Friday, May 31, 2013

BEFORE THEY WERE SCREAM QUEENS: BARBARA BOUCHET


The September 1965 issue of MAN TO MAN magazine included a one-page featurette entitled One Minute Interview with Barbara Bouchet. Subtitled, Dialogue With a Doll, she mostly talked about her latest roll with he-men Kirk Douglas and Hugh O'Brien in the film IN HARM'S WAY.

Readers of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD know the German/French actress better as a horror hottie who later starred in giallo horror thrillers such as THE BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA and DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

SMOKIN' MONSTERS: JACK PIERCE'S MONKEY TALKS . . . AND PUFFS



An early Jack Pierce makeup from THE MONKEY TALKS (1927) shows his mastery of hair application. It is said that this job contributed to him being hired at Universal. You know what happened after that . . .

CRISWELL PREDICTS ED WOOD TO GET HOMETOWN STATUE



This news clipping submitted by Hall of Flame Doug reports that legendary auteur filmmaker Ed Wood may get a statue erected (no pun intended) in his honor. The article is written by Anthony P. Musso for the Poughkeesie Journal.
"Now uninhabited, the boarded house at 115 Franklin St. in the City of Poughkeepsie was once home to a somewhat dubious Hollywood legend. Despite being posthumously awarded the Golden Turkey Award as the worst film director of all time and having his sci-fi film, “Plan 9 from Outer Space,” dubbed the worst movie ever made, screenwriter, director, actor and author Ed Wood has become a cult figure in more recent years.
Edward Davis Wood Jr. was born in Poughkeepsie on Oct. 10, 1924. His father, Ed senior, was a maintenance man-custodian at the post office on Market Street, then between the Nelson House Hotel and the Dutchess County Courthouse.
Young Ed did not have a happy childhood, largely because of his overbearing parents and the bizarre behavior of his mother, Lillian, who desperately hoped to have a girl. When Ed was born, his mother frequently dressed him in girl’s clothing, a practice that he embraced for the rest of his life.
Wood attempted to find solace by reading pulp magazines and attending local movies. His initial inspiration toward filmmaking occurred while watching a Bela Lugosi film at the city’s Rialto Theater. The youngster became attracted to horror and science fiction genres.
While he frequented the Rialto, Wood secured his first job as an usher at the nearby Bardavon 1869 Opera House.
“In those days there were quite a few movie houses in Poughkeepsie,” recalled Ed Fitchett, 91. “The Bardavon showed first-run motion pictures and the Rialto, which was a very large theater, offered lower-budget films.”
Wood received a Kodak movie camera for one birthday. One of his earliest films captured the German airship Hindenburg flying over the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie on its route to – and demise in – Lakehurst, N.J.
Following time in the military during World War II and a brief period performing in a carnival, Wood moved to Hollywood in 1947 to pursue his dream.
Despite enlisting the services of a then-elderly and drug-dependent Lugosi, his low-budget, campy films were never well-received.
Wood continued to write, authoring 80 crime and sex novels from 1960 to his death in 1978. A combination of rejection, alcohol and depression contributed to his massive heart attack at 54 years old.
In recent years, Wood’s films have attracted a new audience, one that celebrates his creativity as opposed to those that condemned his work decades earlier.
Perhaps most astonishing is that the director who could not produce a hit movie was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 1994 motion picture, “Ed Wood,” which won two Academy Awards.
Poughkeepsie’s Joe Mendillo is attempting to raise funds to commission and build a life-size bronze statue of Wood in the city.
“Ed Wood dared to dream,” Mendillo said. “Here’s a guy from Poughkeepsie who started as a theater usher, went on to Hollywood and though he wasn’t the most talented guy, he made the most of his life, had an incredible time and we are still talking about him 90 years after his birth.”'


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

JACK PIERCE MEMORIAL GALLERY DEDICATION AT THE CINEMA MAKEUP SCHOOL


















 



This Thursday, May 30, 2013 marks a very special occasion. Monsterologist extraordinaire Scott Essman is assisting in the dedication of the newly-opened Jack Pierce Memorial Gallery for Makeup and Character Arts at the Cinema Makeup School in Los Angeles. Hall of Flame Doug is planning to attend, so let's hope that readers of MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD will get a first-hand account of the proceedings.




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

CATMAN GETS A"GRUE-CUT"


Since my posting of CATMAN OF PARIS  a little while back, I came across a copy of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #33 (May 1965) here in the Mysterious Mansion that has some additional scenes of Rober Wilke being made up by Bob Mark.

