Tiki at The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass Art Show at Creature Features – Burbank, CA

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In Burbank there’s a lovely little stretch of Magnolia Boulevard that’s home to interesting shops like Halloweentown, 8-Ball and Creature Features. In the latter, you’ll find case after case filled with sci-fi/horror/pop culture memorabilia for sale, from “Star Trek” to “Gremlins” to Tim Burton films to “The Wizard of Oz.” (They’ve been around for decades but have been in this particular brick-and-mortar location for about a year.)

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There’s also a two-room gallery space in the store that hosts group art tribute shows with themes like Godzilla and Museum of the Weird (an abandoned Disney attraction concept). Right now they’re featuring “The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass” with art inspired by the production company behind the beloved holiday specials “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964) and “Frosty the Snowman” (1969) along with other animated and stop-motion films and series.

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I was quite pleased to see “The Last Unicorn” (1982), a childhood favorite of mine, represented with a few gorgeous pieces.

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Among the dozens of contributors were artists familiar from the tiki scene, so it’s not all that surprising to see that influence come into play, as in “Yukon’s Gold” by Woody Miller. (I presume the title is a nod to the Beachcomber’s Gold drink by Don the Beachcomber.)

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Shout-out to Jay Wade Edwards for Tweeting over a photo of Miller’s “Bumbles” with a Moai mug. The folks at Tiki Magazine & More were so impressed by these paintings that they asked Miller to create the cover artwork for the current holiday issue.

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In “Heat Miser Triumphant,” Danny Hellman imagines what the world would look like if the hothead from “The Year Without a Santa Claus” (1974) had his way. Of course, the Heat Miser would have a flaming tiki drink!

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It may be the holidays, but many artists took a seasonal step back and presented art inspired by “Mad Monster Party.” Watching this 1967 stop motion film is one of my favorite Halloween traditions. Here we have “Mad Monster Party?” by Woody Welch.

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Retro artist extraordinaire Derek Yaniger really knocked it out of the park with his contribution, “Little Tibia and the Phibbeans.” (You’ve likely also seen the scribbles he’s done for Tiki Oasis and Tales of the Cocktail — and he also illustrated the recently released book Kiddie Cocktails.)

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I was also particularly enamored with another portrayal of the spooky Beatles-esque band: “Late for the Monster Party” by Gris Grimly. I dig its groovy vibe — it kind of reminds me of Scooby Doo and the gang with the Mystery Machine.

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Eric October, who designed those Moai Christmas postcards (and also painted the mural above this shop), showed off his serious talent for ceramics with this Yetch Has Lost His Head Bowl. Such a clever homage to the scene where the zombie butler’s noggin detaches and gets knocked around the party.

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The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass can be viewed during store hours at Creature Features in Burbank through Saturday, January 4, 2015. (If you can’t make it over in time to see beautiful pieces like “Journey to the Island of Misfit Toys” by Daniel Swartz, you can see a fair amount of photos on the show’s Facebook page. I also have a few more pictures over on Flickr.)

Creature Features
2904 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
818-842-8665

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Giveaway! Have Yourself a Moai Little Christmas

Eric October's "Have Yourself a Moai Little Christmas"

Let’s make this Monday a little merrier, shall we? Last weekend at Tonga Hut‘s Tiki Wonderland event, I picked up these jolly postcards by Eric October — “Have Yourself a Moai Little Christmas,” get it? I’d like to spread a little holiday cheer by sending some well wishes on one of these cards to the first 15 people to comment on this post. (I’ll e-mail you for a mailing address.) UPDATE: All the cards have been spoken for — mahalo for playing, everyone!

If you have a suggestion for some festive music, I’d love to hear! (My favorites of the moment include “Skating” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” The Beatles-infused “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” from The Ventures’ Christmas Album, and Ixtahuele’s exotica version of “White Christmas.”)

Also, if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, you can see more art by Eric October at The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass group tribute art show at Creature Features in Burbank. (A bunch of familiar tiki artists like Derek Yaniger and BigToe are participating too.) It’s on display at the store through January 4, 2015, and you can also see some photos of the art on the event’s Facebook page.

More Holiday Fun:
Watch Frosty the Cheeseball Man Melt Away
“South Pacific Santa” Art by Heather Watts
2014 Tiki Holiday Gift Guide

Another Tiki Find at Anthropologie: Tropical Drink Umbrella Card by Dear Hancock

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My preferred shopping destination Anthropologie has been a surprising source of tiki-inspired things. There was my Kon-Tiki dress and tapa print skirt, and now the store has introduced me to the stationery company Dear Hancock. Among their designs is this cute birthday card with tropical drink umbrellas and a few little plastic swords for good measure.

These little cocktail parasols seem to have fallen out of favor with some tiki bars, like Smuggler’s Cove. Perhaps because tiki drinks have already had a tough enough time being taken seriously until somewhat recently? Or maybe because they’ve moved on to more advanced garnishes like dolphins carved out of bananas?

At any rate, this hand-painted rendering makes these drink umbrellas look quite beautiful. I think I have a new appreciation for them!

The Birthday Umbrellas card is available on Dear Hancock’s web site for $4.50.