SAMMI CURR, a Sexy Armpit Exclusive From The Cryptocurium

This is an ultra-limited run of 31! Pre-orders for this horror-metal masterpiece will begin on Friday, August 18th at The Cryptocurium Etsy store. 

I’m extremely excited to announce The Sexy Armpit’s first exclusive collectible. This incredible sculpture of Sammi Curr from one of my favorite horror films, Trick or Treat, is a result of collaborating with my friend Jason McKittrick from The Cryptocurium. It’s quite a tag-team of New Jersey horror freaks and it’s been a long time in the making! Jason’s homemade horrors speak for themselves. His creations are sculpted and painted by hand and are versatile since they include magnets on the back as well as a d-ring if you want to hang them on the wall. With unparalleled artistry, he handcrafted a brand new vision of Rock’s Chosen Warrior! I can actually hear Fastway blasting in the background every time I look at this beaut. This is a must-own for Trick or Treat fans and horror fans in general. Do whatever you need to do to get this mega limited , crash the Etsy server if you have to. If you pre-order you’ll have it in time for Halloween. Show your support for Sammi and The Sexy Armpit by purchasing this over the top cool sculpture. Once you receive it, be sure to tag @SexyArmpit and @Cryptocurium! #NoFalseMetal


Interview With Pinup Artist Erica Hesse

Erica Hesse brought to life our vision to commemorate The Sexy Armpit’s 10th birthday in a vivid, epic work of art. In my interview with her, we get an in-depth look at her creative approach, her influences, her favorite comics and horror movies, and growing up in New Jersey.

SA: I’ve had this idea for a commission from you in my head for quite a long time and it’s finally come to fruition and it’s very exciting. Since I’m not an artist, how does it feel knowing that you’ve created the exact piece of art that I had in my head?

EH: It’s pretty rewarding, as an artist you can only hope you can bring every idea to life that the person has- and be able to do it justice. Especially when the client has original ideas and thoughts and you want to be able to convey what they are thinking. I think it helps in this case, a lot of the subject matter I’m familiar with and a fan of. So it made it that much easier to interpret and have fun with! 

I’m glad you had some fun with this project! Do you prefer to create a piece of art directly from your imagination or do you like having more of a direction such as in commission work?

I like doing both to be honest. Doing art straight from my imagination is therapeutic and freeing. I can do whatever I would like with no one to tell me any different. But I do like commission work too, because it keeps me on the straight and narrow and gives me a sense of direction. I learn a lot from each commission and it gives me a new perspective on how to solve or approach each new piece of art. I find that a lot of commission work I get the clients usually have a lot of imagination and creativity, some things that I wouldn’t think of doing. So it’s refreshing, challenging, and fun to do these pieces of art, subject matter that is “outside of the box” for me. There is this one project I’ve been working on with a writer for a while now, about a year or so. It’s completely different than what I’m used to illustrating, it’s really creative and thought provoking. The story is pretty amazing and we have a great working relationship. He has a great imagination and has a clear vision of what he wants, and that’s exciting. I welcome other people’s ideas and thoughts when it comes to art, I think a large part of it is due to the some of the training I had. I worked for a company before where I had a lot of art direction and creativity within a team. I welcome that because in some cases you only become better at what you do.

Can you briefly tell us about the process you went through to create this piece? You incorporate traditional and digital art, right?

Sure! You’re right I did incorporate traditional and digital art for this piece of art.  Every artist has a different way of approaching a new piece of art, I feel I kind of do things unorthodox as far as my approach in laying out the composition. I usually sketch/pencil in the main characters first, trying to capture a feel for them, then build up the background and elements around them. I usually do two different concepts and email them to the client to see if I’m heading in the right direction concerning their ideas. If it’s approved I then go back and print out the rough concept, lightbox the rough onto a piece of heavy bristol paper and start working on the final pencils. The final pencils is a tighter and more clean version of the rough concept. From there I ink over my pencils with a brush. I typically use a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen or a Windsor and Newton watercolor brush. All depending on the look I need to achieve. When the inks are done, I erase any remaining pencil lines and it’s ready to be scanned and digitally painted. Once I have the line art scanned in and cleaned up, I started blocking in loose colors using Photoshop and my Wacom tablet. From there it’s a lot of playing around with colors and determining if any small details in the composition need to be changed. Colors, for me, I find at times to be challenging, I like them to be heavily saturated and have a certain “pop” to them. I work best when I’m working on a piece of art and walk away from it for a day or so, that way I have a fresh eye when I look at it again. Sometimes it changes everything.

