Wednesday, June 28, 2006



craig is a stay-at-home dad.
he is with johnny, his 2-year-old son, 24/7.
he does his artwork late at night after trish and johnny are asleep.
for this alone, i am in simple awe.

on top of that, craig is a great dad.
dedicated, loving, nurturing, intelligent, involved/playful, patient.
i wish that i could be a father like that. he adores trish and he adores his son.

but, dude--we're only gonna be away for 4 DAYS!
he'll be there when you get back! will you quit with the whining!
holy crap! it's not like we're goin' on a 2 and a half year mission to mars!
i swear to god, if we don't have fun on this trip 'cause you're missing johnny, i'm blaming it all on you!

that said, i'm looking down at jake right now, his whirling tail wagging his entire body, and i'm already feeling that pang of separation anxiety that craig's been preparing me for all week. i know that mike is looking at charlie and hearing that little voice inside his head saying, "don't go! stay home and play with that crazy little guy!"

okay, so we're a buncha wusses. we'll go and we'll do what we always do; laugh and drink and tell stories and meet people and tell each other it's okay when we miss the little guys we left at home.
also, they will be having parties at home without us!
i know jake does.
i come home and the place is a mess!
(this, by the way, is us with our pal--the funniest man in comics--scott kurtz!)

rico, i think, will be bringing his family.
can't wait to see rico!

here's rico's choopie doodle before we go!

and just so you have something to comment about while we're away, how about that superman movie, huh?

see ya on tuesday!
have fun!

Sunday, June 25, 2006



when i was a kid the two absolutely greatest things that would happen every year were christmas and the county fair.
christmas, of course, makes sense to all of you; for a kid it was a well-placed holiday. smack in the middle of winter, smack in the middle of the school year, snow, family, magic, presents...

the fair, i think, for me and my friends in town, was bigger than it would be for other kids in the area 'cause the duchess county fair was held in OUR TOWN! it was the ultimate summer event and, though it came more towards the end of summer, was our signal and our chance to blow out all the stops before summer actually ended. for about a week and a half, all bets were off, all rules could be broken, rhinebeck was so overrun with fair-goers and horse people and livestock showers and carnies...especially carnies...that no one was watching us! it was pandemonium! of course we were kids and our priorities were the rides and the games and the food and the rides and where the hole in the fence was this year and the rides...we would play in the fairgrounds all the rest of the year and so we all knew the place like the back of our hands, familiar with it on a totally different level.

so i'm a little older now and i still love christmas. and i still love the fair. but for the past almost ten years now, my new favorite thing to look forward to is going down to charlotte to attend one of the last great TRUE comics shows; shelton drum's HEROESCON. it is attended by some of the nicest, friendliest people i know, visited by some of the nicest (and most talented) guests in the business, and shelton, his family, and crew make sure that the atmosphere of the place continues to be warm and welcoming--almost homey--from year to year.
also i get to hang out and goof around for the long weekend with my two closest friends.

it started all those years ago when mike and i were still working on sensational spider-man and mike invited me down for the show. i'm sure he regrets that now 'cause i quickly made it an annual event and he hasn't been able to get rid of me since...
each year i'd fly down to raleigh-durham, hang at mike's place for a few days, and then we'd drive over to charlotte for the fun. about 5 or 6 years ago, we added craig to the mix and it's been the way it's been ever since.

next weekend is heroescon and i'm already starting to get excited! not only 'cause i'll get to see those guys, but craig and rico and i have been hard at work on a few perhapanaut promotional items that we can't wait to get into circulation.

aside from the promo postcards for our trade, "first blood", and the new series, "second chances", (seen above), we have these awesome "choopie butt cards" that any true perhapanauts fan will not want to be without! actually, anybody who ever wants to make a kid laugh in record time will wanna keep one of these in his or her wallet at all times!

oh, and huge props to craig and rico for doing such an amazing job on these--as well as the gorgeous banners that we'll have behind us at the show! rico did all the physical work of printing/making the cards and banners and i can't thank him enough!

