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Sep 302012

Yesterday the mad geniuses of the Phoenix area united at the Keen Halloween event put together my the folks at Steamcrow. We had an array of creepy vendors, spooky panels, costuming evil geniuses and arts & crafts. A good time was had by all.

I participated with a Creepy Little Productions booth and did a panel called “How to Host a Halloween Dinner Party.” Truthfully, I get nervous talking in front of people, and I breezed through it kind of fast. So, for those of your that were kind enough to attend and those of you who would like the info, here are some recipes to help you figure out your own Halloween dinner party menu.

I designed my table layout using my Ouija Board Party Kit which is available in my Shop Envy Store. Or you can use an existing Ouija Board as a placemat. If I see ouija boards in a thrift or antique store, I usually pick it up, just because they are so darn cool looking.

HALLOWEEN DINNER MENU

DRINK
Bloody or Slimy Martini

1 Part Absolut Ruby Red
1 Part Fresh Lemon Juice
Liquid Sour Cherry Blood (or Sour Apple for Slimy version)

Line the inside of a clear glass with liquid candy blood
or slime ahead of time so the candy has a chance to ooze down the inside of the glass and settle.

Fill a shaker with ice cubes. Add all ingredients. Shake and strain into the blood or slime lined glass filled with ice cubes.

VIRGIN RECIPE: Instead of using alchol, use Sprite, 7-Up or other kind of clear soda. Pour into the glass lined with the blood or slim liquid candy.
The candy eventually with melt right into the rest of the drink making the otherwise clear liquid change colors.

APPETIZER
Zombie Bites

12 roasted jalapenos
6 string cheese sticks cut in half or favorite white cheese
1 lb of bacon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split pre-roasted jalapenos. Remove jalapeno guts and seeds. Stuffed generously with cheese. Cut pieces of bacon in half and wrap each piece around stuffes jalapeno. Secure with toothpick if needed. Bake until bacon is fully cooked and crispy.

SALAD
Crazy Caprese Eyeball Salad

1 package of mini fresh mozzarella balls
Sliced green olives with pimentos
Tomatoes
Slice green olives so that they are round with a red pimento in the middle. Place olives on “cherry sized” mozzarella ball and put “eyeball” on a whole basil leaf, on top of a tomato slice. Secure with a toothpick if needed. Serve with a light drizzle of oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.

SOUP
Exorcist Soup

This is a cold soup that can be made in advance.
3 large, ripe avocados cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup minced scallions
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, plus 6 sprigs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup heavy cream
Plain Yougurt or Creme Fraiche
In a food processor, puree the avocados, chicken stock, scallions, lemon juice, cilantro, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the cayenne. Pour into a soup tureen or large pitcher and stir in the heavy cream just before serving. Garnish each serving of soup with 1 sprig of cilantro.
Using the yougurt or Creme Fraiche, add a small dolup to middle of soup. Using a toothpick, spread the white part outward to create a spiderweb effect.

SIDE DISH

BRAIIIINNNNSSS
1 head of caulifower
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Mizthra
1 tsp Red Food Coloring
Trim cauliflower so that it can sit flat. Cut a shallow line going down the middle of caulifower to make it look more like a brain. Steam cauliflower whole until it is soft enough to poke with a fork.
Mix together mayo, mustard, cheese and red food coloring. Cover steamed cauliflower with mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve on a platter with a knife or scapel sticking out of it.

MAIN COURSE
Mummy Wrap
1 lb lean ground beef
10 sheets phyllo dough
6 tbsps tomato paste
olive oil (flavored pam)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 onion (finely chopped)
6 cloves minced garlic
8 ozs feta cheese (crumbled)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (taste)
1/4 tsp allspice (taste)
salt
pepper

Heat the garlic with half of the olive oil in a pan. Add ground meat and small onion and brown. Add in tomato paste, salt, pepper, cinnamon and all spice to your taste. Cook thoroughly.

Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees. In a large glass pan, spray the bottom with non-stick spray. Add one sheet of the Phyllo dough. Spray sheet and add another layer the same way until you have 5 sheets sprayed down and layered on top of each other.

Add meat to the sheets and spread evenly. Top with crumbled feta cheese. Roll into a large cigar shape until you have a large loaf. Lightly “mold” into the shpe of a mummy. Layer the remaining phyllo dough while spraying the layers. Cut them into strips and lay on top of loaf to look like mummy wrappings. Cook for 15-17 minutes or until it is top is golden.

Serve with a side of creepy sauteed Oyster mushrooms.

KIDS MENU
The Worms Crawl In
1 pack of hot dogs sliced into 1” pieces
1 package of dry spaghetti

Insert 4 pieces of dry spaghetti noddles into each slice of hot dog. Place slices in boiling water and cook until spaghetti is fully cooked. Serve with either ketchup of marinara sauce.

