When I was growing up in the 1980s, anything “retro” obviously meant a throwback to the generations before I was born, which didn’t mean a lot back then. I was your typical self-centered child, who believed that history started on the day I was born.
Now, all these years later and just slightly wiser, the term retro brings me right back to those childhood days of secretly watching horror VHS tapes, collecting Garbage Pail Kids and melting the heads of my G.I.Joes.
Nowadays, I fall for anything that reminds me of that sweet sweet wasted youth…
Suddenly, along comes the Strange Kids Club, with an idea that combines all of the things I lovingly reminisced about above. They have successfully evoked a strange neo-nostalgia for the whole time period!
They have set about creating an original new series of monster-themed trading cards to make all of us greying geeks giddy with excitement. The series is called “Closet Monsters” and boasts designs from a wide array of some of the best horror artists working right now!
Updated with new monsters weekly, the plan is for this unique collection of monsters to eventually be printed as physical trading cards!
Check out the collection below of some of my favorites in their current line-up, complete with amusing stories behind why each of them came to be hiding in your closet.
Be sure and swing by The Strange Kids Club website to check them all out!
Also, I have linked to current pages for all of the artists who have worked on this project, and just in researching this post, I have discovered some new and fantastic artists here.
So do yourself a favor and follow those links and do some good old-fashioned web-surfing.
There are some seriously fantastic, subversive, and unique artists on this project.
You won’t regret it!
“Boogary Bill” by Lou Rusconi.
“Compiled of all your nose pickings that are flung about, this creature has pulled himself together to form one being: BOOGARY BILL! Nothing to fear from Bill, look, has all of your favorites toys and just wants to PLAY!!!”
“Count Vonrape” by Makinita.
“Not much is known about the Count, aside for his Snuffleupagus fetish, a flair for the theatrical and an obsession with numbers. For the most part the Count prefers to hide in the shadows, counting his many victims and dreaming of one day making it to Broadway.”
“Flloyd” by Andrew Barr.
“Flloyd comes from a distant planet. Classified as garbage he was dumped on Earth to fend for himself. Sadly he didn’t really understand the human art of “Wearing Clothes.” He’s always looking for a new ‘suit.’”
“Penanggalan” by Mike Faille.
“Referred to as a ‘Penanggalan’ due to a resemblance to the flying vampire-head creature from Southeast Asian mythology, this Closet Monster is actually more of a Cthuhlu/Gieger/8th Dimension sort of devil-spawn. It floats around, scaring the begeebus out of people, forcing them to look for hidden genitalia, and generally getting up to no good.”
“Hansel” by John Hageman Jr.
“Hansel is a tobacco chewing leprechaun that was cursed from drinking stagnant water from a tainted wishing well. He lost his arm to a goat and then traveled to the future to have a robot arm installed. Today, with his stick of justice, he seeks the goat that took his arm. He’s also a Shriner.”
“Eech & Fangface” by Eric Pigors.
“EECH & FANGFACE live 6 feet under, down at Rotting Caskets Funeral Home where they take care of the freshly buried corpses. Well… in their own sick way, which is stacking them up inside their hide out, underground coffin #13. They like reading to their newly decayed friends, especially their favorite spooky book,’GHOULISHLY GHASTLY DEADTIMES STORIES’ from their creator UNKLE PIGORS.”
“Deadly Ruxpin” by Aaron Klopp.
“When a certain thrash metal cassette (Slayer) is inserted into his back, mild mannered Teddy transforms into a maggot-ridden monster from Hell! Attacking the other toys he finds in the closet, Deadly dismembers them and uses them as his trophies.”
“Intes-Stan” by David DeGrand.
“A poor fellow who went insane after playing too many zombie video games, Intes-Stan now thinks he IS a zombie. He is confused however, and eats his own guts instead of munching on hapless victims, making him a perfectly safe and fun playtime companion!”
“Kreap” by Nils Vogeding.