so if you wanna come to (what i consider) one of the last best comics conventions around, come by and see us and pick up a couple cards. and maybe some perhapanauts.

it's like christmas and the fair all rolled into one!

see ya there!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

perhapanauts from france


craig got this really nice letter from philippe scherding, a reader in france, as well as this terrific pin-up of molly!

i can't tell you what it means when someone likes your characters so much that they want to draw them themselves! (and though craig's the one who designed our gang, i still feel that i can take a little pride; they're our "babies"...)
thank you, philippe! manifique!

and, of course, anyone else who'd like to take a swing at the 'haps, we'd love to see it!
and post it for everyone else to see...

just send 'em to me at and we'll get it up there!

more from the scary movie comments:

JohnRaygun said...
As a kid my dad let me watch scary movies... I lived in the back woods of Clarksville Arkansas... we didn't even have a McDonalds in town until the mid 80s.

He let me watch Evil Dead, and a movie called Demons.... both still scare the crap out of me. The pencil in the foot scene in Evil Dead will forever haunt me.

todd said...
yeah, the original 'evil dead' was much darker, much more sinister than it's sequel/remake. my roommate and i used to refer to that one as "the one where that chick gets raped by a vine".

and 'demons' was my first dario argento movie. not his best, but still full of images that will stay with you for a long time. and...wasn't jennifer connolly in that? like, right after 'labyrinth'? cute kid.
and then she grew up to be an oscar winner.
and, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful women on the planet.
(definitely on my list. she's hot!)

(note: just checked and, no, jennifer connelly was not in that.
or anything like it.
what was I thinkin'...?
and i spelled her name wrong.)

(i still think she's super-hot though...)

besides rich's offering of 'evil' dead' and 'demons', i'm adding two others of my own.

like 'the ufo incident', 'communion' is a chilling re-telling of author whitley strieber's frightening alien abduction(s). it's really well done, it's unsettling atmosphere established right at the beginning of the film and enveloping you through the entire movie. the fact that christopher walken plays strieber only makes things more offsetting. scary. suspenseful. and in one scene, to me anyway, terrifying. i will never get THAT image outta my head...

the other is 'jacob's ladder' and i'm amazed that i hadn't thought of this one before. also filmed through a nightmare lens, this is one slow-burn that never ends. tim robbins is excellent in the lead and this is another one that doesn't let you go.

anyway, here's the list.
we can re-visit it sometime if anyone wants to add or share.
thanks, everybody, for playing along.

the blair witch project
the blob
don't be afraid of the dark
evil dead
the exorcist
friday the 13th
hush hush sweet charlotte
jacob's ladder
the sixth sense
the thing (from another planet)
the thing
trilogy of terror
the ufo incident


Monday, June 19, 2006

just plain scary...


from the comments...

Brian said...
Thanks for reminding me about trilogy of terror. Not only was that lillle guy scary as hell, the whole show came out of left center. Really didn't expect to see something that scary on TV at that time. The whole school was talking about it the next day.

As for The Thing, I still think of the original as being the scary of the two, but that might just be because of the age at which I saw them. However, the remake had the far superior final scene.

todd said...
funny, your comment about seeing 'something that scary on tv at the time.' my friend and i were just talking about that. at the time (back in the 60's and 70's), there were a LOT of scary things on tv that today would be slapped with that 'parental advisory' announcement they make nowadays or not be allowed on at all! prior to 1980, there wasn't much governing what the networks would run, especially when it came to made-for-tv movies. along with trilogy and don't be afraid of the dark, there were countless other movies (another favorite of mine is 'the ufo incident') that were slowly making the fcc take notice. it all came to a head, of course, with 'the day after', the movie depicting life--or what was left of it--following a nuclear attack.
sorry, got goin'...
as for the original thing, though i remember being scared by the concept, the creature--and he did look like a giant carrot, didn't he?--was another one that i knew i could outrun...

