Monday, February 22, 2010

in a mind for monsters


so, rich woodall sent me this cool hulk watercolor that he did and i loved it so much i made it my desktop. there's something about that original raging, rampaging hulk that is immutable, that is the direct link from marvel's silver age superhero resurgence to the morass of monster comics that lead right up to it. it seems now that all those great monsters created by stan and jack and steve and so many other fantastic artists were really just marking time, filling space like harbingers of the wonderment that was to come!
the hulk was the one that made it through, a terrorizing, terrifying green machine of destruction! an atomic-age monster that would stay with us as a reminder of what came before...
hulk smash!

so this put me in the mind of monsters and marvel and comics in general and the crazy pre-code days and i remembered a cover i'd seen in the marvel vault that i picked up and barely read a year or so ago.
it was this cover from astonishing tales no.30--and, while i am a staunch opponent of censorship and, as a true comics fan, still bristle at the mere mention of the man's name...looking at this masterpiece, i can kinda see where wertham was coming from.

i mean, look at it--it has so many wonderfully horrific images slapped onto one beautiful cover!
disembodied eyes in the sky, always watching you--chilling!
disintegrating death-rays shooting out from said disembodied eyes--terrifying!
watching your flesh and bones turn to red, bubbling goo before your eyes--gruesome!
being helpless as you watch this happen to your loved one, your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife--soul-wrenching!
but to me, one of the most unsettling things about this cover, is the look on the woman's face! i mean, i GUESS that's supposed to be a woman...i've seen some rather mannish-looking women before, but...yow! really...? that's a dame? yeeks! not to be cruel or anything, but, y'know, if that's the face you gotta kiss goodnight everynight...well...maybe gettin' liquified by a pair of floating peepers in the sky isn't so bad...
i'm just sayin'...

oh, and conveniently, they're in a cemetery.

and rolling around the internet, google-searching for monsters, brought up this awesome image for the war of the monsters video game from a few years back! i never played the game, but remember seeing the artwork from it and loving it! lots of retro-movie poster images of monsters and flying saucers from the 1950s! which i dig.

here are a couple other cool images i found...

happy monday!
smell ya later!

this is post no. 696.


Heywood Jablomie said...

that's a sweet hulk, and one that i miss. while i was a fan of the 'banner' hulk of the david\keown period, there was just something so visceral and unapologetic about the rampaging hulk.

and what are you talking about? that lady is HOT! heh

Brian said...

I was/am a big fan of the classic Universal Monsters - Dracula, the Mommy, the Wolfman and Frankenstein's Monster - and I always thought that the Hulk owed more than a little to big Frankie.

That said, not too excited about the Wolfman remake. I know for today's audience that they have to ratchet up the blood and gore, but splatter movies just are not my thing. Also, I know he is a fine actor, but casting Del Toro as an english nobleman just doesn't work for me.

todd said...

while i can see the frankenstein influence people alway talk about with the hulk, i always likened the big green guy to the jekyl and hyde mythos--the duality of man.

DonKelly said...

Neat classic looking Hulk to be sure. I too dig the ol' monsters of days past. Nobody shows the old stuf anymore either. Shame too.

and ummm. yeah you can see where they :powers that be" might have had a point or two about the comics of the day back then. Although I don't know if it would have bothered me as a kid or not. Maybe the tranny looking on in horror would have scared me.

Brian said...

Good point Todd. Certainly in terms of duality, the Hulk and Mr. Hyde have something in common, but Mr. Hyde was evil for evil's sake, while Frankenstien's Monster and the Hulk lash out against society because of how society treats them.

In terms of why we are the way that we are, Mr. Hyde represents the nature side of the argument while Frankenstein's Monster and the Hulk represent the nurture side.

todd said...



Heywood Jablomie said...

damn brian way to get all philosophical and stuff. lol

i always thought of the hulk as our inner pissed off child that just had it's favorite toy smashed to bits by the neighborhood bully.

don-my thoughts exactly on the cover. the lady is definitely the scariest part of the whole thing!

Matt Wieringo said...

This reminds me of something I saw on the Byrne board the other day.

Dad had a bunch of these magazines when we were kids and they were absolutely terrible books but the covers are so awesomely lurid I couldn't take my eyes off them. Gave me nightmares for years.

todd said...

oh, man, matt~~
those are disturbing.
do you know, were these in comic book size? or digest?
just...yeah, lurid is great!

Matt Wieringo said...

Magazine sized, like the Warren and Skywald stuff.

Rich Woodall said...

Awe... thanks Todd! Your desktop!?!?! I'm Honored!

I LOVE the Hulk, especially that pure rage, runs through the desert smashing Tanks and stuff Hulk! He's just so much fun to draw because you get to contort his face, and he can pick up pretty much anything and throw it or smash something with it... how awesome is that?!?!?!

And that Cover is Amazing! That dude's legs are just melting right off of him! As a kid I didn't see too many horror comics, but a friend of my dad had a huge box filled with Conan Magazines, man, that stuff was great for a 6 year old mind!

Brian said...

Hulk want know why puny Todd no post on Wednesday. No post make Hulk angry, not angry like Mr. Hyde, but angry for good reason.

Hulk so mad, Hulk leap his way to upstate New York to smash puny Todd, but Todd not home. Only people home were cute doggie, cute kitty and Todd's smarter, more handsome identical twin Tedd - Hulk no make spelling error, that how Tedd spell name in snow.

Tedd 'splain to Hulk that Todd not home. Hulk meant to ask Tedd when Todd be back so Hulk could smash, but then cute doggie and cute kitty distract Hulk and Hulk forget why he came so Hulk say bye to doggie and kitty and leaped away to Massachusetts to check on puny Craig who draw Hulk's cousin.

todd said...

sorry, brian--
socked with what the weather men are now calling a winter hurricane, i spent most of yesterday morning dedicated to snow removal. we got between eight and 9 inches--and have another 9 to ten on the way today--! by the time that i came back in yesterday--about 11--i was beat and really didn't have much of a post to post anyway. add a few intermittent power outages and i just threw it in.
i'll have a new blog tomorrow--weather and power permitting...

Brian said...

Hulk thought as much and thought small humorous post would help.

Hulk now think that humor in post is what was puny.

Rich Woodall said...

Oh... I hope this Hulk stuff continues with every post. :-)

Brian said...

Not after Hulk Smash puny cartoon man who draw Hulk from bad side.

Hulk strongest there is from right angle.