"Here is a photo of the original James Bama "Big Frankie" box art. I bought the piece from Forry Ackerman in 1986. It (like all the Aurora box paintings) is painted with gouache on matte board. Gouache is a kind of water-based tempra paint. It has vivid color and dries very fast.

This painting was originally commissioned for the Aurora model kit contest poster in 1964. It was part of a much larger horizontal painting by Bama that once included all the Aurora monsters.

In 1965, Aurora used the Frankenstein image from the poster as it's box art on the "Gigantic Frankenstein" model. The painting was later used on the 1965 "Famous Monsters of Filmland" Fearbook, the FM paperback ("Son of Famous Monsters") and on everything from puzzles to "glow-in-the-dark" posters. Its one of the most iconic monster images of the 1960s.

It's interesting to note, by the way, that Bama (an obvious monster fan) used a photo of Glenn Strange as Frankenstein as his source. But if you look closely at this painting (and also Bama's earlier box art for the original Frankenstein model) the artist incorporated the larger forehead clamps that were part of a prototype makeup for Boris Karloff's classic screen version in 1931. The long, worm-like clamps were never used in any film, yet Bama couldn't resist adding them to his paintings."

Best regards,
Kevin Burns



 | Original Artwork | Home | What's New |