Craft time-Monster duct tape wallets

I did this program at my work yesterday and I did it a few years ago to. You have to make a simple duct tape wallet first. Here is a link to Wikihow for how to make that. Once you have the wallet you move on to the exciting part of this project the monster.

For the monster flat sheets of duct tape work best. Wal-Mart, Michaels and AC Moore all carry these. Measure for approximate size of the monster you want. Flip the duct tape sheet over. Draw your monster on the paper side, pen works best. Cut out your monster, peel off the paper backing and stick it on the wallet. For the city have a black duct tape sheet handy. Measure the length of you wallet and cut strip that length by three blocks high (the blocks are pre-marked on the paper side. Using the paper side to guide you cut down and up to make the outlines of the city building. Then peel of the backing and put it on the bottom of the wallet over the bottom of the monster to make it look like it is terrorizing the city. Use sharpie markers to make details on the monsters.

I did the red one years ago and the green one last week.



I did this rainbow bird monster at the program yesterday. I discovered that my gold sharpie makes some good lights on the buildings.


There you go.

Classic monsters in the 1970’s

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Classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman dominated horror in the 30’s and a large part of the 40’s. Maybe WW2 scared people more than those monsters as their popularity faded around the end of the war. The  1950’s saw invaders from other planets as well as plenty of giant beasties. However by the end of the decade Hammer films decided to revive the classic monsters and Dracula, Frankenstein, the mummy and others lived again. This new found interest in old creatures kept on through the 1960’s. However films like Rosemary’s Baby and the Night of the living dead popped up at the end of the decade and they showed audiences scarier things than dusty vampires and creaky mummies. By the early 1970’s Hammer was trying to keep their monsters going, but tried different takes on some of them like bringing Dracula into modern times, making a Frankenstein comedy and having a mummy’s curse film with a beautiful woman instead of a bandaged sack of dry flesh. However films the Exorcist and the Texas chainsaw massacre were outdoing the gothic tales of Hammer and by the middle of the decade the studio that dripped blood was almost done. In Spain Paul Naschy was starring in films with mostly werewolves and some vampires. He stayed busy for a long time and actually the 70’s was a very good time for this sort of film in Spain as far as amount of films they made. These films had their audiences but they certainly didn’t their genre as they usually went by the same old very basic formula that we have seen over and over. Vampires have always been the monster that seems to show up in the most films and despite the decrease in classic monster films overall in the 70’s the blood suckers still did alright. Maybe the middle of the decade didn’t see too many films, but 1979 saw a relative explosion of vampire films with remakes of Dracula and Nosferatu plus Salem’s Lot , the spoof Love at first bite and on TV the short lived show Cliffhangers had the Curse of Dracula series. The phantom of the opera saw a 70’s glam rock revival in the all too overlooked Phantom of the paradise. On the small screen it seemed variety shows all had to have a Halloween episode normally with someone dressing as a square headed Frankenstein monster or somewhere in traditional Dracula outfit complete with cape and a bad Bela Lugosi impersonation. For me the most memorable small screen classic monster show of the 1970’s was the one season show The monster squad. Made by some of the same people that did the 60’s Batman show this had an even stronger camp element to it and featured wax figures of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman that could come to life to fight would be master criminals including a mummy, a skeleton, a witch and more. As far as classic monsters go I think it was split between movies and shows that tried new takes on the character and ones that either spoofed the classic version or just did the same old thing. As someone who grew up in this decade and developed a love for classic monsters in this decade I was glad to see enough attempts at keeping the characters going or re-inventing them.


The creepy case of old Ironface







So the gang are out enjoying water skiing. Actually Scoob and Shag are doing the skiing and they are quite decent. Then along comes a bunch of sharks being commanded by a metal mask wearing lunatic. Isn’t that always the way it happens,only in the Mystery Inc. world. So the gang heads back to a restaurant where they are to meet Captain Morgan who is to be their tour guide to Skull Island. Mama Leone the restaurant owner tells them the island is haunted by Old Ironface who was an inmate who had a metal mask put on him because he was so mean that no one wanted to look at him. Oh , yeah take that mean face. Captain Morgan does a no show so the gang goes to Skull Island to look for him. They get chased by Ironface again and escape. They find food and eventually find and underground tunnel and Captain Morgan who was kidnapped. Freddie designs a trap and surprisingly it works. Ironface was really Mama Leone who admitted early she was a former champion water skiier. She had been using the metal shark torpedoes to smuggle convicts out to Skull Island to hide out. They were paying her good money and that’s why the food was out there. When she heard that Captain Morgan was working towards making the island a tourist attraction she took on being Ironface to scare people off. Also a federal investigator pops up and says he has been trying to solve this case and thanks the gang for doing his work for him.

The negatives/doesn’t quite fit-The biggest thing is the sharks look metallic from the first second they are shown and I can’t believe that particularly Freddie and Velma wouldn’t have noticed that. Also the disguised federal investigator must have stunk at his job to have been unable to solve the case over a long time while some teenager and a dog do it in a few hours.

