Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!

 Animation, Film, Treats  Comments Off on Yes, Dracula, There WILL be a SpongeBob Halloween Stop-Motion Special!
Jul 232017

I’m trying really hard not to hyperventilate while typing this because I’m just SO EXCITED to learn that The Legend of Boo-kini Bottom is coming to your television (via Nickolodeon) this October AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! While I was a wee bachelor’s student, running around CalArts and learning the joys and rigors of Experimental Animation, there was this GUY.

His name was Steve Hillenburg, and every time I was running in and out of the lab, he was working on his stuff. 

He was eleven years older than me, which felt super OLD, and super SMART. People even FIVE years older than you when you’re 18 seem like demigods. Where I felt pulled in all directions and trying to hush my overwhelmed mind, Steve’s presence in the Experimental Animation department was quiet, strong and steady. He did not mess around, he put pencil and pen to paper everyday to build his film, frame by frame. I watched it happen, wondering what he was up to, and then one day, it was ready! Here’s one of the films I saw him hand-drawing all those days at his desk, it’s called The Green Beret. 

So anyway, that GUY I went to school with invented SpongeBob Squarepants, and you can just SEE in the style, the humor, every last pitch perfect observation of a hilarious cartoon underwater weirdo world just couldn’t come from any brain but Steve’s. If you haven’t seen the Spongebob Squarepants Holiday Special, it’s well done, and such a love letter to the Rankin Bass stop-motion animation specials of old. I can’t wait to see this Halloween Treat from an ol’ school chum!  

(From L-R) Mr. Krabs, Flying Dutchman, Plankton, Squidward, Sandy, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick in Nickelodeon’s stop-motion special, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom. Credit: Screen Novelties/Nickelodeon© 2017 Viacom International, Inc. All Rights

Peanut Brittle for DAY 7

 announcements, Food, Recipe  Comments Off on Peanut Brittle for DAY 7
Oct 072015

DAY 7 on Gothtober is all about CANDY.

peanut_brittle_001There are people who give out toothbrushes to trick or treaters, and then there are the people in the world who are ALIVE. Halloween is not about restraint, or making sense, or paying attention to limits, or going on a diet. Halloween is about rotting your teeth. That’s why we believe this recipe for Peanut Brittle isn’t just a recipe, it’s a Public Service Announcement.

Sure, you can buy peanut brittle and stuff your face and lay on the couch and moan and feel regret, but why do that when you can really fall down the rabbit hole and make your own? If you’re going to feel like you ate too much peanut brittle, make sure it was good peanut brittle. And make sure you did the work that it takes to make delicious, crunchy, melty, peanutty peanut brittle, because the work makes it taste better.

Anything you have to stir for more than a half an hour deserves your attention and appreciation. We recommend that you make this recipe with a friend, because it’s fun to take turns stirring.

And hey, it’s true, the dentist isn’t going to be thrilled with your peanut brittle consumption. But it’s Halloween. And it’s real sugar, real butter, real peanuts, and it’s home made. There is a difference, and no dentist can deny it. It’s time for Peanut Brittle.

Jul 222013

It’s the 35th Anniversary of John Carpenter’s Halloween which means it’s time for a special edition Blu-ray release! Featuring commentary by Carpenter himself, take a trip down memory lane to watch one of the great prodigious horror films of the century. Halloween was selected intomichael_myers the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant.This brand new shiny HD presentation’s transfer was supervised by the original cinematographer. This means you’ll be able to see every pore in Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis’s) face as she freaks out while many other sexually promiscuous substance-abusing teens meet their untimely demise in blood-curdling High Definition!
Bonus features on Halloween 35th Anniversary Blu-ray include:

  • All-new commentary track with writer/director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis;
  • “The Night She Came Home” new featurette with Jamie Lee Curtis (HD);
  • On Location;
  • Trailers;
  • TV & Radio Spots;
  • Additional Scenes from TV Version

It’ll be released by Amazon on September 24th, 2013

Oct 132012

The Vampire Ringmaster of The Halloween Circus!

