Monday, December 28, 2009

'WICKED' - Marvel Comic 1989

First of all I would just like to apologise for the lack of posts recently, especially for those of you who keep checking back here. I really must try and get more regular posts written for the Cobwebbed Room. If there are any of you that has something to contribute in the way of a post or picture then please don't hesitate. Anyway hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a wonderful new year.


First Published in 1989 Marvel's 'Wicked' comic was as far as I am aware had only a very short run, the issues you see here are the only ones that I have and I certainly don't remember seeing anymore after the 6th issue, I somehow missed the 5th issue too. 'Wicked's stories and artwork were very similar to those published in Fleetway's comiclines especially spooky and funny themed comics such as 'Monster Fun' and 'Shiver and Shake'. The stories featured regulary in the short run were as follows:
'SLIMER' [based on the 'Ghostbusters' character]
'MUMMY's BOY' [Not the one featured in Fleetway's comics]

The first 3 issues as shown below featured a free gift, the first issue were a pair of green plastic fangs, 2nd issue 4 removeable tattoos, and the 3rd issue a slimey'Real Ghostbusters' jelly sweet. Would love to know if anyone knows if there were any other issues after #6 or they have a picture of the 5th issue.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Here is another 4 pictures. The 2nd and 3rd ones are the front and back of the same bag. I love the artwork on the bottom picture.


What I like about lucky bags is you just never know what you are going to find in these mix bags of surprise. Sometimes you get some really cool stuff, but there are times when you think "What the hell is this trash?' and you wonder will it be worth buying another just to see if the other contains anything more interesting. I know its really aimed at children but when I see a lucky bag which has a horror or Halloween them then I have to buy one and see what monster goodies are inside, besides some of the artwork on these lucky bags are quite cool too. The first 4 you see here are the front and backs of 2 themed ones I bought sometime during the 90's. These did have some really nice monster toys, cards etc. The first one also later on came in a much bigger packaging too. What I hate about some of these lucky bags is when you feel like you have been cheated when they pad the bag out with too many sweets. I like sweets but you want something that you probally can't buy as easy in any newsagents etc. Also some of these so called Horror/Halloween lucky bags are just full of crap that has no connection with horror or Halloween. I know its all kids stuff but I don't care really, I just enjoy the joy of coming across a monster themed toy or gift that is great to look at and something that you don't always come across normally. I have put up these first 5 images of 3 of the horror lucky bags and will be adding some more soon. All of them are from the 1990's/2000's. If anyone has any others especially earlier ones would love to hear about them.

Friday, September 04, 2009


I first learned of Forrest J Ackerman through reading a softcover book that I had seen in a local comic book sometime in the early to mid-1980's. The title was 'Mr.Monster's Movie Gold' by Forrest Ackerman, as well as rare horror, science fiction and fantasy stills all of which came from Ackerman's collection, there were also photos of himself and his vast collection at the Ackermansion in Hollywood. I was fascinated by this man whom had for decades been such a big fan and collector, who was a literary agent for some of the top science fiction authors, had cameos in many genre films, termed the word Sci-Fi, invented Vampirella, was Friends with Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Ray Harryhausen, Ray Bradbury, John Landis, Joe Dante etc and edited the first ever monster film magazine Famous Monsters of filmland;these are just touching on the surface of the achievements of Forrest Ackerman. The photos in Mr.Monster's Movie gold inspired me to become more of a genre fan especially a horror fan, the photos of Forry's collection also made me want to become a collector myself, although of course I knew I would never have anything like the incredible things that he had collected. I should think that most fans had heard about Forry from reading 'Famous Monsters' which he edited for 190 issues from 1958 to 1983. I was aware of the magazine and probably had at the time a few of the later issues, but I didn't really know anything much about it's editor until that book I saw in the comic shop. After buying and reading the book I was determined to try and find out more about Forry and the Ackermansion, mainly through genre books and magazines. Years later I wrote to Forry, just to basically tell him what an inspiration he has been on my interest in horror, science fiction films, books etc. I forget how long it took for me to get a reply but when I did I was over the [full] moon. I think it was sometime during 1990 that I got a reply back. The letter basically stated that he was coming to the UK and will be appearing at the Scala cinema in London, and also would be hoping to visit the final resting places of Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, H.G.Wells etc. He even mentioned what hotel he would be staying at in London. This was fantastic news, I would now have the opportunity to meet the great man himself. As the letter was a little sketchy I had to ring the Scala up for more information regarding the event. A good friend of mine agreed to accompany me to London, we both excited and so looking forward to 'The Famous Monsters of filmland festival'. I had never been to anything like this before, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Anyway to cut a long story short, the day had arrived and we turned up at the Scala cinema in King's Cross. The Scala is known for showings of all manner of cult and sleazy classics, as well as Exploitation, horror/sci-fi classics, Hong Kong cinema, grindhouse etc.

