Tuesday, September 30, 2008

nick's lifetime achievement award!


here's a little more con coverage from this past weekend's BALTIMORE COMICCON!

as i said, i was honored to be given the privilege of presenting nick cardy with his lifetime achievement award at the harvey awards on saturday night. nick received two standing ovations and was a bit overwhelmed by the outpouring of respect and appreciation. good! that'll teach 'im!

nick with his harvey's/hero initiative lifetime achievement award...

(you could smile, nick...)

that's better.

close-up of the back of the award--one of nick's most famous--and favorite--covers, bat lash #2!


our pal, bob almond, sent over this brief and succinct review--
Perhapanauts #4 (Image Comics)
By Todd Dezago, Craig Rousseau & Jason Armstrong

The Perhaps return home to Bedlam to find the base under an emergency evacutation in light of the recent invasion. But the people pulling the strings may not exactly have the project's best interesting at heart. Choopie has to deal with his Gremlin subjects, and Peter's emotions come back to haunt him. The bizarre stuff keeps coming with this book -- it's weird, it's crazy, and it's so much fun that it rises to the top of the read pile every week it comes out. Dezago and Rosseau have shaped a really weird world with really interesting, believable characters. If you haven't read this book yet, you're missing out on something exceptionally cool.
Rating: 4.5/5 --Blake M. Petit


while at the show, we got to hang out and catch up with a lot of our friends from here on the blog.
we saw rod and leanne hannah--leanne having just finished up the six-page perhapanauts back-up story she's doing with scott--and she and craig traded sketches of karl (leanne's fav and you'll see more of him by her later... : ) !
brian and our pal, mike estelle, filled in at the table when craig and/or i were needed elsewhere--and mike gave me this super awesome jersey devil t! thanks, man!

we met peter and dawn smith (as well as their girls, jada and molly) who will be hosting the all-new SCREAMING TIKI CON in ohio in just a couple weeks ! if, for some crazy reason, you missed out on all the fun at the baltimore commiccon, make sure to come and see us at our final show of 2K8, the SCREAMING TIKI CON in niles, ohio, october 17th thru 19th!

adam hutch was there and got sketches from both craig ...and me! always great to see ya, adam!
i saw bill nolan and his lovely wife, jen, briefly--he and brian always seem to be running off on some kinda crazy mission...
and joe and amy hedges--on their HONEYMOON, no less!!!--stopped by for a little while to chat and touch base! congratulations, you two! all the best!

and that's it, i'm out!
gotta go to the dentist and buy a couple birthday presents...
oh, yeah...and letter up some perhapanauts pages...!
smell ya later!

back from baltimore--!


we had a fantabulous time in baltimore and, as always, it was great to see and meet so many long-time readers and brand new fans! i can't tell you how many people came up to the table and bought the entire image run!!! that's super-cool and i really, really, REALLY hope that--if you were one of those and are stopping by the blog to see what we have to say here--that you'll log in and join our little on-line family here! we'd love to hear what you think of the book...and all the other crazy things we talk about each week!
welcome to bedlam!

i'll give some more details about the weekend tomorrow, but for today i thought i'd just drop in a few of the pictures of some of the awesome costumes that were on display at the show! i love costumes and wish i hadn't missed a few that went by the table so fast--did anyone get a good shot of plaid superman...?

here we go--thanks to everyone who took the time to dress up as their favorite hero or villain or stormtrooper or whatever! cully tells me i gotta get down to dragoncon in atlanta some year and see the costumery there, but this year i think baltimore had some really great offerings!

this is matt miller who came up to the table in this down-to-the-belt-buckle mal outfit from firefly. i dig all over anything firefly! i had to take about three pictures 'cause people kept walking through the shot!

i fell in love with this dark mary marvel--who doesn't love mary marvel...?! bill? : )--the sad part is that, in this pose, you can't see the awesome built-in/continuous gloves that made the costume so cool! thanks, kat!

the riddler and the sandman! great costumes!
(man, that gas mask musta been hot...!)

i sent sharon out to get this pic of wonder woman and marvel zombie spider-man!
(she claimed that she didn't know how to work the camera, but you did just fine, shay...)


once again, i wanna get you all thinking--we're gonna have a spooky story contest here on the blog--with some prizes going out to your favorite scary, creepy, funny halloween stories in just a couple weeks! so get thinking--and writing!--and we'll make sure that this halloweeen season is full of frights!

here's a little something for inspiration...


and thanks again to roger
for the great "five for friday"
and especially for also giving me
the answers to your
"five for friday"...

1) What baseball Hall of Famer, who played for the Baltimore Orioles, holds the record for playing in the most consecutive games?

Cal Ripken, Jr.

2) What famous author, who's best known for his horror stories, is buried in Baltimore and would have celebrated his 200th birthday next year?

Edgar Allan Poe

3) What Baltimore native, and Baltimore Comic-Con guest, made a name for himself drawing horror comics?

Bernie Wrightson

4) What John Waters movie, which was turned into a Broadway musical and then back into a movie, was set in Baltimore?


5) What professional sports team made its home in Baltimore from 1953-1983?

