Friday, September 30, 2016

Remembering Joe Ziegler

Joe, Andy and Bill, July 2016
About a week ago, we were in the midst of an exceptionally fun time in Minerva, Ohio, as Minerva Monster Day was getting rolling. I happened to check Facebook on my phone while at the Roxy Theater in Minerva and was completely stunned to discover that Joe Ziegler, who portrayed Lou Costello in The Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show, had suddenly died.
We became acquainted with Joe and Bill Riley (pictured above) through their appearances at Monster Bash, the classic monster movie convention that takes place near Mars, PA. After our first time seeing them, I exchanged emails with Joe, and arranged to record an episode of Monsterland Ohio Radio with them the next time we were together. I am extremely glad we did; our recording now stands as a document of an amazing partnership and preserves the special chemistry that Joe had with Bill--and everyone else he pulled into his orbit.
The one thing I will remember most about Joe is the special attention he paid to Andy while we were at Bash. He was very giving with his time, and the two enjoyed some great conversations. I'm fairly sure that Joe was impressed with Andy's knowledge of Abbott and Costello's movies and routines, but beyond that he was genuinely interested in Andy as a person. As online tributes began to post, it became clear that Joe had a knack for making a lot of people feel good, in a way that went far beyond just making them laugh.
Simply put, Joe Ziegler was a joy to know. We have met so many wonderful people through our various fandoms and interests, and Joe is right there at the top of the list. He may have been well known for portraying a classic movie comedian, but to us, Joe was a star in his own right.

Episode 38: The Flashtacular Special!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Episode 37 Gallery

One of Sybilla Irwin's sketches
Bob is watching us from a distance
Andy and Sean Forker

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


The marquee of the Pickwick

G-FEST is a family affair

The jewel of Park Ridge--the Pickwick

Like I said, G-FEST is a family affair

Movie Sign!

Andy with G-Fantis, G-FEST's kaiju mascot

Incredible Creativity in Minya's Place

Opening Ceremonies
L to R: Akira Takarada, Hiroko Sakurai, Bin Furuya, Yoshikazu Ishii, J.D. Lees

Post-Interview Photo with J.D. Lees, creator of G-FAN & G-FEST

The Godfather of G-FEST, Akira Takarada

Ultraman's own Fuji, Hiroko Sakurai

King Kong Escapes' Linda Miller

Dealers Room Toybox Treasures

Hiroshi Sagae sporting his Monsterland Ohio tee

Our pal Mike Field and Akira Takarada

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The "State of Monsterland Ohio" Address

This blog has been around a while, and we are closing in on our two year anniversary of recording the Monsterland Ohio Radio podcast, which we post here as well. It seemed like a good idea to take a look back and a look forward today.

The blog began as a reaction to attending our first G-FEST in Chicago. Being surrounded by like-minded fans (and lots of Godzilla merch) was overwhelming, and I needed an outlet to share my thoughts. This became that outlet. Because of it, we were invited to get to know the guys at the Cuyahoga Kaiju Club in Northeast Ohio, and I'm proud to say they have enriched our lives with their generosity and friendship.

Over time, as you can see, the content of the blog has morphed from being largely text driven to being more image based and, of course, hosting the podcast. There are a couple reasons for this. One is that, although I love to write, the way I do it ends up being very time consuming. The other is that I have always had a love for recording that stretches back to my early childhood, when I would take my handheld cassette recorder on vacation to narrate the trip. The best part about moving in the podcast direction is that I have been able to fully involve Andy in the process, and listeners have tended to react to him pretty favorably.

Although Monsterland Ohio began as a fairly Godzilla-centric site, our podcast numbers pretty conclusively show that a lot of people are interested in Bigfoot, as are we. In fact, Bigfoot dominates our top ten listened-to programs, with our Ohio Bigfoot Conference recap leading the way at number one. That is appropriate, since the podcast was a byproduct of meeting our friend Seth at the Ohio Bigfoot Conference two years ago. At the time, he was hosting a comic book podcast called Ancillary Characters, and he invited me on his show to talk about Legendary's Godzilla film. As we continued to communicate, he not only coached me through the steps of getting a podcast started, but also invited me to participate in a podcast about Bigfoot called SasWhat, which has gone on to draw over half a million plays, which is astounding to us. During that time, Seth has also gotten his company Small Town Monsters off the ground, which enabled us this April to go to Fouke, Arkansas for the filming of Boggy Creek Monster. Listen to Episode 35 for the inside scoop on the production of what promises to be an outstanding film.

