Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Weird Art of Milton Luros

I picked up this SF pulp not too long ago for the excellent cover illustration. It's by Milton Luros, whom I'd never heard of. Further investigation reveals that Luros became a huge figure in the porn industry starting in the 60's and is even comes up in the book "The Other Hollywood". I'll have to look at that index when I get home! Sorry about the awful condition of the book, by the way ...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Weird Art from Lee Brown Coye

In fact, it looks like I'm going to have to post a whole third entry on the genius Mr. Coye. At least. This first batch is more from the essential fanzine Whispers, who did a special issue on Coye that I'll scan in it's near entirety for LBC Ch. III.

The scans below are from Weird Tales (Nov. 1949, the issue pictured in the Matt Fox post). He kept on doing Weirdisms all throughout the years, you can A/B his 70's ones against his 40's ones yourself now!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Weird Art of Matt Fox

      "There was a guy named Matt Fox who did the covers on Weird Tales in the late 40's, and I got obsessed with him, and I started drawing like that ..."

Simon Deitch
The Comics Journal interview, 2008

      I picked up a Weird Tales for a few bucks at a horror convention once because of the cover. I was quite taken by the art, an emaciated demon extending his hand downward to a stiff corpse; all set in a old rotting graveyard during the last moments of daylight. The drawing was credited to Matt Fox. For years afterward I wanted to know all about him, but any internet search would usually (at best) provide me with this limited information - he was a primary cover artist for Weird Tales, he did some horror and sci-fi comics in the 50's (shares a few books with Dave Berg actually) and that he worked for Marvel. I couldn't understand why he didn't have some huge following, for Fox succeeds at one of the most important aspects of horror art, that of managing to be scary and original without being corny. And his stuff is WEIRD too; gloriously weird.

      Bhob Stewart posted a mind-melting (for me) entry on his blog (potrzebie, linked to the right) not long ago on the very mysterious subject of the one and only Matt Fox. Please check it out, as it stands now it's the lengthiest bio on Fox that I've ever seen.

The above picture is from the back of a Whispers fanzine. Here's a couple excellent pulp covers he did at his peak, followed by an excellent precode horror comic cover he did where he swipes himself:

I added this image later when I finally got my hands on a copy of an issue of Castle of Frankenstein that had this incredible Matt Fox ad in it. Fox designed the ad and the posters themselves, please check out the brilliant Bhob Stewart's post on his aforementioned blog for the full scoop.

MODERN SEX, Vol. 1, No.1 1964

Rather incredible little magazine from '64 with all sorts of "information" in it. Like this nugget of wisdom from 'RAPE, R.S.V.P.': "What part DOES a woman play in rape? Is she in fact the instigator? Does she unconsciously place herself in a position where she is really "asking for it?" Is, in fact forcible rape possible?" Yeecch! Great cover illustration tho.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Really nice Vampire Special issue from Cinema Fantastique. The cover is the best graphic and the interior is mostly information/reviews. I'll get around to translating this, I hope. There seems to be a few films that I don't know about, like the the one this image is from, "Vij":

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Weird Art of Lee Brown Coye

      Being raised in upstate New York was mostly riddled with disadvantages. LaFayette is a small town that had little more to offer than MAD Magazine at the IGA grocery store and the huge pile of rocks behind the firehouse (which my siblings and I used to play in/on for hours on end). But there was also the woods. Of course the woods carry the widely appreciated outdoors/nature/etc. aspect, but that's not the part of the woods that I connected with as a youth exploring them. As many times as I wandered deep into the woods behind our house I really never could seem to find out where they ended. Part of the charm to me was that you could get lost in them, just walking for hours and waiting for something that would trigger familiarity in your senses, hopefully before nightfall. Still clear in my mind is an image of an old abandoned house that wasn't too far from the back lot of the IGA. With its wood all raw and grey from decades of rain and weather, the house actually was more of a cold, twisted, rotting shape sitting in a sea of overgrown weeds in the middle of nowhere. This is what I think is great about living in upstate New York - I've been all around the country and as many places that I've seen that are similar to it in some ways, this eerie tone remains exclusive to the North East. There's something about the air. It's cold and unforgiving, and sometimes exists in a way that seems like it's actually trying to wear things down; maybe even by driving them mad.

      Lee Brown Coye's art exists as this tone. Nearly all of his work communicates the harsh and haunted way of life of small town, Upstate New York to its clearest extent. Coye lived in Tully, New York; which is next to LaFayette (Tully was our main rival when I was in little league, actually) and both towns are quite similar. Pretty, but depressing slices of life far away from the action and horror of the city, where children still dig in the dirt for something to do. If you've never been, just check out what Mr. Lee Brown Coye can express so masterfully with a pen, a woodcut, a brush or even a camera and you'll get the idea.

These are from the Lee Brown Coye issue of the fantastic zine Whispers, a publication which he contributed to frequently in the 70's.

'Weirdisms' was a reoccurring Coye invention that found a welcome home in the pages of "Weird Tales". Coye also illustrated many of the Lovecraft stories for the mag (and those of Lovecraft's contemporaries as well). Coye did this cover to "Fantastic Stories ..."; notice he included himself on the bottom right.

This is some of the incredible work Coye did for Arkham and other publishers of Weird fiction.

These are photographs Coye did of his friend Freedie in the 50's.

This is a woodcut of Freedie. Doesn't she look beautiful!?

More Coye coming when I can scan it, and I'm planning a chapter on just the Arkham House book covers.