And that POP is certainly distinct in the final piece! How do you feel about it? Is there an aspect of it you think is exceptional?

I was a bit concerned as I first started digitally coloring the art and how I was going to make it all work with each other. Honestly I think every artist has that thought when they approach a piece of art, the gears are constantly turning and asking yourself “How am I going to make this work?” But as the piece progressed I was pretty happy on how it was turning out, I really love it.

The parts of the art I think are exceptional are how a lot of pop culture references are sprinkled throughout the art, from the He-Man sword to the Toxic Avenger-like waste barrels, the art is one big fun New Jersey pop culture piece. I love adding the little elements in there that perhaps only people from New Jersey would get. I honestly could have added more, but didn’t want to take away from the main focal point, which is the characters. l do have to say I did add a little personal touch in the art. The license plate on the beach is one number/letter off of my own old license plate I had for years.

Ha! That’s awesome. A little Easter Egg hidden in there! I love it. Switching gears, I’ve always been a huge fan of pinup culture. When did you realize you were in love with pinup style art? Is it something you realized you excelled at and just continued to do or is it legitimately your favorite style to create?

I think pinup style art has been part of me since I was a kid, it was somehow always around me in some shape or form. A lot of the comics I read growing up had a “pinup” aspect to the art, Archie’s Betty and Veronica, Katy Keene, Millie the Model, Sabrina the Teenage Witch all had an impression on me growing up. I didn’t actually discover pinup (in the form of photography and art) until years later. I knew this guy and he had this calendar of Pinup art, I believe it was by Olivia. I remember the image for that month, the woman was a brunette and had on a white man’s dress shirt and it looked innocent and incredibly sexy at the same time. And it wasn’t a photograph, it was a painting! I wasn’t drawing for a few years around that time, that image resonated with me and was in the back of my head. Fast forward some years later I was introduced to Bettie Page and was intrigued by her. I was at a point in my life where it seemed pinup art was always reaching out to me, calling to me and I finally made the leap. I guess you can say it’s been a slow steady progression.

I don’t know if pinup art was something I thought I excelled at, it’s definitely a form of art I enjoy doing. Some people liked drawing animals or wildlife scenery, for example. I like illustrating those things too, but I’m always drawn back to illustrating women. I’ve always been drawn to the female figure and consider it to be one of the most beautiful forms in nature. It’s a form of expression, an extension of myself if that makes sense.

Well, we think you definitely excel at it! As an added bonus, much of your subject matter incorporates comic art, horror, burlesque – which just so happen to be things that I am heavy into. Your piece Roller Bride of Frankenstein really seems to sum up the stuff you enjoy. With that said, can you share with us your favorite horror movies and comic books?

Ooh yes! Ha, I sure can! My favorites change here and there, but here’s what’s on top of my head at the moment. For horror movies, I love a lot of the classics. All of the classic monster movies, Bride of Frankenstein,Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy. I love Night of the Living Dead, White Zombie, Dawn of the Dead, Fright Night…I could go on and on! Fan of the first few Nightmare on Elm Street movies. For newer horror movies, none stick to the top of my head at the moment. I did recently see the remake of Evil Dead. While it was good, nothing beats the original.

For comic books, I’m currently liking/reading Brian Wood’s X-Men, The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, and the new Harley Quinn series by Palmiotti. Other favorites include Linsner’s Lucifer’s Halo, Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, Wonder Woman, Witchblade and The Walking Dead series. I usually go for comics with strong and interesting women in them. Or if they have zombies.

Zombies are always a plus. I’m enjoying the new Harley Quinn series as well. Also on the DC front, what are your thoughts on the promo photo of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman from Batman v. Superman?

I thought the promo shot looked good, but kind of holding back my opinions until I see the movie. There’s a lot of thoughts and concerns that are rambling around in my head but I know that will probably change once I see the movie.

Can you tell us some of your artistic influences?

I kind of have a mash up of people, art, or artists that I’m inspired by. In no particular order: Gil Elvgren, George Petty, Alberto Vargas, Alphonse Mucha, Dan De Carlo, Stan Goldberg, Linsner, Coop, R. Black, Bettie Page, Rita Hayworth, Dita, Mosh…to name a few. Tara McPherson and Tokidoki are big for me in the Designer Vinyl Toy World. 

I’m a big fan of Vargas, De Carlo, and Miss Mosh as well. How about influence from your ? Were you born and raised in New Jersey? Growing up, tell us some of the places your frequented or fond memories you have from living here.

