Well, it’s the first day of the Boris Karloff blog-a-thon, and I am totally unprepared (thanks goofy day job.)  I was working on a theme for this week’s worth of Karloff tomfoolery, but the sudden unavailability of the Rankin/Bass film the Daydreamer, kicked that theme right in the short pants.  Basically, I wanted to take a look at Karloff’s work in animation, both via his own personal credits (Mad Monster Party, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the Daydreamer) as well as the various homages I’ve noticed. I’m still going to try and stick to that theme, so we’ll see how that goes.

For today though, I wanted to kick things off by saying that I’m one of those kids that has been deeply influenced by the man’s performances without really knowing all that much about the man himself.  My first contact with a Karloff was through his narration for Chuck Jones’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, though I never made the connection that this was the same great performer that also brought Frankenstein’s monster to life with the 1931 Universal classic.  Actually I don’t recall ever thinking about who the man was behind Jack Pierce’s wonderful makeup until I was a teenager.  I know I read about Karloff in the Crestwood House Frankenstein book in elementary school, but must not have made an impression (even though that series of books made up a huge portion of my early reading…)

Even though I count myself among the legion of Universal Horror fans, I still feel that I don’t know all that much about the great Karloff, and that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to take part in this blogging event.  If nothing else, I’m mighty curious about what the other 100 or so people participating have to say, or what insights into his amazing career I might uncover. 

To find the list of participating sites you should sprint on over to the Frankensteinia, Pierre Fournier’s exhaustive and very well written site that covers all aspects of the monster Karloff helped to cement into the popular culture.

With that I’ll leave you with an ink drawing of Karloff as the monster I did almost a decade ago…