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Our standards are firmly in place. Like veering away from Starbucks to try a new, Mom & Pop coffeehouse, or opting for a period, Danish-language film when one could just watch another episode of The IT Crowd, it often takes a strong tug of the leash to venture away from our favourite fire hydrant, no matter how bright and shiny our favourite is. Holiday seasons especially bring about a kind of good ol' stand-by comfort. The paths of tradition and convention are followed innately and without question, usually with good reason. The standards are so because they are simply the best. We love and revere our fave films, fabled tales and customary characters during Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Still, just because your BFF is sitting at the head of the holiday table, doesn't mean you can't have fun talking to the new kid at dinner ... in this case, The Halloween Kid.

Peanuts, The Addams Family, Ichabod Crane, Jack Skellington, Edgar Allan Poe et al, be they fictive or not, rest dearly within our hearts, year after year as Hallowe'en rumbles down the block, announcing the start of the full, holiday season. For some of us, these cherished characters and their creators will continue to stick around, well after the Christmas trees are down and the New Year's glitter has worn. As much as we love Snoopy and the gang, it is nice to widen our circle of friends and invite in others, sometimes. Rhode Montijo has moved into town and his Halloween kid is a rough 'n' ready, mummy-bustin', vampire-quashin', werewolf-vanquishin' rowdy boy born in the oh-so-American vein of Howdy Doody and Spin and Marty: a now-kitchy, black-and-white, kid-cowboy drama made popular on the original The Mickey Mouse Club. Montijo's The Halloween Kid is a joyful, pleasing blend of the 1940s/'50s cowboy craze and man's timeless terrors hiding under the bed, in the back of the closet, up in the attic and down the alley.

For centuries, Hallowe'en has been a celebration of autumn harvest and a time to let loose before a punishing winter can set in with surprising speed and brutality. Hallowe'en is also the one night of the year the spirits may cross over from the netherworld and mingle with the mortals and muggles, like a great, spooky cocktail party. We, as said-mortals and -muggles play dress-up in our best efforts to confuse the spirits and protect our souls. In our contemporary day, Hallowe'en and all its accompanying fright nights leading up to October 31st can, sometimes, go a tad  far for some, where the realm of gore and purposeful, obligatory, instigated terror are concerned.

Modern psychology deems that our psyches and we, in our cozy, comfy, cushy 21stC. lives of heated BMW seats and Peet's organic coffee, need a little cage-rattling now and then. Hence, there exists the quizzical, überpopular appeal of zombies and serial killers as subject matter: note The Walking Dead, True Blood, The Originals, Game of Thrones. All quality productions with unarguably impressive fanbases. Nevertheless, the table is somewhat crowded with voracious zombies, mythical Barbarians and ravenous vampires; it's nice to keep seats open for not just Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead's exec. prod./SFX designer) and Bill Johnson (The Originals' SFX makeup artists), but the traditional likes of Walt Disney, Charles Schulz and, now, Rhode Montijo.

For this girl's take, I find it wonderful that Hallowe'en has become a welcome domain for adults. Some of us have never outgrown the joy of October and, unlike many a day past, those of us whom have transferred the holiday to adulthood can find far more ephemera and moral support today for our spooky penchant. Even so, some enthusiasts might take Halloween to an uncomfortable level, especially for neighborhood children. When trick-or-treating is just too terrifying for the tiniest of fairy princesses and fearsome pirates, your decorations might be too much.

Case in point: enthusiastic homeowners in the Minnesota suburb of Eden Prairie have been asked to remove some of their more realistically disturbing designs, including a bloody torso in a cauldron, a hanging man and a headless corpse. It seems to be a bit much for the wee ones in the neighborhood. Local police, though, state there is no ordinance forbidding such special effects. Maybe the neighbors draw the drapes, light some candles and read The Halloween Kid instead.

Besides the Leave it to Beaver, rolled-up jeans, all-American, good-time tale of good vs. evil in The Halloween Kid, Montijo's happy style of illustrations, kind of a Candy Corn-meets-Dennis the Menace, is pure visual contentment. Pages of goblins, ghosties and suburban streets full of kids dressed as clowns, superheroes and pirates await you: Hallowe'en at its Americana best! If you met someone from, say, Siberia or Mars and they said, "Vhat ees zis Halloveen?", (Yes, they have Eastern European accents on Mars.) to best describe it, you might invite them to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Hocus Pocus, then give them copies of Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld and The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijo.

