This week on Visions of Horror, Bloody-Disgusting’s Farah Al-Hakkak (ShadowJayd), spotlights one of Creepy’s most classic comic book covers, illustrated by legendary artist, Frank Frazetta. Specifically, “Creepy” #7, which features Frazetta’s vampire vs. werewolf painting as an accompanying piece to Archie Goodwin and Angelo Torres’ “The Duel of the Monsters” tale.
Frank Frazetta is one of the most emulated and influential artists of the 20th century, predominantly known for pioneering the fantasy and pulp sci-fi art genres. His high concept, signature style — which features heavily muscled, loincloth wearing men, naturally curvaceous, scantily clad women, and hideously detailed, oversized creatures — continues to inspire an entire generation of artists to this day.
In the 1960s, while his illustrated fantasy book covers were gaining wide popularity — especially those depicting the iconic and seminal, Conan the Barbarian — Frazetta had his hands full with painting covers and contributing a few black and white, pen and ink stories for various Warren Publishing horror magazines. His love for the genre really shined through his work for “Creepy”, “Eerie”, and “Vampirella”, as he impressed readers with his stunning renderings of classic monsters like Frankenstein, Wolfman, and Dracula, etc. Not only had he produced some of the most recognizable covers to come out of the Silver Age, but he initiated a ground-breaking standard for illustrators’ rights to own their original artwork, as well.
On the first of February in 1966, “Creepy” #7 was published, and Frazetta’s painting was his sixth consecutive cover for the magazine. This specific piece was chosen, not only because it’s one of the most recognizable pieces of art “Creepy” has ever featured, but because it represents Frazetta’s significant — though short — foray into classic horror comics territory. Furthermore, it has gone on to inspire numerous creative works, spanning a variety of different mediums from a comic book collaboration between Steve Niles and Francesco Francavilla, to wickedly awesome hand-crafted statues, and more.
In August of 2008, Image Comics released Frank Frazetta’s “Dracula Meets the Wolfman” as a limited edition graphic novel, with Steve Niles writing the script, and Francesco Francavilla providing pencils. While the story is based on Frazetta’s original cover art, it’s more than just an iconic clash between two legendary monsters. The writer manages to bring a level of modern significance to a classic tale, that’s very much inspired by those old black and white films of the past, with a strong element of romance at its core. Channeling a time-honoured EC Comics feel within the pages, Francavilla establishes a stunning and traditional gothic-horror setting, that’s both grim and beautiful to the eye; effectively presenting a fantastic period piece on paper, and bringing life to Frazetta’s original artwork.
Featured below, is the original renowned cover by Frazetta for “Creepy” #7, which showcases some of his distinguishable style qualities of that era. He used a common dark and moody colour palette, and incorporated areas of well-placed lighting to create dramatic effect, emphasize space, and magnify time. Frazetta’s werewolf, like most of his characters, is typically brawny. And while seemingly on the losing end, there’s evidence of the vampire’s strength marked all over the ripped fur and skin on the werewolf’s arm. Frazetta had a habit of rendering mossy trees and landscapes in his paintings, and there’s a tiny hint of that here as well.
Also featured below is ReelArt Studios’ amazing Dracula Meets Wolfman statue, which immortalized the iconic moment between vampire and werewolf. Troy McDevitt sculpted this beautifully, with subtle paint mastering by Joy and Tom Studios.