Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cult of Cthulhu Vintage Ads

This all started with me cleaning out my morgue.  

A "morgue" was a term I saw used by some comic-book bullpen to refer to where they kept "dead ideas"... ideas waiting to be resuscitated, if you will.  I ran across this vintage ad I had stashed there that I planned on modifying as a whimsical Creative Oddities Studios ad.  That's it on the left there.  

 The text is only slightly modified.  It was a cute ad from a more innocent time.  I am a fan of 50's and 60's era kitch; it is the era the "low-brow" artwork I most admire seems to be spawned from.  This ad represented a creative-oddity of a different type... an attempt to show off a little wit while hinting at the more lurid art I normally do.

 Some people seemed to really dig this ad.  In fact one outfit, the Cult of Cthulhu, liked it so much that they thought that this would be cool to have their own set of vintage-ads.  They draw heavily upon the symbolism of HP Lovecraft (I wrote that for all the non-geeks reading this who have no clue what a "Cthulhu" is) which really took-off with the sci-fi boom of the 40's and 50's.

 The project: 6 vintage-style ads.  I won't tell you what I charged, but I think we are both happy all the way around.

I dragged the Internet far and wide to dig-up some cool, vintage ads.  One ad I knew I had to do was the "x-ray" specs.  This ad showed up in virtually every comic-book I read back in the 1970's.  The product was simply a cheap, plastic glasses-frame cardboard lenses.  In the center of each lens was a small hole that blurred your vision, making the edge of whatever you were looking at to over-lap with the interior of the object, creating the "bones" you would see in your hand or arm.  More often than not, this ad featured a teen-age guy going gaga while looking at some babe's underwear through her clothes. 
 This ad I thought was much more appropriate considering the Cult of Cthulhu's symbolism.  "Green" is a big deal to these folks as well, so I wanted to adjust the color-scheme to suit.  A major point for these folks is that "belief is reality", which I strung along with "seeing is believing" and talking about having the courage to really look... kind of ironic considering this device impairs the vision.  It is a little blurry in this low-rez version, but I am certain the high-rez image will be on their site soon.

Sticking with the comic-book ads, I don't remember actually running across this ad as a child.  This appears to have been a competitor with the "Sea-Monkeys" ad.  I considered that ad for a moment, but it was too "cutesey".  I think this was some kind of plankton that grew with water, sunlight, and a minimum amount of food.

 This ad discusses the Cult of Cthulhu's efforts to help its members develop into something more than the average human... at least as far as perspectives and relative awareness is concerned.  Maybe the monster-thing is fitting, but I don't want to speak for those folks.  I think it plays well with the whole "Cthulhu" thing.

 The "Space-Grotto" would be their website... in virtual space.  I don't think they have a space station just yet.  If they do, I should have charged them more for this job.

 This ad is along the lines of the vibrator-neck-massage ad.  It is a pocket-finger, meant to stimulate the "gum-line".  Now, I have to ask, since this is a product that is clearly designed for women, what ladies actually purchased this?  Someone did some market research and thought that this would be worth the advertising dollars. 

 Anyway, like the vibrator ad I did for Creative Oddities Studios, I wanted to use most of the text... twisting it for my own purposes and my client's needs.  It took some digital wrangling to manipulate the word "finger" into tentacle, but the rest of the text was just a matter of cutting-and-pasting... as well as infinite patience.  

 "Raspberry Cheesecake" is probably code for "all your base belong to us" or something like that.

This next ad was actually inspired by a suggestion by one of the Cult of Cthulhu's members, who suggested that we go with the old Uncle Sam poster.  However, this is Creative Oddities Studios, and as our fans know, we have a certain standard to uphold. 

 I pulled the hydra-thing from the old "Dunwich Horror" poster.  Hopefully, Venger Satanis appreciates taking the place of John (Johnny Wad) Holmes in the ad.  

This next ad was a bear, but I love the concept.  Imagine, back in the day, women douched with Lysol.  Not only that, but Lysol encouraged the idea that if a women had an unpleasant order, her husband would abandon her.  Talk about giving women a complex!  No wonder so many of the women I have dated told horror-stories of neurosis, shame, and confusion about their sexuality. 

 What I think makes this ad work for the Cult of Cthulhu are the words "doubt", "inhibition", and "ignorance"... ideas that they attribute to mechanical behavior.  This has a LOT of text based on the original, and the cursive "Cthulhu" logo I drew by hand.  Loads of fun!

This next ad is for a vintage stag-film, and I could not help myself.  "Honey Bee" is actually kind of hot, though if she is not dead by now she is probably older than my grandmother.  I see she has the "Bettie Page" rib-cage going... not necessarily my bag, but her DSLs make up for it.

 As an aside, do you think that the geeks who transferred "DSL" from "dick-sucking lips" to "dual-service line" still giggle a little when perfectly legitimate IT people talk about DSLs?

 The main text didn't have the letters I wanted for the ad statement, so I just went with a new font.  It occurs to me that I haven't explained everything about these ads, like how some of the text seems aged, how the backgrounds in most of the ads keeps that news-print look, and so on.  Well, kids, that is why I charge the big-bucks for my work. 

 "You won't believe your eyes when you see it.  You'll not part with it for any price.  The film of the century can be yours!"

 Must have been one hell of a film.

I threw this last one in for free, because I am a cool guy.

Now, you people need to comment on this blog.  Why you are at it, comment on the other blogs.  Yes, thar be nekkid gurlies on the other blogs, but your souls are already fairly tarnished anyway, so no harm done.  In fact, SUBSCRIBE to this blog, and all my other blogs.  Indeed, and buy a sticker from http://www.creativeodditiesstudios.com.  Email me from there if you want some commissioned work.  Me me me, mine mine mine, gimme gimme gimme.

1 comment:

  1. Jason,
    These are fantastic! I knew you were the right guy for the job! Cora'Sahn is pleased. Thanks again for your artistic flair and personal insights to make these graphics WORTHY of the CoC.

    Belief is Reality...
    Priestess of R'lyeh