The two-page article shows Mark applying greasepaint and brush to Mr. Wilke, with the end result suggesting the features of a cat. What a disaster if the producers had thought to go with a cat mask instead. Imagine Morris on two legs and you'll get what I mean.



Monday, May 27, 2013

MONSTER CARD MONDAY




HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY


Lest we forget, today we honor the men and women who serve America in our Armed Forces.

Before he painted monsters Basil Gogos' illusrations were found in many men's adventure magazines. This outstanding example could have easily been the cover art for an issue of Warren's BLAZING COMBAT.

Give 'em hell, G.I.'s!


[SOURCE: Lewis Wayne Gallery]

Sunday, May 26, 2013

R.I.P. DAN ADKINS


Blessed with a clean line and steady hand, comic artist Dan Adkins passed away last month on May 8, 2013 at age 76. Mr. Adkins produced a great body of work and is perhaps best known for his days at Marvel and Warren Publishing.

A competent draughtsman, Adkins' real talent was inking. His style, comparable to Mike Royer and Wayne Howard, was unmistakably influenced by his period working with comic art mentor Wally Wood.

For Warren, he supplied cover art and stories to many titles, including FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPIRELLA.



































MONSTERS AFTER MIDNIGHT


The CINEMA MAKEUP SCHOOL located in Los Angeles was well-represented at this year's MONSTERPALOOZA held in Burbank, CA. The image seen here is by one of the students (not credited). A fitting visage for the wee hours of the morning, doncha' think?


Saturday, May 25, 2013

WOW! A WAREHOUSE HORDE OF MONSTER MAGS


This sounds like it could have been remants from the seemingly never-ending inventory that Joseph and Peter Koch were selling from back in the 1970s. Advertising in nearly every issue of the then very prosperous and now defunct Comic Book Buyer's Guide, they offered lots of comics and monster magazines at very reasonable prices.

The lot was up for auction back in 2003 with a minimum bid of $1,000 and a buyer's premium of $3,379. It did not sell and I do not have any information on its final disposition. One could have literally go into the monster 'zine selling business for a few thousand bucks with this rare opportunity.

Here is the description of the lot:

"Did you ever want to luck into the chance to buy a warehouse find of 1960's monster magazines and comics? Are you tired of hearing of all those lucky stiffs who did get that chance while you were left out in the cold, either a dollar short or a day late? Well, here's what may be your last chance! Offered is an assortment of different titles spanning the years 1963 to 1971, with the vast majority from the late 60's. Included are over 5,500 copies of various classic Warren Publications (50 different issues), Gothic Castle's Castle of Frankenstein issues (four different issues), or Wally Wood and Steve Ditko's privately published Heroes, Inc. Presents Cannon! Heroes, Inc. Presents Cannon: Wally Wood and Steve Ditko's privately published "adult" color comic, designed for distribution through military base PX's, as its non-code-approved status rendered it undistributable through normal channels. (It has been reported that a CGC 9.8 of this book recently sold on eBay for over $80.00!) Included are seven 300-count cases-probably 2,100 copies! (We cut the binding wires on the only worn looking example of the original Ronald's printing cases, and discovered that the majority of the case's contents remained minimally Very Fine to Near-Mint in condition, with some yellowing to the pages of the outermost copies. The case was one copy short of 300. We think it's a safe bet that the remaining six cases' contents are at least this good.)

Warren Publications (numbers in parens. is quantity of copies of that issue, followed by average condition of the issue's sampling): Blazing Combat #'s 3 (5, FR/GD) and 4 (11, GD-); Creepy #'s 4 (5, F/VF), 6 (2, F/VF), 7 (25, F/VF), 12 (24, F/VF), 24 (23, F/VF), 25 (62, F/VF), 26 (66, VG/F), 27 (60, VF/NM), 28 (29, GD) and the 1969 Yearbook (8, GD/VG); Eerie #'s 4 (3, FN-), 5 (50, VF/NM), 7 (12, VG/F), 14 (45, FN-), 15 (26, VG/F), 19 (13, VG/F) and the 1971 Annual (7, VG); Famous Films Series ("fumetti" styled comics of horror films-photos with word balloons)-The Mole People (18, GD-), Horror of Party Beach (293, FN) and Castle of Frankenstein/Horror of Dracula (Christopher Lee throughout! 430 copies, FN); Famous Monsters of Filmland #'s 33 (2, VG+), 34 (1, VG), 36 (34, VG), 39 (1, FN), 41 (1, VG), 42 (1, VF), 49 (5, VF), 50 (31, VF/NM), 53 (11, VF/NM), 55 (5, F/VF), 57 (1, FN-), 58 (1, VG), 59 (2, VG/F), 60 (2, VG/F), 61 (2, VF), 62 (2, VF), 64 (6, VF/NM), 65 (5, FN-) and 1969 Fear Book (9, FN-); Monster World #'s 1 (2, FN-), 2 (1, VG+), 5 (398, FN-), 6 (306, FN), 8 (284, F/VF), 9 (1, F/VF) and 10 (Batman feature-15, VG/F); Screen Thrills Illustrated #'s 7 (Captain America Serial-203, GD) and 8 (The Spider Serial-442, VF/NM). Gothic Castle Publications: Castle of Frankenstein #'s 14 (Star Trek Cover-15, GD-), 15 (194, Fr/GD), 16 (129, GD-), and 17 (98, GD/VG).

