It was classic hot for teacher stuff, and in a slightly warped perspective included images of the comic book heroine Vampirella, whom I only recently discovered. Add a dash of fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, some Hammer Studio horror movies, and the result was a potent and swirling stew of intoxicating confusion. It made Ms. Monsanto morph right there in front of me into something fantastic. She was animated, no - I mean literally animated and walked around the room a lot teaching and talking, which gave me ample opportunity to never avert my eyes and soak in every detail of her form. There were fangs, naturally. And high heels, but sometimes cloven hooves. A green scaly devil's tail magically poked through her pants and languidly, hypnotically swayed behind her in an almost absent-minded sort of way. She had a habit of pulling her hair back into a pony tail revealing bat-like ears. When she moved toward the clutch of cheerleaders at the back of the room I knew those red lips were ready to conjugate something good. "Voy, vas, van. Vamos, vais, vampire?" Then wham! I was back in class merely holding my pencil and staring into space.
Such are the travails of adolescence but my fantasy life didn't end there. I wrote previously (A Fresh Start) the dearth of pretty vampires didn't stop me from creating them, so I learned to illustrate. Poorly. This was a time before PhotoShop, so I surreptitiously tore full-page picture ads from fashion magazines and applied onion paper over the photos and began tracing, and coloring, until a feeble approximation of what was in my mind appeared on paper. The subjects were usually vamping anyway; silky hair-care models...smiling toothpaste girls with perfect teeth...sultry women with perfect makeup...the genesis of an obsession was begun. (Not all images below are mine.)