that 'ufo incident' by the way, is the account of betty and barney hill, the massachusetts couple who were the first to report that they had been abducted by a ufo late one night on the way home from a vacation back in the early 60's. chilling story, but it wouldn't have been half as scary if not for the incredible performances of james earl jones, estelle parsons, and barnard hughes! i've seen jones in tons of stuff and he is a magnificent actor, but you ain't seen nothin' 'til you've seen him cry and scream as he recounts the aliens approaching him while under hypnosis! try to get your hands on a copy! it's a great film!
i'm adding it to the list...

the list so far...

the blair witch project
the blob
don't be afraid of the dark
the exorcist
friday the 13th
hush hush sweet charlotte
the thing (from another planet)
the thing
trilogy of terror
the ufo incident

anybody else...?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

scary movies 3: the context of fear


so my pal kojee weighs in with these additions:

Kojee said...
Here's my list:

The Thing

all excellent choices, kojee!

the thing is definitely in my top 5! that one destroyed me in the theater--no one could sit still! it works you on so many different levels.

and freaks will always be a bit uncomfortable to watch,
especially that armless, legless guy squirming through the mud with that knife in his mouth! (shouldn't BE scary--i mean, what's he gonna do with it...? but it is.)

so that puts the list like this:

the thing
friday the 13th
the shining
hush hush sweet charlotte
the blob
the blair witch project

i'm gonna add alien and the exorcist to the list, 'cause those are two of my favorites, alien for the fear of the unknown and the incredibly well-built suspense and the exorcist for the basic concept of it; the devil can get inside you.

and that brings me to yet ANOTHER tangent i almost took off on two posts ago--the context of fear. or rather WHY these movies are scary. (or how...?)
i'm not the type of person who always wants to catagorize things usually, but there are some really different ways that these films scare the bejeezus out of us...or don't! some do it with suspense and mounting terror, some do it viscerally, with blood and gore. others just suggest an idea and let your imagination run with it...sometimes even long after you're outta the theater.

i don't know how many people told me, after seeing jaws, that they just couldn't relax at the beach anymore. (and didn't the filmmakers know it when they tagged jaws 2 with "just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water"?)

alien scared me because you didn't really know what this thing was, what it was gonna do next. (and that had some amazingly suspenseful moments) the blair witch scared me because it looked so real. i have 'seen'--in my mind--my legs being bit off whenever i go to the ocean. i have walked through my house in the dark and felt something in the corner, watching me...

and sometimes it's a matter of WHEN you see a movie that makes it more powerful. there are some movies that i saw as a kid that prob'ly wouldn't scare you if you saw them now. i was 11 when i saw the made-for-tv 'don't be afraid of the dark' and it still flips me out.

same year, 'trilogy of terror'. that little zuni/voodoo guy might look funny to you, but he haunts my nightmares...

for the same reason, some movies scare some people and not others. i loved the blob, but it never scared me--like frankenstein and the mummy, it was just another monster i knew i could outrun. and, of course, as with all movies, certain things and styles become cliche, and 'classics' lose their uniqueness. by the time i saw psycho it had been parodied and ripped off by other filmmakers so much that it'd lost it's sting.

anyway, i'm rambling again. i promised myself i'd blog an entry every other day and so picked a topic i knew i would have something to say about. sorry.

but don't hesitate to write in and add to the list.
are we missing any?
i promise i won't drawl on so long.

thanks for listening.
scare ya later--

Saturday, June 17, 2006

more scary movies


thought i'd put our converstaion right up front here so that everybody knows that we ARE discussing this and we ARE makin' a list...

Rich Faber said...
Ok,Todd, as you know, I'm not a horror guy, but you did mention something in your post that made me remember something I've been meaning to tell you for a while...

Well, you mentioned The Blob. Did I ever tell you that I live in the town where it was shot? What Phoenixville, PA is most famous for (aside from it being one of the places The Sundance Kid lived as a child) is it's the home of the Colonial Theater, where the movie theater scene in the Blob was shot, as well as where a lot of the exterior scenes were shot. Every year, they do a reenactment of that scene where everyone runs from the theater. It's a big event here, and it's called "Blobfest!"

