Thursday, January 19, 2012

SINISTER SIMULACRA NO. 1

The term "simulacrum", a noun, can be defined as, 1. a slight, unreal, or superficial likeness or semblance, or, 2. an effigy, image, or representation: a simulacrum of Aphrodite.

Here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD, I will be using it mostly to describe objects, illustrations and other visual media that have been recycled, reused, hijacked, lifted, and otherwise swiped from one source and used in another. This "artistic license" has been used for years in the comics industry, where an illustrator may have file drawers stuffed full of "reference material" that is more commonly known in the trade as a "swipe file".

To be honest, this occasional feature which I dub SINISTER SIMULACRA could even itself be called a sort of swipe, because, when I thought about it I believe I unconsciously got the idea from the UK's magazine of the occult and paranormal, FORTEAN TIMES. Regularly featured is a page where readers send in photos of rocks 'n stuff that take on the appearance, a simulacrum, if you will, of another, more familiar or recognizable object -- you know, like when somebody finds the image of Jesus on an Egg McMuffin or something of the sort. Here I'll be doing the monster version of that. Spooky, huh?

An example of the "simulacra corner" feature in
FORTEAN TIMES magazine. This page is from
the November, 2011 issue.
To kick off the series, I am offering up an observation that I made when I recently posted a preview of the upcoming issue of the Dark Horse Comics resuscitation of CREEPY. The Sanjulian cover is beautifully rendered as usual, but there was something about the depiction of one of the ghoulish critters that stayed with me for some reason.

Cover preview of Dark Horse's CREEPY #7.
Art by Sanjulian.
It didn't take too long for me to realize that the skeletal countenance staring back at me from the bottom foreground of the cover image was a face that I had seen before. After tracking down a photo for reference (there's that word again!), I determined that I had been correct in my assumption.

The simulacrum was none other than that of Vincent Price as the unmasked serial murderer Dr. Anton Phibes from the film THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES.

So there you have it -- the gist of this new MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD feature. Have YOU made any discoveries like this? If so, why not send it to me for a look. You never know, I just might include it in a future posting of SINISTER SIMULACRA!

As an extra bonus, I include below the "Filmbook" of THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES written by a 13-year-old Paul Clemens, as it appeared in FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #87 (Nov. 1971) and concluded in issue #89 (March 1972), not issue #88 as mentioned at the end of Part I.
















Good night, Doctor. . .

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