Oh heck yes. Born and raised here in good ol’ South Jersey. A lot of the memories I have growing up is where I used to live, in Egg Harbor City. I spent a lot of my time in the Don and Tom’s Newspaper store and the local Ben Franklin five and dime. Mostly buying comics and plotting which Barbie doll was going to be added next in my collection. I had a huge Barbie doll collection. It’s funny, I was never allowed to leave them naked (undressed) they always had to be fully clothed. I had a few Ken dolls but they were boring to me. I used to “borrow” my brother’s G.I. Joe dolls and make them Barbie’s boyfriend. The guy had flocked hair, how can Ken compete with that? I think I even somehow managed to make my brother’s 18-inch Alien figure Barbie’s boyfriend too. Barbie had great taste.

As far as places I checked out, I would say Ocean City was the top of the list. To me it was the “place to go” it had a little bit of everything. It had the boardwalk, ice cream, the beach, the Boardwalk Mall and of course boys. I was a bit of a boy crazy nut then. But what teen wasn’t? Of course I was rarely on the beach, I was always wanting to hop on the water slides or stuff my face with boardwalk pizza. Man, I loved that. And I used to tan, A LOT. So glad I gave that up…eventually, ha. Now I’m as “un-beachy” as you can get. The only tan I get anymore is a driver’s tan.

Same. I get as much tan as David the vampire from The Lost Boys. Similarly, I used to take my sisters Barbie dolls to have my GI Joes mingle with them on her party boat. It was a blast. So, what’s on the horizon for Erica Hesse? Are there any upcoming projects or comic shows you’d like to mention?

I’ve been keeping busy with quite a few sketch cards projects this year. Some are currently out right now. I did a few exclusive sketch cards for Zenescope’s Oz and Grimm Fairy Tales for San Diego Comic Con. I also did some cards for Chaos and the Women of Dynamite which were only available at the San Diego Comic Con as well. I have some more sketch card sets in the works but can’t mention them really until they are talked about in the press or been released. I’ve been kind of laying low on the comic con scene (which is really hard) this year due to commission work and the day job. I also made a point not to do any shows this year because I really, really want to jump back on some things I’ve been putting off. As much as I LOVE drawing pinups, I’m really itching to work on some sequentials/comics! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on pinups, but I just want to develop some ideas that have been in my head the past few years. These stories are dying to come out. I’ll be sure to talk about them when the time is right. To keep up to date on any news you can follow me on or my Facebook page over at

We’ll be on the lookout! As we wrap up, being a fan of your work, I’ve read that you’ve really made your own way. You practiced hard to become a great artist and carved a space for yourself via Internet/social media as well as setting up at shows such as Wizard World to sell your prints. It’s very inspirational, so if you could leave us with some sort of motivational wisdom that might apply to anyone, not just artists, no matter how cheesy it might be, that would be awesome!

I guess the only thing I can say is do what you love. You’re going to get criticism and feedback on no matter what you do, just take it all in stride and grow from it- don’t let it affect you negatively. Do the best that you can do. Don’t worry about what this person is doing or how successful that person is, that’s a total mind killer. No art would ever get accomplished if we constantly compared or doubted ourselves.

Excellent advice Erica and thanks for the interview! The new Sexy Armpit artwork KICKS ASS!

Erica obviously has our full endorsement, so check out some of her art here:

Sexy Armpit’s EPIC 10th Birthday Surprise!

Even though the Sexy Armpit doesn’t turn 10 until November, you’re getting a sneak peak, mostly because we just can’t wait to show you! For this milestone, we don’t need fancy desserts that pack on the pounds, instead, watch this video to see what we got for The Sexy Armpit’s upcoming 10th Birthday. It’s EPIC!


Ninja Turtles New Jersey Art and Thoughts On The New TMNT Movie

Artist and New Jersey lover Scott Modrzynski of Mojo’s Work, has quite and interesting life story. You can check it out for yourself, but he’s got a ton of love and respect for New Jersey AND The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, two forces combined and strikingly illustrated in his TMNT/New Jersey art featured here. What a killer combo from Scott! He’s got so much more at his site with his NJ Badass series which are mash-ups of our state AND characters like Deadpool, Scooby Doo, Mario & Luigi, Superman, and Spiderman just to name a few! Now, onto my thoughts on the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, in theaters now.

Don’t call this a comeback. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been here for years and haven’t really ever gone away. Nickelodeon grabbing full rights to the property a few years ago has been a dream for fans. Since the latest cartoon series premiered, and now the new feature film is hitting theaters, we’re in the midst of Turtle fever all over again with new toys, special edition sodas and perhaps the most logical, pizza tie-ins.