We moved here the year of the 50th anniversary of the movie, but unfortunately, weren't aware of the festival until after it had passed; which is a shame because "The Blob" happens to be Traci's favorite horror movie!

Anyway, if you ever do make it down for a visit, we'll go see a flick at the Colonial, and you can pretend you're Steve McQueen... ;-)


todd said...
that is some of the coolest news i've heard in a while! i would LOVE to go to blobfest!
saturday mornings i was glued to the tv, watching hour after hour of cartoons, my dad yelling, "get outside! it's too nice to be indoors!" there were two times i remember him actually calling my brother and i IN from playing outside to watch movies he wanted to share with us. the first one was "the blob", the second one was "the magnificent seven". (he also plunked me down in front of the set to watch the first ever episode of "batman" saying, "watch--i think you might like this..."
little did he know... : )

thanks for the cool blob story--and don't be such a baby. watch somethin' scary! : )
thanks, man!

Scott Weinstein said...

This is a fun list. I'd have to say my first thought when you say scary movies is The Shining (or the Shinnin' if this is on the Simpsons.) I was too much of a coward to watch horror movies as a kid, so I didn't see the Shining until college. And it scared me silly. It's too bad Hollywood has overused the creepy little girls bit, because those pasty twins are the most frightening thing i've ever seen.

And I'd have to follow it up with Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte with Bette Davis. We watched this in middle school once, during the middle of the day, in a crowded classroom, and I still had nightmares for weeks. This also may explain why I couldn't watch another horror film until college.


Rich Faber said...

No problem. As for watching a scary movie, I can now admit that the reason I didn't want to watch Blair Witch with you and Howard that time we stayed with you, was not because I wanted to wait to see it with Traci. It was because I knew there was no way I'd be able to sleep in that house-in-the-woods of yours, after watching that movie! ;-)

Now it can be told...


Brian said...
Hey Todd,

The Blob certainly was one of the stand out scary movies from my childhood and the Shinning was another stand out thriller.

As for the original Friday the 13th, my cousin Niki's husband, Barry Abram, was the cinematographer on that bad boy so I'll have to vote for that as No. 1.

todd said...
cinematographer on the original...?!
NICE! : )

ha! yeah, i'll give ya that. dani used to get spooked out here sometimes when she would be home alone. but then, she always had gretchen to protect her.
still a baby. but thanks for reminding me of blair witch for the list...

never saw 'hush hush sweet charlotte' (though have always meant to 'cause stephen king mentions it in 'on writing') but i will definitely be looking for it now! thanks!

so we've got;

friday the 13th
the shining
hush hush sweet charlotte
the blob
the blair witch project

anybody else?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

scary movies


what's the scariest movie ever?

what's YOUR scariest movie?

when i was a little kid, i was afraid of scary movies. they gave me nightmares...and DAYmares! maybe it's 'cause my imagination was set on 'high' but, man, i would SEE things! shadows shifting, shapes moving, tricks of the light...tricks of the dark.

so i became kind of a wuss about scary movies. my brother will tell you the story of how i was even scared of "attack of the 50 foot woman" but i think that was more of the terrifying hype our babysitter, debbie reismeuller, gave it. (i made her pay for that that night, i can tell ya...)

so as a kid i could watch monster movies; king king, godzilla, and even the blob (although i think the blob gave me a couple nightmares too...). but even the tame stuff SUGGESTED too much for my imagination to play with later on.
i stayed away.

jump to 1979 and i'm a senior in high school. and getting out with my friends and partyin' and havin' a great time and we'd go see ANYTHING at the movies just to get outta the house. by now, i've gotten more of a handle on my imagination and not scaring myself anymore (well, not as often...). and, a huge comic book freak, i also dig science fiction. and i hear that there's this movie coming out called 'alien'. and it sounds great. and i tell all my friends. and soon it's the movie that 'todd says we GOTTA see." so now i'm associated with it, invariably linked to it for all eternity.
and i hope it doesn't suck.

and it doesn't.

and it's not JUST a science fiction movie. it's one of the most suspenseful, scariest movies EVER!

