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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Ploog Power - Monster of Frankenstein

Today I'd like to discuss the incredible art of Mike Ploog (monster illustrator extraordinaire) as showcased on three covers of The Monster of Frankenstein, 1973. These three covers highlight not only Ploog's excellent ability and style, but three things I admire about original art as well. In the first image, we see the cover of issue #1 press-ready. The cover to #2 shows Ploog's blue pencil beneath the inks, which I just love. Lastly, the cover for #6 is recreated in fully detailed pencils. Incredible, indeed!

*Come back Monday for a review of the 1st appearance of the Sons of the Tiger! Then on Thursday we'll take a look at - near as I could find - the only original art online for the KISS story in Marvel Super Special #5 (and of course we can talk about John Romita, Jr. on that book).


  1. MY favourite Ploog ( Other than the 1st appearance of Ghost Rider and that amazing splash when you see him on the bike for the first time ) is the Jason & Alexander run in Planet Of The Apes. So '70's and so good!
    BTW when I first saw Will Eisner's work, I ludicrously accused him ( in my mind at least ) of being a Mike Ploog clone! Hey, I didn't know any comics history back then!
    D'you know the story of when Ploog met Infantino, and why he never got any work at DC in the Bronze Age? That one I do know...

    1. Hi, Pete -

      I do not know the Ploog/Infantino story. Love if you'd point me toward it!

      When you read some of Ploog's work, as with other artists, you can really tell when he's having the best of times. Those early Planet of the Apes are good examples, as are his earliest Monster of Frankenstein issues. Fabulous work, standing alongside if not ahead of anyone else's.


  2. I think I read it in Back Issue, but it goes roughly like this:
    At some point in the '70's, Ploog was invited by a mutual friend to lunch with some DC bigwigs, with a view to him doing some work for the company.
    Having just left the army, he didn't know a lot about comics and who was who, and was pleasantly surprised to notice one of the 'suits' doodling on his napkin during lunch.
    Ploog remarked to the suit that his sketch was actually pretty good, and he got a look back as if to say: 'Of course it is, you moron!'
    Unperturbed, Mike carried on, saying:'Yeah, y'know, you're so good I bet YOU could get a job doing comics at DC!'
    Of course, the suit was Carmine Infantino.
    Mike never went on to work for DC in the '70's....

  3. I've never been big into horror stuff, but Ploog's art is definitely better than most from that genre.

  4. Ploog's work is quite awesome, and I love the covers you highlighted.
    I'm most familiar with his art in Man-Thing back in the 1970s - he was a perfect fit for that series. And he also did the art on my single favorite story in that series, the 'Dawg' tear jerker from issues 9-10.

  5. I first came across Ploog’s work in “Werewolf by Night” and watched for him after that. “The Monster of Frankenstein” work was very good; that book is probably underrated. People don’t talk about it much but it was interesting I thought.

    The cover you share from #2 is a favorite. I love the way the bandages hang off of the mummy. But the hill and the house in the background always get my attention.

  6. Late to the party but I had to add to the Ploog love. His Werewolf by Night is probably my favorite work -the werewolf is so sinewy and bestial, just the perfect conception of that mythical monster. As Martinex says, the Frankenstein series is overlooked; the early issues are solid, with great art by Ploog. Love seeing his B&W work here.


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