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Krampus, Your Style: Santa’s Henchman Grabs the Spotlight

ripleys believe it or not, auditorium, krampus, mike drake,

I’d OBEY if I were you! “Contemporary Krampus” runs a campaign of terror. Art: Copyright Stannis Abdulo

Getting Kramped in Here…
Hey, whaddaya call a group of shepherds in Brooklyn? …Ewes guys. Ok – umm, how ‘bout a ram wearing galoshes? …A goat in Totes. “Hey Pete,” you say, “who’s got your goat?” In a word… Krampus, and it ain’t no joke. The nordic/germanic folk character acts as the malevolent sidekick to Ol’ Saint Nicholas and is more than happy to beat the bejesus outta ya with a batch of birch branches.

A likely remnant of the old world veneration of the Great God Pan, American audiences may be largely unaware of Krampus. The admonishment to “be good” lest you find a lump of coal in your stocking appears to be the closest kids in the US get to the dark-side of yule tide. That will soon be remedied as Santa’s satanic enforcer gets his due this coming holiday season. Yep, things get heavier than a little coal as the real nightmare before Christmas is the focus of an upcoming film and a brand new book.
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Book of the Dead: Mezco’s LIving Dead Doll Art Book

Mezco Publications "Art of the Living Dead"

Mezco Publications “Art of the Living Dead”

Party Doll…
As noted in previous features, 2014 marks the Sweet Sixteenth year Mezco ToyzLiving Dead Dolls have graced the planet. The continuing collection of creepy creations was conceived by Ed Long, Damian Glonek, and Mez Markowitz, who have thus far unleashed 28 multiple doll series encompassing every hobgoblin imaginable. The company has conjured up several interesting ways to pay tribute to the monstrous muñecas this year, including a “time capsule coffin” event, and the LDD party continues with the publication of The Art of Living Dead Dolls.

Over the years Mezco’s putrid progeny have found a home in the hearts of many talented artists and the new book showcases their LDD inspired works. An impressive list of over 100 artists share their unique views of the LDD universe across the book’s 80 pages. The wide array of styles and varied media (oils, gouache and acrylics, to pen and ink, screen print, and digital) produce a visually arresting experience for the reader.

There’s plenty here to peruse and enjoy. I’m currently enamored with Louis Russomanno’s graveyard as schoolyard scene, Emily Yoshizawa’s LDD populated doll house, Becky Bray’s “Rain,” and Chris Garafalo’s Calavera print.

Mezco's Mez, Damian and Ed received Living Dead Doll World Record Award at NY Toy Fair 2014.

Mezco’s Mez, Damian and Ed received Living Dead Doll World Record Award at NY Toy Fair 2014.


Chop Shop…
Also featured are photos from the Mezco’s 2006 Living Dead Dolls Art Show, in which participants transformed the dolls into their own hellish visions. There are lots of striking manipulations (mutilations?) including Damien, Mez and Ed’s own iconoclastic dioramas, but it was Randy Falk’s King Diamond LDD remake that made me laugh out loud.

The softbound first edition has an embossed cover which adds a nice touch of depth to Joshua Hoffine’s backwoods at witching hour tableau. The interior color is vibrant and saturated and art reproduction is ace. The book’s foreword is fittingly offered by artist Basil Gogos whose cover paintings for the original Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines virtually invented the modern monster art field.

Living Dead Dolls Series 28, all dressed up and ready to party.

Living Dead Dolls Series 28, all dressed up and ready to party.


Fan Dance…
In my experience fans are always in the forefront of Mezco’s doings and they aren’t left out here. Rounding out the book is a full section of art from fans of all ages, as well as a tattoo chapter chronicling the body art of those who have dedicated a stretch of their own flesh to the Living Dead Doll phenomenon.

Mezco will further furnish fans with an exceptional opportunity built around the 2014 NYCC Superweek. On October 10th @ 8PM they will invade their favorite haunt, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, for a signing by the LDD team and select artists represented in the book.

Limited Edition Ripley's Collector Coins ensure your entry into the Superweek Book Signing

Limited Edition Ripley’s Collector Coins ensure your entry into the Superweek Book Signing


Event Details…
Mezco says, “One of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Times Square Odditorium rooms will be sealed off and transformed into a haven for Living Dead Dolls fans. On display will be an assortment of rare and one of a kind Living Dead Dolls artifacts direct from the Mezco archives. Many of these items have never been seen by the public, and a select number of them will be available for purchase, including hand painted prototypes, and concept art.

