May 7, 2011

The Art of Frankenstein : Joe Jusko

Doom is a heartbeat away even as Lon Chaney’s raging Wolf Man and Bela Lugosi’s superhumanly strong Monster leap at each other’s throats. In another instant, the castle tower, its mad lab and the battling twins of terror will be swept away by tons of churning water from an exploded dam.

The wild climactic battle from Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1942), all to brief in screen time, is captured in spectacular detail by Joe Jusko for the cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland’s “retro” issue No. 71, coming to newsstands in September.

Joe Jusko’s dynamic cover introduces a classic FM feature, the novelization-like “Filmbook’ adaptation of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, written by Martin Powell. The job is a dream come true for both Jusko and Powell, raised on FM and Universal Monsters. Jusko recalls being mesmerized by the Basil Gogos covers, and Powell is an avowed Frankenstein fan. Recently, Powell introduced Frankenstein themes in his scripts for The Spider comics and his graphic novel adaptation of Mary Shelley’s story, with art by Patrick Olliffe, has been continuously in print since 1989.

Joe Jusko’s meticulous and vivid paintings, laden with details, evoke the classic covers of the pulp and paperback era masters. His inspired art for the Marvel Masterpieces trading card series was credited with launching the trading card boom of the 1990s. In ‘95, a set of 125 paintings for the Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs cards made him the most prolific of all the Burroughs artists. Jusko has created countless covers and merchandising images for all the major comic book companies and a stellar cast of clients. His fully painted graphic novel, Tomb Raider: The Greatest Treasure of All, received a Certificate of Merit from the prestigious Society of Illustrators.

Joe Jusko's website.

Famous Monsters of Filmland website. You can pre-order FM #71.

Martin Powell talks about his Filmbook adaptation.

More Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man covers:
Mad Monsters No. 5 and Famous Monsters No. 42,

Frankenstein: The Legend Retold, a guest post by Martin Powell.


Josh Reynolds said...

Oh God, I will kiss the person who gets me a print of that.
Big ol' sloppy kiss.

Wich2 said...

It is a beautiful taste of classic era...

Reminds this Silver Age kid of the great Technicolored mag & pb genre covers by Ken Barr.

Salut, Joe (& Martin.)

Mikeyboy said...

now I need to find this issue!

Joe Jusko said...

I am so flattered that monster fans are diggin' the piece! I love this stuff and really wanted to paint a definitive image. I'll be doing more, too so keep an eye out. ;-)

Martin Powell said...

How could I not be inspired by such a beautiful, iconic cover painting (thanks again, Joe)?!

A brief explanation: My FM filmbook version of the story is adapted from Curt Siodmak's original screenplay, containing several scenes that were cut from the released film.

So as a result, Bela Lugosi's Frankenstein Monster is blind, and will speak, as Siodmak intended.

Think of it as a "Director's Cut" of a long-cherished monster movie.