Pixel Scroll 10/31 Standlee’s Instant Summons

(1) The title of Jeb Kinnison’s review encapsulates his opinion — “’Tomorrowland’: Tragic Misfire”.

Having seen mixed reviews, I waited until Tomorrowland came out on cheaper streaming services. Directed and mostly written by Brad Bird, auteur of brilliant work like Iron Giant and The Incredibles, the previews looked promising — a story about the shiny visions of the technological future we had as kids in the 1960s, and a world where they actually happened.

(2) An old b&w photo of a scientist controlling waldos to diaper a baby doll is one of the relics in the Vault of the Atomic Space Age.

(3) William Shatner tells how his face was used for the mask that Halloween film franchise killer Michael Myers wore.

(4) “Jim Burns’ Halloween Reverie: Then and Now” from last year, at the local New York CBS station’s website.

Twenty-five years ago, youngsters at my door could see through the screen to a life-sized Superman and Batman that were just past me, in the living room.

On another night, every window of my home was adorned with special Halloween themed balloons, the merry Mylar reaching high into the October sky.

For another year, a wide assortment of latex masks of classic  Hollywood monsters (a wolfman, a mummy, Planet of the Apes’ Dr. Zaius and  creatures from The Outer Limits)–an amazing collection I had somehow acquired–peered out from those portals, gazing upon a lawn filled with a virtual galaxy of giant pumpkin lawn bags!

(5) How big did you say those pumpkin bags were, Jim? A giant inflatable pumpkin got away the other day in Arizona….

Diego Ramirez captured video of the 25-foot-tall jack o’lantern blowing around in traffic after it broke free of its straps at the Peoria Sports Complex.

“I was so shocked to see that it was like bouncing like a basketball all the way down the road,” Patrick Sparkes of Big AZ Promotions, the company that owns the decoration, told KPNX-TV.

The company said the 350-pound pumpkin broke free from its straps with the help of strong winds.

“We showed up and it wasn’t there and we spent the last 40 minutes driving around looking for it,” Sparkes said.

There were no injuries from the pumpkin’s dash for freedom, but there was some damage done to streetlamps.

(6) The Addams Family: The Broadway Musical evidently has been around for years, but it’s news to me!

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, she confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before — keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.

 

(7) The SJW viewpoint strikes again! A. J. Jacobs told NPR host Scott Simon some famous monsters aren’t as horrible as you think. I think I hear “Officer Krupke” in the background…

SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Misunderstood, misunderstood.

JACOBS: Misunderstood – that’s what I’m here to do is trying to salvage the reputation of some of these Halloween monsters. So yes, Frankenstein I think gets a really raw deal in the reputation department. We all think of Frankenstein’s monster as this monosyllabic idiot from the movies. But actually, in Mary Shelley’s original novel from 1818, Frankenstein’s monster was more of a sensitive intellectual type. He read Plutarch and Goethe. He was more Brooklyn hipster and less unfrozen caveman.

(8) A mysterious castle, a deserted village and things that go bump in the night are all in a day’s work for a TODAY team on the hunt for Dracula — “Take a Trip ‘Behind the Screams’ in Transylvania”

(9) Today In History

  • October 31, 1926Harry Houdini dies. Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital. Twelve days before, Houdini had been talking to a group of students after a lecture in Montreal when he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows. Suddenly, one of the students punched Houdini twice in the stomach. The magician hadn’t had time to prepare, and the blows ruptured his appendix. He fell ill on the train to Detroit, and, after performing one last time, was hospitalized. Doctors operated on him, but to no avail. The burst appendix poisoned his system, and on October 31 he died.
  • October 31, 2001 — Lovecraft adaptation Dagon makes its theatrical premiere in Spain.

(10) Today’s Birthday Boy

  • October 31, 1961 — Peter Jackson is born on Halloween in Wellington, New Zealand.

(11) The photo comes from “Susan Beatrice Recycles Old Watch Parts Into Intricately Detailed Steampunk Scultptures” on EarthPorm, but here full gallery is here. Amazing stuff.

recycled-watch-parts-sculptures-vintage-antique-susan-beatrice-36

Beatrice’s creations bring boring old gears and machinery to life. She has the ability to turn ratchets and other tiny technical parts into a lively mouse, seahorse or fairy. The more you look at her varied artwork the more you wonder what this woman can’t do… as it appears she can make everything out of anything.

