The Boogieman Of Wooster!

Are you scared of things that go bump in the night? When you were a child did you ever look under your bed to see if monsters were under there waiting to steal your toes? How about your cracked closet door, was an unknown creature in there waiting for you to close your eyes? These type of thoughts and stories have scared children all over the world and are the source of childhood nightmares and sleepless nights for parents. This quick and spooky update is about the king of urban legend fright, the stalker of the night, the creep who terrified kids way before Slender Man and Freddy Kruger, we are talking about the one and only Boogeyman, the true icon of fright! So pull the covers over your head and stay close to the light of your computer screen as we take a trip into a nightmare world of terror!

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You’re six years old, and it’s past your bedtime.  You have snuck downstairs and are watching Sammy Terry host King Kong Escapes on Nightmare Theatre.  You know you could get in trouble and you don’t mind because Sammy is your friend and King Kong is your favorite giant monster. Just as Sammy is talking to his pet spider George, your older brother busts you and tells you that if you don’t get to bed The Boogeyman will get you. The name sends shivers down your spine as just last week you heard from a friend that his cousin’s neighbor was taken by this evil creature so you rush to jump into bed and pray that The Boogeyman is not under your bed…waiting to take your soul.  This is a scenario that I am sure plagued many kids. The Boogeyman is the embodiment of evil and is a mythical creature used around the world to scare bad children into good behavior. He’s a tool for kids to stay good or a punishment by the hands of this creature could change them forever by stealing their toes, eyes or some other body part or worse yet could take you away to his dark world. Growing up my parents never used The Boogeyman defense to make me behave, and I can remember my brother mostly using the term when we were really little to get me to leave the basement that was his bedroom. When I was in kindergarten, his name was mentioned almost in a hush like if we didn’t talk about him he didn’t exist and couldn’t haunt your nights.  While I never believed in him, the “What If?” question did pop in my mind in my youth. The United States is not the only country who has a Boogeyman as other nations also have their versions like Sack Man from Spain, a creature who carries bad children away in his sack and Egypt’s Abu Rigl Maslukha who is a burnt man who kidnaps bad children and cooks and eats them.  These two are just a small drop in the hat of all the versions of The Boogeyman that scare children all over the world! While The Boogeyman is still around, he has taken a backseat to the modern generation of kids as Slenderman is now the creature that haunts their dreams, but that creature will be saved for a future update…but I should also say that a comic book called Slenderman vs. The Bogeyman should be made by some company or independent comic maker…IDW? Bruce O’ Hughes? Any takers? Whether the Boogeyman is real or fake is a subject that up for debate and all I can say is tonight as you go to bed, you might want to check the closet and look under your bed because you never know.

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Like any monster of myth and legend of course Hollywood has to make movies based around it. One of the most popular films based on this legend came out in 1980 called The Boogey Man and was directed by Ulli Lommel.  It’s a slasher/possession horror film about a brother and sister that are being haunted by a pantyhose faced killer who comes out of mirrors to kill and twist reality. This series sparked 2 sequels The Boogey Man 2 and Return Of The Bo0gey Man and a rumor of a Part 4 or a remake has been floating around for a couple of years now. I love these films, and while they are very low budget and very cheesy, they have a charm that make them entertaining. In 2005, a film called Boogeyman hit theaters, directed by Stephen T. Kay.  It’s about a man who witnessed a horrible event in his childhood having to go back to the scene of the terror and come face to face with the creature that caused him so much trauma as a child. This series also had two sequels, and while the original is okay, the series got worse over time and is pure direct to video shelf filler. I should also note that a Stephen King short story called The Boogeyman was turned into a film in 1982. Not to even mention that in Halloween Michael Myers is called The Boogeyman as is John Wick in the film of the same name. While the films based on this icon of fright might have slowed down, I am sure his return to film or TV will come to a rise again soon!

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I would love to see a comic mini series based on Ulli Lommel’s Boogey Man series; this could be a very fun and spooky comic series with atmosphere and bloody kills! The comic series could pick up with Lacey, the survivor of The Boogey Man curse, moving out to the country to get away from all the drama and death that has happened over the years. While in the small country town she finds life to be perfect, that is till a mirror shows up in the town’s antique store that holds the spirit of The Boogey Man who uses his evil power to turn the town into killing drones who all want to murder Lacey and put her head on a flag pole. Lacey must hide out in her farm house along with a worker named Mark who was helping fix her barn and the town’s 84 year old priest.  Together they must fight for their lives as well as come face to face with The Boogey Man with pantyhose on his head and all. This comic series would be a great way to promote the new film coming in the series and could also turn the cheesy aspects of the film into a solid scary blood soaked comic series helping bring the respect to the film series that it deserves. I would love to see IDW tackle this and of my friends I would say Bruce O’ Hughes or Eric Shonborn would be great choices as I could see them both capturing the horror and terror of the story I proposed. While I doubt this mini series would ever happen from a major company, who knows, maybe one day I could team up with one of my comic making friends and bring this series to life for Rotten Ink.