Baltimore Colts

smell ya later!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

on our way to baltimore...!


if you're reading this friday morning then sharon and i are on our way to baltimore even now, driving through the rain and listening to stephen king short stories on audio. can't wait to get down to see craig and trish and the kids, matt and suzanne, brian, bill, leanne and rod, kc and johanna, nick and marianne, and of course, our newest celebrity, rico! rico, as it turns out, is a "PC" and is featured in some of the "I am a PC" print and web ads that you'll see pop up from time to time! congratulations, rico--"I am a PC...and I color comics!"


and here, for your amusement and edification, is a letter from our good pal, brian mulcahy, regarding The PERHAPANAUTS 4, which hit stores late wednesday afternoon and, from what i understand, are selling really, really well...

Dear Todd, Craig and Rico:

You fine gentlemen already are aware of my feelings concerning your periodicle, The Perhapanauts, so you will have a full grasp and understanding of the true import of the words that follow.

While reading "The Calm Before . . ." I was struck by one thought: "It's better."

Yes, as hard as it is to believe, as good as your story has been up to this point, this issue is better and, IMHO, the best one yet. I have no rationale explanation for this reaction as the writing, art and coloring have always been great, but for some reason it just struck me as I was reading, that this one is the best one yet. Perhaps you are, as they say, hitting your stride with the book, which, given the quality up to this point, would put your stride on a world record, gold medal pace. Whatever the reason - and no, wise guys, it is not the presence of a certain ruggedly handsome C.R.I.C.K.E.T, though, admittedly, he always adds a certain something to the book whenever he appears - bravo, bravo, bravo and I am looking forward to the encore.

Cheers, Brian.

P.S. Please, please, please don't kill The Chief or Karl.

P.P.S. I like that McClusky, she's got spunk.

thanks, brian!
great letter!


while at the baltimore comiccon this weekend, i have, somehow, been given the honor and privilege of presenting our pal, nick cardy, with a lifetime achievement award at the harvey awards on saturday night. while going through the TON of beautiful covers and artwork that i selected to illustrate/punctuate/accentuate my little speech, i thought i'd post some of my all-time favorite cardy covers here! hope you don't mind...


your "five for friday"
this week come from
our pal, roger ash, who
took pity on me and sent
the following e-mail. make
sure to thank him, gang!

Hi Todd,

If you need them, I've come up with a Five for Friday you can use this week. I made it an all Baltimore theme in honor of the convention.

1) What baseball Hall of Famer, who played for the Baltimore Orioles, holds the record for playing in the most consecutive games?

2) What famous author, who's best known for his horror stories, is buried in Baltimore and would have celebrated his 200th birthday next year?

3) What Baltimore native, and Baltimore Comic-Con guest, made a name for himself drawing horror comics?

4) What John Waters movie, which was turned into a Broadway musical and then back into a movie, was set in Baltimore

5) What professional sports team made its home in Baltimore from 1953-1983?

See you in a couple days!

and I'LL see everyone back here on tuesday!
have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

missing mike...


so, i've been missing mike more than usual this past week or so. not in a sad way; more of a "i wish you were really here to see this, rather than a voice--and a laugh--in my head." i guess i should say, he's been with me more. he's been with me as i race to get everything done that i've gotta get done before we leave for baltimore. he's been with me as i try, desperately, to get the very late tellos colossal 2 together and off to the printer. and he's especially been with both craig and i as we gush over the incredible artwork his brother's been sending us and yelling along with us, "shut UP, matt!--this stuff is fantastic!"
(i can't wait for you to see matt's story...)
probably it's the season; mike and i used to get really excited over the new fall season, new shows and returning shows alike. or maybe it's autumn, a time when i always feel a little more creative. but i honestly think that what triggered it this time was this picture i got a week or so ago...

one of the things that everyone always says about mike is how very generous he was. i like to think of myself as a generous guy, but mike certainly had me beat. he was generous with his time, with his attention, and with his talent. remembering when we were struggling up and comers ourselves, mike would gladly do variant or guest covers to try to help out other creators for free. when doing sketches at shows, mike would always make a point of pausing once in a while to look up at the (usually thrilled) person he was doing the sketch for and keep the conversation going. and while craig and i were raised, i think, to avoid and deflect panhandlers and homeless people with a "sorry--not right now...", mike always remembered his own hard times when money was tight and would always dig into his pocket and empty his change into their hands or maybe a dollar or two. (sure, the three of us would walk away wondering what he or she was gonna "blow it on"--nail polish and video games, no doubt--but it was the thought that counts...) now, craig and i never pass by someone who is obviously going through some hard times and help them out as best we can. mike is there with us too...

of course, more than any of that, when we were together, we were usually laughing. sometimes at the obviously, most times at some inside joke between the two of us. or the three of us. or sometimes at nothing at all.

so when i saw this picture, i thought of mike. we woulda laughed and laughed and congratulated this guy and given him five bucks each for his creativity.

ten if it was true.


not to belabor the point, but today IS wednesday, september 24th, and you'd BETTER get down to your local comic shop and pick up thew all-new, all-different PERHAPANAUTS 4, 'cause, baby--you don't wanna miss that!!


i'll be putting the word out officially sometime next week, but i wanted to remind you all that, with halloween swiftly approaching, i'm sending out the call for your stories of ghosts and ghouls and halloweens past, of creepy creatures and strange occurrences! we'll have a contest and vote on the best or creepiest for a prize to be announced later!
so start thinking--it's gonna be fun!

gotta go and pack!
smell ya later!

