Thursday, March 10, 2011

GET YOUR FREAK ON WITH THE PHANTOM: LET'S TALK MONSTER MASKS! (PART 2)

Today we conclude the MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD interview with Pete Infelise, The Yellow Phantom from THE BLOOD-CURDLING BLOG OF MONSTER MASKS. You know, monster masks had the distinct advantage of being offered for sale all year long -- long after Halloween was over. They found perpetual life within the pages of vintage monster magazines like FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN, MAD MONSTERS, and HORROR MONSTERS, and to a lesser extent in today's monster 'zines. One thing for sure, they never seem to loose their appeal or popularity.

We pick up the interview with Pete talking about some of the latest monster mask creators, as well as the upcoming MASK-FEST.

MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD: Who are some of the current monster mask makers?

PETE INFELISE: Mass produced mask makers that produce masks of interest include Don Post, Zagone, Bump in the Night, and Trick or Treat Studios.

Assortment of Death Studios Masks
 MMW: What is the most common material to make masks out of these days?

INFELISE: Most masks are still made the old fashion way, with good ol’ latex rubber. There is a movement occurring with silicone masks, which are incredibly realistic and wear well, but the cost is still a serious drawback to most folks.

MMW: What’s the best way to display a mask collection?

INFELISE: Masks display nicely naturally, as the full-scale size factor is impressive. Most collectors make simple stands from dowel rods and wood bases.

MMW: What’s the best way to preserve a latex mask?

INFELISE: There are a few things to keep in mind. Exposure to direct sunlight or fluorescent lights is really harmful to the latex. So it’s best to avoid either. Also, they should be stuffed with plastic to preserve the shape. If the mask is thick enough, news paper will do, but for most older masks, or mass produced masks, news paper can distort the shape.

Examples of Be Something Masks

MMW: The Mask-Fest Convention is coming up. Can you tell us a little about it? Are you involved with it?

INFELISE: MASK-FEST is the brainchild of Eric Austin, founder of the HMA (The Halloween Mask Association). This will be the third consecutive year that Mask-Fest has been held along side of the Horror Hound Convention. It’s the event of the year for mask makers and collectors. Getting to see all the new masks and hang out for three days in the dealer room and the bar, it doesn’t get any better.

I do have a table there, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP table. Stop on by and say hello and have a beer!

MMW: Other than the convention, where can one go to look for and purchase both new and vintage monster masks?

INFELISE: The HMA.net is the place to go to hunt down a mask. Otherwise, options are pretty limited. Like most collectibles, E-Bay occasionally has some interesting masks pop up.

Masks from the Famous Monsters Cover Project

MMW: How long have you had your blog and what was your inspiration to start it?

INFELISE: I started it last September. I had spent a good deal of time in 2010 bouncing around the blogesphere, and I was blown away by the information being posted, and the dedication of the bloggers. I have a ton of mask info I’ve saved through the years that I thought I should put out there to share with other like-minded folks.

MMW: Any particular reason why you chose Google Blogger over another type for your blog?

INFELISE: I actually started with Wordpress, which is a pretty powerful tool, but the site got hacked and too much of a pain to clean up after that. Blogger is great, it’s a wonderful tool for straight-up blogging, and the code behind it is very manageable.

MMW: What’s in the future for the BLOOD-CURDLING BLOG OF MONSTER MASKS?

INFELISE: I’m coming up on the 100 post mark any day now, and I have enough old articles and ads for at least 200-300 more posts. I try to post every other day, just to keep it fun.


MMW: Topstone or Don Post?

INFELISE: Don Post. The mask world would never be what it is with out DP. The man literally pioneered the industry.

MMW: Any last comments you’d like to make to the readers of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD?

INFELISE: Thanks for the interest in my blog, and don’t be afraid to throw on a monster mask this Halloween when the kids come to the door.

Thank you, Pete Infelise, a.k.a. The Yellow Phantom!

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