Halloween is right around the corner, and artist Bobby Timony is in full spirits with his Kickstarter featuring classic monsters and other creatures as pin up girls in the aptly titled “Monster Pin Up Girls”. Timony is the artist behind the independent hits The Night Owls and Detectobot, and is now bringing his combined love for 40’s pin up art and classic monster movies in a brand-new card deck.
Similar in the vein of other pin up decks, Timony’s art will feature 54 unique pieces of art, with the artbook having a foreword by renowned artist Molly Crabapple. The campaign will run until Halloween, and Newsarama had the chance to speak to Timony about his project, monster movies, and why movie monster have prevailed.
Newsarama: So Bobby, your Kickstarter is just in time for Halloween. I have to ask, what do you think the appeal could be for something like monster girl pin ups?
Bobby Timony: Monster Pin Up Girls is a layer cake of appealing flavors, one being monsters. People have loved monsters since the cave days, when there were actual monsters that would occasionally eat you. We collect them and memorize the strengths, weakness, and arcane rules they operate by. Monsters are the superstars of horror, and we can’t help but love them.
The second layer is, of course, the Pin Up Girl. One of the reasons I love the classic pin up girls is because of the way they present sexuality as something fun, cheeky, and wholesome. It isn't the shameful, dirty or tawdry thing that some puritanical prudes would have you believe. These are confident and adventurous people who are not ashamed of their bodies. In the forties and fifties, that might have been seen as a subversive and dangerous idea, but it's easy to see why it was, and continues to be, so popular.
Nrama: Do you have any favorite monster movies that aren't really defined as "scary" and possible influence on this?
Timony: My personal favorite monster movies are the ones that blend comedy and horror, like Young Frankenstein or The Evil Dead 2. My sense of humor has a big influence on everything I do.
I also love the Harryhausen Movies for the great monster design and the strange otherworldly magic quality that his stop motion effects brought to the creatures. I'm not sure how or if that influenced the monster pin up girls, but there you go.
Nrama: Tell us a little bit about the project itself. It's a deck of cards featuring 52 monster girls, right? Do you do have any repeats or are they all unique characters?
Timony: They're all unique characters! There are 54 different illustrations of 54 different monsters. Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde are the Jokers, so you could argue that there are only 53 different monsters, I guess. Not only are there 54 different monsters, but they're grouped into themed sets of four for each card number. The Aces are the Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse. The Kings are the classic movie monsters: Vampire, Frankenstein, the Wolf-Man, or She-Wolf in this case, and the Lagoon Creature.
Nrama: Who did you have fun doing art of the most?
Timony: I decided the Jacks would be the elementals: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. I had a lot of fun drawing the Air and Water ones especially, with the billowy clouds and splashy water.
Nrama: Did you have a favorite horror movie growing up? Did that ever change?
Timony: I remember they used to show the Holy Trinity of monster monkey movies on TV every thanksgiving: King Kong, Son of Kong, and Mighty Joe Young. I'm not sure they count as “horror” movies, but I loved them. In fact, most of my favorite monsters came from fantasy movies rather than horror. As a kid, I loved the creatures in the Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and the Neverending Story.
Nrama: Why do you think monster movies or horror movies are still relevant today and possibly even stronger than they were ten or twenty years ago?
Timony: I'm not sure I would argue that the monster movies are stronger today. I'd say that monster movies enjoyed a steady and consistent popularity throughout all eras of moviemaking. Some of the greatest early films of the silent era were monster movies! Who can forget the Nosferatu, Count Orlok, and his gruesome face and long fingers? Or the hulking hair-helmeted Golem, the robot woman of Metropolis, or any number of Lon Chaney creatures? Every film era since has had its distinctive monsters!
Humans love the feeling of being safe and scared. Being scared and in danger is no fun, but a good scare, separated from a true threat, is one of life's best feelings. That's why the monster movie will always endure as long as we have movies. Monster stories will endure as long as humans tell stories. The love of monsters is baked into our DNA right next to our instinct for survival. As long as we humans survive, so too will the monsters that prey on us.