Lone Ranger: 3049

The Lone Ranger represents a bygone era of Americana that we may never experience again. Whether or not we need entertainment like that is up to your personal tastes, but regardless I still love to experience pop culture’s past and appreciate it in my own way. No, I do not mean taking “I Love Lucy” and reinventing with robots (I like that actually) but instead taking COWBOYS AND REINVENTING IT WITH ROBOTS DUH.

With concepts I create I always put myself in the situation where I need to re-conceptualize for no other reason than to disrupt what’s familiar. Take away everything that makes Yogi bear iconic. Take away Batman’s money and class. Take away Ghost Rider’s motorcycle and era. Make Sonic The Hedgehog for children and not adult misfits with a furry fetish. I believe I create like this because of my current disappointment in modern pop culture. The endless streams of reboots, retellings, retreads, and requels zapped of creativity, direction, and imagination.

It’s a mindframe of “reimagining” where I just think “Okay, let’s take away what people expect , dumb it down to modern direction, and maybe even disrespect the fanbase.” Is that the right way of going about a project? Of course not. But it’s certainly the current way. So I sort of imagine myself in these corporate cogs of creation where I’m given an intellectual property and give it a dumb ‘ol makeover. And here’s my newest one walkin’ the runway: The Lone Ranger: 3049.

Intrigued by this take, or even liking it, doesn’t make you part of the problem…mind you. I worked hard on this and had a great time regardless. I just know Lone Ranger fans (the 12 that are alive anyway) would roll their eyes at me and call it trash. And I take pride in that. Hi, Ho S1LV3R!

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Monster (Mash) Cereal

I was never a big “cereal kid” growing up. I mean, I’ve certainly had my fair share of chomping the classics like Fruit Loops, Trix, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch (my personal favorite). But it was never a morning routine for me. When it comes to General Mill’s classic Monster Cereals, would you believe I only had my first bowl back in 2016?! It was Boo Berry. A true-blue delight. Followed by FrankenBerry. Still to this day I’ve never had Count Chocula. GASP. I treat cereal like candy. A sweet reward to have once in a while. Definitely not a morning routine. I’d like to keep my teeth, thank you. 

Regardless, I’m all about cereal mascots especially when they’re classic monsters. I always pick up a box or two of Booberry and/or Frankenberry come Halloween time. I decided to draw two of the head honchos this season in a blocky wrinkly fashion. I drew these with Instagram in mind. The presentation of a square being the concept. The monsters being “smashed” into your viewing portal. They’ve gotten an excellent response so I decided to give them the ‘ol sticker treatment. You can click the image below to view them and give them a stick if you’d like: 

Even though I’m no cereal connoisseur, I still love the bright boxes, mascots, and prizes. Oddly, cereal has become a bit of a Halloween tradition for me in the form of the Monster Cereals. In fact, I even won this year’s giveaway of Monster figures! Excited about that! So thanks for checking out my art and I hope everyone has a safe and spooktacular Halloween. Have a bowl of Count Chocula for me. Because I know I won’t.

The Horrifying Hatted Head of My Horror Host

It’s surprising upon putting pencil to paper that I realized I never had drawn Chicago’s very own creature feature host: Svengoolie prior.

Svengoolie, like many young Chicagoans before me, introduced generations to classic (and not-so-classic) horror and reeled many into the art of the late night “Creature Feature”. Taking over the titular role in the late 1970s from Jerry G. Bishop, Svengoolie was more than just a horror host. Every Saturday night in the 1990s I parked myself in front of the television and watched Sven’s alter ego (Rich Koz) host Stooge-a-Palooza followed by Svengoolie.

His wacky humor was always comforting when showing a more scary feature but also synced up with the more campy silly movies. He was a bonding agent between my mom and myself as well, as she often recalled soaking up classic monsters via Bishop’s Svengoolie in the late 60’s and 70’s.

For me, Svengoolie always was. As natural as the sunset or rain. And he’s been a local legend in Chicago’s history. If you knew Svengoolie, you were from here. It’s been over a decade since he’s gone national, but he hasn’t lost his luster. I’m glad we aren’t selfish when it comes to Sven, as the horror host is an endangered species. I’ve recently wondered what will happen when Rich Koz retires. Which he’s hinted at numerous times recently. I truly hope someone worthy in his eyes picks up the mantle, as I’d despise the American tradition of the late night Creature Feature tumbling to its death like King Kong.

So I put pencil to paper (as well as ink and color) to create my take on a Svengoolie piece. I combined several of my older “pen and ink” monster pieces into his hat. I put this together as an 18×24 canvas piece and shipped it, along with a short heartfelt note, to Svengoolie’s production studio with the hopes of him simply seeing it.

I’ll keep an eye out if it ends up featured in someway on his weekly show; and I’ll update this post if it indeed does.

UPDATE (10/02): IT INDEED DID.

This aired on October 1st’s episode featuring “Trilogy of Terror” starring Karen Black.

Pretty awesome way to kick off the Halloween season. When it comes to my art, I like bringing things full circle. Sitting in front of a television on Saturday nights watching this man present horror films that shaped my interests as a child, and then seeing something like this…paying respect in my own way and for it be be acknowledged on the show I grew up watching? That’s what it’s all about. Bucket list checked off. I can die happy now.