Tag Archives: Forrest J Ackerman

(Video) Monsterama Episode 19: Basil Gogos Artwork

Basil Gogos is THE Artist for Generations of Monster Kids

Basil Gogos Artwork and Artist

Like a bizarro-world Norman Rockwell, Basil Gogos artwork changed the face of classic horror.  For 25 years, Monster Kids delighted in his horrifying yet dazzling images of their ghoulish heroes on their favorite magazine covers. His film monster portrait art of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. the Phantom of the Opera, and countless others graced the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland from 1960 until the end of Warren’s publication in 1985.    His intense colour and bold, impressionistic brushwork gave a unique sense of drama and sophistication to these iconic characters.

In this episode of Monsterama, Elvira takes us on a journey back to those days when Basil Gogos’ artwork beckoned to us from the magazine racks like sone ghoulish siren calling us into the wonderful world of Horrorwood Karloffornia. Enjoy:

Collecting Basil Gogos Artwork

Basil is still with us and has kept much of his artwork within the family.  While original paintings from the Famous Monsters era are quite hard to come by, some of his more recent work from the 1990s and 2000s are available here at Artnet – price available on request.  Good luck!

Limited edition lithographs signed by Basil are currently available on eBay for $100 each.  Here’s the Bela as Dracula version:

Basil Gogos Lithograph Bela Lugosi as Dracula

 

Basil returned to monster magazine covers in the 1990s painting the covers for Monsterscene magazine:
Monster Scene Journal Magazine #1

He also painted the Universal Monsters commemorative stamps series for the U.S. Postal service:
   Classic Movie Monsters Collectible Stamp 32 Cent Sheet

In 2005, Kerry Gammil penned this fantastic book featuring full-colour reproductions of Basil Gogos’ artwork as well as many previously unpublished paintings and drawings:

Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos

Do you have a favorite Famous Monster cover by Basil?  Share the issue # with us and we’ll compile a gallery of our readers’ favorites.

 

CLASSIC MONSTER MAGAZINE: Dick Smith’s Monster Make-Up Handbook

Classic Monster Magazines

Famous-Monsters-Dick_Smith-Monster-Make-UP-HandbookDo-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up Handbook by Dick Smith (Warren Publishing, 1965)

It doesn’t get anymore classic than this!

Monster Kids were way ahead of trend and were into DIY before Pinterest was even a glimmer in the internet’s eye.  Inspired by their favorite monster movies and made aware of the master artists and creators behind these movies thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland, Monster Kids of the 1960s were making their own Super-8 monster movies complete with homegrown monsters.

Always aware of their audience, Jim Warren engaged future -Oscar-winning make-up artist Dick Smith’s to publish this one-shot “how-to” magazine.  To use a rather obvious metaphor, it was like pouring gasoline on a campfire.  One of the definitive magazines of Monster Kid-dom, this Handbook included 100 pages of photo illustrated guides providing Monster Kids step-by-step instructions for making monsters.

In classic Famous Monsters’ style, the cover by Vic Preslo wasn’t shy in selling the awesomeness inside.  In this case, it wasn’t an over promise!

How to have fun creating your own monster make-up

Over 250 Exciting Pictures

With Simple Easy-to-Follow Instructions

by Famous Make-Up Artist Dick Smith

The mag was reissued as a paperback by Imagine Inc. in 1985 and can be found on Amazon:

Dick Smith’s Do-it-Yourself Monster Make-up Handbook

As you’ll see in the following pictorial tour, the book progresses from the relatively simple Vampire and Ghoul #1 to the movie-worthy Quasimodo, Mr. Hyde and ‘New” Frankenstein Monster.  Enjoy the tour:

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I found a copy of this magazine at a newsstand in the mid-70s that was used but in good condition.  I scoured the magazine repeatedly, drawing the images and practicing the make-up on my younger siblings.  Here’s a shot of my younger brother with the Split Face make-up I did for Halloween – not too bad, if I say so myself! (The teeth have been wiped away because he’s been eating candy!)

Dick-Smith-Make-up-Split-Face-Halloween-1977Dick-Smith_monster-make-up-split-face-2

Collectors Value:

This magazine is fairly easy to find – though finding a really high grade copy requires a bit of patience.  Reader copies are frequently available in the $15 range and recent and copies in VG condition have recently sold on eBay for $45.  While prices range rather dramatically on this magazine in high grades, VF/NM copies can be found in the $55-$75 range.  Pretty nice appreciation for a with a cover price $.60 back in 1965. With patience, you can get a collectible copy – and you SHOULD own this book if you’re a collector or a 60s Monster Kid.  At minimum,  I’d recommend a reader copy of this magazine as well – its  just so much fun to read!