The first 200 attendees will each receive a free Living Dead Doll themed goodie bag plus a chance to win a test shot set of Living Dead Dolls Series 28 dolls. Test shot sets are seldom released to the public, making this a rare chance for a fan to acquire one of the most sought after collectibles in the Living Dead Dolls universe.

Each of the 200 goodie bags will contain a set of special limited edition art prints available only at the event along with carefully curated selection of other Mezco and Living Dead Doll themed items.”

Be Aware…
You’ll have to show the secret sign of three Ripley’s Collector Coins for free entry – be sure to check out the details at the Ripley’s website.

Cryptography: Mezco Unveils Living Dead Doll Time Capsule @ Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium

Mezco Toyz Unveiled their Living Dead Doll Time Capsule Coffin at Ripley's Times Square Odditorium

Mezco Toyz Unveiled their Living Dead Doll Time Capsule Coffin at Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium

16 Years and a Dead Dolls Chest…
The lingering ghost of winter touched one more frosty finger on NYC the morning of April 16th, 2014 but that didn’t stop Mezco Toyz devotees from beginning to cue up near Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Times Square Odditorium at the crack of dawn, or was it crack of doom? The shivering flock was there to insure a gander at Mezco’s Living Dead Doll “Time Capsule” and its contents before the toy company finds a long term resting place for it. The first 160 early bird fans were rewarded with limited edition LDD coins placed into their cold and clammy claws and a discount to view the fascinating curiosities that line the corridors of the Odditorium.

Sweet Sixteen, and Never Been Bitten?
The coffin shaped encasement commemorates 16 years of Living Dead Doll production. It’s a feat that earned the company special recognition at New York Toy Fair this past February for being the “longest continually produced series of collectible horror themed dolls” in the world. The casket will be loaded with series memorabilia including early production drawings, handmade and production dolls, mini figures, and more. It will also house all of the “What Living Dead Dolls Mean To Me” videos recently created by fans for the year-long anniversary celebration.

Hearsula Pulls Into Ripley's Times Square Lobby to the Suprise of On-lookers.

Hearsula Pulls Into Ripley’s Times Square Lobby to the Suprise of On-lookers.

Ed, Mez and Damian Autographed Living Dead Dolls Collector's Items for Fans.

Ed, Mez and Damian Autographed Living Dead Dolls Collector’s Items for Fans.

Don’t Fear The Reaper…
Series creators Mez, Damian and Ed were all on hand to meet fans, sign collector’s items, and play pall-bearers for the coffin which arrived on Times Square in the “Hearsula,” a tricked out Cadillac hearse. The skull adorned “Cadaveric Superior Hearse” by Joe Baxter and Reaper’s Rides Hearse Limo Service drew surprised stares from tourists and seasoned New Yorkers alike as it u-turned across 42nd street and pulled into the Ripley’s lobby. A lethal legion of gals and guys made up to resemble LDD’s invited unsuspecting passers-by to the event.

Soul Coffin…
With the promotional panache of 1960’s film director William Castle (13 Ghosts, The Tingler) Mezco is earnestly and actively seeking an empty mausoleum chamber in New Jersey or New York for the Coffin Capsule’s resting place. The intention is to revisit its content in 2064 when the Living Dead Doll franchise will reach its 66.6 birthday. Any crypt owner with open space, who relishes the idea of sharing the long sleep entombed with these artifacts should contact Mezco at LivingDeadDollsCrypt@gmail.com with details.

A Brood of Spirited Ghouls Welcomed Attendees to the Mezco/Ripley's Times Square Event.

A Brood of Spirited Ghouls Welcomed Attendees to the Mezco/Ripley’s Times Square Event.

SkeletonPete Says…
The folks at Mezco clearly appreciate all of their fans and Ripley’s tie-in events like this one and last year’s 1966 Batman & Batmobile appearance offer an excellent participation factor for the collector community.

Stay tuned, there are plenty of things to explore at the Odditorium and I’ll be giving the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Times Square a close-up look in the near future.