Monday, September 22, 2008

baltimore comiccon!!!!


so we're gonna see you all at the baltimore comiccon in baltimore this weekend. right...?

that's right--as if you haven't already heard--craig and rico and brian and bill and matt and mike (heywood) and kc and so many more of us will be meeting up at the one and only, always awesome baltimore comiccon this coming weekend, september 27th & 28th! the baltimore show--put on by the lovely and talented marc nathan--is one of craig's an my favorite shows (along with heroescon in charlotte and now the emerald city con in seattle!) and we wouldn't miss it for the world!
oh, and did i mention...we're bringing the girls! sharon and trish and suzanne will be there--and trish is bringing the kids!! and with nick and marianne there as well, well, it's going to be a real family affair!

and this year--though i'm not generally an awards dinner kinda guy (marc nathan has been desperately trying to figure out a way to get me there...) (and this year, he did it!)--we will be attending the harvey awards this year as our pal nick cardy will be picking up a lifetime achievement award for all his amazing work in comics throughout the years! congratulation, nick! it's been too long coming!


so craig and i will be there, signing books, doing sketches--and, while we will have copies of all your favorite PERHAPANAUTS books on hand, we have been promised that we will have the all-new, hot-off-the-presses PERHAPANAUTS 4 available so you can come to the table and sit there and read it right in front of us!!! we will be on hand to answer your questions (after you read PERHAPANAUTS 4, there will be a lot of questions...), help you up (PERHAPANAUTS 4 is guaranteed to floor you!), or just tell you to go away (if you're bothering us...)

we will also be offering--at a very limited supply--the all-new, baltimore comiccon exclusive--CHOOPIE BUTTON!!

bright orange with your favorite choopie giving you the thumbs up, it measures a cool 2 1/2 inches in diameter and features a pin on the back to attach harmlessly to your clothing! supplies are extremely limited and it's a first come-first served basis, so be sure to get to the show to get your own!!
(of course, if they go over well, we'll probably make more...)


more on the show on wednesday,
but for now here are the answers
to your

"five for friday"
comics trivia

1. which artist drew more issues of brave and the bold than any other artist?

jim aparo

2. what member of batman's rogues gallery was deemed "off limits" in the 80s because his name might incite some racial controversy?

the spook

3. the groundbreaking comic book miniseries, the watchmen, was originally supposed to feature characters from what defunct comic book company?

charlton comics

4. who is responsible for the scar on the right side of jonah hex's face?

the apache chief whose son jonah had killed in hand-to-hand combat

5. name the seven core members of the original justice league.

wonder woman
jonn jonnz, the martian manhunter
green lantern

smell ya later!

Friday, September 19, 2008

some comic book nostalgia


as we race to get perhapanauts 5 together and off to the printer--as well as get everything ready for the baltimore comiccon next week, i've been ALSO trying to clean up/out my office which, sadly, has become an incredible cluttered mess. filled with comics and toys and books about ufos and bigfoot and the paranormal and, oh yeah, comics, it truly is a depressing--maybe even disturbing--sight. it's piled up so much that jake doesn't even wanna come in anymore! >sigh<

so i've been cleaning up. making boxes of stuff that can go and stuff that i love. and, as i go through these stacks and stacks of comics, it seems that the trend is that a lot of the newer stuff can go and the books that are near and dear to my heart are the older ones, the ones from my childhood (and some before...) that not only feature timeless stories that are still exciting today, but are also filled with ads that take me back at a glance. i realize that this is me trying to hold onto my childhood, but...whatever.

and of course you can't mention comic book ads from the 70s without including the hostess ads. here are a couple of my favorites...

i'll have more on the baltimore comiccon next week--as well as a couple of new announcements--but for now, have a great weekend, start thinking about those halloween stories --maybe we should have a contest...?-- and here's some trivia to hold you over...

"five for friday"
comics trivia

1. which artist drew more issues of brave and the bold than any other artist?

2. what member of batman's rogues gallery was deemed "off limits" in the 80s because his name might incite some racial controversy?

3. the groundbreaking comic book miniseries, the watchmen, was originally supposed to feature characters from what defunct comic book company?

4. who is responsible for the scar on the right side of jonah hex's face?

5. name the seven core members of the original justice league.

smell ya later!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

two for true


as i have done in the past, here are a couple of eerie stories that i lifted from the Your True Tales section over at each month they feature a gaggle of creepy tales sent in by you, the reader! now, i won't say that i buy all of them, but a few do manage to spark a sense of truth in me. and that's when they can get the hairs on the back of your neck to bristle...
what do you think...?

Your True Tales
September 2008

Dry Pond Creature
by Hitoridenka

It was a warm September evening in 1986. My best friend and I decided to take my dog for a walk. We chose to head to the other side of the river. The place we were going to used to have a pond in it where we would catch reptiles and amphibians in the summer and play hockey on in the winter. The pond had been drained a few years back when some machinery came and dug one of the sides out, letting the water drain. After the pond had been drained it became a place I often took my dog, Sarge, or went to shoot my rifle or shotguns.

Sarge was part doberman and part German shepherd. He had a reputation for being being afraid of nothing. As we left my house, the sun would soon be touching the hills that made up the surrounding countryside. We took Sarge across the train bridge, then when we got to the other side, we hiked into the woods that separated the train tracks from the river. The sun was just falling behind the hills when we got to the drained pond. I let Sarge run with no leash, and as dusk began setting in, my friend, dog, and myself began walking again.

