Sunday, December 25, 2011
From VAULT OF HORROR # 35, from the pre-code Christmas of 1953, a seasonal classic that is bound to pop up on a dozen blogs today or tomorrow... In fact, the beautiful black and white version is posted over at the always incredible Golden Age Comic Book Stories, and here (among other places) is the color version. (These scans from Gemstone reprint.) This story was also made into a pretty good 'Tales From The Crypt' TV episode. Story and art by the great Johnny Craig.
Adapted from the E.C. comics story And All Through the House for the Tales from the Crypt movie in the 70s, and again by Robert Zemeckis in the ‘80s when the television series of the same name premiered on HBO, this story is the granddaddy of scary Santa tales, and still remains the very best. When a woman murders her husband in cold blood, she finds herself trapped in the house and unable to alert the police when she is stalked by another killer…who just happens to be conveniently dressed as Santa Claus. Both renditions of this creepy tale of just desserts are extremely atmospheric, and turn the image of Santa creeping around outside in the snow into an image truly ominous and terrifying. Furthermore, this Santa is not above exploiting children’s love and wonderment of holiday magic to get his way…and in the story’s pivotal twist (as is always the case with E.C.), he does so to the utmost and chilling effect. For being the ultimate Claus creepster and laying the groundwork for every scary Santa that has come since, I cannot help but justly award the scariest Santa of all time award to the Santa killer from Tales from the Crypt, and pray that he doesn’t come down my chimney this year to collect his winnings.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Born on November 12th, 1967, in the harbor town of San Pedro, CA, Chet Zar's interest in art began at an early age. His parents were always very supportive and never put any limits on his creativity. His entire childhood was spent drawing, sculpting and painting.
Zar's interest in the darker side of art began in the earliest stages of his life. A natural fascination with all things strange fostered within himself a deep connection to horror movies and dark imagery. He could relate to the feelings of fear, anxiety and isolation that they conveyed. These are themes which had permeated most of his childhood drawings and paintings and are reflected in his work to this day.
The combined interest in horror films and art eventually culminated into a career as a special effects make up artist, designer and sculptor for the motion picture industry, designing and creating creatures and make up effects effects for such films as, "The Ring", "Hellboy I & II", "Planet of the Apes" and the critically acclaimed music videos for the art metal band Tool. Zar also embraced the digital side of special effects as well, utitlizing the computer to translate his dark vision with 3D animation for Tool’s live shows and subsequently releasing many of them on his own DVD of dark 3D animation, "Disturb the Normal".
But the many years spent dealing with all of the politics and artistic compromises of the film industry left Zar feeling creatively stagnant. At the beginning of 2000 (at the suggestion of horror author Clive Barker), he decided to go back to his roots and focus on his own original works and try his hand at fine art, specifically painting in oils. The result has been a renewed sense of purpose, artistic freedom and a clarity of vision that is evident in his darkly surreal (and often darkly humorous) paintings.
His artistic influences include painter James Zar (stepfather and artistic mentor), Beksinski, H.R. Giger, Frank Frazetta, M.C. Escher, Bosch, John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell just to name a few.
"Chet's art is beautiful & scary. His style has a modern twist crashing into a classical approach. I think Chet is a master painter on his way to making a great mark in our little world. Wanna do something smart with your money? Invest in a Chet Zar painting." - Adam Jones (TOOL
Posted by Frank Forte at 11:42 AM
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Chris Peters creates his art in his Los Angeles studio.
He trained for three years at the Gage Academy of Art, completing their program that emphasizes academic painting techniques.
His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries devoted to the Los Angeles Pop Surrealism / Lowbrow Art movement, including Copro/Nason Gallery in Santa Monica, La Luz de Jesus in Hollywood, and Last Rites Gallery in NYC.
Posted by Frank Forte at 5:59 PM