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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Basil Gogos and the Monster Art of Universal Horror Films

Basil Gogos was a fabulous illustrator who is best known for his movie monster portraits which graced the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines during the 1960s and 1970s. He combined his passion for art with his love of movie monsters to create these colorful and highly detailed oil portraits of such iconic creatures as Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, and the Wolf Man. 

Gogos was a Greek who came to America at the age of 16 to study art. He worked with the noted illustrator Frank J. Reilly and began his professional career of painting book and magazine covers when he received his first assignment to paint the cover to the western novel "Pursuit" in 1959. 

Throughout the 1960s, Gogos kept busy working as a commercial illustrator. The majority of his paintings were created for men's pulp adventure magazines and the monster magazines being issued by Warren Publishing ( Eerie, Creepy, Famous Monsters of Filmland ). During the 1970s, he took time off as a commercial illustrator to pursue his own personal fine art but still worked part-time at United Artists as a photo retouch artist in the ad department. His monster art found a new audience in the 1990s and Gogos returned to that genre to create more paintings that paid tribute to the great monsters of filmdom. 

Today, his paintings can be found in museums across the world and in two fantastic coffee table books, Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos by Kerry Gammill and The Monster Art of Basil Gogos by Linda Touby.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, we thought we would share some images of Gogos' best works. Let's begin with Dr. Frankenstein's monster....










THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN




THE MUMMY




DRACULA






THE WOLFMAN





CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON





OTHER MONSTERS OF FILM AND TV








THE USPS STAMP SERIES

In the 1990s, Basil Gogos had submitted these designs to the USPS for a Universal Monster series of stamps, but unfortunately, they were not chosen. They would have made fantastic stamps! 

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