Suddenly, Sarge took off up a hill after something. My friend and I chased after him as fast as we could. Normally, Sarge would attack any animals he found in the woods. I always had to yell at him to drop it. He was a very good dog and would always release when commanded. On this particular occasion, the first thing I noticed was that Sarge didn't attack. Instead, he was hunched down and the hair was all standing up on his back in an aggressive defense.

Sarge was growling and snarling at the creature, which my friend and I were completely shocked to see standing in the tall grass on two legs. This creature showed no signs of being afraid of my dog, although it did seem to see the three of us as a threat. It appeared to asses the three of us before it rolled off swiftly into the high grass. We watched as the grass going down the other side of the hill that we were standing on was rustled by the sudden movement of this creature.

Following is a description of what my friend and I saw and that spooked my dog. Both of us described the creature as being about 3.5 feet tall. We couldn't see its legs because they were obscured by the tall grass. Its arms appeared to be unnaturally long, as though they were used to help it close the gap rapidly between itself and its prey. The creature had long fingers at the end of its long, skinny arms. The fingers seemed to be tipped with very nasty-looking curved claws. Its head was an oval shape, like a football. Its eyes were huge, very similar to the eyes depicted on most images of aliens. It was dusk and getting darker every minute, so we were uncertain as to what color it was, but to both of us it appeared as though it was covered in a very thick layer of coagulated blood which had cracks running through it in places. Its stance, when we first approached, seemed as though it was ready to pounce upon my dog.

Two years later, about eight different friends of mine were walking through the woods to go camping in a cabin I knew about. I took the lead on this expedition, being that I was the only one who knew the way to the cabin. A very close friend of mine, who my other friend and I had never shared this story with, was the last bringing up the rear. My high school friend came to the front of the line to tell me that something was following us. I pulled him aside and asked him to describe it. He gave the same description as what my other friend and I saw when I was 13 years old. He said this creature was staying in the brush of the trail, but appeared crossing from tree to tree a few times. The only difference in the descriptions from my sighting to this other friend's was he said it appeared to be gray and its skin seemed smooth.

Whatever we saw I am not certain of, but I can say this: I have never seen anything like it in real life, before or after.

Your True Tales
September 2008 -

The Blue Man
by Amy

I'm not that type to believe in ghosts, demons, fairies, vampires, or anything like that. No, I'm too practical to believe in things like that. But to this day, I cannot be sure of that. Okay, so I wasn't visited by a ghost or a vampire. I was visited by a man. But I don't even know if he was a man... a real man.

It happened in the middle of the night in June of 2002. I was 8 years old, just sleeping in my bed. I had no idea that something strange was going to happen that night. For a second when I woke up, everything was normal. When I was younger, I would usually wake up in the middle of the night to use the toilet. But when I shifted onto my side to check the time on my clock on my nightstand, I was horrified. Crouching next to my bed was a man. I couldn't see his body, since he was crouching, and also because I was too entranced by his face. He had dark blue skin, and blue eyes that seemed to be reflecting a lot of light, as if the moon was shining on him. But my blinds were shut. And his hair was the darkest shade of black I've ever seen. It was very straight, and it looked somewhat soft. It was split down the middle and stopped short at his shoulders.

I didn't know what to think, what to do. I was petrified, not amazed. The blue man did not budge. He did not blink. He just stared at me, so all I could do to escape his penetrating eyes was to shift back onto my back and cover my face with my blanket. I dared not turn to the other side of the bed in fear that he'd be there, too.

I called for my mom, which I usually did anyway, so she could turn the hall light on because I was scared of the dark. She came, acted like nothing was happening and it was all just a normal night. I didn't act strange either, just ran to the restroom to pee. When I came back to my bed, the mysterious blue man was gone. I went to sleep, lying on my back so I couldn't see him at the side of my bed.

The next morning, I asked my mom if she remembered me calling her that night. She said no. I was surprised, and I told her about what had happened. She thought it was just a silly dream. But I know it wasn't. When I woke up that night, everything in my room was exactly how it was and should be. When my mom had come to turn on the lights, she was wearing the same pajamas she had worn to bed that night. It couldn't have been a dream. That's impossible.

From that night on, I never dared to sleep on my side, just in case I'd wake up to see that blue man staring at me. That's the last time it happened, and I never thought about it until I was on this website and talking to my friend about "weird things." Was he a man? A type of blue demon? I don't even know what demons look like. Whatever it was, that's one night I can never forget.

for more first-hand tales of terror, check out;

smell ya later!

Monday, September 15, 2008

tell me why i don't like mondays...


hope everybody had a nice weekend!
i did--more of a working weekend, but still fun!
though i DO still have a lot here a head of me.
so today's post is gonna be short.

our pal, warren newsom--who posted a really great portrait of molly over on the perhapanauts forum a short while ago--sent this over yesterday and i just had to get it out there for all of you to see!

i know i've told you all again and again how thrilled craig and i are to see your versions of our little gang! it's wonderful...and a little surreal! thanks, warren! that's great!


a lot of you have prob'ly already heard this, but i only tipped to it the other day and just had to link it. it's the answering machine message of a guy witnessing a fender bender right in front of him. if you've heard it, move on. if you haven't, take a moment and click this--i laughed so hard i was crying...


answers to your
"five on friday"

1. What musician played at the first ever rock concert at Shea Stadium, as well as the last ever?

Paul McCartney. He was the special unannounced guest at the recent Billy Joel concert, which was the last rock show at Shea.