Follow this link to see current copies available on eBay

Related Articles:

 

(Video) Monsterama Episode 3 – The Ackermonster

Spend Some Time with Every Monster Kids’ Coolest Uncle, Forrest J Ackerman

Famous-Monsters-of-Filmland

Monster Kids of the 1950s – 70s share a great deal in common regardless of what part of the country they grew up in, their family’s economic conditions or their religious traditions.  We all lived for watching monster movies, we built Aurora monster models and we memorized each and every issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland.

In Episode 3 of Monsterama, Elvira takes a spin through Uncle Forry’s mini-Ackermansion and explores the making of the Ackermonster himself.

Watch and enjoy:

The first place to start with Forry’s impact on monster fandom is with Famous Monsters of Filmland the magazine.  Many of us collect this wonderful time capsule.  Publisher Jim Warren has a new project underway to release digital versions of the earliest issues of FM (the most valuable and hardest to collect).

FMoF #10 –  Kindle Edition

Famous Monsters of Filmland #10

$4.99 or Free with Kindle Unlimited membership

Ackerman was a prolific author and published far too many books to list them all here.  I have the following book in my library and can highly recommend it as it is focused on Ackerman’s collection of memorabilia much like the Monsterama episode you just watched:

Forrest J Ackerman’s World of Science Fiction

Ackerman himself was rightly enshrined as a collectible with this Rondo-nominated statue from Dark Horse:

Dark Horse Deluxe Forrest J “Forry” Ackerman Statue

Another great way to go in-depth with Forry’s archives of monster movie memorabilia is with this well-done DVD:


Uncle Forry’s Ackermansions DVD

  I owe much of my love for classic monsters to Famous Monsters of Filmland and I know I’m not alone in that fact.   I could write about Forry’s impact on me and all Monster Kids, and fandom in general, for weeks – and we probably should!  But we’ll let this episode of Monsterama do the work for us and the recommended media above, which have done the job so well, take it from here.

Watch More Monsterama:

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Forrest J Ackerman Statue

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 4

Forrest J Ackerman Statue by Dark Horse

Another week, another post about this year’s nominees for  the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category.  Today’s subject is the Dark Horse tribute to every monster kid’s favorite uncle, Dr. Acula himself, Forrest J. Ackerman.

This article provides detailed specs of this figure, a video biography of this influential man, as well as a current pricing and links to several sites where I found it available to purchase.  From one monster kid to another, please note that this site is an affiliate of some of these sites, which simply means we receive advertising revenue from them.

The Original Monster Kid

Forry was the creator, editor, and principal writer for Famous Monsters of Filmland.  He was also one of the great collectors of classic sci fi and monster memorabilia.  He displayed his extensive horror book and memorabilia collection in his Los Angeles home, affectionately called the “Ackermansion,” where for fifty years, he shared his collection with fans during open-house events.

To say he had far-reaching influence in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy community would be like saying Neal Armstrong was important in space exploration–it’s true in fact, but it simply doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.  Uncle Forry, as he was known, is one of the founding fathers of monster fandom and almost every Monster Kid alive today can trace their lifelong love of all things fantastic to this man, the Original and Ultimate Monster Kid.

Forrest J Ackerman Dark Horse Statue Rondo Awards 2015 Best Collectible Category

 

This statue is a tribute to this influential man and I give Dark Horse great credit for commissioning this piece.  Really, it’s about time.  Collecting is a big part of being a Monster Kid and it only makes sense to have Dr. Acula present on our collection shelf alongside the creatures and characters Ackerman loved as much as we do.

Specs

  • MSRP $179.99
  • Limited edition; 350
  • 13 inches
  • Sculpted by Tony Cipriano

While I don’t have a video review of this statue, I couldn’t resist embedding this great documentary, Famous Monster, focusing on the life of Uncle Forry.

If you’ve seen it, it’s well worth the 45 minutes to watch it again.

If you haven’t seen this…well, you’re at serious risk of losing your Monster Kid club membership!  Enjoy:


 Where to Find Forrest J Ackerman Statue by Dark Horse

eBay

Amazon

EntertainmentEarth


 

Summary

I’m a huge fan of Forry.  Unlike many of my elder Monster Kid counterparts, I never got to meet him, but his impact on my childhood is massive.  I was a 70s monster kid, and found Famous Monsters early in my youth.  I bought every issue on the news stand starting in 1975 through it’s final issue in 1983.

As an adult, I’ve continued to collect Famous Monsters and have filled in many missing keys from the 1960s.

My affection for Forry is the primary reason I like this statue.  Cipriano is an amazing artist and many of his works make me drool a little bit.  This isn’t one of those, largely because the subject is harder to capture than a super hero or Frazetta warrior.  That’s probably the reason I really like this statue, but don’t quite love it.

I don’t own it yet, but now that the original run is sold out at retail and the price is coming down from it’s original MSRP, I can certainly see spending $100 or so to honor the man himself if nothing else.

It’s a really nice piece, and I think it’s important to recognize the importance of Forry to monster fandom.

Anyone own this?  Look forward to your thoughts.