 am
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A laser-cut image of actor Malcolm McDowell from ‘A Clockwork Orange.’ A triangular cameo and necklace by Fable & Fury.
 
Based in Seattle, Fable & Fury’s often gonzo wearable offerings run the gamut from necklaces with cameos of David Lynch and Vampirella to devilishly stylish takes on famous verbiage from Stanley Kubrick’s violent mindfuck, A Clockwork Orange. One such homage—derived from Anthony Burgess’ 1971 novel on which the film was based—includes the word “Devotchka” attached to a chain. The word, which means “young woman” is a part of the colorful fictional slang “Nadsat” created by Burgess himself which Kubrick incorporated into the film. Another great homage to the film by Fable & Fury designer Jennifer is her grim nod to “Alex DeLarge” (memorably played by actor Malcolm McDowell) and his prison number “655321” done in gleaming stainless steel. Nice.

Fable & Fury has been cranking out their bad-ass statement pieces for almost a decade and many of Jennifer’s pieces sell out quickly. The vast majority of the necklaces I’ve posted below run from $21 bucks to $32 or so depending on the style and material, and most are currently in stock at Fable & Fury’s online store.
 

 

 

Another clever reference to ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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06.19.2017
09:36 am
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