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The Boogeyman’s appearance is up to the imagination of the person telling the story or even what the mind of the terrified child thinks it looks like. When I was a kid I thought of The Bogeyman with a zombie-like face dressed in a Count Dracula-like suit with long sharp fingernails and black stringy hair, but that’s just what my young mind thought it looked like. Matchbox, with their very cool toy line Monsters In My Pocket, thought that The Bogeyman looked like slender longhaired and faced freak who wore sandals and had pants pulled up over his belly. WWE’s Boogey Man looked like a toothless red-faced muscle bound goon who ate worms, loved clocks and danced like he was having a seizure. And Halloween costume makers Horror Dome think The Boogeyman looks like a red eyed goat with grey and black fur who wears a long coat and has long fingers. Marvel Comic’s Boogeyman is a pasty-white skinned large mouthed short man who was once human and is like a shadow now and can posses the likes of Luke Cage and other super heroes. So as you can see, The Boogeyman has no solid look and can be as gross or as human as your imagination allows.

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The comic we are going to review today is called The Boogieman, and I know very little about it besides that I have owned it for years and never read it until now.  I got it at Mavericks so thanks to them for having it in stock. Nuclear Age Comix appeared to be a very small independent comic company owned by Dan Berger, who was making his books out of Wooster, Ohio and having them printed in Carrollton, Ohio making it one very cool piece of Ohio history. Nuclear only published three issues before closing its doors in 1986.  Besides The Boogieman their catalog included two issues of a comic series called Rion 2990 that looked like a Japanimation inspired adventure comic. I’m not sure why Nuclear closed shop as quickly as it started, and I’m not even sure if they continued on by printing their follow up issues on their own. Plus I am pretty sure Dan Berger is also the one that worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures for Archie Comic back in the day! So with all that in your head, I also need to remind you that I’m grading this issue on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So let’s go into the world of The Boogieman and see what we can scare up…    

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The Boogieman # 1  **
Released in 1986      Cover Price $1.50    Nuclear Age Comix    #1 of 1

In the back alley of an unforgiving city, a man is about to club and kill an old drunk over a dollar when a werewolf shows up and runs off the attacker saving the drunk’s life! The would-be robber runs into a police officer and tells him about the werewolf, and as the cop rushes off, the crook steals his wallet! The werewolf meets up with a masked man who is his friend and tells him to go home as he has a cure for his curse.  As the werewolf runs off, the man in the masked called The Boogieman disappears like mist as the cops give chase to the werewolf. The Boogieman visits his friend’s wife and tells her the good news that he can cure him this night.  As the werewolf is busting his butt to get home, he is shot by the police, and The Boogieman must appear and save him by scaring off the officers. Boogieman gets the werewolf home and cures him of his curse and then goes out and busts the crook from the start of the comic and drops him off right into a jail cell. The second story in this comic is about a character called Pumpkin Head, a vigilante hero who wears a pumpkin mask and has wheels for feet who kills three crooks who did his friend Greg wrong.

This independent comic is not played for scares but is more of a super hero vigilante kind of comic as the monsters are the good guys killing off the scum bag criminals that plague their streets. The Boogieman story is very simple and had him trying to help a werewolf to get home so that he can be cured but thanks to a no good crook, the police are on his tail and The Boogieman must use his power of fright to get them off the trail and end a curse.  The odd thing about the end is that it’s clear The Boogieman is owed something for curing him, and it sounds like he has the power to turn him into a monster again! With this being the only issue to come out, it leaves the reader wondering what was to come in the series – was The Boogieman getting a team of monsters together? The Boogieman is a man of few words and looks like a film noir trench coat version of The Spirit and a homeless man. He looks like a man and not a monster and wears a mask around his eyes like The Lone Ranger or even Robin and is by no means scary. The Werewolf, whose name is Glen, looks like a bulky version of The Werewolf By Night and for some reason does not have the killer instinct like most comic book werewolves. The crook is just a scumbag who tries to rob an old drunk man and an old woman and is taught a lesson by The Boogieman as he gets a one-way ticket to jail. The art is really good and holds an almost Tick look to it.  The artist and creator of the story is Dan Berger who did a fantastic job on both. The second short story in this issue, Pumpkin Head, is interesting and has a pumpkin-masked vigilante hero with wheeled feet killing off the people who murdered his pal.  The story is solid and had potential of being a good comic series on its own. The art is not as good as The Boogieman’s but holds an independent charm to it and is done by Jim Pallotta who also did the story. It’s a shame this only lasted one issue as I would have loved to have seen what else this Wooster, Ohio comic company had in store for the future, but much like Topps, Fangoria and Dead Dog Comics before them, this company came to an end way too soon. Over all while not a horror comic like you would think, this comic was well worth the read. Check out some art below. The first two are from The Boogieman with the last being from Pumpkin Head.