Monstertoast
1 piece of toast
Avocado (lightly salted with Garlic Salt and/or Cumin)
Black Olives
Bacon
White cheese cut into squares
Salami

Cook bacon until crispy. Mush avocado into a spreadable paste. Toast Bread. Spread aocado to create a green face on toast. Use Bacon across top of toast to look like hair. Slice black olives and use as eyes. Cut cheese pieces become the teeth. Cut salami into thin strips to use as lips or moustaches. Be creative. Every Monstertoast can look different.

DESSERTS
SPIDER CUPCAKES
Cake Mix or Favorite Cake Recipe
Black food coloring
Frosting
Grated Coconut
M&Ms or Chocolate Chips
Black Cupcake Holders
Black or red licorice

Bake cupcakes per your favorite recipe’s instructions. Let cool. Mix black food coloring with frosting and frost cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with grated coconut. Add M&Ms or chocolate chips as eyes. Cut licorice strips to all the same size and add 4 pieces to each side for the spiders legs.

This Saturday, September 29th, 2012, will be the very first ever Keen Halloween event. This is an unusual Halloween event, especially since it is one month BEFORE Halloween. Why, you may ask? Because this is a chance to be totally prepared for when the big days arrives. There will be Spooky Entertainers, vendors selling their wares in the Monster Market, experts helping out with costumes at the Evil Genius Costume Bar and participants holding Halloween workshops on how to make Halloween crafts, decorations or in my case “How to Host a Halloween Dinner Party.”

The event is getting a lot of press and is sure to be a fun event. It is the brainchild of Daniel and Dawna Davis of Steamcrow fame due to their love of Halloween but distaste for all the blood and gore. I must agree with them. Annual trips to the Spirit store always leaves me a little disheartened with all their decapitated corpses or zombie torsos. Or on the opposite spectrum, the overly commercialized Halloween with Disney princesses.

So if you prefer to do-it-yourself or would like something you can’t buy in a regular store, come on down to Keen Halloween. It will be from 11am-10pm at the New School for the Arts and Academics at 1216 E. Apache Boulevard Tempe, Arizona. You can buy advance tickets through the website for $7 or $10 at the door. And best of all, kids 12 and under are FREE!

I will have a hand a few new products that I’ve created just for this show. My favorite being the Franko/Zombo sewing kit. This kit has everything you need to sew your own Franko/Zombo doll who sports two-sides (Frankenstein on one side and Zombie on the other), removable brains, heart and arms. He is super cute and a lot of fun to put together. But I was only able to make a limited quantity so stop by early to make sure you get yours. Only $15!

I will post pictures of some of my other new products later today.

Hope to see you there for a Sin-sational time!

2012 Phoenix Comicon

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Jul 302012

Well, it’s only been a couple of months since the Phoenix Comicon so I’m actually right on time for my usual fashionable lateness. This year’s Comicon was beyond awesome! The staff/volunteers were better than ever and made the whole show run so smoothly. I had a great artist’s alley table on one end of the aisle, which I turned into a pseudo booth by adding another table and doubling my product space. I had great neighbors too, Eric Mengel and Dennmann. Check them out too!

They set a record attendance at over 32,000 people, almost 10,000 more than the previous year. The crowds were full of incredible people and I spent most of my time socializing. This year I added more of a literary twist to my prints by including some Romeo & Juliet, Alice in Wonderland and Edgar Allan Poe prints and was so pleased every time a kindred spirit came by to geek out over them.

My Ouija Board placemats didn’t do as well as I thought they would. Who knew so many people harbored such fear of them?! Literally, some people would back away from them faster than if I was selling Chik-fil-A during a gay pride parade. I promise, I created them myself, and printed them on vinyl – without spirits. No self-respecting spirit would reside in a vinyl placemat anyway. And if they did, I’m sure they would not want you to eat Chik-fil-A off of them.

But my guitar pick necklaces were by far my biggest sellers. Which makes me very happy. You can not imagine how much work goes into those mini art pieces! I design artwork for the picks and have them printed, but then have to drill holes and assemble them by hands. It is actually fun so I’m not complaining, but having people love them makes them so much better to me.

I also met a very pleasant young lady named Alissa McKersie who is a writer for Journey Planet. She was working on an article about Women in Comics and interviewed me as well as some other local talents, Kathryn Immonen, Jean Arrow, Jolene Houser, Bianca Thompson, and Nei Ruffino. You can read her finished article starting on page 34 here.

For the third year now, I was asked to be a judge at the Zombie Beauty Pageant. As usual, it was a scream! I couldn’t get any good pictures but here is a video link to the winner known as “Sexy Zombie” who won on bravery and creativity merits. All zombies should be so ballsy.

If you don’t live in the Phoenix area, I would still recommend coming out for the Phoenix Comicon. It may not be as big as San Diego, but I find it much more enjoyable being able to walk down aisles, look at vendors without being elbowed and attending panels where you don’t have to fear bodily injury. And I never, ever, not even once, missed being surrounded by giant corporate videos blaring down at me from every angle.

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