Michael Bay has modified a few details of the Turtles here and there, most notably, the look of our beloved pizza devourin’, Foot Clan fightin’ Turtles. What scares me is that regardless of what true die-hard Turtles fans feel about this film, if it does big business at the box office, which, from a curiosity standpoint it’s basically guaranteed to, Bay’s alterations will probably stick around for the long run.

Very early on, well before critics actually saw this film, I was put off by promotional photos and rumors. Now that people are finally seeing it and tweeting such flat, lackluster feedback about the movie, I’m even less compelled to go to the theater to see it. I can wait for this one to hit Redbox. Meanwhile, I’ll watch my DVDs of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film from 1990 which remains one of the best movies of the superhero genre as well as The Secret of the Ooze which is still badass too!

I remember seeing the 1990 original in the theater as well as the sequel, and I enjoyed both films immensely. The only minor issue I had with the original was the casting of April O’Neil. From a performance standpoint I had no complaints about Judith Hoag, but I couldn’t help feeling that there was a more appropriate actress for the role.

At the time, the ’80s were still lingering around and a logical choice for April would’ve been an actress who starred in one of the quintessential kids movies from the ’80s. I always felt that Jersey’s own, Kerri Green, who played Andi in The Goonies, would’ve been an awesome April O’Neil. If anything, she would’ve embodied the cartoon April perfectly. Think about it. This leads me to the hotly debated issue of Megan Fox. Stunt casting at its best.

Having Angelina Jolie shoved down our throats for so many years was always a similar topic of discussion for me. I was never so crazy-obsessed with Jolie from a physical standpoint nor was I ever seduced by any of her films. Conversely, Megan Fox is super hot and it’s a near fact that her acting ability is not on par with other actresses of her age range, but admiring her (not her wacky thumbs) might be the lone reason for me eventually giving Ninja Turtles a watch.  

Admittedly, I was even a fan of TVs The Next Mutation when it first aired, mainly because it was cool to see a live action offshoot of the TMNT movies, no matter how Power Rangers-esque it was. Judging by what I’ve seen and heard about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, I might just be better off watching my bootlegs of The Next Mutation this weekend!

Head over to our friend The Sewer Den to read his expert opinion on the 2014 Ninja Turtles film:

Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market Yields a Terrifying Trinket!


Trenton’s Punk Rock Flea Market has endless vendor tables selling everything ranging from original art and toys to random knickknacks and vinyl record collections. On Sunday August 3rd, we were on our way back from Atlantic City for the KISS show and I’m glad we decided to stop into this array of randomness. Read on to see what I came home with!

The PRFM takes place inside the nationally registered historic Roebling Machine Shop, which was built in 1890 and is dusty, sort of decrepit, and chock full of charm. There’s no better place for this type of event, unless there’s another available historic machine shop in New Jersey that’s twice the size and offers air conditioning. Doubt it. It was quite steamy in this place, and the incredible turnout of people only made it feel warmer. I felt like Janosz Poha in Ghosbusters 2, only I was drippingz with sweat, not goo, but judging by the photo below, you can see why we toughed it out.


Attracting a ton of people into Trenton who may not normally venture into the city, the PRFM has become a hotbed for people to buy and sell STUFF. I had a blast just gazing around at aisles upon aisles of it all… the stuff that is. As enticing as it was, and with Monster Mania coming up in matter of weeks, I promised myself I would keep my purchases to a minimum. Thankfully, I stuck to my guns.

Out of all the old records, posters, jewelry, comics, and toys, the only thing my eyes locked onto was a small Dracula figure. I was mesmerized by it for a few seconds, but instead of being overzealous, I waited on it because I had no idea what I’d find at the rest of the tables. What if I blew my minimal amount of cash on this small Dracula figure and then had nothing left if I ran into the Holy Grail item to end all Punk Rock Flea Markets?

The Art of Bob Burke!

It was right around this moment that I actually stopped in my tracks as I noticed one table full of glow in the dark canvases of horror art. What really got me was the homemade Halloween 3 TV setup behind their table! Talk about eye candy! My eyes were salivating over all these amazing pieces that were based on everything I like including Joker, Orko, Skeletor, Frankenstein, Fright Night, Dark Helmet, Jack Torrance, The Misfits, and Cobra. Every character and movie I’ve ever liked was here at this table and it was INSANE. Who is this mysterious incandescent artist you ask? His name is Bob Burke and he’s without question one of the coolest artists I’ve ever met.

 My new glowing Halloween 3 art by Bob Burke!

