Some of the most iconic pieces of classic monster art were found on the front covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine throughout the ’60s and ’70s, that art no doubt responsible for countless monster kids being bitten by the proverbial bug. Vibrant and eye-catching, the magazine’s cover art made horror stylish, beautiful and cool.
Those paintings were the work of illustrator Basil Gogos, who we’re sad to report is the latest in a long line of true horror legends who have recently left us.
Via Wikipedia, “Basil Gogos’ first work for Famous Monsters of Filmland was Issue #9 in 1960, featuring an impressionistic portrait of Vincent Price from House of Usher painted in shades of red, yellow and green. Over the next two decades, he created almost 50 covers for Famous Monsters, many of which have become iconic images of that period. Gogos also provided cover art for several other Warren magazines including Creepy and Eerie.”
“Gogos’ Famous Monsters cover art featured most of the classic horror characters such as The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein’s monster, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, King Kong, Godzilla and The Creature from the Black Lagoon and popular horror actors like Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Vincent Price, Lon Chaney, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Gogos often captured his subjects in an array of vivid colors using a technique in which the artist imagined the character bathed in colors from multiple light sources. He enjoyed painting monsters more than most of his more conventional assignments because of the freedom he was given and because of the challenge of painting such unusual characters which he endeavored to portray as both frightening and sympathetic.”
Gogos was introduced to a whole new generation when he designed CD covers for The Misfits and Rob Zombie, years after giving up full-time commercial illustration.
Check out just a small handful of some incredible Basil Gogos pieces below. His unmistakable style is often imitated, but will damn sure never be duplicated.