(now i'm not just the funny guy or the comic book guy or the will-do-anything-for-a-laugh guy--i'm also the guy who knows scary.)

a year later, i'm in college and dating my first real girlfriend, karen, and we're looking for any excuse to get out. we go to the movies a lot, but i hear about this new movie coming out called "friday the 13th"; it's s'posed to be good. and though "halloween" had come out a couple years before, and "phantasm" and "texas chainsaw massacre" showed up shortly after that, it was jason and his hockey mask (or rather, jason's mom and her hockey mask) that started that wild, 80's, slasher/stalker/splatter gore-fest for me. karen and i went to see ALL of them and though i soon had to start wearing extra shirts to keep her from leaving her nailprints in my arm, we jumped and winced and screamed (she screamed, i didn't scream) through hundreds of horror flicks, both good and bad. when karen and i broke up, it was my roommate, dennis who became my new horror movie partner.
we saw everything.

fascinated with the make-up and special effects, i started reading fangoria religiously.

some movies were great, most were good (for what they were; low budget b-grade horror flicks), some were god-awful.

but there were some--a handful or so--that were too much. the really gory ones that made you worry about what you had for dinner. the ones that made you realize that the little voice inside your head was quietly repeating, "don't show that, don't show that, don't show that, don't..."
zombies feasting on the guts of a not-yet-dead guy in "dawn of the dead".
karen and i watched most of "mother's day" through our fingers, i kept asking her if she wanted to go. i think we changed our seats twice with that in mind.
dennis and i saw "mausoleum" and both later agreed that the scene where the woman pukes up most of her internal organs was a little much.

the one's that got me the most however, were the scenes of what i call "helpless horror"--where the imminent victim is somehow trapped and just waiting for the horror to happen. the original "prophesy" (not the angelic christopher walken one--the monster one from the 80's) has a scene like that where an injured member of the group is strapped to the top of a jeep to be transported to a hospital. when the monster knocks the jeep over, everyone gets free...'cept the poor guy tied to the roof! he's a goat staked out for sacrifice! the rest of the movie might not be that much, but they build that scene so well.

but my personal all time worst is called "horror planet", a british import that went by another name over there. an 'alien'-spawned space flick, the crew on this distant space station are mining some precious stone in the mega-sub-zero caves/ cataacombs beneath the surface. they hafta wear heat infused spacesuits or they'll freeze instantly and they use these quantum-laser devices that look like electric hedge-clippers to cut through the rock. of course, their activity and heat in the bowles of these mines awakens a swift, ravenous monster that is leaving big bloody hunks of it's victims all around the caves. so there's like 5 of 'em left, they're out in the tunnels, they get the alert that the monster is coming, and in the rush to get to the air-lock, the captain gets her boot caught between a rock and the tracks they've laid for their mining cars. she is literally, like, 15 feet from the air-lock. the others are inside but the outer door gets stuck open, so they can't get out to help her. they can watch her though. trapped! helpless horror! the monster is coming! she is panicking! her foot is stuck! all she has is the hedge-clipper thing to defend herself...


but if she destroys the integrity of the suit, she'll freeze within 30 seconds!
but the door is only 15 feet away!
(or five one-legged hops...)
as the others watch (and scream silently for her NOT to do it)
she opens her face mask, jams the heat/air tube into her mouth and begins to saw away at her own trapped leg...

dennis tells me that i kept saying "no no no no no no no no" during that scene.

so, that's me. that's my horror trigger.

but that's mostly gore horror, slasher horror, the visceral stuff.
we really didn't mention the suspense horror, the building terror, the slow-burn stuff.
"the exorcist", "the omen", "the sixth sense".

sorry, i've gone on waaaaay too long.

two years ago, bravo made a list of the 100 scariest movies.

let's make our own list.
what are yours?


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

perhapanauts:second chances #3--cover

and, of course, i told you all that

to show you this...