Tremendous breakout value here, with the opening bid being less than ten-cents per book! Please note: Due to the size and/or weight of this lot, the cost of shipping will be substantial (19 shipping boxes, approximately 70 lbs. each)."

Friday, May 24, 2013

ORIGINAL 1963 AURORA CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON ACETATE SCULPT


It's not often that you see such a rarity as this up for sale, or even just available to view for that matter. This auction lot includes one of the original acetate sculpts from the legendary Aurora monster model kit series. The minimum bid for this gem was $5,606 at MastroNet. Amazingly, it did not sell.

Here is the description of the auction lot:

"Can you remember the days when you would beg your parents to let you stay up late on a Friday night, so you could watch your area's TV version of "Creature Features?" Do you remember the thrill you got with the sighting of the newest issue Famous Monsters of Filmland, or with the opening of a brand new pack of Fleer's "Spook Theatre" cards? Can you recall your amazement when you found out there were actually two different Lon Chaneys? Or how about this...is the feeling of wonder still with you from your first discovery of the Aurora monster models during that fateful trip to your local five and dime? If you answered "Yes!" to any of the above, then the chances are you gave the same answer to each, and you, like us, are forever doomed to a lifetime of monster mania! It is a state to which only 45 to 55 year olds can fully relate, for the early 1960's were the golden days of monster fandom, yet to be repeated with the same intensity, and probably never to return again with the same level of ferocity. When this monster craze of the early 1960's began, Aurora was in there from the very beginning. They started their monster kit line very late in 1961 with the release of "Frankenstein," followed very soon after in 1962 by "Dracula" and "The Wolfman." The year 1963 found us drooling over the new releases of "The Mummy," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "The Creature" (of the Black Lagoon). More were to follow in the ensuing years, but those original six are the ones we remember with the most fondness. They were our Golden Age for monster kits, and all are treasured memories of our very well-spent youths.

For many collectors, the built-up kits are enough, with the original box being an added, but unnecessary plus. For others, only Mint-In-Box and still sealed is required. For a very select few, even that isn't enough. We want it all. We want the advertising materials, the original cover art paintings by the talented James Bama and others, hobby store displays, model building contest prizes, flicker rings, you name it. We want one of each, assembled with perfect painting and original box and directions, as well as a pristine, untouched by human or any other kind of hands, Mint, sealed example. No, that's not right! We want a dozen of each like that, still in master cartons, just like the five and dime's inventory! There's one other thing we want, only we seldom mention it for fear of jinxing the miracle that may one day happen. We want (hushed whisper) the original acetate sculpts that the models were made from.

The miracle has arrived. It is even more of a miracle than you would allow yourself to hope for, for it is one of the original six that you see before you. Long before you even dreamed of the model's existence, a talented sculptor was hard at work to bring the Creature of the Black Lagoon into three-dimensional reality. Here it is, complete and as perfect as it was on the day that sculptor set aside his knives until the next project. It is slightly larger than the cast versions you are used to seeing (due to molded styrene's nature of shrinking slightly after cooling), and the detailing is crisper, but it is your creature, the one you still look upon with wide-eyed wonder. To add to the perfect nature of the original, you see that the tiniest claws are still present, the base's separate pieces are all still perfect. Even the models are often found in a lesser condition than this one-of-a-kind, phenomenal sculpture! By studying the heavy original, you can see that it was sculpted as separate pieces for casting. These assembled pieces correspond exactly to the finished product you are used to seeing, but with greater detailing that was lost in the molding process. The creature and the lizard have been painted in a flat silver to highlight that detailing, with earth tones and whites on the base. Yellow has been applied to his amphibian eyes, white to his teeth, red to his lips, and his clawed hands are dripping with the bright red blood of an unseen victim. It is perfection [more like sacrilege, I'd say!].

