Monday, December 07, 2009

The Alien Is Still Among Us

At one time his image – elongated humanoid form, green skin, big ebony eyes – was omnipresent. Go to a fair and inflatable versions would fill a wall, prizes to be won with a game of chance. Walk through a mall and an army of them printed on t-shirts would stare at you from a display rack. Key chains, toy magnets, magazine covers, greeting cards – he conquered all forms and media.

Actually his image was a combination of the “little green man” from back in the days of “flying saucers” and the gray alien of more recent times. The green-gray alien had the cartoony goofiness of the little green man merged with the overall features of the evil gray who abducted humans for terrifying experiments on board his UFO. Retro amiability overlay the nightmarish modern incarnation.

The fad was soon over and other images affixed to diverse merchandise took over. Hannah Montana, anyone?

But the green-gray still lurks. I spotted his image the other day while walking through a shopping mall. Those weirdly slanted ebony eyes drew my attention to a coin operated game booth tucked in one corner. The image was printed on the package of one of the prizes. But he wasn't the prize; instead, it was his vehicle, an “infrared remote controlled flying saucer.”

The green-gray had been reduced to a secondary role, an attention getter, hawking product like a used car salesman.


X. Dell said...

I dunno. I think purely from an aesthetic point of view that the green gray is more appealing than a gray gray. It would be kinda nice, though, if we could design some red, yellow and brown grays for variety. Surely, artists have a broad interest in the color spectrum, right?

Doug said...

Hey, in these trying economic times an alien's gotta do what an alien's gotta do.