Now, after you've read The Halloween Kid to your Hallowe'en kid, or to yourself over a very figgy-noted bottle of Black Mountain Fat Cat Cabernet Sauvignon, the book deserves a key spot amongst your holiday décor. Leave it closed on a side table with a glowing candle nearby, or open it to your fave page; mine is the Giant Miami Werewolf, natch, being Miami-born. The best thing about Montijo's charming black-and-orange artwork? There are bushels more available at his website: portraiture of Victorian Jack o' Lantern ladies, orphaned skeletons to adopt, art postcards, children's books, the comic book adventures of Pablo's Inferno, antique jars of "Wind for Indoor Kite Flying" and various Halloween Kid related goodies.

Besides The Halloween Kid, my fave bit of Montijo is a fleeting bit of fantasy which, sadly, eludes me online. Fortunate enough to have met and spoken with the elusive Rhode Montijo at San Diego Comic-Con this year, he told me the inspiration behind a certain artwork. It is a giant, friendly sort of pumpkin-moon with glowing, orange eyes and a chipper glowing, orange smile; the rest of the pumpkin-moon is painted all the beautiful colours of The X-Files: blacks, pewters and navy-blues, all set against a starry, stormy, autumn night. The piece is, in his words, Montijo's "vision of what The Great Pumpkin looks like as he's coming to town". Splendid! (Mr. Montijo, if it comes available again, before next year's SDCC, please do LMK @JennyPopNet!)

Fortunate I was indeed, to chat with Mr. Montijo at SDCC, as he is a bit like a Republican at WeedCon: out there, but hard to find. Even according to the official Montijo website, "Very little is known about children's book author and illustrator, Rhode Montijo; he was discovered at the front steps of the Elden Library."

Were I able to chat with Mr. Montijo again, I would thank him for a cherished new addition to my treasured collection of Hallowe'en books. May The Halloween Kid feel right at home, in our home, with Poe's raven, Morticia and Gomez, The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror comic books, Cranberry Halloween, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Seinfeld's Halloween, The Teeny, Tiny Witches, Cinderella Skeleton and so many more of my fave, autumnal friends of childhood as well as my childlike adulthood. (I suppose I can thank him at next year's at Comic-Con ... if he appears.)

As The Halloween Kid exclaims, "Y'all keep trick-or-treatin' now, ya hear? Yee-Ha-lloween!"

 

For a full list of JennyPop's fave Halloween films, TV specials and books ... voila!

Follow or Tweet @JennyPopNet #Halloweenbooks #TheHalloweenKid #RhodeMontijo

 

 
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In the spirit of the holiday and being the Hallowe'en freak I am, it occurred to Moi it was time to read one of the essentials of Western literature, one of the earliest titles ever printed, a book, at the height of its popularity, outsold only by The Bible. Whilst I knew well of this tome and do ever so enjoy speaking its mellifluous name, I had not ever read The Malleus Maleficarum. "What, pray tell, is the Malia Whatch-a-ma-callit?, you may ponder. Well, 'tis really more of a Witch-a-ma-callit. Ha!

No laughing matter when it was written by Heinrich Kramer & James Sprenger and first published in 1486, it served as a guidebook and reference source for the Christian community, church leaders, nosy neighbors, municipal courts and the official Inquisitors of the Inquisition. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

The Malleus Maleficarum was written as a guide to seeking, identifying and prosecuting, thus vanquishing and dispatching of, witches. Didn't believe in witches? No worries, disbelief itself was at best heresy, at worst a sign of a witch. Being a redhead (Well, we all know my feelings on those Redheads! Ha!), having moles or birthmarks (Oft sought by town elders, always male, upon the nude bodies, usually female, of suspected witches for hours and hours of probing, poking and pinching.), possessing a quiet nature, possessing a rambunctious nature or cultivating a belief in the burgeoning fields of science were all excellent, possible signs of a witch. I highly suspect Gladys Kravitz, beauteous and spirited Samantha Stevens' crotchety old neighbor on Bewitched, had a copy on her windowsill. Something other than Heaven help you if you were found guilty.