“Kreap was once a violent demon with powerful horns. In an epic battle the magical ice cream wizard of Neptune saved the universe by turning those horns into ice cream cones. Without his horns Kreap was unable to keep up his pitch-black aura and his evil powers vanished. The curse that the mighty wizard brought upon him left him unable to return to the demonworld. Candy and the color pink are not very popular over there. He now wanders through the shadows trying to find a way to lift his curse. His revenge will be served ice cold.”
“Drugs Bunny” by Casey Cityhall.
“Time makes monsters of us all. Especially if that time is spent drinking windex and freebasing flea powder. This bunny had it all: adorable fluff, a great catch phrase. But that all melted away and left nothing behind but a hideous ghoul. When this bunny finally OD’ed he went straight to hell, then was immediately kicked out when they found him snorting up all of the lava and brimstone. Now he wanders the earth, scouring children’s closets for his next fix. Maybe he’ll find it in that juicy skull of yours!”
“Wretch Armgone” by Reis O’Brien.
“Wretch Armgone is all that is left of your beloved Stretch Armstrong. Once a favorite beloved toy, Wretch has been transformed, deep in the recesses of your closet, into a rotting, goo-spilling toy-corpse bent on revenge! You should have taken better care of him, because now he’s going to take care of you.”
“Gourd Goblin” by Zach Bellissimo.
“Pumpkin carvers beware! This freaky, knobby skinned creature can be found roaming around in gourd patches among the pumpkins, which he considers family. When eager children come to pick out a Jack O’ Lantern the Gourd Goblin instantly goes nuts, jumping out from his hole with ferocious speed and razor sharp claws to rip each kid’s face off and paste it on one of his pumpkin pals.”
“Ron Pussman” by Jetpacks and Rollerskates.
“Ron, a once top tier elementary school cafeteria worker respected by parents for developing a healthy lunch program for the students. Until one day when the kids revolted and a quickly escalated melon balling fight went out of control leaving Ron with the loss of his lower mobility. Due to severe cutbacks, no wheelchair could be provided to Ron but instead an old bathtub long abandoned by the phys ed department.
With no one to take control of the kids dietary needs the school moved in another direction; installing deep fryers. After years of exposure to the grease, Ron’s body is now covered in self erupting zits and he wears a mask to hide his true emotions. He is now referred by the children as Ron Pussman.”
“Zombie Yeti” by Zombie Yeti.
“My name is ZombieYeti and this is my self portrait. I imagine if I were stuffed in a closet I would have to pee in the closet if there were no bathroom.* I also like circus peanuts. *This is in fact the truth. I tried it shortly after writing this.”
“Billy Skinsuit” by Trevor Henderson.
“Billy Skinsuit is a tiny, mummified corpse that lives like a parasite! He infests various creatures around the galaxy and wears their slowly decomposing corpses as suits!
He does this to use their vital fluids to rejuvenate his shriveled and puny body, and to get close to his next victim. If you find Billy in your closet, you should feel very special! He’s traveled a long way to see how it feels to experience life in your skin!”
“Bloody Billy” by Jeremy the Artist.
“Billy is your everyday, average spawn of Satan who decided the 5th wasn’t fun enough for him- so now he lives in random kids closets, terrorizing youngsters late at night- waking them up with scratching at the closet doors—slowly opening the doors to reveal his crimson smile, and dark, dark empty eye holes.
Fun Fact: Bloody Billy’s shoes aren’t actually shoes but are his actual feet. Oddly enough, one foot prefers to eat rats….and the other foot, baby humans.”
“Ike Rust” by Joey Souza.
“Little Ike Rust always had a runny nose and crusty eyes. He was constantly teased at school for his sniffling, eye rubbing, and general oozing appearance.
One morning Ike Rust woke up with a case of eye crust so bad that his eyes were stuck shut. The children of the town all pointed and laughed as he stumbled down the street searching for someone to tell him where he was. Blinded by eye crust, Ike Rust wandered into what he thought was a doctor’s office, but actually turned out to be a cave full of hungry bears. And while the bears did test and treat Ike for several of his diseases and infections, they also ate him.