(12) How badly do you want to be one of the first people to see the new Star Wars movie? Air France can help you out.

Lines will form at the crack of dawn on December 18 as die-hard fans set out to snag the best seats to see Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in theaters.

But some very lucky trans-Atlantic plane passengers will get the jump on them.

In what seems like a ploy to rope super-fans into buying very expensive plane tickets, Air France will be letting passengers watch the much-anticipated flick two days before its official release, on December 16.

The French airline is teaming up with EuropaCorp CINEMAS to offer the advance screenings for passengers on four Paris-bound flights, AF083 from San Francisco to Paris, AF065 from Los Angeles, AF011 from New York and AF009 from New York.

[Thanks to James H. Burns, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day, Soon Lee.]

Bradbury Estate Auction Begins Online

Charles Addams painting done in 1946.

Charles Addams painting done in 1946.

The Ray Bradbury estate auction has gone live on the Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs & Memorabilia site – see the full catalog here. It includes paintings by Charles Addams and Hannes Bok that hung on Bradbury’s walls and items from his collections of Disney animation cels, comic strips and original illustration art. The auction continues until September 25

The minimum bid on the Charles Addams signed painting is $32,500:

”Addams Family” cartoonist and creator Charles Addams original 1946 painting personally owned by Ray Bradbury. True to Addams’ whimsical and macabre tone, painting depicts a landscape scene at twilight with a Gothic mansion overlooking a shore, and with ghoulish creatures and spirits ascending towards the house. Signed, ”Chas Adams” at upper right. Mixed media on illustration board was selected to be the cover image for Bradbury’s book, ”From the Dust Returned”, which was released in 2001. Painting measures 17” x 12” and is matted and framed to an overall size of 24” x 19”.

They’re asking at least $6,000 for the iconic Dean Ellis painting commissioned for the cover of The Illustrated Man published by Bantam Books in 1969.

Dean Ellis Illustrated Man COMP

Ray Bradbury's 2004 Retro Hugo for Fahrenheit 451.

Ray Bradbury’s 2004 Retro Hugo for Fahrenheit 451.

The Retro Hugo Award that Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 won at the 2004 Worldcon could be yours for $5,000 (if nobody bids higher). That might be a reasonable asking price — Harry Warner Jr.’s Hugo went for $2,000 at auction in 2012. The association of this Hugo with a more famous winner ought to drive up the value.

Hugo Award presented to Ray Bradbury at Noreascon 4, the 62nd World Science Fiction Convention in 2004. Trophy honors the great author as part of the Retrospective Awards in the category of Best Novel for ”Fahrenheit 451”. Iconic sci-fi trophy features a sleek figural metal sculpture of a rocket pointing skyward, mounted to a wooden base with the information plaque affixed to one of the three sides. The other two sides are studded with rings of 13 stars. To the underside, the name of the trophy’s designer, Patrick J. O’Connor is engraved. Measures 17” in total height; base sides each measure 7”.

(In contrast the minimum bid for his Saturn Award is $500 – hear, hear!)

The hundreds of items of art going under the hammer include works by Joseph Mungiani, Hannes Bok,Milton Caniff, Al Capp, Ron Cobb — and Joseph Lane’s portrait of Bradbury from the Hollywood Brown Derby.

Bradbury receives autographed "Ice Cream Suit."

Bradbury receives autographed “Ice Cream Suit.”

Plus all the minutiae accumulated throughout his life — handwritten poems and doodles, Bradbury’s annotated copy of the 1977 Academy Award script, and checks he signed in 1960. There are two unopened bottles of French wine from the same vineyard, vintage 1945 and 1946. Furniture, lamps, silverware. Even his personally-owned Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, autographed by the cast. (I ran of photo of his receiving that just a couple weeks ago.)

Medusa Harryhausen 47916_med

One final hidden gem is this Medusa Mask:

Ray Bradbury personally owned Medusa mask. Rubber cowl features a hideously delightful green textured face with pointy teeth and a wide-eyed, open-mouthed expression. Snakes emanate from the head in conformity with the myth. Possibly a movie prop from the 1981 film ”Clash of the Titans”. Measures 11” x 13” x 9”. Near fine. With a COA from the Ray Bradbury estate.

It was indeed made by Ray Harryhausen (though the catalog doesn’t say so), and once sat on top of the refrigerator in Bradbury’s Palm Springs home according to John King Tarpinian.