Whilst the final, waning days of the witch trials peaked here in America with our very own Salem Witch Trials in 1692, the two and a half centuries previous ran Amok, amok, amok! across Europe with figures, dazzlingly varied but horrific even on the lightest-end, numbering 600K - 9Million men, women and children burned alive, drowned, stoned, hanged or tortured to death as witches. With too many specifications to sift through, sometimes the Inquisitors could simply rely on the time-tested generalizations of those "who did not fit within the contemporary view of pieous Christians", "old", "Jewish", "gypsy", "outcast" or the old standby, "a woman".

With such a verifiable and terrible history of inhumanity around which to wrap our modern brains, all one can do four-hundred-plus years later is make a joke or two, produce quirky films about the period (Hocus Pocus, for one, rocks!) or, like yours truly, travel to Salem, Mass. to celebrate Hallowe'en, dress up like Abby Sciuto or Bellatrix Lestrange , stay in the Hawthorne Hotel and blog about it all in November! (I could also work it into a future Savannah of Williamsburg title: maybe a 1600s prequel to the series?)

As a good friend stated sagely upon learning My Viking and I were headed to Salem with the Parental Units for the holiday: Salem Witch Trials? Oh, yeah? Might as well capitalize on that shit, right? True dat, pal.

On the jokey side of this vile and embarrassing era of Western civilization, I came across this "review" of The Malleus Maleficarum on Goodreads. It was such an out-of-the-box review, I couldn't believe Moi didn't write it first. Damn. Oh well, credit where credit is due, I had to share!

 

A Review by R:

"Why is your son dressed like a pilgrim?"

"Oh, it's a phase he's going through."

"Why is he piling up all that wood?"

"Oh, it's a...a phase. We're pretty certain it's a phase. You know kids, ha-ha."

"Ha-ha. Why is he tying your youngest, his brother, to a pole? And...a gasoline can? Matches??! Is that a phase, too?"

"No. Witches. You can't suffer them to live."

"I suppose you're right. You can't."

"No. You really can't."

"For a second there..."

"Yeah, I know. But, no. Witch. Well, warlock, to get technical about it."

"Your youngest, though..."

"Yes, I...I know. Don't think it didn't surprise me."

"Thank God your oldest is going through that phase."

"Tell me about it. Saves me the job, you know."

"Ha-ha!"

"Ha-ha! Ha!"

Review by R, just R. Head on over to Goodreads and give his review, your review!

By the by, as I read R's review, I instantly envisioned the scene with very specific actors: Tina Fey as Talbot's cardigan-donned Mom, those off-putting, strange little Children of the Corn twins on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and Steve Martin as the casually well-dressed, Brooks Brothers-sporting neighbor across the Marblehead, autumn leaf-laden, stone fence. Who did you envision? Tell R!

Happy Hallowe'en, all!

 

 

 
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Those who know me well, know that just waking up is a fantastic excuse to play dress up, to add a little drama or funk to something as prosaic and mundane as going to the grocery store or Starbucks. Certainly, I'm not talking wild attire for daily wear; I'm not a Club Kid in search of ways to piss off conservative parents, after all. Still, there's no reason one's daily appearance can't have an element of the fanciful: a lunchbox, a grand piece of jewelry with jeans and a tee, an odd, vintage box-purse, shoes that make grouchy folk in line behind you at the post office say angrily, "How do you walk in those?! You're going to ruin your feet, mark my word. One day when you're my age, you'll be sorry!". (Funny enough, I may be your age already.)

My theory is you have to don clothing and shoes anyway, why not have a little fun? To that point, I applaud and support Jenna Maroney's (30 Rock) petitioning the Tony Awards to add the category of "Living Theatrically in Normal Life". (I wonder how one can become nominated, should she prove successful? I may need your help.)

Naturally, Hallowe'en provides the likes of Moi the perfect opportunity to go nuts. Considering further my love of media, it should not come as a shock that many a costume's impetus is a fave film, book or television show. I once threw North and South party, in which everyone was to dress up as Civil War figures from the John Jakes novel and MOW: Movie of the Week. (I was partial to Miss Ashton Main: part Scarlett, part Jenna, part Lucretia Borgia) Alas, only one friend came (not dressed), but we still had fun.