Although a Little rough around the edges the cinema was an impressive place and quite large, the roughness kind of added to its charm. Upon entering you climb some stairs that led to a large open lobby adorned with film posters of all kinds. Here in the lobby were a number of stalls selling an assortment of videos, books, magazines etc and on one of the walls were some of the original 'Famous Monsters' cover posters that could be sent for from Famous Monsters mail order company 'Captain Company' the only one I can remember was the Vincent Price 'Madhouse' cover or was it Dr.Phibes? I forget now. The doors opened at 12.30pm and at 12.45 the first of the 5 films was shown, it says in the programme [see above] that 'Return of the Apeman' would be shown in place of 'Bride of Frankenstein', this was not the case in the end as a copy of 'Bride' was shown which really pleased me as it was a firm favorite of mine and to see it on the big screen was amazing. Following this at 2.15pm was 'I was a teenage Frankenstein' and then at 3.45 'The Tomb of Liega' which my friend and I never got to see all of. My friend agreed to loan me some money so that I could buy a copy of the video 'Hooray for Horrorwood' which was on sale in the lobby by Forry's associate and publisher at the time Ray Ferry [For those that don't know Ray Ferry would take over as publisher on the new revived issues of Famous Monsters beginning with issue #200 and Forry was back as editor, unfortunately big disagreements and a bust up ensued between Forry and Ferry and it all ended up in a court battle - read online for the whole story]. Anyway we had to find a cash machine and when we did eventually find one there was scaffolding on the banks wall and tape in front of the cash machine, my friend risked it and went under the tape and lost his card in the machine, so that was that. What a downer and on top of that my camera decided not to work. At 5.15pm 'How to make a monster' was shown followed by a Ray Harryhausen Showreel and at 7.15pm Forry and Ray appeared on stage to a captive audience, I forget what they both spoke about but they basically both spoke of how they both became long time friends and about their interest and careers within the genre.At 8.15pm the Last film of the night was a film that Harryhausen's dynamation effects could be seen to great effect, 'Mysterious Island'. At 10pm Forry and Ray appeared in the cinema's lobby to meet fans and sign what ever fans wanted signing. I didn't realise that it was so late in the day that fans got to meet the two of them until I re-looked at the souvenir programme [as seen above]. Anyway Forry was sat at a table and behind him was a TV showing the 'Horray for Horrorwood' video and next to that was Forry's award from the 'Horror Hall of Fame' that he was presented with that year. While queueing up to meet the great man the chap in front of me was talking to Forry and asking him if he could look at Lugosi's Dracula ring and Karloff's Mummy ring, so I got a chance to see these 2 fantastic iconic items. I never thought to ask myself to see them, so thank goodness someone did. When it was my turn Forry smiled and we shook hands, I placed the things on the table for him to sign which were about 4 books written by Forry as well as the biographical 'Amazing Forries'. He responded by saying "Arrgghh you have all the best books". I forget what else was said to each other but he signed by books and handed me a keyring that said upon it "Remember me with every key...4E 4E 4E 4E 4E" and a badge of Forry's face made up like Dracula. I thanked him and went to meet and get Ray Harryhausen's autograph, for some reason I never said anything really to him [I think I wanted to ask him something different instead of what he probably gets asked alot, but I couldn't think of anything] Ray signed the back of my souvenir programme and for some reason my friend asked him to sign a couple of 'King Kong' comics??? Later before the end of the festival I got to speak with Forry for a little longer and I let him look at a few photos of my tiny horror collection and photos of Bram Stoker's urn at Golder's Green Crematorium, London. I said that if he wanted any of the photos he was quite welcome to them, he just chose one which was of myself taken during the early 1980's. A year or so later I was surprised to discover that Forry had printed my picture on the page 'Wanted more readers like...' in the second issue of 'Monsterama' boy was I pleased. So that was my sketchy memories of 'The Famous Monsters of Filmland festival' in London on march 16th 1991, it was such a memorable experience to me that I shall always look back on it with great fondness. One of my biggest regrets was never getting the opportunity [money more like] to go to Hollywood and see Forry and his collection, still I feel very honoured to have met him.

