Monday, December 27, 2010


And so another Christmas day fades off in the rear-view mirror of history, leaving behind dried pine needles and twenty pounds of leftover Christmas ham. It's always a bittersweet occasion, not least of all because there's only six days to settle one's stomach before New Year's.

It's a time to reflect on the events of the past year, and we here at the Spookingtons Ranch can reflect with the best of 'em. 2010 saw a massive redesign of our site, exciting new comics featuring Hsu and Chan and Violence Man, and the release of our very first -- if not terribly ambitious -- PC game! Rest assured that there's much, much more in store for 2011, and we'll thank you to keep your eyes open for it!

Well, not for ALL of 2011. You're still allowed to sleep.

For now.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


We're less than a week from Christmas Day, gentle readers, and I'd like to share the following holiday message with you: "Home Alone 4," the made-for-television sequel to what can only -- very generously -- be described as "Home Alone 3," will burn out your eyeballs and melt your brain like a butter sculpture of a gremlin in midday July sunlight.

I grant that I only watched about five minutes of it, so the remainder of the movie -- in which the entire family from the first two movies has been recast with less-expensive "actors," shall we call them -- may have been better than the portion I saw would indicate. Also, I may be a unicorn.

What makes it all the more unfortunate is that the original "Home Alone," and its actual sequel, "Home Alone 2," weren't exactly GREAT movies to begin with. Certainly, they're remembered affectionately by those who were children at the time -- kids who, like me, lived vicariously through young Kevin's improbably-successful tricks and traps. But upon watching the movies with older eyes, one realizes that Kevin and his entire family are horrible, despicable, bickering wretches, all deserving of grievous injury. Only the brisk, competent direction saves the audience from dwelling on this.

"Home Alone 4: The Five Minutes I Watched" is not competently directed. Also, I should mention that the movie's star power consists of French Stewart, who has made a small career replacing slightly-higher-priced actors in made-for-video sequels. I don't mock him for this, mind you. Depressing as it may be, "Replaced Matthew Broderick in 'Inspector Gadget 2'" is still a more-notable epitaph than most of us will ever get.

At any rate, "Home Alone 4" is most likely a bad, bad movie, and I hope the vagueness with which I've described it does not inspire anyone to look it up and see, because -- I want to emphasize this -- it's not the FUN kind of bad. It's the bad kind of bad. If you must learn more, you can read all about it in the Necronomicon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Knowing is Half the Battle; Avoidance is the Other

Another minor frontpage update -- you'll now see notices of the most recently-updated items in the game, comic and video categories, respectively, under the featured header image. If that sets your world aflame, then we're glad to be of service, and you could probably do with a couple more hobbies in your life.

In other news, I don't know if you've ever seen "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," but if you haven't, it's as if someone took all the concentrated dumbness of all the collected mid-term essays written by a classroom of sophomore physical education majors, compressed them until they turned into a liquid, then set it on fire and served it in a cocktail glass with the Tasmanian Devil printed on the side.

You wont be smarter for having watched it, but you may find it affecting your movie choices in the future. Hopefully it will function as a vaccine of some sort.

But if you're simply inspired to violence after watching -- and who could blame you? - it's worth noting that the Ready Deaddy Cat contest announced last post (scroll down) is still running! Get a free download, and spill some cougar blood!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Spookingtons' First Game, "Ready Deaddy Cat," Now Available, Plus CONTEST!

Spookingtons, and by extension myself, are proud to present our very first video game for Windows PC: "Ready Deaddy Cat!"

Inspired by the @!!* cougars of some OTHER, un-named Western video game that was released in recent years, "Ready Deaddy Cat" tasks you to take down as many of these horrible feline abominations as possible, making certain not to die in the process! "Ready Deaddy Cat" features TWO exciting game modes, "Town Defense" and "COUGARGEDDON!"

"Town Defense" is totally free and playable right now. In it, you're tasked with protecting the town's populace from a brief but extremely violent cougar invasion, and then put it all on the line in a duel! And then play it again for a better rank, if you so choose.

The main game, "COUGARGEDDON," is available only via download, although there's a mildly-crippled, timed demo thereof ready to play right now, too! It's a fight to the death against cougar hordes, featuring snipers, zombies and extraterrestrials, with a twist -- keep your townspeople alive through all this, and they'll generate unique power-ups for you that make the job a whole lot easier. Let 'em die, and watch your chances for survival slip down the drain!

But that aint all -- Spookingtons is running our first-ever gamin' contest! You'll only hear it here, so listen up:

We will be awarding a free Spookingtons download of choice to each of the first ten people who achieve "Legend" rank in "Town Defense," which requires that you save all five townspeople and hit all six targets on the final attacking cougar. It aint easy! When you manage it, just take a screenshot of the "Legend" rank screen* and send it in to Winners will be notified via email!

We'll hold back PETA, so get to shootin' those cougars, people! Try -- and buy -- "Ready Deaddy Cat" today!

*this can be done easily by hitting the 'print screen' key on your keyboard, opening MS paint, creating a new image and then selecting 'paste' from the 'edit' tab.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"The Mummy's Tooth" Now Available in the Store!

