Friday, June 21, 2024


UPDATE: The two comments from "Anonymous" below got me thinking again about a detail that was knocking around in my head when I wrote this post but couldn't come up with an answer: not only was it the face in these images, but it was also that clawed hand springing up from the ground. I knew I'd seen it somewhere but until the comments came in it just wasn't coming to me.

I have a copy of the MASTERS OF HORROR anthology and after digging it out from the back of one of my bookshelves I scanned it. The image is a match, and after considering the possibilities that the comments brought up, I'm incline to agree.

I haven't bestowed one of these for a while, so, "Anonymous", consider yourself a WOM Certified Monsterologist!

I recently came across this image from the September 1946 issue of BLACK MASK and something tickled my brain. There was something decidedly familiar about it and after a few seconds of thinking I remembered it -- or something close to it -- on an early CREEPY cover.

Turns out I was right and the image indeed was used on the cover of CREEPY #24 with the art credit going to Brazilian artist Gutenberg Monteiro. The image shows up again on a 1954 British detective pulp called DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE. I posted something about this HERE.

It didn't take a brain transplant from Dr. Frankenstein to figure out that the original image was from the BLACK MASK cover by the esteemed pulp artist Rafael De Soto. I believe we can now call this mystery "case closed".

See more Sinister Simulacra HERE.


  1. The other half of that image-- the hand coming up out of a grave-- was taken from the cover of the anthology MASTERS OF HORROR (Berkley, 1968), edited by Alden H. Norton. (Not sure if I can post a link, but Google Image it-- plenty of hits.)

    I had a copy of the paperback and spotted the CREEPY lift on sight, but always wondered where the face came from-- thanks for digging that half up!

  2. Me again-- a little more Googling found the original cover art for the MASTERS OF HORROR paperback posted on the ComicartFans website; it's credited there to Joseph Lombardero, who did a number of paperback covers at the time.

    And looking at large scans of the CREEPY #24 cover, the BLACK MASK cover, and the MASTERS OF HORROR cover, from the amount of detail that remains intact, I suspect that this wasn't a simple case of an artist "swiping" elements from two pre-existing works.

    So much is identical stroke for stroke to the two earlier pieces that it suggests that the CREEPY cover was *literally* a "cut-n-paste" job from some sort of repros of the previous covers, embellished with paint to blend the parts together and to "bump up" the highlights and shadows just a smidge. (You could do the same thing now in Photoshop in about 30 minutes.)

    And the other cover credited to Gutenberg Monteiro for CREEPY #21 is so different in style and quality that I strongly feel the cover of CREEPY #24 was just an in-house job wrongly credited to him-- either accidentally (which happened a few times through the years) or deliberately.

  3. Good job on the forensics and thanks for tracking that info down. I've update the post accordingly. Thanks!

  4. My pleasure! As I said, this is a CREEPY cover that had always bugged me as well-- for one thing, what the heck is supposed to be going on with the anguished face looming over the graveyard? Who IS he, anyway? And why is his wristwatch broken?

    For some reason, Google is not letting me post to blogs with my Google account-- I think my version of Chrome may be outdated. Normally, I've posted to blogs as "hsc" but I had to post anonymously here.

    And thanks for the accolade! Love your blog! Keep up the great work, John!

  5. I'm sure the cover was done completely for effect -- much like the pre-code horror comic covers were. Truth be told, I've been using a Windows 7 laptop for my blog for years and Chrome stopped support a while back. Keeping my fingers crossed . . . I bought an HP Windows 10 laptop a few years ago during the big Windows 7 scare and I HATE it.


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