Monsterland Ohio Radio has created some unforgettable experiences for us. We've been fortunate enough to meet and speak with artist extraordinaire Matt Harris; Into the Fray podcast host Shannon LeGro; Kaiju Kaos game creator Bryan Borgman; Small Town Monsters producer and composer Brandon Dalo; stop motion filmmaker Ryan Lengyel; renowned paranormal investigator and author Stan Gordon; Vincent Price's daughter, Victoria; Bill Riley, Joe Ziegler, and Jason Crutchley, stars of the Maryland-based Ultimate Abbott and Costello Tribute Show; actor Robert Scott Field who portrayed Android M-11 in 1991's "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah;" Kaiju author Matt Dennion; New York Bigfoot researcher and author Paul Bartholomew; Boggy Creek and Lizard Man expert and author Lyle Blackburn; and, of course, our friend Seth and my dad and Andy's Grampy, Gerald. The listener letters we have received have all been awesomely positive. The fact that we have listeners in the UK and elsewhere is simply mind-boggling, and those who have reached out to us feel like friends already.

So where do we go from here? Monsterland Ohio Radio shows no signs of stopping. We actually have three episodes in the can at this moment, waiting to be assembled, including our 2016 Ohio Bigfoot Conference recap. We are on track to attend G-FEST this July, and will be very involved with September's Minerva Monster Day. If you are a listener, we appreciate your patience between shows--a lot of life happens between each one, such as moving for the second time since the blog got started! We are always thinking about what we want to share with you next.

At the same time, SasWhat is coming to an end, at least in its current incarnation. Seth is planning to step away from hosting the show with the arrival of episode 100. That leaves me as host, and right now I am considering my options--including bringing Andy on as co-host. One Monsterland Ohio Radio Episode has already served as a fill-in SasWhat show, and we have done another more conventional SasWhat episode as co-hosts. Bigfoot is right in our 'wheelhouse,' and it would be fun to see where we could take SasWhat, but I also have mixed feelings about it. So much so that I'm not sure I will continue.

So if you've read this far, I guess I'm asking for your input. Would you like to listen to a Mark and Andy Matzke SasWhat? Should we just concentrate on Monsterland Ohio Radio? Should I (Mark) try to find another SasWhat co-host? Fortunately, I have a bit of time to decide. But I would truly value your opinion. If you care to write, please send your message to

Thank you for being a part of the Monsterland Ohio experience. We pledge to keep bringing you some enjoyment from the toybox of life!

Keep circulating the tapes...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Episode 35 Behind the Scenes of Boggy Creek Monster

Filming at the Miller Co. Museum

Andy & Lyle Blackburn & Boggy Creek

The One & Only Monster Mart

Seth Breedlove On Location

Your Hosts, Living the Dream

Mark & Seth

Episode 35: Live from Fouke

Saturday, April 9, 2016

SasWhat Guest Hosts

                                                         Andy and I had the pleasure of guest hosting Episode 86 of SasWhat: A Show About Bigfoot. You can listen by clicking here.
We talked about Bigfoot hunters Rene Dahinden and Bob Titmus. We also wrapped up the show with Andy describing various Bigfoot investigators he has met. It was a lot of fun to do and has expanded our audience at the same time. We'd like to thank Seth Breedlove for the opportunity!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Episode 32: Live at Fisher's Pub with Seth Breedlove

Episode 32 Behind the Scenes

Setting up the Yeti at Fishers Pub

We finally got Seth Breedlove on Monsterland Ohio Radio. Seth is responsible for getting us into podcasting, inviting me to guest on his former show Ancillary Characters to talk about--what else--Godzilla.

Not long after that we joined forces to produce SasWhat: a Show about Bigfoot. At the same time, Andy and I hatched Monsterland Ohio Radio. 

Seth is the driving force behind Small Town Monsters, an indie production company that makes movies about cryptids and the people who encounter them. First came "Minerva Monster," with "Beast of Whitehall" being released this April and "Boggy Creek Monster" going into production shortly thereafter. As you'll hear in the episode, there is still time to back "Boggy" on Kickstarter.

We had a great time recording with Seth at Fisher's Restaurant and Pub in Peninsula Ohio. If you go, try the Eggplant Fries. You're welcome.