All posts by Len

My name is Len and I draw monsters, robots, zombies and so much more. My style has become synonymous with geek music and culture. I have illustrated several books including “There’s A Zombie In My Treehouse” by John “Widgett” Robinson and Ken Plume, “Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children” written by MST3K/Cinematic Titanic’s Trace Beaulieu and “Look” by Robert Bowling. I have also worked on projects for Discovery Channel, MythBusters and Steve Jackson Games. I live in Cleveland, Ohio with my wife, Nora, seven children and a gassy Wheaten Terrier named Snoopy.

Show Us Your Halloween Costumes!

Len here! As the self-proclaimed fan of the show, I don’t get to play around in makeup, costuming and SFX as much as Frank does.  So Halloween is the time of year that I get to stretch my creative muscles. In the past, I have tried building my own StarLord mask or cosplay as Short Round, all the varying results.  This year, I decided to buy a costume off the rack and modify it slightly.  And the costume I chose was DeadPool!

Check out the picture above to see what my costume looks like.  I may try modifying it a little more and if I do, I will post some pics.  In the meantime, feel free to post your own pics to show off your work.

Happy Early Halloween!

Len’s Ghostbuster Concept Sketches

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In case you weren’t aware, The New Ghostbusters came out. I’m heading out to see it this weekend, along with a lot of other folks.  But I’ll be watching extra close because last February, I was hired to do some concept sketches for the movie!  I was among a dozen or so artists who was hired by former CreatureGeek guest and friend, Rick Lazzarini from the amazing FX house The Character Shop to flesh out some concepts for the creative team.  Rick has been posting a lot of other concept art from that session and comparatively, my stuff looks really bush league.  However I am proud to say that I believe I was the only artist in the group who provided some early concepts for the proton packs and traps.  I always felt that the traps in the original movie, while iconic, needed to have windows to see if the trap was full or not.  To me, the flashing light left too much open to failure.  Actually seeing the entity in the trap so you knew not to release it was important.

I’m not sure they incorporated my idea into the final design.  They did re-design the traps to look more canister-like.  But at the very least, I brought something new and interesting to the table.

It was a real dream come true and I hope to do more of it in the future. I’ve been dying to share my work for more than a year now, so I’m super excited to have you all see it!  If there are any big Hollywood types out there who would like to employ my artistic services on their next film, hit me up!  I’m open, yo!

Frank’s Book List!

So, I have been promising a list of books that I have on my shelves. Here are a few to get you going:
This is the book that I most highly recommend for all-around makeup fx info-

http://amzn.to/22reszU

And in a close second place are Mike Spatola’s books- which are great makeup books to practice the demonstrations that he lays out in detail.
http://amzn.to/22reU1h

This is the book that i found at a young age that showed a lot of basic principals for mold making
And of course, any makeup fx library isnt complete without Tom Savini’s books.  I STILL look through them.
We often rant about how its frustrating that the new generations dont know the artists and technicians that came before them.
When I found this book it opened my eyes to so many creators of my favorite classic makeups
This is another great book that has been on my shelves since I was young.
And you cant talk about books without mention Vin Keho’s great books
and
Good luck!

Frank’s Latest Creation: The Rancor!

Last week at San Diego Comic Con, Frank unveiled his latest project for Tested.com:  A full Rancor suit!  Using reference from the LucasFilm archives and from the Rancor creator Phil Tippett himself, Frank worked round the clock for two weeks to create this amazing Rancor.

For those of us who weren’t able to visit SDCC (myself included) this video is a great substitute. Thanks to the folks at Tested for making it happen.

Do You Want A Trading Card of Frank Ippolito?

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Have you ever wanted a trading card of SFX makeup artist and CreatureGeek host,  Frank Ippolito?  Well, here’s your chance!  Len has added Frank to his geek trading card project Geek A Week and he joins other illustrious geeks such as Neil Gaiman, Guillermo Del Toro,  Wil Wheaton, Stan Lee and many others!  Not only that, but you can play an actual card game called “Epic Vs. Awesome” designed by master game makers Mike Selinker and Kid Beyond!  You can order the cards right now from Len’s online store.

Go and get them now!

Len’s First Foray Into Makeup

So, as we posted Frank’s first foray into makeup, I felt it only right (plus we said we would on show 1) that I should post my first foray into makeup. This is around Halloween 1982. I used the Dick Smith TV/Movie Horror Makeup Kit that I got for Christmas a few years earlier. I remember trying to work the Flexi-Flesh material and by the time I was using this stuff, I ran out of the flesh colored blending stick, so I had to use this blue color that I found somewhere.  Whatever I couldn’t color, I just covered up with fake blood.  Anyhow, I have a few other photos, but those will have to saved for another time.