It's very worth noting that "The Mummy's Tooth," which tops out at 30 pages, is in fact the largest single-issue story I've ever set to print, and that includes all of the Slave Labor Graphics run. What started as a remarkably unsuccessful attempt at a daily-updated webcomic ballooned into a full-length adventure that took almost a full year to complete. It is, in fact, probably the only single comic I've done where the presentation evolves right before the readers' eyes.

And now you can read it for yourself, in its entirety, in one convenient place for the low, low price of $2.50. I wont give you any malarkey about this one being presented as I'd originally intended -- the fact is, I started the comic pretty much without a plan and completely without a script, and the fact that it succeeds regardless is mostly luck.

But succeed it does, and the download package includes not only the full 30-page adventure in stunningly high-resolution, but also a special one-page bonus comic I wrote at the time and, well, pretty much forgot about until I stumbled upon it while reassembling the pages. It's a hoot, and nobody's EVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

Well, except me, I've seen it before. But now you can, too! And remember, all of our downloadable comics are presented entirely DRM-free, so they're easily transferrable as gifts if, for instance, there was to be a major gift-giving holiday season coming up. I'm just sayin'.

Get your copy of "The Mummy's Tooth" exclusively in the download store!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Norm Returns

Norm here, and I'm back from vacation!

It's possible that the exclamation mark conveys more enthusiasm on my part than being back from vacation truly merits. But I'm here, now, and we can at the least proceed with the production schedule. An update:

Our first web game finally exists in a playable state, with only menu art and sound effects left before it's ready to unleash on an unsuspecting populace. Anybody who's played this year's big cowboy-themed action game will, I'm sure, find it a cathartic experience.

Next up in the store will be, for the first time ever, the complete download version of "The Mummy's Tooth," and will feature an exciting, never-before-seen epilogue that I'd made at the time but never released, probably because I was waiting to do a download version. We here at Spookingtons are the raindrops that wear down mountains over centuries!

Or just dampen your socks, in the short-term.

Thursday, October 7, 2010



Norm's away on vacation - I couldn't badger the exact location out of him - and I've been entrusted with the task of "keeping the home fires burning". Of course, Norm's temporary absence explains away this content draught that's so completely uncharacteristic of Spookingtons (almost typed that with a straight face).

Anyway, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to offer up a blog post and maintain the illusion that this site is updated semi-regulary (instead of producing, y'know, actual content). I say seemed in the past tense because I originally intended to write this on Monday. Then I walked into the kitchen to grab a snack, sat back down at my desk and noticed that Netflix added the first two seasons of NewsRadio for instant viewing. Now it's Thursday.

While the semi-steady stream of information on the new Pokemon games makes for interesting headlines, I've been finding myself unable to sum up the enthusiasm to actually click through to the articles. Now, Pokemon is a subject very near and dear to my heart, make no mistake. It's just - I don't know - is the phrase "jumped the shark*" too cliche to use here? I just get the feeling that we've seen everything there is to see. I haven't exactly been paying the closest attention to the last few generations of 'mons, but I get the general impression that Game Freak is just swapping traits from previous Pokemon. And aren't there like, seven kinds of Pikachu now? Maybe I'm just being cynical.

If they'd just go with my idea for inter-Pokemon breeding, they wouldn't even need to design a whole new set of creatures - all they'd need is some sort of Poke-centric face mash algorithm! Surely I'm not the only one that's fantasized about owning a Blastizard. What's that you say? Two different species of Pokemon simply will not conjugate? Why, that's what the prodding iron is for! Never was there a greater occasion for a stylus-based minigame.

I'm sure I'll end up buying Black and White. I always hitch my ride to the Pokemon bandwagon, at least for the first few weeks after the game's release. Unfortunately, real life always pulls me away. I'm still embarrassingly far from beating Soul Silver, and I bought it on day one.

Anyway, I've probably overstayed my welcome. This post was intended to be three paragraphs tops. Norm should be back posting shortly. Until then - keep watching the skies!


*Have... have they done a shark Pokemon yet?

UPDATE: I've just been informed that yes, in fact, there is a shark Pokemon. Sharpedo. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010



My name is Charlie. I'm a sometimes-illustrator, sometimes-writer and a more-often-than-not comic maker. And, from this point forward, I'll be a regular contributer to Spookingtons Drive-In Media (as well as the Spookingtons blog).

I've been a Hsu and Chan fan since at least 2004. Getting to know (and now working with) Norm has been a blast. Norm's become something of a mentor figure to me in the past six or seven months, and my artwork, writing and pacing methods have changed rapidly as a result (for the better, I'd argue). Now it seems he's going to trust me with drawing a few of his own characters. But more on that later!

Be seein' ya!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Norm here, continuing to iron out the kinks in our system. Enjoy our new blog, which, like the shoutbox in the lounge and the Death Star Mark II, is fully operational.

Work is entering the home stretch on what I would consider our first full web game (one assumes that "Don't Kill Tidus" didn't fully count), a little shooting gallery inspired by one of the more popular Old-West console video games of this year. I'm not naming names. Look for that to show up on the Spookingtons website in just a few weeks.