Tuesday, August 3, 2010


No. 85
Editor: Michael Key
Publication Date: July/August 2010
Publisher: Key Publishing Group
Color covers/full color interior
84 ppg. (including covers)
Cover price: $6.99

MAKE-UP ARTIST has published 85 issues and by all appearances (no pun intended), continues to successfully further the rich legacy of stage and film make-up art and effects. Judging from the contents, the theatrical make-up industry is still going strong despite the influx of CGI and other over-hyped and over-emphasized artificial visual effects. It's been a while since I've stopped to peruse an issue of MUA on the stands. The last issue I purchased was from some years ago and featured a Jack Pierce tribute (I'll be covering that one in the near future, by the way), which was worth the cover price alone. I couldn't help but notice, or pass up buying this latest "wet and wild" issue after spying the utterly breathtaking CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON creation on the cover and discovering that nearly half the magazine has monster-movie and fantastic film-related materials!

The issue kicks off with a one-page send-up of the people responsible for the green-finned creature on the cover, KNB Studios. Greg Nicotero and crew have just wrapped up a short film entitled, UNITED MONSTER TALENT AGENCY, which showcases the effects studio's handiwork with not only The Creature, but The Mummy, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein's Monster, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well. These guys must be putting nine tana leaves in their tea, because the handfull of shots accompanying the article proves they have the classic Universal monsters nailed down tighter'n Kharis' seven jackals-sealed coffin lid!

Next up is a piece on the new PREDATORS flick. The make-up effects are also created by the ubiquitous "monster mash-up" crew at KNB. Included is a nice pre-production sketch of the crustacean critter from outer space (see photo below).

Then, we are treated to a several-page spread entitled, "Baker as Facemaker", where master make-up maven Rick Baker creates an impromptu "colorful zombie" make-up (see picture below) with nothing more than make-up, brushes, and his trademark platinum ponytail.

The last exclusively all-monster feature is about sculptor Mike Hill, who pays homage to some of the iconic Universal Horror characters by creating uber life-like sculpts with the genius called his bare hands (see Lon Chaney, Jr. photo below). Stunning work.

There's lots of other material in MAKE-UP ARTIST magazine, including ads for some of the horrormeisters that we are all familiar with, such as the immortal Dick Smith and Tom Savini. The only gripe I have is that the articles are all pretty sparse with accompanying text. I'd like a little more in-depth writing myself, but the gorgeous color photos throughout "make up" for it (hey, I'm not deliberately "making this up"!). I'd also like to see a "how-to" column or two, even one on the basics of stage make-up. Regardless of these minor issues, if you are even remotely interested in movie make-up, I recommend this magazine. MAKE-UP ARTIST is your resource for what's on the cutting edge of the industry. Lucky for us, they seem to like monsters a lot, too!

So, even though it does not exclusively feature all monsters, all the time, can MAKE-UP ARTIST officially qualify as a "monster 'zine"? I think so! There is enough material on monsters, fantasy, sci-fi and other fantasti-films to make it interesting for all us monsterologists. And that's a good thing.

Ad for Tom Savini's Make-Up Effects program

Boris Karloff relaxes with his cup of afternoon tea courtesy of Mike Hill


Another insane Mike Hill sculpt (yes, I said sculpt!)

Rick Baker shows us how to really let your hair down!

1 comment:

Mike Scott said...

That Rick Baker photo should be on the cover of a monster mag! It almost looks like a Basil Gogos painting!


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