March 21, 2009

The Art of The Munsters : Arnold Kohn


Here’s a scrumptious 1965 illustration of The Munsters by Arnold Kohn, done for Whitman Publishing, the children’s book division of the Western Publishing Company of Racine, Wisconsin. Western also published The Munsters comics under its Gold Key imprint.

Artist Kohn established himself in the late Forties with his dynamic pulp covers, fronting such titles as the venerable Amazing Stories. He would go on to produce numerous paperback covers and pinup art for magazines and calendars. He was an early contributor to the new Playboy magazine in 1953. His collaboration with Western Publishing spanned more than twenty years, producing work for a wide variety of licensed products that would include new covers for Doc Savage reprints under the Golden Book logo.

The delightful Munsters family portrait, done in gouache, displays Kohn’s easy, airy touch, and a vibrant color palette with abstract background.


The piece was used as a cover for a Whitman “Authorized TV Adventure” book called The Munsters and the Great Camera Caper, written by William Johnson . It was possibly recycled as a puzzle illustration. Confirmed! The Kohn illustration was used for a low-priced, 100-piece puzzle. Image added.


Found on cartoonist Patrick Owsley’s eye-popping blog, with thanks for the heads up to Karswell of the incessantly awesome The Horrors of it All.



8 comments:

Karswell said...

Nice research Pierre! I've been looking for this as a puzzle, but now that you mention it as a book (and the Great Camera Caper line) it was easy to find on ebay... in fact there's a bunch available now and very affordable too. Thanks again!

Christopher said...

thanks for posting the pic..I remember these books for TV shows and had a few.I probably saw this one in the shops or a friends house at some point..

Max the drunken severed head said...

Interesting original touches of interpretation of the characters. Grampa's slimmer and ruddier, Eddie has fangs, Lily is younger, and Marilyn is saucier looking!

Max the drunken severed head said...

Also, Herman has no forehead scar, and is closer to the color of the greasepaint that Gwynne wore, rather than being the green Herman was portrayed as in most merchandise of the time.

Pierre Fournier said...

Christopher: I never saw this book, but I remember the big, bound Whitman books. They were very well made.

Max: Indeed, its a rose-colored vision of The Munsters, very light, very engaging. Man, the guy could draw.

rob! said...

That is a delightful painting.

Chitown Drummer said...

I was delighted to come across this page and comments...because I am the artist's son! My late father Arnold Kohn (he passed in 1984) was a prolific illustrator throughout his lifetime. I remember the Munsters' piece well, one of many projects he did for Whitman. Dad would often enlist me and my sister to pose for polaroids he would pin to his easel and refer to while he created his compositions and preliminary sketches. Thank you for keeping my dad's art alive!

Dave Kohn

Caffeinated Joe said...

Beautiful piece! I love it!