In Time for Halloween, Yambar Presents ‘Most Ambitious’ Show Yet

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Carving out a niche in the area’s Halloween scene this year is “Shivers,” a monstrous pop art show presented by Chris Yambar.

“Shivers” will open Oct. 4, at Soap Gallery, 117 S. Champion St., downtown, and run through Nov. 2.

Yambar is a Youngstown-based artist and comic book writer, best known for his work with Bongo Comics’ “The Simpsons” titles.

He’s also the man behind the Mr. Beat comic books and thousands and thousands of works of art in which he imbues pop culture images with his own offbeat sensibilities.

The “Shivers” exhibition will feature 260 original pieces of art where Yambar begins with a still from a classic horror film and modifies it to make it even more ghastly. All pieces are for sale.

“This is probably the most ambitious show I’ve ever done,” Yambar says. “Every piece of wall space will be filled. People will walk into an environment of classic horror ranging from a 1910 silent film on Frankenstein to the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” There are also characters from classic TV, such as Lily Munster from “The Munsters” and Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows.”

Chris Yambar

The opening reception, from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 4, will also include a cosplay contest, with prizes for the winners, and a pumpkin carving contest with a $100 grand prize.

Cosplayers should just show up in their best costumes of a figure from science fiction, movies or television, or pop culture.

Those interested in the pumpkin carving must deliver their work (include a candle) between 4 and 6 p.m. Oct. 3. The winner will be chosen by crowd ballots and announced at 4 p.m. Oct. 5 (winner need not be present).

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The first 250 people through the door at the opening reception will receive a free gift bag.

For those who can’t make it Friday evening, there will be a daytime reception the next day, Oct. 5, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Yambar’s “Shivers” exhibition will also include two special events: a vintage silent horror movie matinee and a comic book signing session. 

On Oct. 12, the 1910 film “Edison’s Frankenstein” and the 1946 film “Beauty and the Beast” will be screened at 2 p.m. Admission is $5. Yambar will host the screenings and offer commentary.

The two films represent the film origins of what has become global entertainment properties.

“I dug deep into the silent film-era trove and found some odd stuff people don’t realize exists,” Yambar says. “For example, ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ People say that’s the animated thing from Disney; but before that is was a silent film and it’s pretty nightmarish.”

As for the “Edison’s Frankenstein” film, Yambar is something of an expert, because he adapted it into a graphic novel several years ago.

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