Contents of the souvenir brochure as seen above are as follows:

Itinerary of the day.
Introduction.'Famous Monsters of filmland story' - re-printed from 'Pure Images' #1vol.2 by Greg Theakson [This is only part of what was a much longer article with more photos and text.
Ray Harryhausen interview - re-printed from 'Imaginator' by Ken Miller.
'The House that Ack built' by Greg Theakson
Adverts for The Festival of Fantastic Films and Psychomania Videos, London.
Picture of Forrest Ackerman and Rayharryhausen [back page]

Later that night, not long after the Famous Monsters festival had finished an all night B-movie Marathon was held at the Scala and hosted by Johnny Legend [ Also The event was named 'Johnny Legend's Rock & Roll Outerspace Delinquents All Night Show' Films shown during the night were:

'The Corpsegrinders' (1971)
'I Drink your Blood' (1971)
'Brides of Blood' (1968)
'Monster of the Peidras Blancas' (1959)
'Teenagers from Outer Space' (1959)
Plus rare trailers and surprises

I forget what trailers and surprises there were, but I do remember Johnny Legend on stage with I think the manager of the Scala cinema at some point doing a B-movie quiz, I answered a question about 'The Beast of Yucca Flats' and won a signed photo of Johnny's cameo appearance in 'Re-animator 2' and a 45 single of Johnny singing a song called 'House of Frankenstein' and on the B side was his rendition of a song featured on Hershall Gordon Lewis's '2000 Maniacs' All in all the whole day was fantastic, I just wish I knew some others who also went to the events and took some photos which I could share here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Here we have a non-genre book that is worth mentioning because of particular chapters on the genre. 'Literary Houses' by Rosalind Ashe is a beautiful illustrated book that describes 10 famous houses in fiction, describing a particular house and its interior from a classic novel and illustrated beautifully in colour. Some of these I will be including here in the Cobwebbed Room either because it is appropriate or because of the atmospheric illustration. Here as you can see above are the illustrations from the chapter on Dracula.These were illustrated by John Rose and I think really capture the creepy and sinister atmosphere as described in Bram Stoker's novel. The other books covered in 'Literary Houses' are 'Rebecca', 'Great Expectations', 'The Picture of Dorian Grey', 'The House of the seven gables', 'The Great Gatsby', 'Northanger Abby', 'Jane Eyre', 'Howards End', and 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. I shall only cover 'Hound of the Baskervilles' and 'Great Expectations' [Only because of the cobwebbed shrewn Miss.Haversham's house]. 'Literary Houses' was published in 1982 by Paper Tiger. As far as I am aware there was 2nd book of Literary Houses too, not sure what novels were covered in this edition.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Throughout the years here in England, there have been hundreds of weekly or fortnightly magazines known as Partworks on any given subject. Of interest to readers of The Cobwebbed Room there have been a few with a supernatural/horror theme such as 'The Unexplained', 'Man, Myth and Magic', 'Fate and Fortune', 'The X Factor', and 'The Horror Collection'? 'The Spinechiller Collection' was another supernatural/horror themed publication which was aimed at a younger reading group. Published by Eaglemoss in 1998/1999. The first issue as with most partworks was sold for an introductory price of 75p, all issues thereafter would be priced at 1 pound 50 per issue. With the first issue which came in a card folder also contained a pack of 3 Spooky pop-ups [There were 30 of these pop-ups all in all to collect throughout the magazines run, these were intended to be used to play a game called 'Zap the Spook']. Issue 2 came with a free binder which would hold 15 issues and another spooky pop-up, other free gifts apart from the pop-ups were a skull hologram sticker with issue #5, a card Dracula bookmark with issue #6, and a small sheet of spooky tattoos in issue #11.

The Spinechiller Collection's contents were illustrated with artwork and photographs, and written work consisting short stories, supernatural factual accounts and Unexplained phenomena. Contents of each issue consisted of a Scary Story which were originally published in one of the following short story collection books:

'Super Scary stories for sleepovers' (1995)
'More Scary stories for sleepovers' (1992)
'Even more Scary stories for sleepovers' (1994)
'Mega Scary Stories for sleepovers' (1996)
'More Super Scary stories for sleepovers #6' (1995)
'Even more Super Scary stories for sleepovers #6' (1995)
'Still more Scary stories for sleepovers' (1993)
'Scary stories for sleepovers #8' (1997)
'Mega Scary stories for sleepovers #7' (1996)
'Bone chilling tales of fright' (1994)
'Still more Bone chilling tales of fright' (1995)
'More Scary stories for when you're home alone' (1996)
'Scary stories for stormy nights' (1995)
'Even more Scary stories for stormy nights' (1997)
'Scary stories from 1313 Wicked Way' (1996)
'Darkness Creeping' (1995)