The positives-This is one from the late 1970’s so the gang seem a little more organized and the editing on the cartoon is better than in the earlier ones. It was fairly easy to tell who was up to no good but not so much the motive. Even though the sharks were clearly fake the idea of a metal mask wearing madman riding on sharks is a pretty tough idea for a villain.

Mine your own business


Even Big Ben liked the ascot in 1969.


I can’t fit through the doorway.



The gang get lost and end up in a ghost town-thanks a lot for your rotten map reading skills, Shaggy!. They end up staying the night in the local lodge owned by a big dude named lefty  pinky no-neck Big Ben. He is glad to have anyone there because as helper and short dude Hank tells it a nasty ghost called the Miner Forty Niner has scared everyone else off. Gulp, better hold on tight looks like another mystery. They start looking through the town and Scooby and Shag run into the Miner Forty Niner! Oh, no! They also find a secret entrance to a mine. After some scares and exploring the gang find a speaker, a microphone and some oil. Now it all makes sense or does it? Scoob and Shag imitate a train and scare the Miner almost all the way off a cliff and it turns out it was little Hank wearing stilts to make himself look big. He found oil in the mines and pretended to be the Miner to scare everyone off in the hopes that Big Ben would give up, sell him the land cheap and he’d make a bundle.

The negatives/doesn’t quite fit-This is an early episode and it’s a bit sloppy as you’ll see Velma lose lipstick off he facr, Scooby lose his spots and Freddie shed being covered in flour very quickly. The biggest problems are with Hank as the miner. First is although the stilts explain the long legs they don’t explain why his arms were longer. Also it seems hard to believe that on stilts that Hank could move so fast on rough terrain like he does.

The positives- A classic episode with a memorable villain.


Holy poop it’s the Miner!


Holy poop it’s Hank!

The most underrated member of Mystery Inc.

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We all know that Scooby and Shaggy are the most popular members of Mystery Inc. They get the lion’s share of the air time as they usually bumble through situations and get things done normally by dumb luck. Freddie? Well his driving is mostly alright and he knows how to take charge, but his traps normally fail. Yes that is often because Shag and Scoob mess it up, but Freddie never seems to take that into consideration with each subsequent trap. Daphne? The good is she has had more to do and become more competent in more recent years. In the old days I think her main contribution was it’s good chance she or rather her parent’s may have been funding these monster hunting excursions. That is a huge contribution, but other wise the most she did was find traps, holes and get grabbed by monsters. Velma? There we go. The brains, the logic and frequently the voice of reason in the group. That’s also considering that she sometimes had to clue search with Scooby and Shaggy who were less than helpful many times. Now if only she’d been able to keep glasses on her face more often. In the classic episodes Velma frequently did more than she got credit for.

Scooby Doo on zombie island

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So the gang have gone their  own ways since their younger days. Daphne works as a TV personality and Fred is her cameraman. They want to find real ghosts and Freddie brings the rest of the gang back in to join the project. They spend lots of time finding dudes in masks and are very disappointed. Then on an island in the south they find a pirate curse, a cat cult, were cats, pirate zombies and food so hot it makes Shaggy and Scooby weak. Since the pirate zombies are the first monsters the gang see they assume they are evil and they did wrong, but they were cursed by the were cat people who are not nice at all. In fact they have a plot to kill the gang once they know too much, but the gang find a way to win survive and set things straight.


The negatives-Some long time fans didn’t like the idea of the monsters being real. They were wrong, but thought I’d throw that out there.

The positives-This time the monsters are real. That was the line that got me in 1998 when Cartoon Network was advertising for a showing of it on Halloween. At that point the Scooby Franchise had done anything good in like twenty years. Ever since they introduced Scrappy and it was a downwards spiral for there for a once mighty cartoon. This movie brought the gang back, advanced their lives a little and gave them a real mystery to solve. yet it still held many of the elements that made the classic cartoons so wonderful. Great movie and it got these characters back in steady circulation with mostly good results over the last 16 years.

Voices of note- Billy West (Futurama) was on as Shaggy instead of Casey Kasem this time around. As always the legendary Frank Welker was in as Freddie. Of interest to genre fans would be Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog, Escape from New York) as Simone and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) as Snakebite Scruggs.


Kicking off Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc. week

Scooby Doo

Even though I grew up in the 1970’s I don’t that decade’s cartoons as a whole were as good as the cartoons of the 1960’s. Maybe that’s fitting since Scooby Doo actually began in the fall of 1969. However it’s my choice for best cartoon of the 1970’s. While they borrowed some plots on occasion from Johnny Quest this cartoon managed to create it’s own style by combining action, humor, horror and of course mystery. One of my favorite parts about Scooby Doo was that no matter where they went they managed to find monsters and mysteries. It could be the big city, an isolated beach or their home town but they always found some events that needed to be investigated. They also had likable main characters, catch phrases and the monsters were mostly very cool. This was definitely the top cartoon that I acted out as a kid. It also made me thinking the eyes in paintings were watching me, crooks dressed as monsters and the Mystery Machine was the coolest thing on four wheels. So get set for Scooby-Doo week.