November 28, 2014

The Art of Frankenstein : Feg Murray (Part 9)

Cartoonist Feg Murray captured all of the Universal Frankenstein Monsters over the run of his Seein’ Stars newspaper feature. After Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr. and Bela Lugosi, the part fell to character actor Glenn Strange whose craggy Mount Rushmore face and six-foot-five frame made him a Monster to reckon with. In short but memorable appearances in HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1944) and HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945), the underused Monster would roll off the slab for a quick, last reel walkabout before meeting his inevitable doom. Murray notes how the apparently destroyed Monster would always “show up for the next horror film”.

Unexpectedly, Strange would get a chance to show his Monster chops front and center in the final film of the original series, the wildly funny and surprisingly influential ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948). Both illustrations here are contemporary to the Abbott and Costello comedy.

The full face-on image announcing the film is a direct precursor, and a worthy companion piece to the famous James Bama painting of the Sixties that used the same photo reference. 

Click the thumbnails below to see the full cartoon panels. I have included a third Glenn Strange image, found on eBay, although the quality is poor.

Next up: We wrap up the Feg Murray series!

With thanks to George Chastain!

The Monster: Glenn Strange

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