I couldn’t leave without this beautiful Halloween 3 piece. It will be perfect hanging in my place just in time for Halloween and beyond! Check out Bob Burke’s Facebook page and give him a LIKE! and Follow him on Instagram


Without forgetting my little vampire figurine from earlier, I kept him in the back of my mind as we made our way to the rest of the vendor tables. Miss Sexy Armpit picked up an NJ tank top from True Jersey, and she also got me the Jersey Batman T-shirt that I’ve had my eye on for a long time. Thanks to Miss Sexy Armpit for adding to my massive t-shirt collection! I’ll get a lot of wear out of it that’s for sure. True Jersey is a shop that I usually just hand my bank account number over to every time I see them at an event like this. When I pass their setup at Monster Mania I’ll have to put my head down and move along or else I’ll go bankrupt!

At this point we were getting a little antsy from the heat and we needed some food. Headed toward the front, I navigated over to the vendor that had the little old vampire guy. He was still there waiting for me. I inspected him further and noticed he was dusty, and far from mint condition. I also saw that he had a button and a battery compartment in the bottom, but he wasn’t working. “How much for this?” I asked the young girl behind the table. “I’m asking $10.” Seemed a bit steep of a price for a small figure with dead batteries that was in shabby condition, yet I had exactly $10 dollars left. Typically, I would’ve asked to go a little bit lower, and the girl even offered to go lower, but with two fives in my hand, I just felt it was meant to be. I exchanged the cash for the Drac and we swiftly made our way toward the exit.


Just before leaving, I ran into Robert Bruce who you may know from AMC’s Comic Book Men. I busted his chops because he still has my heli-pad from my Kenner Hall of Justice that I got from him a while back. While bullshitting, he gave me the inside scoop that, the week before, Comic Book Men had been filming a show guest starring KISS when they were in the area playing a show at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Shh…exclusive info for the 4th season!

There were about 5 or 6 different food trucks and the lines for each one were pretty intense. We got tired of waiting, and it was hot and humid out, so Miss Sexy Armpit suggested we try this little restaurant adjacent to the machine shop. Our impatient asses walked a few steps over to Mario’s Bar & Grill. Despite missing out on the food truck cuisine, we went home happy and with full stomachs.

There were some Mexican entrees featured in the menu, and although I didn’t see them listed I asked the waitress if they had empanadas. She said they aren’t on the menu, but they could certainly make them for me. So the secret super special unlisted empanadas were a GO! They were delicious and the entire bill for the both of us cost less than $20 dollars.

Photo on the Left from eBay and photo on the right via Monster In My Pocket Wikia

Immediately after getting back home I had to consult with eBay and a Google image search to find out more about this unusually creepy looking Dracula figure. Most likely, there are many toy crazed maniacs out there who recognized this guy in .2 milliseconds, but I hadn’t the slightest clue what line he was from. The girl who sold it to me mentioned it was a Monster in My Pocket, but I thought that was odd because all I remembered about that line was that the figures were all M.U.S.C.L.E sized and each one was painted a different bright color. This guy was more detailed and had a different look than the Monster in My Pockets that I recall, and those crazy sinister eyes!

My reservations about her accuracy were debunked as soon as the Google Image search results returned (Approximately 0.41 seconds, in case you’re keeping track). He wasn’t Dracula technically, he was simply “Vampire,” and was indeed part of a 1992 offshoot series of Monster in My Pocket called Super Scary Howlers. This series of 4 figures featured Vampire, Wolfman, Swamp Beast, and Monster, each with eerie light up eyes and scary monstrous sounds!

Of course, I wish I had the packaging, but even if I did buy it Mint on Card, I probably would’ve taken it out, no matter how sacrilegious that sounds.

No idea how I missed this one when it was out, but according to at least a couple of sites that I perused, this line has become pretty rare, and a working set is even harder to come by. Presently, there’s a Mint on Card Vampire going for $44 dollars on eBay, which is obviously much more than what I spent on this loose version. Even better, a loose complete set of 4 is selling for $175 U.S dollars on eBay. That said, I’m already looking into financing my Master’s Degree in Ufology based solely off of what I make from selling this guy. Shit, I’m totally not serious about selling him. Way serious about the Ufology though.

This was an unexpectedly cool pickup! If you were wondering, I placed an order for LR batteries on Amazon so I can check to see if this baby works. If it does, he will be my official buddy for the 2014 Halloween season. Keep you posted on Twitter: @sexyarmpit.

Let’s break it down in case there’s a pop quiz. I brought home a glowing piece of Halloween 3 art from my favorite shot in the film, a Batman style Jersey t-shirt, got the inside scoop on an upcoming Comic Book Men episode, and have added a 22-year old light up Vampire figure to my collection. As you can see, the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market was an overwhelming success, and if you can get there, I totally recommend going to the next one!

