Halloween Mask Madness, Day 11: I am not an animal, I am a human being…


By Shawn Robare

Today’s monster mask advertisement features the work of Mario Chiodo Studios and comes from issue #37 of Fangoria originally published in 1984…

I really dig these masks, but in particular the one up top because of its references to the Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man.  While I love classic monster imagery, and the story of Frankenstein and his creation (particular the 1931 James Whale film) really touches me, the true life trials and tribulations of Joseph Merrick truly broke my heart.  Granted, a monster mask influenced by Merrick could be in poor taste considering the life he led, I can’t help but be yet another person consumed with curiosity about his visage, and therefore can understand why Chiodo would use it as inspiration.  I’ve spent plenty of time studying pictures of his bones, trying to recreate the texture and intricacy of his unfortunate disfigurement (see below), just trying to understand what it must have been like.  If you were ever curious about the life of Merrick, one of the best books on the subject is The True History of the Elephant Man: The Definitive Account of the Tragic and Extraordinary Life of Joseph Carey Merrick

Anyway, come back tomorrow for more mask tomfoolery, and if you’re looking for a ton of Halloween content all through the month of October, make sure to stop on by the official Countdown to Halloween site and check out the list of participating blogs for 2011.  You’ll be glad you did!