It’s death-defying, it’s stupefying, it’s THE MOST INCREDIBLE SHOW YOU’LL EVER SEE! And it’s all visible by clicking Gothtober Pumpkin #13!!! The Gump Family has done it again with a spectacle you’ll not want to miss this Spooky season!

Michael Gump of BananaBee Lab has wrangled the Gump household and friends into making a marvelous pageant of colorful Halloween Circus display.  You’ll see trained spiders! (I think they’re saying “yummy yummy” is that correct?) You’ll see the Strongest Monster,  you’ll see the funny clowns and SO MUCH MORE!

The master of ceremonies is voiced by the young and amazing Arrow Gump, and you can hear his (also quite amazing) younger sister Pixie in the background providing dynamic fanfare! Daddy Gump can be heard as various characters, and Mama Gump was doing a bit of puppetry here and there.

Joel and JJ Day Departments helped with the camera magic, and Grapejuice helped edit the thing into the fast-paced, action-packed showstopper that it is today.

Apparently, Arrow walked up to his Dad and said “Dad, we’re doing The Halloween Circus this year” and so the project began with all the making and doing that goes along with building a circus! Gotta put up the tents, water the um… crocodiles and get those skeletons and spiders in line! This family really knows how to put on a show.

I hear that Halloween circuses are especially challenging since half of the staff is nocturnal, which is also something that Gothtober has here at the headquarters, a succinct inability to regulate decent circadian rhythms, and such is the life of vampires.  Anyway, go see The Halloween Circus, it’s a rousing success, you can watch it over and over again and it just keeps getting more exciting!

The Gump Family during Halloween of 2011

Oct 062012

Bill Parr surrounded by nature in either the late 60s or early 70s.

Visit Gothtober’s Pumpkin #6 for a special symposium on true tales of mystery and intrigue!

“Dad, do you have any spooky stamps?” I said.
“Hmmm… I don’t think so, I tend to only collect pre-1945…”
Me – “Oh but that’s PERFECT! I bet you have stamps commemorating weird buildings, or mysterious historical figures, unsolved mysteries, stories, authors…”
Dad – “Well… now that you think of it…”
Thus, a Father/Daughter collaborative Gothtober project began, where my Dad went through his extensive pre-1945 collection of stamps, and then went online to sleuth out even more excitingly spooky stamp story possibilities. He found everything, he found all manner of fascinating subjects, he is nothing if not thorough.
My Dad is a philatelist.
Since the age of 16 he’s been studying and collecting postage stamps.
He also worked for Sonoma County as a Senior Systems Analyst for about 34 years, which means he appreciates a good flow chart and believes in inventing creative solutions that process assorted types of information in a practical and workable order.
When I was a little kid, computers were louder and larger than our refrigerator, and I spent a lot of time drawing on the leftover punch cards filled with holes that Dad would sometimes bring home for me when he came home from work.
Fast forward to this day and age where my Step Mom, Ma Peg, watches Dad prepare to go to stamp conventions, and she says “I’m not goin’ to that, it’s a big ol’ NERD FEST!” And she heads for the antique exhibits, and I don’t blame her one bit. Stamp conventions (from what I remember from visiting a couple with Dad when I was a kid) aren’t exactly a rousing hootenanny of extreme excitement, involving chiefly a lot of hushed voices, hunching over tiny engraved and gummed pieces of paper with magnifying glasses and glassine paper and special dorky binders that hold ever more collections of… stamps. Stamp collecting isn’t just nerdy, it’s the outer limits of nerdy, it’s “original nerd” classification.
But you see… the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, and I myself love POSTCARDS and did a show of over 1,200 hand painted postcards in 2008 called TimeStamp. We seem to have an appreciation for various types of paper ephemera in my family which cannot be explained. But if you can’t explain it, give it a whirl, right?
Here then is the best of Bill Parr’s stamp library in regards to Halloween-themed concepts, the unsolved mysteries, the freaky miracles, the gothic, horrific and strange tales that can be told through amazingly small squares of interesting prized postage stamps! Enjoy!

