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Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos PB
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Like many who have reviewed this book, I grew up with Famous Monsters of Filmland, and was really looking forward to getting this book because of the fabulous artwork of Basil Gogos that I remember so well. Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed - with a title like "Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos", one would expect (at least I did) that it would concentrate on his well-known covers of monster and horror magazines, specifically Famous Monsters of Filmland, for which he is best known by many. Instead, a good portion of the book is devoted to his wildlife, western, military, adventure, and whatnot work. It would have been more accurate to call it "The Art of Basil Gogos", not the "Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos". Also, many of his Famous Monsters of Filmland cover art paintings are cropped - not a whole lot usually, but when compared with the actual magazine covers it's obvious (again, to me at least) that they have been cropped, and I just cannot understand why they would do this. And lastly, a good number of the covers are small, some very small, and are reproductions of the actual FMOF covers, not his actual paintings used to create those covers. Don't get me wrong, I'm still glad I got the book, the quality of the reproductions are great, and it's better than not having a book of his art. But they could have, and should have, done a much better job.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
If you were fortunate to have been born between 1950 and 1970 or so, you're lucky to be a part of a wonderful fraternity. Like me, you are a "monster kid". Monster Kids are the generation that grew up with Shock Theater and campy horror movie hosts, old Aurora model kits, classic Universal horror films on 8MM, and...a fantastic magazine called Famous Monsters of Filmland. Famous Monsters was edited by legendary collector and Sci-Fi sage Forrest Ackerman and one of the great attractions throughout the years were the magnificent magazine covers painted by Basil Gogos. From Vanguard Productions comes "The Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos." Basil Gogos has rightfully been called, "The World's Most Famous Monster Artist." His bold, expresionistic use of color is what caught the eye of little ghouls like myself and my friends. Edited by Kerry Gammill and J. David Spurlock and with an introduction by Rob Zombie, the book provides a dazzling display of Gogos' art not only from Famous Monsters, but from many other magazines, books, and films.

In fact, his first professional sale was not a monster, but rather a cover for a western paperback (reprinted in the book) in 1959. Gogos did numerous covers in many different genres including westerns, war, jungle adventures, spicy adventures, and more. Dozens of examples of his work from this period are included. His first cover for Famous Monsters of Filmland appeared on the cover of issue #9 from November, 1960, depicting Vincent Price from "The House of Usher". For the first time, kids who were used to only knowing them from black & white films now saw their monster heroes in bold color thanks to Gogos. In all, Gogos did 48 covers of Famous Monsters and they are among the most popular issues for collectors. Everyone has their favorite Gogos Famous Monster cover...for me it was his rendition of Boris Karloff as the Mummy from issue # 58. The fine detail of the withered, dead-eyed mummy still mesmerizes me. Issue #56 featuring Gogos painting of Karloff as the Frankenstein's monster for the Karloff tribute issue is another favorite. Basil provides valuable insight to his legions of fans by discussing the various paints, styles, and techniques that he's employed over the years.

Gogos would eventually move into doing fine art as well as non-monster commercial illustration including work for many years at a New York advertising agency. But much like the victims of those classic monster films, Gogos found he could not, for long, escape his beloved creatures. The 1990's brought a renewed interest in Gogos' monster art and soon he was back doing new paintings for trading card companies, CD cover art for The Misfits and Rob Zombie, and a whole new generation of monster magazines such as Monsterscene, making him more popular than ever. Gogos even did the concept art for a series of U.S. Postage stamps in 1997 that featured the classic monsters. The book features comments and tributes from such luminaries as Sara Karloff, Ken Kelly, Forrest Ackerman, Roger Corman, and Rick Baker. In all there are over 150 color and 50 black & white illustrations in the 160 page book. For monster kids like myself, who are all "grown up" now, Basil Gogos will always have a special place in our hearts. His Famous Monsters of Filmland covers take us back to a simpler time of true chills and thrills and I can think of no other book that would please a monster fan more than "The Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos." Like many of the books from Vanguard Productions, it is available in several different editions: There is a softcover, a hardcover, and a deluxe hardcover that is signed by Basil Gogos and includes a 16 page bonus folio and comes in a slipcase. The Deluxe, signed, slipcased edition was an instant sell-out and is already selling for big bucks on the collector's market. My highest recommendation!

Reviewed by Tim Janson
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Basil Gogos is known to monster fans all over the world, if not necessarily by name, then by his art. His paintings of monsters, aliens, and werewolves graced the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. His art brought a dignity to these beasts, and this book reproduces many, many, many of Gogos' works, past and present. In addition to the expected monster images that fill this volume, there are many examples of Gogos' other art, ranging from illustrations from 1960s men's adventure magazines to paintings of subjects ranging from cowboys to wildlife to cityscapes. Each and every image, regardless of medium or subject, is remarkable. Anyone who fondly remembers Gogos' Famous Monsters covers can't possibly be dissapointed with this book! And even those without a nostaligic remembrance of those old monster images (like my wife!) will still find themselves enthralled. A book that truly deserves to be placed on a coffee table where people will look at it!-
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
For any old school FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND collector (and I mean the true ORIGINAL ~Forry Ackerman~ helmed FM *ahem*ahem*), this is like recieving a Holy Grail from those issues. I have both the Deluxe LE 600 copy signed, slipcased hardcover as well as this softcover ordered from Amazon.
Regarding both editions (there's also an unsigned HC available too), this is a LONG OVERDUE retrospective for this highly underrated artist (well, underrated by the sheeple, and near God-like to those of us who know better...hehe;-). It amazes me that it has taken this long for a tome to be produced showcasing the beauty of this master's work. Luckily, the wait has been more than worthwhile.
The reproduction of Gogos' paintings, much from the Warren era are so incredibly vibrant. In fact, even the Warren covers weren't as crisp and eyepopping. If you've ever seen the care and print quality put into, say for instance, a Frazetta art volume, you know that those are top of the line reproductions. I had been a little suspicious how this Gogos volume would look and am here to say I was more than pleased (hey, I ordered this SC 'reading copy' so my HC didn't get any more scuffed up going in and out of its ridiculously tight slipcase!).