Not only do you get the original sculpture, but you also get an attractively built-up Aurora store display of the Creature production kit, assembled and painted by the Aurora marketing division to entice us to buy their phenomenal product (like we needed any convincing)! The offering is made complete with the addition of a Near-Mint original box and instruction sheet! Yes, brothers and sisters. The Golden Age is here once more!"



Bill Lemon was the sculptor of this kit and many others from the Aurora line. Here is Mr.Lemon's obituary from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

W.J. Lemon, 70, A Master Maker Of Model Monsters

Posted: October 03, 1994





William J. Lemon, 70, a master model carver who sculpted a popular series of monster models in the 1960s for the now-defunct Aurora Plastics Corp., died Friday at Montgomery Hospital.

Mr. Lemon, of Norristown, served in the Army in World War II. Upon returning, he started working as a cabinetmaker but soon realized that his true gift lay in sculpting models. He started sculpting cars and airplanes, then came into his own carving lifelike images of everyone from Frankenstein to Michael Jackson.
When Aurora wanted to add so-called figure kits in the mid-1950s to its lines of car and airplane models, they called on Mr. Lemon.

While many of Aurora's early figure kits flopped, the company forged ahead with a plan in the 1960s to market a series of monster models. This followed considerable concern on the part of the firm's officials about potential criticism for selling gruesome models to children.

As it turned out, the children of America were captivated by the figurines of Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the like, each of which Mr. Lemon had slaved over in his studio on Main Street in Ambler.

"The major toy companies would come to him with a picture they wanted," his son, William M. Lemon, 40, a mortgage banker, recalled yesterday, "and he would take a block of plastic and basically a dentist's tool" and bring the picture to life.

Along with the line of monster models, his son said, Mr. Lemon sculpted everything from anatomy models for medical schools to dispensers of Pez candy to a popular Michael Jackson doll marketed in the 1980s.

"Mr. Jackson did not like the nose my father put on the doll," William Lemon said. "But he took it right off the picture."

Mr. Lemon hung up his dentist's drill and retired eight years ago, never to sculpt another model.
Mr. Lemon is survived by his wife, Barbara D. Lemon; two sons, William M. and Robert T.; a brother; a sister; and five grandchildren.

Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Boyd-Horrox Funeral Home, 200 W. Germantown Pike, Norristown. Interment will follow at George Washington Memorial Park, Plymouth Meeting.

Contributions can be made to Montgomery Cancer Center, Powell and Fornance Streets, Norristown.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

HAPPY 80TH BIRTHDAY JOAN COLLINS!


THE INCOMPLETE MONSTER


John Ruge (b. 1915-) is an American cartoonist that is well-known for his contributions during the vintage years of PLAYBOY magazine. This monster-related illustration includes a caption that, although time-worn today, was a novel tag-line back then.

The 8.5 x 11" work is in pen and watercolor. This is an image of the original. It appeared in an issue of PLAYBOY (date unknown to me).

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DRACULA BY GEORGE BUSH


It may come as a surprise, but our ex-President of These Here United States that sometimes goes by the name of George Dubya, is something of an accomplished painter. So much of a secret that, when asked at the inauguration of his George W. Bush Library a few weeks ago why so many many people didn't know he was a painter, he replied in true Texas humor: "Well, a lot of people didn't think I could read, either".

It is actually another Bush I speak of -- George A. Bush, to be exact, and judging from the work shown here, he is himself quite a painter. His depiction of Bela Lugosi as Dracula in shades of midnight blue is no paint-by-number, pardner.

Up for a minimum bid of $974 on a 2003 MastroNet auction, it failed to sell. By all accounts it flew back into the night on bat's wings.

Here is the description:

This is the second George A. Bush portrait painting of a classic Universal horror film star that we have been able to offer through our Americana auctions. The first was of Boris Karloff in his Ardath Bay makeup, worn in production of The Mummy. Our second is offered in this auction. It is a haunting portrait of Lugosi in his most famous role of stage and film, Count Dracula. Bush has executed the entire work in an incredibly subtle spectrum of different shades of blue, perfectly capturing the Count in his nighttime environment. Rising almost invisibly in the background is an outlined castle against a suggested light source of a fully cloud covered, almost invisible moon. The portrait is riveting, with pinpoints of light reflecting in the Count's eyes, and the slightest speck of blood appearing at the corner of his bottom lip. Obviously, Dracula has feasted already! The 14-3/4" x 19-3/4" original gouache painting on hard board is flawlessly preserved. Date and publication are unknown, and it is signed "Bush" in the lower right.

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