2. When Charles Addams' horrible cartoon family, became the the TV show The Addams Family, Addams had to come up with names for all the family members. He came up with two for the father - Gomez and Repelli. Who made the final decision to name him Gomez?

Actor John Astin, who played Gomez on the show.

3. who worked for a time at the five and dime, his boss was mr. mcgee?

prince, raspberry beret, 1985

4. what is the english translation of chupacabra?

chupa = suck, cabra = goat

5. arachnid aliases!
which of spider-man's foes started out with these more common names!

a. adrian toomes = the vulture

b. mac gargan = the scorpion

c. max dillon = electro

d. wilson fisk = kingpin

e. hobie brown = the prowler

f. norman osborn = the green goblin

g. otto octavius = dr. octopus

h. curtis connors = the lizard

i. dmetri smerdyakov - the chameleon

j. norton g. fester = the looter

smell ya later!

Friday, September 12, 2008

alien thoughts continued...


"Previously on Perhapablog..."

KC went to see Alien, which scared the crap out of him, only to discover that his apartment had become infested with thousands of cockroaches while he was at the movies! Which scared him even more!

And that's one to grow on!

POSTSCRIPT: Flash-forward several years later and I was in London for a Comic Book Convention on DC's dime. We were running around in Piccadilly Circus late one night and came across one of those Funhouse-like amusements based on the Alien movies. I told my story about that night I first saw the movie, and everybody agreed that we MUST go inside.

It was pretty lame - mostly running around a warehouse made up to look like the bowels of the Nostromo, while they flashed lights and klaxons at us, trying to make us think that something was going wrong. Once in a while, we would see a shadowy figure in the distance and finally it started chasing us. Our "guides" ran us into a large room with benches and screamed at us to sit down and strap in while they locked us inside, behind big metal doors. Something huge began pounding at the doors and walls.

And then the lights went out.

I'd been in enough of these kinds of amusements to know what was going to happen next: while the lights were out, some guy in a "Alien" suit was going to sneak into the "closed" room and scare the crap out of us.

Here's what actually happened:

Alien-Suit Guy DID secretly enter the room, but in the dark, he tripped over my big feet and fell to the floor.

So when the lights finally snapped back on, instead of seeing the scary Alien, everyone in the room was treated to the sight of me standing over the Alien sprawled on the floor, screaming over the klaxon "Hey, buddy! Are you all right?!"

I don't remember exactly what happened next, but I think that our "guides" ad-libbed a different ending for the show - one about me being the big hero and defeating the nasty Alien - and then they quickly rushed us out of the ride. My friends couldn't stop laughing and congratulating me on my "heroism."

But I couldn't help but wonder if I subconsciously tripped the guy "accidentally-on-purpose" for revenge on what happened years ago.

BTW, I still maintain that the Archie Goodwin/ Walter Simonson/ John Workman graphic novel adaptation of Alien is the best movie-to-comic adaptation ever done. It was published by Heavy Metal as a softcover GN and is sadly long out-of-print - but if you ever see one: Grab It!

--KC Carlson


thanks, pal!
for the awesome story
AND for buying me some
to write some 'haps...!


and again with kc's
help, here are your
"five for friday"

1. What musician played at the first ever rock concert at Shea Stadium, as well as the last ever?

2. When Charles Addams' horrible cartoon family, became the the TV show The Addams Family, Addams had to come up with names for all the family members. He came up with two for the father - Gomez and Repelli. Who made the final decision to name him Gomez?

3. who worked for a time at the five and dime, his boss was mr. mcgee?

4. what is the english translation of chupacabra?

5. arachnid aliases!
which of spider-man's foes started out with these more common names!

a. adrian toomes

b. mac gargan

c. max dillon

d. wilson fisk

e. hobie brown

f. norman osborn

g. otto octavius

h. curtis connors

i. dmetri smerdyakov

j. norton g. fester

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

alien thoughts by kc carlson


after i said that one of the scariest things i ever saw was a doll in a pool of water, kc got to thinking about the scariest thing he ever saw...

below, he was kind enough to share his recollections with us.
thanks, kc!

Alien Thoughts
AKA The scariest thing I ever saw.

When the first Alien movie came out, it was one of those rare times that I wasn't paying any attention to what was going on movie-wise, and so I didn't have any idea at all what it was all about. When a bunch of friends decided to go see it it at a "good" theatre in Minneapolis, I was right there with them - any excuse for a road trip in those days! So one evening we drove almost 2 hours to downtown Mpls. to see a movie that I had never heard about.

When we got to the theatre, everybody wanted to sit in the very front row. I wasn't too sure about that, and I also thought it was unusual that many of the wooden armrests were broken off. The metal frame of the seats were kind of scratchy, so I grabbed two of the broken armrests and tried to hold them back on the seats with the weight of my arms and gravity. It worked pretty well, and soon I was so engrossed with the movie, I was paying no attention to the armrests.