If you are wondering if the FM covers are all here, well....many of them are (I haven't gone through and checked what's shown against the Warren covers gallery yet). But rest assured, classic covers, most minus the cover text, some with, are present. Paintings like Price from FM #9, Lanchester from FM #17 (and a huge 2 page blow up of the later painting with her & Karloff), Frye (#18), King kong, Barnabas, the Creature, Karloff...I mean, it goes on and on...what's also cool, is Gogos adds some comments for the images regarding what he used, his motivations etc etc. It's really cool to read what his thoughts were when creating these now classic images. And that's just the Warren stuff. Also featured are beautiful images from his USPS monster stamp paintings, which quite frankly, would've simply blown the ones that were printed out of the water (what was the Postal Service thinking?!!). Also inside are repros from his non-monster periods/ad work etc......a section that gives a very good counterpoint to all of the monster imagery. Luckily, they are fun to look at and vividly show off his diversity. And if you're wondering, no, it doesn't go on forever....it's just enough of a look, then back to monsters you go.

Towards the end, there's Gogos' more recent work from the likes of MONSTERSCENE, CD covers for the MISFITS & ROB ZOMBIE for instance. It's probably safe to say, it's thanx to such guys that grew up oggling BG's work, that he got this renaissance he's long deserved.

In closing, no...I wasn't paid for this. I'm just an old fan of BASIL GOGOS and WARREN's FAMOUS MONSTERS. And it's exciting to see this man's work finally enshrined in such a superb presentation....I've waited for like 20 plus years for this. I love FRAZETTA....but if we could get even just half as many BASIL GOGOS collected works volumes out as we have Frazetta stuff, the world would be a better place....lol.

COMMENTS ON THE EDITIONS:

SOFTCOVER: Available here at Amazon. Same high quality glossy paper (or so it seems) as the DELUXE. It's missing the additional bound in extra portfolio pages that the DELUXE has. If you have the DELUXE, I'd strongly recommend a SC copy for reading purposes:-)

DELUXE EDITION LIMITED TO 600 SIGNED COPIES IN SLIPCASE: If you're experiencing Gogos for the first time, get the SC. Then when you realize what a genious he is, go after this edition. It is now sold out at Budplant.com, one of the last places to get them and soon to be the same at the pub's, Creativemix.com, so if ya want it, ya better start lookin, cuz Ebay prices are sure to go crazy in the near future. There's no plans to do a second printing that I've read (as of 4/24/06). Judging from the ones in my possession, the slipcases vary from tight to super-tight (as in it will potentially damage the dust jacket taking it in and out, as it did one of mine, so good luck). This edition features LON CHANEY's PHANTOM on the cover and the case is black with GOGOS' signature stamped in red. EXCELLENT despite slipcase's production tweeks.

HARDCOVER: Appears to be the same as above minus signature/slipcase and bonus folio and appears to be an open edition.

OVERALL: A+++ CONTENT for all versions of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
First of all...Like so many reviewers before me have said; almost every boy that grew up in the '50s & '60s anxiously collected our 35 cents every month so we could go to the local candy store & buy the latest issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland. This magazine became our bible & 4E Ackerman became our surrogate father. More than 45 years have passed; but I can still remember those magnificent covers as though it were yesterday. Basil Gogos painted the cover of the Gorgo issue which had a blue background & also the Vincent Price issue which had a white background,etc. This Book displays all of Basil Gogos outstanding cover art which graced the cover of FM for so many years. Don't take my word for it...ask Stephen King, Rick Baker, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, John Landis, Rob Zombie & a host of others..This book is an absolute delight for the senses & like fine art is meant to be treasured,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an unbelievably great book on an under-appreciated artist. Basil Gogos is most famous for his cover paintings for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, and most of those are beautifully reprinted here. But you get so much more!

This is highly recommended, particularly if you love the famous monsters of your youth.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This great book was a surprise to me. The overall quality of the color images and span of Mr. Gogos' prolific career are well represented in beautiful full color, high quality reproductions. I'm glad that there too is a sampling of his charcoal drawings, something I was unaware of. What a great talent. Any fan of 1960's Monster Mania or just quality painting/illustration should not pass up on this book, especially students of painting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Even without text, this book would've earned 4 stars, just for the impressiveness of Gogos' work. Within this book are large, crystal-clear repros of his most famous monster cover paintings, as well as samples of his illustration work.

The only setback for this book is its lack of depth in the text. It seems that whoever was sent to interview Basil didn't ask too many questions, didn't want to really know too much about him except for his general acheivements, and didn't ask him for a demonstration of how he works. Among all of the great pics, some candid ones of the artist would've been nice, most notably a pic of his studio.

Still, the images are so rich in color and character. Worth it!
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on February 27, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book, which reviews the long and complex work of one of the horror scene's greatests painters, is a true eye candy. Down to the last detail, Gogos's work allows us to take a glimps into the mind of a true genious.
This book is a celebration to all of those who admire fine art and to all of those who love the fantastic world of horror movies.
Truely a great book.
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on March 9, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I guess it's a pretty cool name, because it has a good spice and a freakin' awesome dance as it's 2 parts! Sweet book. I gave it to my neighbor and she cried. She's very emotional about stuff. You probably won't cry if you get this book, but hey, you never know. Get the book, and then cry about it if you want. We're not judging.
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