I should have taken a clue from that and not planned my Mozart's Birthday Party (Yes, I was Mozart) or my Famous French Literary Figures Party for Bastille Day (I was to be Voltaire). In the end, I was gently talked out of both and ended up going to the mall or Disneyland or some such other de rigueur, de facto, SoCal activity for teenagers. Now, Hallowe'en!! That is a holiday when I can dress up and no one can make fun of me or judge me ... mostly.

From the beginning, dressing for Hallowe'en was a personal mandate. I'm sure my Mom dressed me up as a pea-in-a-pod or a pumpkin or a ladybug or something as a baby; but from age three the choices have been all mine. Having a fanciful and creative mother, combined with a lenient and supportive father, both thinking it very important for my spirit to remain nurtured, it never occurred to me there was a time when dressing up would not be appropriate. I believe for most, this time may come in high school. Pathetically, I often found myself one of the very few on campus whom dressed up; in fact, I don't even recall a lot of kids dressing up in elementary school either, but I'm sure there were quite more than I recall.Of course, I grew up in the '70s and '80s: the age of the Razor Blade in the Apple- and Sewing Needles in the Tootsie Roll-scares. Naturally, trick-or-treating, and by default the spirit of the holiday overall, took a pretty big hit. I think the year of the Tylenol scare I was a Civil War nurse, just in case: dark comedy came to me early.

At school, I tended to be a loner, with the exception of a few very close pals, and skipped along my merry, lone way for the most part. Whether a lot of kids dressed for Hallowe'en in fifth grade is fuzzy. What is not fuzzy is that I was definitely the only one who dressed up for Thanksgiving: the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Break, to be exact. Mom made that costume and I loved it, except for the fact that I wasn't allowed to eat cranberries at school that day, because it might get on my collar and apron. I also couldn't swing on the monkey bars, because it might show my bloomers.

By age fourteen, I was a Western Dance Hall Girl (burgundy-and-black taffeta, feather and lace costume by Mom again) and while it did finally get me noticed by a number of the cute skiers and surfers at my school (I say "finally" because it was my Junior year and nary a date in sight), it also got me my very first, "Aren't You a Little Old for Hallowe'en?".

I suppose fourteen is a little old for trick-or-treating, which is when I fielded this query for the first time. It was with two of my childhood friends, in a comfortable neighborhood in San Diego, when we knocked on our third or fourth door of the night. My very own Larry David (see clip below) opened the door, looked us all up and down and, happily for him, handed over the booty, albeit small handfuls and begrudgingly so.

He asked one friend, "What're you supposed to be?" without a hint of humour.

She, being one of the most cheerful and exuberant people I know to this day, laughed heartily and admitted something along the lines of, "I have no idea! Some kind of weird clown thing or something!"

It was true. She'd put together something at the very last minute and it consisted of a rainbow clown wig, wacky makeup, suspenders, just a bunch of crap she found at home. She was a Thing, indeed. My other pal was something very sensible, like a doctor or a Disney Imagineer or something that probably involved little more than her daily school clothes and maybe a pair of nerd glasses and funny socks, leaving our Larry David with no need to question her attire. (She is, in fact, a doctor today. She may have spent her time more wisely than I, now that I think of it.)

I was said-Dance Hall Girl and, as L.D. stood mesmerized by my fourteen year-old bosom, he asked it, "Aren't You a Little Old for Hallowe'en?"

I think we went directly back to the would-be-doctor's house after that and spent the rest of the night giggling, watching It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Garfield's Halloween Adventure and eating Morton's frozen donuts.

I am proud to say I did not let my personal Larry David affect my spirit by any means, nor have I any of the other L.D.s I would meet through the years. Although, I did learn that year I may have been "too grown up", as a gym teacher once told me, "to wear certain things until you get to college". (I don't think she realized I'd still only be about fifteen or sixteen then, but point taken, Mrs. Skrudgeons.)

By eighteen, I was on the road to the media-inspired getup. That year was a wild party somewhere in Newport Beach and I searched vintage shops up and down Newport for the perfect Sophia Loren dress and accessories, only to compile the perfect ensemble and realize nobody knew who I was. At the last minute, Cleopatra gave me a wig of hers and said, "Here, be Marilyn. You have the tits for it."