Monday, June 12, 2006

the dover demon


i am a total fanboy. always have been. i am starstruck when i meet favorite actors, bands, writers, etc...
years ago i met and got a chance to hang out with kurt russell (incredibly nice guy). i have an autographed photo from tina fey and amy poehler that i cherish (thanks scott!). and as a "professional" (whatever that means) comic book writer for the past 12 years, i've been able to meet, work with, and drink with, some of my absolute favorite writers, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colorists, and editors. maybe it's the 'fame' thing, but i think it's got more to do with thanking the people who've entertained or inspired me over the years and throughout my life. whichever...

two posts back i gave the cliffs notes version of the story of my favorite cryptid, the dover demon, gleaned from the various accounts i've read in books and interviews over the past couple years. i'm a writer by trade and we are known/allowed/expected to take a little creative license, prose it up here and there to make it more of a story, build the suspense. that's what we do. we try to set the mood and the stage for events to play out the way we imagine them. i projected what i thought people were thinking or feeling as the story unravelled. i always do my best to make sure that the facts are accurate and that i haven't misrepresented anything--or anyone--along the way. (as with anything, but especially in regards to these tales of the unknown and the unexplained, sources are sometimes less than reliable.)

but how thrilled was i when i got an e-mail from none other than loren coleman himself, the foremost cryptozoologist in the country (if not the world) and the guy who christened the little critter "the dover demon" in the first place!

i had corresponded with mr. coleman briefly back in the fall to request information on his cryptid museum and hopefully make some arrangments to visit it. we had a nice back and forth of e-mails and he told me that much of the museum is currently on loan to bates college (see loren's website for more information on times and directions., and so i decided to try to get to see it there.

but while loren says that i got most of the story of the dover demon right, he pointed out that i was inaccurate in saying that mothman prophecies author john keel was part of the original investigation. (though i knew i had read that somewhere and was pulling my hair out trying to track it down--only to find that, when i did, it really WASN"T the most reliable of sources...)
it was mr. coleman and a few other local investigators who first checked the stories out and, as i said, loren who gave the entity it's name.

my apologies, and thanks to loren for pointing this out.

if you want even more of the dover demon, check out loren's book, "mysterious america".

all that said, i wanted not only to give you the background on the creature, tell the tale and show you the original drawings, but then show you craig's take on it, 'cause you know...

...he's on his way...

more later~

Saturday, June 10, 2006

put it on my bill...


as becky was so kind to report (in the 'comments' a few posts back), they opened up that duck and found only grain in it's little duck belly. no alien.

she and i scoffed, "cover up."

now i see that the duck itself went for close to $10,000 dollars on ebay the other day. the animal hosptial, which thought that they might be able to raise a couple hundred bucks to help out at the clinic, were stunned by how high the bidding went. me too, but i'm a big animal lover so if you look at it as a donation, that's a pretty nice contribution.

apparently the duck came in with a broken wing, hence the alien revealing x-ray. they later related that the duck later died as a result of it's injuries.

the doctors who performed the inevitable autopsy did add that they were a bit tentative when they made their first incision, images of john hurt spasming on the nostromo's dinner table running through their minds. to me, it's nice to know that they didn't dismiss the possibility of something...unknown.