Well, you can probably guess what happened next: The Alien bursts out of the Kane's chest. Everybody in the theatre screams, flies backwards into their seats, arms flying into the air. Except that I was still holding onto the armrests and ended up smacking myself in the head with them! "Ah, ha!" I thought. "So that's why they were all broken in the first place!"

The two-hour drive home was very animated, because everyone was really excited about the movie, although everyone was also still shaking. But it was very late, and by the time I dropped everyone off, I didn't get home until almost 3 AM.

At the time, I was living in a basement apartment which had a separate entrance from the rest of the house through the garage. There were no wall-mounted light switches anywhere in my apartment, so I had gotten used to walking * through the garage, a storage room/hallway, and all the way into my living room in the dark, when I could grab the pull-chain to turn on the light. Most of the time, this was uneventful - this night was VERY different.

The first thing I can remember when the lights went on was that I thought the walls were moving - or shimmering somehow. "Wow, I really must be tired," I thought. Then I squinted to focus -- big mistake. I realized that the walls WERE moving!

There were thousands and thousands of cockroaches climbing the walls, scrambling to escape the light.

I checked out the bathroom - there were hundreds of them in the shower. I decided to check the bedroom. It was down a long hallway and I foolishly thought it might be safe. I should have known better - I put my hand on the darkened hallway wall to steady myself and could feel them crawling over my hand. I reached the bedroom light string and pulled it - even more roaches here than in the living room!

I don't know why - maybe I thought it would be okay somehow - but I grabbed the bedding and pulled it off the bed. And there were hundreds of them in my bed. Some were crawling out of my pillowcase.

That was it. Somehow, up until then I somehow managed to hold it all together, but as soon as I saw that I started screaming like a little girl. And ran to my car. And drove around for the rest of the night. There was no way I was going to fall asleep anywhere. I drove around with the dome light on, swatting my arms at bugs that weren't actually there. In my mind, I had been scared by the Alien for two hours and now I was being tortured by thousands of its miniature cousins.

First thing the next morning, I call the idiot girl who lived in the main part of the house (who was also my landlord) and told her what happened. "Oh, yeah" she said. "I had the house fumigated yesterday. I guess they should have done the basement too, huh?" "Yeah, it would have been nice to know that," I said before screaming at her to get the exterminators back to finish the job.

I didn't go back to the house for three days, and when I did I brought a truck and empty boxes and moved the hell out of there. Gosh, it was fun shaking dead bug carcasses out of my clothes before I packed therm! (I ended up going to a laundromat and washing everything I owned. Twice.) I left a huge pile of dead bugs for her to clean up. Screw the security deposit.

--KC Carlson

* edited by roger ash

Tuesday, September 09, 2008



as brian so kindly pointed out--thanks, bri!!--with all that reminiscing going on, i totally forgot to post the answers to last week's "five for friday"...

here y'are...

"five for friday"

1. What phobia do you suffer from if you have an intense fear of Halloween? (this one was for matt...!)

A: Phasmophobia, B: Samhainophobia, C: Wiccaphobia, D: Halloweenophobia

Samhainophobia refers to an abnormal and persistent fear of Halloween. This time of year may also stir up other phobias such as the fear of: cats (ailurophobia), witches (wiccaphobia), ghosts (phasmophobia), spiders (arachnophobia), the dark (nyctophobia), and cemetaries (coimetrophobia).

Although there are many theories on the origin and history of Halloween, it is generally accepted that Halloween dates back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain, or the Celtic New Year. It was believed that the spirits of everyone who had died during the year would return on the eve of Samhain to seek living bodies to possess for the following year. The Celts would dress in ghoulish costumes and hold noisy revels in an attempt to frighten away these spirits. Food and drink was also offered to pacify the dead. There are many tales of unfortunate souls being burned at the stake because they were perceived to have been possessed by one of the returning spirits. Around the turn of the first century AD, Romans abandoned this custom of human sacrifice in favor of the burning of effigies.

2. According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, what will you see?

A: Bloody Mary, B: Your Future Spouse, C: Your Death, D: Dead Ancestors

3. How much does the world's biggest pumpkin weigh?

A: 245 pounds, B: 485 pounds, C: 685 pounds, D: 1,385 pounds

4. How many "witches" were burned at the stake in the Salem Witch Trials?

A: Twelve, B: Twenty, C: Thirty-three, D: None

None of the "witches" put to death in the Salem Witch trials were burned at the stake. All those executed were hanged but one, Giles Cory, who was pressed to death. Several others died in prison, including Sarah Osborne, Roger Toothaker, Lyndia Dustin, and Ann Foster.

5. The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made out of what?

A: Watermelons, B: Coconuts, C: Turnips, D: Pumpkins

The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made in Ireland out of hollowed-out turnips. A piece of coal was inserted into the hollow and the "lantern" was meant to guide the way of poor old Jack who wasn't welcome in Heaven but was also barred from entering Hell for tricking the devil. According to legend, the devil gave this crude lamp to Jack so that he could walk the earth forever in limbo. When the Irish brought this tradition to America, they apparently decided that pumpkins were much easier to carve than turnips, and the modern-day Jack-o-Lantern was born!

smell ya later!

