Hallowe’en Countdown III, Day 20

« Eeeeeeeeeee! A horrible monster! He wants to… to eat me! »

With the coming of Hallowe’en, you have to get all the bases covered: an ungodly hoard of candy, a pumpkin to carve and assorted decorations to array about the house. Thank your lucky stars for the lightness of your burden: the average Balkan peasant also has to polish his pitchfork, sharpen and set out wooden stakes, gather sprigs of wolfsbane, and round up the requisite number of torches.

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A detail from page eight: Grandenetti at his late-period finest, each page crackling with nervous energy and brimming with shadowy ambiance.

This merry nocturnal chase is brought to you by the team of Otto Binder, writer, and local favourite Jerry Grandenetti, illustrator. It comes from the sixth issue (January, 1969) of Cracked‘s go at a Warren-style Monster mag, For Monsters Only (10 issues… plus a  best-of “annual”, sporadically published between 1965 and 1972). This was Frankenstein ’68, the first of three entries in Binder and Grandenetti’s The Secret Files of Marc Vangoro*, featured in issues 6, 7 and 8 of the mag. Well worth hunting down.

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While this material has never, to my knowledge, been reprinted, and as copies of these long-neglected mags are getting scarcer and naturally pricier, fear not… for some kind souls have taken the considerable trouble of scanning, and more to the point, sharing them. In this particular case, look here.

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Here’s the cover you need to keep an eye for. This is Cracked’s For Monsters Only no. 6 (Jan. 1969). That handsome fella is said to be the creation of the renowned wildlife painter Charles Fracé, of all people.
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It’s heartening to know that the original art still exists and is in presumably caring hands.

– RG

*perhaps a knowing wink at Grandenetti’s (with fellow Eisner Studio acolytes Marilyn Mercer and Abe Kanegson) 1949-51 classic The Secret Files of Dr. Drew, blessedly available in an exemplary edition, thanks to the sterling efforts of cartoonist-scholar Michael T. Gilbert.