As many other talented realistic painter/comic artists Richard Corben uses models and photos to help to reach photorealism into his fantasy images (he paints picts with logical three dimentional inner world, a realism of their own). You can imagine the quantity of photos in his archieves. Sometimes he can pick up the very same individual photo for a reference.
Here’s some example cases:
The girl on the left is Maggie. She’s from the story “Rip in Time” (“Part 2”, pg 13, middle upper frame), by Bruce Jones. The other girl is called Quilla June Holmes. She’s from the story “Vic and Blood” (“A Boy and his Dog”, pg 20, the upper left frame), by Harlan Ellison. Corben has one single photo to create both picts, though characters, locations and moments of the story are complete different. Don’t let the hair fool you. Pay attention girl’s hands, their position and the position of fingers, the bra, the form of the back and the back muscular. Shadow under hands is also evident.
Above and left: Playboy Oct. 1965 (pg 136) vs. a scene from “Rowlf”. The girl in the Playboy magazine is called Jackie Brown. Sebastian Otten pointed out the person to me, in Jan. 15, 2017. The photo itself was presented to me by Plogg, in Feb. 8, 2004. Thanks for both of you.
Right: The Internet pict, “Orchidkiller”, has similar pose than in Playboy/Rowlf pict.
And Corben has done several B&W horror picts based on existing photos (mostly appeared in Photon; some of photos taken from Warren Presents [#09]: Dracula ’79, which can be the source for Corben as well). See examples.
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Christopher Lee vs. “Vampire Staked From Behind” from from Photon #19 (1970)
Florence Marly in Queen of Blood (1966) vs. “Blond Vampiress” from Photon #19 (1970)
Seddok, el Eredero Del Diablo, a.k.a. Atom Age Vampire (1960), an italian B-movie vs. “‘Curse of Frankenstein’ Monster” from Photon #19 (1970)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Christopher Lee vs. “Dracula [Chris Lee] Impaled in Coffin” from Photon #19 (1970)
And here are several other examples for photo references (Corben’s source magazine was mainly from Famous Monsters of Filmland or movie photos):
London After Midnight (1927), Lon Chaney [Sr.] as the ‘vampire’ vs. “London After Midnight” from Famous Monsters of Filmland #47 (1967)
Frankenstein’s Monster (1931), Boris Karloff vs. “Frankly Speaking” from several Photon
London after Midnight (1927) vs. “The ‘Vampire’ [Lon Chaney Sr.] from London After Midnight” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
Dracula (1932), Bela Lugosi vs. “Dracula [Bela Lugosi] on Staircase” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
Dracula – Prince of Darkness (1965), Christopher Lee vs. “Dracula [Christopher Lee] Hissing” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
The Brides of Dracula (1960) [source: Famous Monsters of Filmland Yearbook 1966] vs. “A Bride of Dracula from Horror of Dracula” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
Character Barnabas Collins from cult series Dark Shadows (1966-71) vs. “Barnabas Collins [Jonathan Frid] with Cane” from Photon #19 (1970)
Dracula (1931) vs. “Dracula [Bela Lugosi] and Van Helsing” from Photon #19 (1970)
Horror of Dracula (1958), Christopher Lee vs. “Dracula [Chris Lee] Carrying Female” from Photon # 19 (1970)
The Return of Dracula (1958) vs. Famous Monsters of Filmland vs. “Staked Vampire Skeleton” from Photon # 19 (1970)
One of Bela Lugoci’s Vampire films vs. “Vampire Ready to Bite” from Photon # 19 (1970)
The Brides of Dracula (1960) vs. Famous Monsters from Filmland Yearbook 1966 vs. “Vampire Strangling a Victim” from Photon # 19 (1970)
The Vampire (1957) color and B&W vs. “Vampire Carrying Strangling Woman” from Photon # 19 (1970)
White Zombie (1932), Bela Lugosi vs. “Murder Legendre [Lugosi] from White Zombie” from Photon # 20 (1971)
The poster for The Valley of Gwangi (1968) vs. “Gwangi & Triceratops” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 (1968) vs. “Astronaut Dave [Keir Dullea] from 2001” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
A scene from Nosferatu (1922) vs. “Vampire with Long Fingernails” from Photon #18 (1969/1970)
Another scene from Nosferatu (1922) vs. “Famous Monsters of Filmland #251” from Famous Monsters of Filmland #251 (2010)
Werewolf of London (USA 1935) vs. “Werewolf with Underlight” from Epic #11 (1970)
Wolfman (Universal, 1941) vs. “Werewolf with Victim” from Epic #11 (1970)[See also other Photon, and Epic picts]
This picture was made for Toe Tags but the project was given to Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos instead:
Toe Tags. No Corben inside. Ongoing horror series edited by Bob Schreck (DC, 6 issues, 2004/2005). Story by George Romero. Art OUGHT TO BE by Richard Corben, but was instead by Tommy Castillo and Rodney Ramos. Covers by Berni Wrightson. There exists from this project only a portarit pict of George Romero by Richard Corben.
Weird War Tales #3 (1997) vs. a famous photo. The original photo was shot by Joe Rosenthal on 23th Febr. 1945 on Mt. Suribachi.
Copyright © 2004 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink!
Created: May 9, 2004. Last updated: August 28, 2023 at 21:02 pm