Sweet Fix and Tim Jacobus Reveal New Artwork!


Usually, I’m not one to get a lot of phone calls. Although, not too long ago, a phone call came in from Ivan Anderson, guitarist from the band Sweet Fix that I reviewed here recently. Any time I’ve spoken to Ivan he always has a very enthusiastic tone and I appreciate that. He’s got such a passion for his music and also for pop culture stuff in general. This has lead him to read The Sexy Armpit on many occasions. He noticed our post about New Jersey native Tim Jacobus’ “It Came From New Jersey,” during the 2013 Halloween Countdown, and he called me without hesitation. Hmm, did he want to invite me to an upcoming Sweet Fix show? Did he want to challenge me to a public debate about the role and impact on society of ’80s sitcom neighbors? WHAT WAS IT? Now I needed to know, so I actually had a real live phone conversation with him.

“You’re never gonna believe this…” Ivan blasted. When he started mentioning the post I wrote about Goosebumps artist Tim Jacobus, he thought it was such an amazing coincidence that the news he was about to break to me also involved Mr. Jacobus. Strange and eerie things must have been afoot during the Halloween Countdown!
Ivan finally cut to the chase. His band Sweet Fix had enlisted none other than legendary artist Tim Jacobus to do a balls-out piece of art featuring the band in Goosebumps style. Mind blown!
It was difficult figuring out what was more amazing, the news about Tim’s Sweet Fix artwork OR the fact that this came into play right around the same time that my post went up. And we did not coordinate this effort in any way. 
Since Tim’s artwork of the band had been done for a while now, all that was left for Sweet Fix was to unveil it somehow. Sure they could’ve just threw it up on their website and had everyone click LIKE or comment “Cool!,” but they wanted to do something a little more elaborate to commemorate it. 
The band knows that I am a New Jersey Pop Culture maniac, so this was the reason for Ivan’s call. The logistics were set, the time, the place, and all we needed was for Tim to be on board. Being the awesome motherf*cker that he is, he was happy to be a part of it. The “It” that I am referring to is the  video we filmed to discuss this incredible collaboration.
Posted above is my conversation with Sweet Fix and Tim Jacobus, filmed by Mike Wirth (@idiotatplay on Twitter) at the Union Plaza Diner in Union, NJ (naturally a diner, we’re in New Jersey!) In it we talk all about the album, Tim’s Goosebumps covers, and of course, we unveil Tim’s artwork of the band. Enjoy!

It Came From New Jersey! by Goosebumps Artist Tim Jacobus

Nostalgia for Goosebumps books and related collectibles is at a fever pitch. Halloween stores like Spirit still sell costumes like Slappy the dummy for kids 20 years after the book series debuted. During the past couple of months there’s been several blogs that have presented Goosebumps related posts as part of their Halloween Countdowns. Also, I recently saw a link from Bloody Disgusting to the If It Were Stine Tumblr account that presents what Goosebumps book covers would look like if they were based off popular horror movies. Now I too have a Goosebumps related offering for you, one that I’ve been sitting on for a while.

I unfortunately missed out on Goosebumps when it was popular, but I was well aware of it at the time and I wished I was several years younger during it’s height of popularity so I’d be able to really get into them. The monstrous covers were so eye catching. The cover art captured the essence of the book line which was a mixture of Tales From The Crypt, The Twilight Zone, and Eerie Indiana, but geared toward young readers.

The spooky book line from author R.L Stine was so wildly popular that at one time it was the highest selling line of books in existence. The often macabre and mildly horrific storylines obviously left a big impression on the kids and teens who read them in their heyday which began in 1992. The vivid cover art created a starting point for kids imaginations before opening up the book. It’s no wonder why Goosebumps is still as recognized today as it was back in the ’90s.


A few years back, while perusing lists of Goosebumps books to see what I was missing, I noticed an offshoot book published in 1998 by the same publisher (Scholastic) called It Came From New Jersey: My Life As An Artist by Tim Jacobus. Clearly, this was one that I most definitely HAD to read. Although it isn’t an actual R.L Stine penned Goosebumps book, it’s a book all about Tim Jacobus, a guy who is every bit a part of Goosebumps as Stine is.

Who is Tim Jacobus? He’s the artist who’s responsible for basically convincing you to read the books in the first place. I would wager that when you walked around Barnes and Noble or B.Dalton in the mall, or the local library, your decision to read a certain installment of Goosebumps was based solely on the cool cover art. Hmm, would it be the pack of Pumpkin-Headed teenagers, the Haunted Mask, or the Living Dummy?