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So while The Boogieman in comics didn’t chill my bones or scare me into a sleepless night, it did very much entertain me and made me want to track down Rion 2990 and see what that series has to offer. One other thing that I should point out is at the end of this issue, they mention a character called Dog Man a character who looked like a wild man on a chain held by a teen with a shotgun.  It looked like it could have been interesting if it would have been made. So for our next update, we will leave The Boogieman behind and hit the open road with the one and only Biker Mice From Mars! So until then, read a comic or three, support your local horror host and try and get a good night’s sleep…

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The Adventures Of Robo-Raccoon

Welcome back to Rotten Ink.  In this update, as promised, I am going to take you back to my past when I was about 10 or 11 years old and was making my own comic books to share with family and friends, and I decided to focus on one of my own creations called Robo-Raccoon, a space adventure animal who packed robotic armor as well as some powerful guns. I used to sit for hours with a number 2 pencil as well as some retractable pencils and colored pencils and drew these comics. I hit my stride doing comics based on the Nickelodeon show Ren & Stimpy that were holiday themed; they were just single panels on a page of paper that had the two characters saying a few lines to each other. While those were my first full comic books, I drew a lot when I was younger, and while I never found myself to be a good artist, I always had fun creating whatever I wanted.  As far back as I can remember I use to draw Frankenstein’s Monster, Captain America, Devils, Demons, Werewolves, Vampires, Dr. Creep, Jason Voorhees, Minatours and many other things that interested my young mind. When I was in Waynesville my art teachers always encouraged me to draw what I was into, and the older I got, I continued to do so.  Even when the terrible art teachers of the Kettering school district tried to label me a devil worshiper and would question why I drew monsters all the time, I still created what I wanted and what I liked no matter how hard they pushed me to not be so weird.

Leatherface by MeMonster From Hell by MeBattletoads by Me The biggest influence on why I made my own comics was my brother Bryan who was making his own comic series to entertain us neighborhood kids called “Weird Tales Of Waynesville” that was humored filled spooky stories about people from out neighborhood and fellow classmates. I can’t tell you how many times I read his comics and laughed at the kooky stories. Sadly he only made one of them before he moved away from doing them and started to make a “sitcom” style live show using Battle Beasts as the neighborhood kids.  Who could forget Matt The Rat or Brad The Warthog? The second influence was a friend of mine named Jeremy Patton who was making stick figure comics called “Todd & Jeremy” about himself and our friend Todd Osborne that had them being like Beavis and Butthead going around causing mischief and fires. The comics were cheesy yet fun, and I even drew a few to give to Jeremy who I don’t think liked it very well that I was making comics based on characters he created. The stick figures had a J in the circle face for Jeremy and a T on the one that was Todd. Last but not least was Marvel Comics who made series like Captain America, Incredible Hulk, Werewolf By Night and many others I grew up reading and enjoying. So I want to thank all three of them for making me want to be comic maker with big dreams even though I had very little talent when it came to drawing. Below is the cover for my brother’s old comic, the middle one sadly is one of my comics based on Todd and Jeremy, as I don’t have any of his originals as well as a Captain America cover to an issue I read all the time.

Weird Tales Of Waynesville # 1Todd and Jeremy by MeCaptain America 185 My first character I made that was a Matt original was Benny The Squirrel, a small little guy who lived in a forest town and would get into adventures along side his buddies Fred The Mole and stick figure man Chuck. I did several comics based on him as well as a few “books”. You see, when I was making these comics and even before, I loved to write short stories about anything and everything.  The most popular topics I would write about were horror short stories, movies, music and video games. But Benny The Squirrel, while not the topic of this home grown update, remains near and dear to my heart, and while many of his original comic adventures of Benny are long gone, maybe some day he will get his own update. The last time Benny was about to make his big return to the comic world was when Jason Young asked me to make a short comic story for his Buyer Beware Anthology 2 and my original idea was a little dark and would have had Benny being down on his luck and in the end taking his own life via a shotgun…I am glad I decided to go with a new character called Mr. Emo based on the Mr. Men franchise trying to get a blue drink from the dollar store. At the time it would have been a rebellious thing to do, killing off a character from my childhood, but I really don’t think I was ready to really let him go and still don’t think I am ready. Below are some pictures of Benny, Chuck and Fred that I drew when I was about 10 for a Halloween horror story book I was writing.

