Thursday, November 29, 2012

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.