Jesse Marinoff Reyes (Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)
“Granpa” Al Lewis (1923-2006)!
Born Alfred Meister in New York City (likely Brooklyn), much of Al’s past was a bit of a mystery (by design), including his backdating of his birthdate to 1910—Al was concerned, despite the fictional setting of being cast to play the still-lovely Munster matriarch Evonne De Carlo’s father, even though he was in truth a year younger in age (!).
Monster World was the short-lived “sister” publication to Jim Warren’s flagship Famous Monsters of Filmland (or FM). FM’s popularity had spawned many imitators amongst Warren’s competition so Warren thought he may as well get in on the action and create his own imitation. Monster World didn’t fare as well as expected in a somewhat glutted market and lasted only ten issues from 1964-66. However, Monster World became a petri dish where Warren could experiment with his first monster-horror comic stories—a concept that would be spun into all-comics “adult” magazines with the debuts of Warren’s Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella titles. Still wildly popular, FM gained from Monster World as it drew closer to its 100th issue—Warren could skip over issues 70-79 and incorporate the ten issues of Monster World in their place as the “missing” issues (better to get to those all-important anniversary celebrations!).
Still, Monster World was as cool a magazine as FM was, and featured cover paintings by illustrators Vic Prezio (seen here), Ron Cobb, Russ Jones and Gray Morrow, and a few photo-based covers as well including a holiday cover with Frankenstein monster actor Glenn Strange in full-makeup and Santa costume; and terrific layout and cover designs by Warren’s graphics visionary, Harry Chester.
Monster World, No. 2, January, 1965 issue
Illustration: Vic Prezio
Design: Harry Chester