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So who really is Robo-Raccoon, and what is he all about I am sure your all asking yourself before we get into this short homegrown comic series created by a very young me. Well here is what I remember of his past: Robo-Raccoon was a character who traveled around space doing the right things and was almost like a bounty hunter who would take on jobs to bring in the galaxy’s worst criminals. A mad scientist on Earth is who created him and made a hybrid between a man and a raccoon and added robotic armor to his creation. While on his journey in space, his allies included a Native American wolf named Wolfen and a Kung-Fu rabbit named Ninja Bunny. Robo-Raccoon was my most popular character among my peers, and I can remember some fellow classmates commenting on how cool he was.  I also remember my mom reading all the issues that came out that was a total of 4. The silly thing about the comic series was that each “issue” was only about 2-4 pages long, and sadly I never did finish the story arc. Death Maker was the super villain created to be the thorn in Robo’s side; he was a cyborg zombie who could not be killed and was the master of hand to hand combat. I created all types of bad guys for Robo-Raccoon to fight in space and even Earth, but most of them never got a time to shine in my comic world. I must also state that I am not going to give these issues a 1-4 star rating because they are the mad ramblings of a young monster kid with a big imagination. I must also say that I am not 100% sure of the year I made these comics but I did some guessing and think I was able to pinpoint it. Plus I love all the spelling errors and even the misspelling of my own characters.  Oh, the joys of being young and always in a hurry to get things done. Below are pictures of Robo-Raccoon, Ninja Bunny and Death Maker.  Enjoy them up close in all their glory.

Robo-RaccoonNinja BunnyDeath Maker So let’s not wait any longer.  Let’s climb into the spaceship and go on a bounty hunt with the one and only Robo-Raccoon! Robo Raccoon 1

Robo-Raccoon  # 1
Released in 1990   Cover Price .75   Cosmic Comics   # 1 of 4

Robo-Raccoon enters a bar on a mission to find Ninja Bunny and get his help, but while at the bar, bartender Bulk informs them that the owner Jabba The Hut does not allow animals in, and is about to have Boba Fett kick them out when Death Maker, a powerful zombie cyborg, steps in and says they are his guests.  They all go to Jabba to plead their case, who in turn kicks them all out of his bar! Death Maker is mad and punches out Bulk as Robo-Raccoon shoots Death Maker in the chest as he knows it’s been a set up all along as Death Marker stands back up and is joined by Bulk, Pumpkin Head and Shadow, and they have Ninja Bunny as a hostage.

Well that’s the plot of the first issue…are you drawn into the action and story…yeah didn’t think so! So as you can see, the comic throws us into the middle of a mission for Robo-Raccoon that we the readers have no clue about, but we know it’s important and that Ninja Bunny is needed to complete said mission. Bulk is a generic version of The Incredible Hulk, who was inspired by an old Mad Magazine version of The Hulk, who in fact I think name was Bulk. This issue also had cameos from many Star Wars characters like Jabba The Hut, Boba Fett and even Bib Fortuna showing that Star Wars really did have a grip on my imagination! As I said, Death Maker was created to be the arch-villain of Robo and is clearly a major threat that is un-killable and super strong. Pumpkin Head is a cursed Halloween Jack-O Lantern with a thick vine body, and Shadow is simple a masked Phantom. The issue is left on a cliffhanger and makes the reader wonder how Robo-Racoon is going to get past all the bad guys who are aiming for him.  Let alone, will Ninja Bunny make it out alive?! Below is artwork from my old comic that showcases when all the bad guys show up at the end of the story…enjoy. Robo Art 1 Alright let’s move onto issue # 2 so you can all see what happens next. Robo Raccoon 2

Robo-Raccoon  # 2
Released in 1990   Cover Price .00   Cosmic Comics   # 2 of 4

We come back and find Robo-Raccoon and Ninja Bunny in a jail cell as Bulk is their jailer.  He is knocked out by a ball and chain flung by Wolfen, who takes the pair to Jabba The Hut to buy the services of 5 other bounty hunters for $300.00 that are Conan The Barbarian, Boba Fett, Black Spy, Cybrg and an orange M&M.  They all split into groups to track down and kill Death Maker.  The issue ends with Conan, Boba Fett and Black Spy blasting off in a spaceship.

