ANDY FISH

ANDY FISH is a comic book artist


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Friday, May 13, 2011

BUILDING THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER Part III

Happy Friday the 13th-- watch out for black cats.

The Traditional coloring for the creature in pop culture is green or light blue:

While this is all well and good it's not particularly the look I want to go with.  I don't want to go with ultra realism, I want to go with artistic interpretation.

Growing up I was always amazed by the cover paintings on Forry Ackerman's FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILM LAND magazine-- usually by the amazingly talented Basil Gogos.  Gogos combined a rich classic style with artistic lighting providing a take on the old Hollywood monsters that was completely new to all of us fans-- after all the original movies are in black and white so the only color existed in our imagination.

Gogos color schemes emphasized form and atmosphere that was unprecedented.  His originals now go for multiple thousands.

Using the Gogos coloring as a guide this might be an interesting take on the creature.  While Karloff was the first actor to play the Frankenstein Monster for Universal-- to me he's not the iconic depiction of the character.  That honor goes to Glenn Strange, a 6'5" actor who had been playing badguys in cowboy movies before he was approached to play the monster in THE HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (in which Karloff would play the mad doctor).  Strange had the right kind of craggy face that fit the makeup perfectly.  There was just something "right" about his look to me-- with Karloff you had a much more frightening creature-- but Strange gave the character an intimidation factor.

Strange went on to play the monster in HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945) and ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948).

I'm also influenced by the great masks of the Don Post studio in the 1960s and 70s which would often be featured in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine-- so I'm not completely decided on which way to go with the creature.
Glenn Strange as The Monster

One of the problems with my previous life sized Frankenstein Monster was that he was very frightening-- often scaring the unsuspected who would stumble on him.  Not that it bothered me, he was like an old friend, but for this one I might go in a different direction.

MORE SOON...