After it all, Hallowe'en is a remarkable time with an important message of Freedom of Expression. A real Devil May Care attitude whisping through the air. I can enjoy dressing up everyday. Many people cannot and this night gives them that outlet so desperately necessary to human emotion: the occasional exposure of one's alter ego and utter release from one's self.

If I may be so bold, I'd like to end this oddly therapeutic post with some recommendations of my favourite Halllowe'en viewing and reading. Should you have any faves of your own, please, share ... and scare.

 

Fave Hallowe'en Films!!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown ... duh!

Hocus Pocus

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

The Craft

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (original 1919)

Garfield's Halloween Adventure

Francis Coppola's Dracula

Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow

Wishbone: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas

Eloise's Rawther Unusual Halloween

The Shining

The Others

From Hell

Scooby Doo on Zombie Island

Scooby Doo and the Goblin King

Amityville Horror

Carrie

Interview with the Vampire

Pirates of the Caribbean I and II

Ed Wood

The Innkeepers

Dark Shadows

Lords of Salem

The History Channel's History of the Salem Witch Trials

The Salem Witch Trials (feature film with Kirstie Alley)

Paranorman

 

Fave Hallowe'en TV Episodes!!

South Park "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery"

The Big Bang Theory "The Middle Earth Paradigm"

Bob's Burgers "Full Bars"

666 Park Avenue "A Crowd of Demons"

Friends "The One With the Halloween Party"

The Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" ... any episode

Spongebob Squarepants "Graveyard Shift"

Scrubs "Halloween Special"

Freaks and Geeks "Tricks and Treats"

X-Files "Bad Blood", "Chinga", "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" & "Home"

NCIS "Witch Hunt" ... Abby as Marilyn!

Oddities any episode

Modern Family "Halloween"

90210 "Halloween" ... Kelly dresses like a trampire ... I just officially coined that term!

Roseanne any Halloween episode

Midsomer Murders "The Magician's Nephew"

Ghost Hunters any, especially the "Halloween Live" broadcasts

Monster Quest any Bigfoot, vampire, werewolf or ghost episodes

The Addams Family

The Munsters

Scooby Doo, Where are You? ... any episode from the classic

Scooby Doo!: Mystery Incorporated ... any episode

Sleepy Hollow ... any episode

 

Fave Hallowe'en Reading!!

Murders on the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe

 

The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijo

Cinderella Skeleton by Robert D. San Souci

Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Wicked Business by Janet Evanovich

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

Wraith by Phaedra Weldon

Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld

Fangland by John Marks

Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and his Pirates by Jennifer Susannah Devore

 

Did I forget any of your fave films, TV or books? Do tell me what I've omitted @JennyPopNet!

 

 

"My boat's gone, my candy's gone, dead pirates are coming for me! I want to go home!"

-Garfield's Halloween Adventure

 
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Chris: Yay! A crossover always brings out the best in each show! It certainly doesn't smack of desperation. The priorities are always creative and not driven by marketing...

Stewie: Okay, that's enough.

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The first taste was doled out in an almost masochistically small dose, like a wildly-anticipated Beaujolais delivered via medicine-droppers used to feed baby squirrels. Magnanimously proffered to those willing to wait hour-over-hour at a Family Guy Q&A panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, The Simpsons-Family Guy crossover episode sneak-peek was released for semi-public consumption. After that, after July of 2014, it seemed an eternity before it would eventually air. Late-September? Narf! That's so far away! Still, patience endured and summer passed by and September 28th hath come, and now gone, at long last: Family Guy's S13-premiere, "The Simpsons Guy", was easily the highlight of the annual, autumnal, FOX Animation Domination kick-off: minus American Dad and Bob's Burgers, both to air their season-premieres in October.

Like an easy-peasy, light clean-up of an early-autumn backyard in Connecticut, "The Simpsons Guy" (S13e1) raked in 8.4 million viewers, a whopping 73% increase over last year's premiere, "Finder's Keepers" (S12e1). "The Simpsons Guy" hit a ratings jackpot, at least compared with Sunday night's competition, nailing the #1 entertainment-slot amongst the advertiser's drool spectrum of 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54-year-olds.

