A stack of Horrorthon prints ready to be shipped out.
Who doesn't get a bit excited when you hear that little jingle set to the tune of "London Bridge" during the late summer and fall? If you are a Halloween III: Season of the Witch fan then you certainly do. By then, you can probably already taste the candy corn and smell the stale leaves in the air too. There's nothing like it. Last year I happened to visit an old antique store where I found packed away in an old dusty cabinet, a few vintage Halloween costumes and decorations. The price was way too much for me, but I did snap a few photos with my phone and chucked them in the "reference" file. Every artist has one. Or two or three. It's a file that sits inside your computer somewhere and, if you're really old-school and dedicated, an actual dog-eared folder sitting in your studio under a pile of stuff.
Anyway, months later, I was flipping through my old novelization of H3 and the idea hit me. Why not do one of those cool vintage "horror show" posters from the 50s and 60s pertaining to the Halloween Horrorthon that we hear so often throughout in the movie. I began pulling references out of those folders and started building the piece. I knew I had to have all the components that were mentioned in both the movie and the novel. Now if you've never read the novel based on the movie, there's a few descriptive nuggets and goodies that aren't conveyed in the movie. Like, aside from Halloween, the names of the other flicks in this so called horrorthon. I'll use that I said. Now that was clever. And of course I have to illustrate the character masks and advertise the Big Giveaway. That was the whole basis of Cochran's plan right?
The original inked illustration of the Pumpkin, Witch, and Skull.
Armed with all this info and some black and white illustrations I did of the masks, I started laying it all out with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I bounced the prelims back and forth to a couple of friends to get their thoughts along the way. As with any project, it went through a few stages until I got it the way I wanted it. What I ended up with was pretty much what you would see slipped inside a newspaper or tacked up on a telephone pole in your home town. I think it captures both the season and the movie. And it was definitely a "treat" to work on.
Left - a close-up of the (mostly) fictional movie schedule; Right - early sample of the design