Thursday, August 12, 2010

GROTESQUES & ARABESQUES: MONSER MAGAZINE DESIGN

What makes monster magazines distinctive from each other is not just having the usual contents page, letters to the editor page, and so on. It's the style of the design that gives each title its own unique character and identity. This series will show various pages from different monster magazine titles to illustrate just what gave them their individual "personality".


Another feature common to monster magazines is the contents page. So what's the big deal with a contents page, you may ask? Plenty is the short answer. The contents page is another in the many design elements that are important for evoking a magazine's identity and uniqueness that sets it apart from the competition.

I'd have to say that Charles Foster Kane's (a.k.a. Calving T. Beck's) critically acclaimed CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN magazine wins it for me in the category of monster magazine contents pages. Up to issue #2, it was decorative, eye-catching, but a little "fannish" looking (no offense there, you amateur monster mag makers). I would venture an educated guess that the design of the page was by Larry Ivie. Although unsigned, it looks very much like his illustration style and the type of thing he was doing for his own fan magazine, MONSTERS AND HEROES.

But, a brand new design began in issue #3, the CoF "gothic" contents page that showed the text of the magazine's contents in white boxes over a vintage illustration of a gothic castle. Since Beck's CoF was promoted as a "Gothic Castle Publication", it was a perfect choice.

Larry Ivie's "Operating Table of Contents" Design


The new "Gothic Castle" Table of Contents from Issue #3


Issue #4's refined Table of Contents shows more of the Gothic Castle background


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