Sep 122012

We’re on a food bandwagon for the moment, finding ways to bide our time until Gothtober launches, and since we’ve been covering autumnal or scary foods, I thought I’d focus on a “scary” one that surprisingly, offers some history. It all started when my friend, Shannon Gallagher, handed me Church Suppers from Publications International, Ltd. saying “Oh, I’ve been meaning to give this to you.”
This collection of edible Americana is a dedicated treasury of time-honored baked, boiled, whirled, tossed, stirred and chilled masterpieces that have graced the counters and tables of religious organizations across the nation. But of all the casseroles, gelatins, puffs, spreads and crunches, the one that really conveys a pious yet humble and down-home type of American determination might be “Seafoam Salad.”
Seafoam salad is mint green, but tastes nothing like mint.
Seafoam salad is full of surprises.
The very illustrious and strange Seafoam salad was popularized by the lunch counter at Woolworth stores (officially open for business in 1878) and exists within the pantheon of the all-time great dessert salads. Unlike Waldorf salad (first created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City) Seafoam salad’s dominating flavor leans toward sweet, not savory. Over the years, depending upon the region you were raised in, a Seafoam salad might contain pears or pineapples, maraschino cherries, mayonnaise or other unknown variations with the purpose of providing a “high performance” eating experience for luncheons, schools and congregations of sorts.
Seafoam salad is green and creamy or lumpy, which seems sort of like a perfect Halloween dish to me, which is why I’ll share this current version from PIL’s Church Suppers so that you have the most up-to-date version on hand.


2 cans (8 oz. each) Crushed pineapple in juice
1 package (4 serving size) lime gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2/3 cup celery slices
1 1/2 cups thawed whipped topping

1.) Drain pineapple in sieve. Squeeze pineapple to remove most of the juice. Reserve 3 tablespoons of juice
2.) Place gelatin in medium bowl; stir in boiling water until gelatin is desolved. Stir in cold water and reserved 3 tablespoons pineapple juice.
3.) Beat cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup gelatin mixture until blended. Slowly beat in remaining gelatin mixture. Chill until thick, about 1 hour.
4.) Stir in pineapple, pecans and celery. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into clear glass serving dish. Chill about 2 hours or until set.
Makes 8 to 10 servings, WOOOOO!

Sep 072012

Absurd! And for $3.59 at a Target near you through Halloween, Kraft has done it again. And by “it again” I mean some sort of torridly bizarre yellow-colored food aimed at reeling in the curious, the depraved, the risky thrill seekers on the edge of sanity… yes, we’re trying them. Mind you, Kraft brought us “macaroni & cheese” the tell-tale blue and yellow box with the lil’ noodles and the powdered yellow stuff that you stir into margarine and water to make… an exciting pile of YELLOW, best served with hot dog pennies. In Canada they simply call it “Kraft Dinner.” Whether it’s pasteurized processed individually wrapped cheese slices, Mac & Cheese or now… Candy Corn Oreos, Kraft is one of the grand daddies of natural and artificial flavors, and don’t you forget it.

This cookie ingenue has a filling that’s half yellow, half orange. Those of us who like candy corn will probably be all weirded out but want to try them anyway. It’s so wrong it’s right. It’s a conversation piece for your autumnal office party. They taste like modern times. This is everything we’ve fought for, or so they’d have us believe.

They’ll be sweet, in any case. They have to be, right?  I mean, the deal is, if a new flavored chip is on the market, you’re going to taste the trippy powder sprayed ON the chip. And as far as these candy corn Halloween Oreos go… we’re looking at the “blonde” oreo sandwich cookie part… and a different flavored “filling.” Because they make “birthday cake” flavored Oreos, a big deal as it’s the 100th year of making these little cookies that America’s been eating column by column since 1912. The consensus so far is that any auxiliary Oreo flavor basically tastes like sugary frosting. I remember the bright red double stuffed bag of Oreos stolen from the kitchen when we were burglerized in the 90s. Ah, the good ol’ days.

