Richard Corben’s Comic Cryptids

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 12th, 2007

Swamp Thing

There has to be an esteemed place in the cryptocosmos for this well-known comic artist.

A Midwestern guy like me, Richard Corben was born October 1, 1940, on a farm in Anderson, Missouri. Today he is seen as an American comic book artist best known for his illustrated fantasy stories in Heavy Metal magazine, to some, or for the traditions coming down via his first graphic novel, Bloodstar, to others.


For me, it is his work in cryptozoological themes that intrigue me. After all, in 2004, he drew “me,” sort of, as the comic book character “Coleman Wadsworth” chasing an Abominable Snowman and then in turn being chased by the title creature in the Swamp Thing comics (#7 and #8).

I also note he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute, in 1965, the same site where the Cryptozoology exhibition toured in 2006.

Rob Zombie Steve Niles Bigfoot

Ever the independent, Corben worked with rocker, Rob Zombie, and Steve Niles in 2005 on the project for IDW Publishing called Bigfoot. The graphic series ran for three issue. The story chronicles a young boy who witnesses the brutal slaughter of his parents by the enigmatic title character and his return to the forest for revenge when he becomes older.

Rob Zombie Steve Niles Bigfoot

Let us hope we see more cryptids from Corben again soon.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

8 Responses to “Richard Corben’s Comic Cryptids”

  1. Unknown Primate responds:

    I totally agree. Always loved Corben’s work. Glad to see he’s getting recognition here.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    I agree. I’ve been a fan since Bloodstar and Heavy Metal as well as his other works. Hey, Loren, is that you being chased by Swamp Thing?

  3. Guerrierinconnu responds:

    Corben is one of the best underground american artist i’ve ever known !!

    i was a great colllector of his comics

    i have kept the best and i love to read sometimes !

  4. unclemonkey responds:

    I know of at least four other great pieces of primate work from the hand of the astounding Mr. Corben. In 1999-2000, he illustrated the covers of my mini-series for Vertigo Comics, titled CONGO BILL. It was a revisionist take on DC’s Congorilla character, set in contemporary Congo, and involving the politics of the region (at that time). While not exactly a cryptid, Congorilla was an overgrown ape with the mind of a man (thanks to the powers of an ancient magic ring), so that certainly qualifies the creature as “unusual”. Each over features the angry golden gorilla. I include a link to the Amazon page with illustrations of three of Corben’s covers.

    Congo Bill on Amazon

    Probably with a little effort, one could track down an image of Book Two from the series, as well. My favorite art is Corbin’s last cover. The editor of the series liked it so much he bought the art work for that one.

  5. bill green responds:

    hey everyone wow those above comic books artworks looks wonderful for comic cryptids. thanks bill green 🙂

  6. Grant responds:

    I know Rich Corben in a limited way, I’m afraid, but I do know him from a handful of “Warren” magazines (Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella). Only a handful of the mid-‘ 70s ones, but that was enough to make a real impression.

  7. red_pill_junkie responds:

    He was one of the reasons I was an avid HEAVY METAL reader back in college. A great artist indeed.

  8. CryptoHaus_Press responds:

    that BIGFOOT comic Mr. Corben did was truly spectacular. the splash page reproduced is indicative of the super-kinetic quality he always brought to the METAL HURLANT/HEAVY METAL graphic mags, as well.

    Corben’s work always reminded me of Frank Frazetta’s but done by way of a minor influence of Wally Wood and — weirdest of all! — R. Crumb.

    just one fool’s opinion, of course. but i see there’s little disagreement his work has been influential and appreciated over the decades.

    a truly unique artist with a visionary style.

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