Stephen Gammell, freakish childhood nostalgia



I don’t know how many of you (who am I talking to?) had those Scary Stories books as a kid, but I sure did.

If you don’t know, these were short books targeted at children, and contained a number of scary folklore stories. Though I haven’t read one in a long while, I vividly remember being legitimately scared of these stories as a child, and hiding under my covers to go to sleep after reading them.




The scariest part of these books was certainly the illustration. This guy, Stephen Gammell, did these simplistic yet grotesque drawings in the books that were really quite disturbing. I can only imagine this guy saw his pet rabbit ripped to shreds by a pack of wolves as a child or something. The illustrations were always sort of out of focus and charcoal-looking. I always thought he was playing off of the natural fear of the unknown, never really giving these morbid drawings fine details.

And there was always some weird substance dripping off of the figures...







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Exerpts from my Germany blog from 2006

"....And if you want regular water, too effing bad. Anytime you ask for water, you're going to get this godawful mineral water. I even asked for regular water at the bowling alley, which is Stillewasser in German, and they didn't have any. They didn't have any. They didn't have any water."

"
So Germany was finally eliminated from the World Cup. These soccer, 'Fußbol' fans are effing crazy. The superbowl is nothing compared to this public viewing of the Italy-Deuschland game. Anyway... soccer blows so I'm not going to tell you about it. Ozan's younger sister now has a foreign exchange student from England named Joanne. She's a nice girl. She speaks German with a British accent, and that's pretty hilarious sounding."

"
So... today, we got a tour of the High School and the town. Plenty of funny things... a German kid walking by us dropped a magazine. It was porn."

"Ummmm... Oh yes, we saw a little baby girl sitting in the middle of the street with her mother a good 15 feet away, not paying the least bit of attention to her. And when I says "street", I mean street. Not sidewalk."

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Sunny D

I love that commercial for Sunny Delight.

It's the one with the straight-outta-the-80s looking kids opening the fridge in search of beverages. The apparent resident child of the household riffles through a few options. It goes something like this:

"We've got soda, juice, some purple stuff, sunny delight..."

At this point all of the other kids exclaim "Sunny Delight!" in unison. Scene change, the kids are sitting outside at a picnic table, amongst the commotion (centered around the Sunny D), one child can be heard saying something like "Yeah, and it's good for you, too!" This is very subtle. I only caught it the last time I viewed the advertisement.

Anyway, picnic table. One of the kids is drinking the last bit of the Sunny Delight, much to the chagrin of the others. Their distress reaches a peak when the mother walks up with a full bottle of Sunny-D and places it on the table. The kids erupt with excitement, prompting one of the youths to enthusiastically infer "Way to be, Mrs. S!"

Sunny Delight. The good stuff kids go for.

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