by Art Chantry (firstname.lastname@example.org):
HERE’S my “mag cover of the day” (or week, or month or whatever) feature (great magazine covers ignored by the mainstream world). this is ‘famous monster of filmland’ #40. the editor was forrest j. ackerman, the publisher/art director was james warren, the “layout” and lettering(?) was by harry chester (who also did ‘mad’). but the illustration is by RON COBB.
Ron Cobb was one of the very first underground cartoonists. he’s credited by such luminaries such as robert crumb as being major inspiration to do underground comics. his features were a staple in the berkeley barb (i think. i forget those details) before even zap comics existed. he designed/illustrated the first jefferson airplane record “after bathing at baxters”. he later started a comic book called “last gasp”, featuring eco-funnies. all of his early work centered heavily on eco-issues (long before it was noticed by the masses) and he even designed the old “ecology” omicron-inspired logo that graced a bazillion ‘green’ promo items in late 60′s/early 70′s. it even became the logo for earth day.
But, Cobb also made living doing monsters. he did a number of cover paintings for famous monsters. he also did a large number of cheezy record covers with monster-style spooky music for a number of record labels. he was extremely versatile and prolific.
Nowadays he’s a major hollywood scene “painter” and became well known for his work in that field by doing the matt painting (or whatever it’s called these days) of the future los angeles in “bladerunner.”
Ron cobb is one of my heros. and he paints a mean monster, ya know?
AC:the list of people who worked on it is huge. and the kid
o wrote letters and sent drawing became people like steven speilberg, stephen king, bernie wrightson, wilum pugmire and a bazillion others. i would love to been a kid hanging out at harry chester’s studio during production deadline. think of who would have walked in the door…
i subscribed to it when i was a kid, too.in fact this sample above is from my old stash from my subscription days.
oh, and ron haydock wasn’t a god, but he was a great devil!…how come they never teach about this sort of stuff in “art school”. it’s the REAL history of american graphic design, not the work of ego-driven overkill boobs like paul rand. (did i just say that? really?)…
these little samples are the tip of an iceberg. check out the first 50 or so issues of FM and you’ll be blown away.
chester did all of the warren publications. he was a very close friend of harvey kurtzman and worked on the re-design of mad magazine and most other kurtzman projects and was instrumental in HELP magazine that also launched a bazillion careers (like terry gilliam, gilbert sheldon, robert crumb and even gloria steinem!)
like i said, chester studios must have been an amazing place to hang out. imagine frank frazetta blowing in and whipping up a cover illustration on deadline in the back room (like he did for creepy).