Jacobus is synonymous with Goosebumps cover art for all 62 issues of R.L Stine’s Goosebumps books from 1992 – 1997. If you’ve read those books or have merely seen any cover or advertisement for one of the books or related Goosebumps collectibles, the artist was most likely Jacobus. That said, an autobiography from Jacobus was right up my alley, but I was unsure if I’d be able to read a full book before the Halloween countdown was over. Luckily, as I thumbed through it, it was only a breezy 59 pages, so I dove right in!

If you grew up reading/watching Goosebumps, did any of the stories actually give you Goosebumps? If not, I’m sure those creepy covers did. Quite amazing too, considering they were conjured up from the mind of a guy who was afraid of horror movies as a kid and wasn’t a very good artist growing up.

If it weren’t for discovering It Came From New Jersey!, I would never have known of Jacobus, or the fact that he’s a Jersey guy. He grew up in Denville NJ and for a guy who came from a simple upbringing, it’s quite amazing that Jacobus’ art seems like it comes from a different universe. His unique approach to the characters created the foundation of the visual aspect of the Goosebumps world.


In one section of the book he gives us a peek into his studio where he painted all his Goosebumps covers. Tim then takes us through his day and his artistic process. I have little to no artistic ability as far as drawing and painting, so I find artist’s process to be fascinating. One aspect of his painting process that I found interesting was that he uses an airbrush for certain steps which is probably what makes his work so vibrant and outlandish.

Jacobus shares a few little fun facts for Goosebumps fans. He explains how he used to get asked often if he was personal friends with author R.L Stine or if they worked together to create the books. Surprisingly, Tim said he (up until that point) had only met R.L Stine once at a party and Stine didn’t even know who he was! Another fun bit for fans of the books is that he actually posed for the photo that he based the artwork on for the cover of The Horror at Camp Jellyjam.


I thoroughly enjoyed It Came From New Jersey!, it was a quick, fun read. Jacobus is relatable since he came from modest beginnings working odd jobs to drawing pictures of food for local grocery store circulars and eventually with a lot of perseverance he became the Goosebumps artist during it’s peak. Toward the end of the book he gives the reader advice on how they can become an artist too. As I mentioned, I’m no artist, but his tutorial in the back of the book inspired me to do some drawing of my own. Jacobus provides the reader with a short art lesson on how to draw Curly the Skeleton in six steps. At first, it seemed pretty simple so I wanted to give a stab at it. I emphasize that I am a horrible artist (for more on that go here.) For those unfamiliar with Curly, he’s basically the Goosebumps mascot, sort of like their version of The Cryptkeeper, and below you will never see him drawn worse that you see here. Poor Curly. No one should let me within ten feet of a pencil and markers.

Mural Memories and Macabre Scenes in Middlesex NJ

The store window of Ghouls Gags & Gifts, a Halloween costume shop, features masks of Jason, Vader, and Chewbacca in the window along with rental costumes of Dracula and Wonder Woman. A Thriller zombie dance is happening in the street while the Bride of Frankenstein looks like she’s heading into the store do some damage on her credit card.

The artist drew a happy fanboy from NJ reading Weird NJ and wore a Mezco Toys t-shirt
I’ve always been a big fan of hand painted wall murals. My Aunt and Uncle had several done in their house before I was born and they are still there ’til this day. I admire the shit out of them every time I visit. There’s something about artists applying their work directly to a wall of a place you live in everyday that evokes such a one of kind feeling in me. To a lesser degree it’s like a tattoo. This all depends on how good the artist is of course. My sister drew on her walls when she was a kid, and that’s certainly not the type of wall artwork that I had in mind. Her sloppy scrawling of “I love Jordan Knight” although memorable, is nothing compared to the interior wall art we’ll look at in this post. I appreciate wall murals most when the subject matter reflects the inhabitants’ vibe and personalities, such as at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub in Middlesex, NJ.

I love how the trees seem like they are growing out of the mural and
the canopy fits right over the view of the inside of the cafe

Depending on the nature of the mural I tend to appreciate the kitsch factor. When there’s a lot of details to investigate I’ll wind up mesmerized. As I mentioned, the murals my Aunt and Uncle have in their place include a ’50s diner scene as well as a scene of the New York City skyline viewed from within Central Park. I have vivid memories of studying these as a kid. They seemed so grand and enormous in scale to me when I was young. In comparison to having Samantha Fox and LJN WWF action figure posters plastered all over my walls, a mural was serious business. A mural is actual art. It’s not a framed replica of art or a vintage movie poster. It’s much more permanent. If you get bored with a poster in a frame you can just remove it and slip another one in. This was the real deal – directly on the wall.

