Basil Gogos - Legends of Fantasy Art vol.5

Dracula 1931 - Famous Monsters Fearbook 1970 - art by Basil Gogos
Dracula 1931 - Famous Monsters Fearbook 1970 - art by Basil Gogos
The Vampire Lovers - art by Basil Gogos
The Vampire Lovers - art by Basil Gogos


"I have met some of the actors who portrayed film monsters, but much to my regret, I never met Karloff. I must have painted him a dozen times. I respected Karloff as an actor, and at the same time loved him, as by all accounts a good man. So long, dear friend, you are missed." Basil Gogos.

Basil Gogos is an artist best known for his covers for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

He was born in Egypt to Greek parents. Date of birth unknown. He and his family emigrated to America when he was aged 16.

Gogos spent his youth studying art at several New York schools including The National School of Design, The Phoenix School of Design and The School of Visual Arts. His first cover painting was for a western paperback called Pursuit, which was published in 1959.

In the 1960’s he was painting covers for men’s adventure magazines, usually depicting an action scene with voluptuous women in torn clothing somewhere in the picture.

Bride of Frankenstein - art by Basil Gogos
Bride of Frankenstein - art by Basil Gogos
Adventure Magazine Oct 1965 - art by Basil Gogos
Adventure Magazine Oct 1965 - art by Basil Gogos
Man's Book - 1972 03 - art by Basil Gogos
Man's Book - 1972 03 - art by Basil Gogos

But it was his covers for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine that would make him a fan favourite. Famous Monsters was first published in 1958, the publisher was James Warren (1930-) and the editor the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman (1916-2008).

The magazine was very popular in it’s time and the only place where you would find features on the making of King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula and other classic genre movies. It was also filled with rare photos. Famous Monsters is still published today under new management.

Basil Gogos first Famous Monsters cover was a painting of Vincent Price from Roger Corman’s House of Usher, issue #9 published in 1960.

Some of his cover paintings were for, The Phantom of the Opera, House of Wax, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, Godzilla, Bride of Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Mad Love, The Ghoul, Nosferatu and The Exorcist.

He also painted portraits of horror greats like Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Vincent Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

Wild Wild Planet - art by Basil Gogos
Wild Wild Planet - art by Basil Gogos
This Island Earth - art by Basil Gogos
This Island Earth - art by Basil Gogos
The Abominable Dr. Phibes - art by Basil Gogos
The Abominable Dr. Phibes - art by Basil Gogos
Barnabas Collins - Famous Monsters #59 - art by Basil Gogos
Barnabas Collins - Famous Monsters #59 - art by Basil Gogos
War of the Colossal Beast - Famous Monsters #53 - art by Basil Gogos
War of the Colossal Beast - Famous Monsters #53 - art by Basil Gogos

Other magazines Gogos has provided cover art for include – Creepy, Eerie, Spacemen, Adventure, Man’s Conquest and World of Men

In the 80’s Basil Gogos took a break from magazine covers for a while, working on fine art and creating personal work. He returned to the horror genre in the 1990’s producing artwork for magazines like Fangoria and Monsterscene.

A book showcasing his artwork for monster movie magazines was published in 2005 by Vanguard Productions titled – The Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos. Edited by Kerry Gammill and J. David Spurlock and includes over 150 full colour paintings in 160 glossy pages.



An excerpt from a Basil Gogos interview by Hallowrama.com:

H-RAMA. I was always into the Universal Monsters and discovered your artwork and your book and was absolutely blown away by the portraits. They’re incredible. Did you have an interest in the Universal Monsters or were you hired as an illustrator at first?

Basil Gogos. I was interested , I saw all of them like everyone else when I was twelve years old, but I went on to become an illustrator and it turned out to be just another illustration I had to do which led me into the monsters that I know. There was no preconceived idea, as an illustrator you just do what comes up and this was something that came up, which was issue no.9 with Vincent Price as Roderick Usher. So it was just another job really that had to be done in a very strange way or not a way that I was familiar with. But as it turned out the publisher loved it.

H-RAMA. I know you love the work you have done and the monsters and the characters, but do you ever want to have that part of your work to be set aside for a little bit so people can take notice of all of your other work?

BG. Not really, I have visions of doing other things of course, classical art or fine art. I have a number of paintings I want to do. I do monsters now because people want to see me do monsters and not only that, I have commissions one after another and in a way there’s no time to do anything else although I would love to sit down and do something that’s completely different in the way that the old masters painted.

