• Comic book monsters have intrigued me since I was a small boy. I can’t remember the first comic book I ever encountered; but some of my earliest favorites were Batman, Flash, Turok Son of Stone, My Greatest Adventure, Tales of the Unexpected and Challengers of the Unknown, all were often full of aliens and strange creatures during the middle to late 50’s. Now, these were targeted for an audience older than I was. My cousins, who lived next door, often had these older comics around. The kiddie books I looked forward to were comics like Atomic Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Spooky and especially Hot Stuff. Casper the Friendly Ghost and Wendy were ok in a pinch and Spooky the Tough Li’l Ghost was even better; but Hot Stuff was special, more imaginative and it had a harder edge, plus more creatures. I would even pick up a Hot Stuff book sometimes in my teen years, to look at the art.
I had never know who the artists were that I enjoyed so much until much later. Howard Post and Warren Kremer were the principle artists behind the Hot Stuff series. Ernie Colon seems to have come along to Harvey Comics a little later on. Warren Kremer’s smooth style, with a decorative, open hatching, was particularly well suited for the fantasy element in those stories. He also drew all of the Stumbo the Giant series. My vision of monsters, ogres and other creatures is colored by his style. I had never thought about that until recently. It was a style that I did not consciously try to emulate: but it has somehow come out naturally.