When I first saw Tim Paxton’s Monster! back in the early 90s it was one of those way cool photocopied and stapled by hand publications epitomizing the DIY zine culture that began to dwindle with the rise of the internet. The current incarnation of Monster! is a digest-size magazine usually in the 100-page range and available at an attractive price through Amazon’s print on demand service CreateSpace. It’s a great read for monster movie buffs with a strong emphasis on international horror and a strict “no slasher movies” policy. And for the last year or so I’ve had the pleasure of contributing the occasional drawing or film review.
I illustrated the contents page for issue #21 of Monster!, and this seems as good a place as any to show off my handiwork. You can buy that issue here, if you are so inclined. Some of the creatures I chose because they were featured in that issue, while others were just old favorites of mine. Most of these were drawn in pencil, scanned, then “inked” in Photoshop on a Wacom tablet. I will sometimes work entirely in Photoshop, but I find drawing with an actual pencil feels more fluid than the tablet.
Click on any of the images below for a closer look.
This is the final page as it was published.
Now let’s check these guys out one at a time.
This nazi zombie was drawn using the VHS box cover of Joel Reed’s Night of the Zombies from 1981 as reference.
This critter is the star of Larry Cohen’s 1974 mutant baby opus It’s Alive. Cohen’s films were the subject of an article in this issue by comic art legend and film journalist/historian Stephen R. Bissette.
This behorned beastie is the title creature from Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 horror classic Curse of the Demon and his face graced many a monster mag when I was a kid. After seeing a limited edition statuette of the creature recently, I realized for the first time that he was covered in hair, not lumpy demon flesh as I had always assumed.
I’ve always liked the design of the monsters from 1964’s Horror of Party Beach, even if the actual monster suits used in the film look pretty silly. And I was never clear why they seem to have Italian sausages hanging out of their mouths.
This lizard lady from Hammer film’s 1966 production The Reptile was another mainstay of monster magazines. I particularly recall her gracing the cover of an issue of Warren’s Monster World. Sadly, when I finally saw The Reptile, with the creature’s unmoving eyes and ridiculous forked tongue, I realized this particular monster looked better on the printed page than in a motion picture.
This one was entirely new to me. The Pocong is a ghost trapped in its own burial shroud, and its long film career was explored in Monster! #21 by John L. Vellutini in his extensive article “Ties That Bind: The Pocong and Other Creepy Creatures in Contemporary Indonesian Horror Cinema.”