Star Wars - Famous Monsters #147 - art by Basil Gogos
Star Wars - Famous Monsters #147 - art by Basil Gogos
Mad Love 1935 - Famous Monsters #63 - art by Basil Gogos
Mad Love 1935 - Famous Monsters #63 - art by Basil Gogos
House of Wax (1953) - Famous Monsters #64 - art by Basil Gogos
House of Wax (1953) - Famous Monsters #64 - art by Basil Gogos
House of Usher (1960) - Famous Monsters #9 - art by Basil Gogos
House of Usher (1960) - Famous Monsters #9 - art by Basil Gogos
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1932 - Famous Monsters #62 - art by Basil Gogos
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1932 - Famous Monsters #62 - art by Basil Gogos
Frankenstein 1931 - art by Basil Gogos
Frankenstein 1931 - art by Basil Gogos
Curse of Frankenstein - art by Basil Gogos
Curse of Frankenstein - art by Basil Gogos
The Mummy 1932 - art by Basil Gogos
The Mummy 1932 - art by Basil Gogos
Phantom of the Opera 1925 - art by Basil Gogos
Phantom of the Opera 1925 - art by Basil Gogos
The Wolfman 1941 - art by Basil Gogos
The Wolfman 1941 - art by Basil Gogos
King Kong 1933 - art by Basil Gogos
King Kong 1933 - art by Basil Gogos

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Comments 10 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Basil Gogos almost sounds like a made up name....once again your Legends of Fantasy Art series has enlightened me on somebody I was very unaware of before your hub. Looking at his work, I realize that I have seen many of these images before. The King Kong picture is a classic.

Interesting that he never got to meet Karloff, especially with Karloff being the subject of so many of his awesome pictures. I think I like the Phantom and the Mummy paintings the best. Voted up and across the board....thanks for continuing my Fantasy Art education.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hey thanks Bruce, appreciate you popping in to my latest weird named dude no one's ever heard of hub! :)

No I didn't make it all up there really is a dude named Basil Gogos painting famous monsters out there.

The King Kong art is good, my favourite is hmmmm let me see... Frankenstein is really good, Mummy too, I also like Jekyll and Hyde and Bela as Dracula, War of the Colossal Beast... oh I can't decide... if I had to pick one for the Home Theater wall? Frankenstein!

Thanks for posting amigo!


Flora Breen Robison 4 years ago

Hello, steve.

I've hardly been online all week this week. Except to check my email and post about my poems and birthdays/deaths on FB, that is all.

This post will be short even for me. By the end of the long weekend (this weekend in Canada, I mean-not next weekend in US), I should have more time to do things.

Like Cogerson, I don't know this artist's name.

My favourite cover is the first one of Bela Lugosi as Dracula.

I also enjoy his artwork you've included for The Bride of Frankenstein, House of Usher, Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, The Mummy, and Phantom of the Opera, The Wolfman and King Kong.

Hmmm. I have chosen artwork for films I know and enjoy from classic cinema before I was born...coincidence? Not likely.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hi Flora, thanks for commenting. Glad you liked some of the artwork, the old 'monsters' are still the best. :)

I had a hub break last week, recharged my batteries.

That Bela Lugosi cover is great and I know what scene that's from, the bit where Van Helsing pulls out a crucifix from his pocket shocking Dracula who says "For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you're a wise man Van Helsing."

Thanks as always for posting.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

How about a hub on Parsley Stopos? I think he was an artist from the 1960s.....lol. I was re-reading the comments and thought of that name which would be a nice companion to Basil Gogos.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Never heard of that name Bruce and it's stumped google too, you just made it up didn't you? ;)

I was thinking of a famous Japanese poster artist for a future hub but his name escapes me, I can't remember it.


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Hey if you can have Basil Gogos why can I not have Parsley Stopos?.....lol. I am sure if he existed he would be a Fantasty Artist.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hmmm that name looks like an anagram of pavement artist Poopsy Slaters.


Flora breen Robison 4 years ago

Haha, Bruce :)

Is Poopsy Slaters the name of an actual artist?

Better watch what type of photos you want to publish when you publish hubs with photos of semi-clad people. It isn't just a matter of not publish hubs with naked people or there will be no ads on your hubs. People might not like the semi-clad photos and complain to the moderators by flagging you. In which case, it isn't a matter of no ads-it is a matter of getting banned.

You don't know her, but there was another woman that Vinaya interviewed in his series of Women writers on Hubpages who has just been banned. Her name on HP is SanneL, and she was told why she was banned. She wrote two erotic poems. That is right. Someone flagged her for creative writing -poetry. Who was forcing the person or persons who flagged her poems for being too erotic, who knows? But someone found her writing indecent and went to the moderators to get her banned instead of simply never reading her poetry.

I can just see some person flagging this hub for that adventure magazine and Man's book instead of simply not reading the hub. No I wouldn't be surprised at all.

Rant finished.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hello Flora, thnaks for your comment and appreciate the warning. I think people popping into an art gallery hub will expect to see the occasional semi-clad woman, especially in the world of fantasy art. Famous artists like Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo are well known for their nude and semi-nude ladies facing monsters or whatever.

Those Adventure magazines for men were sold at newstands all over America, you can't rewrite history and pretend they never existed. And besides I've seen hubs with far naughtier pictures than I've ever posted and no one complained. If these things bother you than simply avoid opening hubs with the words 'fantasy art' or 'pulp magazine art' in the titles.

Oh and Poopsy Slaters is a made up name. :)

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