One of the greatest television specials of all time, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year! Let's take a moment to recognize this essential piece of our childhoods and to pay homage to the man behind it all, Charles M. Schulz. The now-yearly tradition began on October 27, 1966, when CBS debuted the half-hour animated special -- the third such Peanuts show -- as part of its Thursday evening lineup. Here are a few newspaper ads from that day. Now as far as I can tell, the first reference to the Great Pumpkin appeared in the Peanuts comic strip almost exactly 7 years before the show, in October 1959. Here is that strip:
These days preserving memories of Halloween parties and trick or treating is as simple as clicking an icon on your phone. Back in the day it not only meant fumbling with a camera and film, but also finding a way to preserve all those spooky and cute memories. To remind us all of simpler Halloween times, here is a gallery of 13 vintage slides (some Kodachrome) depicting kids (and kids at heart) getting into the Halloween spirit with costumes, jack-o-lanterns, parades, and of course trick or treating for candy!
I was a little too young to have seen the Paul Lynde Halloween Special from 1976, but as a lifelong Kiss fan I knew of it. Here's a national newspaper ad that ABC ran for the special, which aired on October 29, 1976. Featured on the show were Tim Conway, Roz Kelly, Margaret Hamilton, Florence Henderson, Betty White, and of course the aforementioned Kiss.
After sitting out for a few years, I'm back on the roster as a Halloween Cryptkeeper! That means throughout this month you’ll see all sorts of fun, spooky posts with a Halloween theme. Along with the usual, non-scary tomfoolery of course. I’ll also be posting some scary stuff on my Tumblr and Facebook pages, so check them out too! To join in the fun and see other blogs participating in the countdown, just click the Beistle skull icon in the upper right. And of course you can view all of my previous Halloween content by clicking here. Boo!
In Sears Catalog Goodness I pull one page from a vintage Sears catalog to highlight neat, interesting, or just plain funny images and products sold by one of America’s greatest retailers once upon a time. You knew I couldn't go the whole Halloween season without sharing some vintage costumes from Sears, right? Well I'm not about to disappoint you on that front, so here is a page from the Fall 1958 catalog featuring the biggest heroes and stars of the day -- Zorro, Superman, Lassie, Woody Woodpecker, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bugs Bunny, and "Pop-Eye the Sailor Man." The name characters on this page are great, of course, but my eye is drawn toward the costume that probably dates this assortment more than any other -- Satellite Joe, the "man of tomorrow." If that doesn't screa
It's been a few years since my last gallery of vintage Beistle Halloween decorations, and I've collected some cool images so it's time to share once again. This time I'm focusing on Beistle products exclusively from the 1940s. Eagle-eyed readers may notice the name "Luhrs" pop up in this gallery. This refers to H.E. Luhrs, who was the son-in-law of company founder Martin Luther Beistle and served as president of the company. So with that bit of history out of the way, let's look at the gallery! And don't forget to check out my first and second Beistle Halloween decoration galleries.
For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep -- and no, I'm not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap -- it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements. While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and L...
I think I like the idea of reading Golden Age superhero comics more than actually doing it. Compared to today's comic books, the stories and artwork often don't measure up. But man, I could look at the covers all day. So in the spirit of the season, here's a few Golden Age comic book covers with a Halloween theme. The Superman one is technically Silver Age, but I think it has the same lighthearted spirit as the other three so I included it. If straight-ahead horror comics from the Golden Age are more your thing, I've got a gallery of them too. I couldn't resist including this last one from Batman, even though it is firmly entrenched in the Silver Age and is of a much more serious tone. But how can you go wrong with a vintage Neal Adams cover?