Elvira, Vampira, or non-descript Goth woman? Up to your imagination.

When I went with Miss Sexy Armpit to Ferraro’s for a birthday party for a dear friend a couple of years back, I wound up frozen in amazement once inside the party room. My eyes squinted while my head scanned the walls slowly back and forth to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Sure enough, there were these cool murals all over the walls. It not only gave the space a cozy atmosphere, but it was also kitschy without being tacky if that makes any sense. If the walls were all just one bland color, such as beige, the atmosphere would’ve been excruciatingly dull. These murals made being in the space feel like it was another dimension set apart from the rest of the restaurant. It’s not often a restaurant has such a conversation piece like this that distinguishes it from other places in the local area.

Girls Gone Wild Mardi Gras Edition Starring Slave Leia and Jabba The Hutt

The element of surprise also played a factor in my admiration for these murals. I can’t say I expected to see any of “my friends” on the walls of what I thought was a run of the mill Italian place. By friends I mean Elvira and Slave Leia. The murals were like an explosion of pop culture characters along with an infusion of local flavor. The murals feel like they come alive in certain aspects. I’ve held onto the pictures I took that night and have been meaning to post them during the last two Halloween Countdowns, but I kept forgetting that I had them. I hope you enjoy perusing them as much as I did. Check out the place if you’re in the area. The food is really good and they have some excellent liquid concoctions at the bar.

This isn’t so much scary as it is a bit perverse. You can’t see it, but the person opening the
towel is actually a dude. Just kidding. And the guy with the mirror/ping pong paddle has NO EYES! That part is true. That must have some deeper meaning.

Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub
275 Lincoln Blvd
Middlesex, NJ 08846

Nerd Lunch Podcast: Artist Des Taylor!

Nerd Lunch Podcast photo nerdlunch.jpg
Click on the picture above to start listening to Episode 69 of The Nerd Lunch Podcast!
I joined host C.T on his Nerd Lunch Podcast once again. I love being on the show because it’s a chance to geek out with my friends and talk about pop culture minutia that you won’t get to hear anywhere else. In Episode…wait for it…69 dude! we had the chance to interview one of our favorite artists, Des Taylor.

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Stop by and admire Des Taylor’s blog and Online Gallery 

If you aren’t familiar with Des’ work, he’s got a retro ’40s style that blends so well with all kinds of superheros and hot pinup girls that he loves to draw. It was extremely hard not letting it turn into The Chris Farley Show, but I think I did nervously say “That was awesome” at least twice during the show.

We talked about how he made it to where he is today as an artist, which was mighty interesting, especially in comparison to other artists who “just started drawing.” We also went back and forth on our favorite superhero costumes and also came to some solid conclusions on Star Wars and the Batman franchise. It was a fun conversation, so download it! IT’S FREE on iTunes and it will provide you with a fun diversion on your way to work. Or just click the Nerd Lunch logo and listen NOWWWW!!!

Popsic Art For The Holidays!

Use coupon code thesexyarmpit10 at

*Holiday Gift Idea Alert!*

Often I just cruise around the Internet searching for Jersey related paraphernalia. Occasionally I find some really cool items. A while back I was browsing Etsy and I found Joshua Zaitz’s POPSIC ART based out of NJ. His 3-D style art is colorful and has an cartoonish vibe which appeals to me. What I thought was cool was that among a host of pop culture pieces, his online store offered several iconic Jersey related prints like Springsteen, Asbury Park’s Tillie, and the Atlantic City skyline. Popsic Art makes a great gift for an office, den, or game room.


At Chiller last month I had the chance to meet the man behind Popsic Art. Joshua is awesome and he set up The Sexy Armpit with a discount code for our readers to utilize in preparation for the holidays – THANKS JOSHUA! Browse around his store and I’m sure you’ll find something perfect for a gift and yourself at the same time.

Use the coupon code thesexyarmpit10
for 10% off your entire purchase. This offer is good until 11:59 PM on 11/30/12.

Joshua Zaitz creates 3D Pop Art featuring vibrant colors, fun themes, and a fresh look at some of the most beloved icons we’ve all grown up with. Each piece of art offers viewers a unique 3D experience. Hand-cut pieces are glued layer by layer to the background picture. Since every piece of artwork he creates is hand-cut, constructed and embellished differently, collectors of his artwork each receive a unique piece of art.