'Our Haunted World' covered stange and spooky stories from around the world, I am not really sure what the next part was called but it contained a 2 page story in comicstrip format that were the sort of stories passed from a friend of a friend kind of like Urban Myths, 'Strange but True' covered case documents about srange phenominia, events etc, then we have the 'Creepy Puzzles', a 'Classic Serial' featured a condensed version of a classic horror or ghost story which each story ran over 2 to 3 issues, here are those stories that were featured:

'Phantom of the Opera' - Gaston Leroux
'The Portrait Painter' - Charles Dickens
'Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde' - Robert Louis Stevenson
'Squire Toby's Will' - Sheridan Le Fanu
'The Old Nurse's Story' - Elizabeth Gaskell
'The Real and the Conterfeit' - Mrs.Alfred Baldwin
'The Shadow' - E.Nesbit
'Croul's Ghost' - Sheridan La Fanu
'Wolverdon Tower' - Grant Allen
'The Ghost Chamber' - Charles Dickens
'The Dead Sexton' - Sheridan La Fanu
'Dracula's Guest' - Bram Stoker
'The Signal Man' - Charles Dickens
'The middle toe of the right foot' - Ambrose Bierce
'The Open Door' - Charlotte Riddell
'The Pit and the Pendulum' - Edgar Allan Poe
'The Canterville Ghost' - Oscar Wilde
'Frankenstein' - Mary Shelley
'A Christmas Carol' - Charles Dickens
'Dracula' - Bram Stoker
'The Violet Car' - E.Nesbit
'The Spectre of Doom' - Bram Stoker
'The Stranger' - Ambrose Bierce

Finally 'The Unexplained' looks into bizarre unsolved mysteries. Throughout the 60 issues of The Spinechiller Collection, a number of artists worked the covers, contents and free gifts. I would say that all the illustrations are stunning and often very creepy throughout. Here is a complete list of those artists:

Simoni Boni
Kev Walker
Darren Pattenden
Lee Gibbons
Will Simpson
John Higgins
Tony Smith
Paul Johnson
Una Fricker
David Millgate
Leo Hartas
Jerry Paris
David Burtchum
Steve White
Ian Atchinson
David Wyatt
Christyan Fox
Kev Hopgood
Carol Kemp
Robin Smith
Baz Rowell
Christine Hock
Justin Wyatt
Garry Leach
Harvey Parker
John Lupton
Luis Rey
Douglas Carrel
Ken Stott
Luigi Galante
Julian Gibson
Andrew Wheatcroft
Barry Jones
Alwyn Talbot
Al Davison
Stephen Player
Bob Harvey

The last issue contained an index covering all issues, there were no puzzles or 'The Unexplained' in this issue. A subscription would include a free Spinechiller Collection T-Shirt.

Monday, August 03, 2009


My other post which featured horror themed Helix pencil cases, 3 of which were in the range of pencil cases known as 'Horror Bag',the vinyl coffin shaped pencil case and the plastic coffin shaped pencil case which I have added here again in this post, because this is where it should of gone being part of the Horror vampire range by Helix. Another of Helix's horror themed stationary which came out sometime during the 1980's featured a green faced vampire on the products [see above] and the word Horror and what that particular item was, here as you can see is the Horror Case [Vinyl pencil case], and the Horror exercise book which also came with ruler, pencil sharpener and rubber. The black spider was also part of the Horror range released by Helix at the same time. This plastic spider had a number of functions; the spiny back was a pencils/pens holder, the eyes a rubber, and the mouth doubled as a pencil sharpener. I don't remember if there were other products in the Horror range, but as far as I am aware these 4 were the only ones, unless anyone else knows of anything else in this Helix range.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