BUT ANYWAY WOW! This has NEVER existed before, a Candy corn flavored Oreo! They used the “blonde” cookies instead of the original chocolate to make it look more like a candy corn. Is that sad? Would chocolate have tasted better? If you picked up one of these not knowing it’s “candy corn” flavored, would you KNOW what it’s supposed to be emulating? Will the subtle honey and vanilla flavors of actual candy corn be apparent in this novelty snack?

Not a lot of people know that a “lemon” version of Oreos was available briefly in 1920, and in China it just gets crazy, with peach, mango and blueberry, some sort of spirited fruit campaign goes on over there. I’ve got friends in China… I need to see these. Chile and Argentina both have Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Oreos, how do we get some?

Anyway, that’s the crazy snack news flash, at some point I’ll tell you what they taste like, and there will be photos. I kind of hope you’re outraged and disgusted so that we can torment you further with more news about it. I love cookie gossip.


Aug 152012

Dear Creative Crusty Creative Creeps,

Gothtober’s crooked moon approaches and we want you to be in the pumpkin patch for our 10th Anniversary!

APPLICATIONS DUE AUGUST 29th, 2012 • Participants will be notified of admission by September 6th at the latest. Upon acceptance, a $25 registration fee is required.

1.) Apply HERE

2.) The Theme is “10” a.) The number 10 in some way (10 items on screen, 10 tips for severing fingers, 10 recipes, 10 sounds, just… 10, y’know? b.) OR you can ignore the “10” theme and make your piece all spooky, creepy, crazy, weirdy, autumny, candy, fun and freaky Halloween theme like the original Gothtober from 2003. There will be a lot of pumpkins in Gothtober’s design this year, so also… if you want to have your piece involve America’s favorite round orange squash, knock yourself out!

3.) More information on how to make a Gothtober piece is on our Gothtober FAQ

4.) All the latest news about Gothtober can be found right here on the Gothtober BLOG

5.) And of course… if you want to gain inspiration from Gothtober itself, visit GOTHTOBER! 

Slimy Slippery Slugs,

JP Head Candycorn


Oct 022011

Jessica Hlavac The PieMY LORD, what’s she going to do with that razor blade??? Will she cut her own wrists? Hijack a plane? Enter into an eternal blood oath with Lucifer himself? What terrible horror awaits you, dear viewer?!

Oh wait. What’s that cute little pie doing there? Hang on, let me check my notes. OH. It’s Jessica Hlavac, the mad genius behind i’m so tiny, where she showcases minuscule foods meticulously crafted with her very own, non-threatening hands! She makes everything from breakfast to dessert, all about the size of a quarter. You know, that thing in your pocket that’s only about an inch in diameter? Yeah, that. Just look at this croissant sandwich sitting on one of them:

Jessica Hlavac Croissant SandwichShe even admits to being a little crazy, having “made a whole damn tiny ham just to slice it up” and make perfect ham slice edges for this diminutive sandwich. CAN YOU STAND IT.

So here we are, on Day 2 of Gothtober 2011, wondering what sort of miniature madness Miss Hlavac has cooked up this time. Ok, it’s a pie. But if you think you can follow her steps and make your own pie, as if the sheer smallness and perfectness of her handiwork isn’t mind-boggling enough… well, she’s thrown you yet another curve ball. Just try and catch it.

Oct 252010

We’re starting your week with an uplifting, mind-altering experience called The Waller Family Singers. The Wallers set out for the desert with the specific purpose of not doing any yoga, but instead to create a film combining the collaborative input of all family members.

Scenes were shot in Joshua Tree and 29 Palms, and you may catch a glimpse of some native chaparral, a ruddy desert landscape at eventide, some scampering gleeful kid jewel thieves, perhaps some toast made of felt, and an emblematic figure whose face is concealed by a gauzy and ornamental headdress.

The desert is a magical place, no one knows this more than The Wallers. Do not seek to understand, simply seek No Yoga.