Monday, July 22, 2019


I consider the DO-IT-YOURSELF MONSTER MAKEUP HANDBOOK by DICK SMITH to be one of the holy relics of monster magazines. It was a huge coup to have one of the preeminent Hollywood makeup artists produce a special 'zine for Warren and it came at the height of the monster craze, in 1965, when all-things-monster were all the rage and making a big splash in popular culture.

The DIY HANDBOOK couldn't have come at a better time for me, too. I was immersed in monsters, a devoted reader of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND and gobbling up everything I could from lay my paws on, from Aurora model kits to Monster Old Maid.

My worn, but intact copy is still in my possession and when I'm in the mood for some monster nostalgia, I'll flip through its pages and be instantly transported by to those halcyon days. I never acquired the materials to do the larger number of makeups that were shown in the book, but I did do some of the simpler ones, including making my own blood with Karo syrup and red food coloring!

It is hard to estimate how many Monster Kids were influenced by this 'zine, but it made me appreciate the craft of movie makeup and led to my interest in artists like Jack Pierce, who was still alive at the time, and Smith, who was still almost a decade away from creating his famous makeup for the possessed demon in THE EXORCIST!The DIY HANDBOOK was a stroke of marketing genius for James Warren and is a hallmark in the world of monster 'zine publishing.

NOTE: Don't forget to check out the bug-eyed "Derelict" (aka "homeless person") in tomorrow's post -- something you'd never see in a magazine today!

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