For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected].This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
“Ghoulish” Gary Pullin
Gary Pullin, known to horror enthusiasts and art collectors as “Ghoulish Gary,” is an award-winning artist and leading designer in the wild world of alternative movie posters, vinyl record, and Blu-ray packaging, and pop culture art.
Gary’s unmistakable work has been featured in a number of documentaries, including 24×36: A Movie About Movie Posters and Why Horror? In 2009, he was voted “Artist of the Year” at the Rondo Hatton Awards, and in 2019, he won again for his cover work on MAD magazine. After a thirteen-year stint as Rue Morgue magazine’s original art director, he’s now a full-time creature creator. His colorful signature style has graced numerous magazines, book covers, soundtracks, movie posters, T-shirts, and other monstrous merch.
Gary has also been featured at conventions and galleries across North America, created highly sought-after screen prints for the likes of Mondo and Skuzzles, album art for Waxwork Records, Mondo, Death Waltz, and Varese Sarabande, and developed key art for various films, including The Babadook, Grabbers, and Birth of the Living Dead.
In 2018, Ghoulish: The Art of Gary Pullin art table book was released by 1984 Publishing and is now in its second printing.
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Gary currently works his black magic in a century-old home, where he resides with his bride, Nicole, and their monster dog, Pandora.
JoBlo: What got you started as an artist?
Pullin: Having been a teenager in the early 1980s. I loved the lurid artwork on VHS box covers, heavy metal albums and I was fascinated with special effects in movies. I collected monster magazines and comic books. I was always trying to copy drawings I saw on video cassettes and album covers. My Grandfather had a bit of artistic talent, so I would try and copy his paintings. After I graduated high school, I went to BealArt for two years and after that, I enrolled in a Graphic Design and Advertising program at Conestoga College for a three-year term. Finishing my diploma, I moved to Toronto and landed a job at a commercial design firm that specialized in packaging and brand identity. As I was working my way up from a junior designer to intermediate, I was meeting a lot of film fans, particularly within the horror community. If you’re a fan of movies and music, you couldn’t be in a better place than Toronto, there is a big film community there. At that time, I was going to screenings and I met the folks at Rue Morgue Magazine, a local horror entertainment publication. Before I knew it, I became their art director of fourteen years. I decided it was time for a change and in 2012, I registered Ghoulish and started my own freelance company creating film posters, vinyl record packaging, blu-rays, and band merch. I work with some of the most incredible companies and people. I feel in a way like things have come full circle to when I was a kid, drawing monsters in my bedroom and playing music all the time. I’m still doing what I love.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
I’ll never forget picking up my first copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine, the vivid cover painting of Boris Karloff blew me away. I later found out it was done by Basil Gogos. I loved that it was devoted to classic horror films and the way the magazine looked. I had subscriptions to Deep Red and Fangoria horror magazine, comics, and whatever I could get my hands on. I would go to the video stores just so I could look at the covers. Later on, I found out who created some of these iconic images I’ve been seeing all of my life. Robert Gleason (Halloween), Matthew Peak (Nightmare on Elm Street posters), and Saul Bass (The Shining, Vertigo) are a few film artists that I consider big inspirations. I love pen and ink illustrations so Bernie Wrightson, Pushead, and Charles Burns are always in the back of my mind. I love the Tales from the Crypt/EC Comics roster of artists like Ghastly Graham Ingles and Jack Davis. I loved MAD Magazine growing up as well. I was obsessed with their cartoonists, Mort Drucker, Al Jaffee, and Don Martin.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram?
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
Learn as much about the business aspect as you can. In hindsight, when I first went freelance, it wouldn’t have hurt to have taken a basic business course.
What should we be looking out for from you in the future?
More of the same I hope! I’m working on tons of posters, soundtracks, and some fun blu-ray packaging. I hate to talk about Christmas before Halloween has even started but I’ve got a really fun release coming up that I can’t wait for people to see.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time?
Old: The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, The Twilight Zone, The X-Files, Tales From The Crypt, The Munsters.
Recently: Mindhunters, Darkside of the Ring, Black Mirror, The Terror.
Here’s a list of favorite flicks that I crave at least once every couple of years: Jaws, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre I-III, George Romero’s Dead trilogy, Return of the Living Dead, The Fly (both the remake and the original), The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Thing, The Changeling, The Gate, My Bloody Valentine (1981) Creepshow, The Monster Squad, A Nightmare on Elm Street 1-4, From Beyond, Zombie, Session 9, Halloween I-IV and Friday the 13th I-VIII. Happy Halloween!
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from Ghoulish Gary as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Store / Amazon.
Friday The 13th Part VI Jason Lives
The Hilarious House of Frankenstein
I Know What You Did Last Summer
The Last Man On Earth
Night of the Living Dead
A Nightmare On Elm Street
Silent Night Deadly Night
Tales From The Crypt