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The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format The Darlings of Orange County - Epub format $4.99

Customer Reviews:

Sea Gypsy  (Saturday, 24 March 2012)
Rating: 5
I can't remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud. This is a must read!!! I've only had the book for two days and i can't wait for the
sequel!!!


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I Savannah of Williamsburg: Book I $14.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 4
via "Lisa's List" NPR Review: What a pleasant surprise Savannah of Williamsburg is. At first glance I thought a story about a squirrel who comes to
Colonial Virginia, dressed in pretty frocks and traveling with a steamer trunk and a violin would not be my cup of tea. But I’m game, so I started
reading.


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II Savannah of Williamsburg: Book II $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via J. Carroll on Amazon: An interesting history lesson, much of it told in the third person, through the eyes of a little, English squirrel who made
her way to America and settled in Williamsburg during the early years of this nation. See previous writing by the same author, titled "Savannah of
Williamsburg".


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Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III Savannah of Williamsburg: Book III $15.95

Customer Reviews:

admin  (Wednesday, 05 June 2013)
Rating: 5
via Larry on Amazon: Very interesting read. Just enough history to make it interesting. Will look for other Savannah of Williamsburg books. Recommend
to all for enjoyable read!


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Theme from Savannah of Williamsburg: The Trials of Blackbeard and His Pirates (Book II)

Blackbeard's Chanty:"Me Cup is Broke!"Music by PBIII, lyrics by Jennifer Susannah Devore

Meet Miss JennyPop

Jennifer Susannah Devore

Jenny Pop is the acclaimed Author of the Savannah of Williamsburg series of books and The Darlings of Orange County. In addition, Jen is a prolific consumer of media and pop culture. Never leaving the house without her journal and fave Waterman pen, an old-fashioned, analog book (usually Hunter S. Thompson) and a fresh coat of lipstick, she is constantly on the hunt for fun, espresso, animation  and comics of any kind and always ready for an impromptu day at Disneyland.  JennyPop.net is a natural extension of  Jen's World; so, spend some time visiting. You'll have fun, she promises!

Meet The Darlings

The Darlings of Orange County

The sexy, cashmere beaches of southern California aren't always what they seem. The dirty little secret here is what it takes to survive. Everyone has a trick up their silk sleeve. Liz Lemon meets Parker Posey, Veronica Darling is smart enough to know what it takes and is willing to soil her soul to bring Hollywood to the California Riviera. The Darlings of Orange County is a salacious, hilarious, harrowing romp chock full of eco-terrorism, horse-racing scandals, weed deals and the obligatory lipstick-lesbian affair that inevitably leads to murder. It all climaxes in a white-knuckled, glitzy, celebrity-stacked Laguna Beach Film Premiere that spells success for Veronica Darling and trouble for her friends and family.

Meet Miss Savannah Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Savannah Prudence Squirrel

Meet Miss Savannah of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Equal parts Amelia Earhart, Lucy Honeychurch, Scarlett O'Hara and Miss Piggy, Savannah is a scholar, adventurer and a lady. Moreover, she is a pebble in the silver-buckled shoe of injustice and with her best pals she is not a squirrel to challenge. She carries  the Magna Carta in one paw and the latest Parisian silk bag in her other. Whether fighting to end slavery, arguing for freedom of the press or scheming to end a duel, Miss Savannah does so with wit and persistence. Read more to meet her best friends and accomplices: Ichabod Wolfgang and Dante Marcus Pritchen. Prepare to also meet pirates, a Venetian fox and an Irish gull, The Commodore!

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Meet Miss Hannah

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

Hannah Hart, ghost dame of the Hotel del Coronado

So, here's the low down, all you Joes and Janes ... I'm Hannah Hart, dead girl. Don't fret, it's actually a sweet dish being dead. Having perished in 1934 in a terrifically vicious accessories incident with actress Ida Lupino, I reside where I died: San Diego's gorgeous Hotel del Coronado. It ain't a bad gig at all, really! Great weather, swanky guests (not to mention a few fellow ghosties), amazing amenities, my own private turret overlooking the sea and all the java juice and giggle water I can handle; plus, these bartenders know how to make a Planter's Punch like nobody's business! See, I've been waiting for this Internet thing forever ... now, instead of slamming doors and moving lamps, I get to wag my tongue all I like at goodtobeageek.com

Abyssinia, kids!