Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos
One of the best artists of our time.
Danny Northside - Saturday, July 18, 2009
Author: Kerry Gammill and J. David Spurlock
Publisher: Vanguard Productions
Website: Vanguard Productions
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Basil Gogos is an artistic genius. His career spans almost fifty years of illustrations that were used as covers in classic publications such as Monsterscene, Man’s Action, Spaceman, Creepy, Wildwest Westerns, Man’s Illustrated, and his most notorious and mesmerizing work for James Warren as a cover artist of Famous Monsters of Filmland. Other works in his career The Classic Movie Monster Stamps for the U.S. Postal Service and even album covers for Rob Zombie, The Misfits, and Electric Frankenstein.
He also made his way into movie one sheet posters for classics such as Godzilla Vs. Bionic Monster, Raiders of the Living Dead, Infra-Man, and Charles Bronson’s Rider of the Rain to name a few. Most recently he illustrated the DVD cover for a documentary called The Sci-Fi Boys with an amazing picture featuring a few monsters chasing after Peter Jackson, Roger Corman, John Landis, Ray Bradbury, and Ray Harryhausen.
It's a fact that you will recognize a few of Basil’s pieces even if you never looked for them. His illustrations of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Lon Chaney, and Elsa Lanchester are unmistakably common and easily get imbedded into your mind. His work of legendary monsters is his most famous, but its hard to not mention the battle scenes for Man’s Conquest and Man’s Illustrated. You can look at these for hours and when you gaze at them another time you see things you initially missed.
That’s the sort of thing that makes Basil Gogos work simply astonishing. Whether you’re a fan of art or not, this book will still intrigue you. I have been a fan of Gogos work since I was a child. Back then it was because his monsters were the coolest looking illustrations of the classic horror icons I had ever seen. Today as an adult I appreciate them even more. His dynamic usage of color in a time period when most of these icons were only known black and white was innovative. They still stand the test of time and have never been matched.
I owned quite a few original issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland (before my house burned down!) that Gogos drew throughout my home framed for everyone who comes over to see. My favorite one in my collection was issue number eleven from April 1961’s cover featuring Gorgo. My dream is to own a piece of his original artwork someday. I would hang on to that like it was the Holy Grail!
Rob Zombie states in his introduction that Gogos should stand along side with Rembrandt and Van Gogh. I agree with him one hundred percent. And if you get your hands on this amazingly illustrated book you will also agree.
Gonna get you!