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Why Does This Make Me Think Of My Wife? by Mark Heike

Chris Casteel as BongoBefore you think I’ve gone off the deep end, let me assure you that their IS a logical explanation for that header- which will hopefully keep me from being KILLED when she reads it. You see, today; January 31st is a VERY special day in AC land. It happens to be the birthdate of my lovely wife, Stephanie. We have now been married 12 years as of  2012. Check out some of the artwork that adorns this post. It is from one of our very earliest AC Catman splash by Stephanie Sanderson-Heike and Mark Heikecollaborations (long before we got hitched- when she was still Stephanie Sanderson), from the long-out-of-print Cat-Man Ashcan #1; the story that expains how Katie (Kitten) Conn went from a preteen little-girl sidekick to a definitely post-pubescent babe virtually overnight in the actual original Golden Age Holyoke Comics Cat-Man series. It’s an aspect of the continuity the Holyoke people never bothered to explain, so Steph wrote and drew this story to fill in that continuity gap. Still one of my all-time favorite projects to have worked on. But I digress- because this date has ANOTHER significance in our world, as January 31st is ALSO National Gorilla Suit Day. I’m not kidding. Look it up. It really is. This has Cat-Man Page 3 by Sanderson and Heikebecome an event of more meaning to us since we’ve all gotten to know the mega-talented Chris Casteel, a man who MADE his OWN gorilla suit, and who knows how to use it. Chris Casteel is Bongo, the Ape; seen in several Smarty Pants/CultRetro video classics including The Return of Nyoka The Jungle Girl, and Nyoka The Jungle Girl Rides Again. A gentleman, a scholar, and a talent- even if his knuckles do drag on the ground when he’s in costume. We Cat-Man Page 7 by Sanderson and Heikewish best regards of the day to my wife Stephanie; Chris and all the legions of Gorilla suit wearers out there, and a special greeting to the the father of them all (and mentor to Chris in all things simian) out their on the West Coast, Bob Burns. Happy Birthday, and Happy National Gorilla Suit Day!!

5 Responses to "Why Does This Make Me Think Of My Wife? by Mark Heike"

  1. Mark Holmes  January 31, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEPHANIE! I posted earlier on the CatMan Ashcan page that this is one of the best stories I have ever read. As soon as I read it I new somebody had talent.
    To all the Gorilla men out there, keep APEing it up we all love ya deep down inside.

  2. Eric Johnson  February 1, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Happy Birthday to Stephanie!

    The Cat-man ashcan is an excellent example of your work together.

    Personally, I think Mark and Stephanie are a great creative match (in addition to being a good match as a couple, of course!). Their styles and skills as artists and creators really go together, and I’m very happy to own several pieces of art labeled “by Mark and Stephanie Heike”.

  3. Rock Baker  February 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Belated Happy Birthday to Mrs. Heike!

  4. Mighty Bongo  February 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Wow, Happy belated Steph !
    And thanks for the very kind words Mark.
    On behalf of all the Gorilla men both past and present,we thank you.


    • Steven  September 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Hi Chris, Mark C. wanted us to connect about the Gorilla Suit. I do believe it was built by Max Factor & Co. (Hair Division) in Hollywood. The man in the photo with the GS behind is a relative. He was the head of the division for many years. It isn’t MF, Sr. or MF, Jr. I’d date this image as early 1930s. (*) Please drop me a note.

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