Now the ghost of little Ike Rust and his eye crust seeks his revenge. Waiting in your closet until you get up to pee in the middle of the night, Ike Rust sneaks over to your bed, rubs his eye crust on your blankets, steals your eye drops, and farts on your pillow.
So when you lie in bed late at night and hear a faint noise in the distance that sounds like: “Ah! My eyes are so itchy!” You’d better hold it in, because Ike Rust may be waiting to share his crusty eye infection with you.”
“Pikkels” by Sean Ferguson.
“Pikkels are known to dwell in moist, damp closets, living off the fungus growing on their backs and shoulders. These monsters prefer closets with lots of secrets, so it’s best to keep your stash somewhere else, unless you want it covered in Pikkel juice.”
“Soozey” by Guro.
“Soozey feeds on every nasty thought you’ve ever had, every guilty pleasure that you’ve hidden inside a dirty box and forgot all about, but soon enough she’ll be able to escape from the closet, and the only thing to satisfy her appetite will be the same filthy brain that created her. Yes, the one inside your skull!”
“The Toy Man” by Mikuloctopus.
“Johnny’s parents asked him where he’d been getting his new toys. When he answered, ‘My closet.’ his parents scolded him for lying. ‘I’m not lying!,’ Johnny proclaimed. ‘The funny man in my closet gave them to me. He said it makes him happy.’”
“Double Dewey” by Matthew Allison.
“The failed first attempt by toymaker Aleister Rothman to create a living, breathing “doll” to compete against Xavier Roberts’ popular line of Cabbage Patch Kids, Double Dewey was the result of a malicious ex-assistant’s reprisal. After being fired by Rothman the sour subordinate poured a vial of his former employer’s “Creature Serum” into Dewey’s test tube and the resulting monstrosity was hidden from public view in the second bedroom of Aleister’s condo. Poor Double Dewey – will he ever know the outside world?”
“Pumpers Blottnickel” by Pedro Camargo.
“Pumpers was once actually a magical elf who helped fix people’s shoes until the day he decided to fix the neighborhood’s 10 year old miscreant: Blottnickel. Blottnickel thought it would be funny to trap poor little Pumpers inside the shoe he was selflessly trying to fix, and then stick in the microwave for a good 30 minutes.
Pumpers who had then become a radioactive bubbling blob, slithered away and hid inside another pair of Blottnickel’s shoes, patiently awaiting his moment of revenge. However, before Pumpers could react, Blottnickel thrust his foot into the shoe, squashing the radioactive slime that Pumpers had become. Immediately they fused into one single hideous, radioactive, mutant being known simply as Pumpers Blottnickel.
Today, Pumpers Blottnickel can usually be found leaking and pulsating in closets with old worn-out shoes.”
“Evil-NES” by Drew Wise.
“There have been many different tales told of this particular gaming system. Some say it’s host to a 1,000 year old evil genie. Others claim it’s possessed by the angry spirit of a worker who was crushed on the assembly line. Still others say it was just “born” evil. The only thing anyone really knows is that anyone who plays it gets a disturbing phone call from the 1-900 Pretendo hotline and dies seven days later.”
“The Witch and her Werewolf” by Steve Van Essche.
“When I was a child, two ugly monsters lived in my attic: an old Witch and her bloody Werewolf.
They waited for the darkness to snigger and howl, then crept down the stairs, making them creak with their every slow step to hide behind the door : the one just in front of my bedroom.
There they stayed many long hours, scratching and knocking at the door, bidding me to come and open. But I never dared. If it was the case no doubt would I not be here to tell this story.
Today I am the one living in the attic; the Witch and her Werewolf are gone, compelled to dwell in the closet… biding their time for a young and carefree child to open the door.”“
“Salty Pickens” by Sky Flygare.
“The unwanted remnant of a past lunch, a lone pickle lies buried within the dank and odorous closet in its skull emblazoned lunchbox tomb. The unique chemistry of putrid undergarments and a rotten vinegar soaked cucumber gives rise to the unmentionable Salty Pickens. Armed with a spatula and improper attire, he longs to join humanity… By replacing you!”