Monday, September 08, 2008

the rhinebeck haunted house


on friday, alison and i went back and forth reminiscing about the rotary sponsored haunted house in our little town every halloween. it was pretty great and i got to work in it for much of my high school career. it was big fun to get made-up and scare people and work the "scenes". the rotary club in town--for those of you unfamiliar with the rotary--is an organization of the various businesses and businessmen and women in the community and so there were a lot of great resources there for them to make scary stuff out of.

the local churches donated old black choir gowns for all of us to wear. the local pharmacy provided boxes of ghoulish make-up and kilmer's iga donated karo syrup and red food coloring for all the blood that was going to be needed. the rhinebeck hardware store sent a box of flashlights and batteries for all of the guides to carry. we'd all tease our hair and whiten it with baby powder, paint our faces white, black circles under our eyes, blood on our mouths--sometimes people would get creative with scars and gashes--but that was the standard look.
von husen's butcher shop/deli donated an authentic meat case and vicki's (dress shop) and the hudson valley department store donated some old mannequins and mannequin parts and there was your sweeney todd/horror butcher shop. add one kid wearing a bloody butcher's smock wielding a plastic cleaver and another lying on a table covered with blood and you got screaming kids!
the local funeral parlor donated a coffin and kids who weren't too claustrophobic got to be the vampire in the funerary scene.
there was a corner in the "darkened maze" that was boxed off and some bars put in so that joe paydon (or some other kid. but it was mostly joe or he'd beat you up.) could be the "wildman", reaching out through the florescent orange bars with his white gloves in the black light.
there was a haunted cornfield scene with a scarecrow that would come to life, a mad scientist/electric chair scene where the local beauty parlor had donated an old hair drying chair with that big cowling thing above that someone strung tiny christmas lights through to make it look like it was shocking you to death! there was a swamp scene with a plastic kiddy pool filled with brackish water and lined with sod, tree branches and spider webs, a few rubber snakes and spiders spray painted in neon green or yellow or orange to show up in the black lights.
one of the local electricians wired the place for sound and every scene had it's own unique scary serenade. there was maniacal calliope music in the butcher shop, the solitary sound of cawing crows in the cornfield, crickets and screeches in the swamp scene, and i can still to this day hear the loop of deep pipe organ music playing that crazy funeral dirge, muffled though, as if i'm waiting inside that dark coffin all over again...

those were the main-stays. the tried and true elements.
there were also new ones, three or four scenes each year that would be "experiments", unique.

in '79--thinking of what would be truly frightening to me--i suggested that they take advantage of the alien phenomenon and create a chest-burster scene; kid on a table, a harness over his/her chest, flexible plastic vacuum hose made up like the alien with tiny piranha teeth and a lever on the side to make it move and jump. they loved the idea but the execution was...lacking. it ended up being a kid laying under an obviously not connected appliance that look more like one of those can of snakes things. (i found out later that the guy who put it together had never seen the movie...) i never offered an idea again.

the first two years i worked the haunted house--9th and 10th grades--it was located in the barn next to the deli.
the next two (three actually--i came home from college a few days earlier to help out and be student coordinator one last time) the rotary had decided to build a very basic barn of their own up at the fairgrounds. local carpenters and contractors all came together that september to put this thing up in about a week--and it was beautiful!
it was really just a basic shack--not insulated, not heated, but it was tight and had plenty of extra room for a few extra scenes and even a second maze!
as the student coordinator, it was my job to do the "final sweep of the night" each night before locking it all up, to make sure that no one was still inside; some kids on a dare, maybe one or two of our kids also on a dare...
it was late by the time we closed up and, the first two nights, i insisted that i would be the last one in and out. it was my responsibility after all and so i sent everyone home and went in to do the sweep. the crazy thing was was that the house had never been wired for regular lights--all the fixtures were set up with either black light florescents or some other colored bulbs for one effect or another. and the sound system had been wired right into that. so, flashlight in hand, i had to go through the house with all the sound and lighting set to scare. and as soon as you start a project like that you realize that you need to check behind every bloody meat case and every coffin, check in every corner trying not to let your imagination see something--or someone--there. i did the sweep but have to admit that, when i finally got back outside to the cool, crisp autumn air, my heart was beating faster and my mouth was pretty dry.

the second night i realized, of course, that i could do it with everything turned off.
just me and the flashlight. in the dark.

and actually, that was a lot better. the black lights and the music, it turned out, had only fueled my already engaged imagination. there was a certain comfort and peace that second night with the flashlight as my only illumination. i checked everywhere, every nook and every corner, every maze and every room, and i could hear nothing but the wind outside.
i was almost done and stepping carefully around a huge mirror that had been laid on the floor of one scene, the ceiling above it decorated with some paper mache rocks and rats to make it look like you were looking down into a torture pit. you had to be careful--there wasn't much room to get around the mirror. i came around the corner, letting my flashlight beam stay ahead of me, to the final scene, the swamp scene.

in earlier years, this had always seemed to all of us kids to be a boring scene, an unmanned scene, no one worked it, no one jumped out at you from it. the adults from the rotary got this too and were constantly trying to "scare" it up, give it a little something more. one year they got scarier rubber snakes and spiders. the next, they used anti-freeze instead of water so that it would glow that eerie green in the black lights. the next, they added a small smoke machine to give the swamp some mist--but that had to be abandoned 'cause it was just too unreliable.

this year they added a doll.

half-submerged so that you could only see half her face and one tiny arm reaching out of the emerald water, someone had added a baby doll. i suppose the idea was that some lost little girl had dropped her favorite doll here in the middle of the marsh, but the doll was so life-like and so still that it could only look, at that moment, like a little drown baby to me. a small, small child that had somehow made it out to here--and, helpless--drowned.
someone had painted her too. lightly, with that florescent orange, so that she'd show up better in the blacks. it didn't make it easier for me there with my flashlight shining on her, her one eye peering out at nothing, lifeless.
i have had chills since then--of course, i have--but the shiver that ran up my spine--through my entire being--at that moment, was one that i will never, ever forget.

one of the scariest things i have ever seen was a doll laying in the water.