'HORROR MAKE-UP KIT' - Dekker Toys

Dekker Toys 'Horror Make-up kit first came out during the 1970's and was created by world renown make-up artist Dick Smith who created the make-up for 'The Exorcist', 'Little Big Man', 'The Hunger' etc. This wondeful kit was perfect for those wanting to turn themselves into grisley creations for Halloween, amateur horror films or just for freaking out people with bloody gashes, cuts and scars. The kit came with Flex Flesh which is a powered substance you mixed with water and poured into any of the several moulds contained within, these were of cuts, gashes, swollen eye sockets and noses etc. The Flex Flesh when set was supposed to turn into a flexible latex wound etc. A lot of the time I tried it my flex flesh just went too hard to be able to use as a flexible wound to stick onto the skin, it was like trying to stick un-cooked pasta to yourself, not sure what went wrong with the mixture. If it did turn out ok you could then stick it on to yourself or any willing person, and then blend in the grease paint stick to give it a more realistic colour, and of course adding blood to the wound etc. I never got round to creating a full make-up with the kit, just the odd scars, cuts or gashes which if did right could look quite realistic. The Instruction manual illustrated a number of creations that could be tried out on yourself or on another person. As well as the moulds, blood, Flex Flesh and glue, the kit also had several different size spoons for measuring the flex flesh, some plastic teeth and I think some false hair too. I don't have everything that was in the kit as I think I may of got it secondhand. I did get the smaller later version of the kit which was called 'Scary Faces' [see pic above] new, but this kit is now un-complete.

I would love to hear of your experiances with the Horror Make-Up kit and especially to see any photos of your efforts.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

'GHOST TRAIN' Denys Fisher game

The 1970's was I think a great decade for spooky board games, especially for the box art of a lot of them; 'Ghost Train' is no exception. I really love the graphics, the box art is second to none and what is great is that the box art matches the actual game too really well. It is this kind of creepy artwork that used to grace some of the best horror comics of the 50's, 60's, & 70's and even some horror film posters of the time. The box art is really atmospheric and certainly more atmospheric than any actual Ghost Train rides, although some of these Ghost Trains have some really amazing graphics and spooky effects. The game itself as you can see from the above picture also is decorated with nice creepy artwork even around the sides of the raised gameboard. There are some really nice touches such has the waiting room on the back wall of 3 skeletons sat down, the Ghosts, Skeleton and Bat attached to some of the turning wheels of the board, the big green spider hanging over one of the entrances/exits. I love that domed skull headed ghoul looking over the top of the building, whom also appears on the reverse of the back wall [See above]. I won't go into how the Ghost Train game is played [Maybe at a later date] but I just thought it was more special to show the actual images of the game.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


If anyone can shed any light on this book I would really appreciate it, I would especially like to know whether it was a spin off of a comic or suchlike and know if there were any other editions after No.2. I have never seen 'Ghost Special' No.1, so that would be really great to see if anyone has a copy they would like to share a few pics from it or even just some information about it would be ok too.

This slightly larger size annual 'Ghost Special' No.2 is a real mixbag of spooky content, containing comicstrips, short stories, crossword, jokes, film reviews, quiz, true stories, game, and spooky reports. The comicstrips are aimed at the younger readers especially the funny ghost strips which are similar to the ones that were featured in many Fleetway comics. The jokes are pictures with the joke underneath, film reviews cover such films as 'The Amazing Mr.Blunden', 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' etc, the true story features include The Grey Lady of St.Thomas, Borley Rectory, The Spirits of Windsor etc. All in all Ghost Special No.2 is a nicely put together book. The inside front cover has a nice illustration of a spooky carriage and horses. As regards to the date of the book I am not sure because there is no date, the only clue is one of the spooky reports is dated 1974, so I would guess 1975/76.

CS = Comicstrip

Jimmy's Genie [CS]
The Regimental Ghost
Aladdan's Wonderful Lamp
Ghost Crossword
Spoofer the Spineless Ghost [CS]
House on Moonlight Hill
Ghostly Giggles
Sammy Spook [CS]
The Amazing Mr.Blunden
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Now you see him, Now you don't
That's the Spirit
The Grey Lady of St.Thomas
Ben Macdhui - The Haunted Mountain
Some Mysterious Worlds
{Note: A comicstrip is here but seems to no title}
The spirits of Windsor
Ghostly Giggles
The spookiest House in England [Borley Rectory]
The remains of Borley Rectory
Ghostly Guardians [CS]
Witches, Wizards and warlocks
The Civilisation which became a ghostly legend...
Grubby the Greedy Ghoul [CS]
Flying Saucers - Fact or Fiction
Spooky Reports
Ghostly Giggles
Spoofer the Spineless Spook [CS]
Ghosts of the road
Grubby the Greedy Ghoul [CS]
Ghostly Giggles
The Ghost Light
Ghostly Giggles
What would you do if..?
The Ghost who returned

Published by Panda Publishing