because it's the way i'm wired--i want to believe and i'm always making up stories--conspiracy theories are racing around in my head. there WAS something in there but the goverment seized it. no, wait, BEDLAM seized it! the agency's men in black showed up, took the carcas and 'told' everyone to forget what they saw. they replaced it with another duck that looks exactly- but, wait! the x-ray would prove that they're two different ducks. one of the young vets in the animal clinic notices the slightest difference and x-rays the new duck, the wing on this new bird showing a different kind of break! and because her fiance is a hypnotherapist, she undergoes regression therapy to remember what the men in black made her forget--that there WAS something in the duck, something that the men in black excised while still there at the clinic, a small worm-like alien, still alive and pissed, angry that it's terran hosts--my GOD! they were in league with this alien!!?--would allow it to be ingested like a DUCK!?!? but the vet doesn't trust her memories and needs more proof. she and her boyfriend start their own investigation, heading first to the home of the crazy people who paid $10,000 bucks for a duck full of grain (when there's this really nice place i know of not far away where you can get a delicious "canard l'orange" for just $18.95...) the new duck owner scoffs at her, unwilling to let her touch the bird, but maybe also not willing to entertain the fact that she just might be right. they argue but it all soon comes to an end when two sleek black 1966 lincoln continentals pull up out front and eight men in black emerge heading ominously for house. now he believes, doesn't he? now the three of them, plus the duck owners mildly rebellious teenage son are on the lam, desperately trying to get this faux fowl, this replacement mallard to some authority that will confirm that there is indeed a cover-up going on here, launching their own investigation, exposing an alien conspiracy, and clearing the name of the vet. but somehow, during the incredible chase scene that covers most of san francisco, the young vet gets caught and rendered unconscious. when she comes to she is tied to a chair under a single light in a very dark room. two voices discuss what she knows and what they should do about her. one fo the men in black steps out of the shadows and into the light, holding something in his hand. she defiantly tells them that they'll never get away with this, she'll talk, she'll tell. "but I won't." says the other voice and she has just enough time to register that the voice came from the squirming, wriggling thing in the man's gloved hand, as he forces her jaws and drops the slug-like alien into her open mouth...

man, i don't know what happens next--just a crazy thought...
sorry, got carried away there.

(would you believe i only planned on a short little entry today...? i gotta get to work!)

more tomorrow.

Friday, June 09, 2006

april 21, 1977--dover, massachusetts


for some reason, this has been my favorite cryptid story for the past five or six years. yes, i'm an obsessive type and, yes, i was chupacabra crazy there for a while--from around '96 til 2002--and still am! but when i first read the accounts of this strange night...well, i've just been fascinated with this one ever since! maybe it's the fact that i grew up in the northeast/new england area myself. or that i woulda been just a few years younger than the people that this happened to. or that i've walked down my share of dark, tree-lined backroads, watching both shadows and branches moving and snapping, certain that one of them was moving closer, coming toward me...

so here's the story. i'm condensing it, of course, but if it hits you like it hit me and you wanna read more, there's a more detailed account over at

late at night, about 10:30pm on april 21, 1977, three kids--teenagers--were driving home on a backroad, farm street, in dover, massachusetts. listening to music too loud, yelling to talk over the music, and who knows what else, they were having a good time. at some point, the driver, bill bartlett, 17, spotted something at the side of the road ahead climbing over a stone wall. not slowing down, and not a little stunned, bill kept driving rather than break up his buddies' conversation, his mind trying to process what he'd seen.
'cause he'd never seen anything like it before.

he pulled to the side of the road about a mile away and asked his friends if they'd seen it too. he described for them a small, pale creature with, seemingly, the body of a baby, with a large melon-shaped head and long prehensile fingers and toes--like a treefrogs. they hadn't and at first thought he was kidding until they really got a look at his face and saw that he was genuinely shaken. they drove back to check it out but what bill had seen was gone.
and his growing uneasiness was contagious.

about two hours later, 15 year old john baxter was walking home--in the dark--from his girlfriend's house on a road that runs sort of parallel to farm street, when he saw a figure walking toward him about 40 yards away. in the dark he couldn't make it out, but was fairly certain that it was a friend of his--or WANTED it to be--and so called out to him hoping for a friendly response. the figure just stopped. as john moved closer, the figure, now he could see that it was much smaller than he'd originally thought, turned and headed into the woods. john followed, thinking that maybe this was a little kid, or one point, a monkey? (funny what your mind will try to convince you of when you don't have reference for something...else...) he even went into the woods after it, chasing it, for a few minutes--and then finally, he got spooked.
and was terrified all the rest of the way home.

the next night, a young couple, will taintor, 18, and abby brabham, 15, were driving home on springdale avenue when they spied the creature squatting next to a bridge railing, caught in the headlights, watching them as the car drove by. both were transfixed. a little farther up the road, will broke the trance when he asked abby if she'd seen that. she said yes and for him to lock the doors.