Friday, September 05, 2008

whatcha gonna be for halloween?


back in the day, halloween was a bigger deal for me than it is now...
i mean WAAAAAY back in the day it was, y'know, candy and trick or treating.
then, in my teens, it was going out and having eggs and shaving cream and toilet paper and fun.
also at that time, i would work at the local rotary's haunted house; a re-configured barn that we would build various chilling scenes in which were manned only by students in eleventh and twelfth grades (knowing the man who coordinated this part of the holiday spook-tacular, i managed to start as a ninth grader) it was great fun and really spooky!
later, my friends and i would work on costumes that we thought would attract the most attention--and maybe the ladies...--and go to bars and parties and drink and make fools of ourselves. like any other night, just with costumes on.
later in life, my roommates and i began having halloween parties at our house--costumes mandatory--and we'd start letting people know right about now that they should start thinking about what they were going to come as...

now, well, we don't live in a place that really lends itself to parties.
and it seems that no one really goes to the trouble anymore.
i'm hoping that changes.

around here for the past few years, there has been this great store that opens up in some vacant storefront in the mall or in one of the other empty stores in the area called "spirit of halloween." do they have that by you...? it's got a fantasatic selection of costumes and decorations--some of them scary, some disgusting--and masks both fun and creepy. each year i find a great mask that i think will scare the bejeezus out of everybody and i'm so tempted to get it...and then remember that there really isn't anywhere i'm going that i'm gonna be seeing everybody. i don't go to a job and i don't have any parties to go to...

but dammit this year i think i'm just gonna buy one and where it in the car, wherever i drive. raaaah! that's me! that should scare the $#%@ outta somebody!

here are some of the front-runners this year...

so that's it...
whaddaya think...?

and whatcha gonna be for halloween...?


here's a picture of jake driving my car.


and because now i'm in a crazy, crazy
halloween mood, i stole these multiple choice
questions from a halloween trivia website

"five for friday"

1. What phobia do you suffer from if you have an intense fear of Halloween?

A: Phasmophobia, B: Samhainophobia, C: Wiccaphobia, D: Halloweenophobia

2. According to superstition, if you stare into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, what will you see?

A: Bloody Mary, B: Your Future Spouse, C: Your Death, D: Dead Ancestors

3. How much does the world's biggest pumpkin weigh?

A: 245 pounds, B: 485 pounds, C: 685 pounds, D: 1,385 pounds

4. How many "witches" were burned at the stake in the Salem Witch Trials?

A: Twelve, B: Twenty, C: Thirty-three, D: None

5. The first Jack-o-Lanterns were made out of what?

A: Watermelons, B: Coconuts, C: Turnips, D: Pumpkins

have a great weekend!
smell ya later!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008



i realized a short while ago that i use the metaphors "i'm juggling a lot of things right now..." or "i'm trying to keep all the plates spinning..." a lot. i apologize. as a writer, i should have trained myself past using the same descriptive(s) long ago. the last thing any writer wants to be is repetitious.

but that is SO what it feels like.

aside from the cool spider-man work i've been fortunate enough to get lately--can't wait 'til november when it actually starts coming out--i've also been recruited to work on a very high-profile video game (of which i cannot speak at this time...but when i can, you will be the first to know). and all of that is the super-cool stuff that pays the bills.

but what really gets me excited is The PERHAPANAUTS--and that's where the plate spinning starts.
craig is, of course, hard at work on issue 5 (both of us are pretty excited about this one as it's the end of our first image arc and...well, we really like the story...!). but i just stopped the other day to see how many other perhapanauts i have in the works's just crazy...

1. jason armstrong is just finishing up a spooky tale for our halloween issue called "ghosts of hallowe'en's past."

2. as is jamar nicholas with "choopie's halloween."

3. and scott weinstein and leanne hannah are working on a molly story that will be in there too (though scott wrote that, so that takes some off me...thanks, you guys!)

4. matt wieringo and christian leaf are working on a 6-page story featuring choopie and karl (they don't know it's a two-parter yet. shhhh...)

5. rich woodall is working on a tale that takes the team to the bavarian alps.

6. and jason copland is hard at work on a case file called "evaluation," featuring dr.trish sheehan, joann defile, and big.

7. we've also got flip covers coming in from jason armstrong, australian newcomer, matt pott, and an extra special halloween cover from comics legend...mike ploog!! (and wait 'til you see THAT!!!)

so, yeah, that a lot of plates.
and they're still spinning.
so i guess i'm doing okay.


for a sneak preview of what matt and christian are doing, check out their blogs at




over on his blog, kibbles and bitch, dominick has posted an almost embarrassingly favorable review of the first two perhapanauts trades, inspired by his enthusiasm for the new image series! thanks so much for the kind words--you're makin' us blush...!

smell ya later!