This second issue is a set up to showcase a second group of heroes that will be joining the hunt, and man, how cool is it that when I was a kid, in my mind it made perfect sense that Conan The Barbarian would be in space teaming up with the Black Spy from Mad Magazine’s Spy vs. Spy and Star Wars Boba Fett, not to mention an orange talking M&M and a bionic eyed lion named Cybrg. Plus it’s funny how Jabba The Hut was a jerk to Robo-Raccoon in the first issue for being an animal, but by the second is fine with Wolfen, a wolf Native American man who buys a total of 5 bounty hunters with only $300.00….man, bounty hunters in space are cheap! Not much happens action-wise in this issue unless you count Bulk getting hit in the back of the head with a ball and chain. Check out the art below for the super awesome bounty hunter line up. Robo Art 2 Let’s move onto the third issue in my Robo-Raccoon comic series and see just what action happens next! Robo Raccoon 3

Robo-Raccoon  # 3
Released in 1990   Cover Price $1.25   Cosmic Comics   # 3 of 4

Conan with Black Spy and Boba Fett have landed on Mars and meet Herman, a tiny one eyed alien, as well as his friend a Xenomorph who attacks Conan after a massive feast! After the attack, Herman apologizes for his friend’s attack and asks if Conan could help them rid their planet of King Ghidorah, the three headed monster, for some gold. After the battle, bloody and bruised but richer, Conan shows up to the tent of his fellow bounty hunters and informs them they will be leaving the next day as Death Maker is not on Mars.

So Conan is clearly the leader of the second group on the hunt, and his men seem loyal to his word. On the planet Mars not only does King Ghidorah of Godzilla movie fame live but so does a Xenomorph from the Alien movies! Herman was a character I was drawing before I made this comic, and he is a small green guy with one big eye and tentacles as feet. While Conan is attacked by the Xenomorph and does battle with Ghidorah, his poor teammates Black Spy and Boba Fett don’t get to see any action. Below are some pics from this issue to show you what my Xenomorph, Ghidorah and Herman look like.

Alien (me)Herman The Alien3 Headed Monster Well we are now on the final issue in this classic cosmic comic series done by me when I was a kid.  So far I must say that this comic story is all over the place and that to me it is fun looking back because it just shows you all the stuff I loved at the time being thrown together to make a storyline that I am sure only made sense in my own mind! But with that let’s get to the final issue! Robo Raccoon 4

Robo-Raccoon  # 4
Released in 1990   Cover Price $1.75   Cosmic Comics   # 4 of 4

Robo-Raccoon, along with Wolfen, Cybrg, Ninja Bunny and the Orange M&M, are on the Moon when they mistakenly fall into a crater! When Robo-Raccoon and M&M wake up, they meet a Swamp Creature who takes them to a temple where they find their friends suspended in the air via ropes. Swamp Man informs them that Death Maker is not on the moon and will help them get their friends down and is now going to join their quest.

This final issue has Robo on the moon with his friends, and the only thing that happens is they meet a swamp man who is a generic version of Marvel’s Man-Thing and they fall into a crater. It’s a pretty lame way to end a series but that’s just the way it went down in the world of Cosmic Comics! Below is some artwork that I did for this issue. Robo art 4 Looking back now being 35 years old at comics I made when I was 11 is really a fun time, and I can remember how proud I was of these comics when I was young.  Now I am almost embarrassed by all the spelling errors and cheesy silly artwork but still love the characters and idea of them. As I reread them and scanned them, I remembered sitting in front of the fireplace with my pencils and clip board drawing till my “comic” was done. I am sure you’re wondering why only 4 issues of Robo-Raccoon were made by Cosmic Comics.  Well it’s simple; when I was making these comics I was also making comics based on Conan The Barbarian, Bat-Bat from Mighty Mouse fame as well as an original character called Miss Freedom and sadly Robo-Raccoon just got lost in the shuffle of my young mind, and never was to be completed once I moved onto other ways to entertain my imagination, comic making was not in the cards. Comic book making is one of the things that let me move onto doing such cool things creatively as writing more stories and even film reviews, making my own shot on video movies and even making my own radio shows complete with dramas about me and my cousins being paranormal investigators. Who knows, maybe some time in the coming years I will share some of my other original old school comic work, but only time will tell for sure. Well we have come to the end of the hunt and tonight after you read this, I want you to look to the night sky and just know that Robo-Raccoon is up there rounding up aliens and outlaw scum and making our world a safer place. Our next update is going to be a look at Spider-Man, who wants all of us to have clean and healthy teeth and suggests we use AIM Toothpaste in two Marvel Comic giveaways.  So until then, take some time and be creative in your own way and enjoy this wonderful world we all share. spiderman aim toothpaste