Author Topic: Langdon on tap  (Read 341 times)

The Maskahuna

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Langdon on tap
« on: January 01, 2018, 12:46:42 PM »

Seven years ago today, our world lost maskmaking legend Verne Langdon.

He was the best answerman I ever had. Whenever there was a question
about Post Studios, of which he was co-owner in the 1960s, I could
always depend on his unerring memory for details. He didn't always
feel like recounting his past with DPS so I usually gambled on catching
him on a good day ... like the time we discussed working with Pat Newman:

"Goddamnit, she was good! There hasn't been a sculptor in the mask business since
that's really gotten it. She really knew what she was doing. I loved to watch her
sculpt. I sat with her as much to watch her sculpt as to guide her. She'd come in
around 9AM after seeing her kids off to school and stay 'til 3 or 4PM. She would
do a mask in two or three days, at the most four, and smoking the whole time.
Between her and Don, I smoked eight packs a day without ever lighting up. I'd buy
cigarettes for her, sandwiches if she wanted one, anything to keep her going;
and she just cranked 'em out. She was sweet. I loved her dearly and she adored me.
She was great."

The Universal Horrors were an innovation in the mid 1960s. I once asked Verne
how he knew that people would be willing to pay 30+ dollars each for them,
at a time when all other rubber masks cost $5 or less:

"We didn't sit around saying 'Will this appeal to anybody? Is this going to sell?'
I did what I wanted to do and if nobody bought them, that would be fine.
I got to do it. Once I decided I wanted a mask, I wanted it now. This'll be
great. I can't wait to paint the first one and put it on; then I'll take it off and
never wear it again and let somebody else make them ... It was new to own monsters.
You couldn't own one before. The hobby kits (from Aurora) were a big deal for
that same reason. We never got a hate letter. Nobody ever squawked. We've only
gotten compliments. We never got complaints from dealers or customers."

At one point, the question came up of why he left Post Studios. I probably didn't
get a complete answer to this one:

"I've always been a perfectionist. I knew it was artwork. For that matter,
it was like painting a painting. But after a while you get tired of being an
artist, at least I did. Maybe the average person doesn't. Some people never
get tired of shoeing horses or selling suits or designing buildings ... but I
got tired. Everything I've ever done, I bore easily. I've always gone on
to something else. Someday when I pass away, they're just going to say
'Well, he just went on to something else.' That's going to be my epitaph."

Me: Did you take any souvenirs with you?

"When we did that little King Kong mock-up to make the big one from,
I just loved that little mock-up. It was so great. But when I left, I left it there.
I left everything there. I just walked out the door and said 'Goodbye'. I didn't
have room for any of this $#!+ anyway. I didn't believe in warehousing things.
If you have to pay to store something, you better not have it in the first place."

My files of interview transcripts are a jumble right now. If I can dredge up
any more quotable quotes, will post some more later.

maniac cop 5

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Re: Langdon on tap
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »
You were very lucky to count him as a friend.
He was an imposing figure, yet very sweet at the same time.
I am so glad to have met him and spent just a few minutes with the man.


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Re: Langdon on tap
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 03:52:26 PM »
Love all of backstory on Verne, it had to have been so special and exciting to be in the area to visit him, Don Post and especially all of their monsteriffic creations.  I would have been so thrilled if I would have been able to do that.  Thanks Maskahuna !


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Re: Langdon on tap
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 04:56:17 PM »
Huna,I just want to say before this site closes that your posts have been the most enjoyable and informative pieces that I have read and will be greatly missed. Thank you for your time to research and give us your own info on the world of masks.

Gory Glenn

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Re: Langdon on tap
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 11:47:13 AM »
Great post 'huna! Especially enjoyed the part regarding Pat Newman. So many iconic sculpts it's hard to say what Don Post would have been like without her. At Don-Con I had asked Don Post to tell us about her during a question and answer session. While I was looking for more of an insight to her sculpting work Don told a more personal story of a woman with a troubled life. I was very sorry to hear that. Anyway, fun and informative post as always 'huna! I'll miss them for certain. Maybe sometime we can get together and you can enthrall me with more of your great Don Post stories.  :)

Another Symbiote

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Re: Langdon on tap
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2018, 07:10:08 PM »
This is fascinating stuff. I really feel like I got some insight into what kind of person Mr. Langdon was. It also sounds like he and Pat Newman had a sort of brother/sister relationship, which is kinda heartwarming.