okay, so i'm thinkin' 6 teenagers, late at night, coming home from parties or whatever, gotta be a hoax, right? buncha friends, they're all in on it. but here's where the average reader needs to make the leap and, as i've said so often before--i WANT to believe--so i make it. (let me know if you do...)

so they go to school (the ones that still go to school) the next day and, though this is a small town and everybody knows everybody, they're not friends, they don't talk to each other, don't really know each other. (being from a small town myself, it's easy for me to buy this; you 'see' people everyday, but that doesn't mean you've ever talked with them or whatever.) of course, they're telling their friends about this weird thing they saw out on the farm road and, of course, each of them draws a sketch of what this bizarre creature looked like.
it's a cop who is investigating the strange reports who puts all the sketches--and eventually, the kids-- together and realizes that all the sketches are very very similar. in taking their statements, the authorities are careful not to let the kids have time to speak with each other and compare or corroborate stories. teachers and parents and whoever all give testimony that none of these kids are tricksters--good kids, a couple of 'em maybe a little wild at times, but they just don't have that in 'em. there are polygraph tests and investigations by cryptozoologists john keel (the mothman prophecies) and loren coleman, coleman dubbing the creature "the dover demon". when it all came together, other reports of strange sights and occurances along the creature's apparent "route" came in; dogs barking, possible (peripheral) sightings, etc.

next year will be the 30 year anniversary and they still have no idea what it was...

here are bill bartlett, john baxter, and abby brabham's sketches.

i want to believe.
let me know whatcha think...
more tomorrow--

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

back to basics


i don't really have a lotta time to talk today...
my pal, scott weinstein, is comin' up from the city for a day or so--to hopefully write some funny, funny stuff--and the place is a mess. not that my place isn't ALWAYS a mess anyway, but the hot water heater blew up/blew out the other day, and though the guys replacing it did a helluva good and fast job of it, the floors need to be mopped and everything moved back to it's original place. y'know...?

anyway, i went on a couple of entries back about how craig has just been thrilling and inpsiring me with the new covers for the new series and, while i love 'em all, i gotta say that i think this one is my favorite! craig wanted it to be a little more active, more frenetic, and i talked him out of it, so blame me if it looks too quiet. but believe me, it's not! the events in THAT issue...well, you're just gonna hafta wait and see...!

also, craig did the colors for these covers and i think he did a kickass job on this! we don't mean to dis our rico, but sometimes an artist wants to take a project from the beginning to the end and that's what craig wanted to do this time with the covers. i think they look awesome!

well, i gotta go mop.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

perhapanauts: second chances!!


here's whatcha need to know.

the perhapanauts trade paperback, which we have lovingly called 'first blood' (mostly 'cause a the blood, but also 'cause it's our first) due in stores in september, can be ordered right now through your favorite local comic shop or through the folks at it features all of the first four issues--masterfully retouched (or as we like to call it, 'george lucased'...) in a few places to reflect our original intentions where, originally, time would not allow, it also features 2 of our earlier pilot episodes, 'fiepick' and 'seven months earlier' (now presented in stunning rico-vison color) as well as secret files of all your favorite characters and cryptids...and even some you haven't even seen before!! and if you're a regular traveller to these boards, you've already seen the stellar line up of awesome pin-ups by some of the coolest artists in the industry today; kevin nowlan, guy davis, chris brunner, david antoine williams, matt talbot and rich woodall, and nick cardy!!

so that's that.

pick that up and you'll be all set for the ALL NEW dark horse miniseries coming in november; the perhapanauts: second chances! if you loved the first series, this series will make you hate it! no, wait...i mean because it's so GOOD! the new series is gonna totally blow you away! take my word for it--you won't regret it! there are things happening in this story that i can't even believe--and i made 'em up!! tell your friendly comic book guy that he should order one for you! and one for himself...!! and, like, 20 for the store!!

here's what you should be looking for!

only, y'know, with the logo and the dark horse on it and stuff...

(okay, i'm all pimped out. more fun stuff in a day or two.)