Zombie a Month: Capt. Umpkin Bilgetober

 The Tale of Captain Bilgetober

At the peak of his pirate career, Capt. Umpkin Bilgetober looted the "Crone's Cauldron" a merchant ship out of Salem, Massachusetts. To his surprise, instead of riches, it was laden with pumpkins. In his frustration, he ordered them all smashed and the "Crone's Cauldron" sunk. Unfortunately, what Umpkin didn't know was that the ship and it's cargo belonged to the East Witch Trading Company.

A curse was put upon him. Every Oct 31st for all eternity he rises from his grave and must sail the "Crones' Cauldron" across the seven seas in one night collecting pumpkins to replace the ones he destroyed. Over the centuries Capt. Bilgetober has come to revel in his annual task and often emerges early in the month planning his voyage while enjoying casks and bottles of Candy Corn rum.

Some say, Umpkin's crew is made up of 31 shanghaied trick or treaters every year.

Captain Umpkin is going to be a Halloween prop makeover of Capt. Wigbeard who was created back in 2008.

He's always been one of my favorites and a character I've wanted to re-do closer to the look and back story I've had in my head for a while. My great grim garage is getting a good cleaning this week, so I think the nefarious Capt. will be my first Halloween prop to tackle as he's not too far from his new look. A good project to ease into ones that are starting from scratch.

Umpkin will be the old Wigbeard "blucky" skeleton reposed and repainted with all new costume elements added to the original, including a bigger hat. His head and hands will be all new. And I thought as long as he has a hook and patched eye, why not a new peg leg? He'll also now sit on a gravestone surrounded by some half buried plunder - including kegs and bottles of Candy Corn rum (since rum comes from fermented sugar cane or molasses, I figure not too far a stretch). My overall hope is to make him much more jovial and fun looking, inspired by classic Marc Davis Pirates of the Caribbean designs and sketches.


  1. Another great character design! I hope you'll accessorize his grave as you drew here. The bottles and the chest add a lot. I notice you drew his skull more round than usual...interesting how that conveys a mood. And you can't go wrong with a little Marc Davis influence...I just had one of his Haunted Mansion drawings printed on my phone case. :)

  2. Thanks, Mr. Chicken
    One goal this year is to include a lot more accessories and basic set dressing to the display. Small details like that really help tell stories. Something I've wanted to do more of in past years.

  3. Wow, Dave... WOW!! The concept drawing is awesome! I missed Capt. Wigbeard, and I don't know how because I've trolled your page a couple of times! I've been in a pirate kick of late and I'm looking forward to all your creations, but the forgotten prisoner and Capt. Bilgetober are both something I am really excited to see finished! Love the Marc Davis influence! The back story is great as well.. Had a few chuckles!

    All the tiny details will definitely be worth it in the end! I love the torn jacket, sock and left over satin cuff!! Hat is great too!!

    I'm amped up on some candy corn rum so don't mind all my WOW's! :) It takes me forever to come up with something remotely creative to start as a foundation for my projects, but my finished projects are more trial and error, haha... Your sketches are freaking amazing!!

  4. I love Capt. Wigbeard and the new one will be even better! Nice concept I look forward to seeing him.