Wednesday, January 6, 2010

TOR!!!

"Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future."

So begins Plan 9 From Outer Space, one of my all time favorite movies. In honor of the movie, I thought I'd draw Tor Johnson, who starred in Plan 9 and other Z-Grade horror movies.

When I was a kid I used to see ads in comic books advertising horror movie masks. Among the masks for sale there would always be one of Tor Johnson. I'd never seen him in any films in those pre-home video days, but I assumed he must have been a huge horror movie star, right up there with Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi (well, he was huge, but in a different way). I figured since they sold masks of the Frankenstein monster and there were hundreds of Frankenstein movies out there, by the same logic if they were selling Tor masks there must have been hundreds of his movies as well.

Imagine my surprise when years later I found out that he only appeared in literally a handful of horror films. Those scant few appearances must have made quite an impression on the monster mask industry!

I drew this illustration in pale bluish grays because every image I've ever seen of Mr. Johnson has been in black and white. It didn't seem natural to render him in full color.

By the way, I wasn't kidding about "Plan 9" being one of my favorite movies. Lots of people (most who've probably never even seen it) will tell you it's the worst movie ever made. Far from it. I've seen far, far worse (some of them this year!). Say what you want about it, but despite its flaws you can't deny that it's entertaining. And isn't that why movies exist, to entertain?

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the original sketch of Tor.

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