There is no doubt this week has been an epic bummer.
First, we lose comic writer/ creator Len Wein:
Wein delivered many awesome comics and created two super-important characters in Marvel’s Wolverine and DC’s Swamp Thing, and could regularly be seen on extras to many movies discussing various subjects as his knowledge of the history of comics was quite extensive.
Next, and for me this was one that really stung, we lost artist Basil Gogos.
One of the reasons I love to draw monsters is from growing up with Gogos’ garishly coloured and totally amazing covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland. His capacity to add an amazing depth of varied colour to portraits of characters who only have photographs in black and white was amazing!
Basil Gogo’s portrait of Frankstein
Finally we get news today that cinematic legend Harry Dean Stanton has left us!
Harry Dean Stanton as Brett in Alien.
I was first introduced to Stanton when I first read the photo novel of Alien which I received before I got to see the film, but over the course of his career I enjoyed seeing him in things like Repo Man and The Green Mile, and even got a small shiver of excitement when he cameoed in things like The Avengers.
The To Watch Pile would like to forward our condolences to the respective families of our departed idols.
In extraordinarily sad news, the TWP is sad to report the death of a man who made his career with the dead, George A. Romero.
Romero basically created the ‘living dead’ genre with his spectacular film, Night of the Living Dead, in 1968, and gave as several sequels, and probably the greatest zombie film ever, Dawn of the Dead.
He passed away after a brief battle with lung cancer, aged 77.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Romero, and thank you SO very much for your contributions to horror movies.
Today was tough for this comic and music fan. I awoke to the news that Chuck Berry had passed away and though to myself, ‘well this day is gonna suck.’
Then I found out one of my comic heroes, Bernie Wrightson, had passed away from brain cancer.
Bernie was best known for his horror comics and for the co-creation, along with Len Wein, for probably the world’s most famous muck-monster, Swamp Thing, which is where I was first introduced to him.
When I first became aware of Wrightson’s art, I actively pursued his comics, and at one time was listed amongst my favourite artists along with Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Harvey Kurtzman and Robert Crumb.
Actually, that list is probably still current.
Some of the highlights of his career for me were his collaboration with Steven King, ‘The Cycle of the Werewolf’…
His illustrated Frankenstein book…
and the amazing ‘Jennifer’, written by Bruce Jones which was adapted by Dario Argento for the TV series Masters of Horror.
I am sure all comics fans will feel his passing along with me, and if I may, please think about donating to one of the wonderful charities that support cancer sufferers and their families, like Bear Cottage.
Tragically, Florence actress Marina Malfatti, aka Marina Mulligan, known for several Italian horror films, including The Red Queen Kills Seven Times and The Night Evelyn Came Out Of The Grave, has passed away. The To Watch Pile would like to pass on our condolences to her family.
For those who don’t know her work, Arrow Films recently released this box set, but you better grab it quick as its limited to 3000 copies.
For music fans, today is another dark day, just like the many we have had this year, as many great musicians pass, all before their time.
It was with a heavy heart that I woke this morning to read that master of funk and pop legend Prince has passed away.
I have always loved Prince’s music, and he is relevant to us here at The To Watch Pile as not only has his music, according to IMDB, appeared in 166 various movies and video games and TV shows, he also won an Oscar for the soundtrack to the film he also starred in as ‘the Kid’, Purple Rain.
More to the TWP’s scope though, was his music inspired by the best Batman film, Tim Burton’s Batman.
Rest in peace, Prince, and thanks for the music. It’s not only Doves that will be crying today.
Sadly today, we lost actor Larry Drake, who died of as yet unknown causes (suspected heart attack) and was found at his home by a friend.
Genre fans will know Drake best as Durant from the Darkman films, Bubba in Dark Night of the Scarecrow and of course, chuckling serial killer Dr Giggles.
Rest in Peace, Mr Drake.
Sadly, news has just come to pass that Sylvia Anderson, known best as the voice of Lady Penelope from the cult TV show The Thunderbirds has passed away, aged 88.
We here at the To Watch Pile would like to pass along our condolences to her family, and hope that wherever her spirit flies, that she still feels the love of a gigantic fanbase who were brought up on her and her husband’s work.
Thank you, M’lady.