Madballs, Weird Balls, Super Bouncing Weird Balls, Monster Balls, Blurp Balls, Krazy Balls, Freakballs, Squirt Devils and other nameless imitations.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Reading From the Book Of Weird

"Ugly Face Mask Included!"

The all powerful Gross Face sent his testament down to men in the year ninteen hundred and eighty six. And he said unto men "GGGGLLLLAAARRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH"!

The testament was, of course, the glorious Ugly Faces coloring book. Ugly Faces is the bible of Madballology, and much like the Christian bible it makes no sense, but at least it takes place in space and comes with a mask! I would've made my confirmation if I could've done it wearing that cut out!
Released in the mid '80's Playmore Inc's coloring book was sold at Kmart's (that's what the sticker said on the one I got from Ebay) and Bradlees around the country (for one paltry dollar!) to skim a little off the the top of the Madball mania. Norman Nodel, known for the "Classics Illustrated" series he worked on in the '50's , was hired to illustrate the book. It may also be noted that good ol' Norm had a few stories in Creepy and Eerie, upping his cred for this project.
The "story" starts much like a Manowar song, with some children asking Grandfather to tell them a story. Except these children aren't American kids feigning British accents but instead floating monster heads.

The story he goes on to tell, suggests that Grandfather used to party back in the day and is having trouble telling hallucination from reality. I know the dudes an elderly disembodied monster head but still. I also wonder what kind of drugs Madballs would do? Maybe snort lines of puke or free base some pus. And how do you wear a trench coat as a Madball drug dealer? You've got no body! Anyway...
Gramps starts yarnin' about these intergalactic slugs that start exploring space. Yup. While they're on their mission they go through an asteroid belt that actually turns out to be "ugly faces". The ugly dudes, don't say anything but lead them on a stellar journey.

Why are there monster faced balls floating about in space? Why is one of them a fleshy doughnut with an eye in the middle? Where is Gramps now? None of these questions are answered within. However, we should take a second to look at some of these faces and soak in how cool they are. Lots of jagged teeth and extra eyes! The dude below with the two faces is one of my faves.
They go to the oval planet where they meet oval headed dudes...
They go to the square planet where they meet square headed guys and the triangle planet guessed it...they meet triangle headed guys. The whole journey the slugs can't get over how ugly everyone is. The ovals, squares, triangle and of course their chaparones, the ugly faces.
We also take a short break for a CENTEFOLD!!! I love the oppressive all seeing monster head and that awesome Tri-face! The dude in the lower right is a bit more confusing. So his face houses one giant eyeball, and that eyeball acts as an upper lip for his mouth and the lower lip acts as a lower lid for the giant eye?! His ears are normal though. The last part of the story the ugly faces lead them to earth where some humans see them and then start talking about how ugly the slugs are. Like that Twilight Zone episode Eye Of the Beholder, that's supposed to teach you to not be mean to people who look different. However, the tool that's used to teach the lesson are bigoted human children. So, it's almost as if the moral is "be a jerk so that other space races will know not to be jerks themselves".

So after you're done reading the story and you don't color in the pictures, cus you know some 31 year old dork will want to pay 12 times the cover price in 24 years, you get ready to put the book down, satisfied with the sermon that you've read. Then BAM! the back cover hits your eyeballs so hard they almost pop! What the heck is that?! Why, it's only a sweet sweet cut out paper Madball mask! IN FULL COLOR! AND EXTRA GROSS! Drippy flesh, dastardly fangs, bubbly green warts, veiny brains, and oh so many bloodshot eyes will make you the envy of all your friends. Well, I'll let you know how it goes November 1, 2010.

In conclusion, this book is really cool. The illustrations are great, the tens (!) of monster balls that Nodel created for this book are all sweet looking and really gross, the centerfold is oppressive and creepy and the mask...god that mask! So, if you come across this thing, BUY IT! You won't regret it and then you can pray to the mighty Gross Face from the privacy of your own home.

1 comment:

  1. I'm entranced by this, I gotta have a copy. I would've LOVED to have been freaked out by these drawings as a kid!